Current Affairs: 11 May 2017

Important Days

National Technology Day: 11 May 2017

  • Every year, `National Technology Day' is celebrated across India on May 11; being commemorated to memorise the anniversary of Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test held on 11 May 1998. 
  • The day glorifies the importance of science in day to day life and motivates students to adopt science as the career option.
  • National Technology Day marks India’s scientific prowess and technological advancements. It was the same date in 1998 when India successfully conducted first among the five nuclear tests in Pokhran under Vajpayee's leadership. 
  • The tests showcased India's might to the entire world.

National Events

Indian Railways To Acquire System To Run Trains Without Guards

  • The Indian Railways will float global tenders worth over Rs. 100 crore for acquiring sophisticated equipment to run 1000 trains without guards.
  • The End of Train Telemetry (EoTT) equipment is used to establish communication between the locomotive driver and the last wagon of the train to ensure that the train is running with all coaches/wagons as a complete unit.
  • The equipment is designed to do the guard's job by giving indication to the loco driver in case of parting of coaches or wagons from the rear side of the train. Each set of EoTT device is estimated to cost approximately Rs. 10 lakh.
  • EoTT system comprises two units one unit called cab display unit (CDU) fitted on the locomotive and the other is sense and brake unit (SBU) fitted on the last coach or wagon of the train.
  • Railways will acquire 1000 EoTT equipment to begin with for its container operations and later more such unit will be procured for all trains.
  • All goods trains on the proposed dedicated freight corridors will run with EoTT system.

Government asks NGOs to open bank accounts in core banking format

  • Tightening the rules for NGOs, the Home Ministry has asked as many as 5,845 organisations to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.
  • It is the latest in a series of steps taken by the NDA government aimed at checking "errant" NGOs The move came after it was detected that many NGOs have their bank accounts in cooperative banks or state government- owned apex banks or banks which do not have core banking facilities.
  • The home ministry wants that all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act mandatorily have their accounts in either nationalised banks or in a few private banks which have core banking facilities.

Government sets up a high-level task force to compute timely data on employment

  • Government has set up a high-level task force to compute timely data on employment in the country, a move that will go a long way to help government frame policies and take steps that can create jobs in the country.
  • In view of the importance of timely and reliable data on employment, the Prime Minister has directed the Prime Minister’s Office and concerned Ministries to come up with a solution to fill this long-standing gap in the country’s statistical architecture,
  • Accordingly, a task force has been created under the chairmanship of Aayog's vice chairman Arvind Panagariya with labour secretary Sathiyavathy, secretary statistics T.C.A. Ananth, Pulak Ghosh of NITI Aayog and Manish Sabharwal (member RBI Board) as members.
  • Labour bureau computes data only for eight sectors and that also comes with a lag. Consequently, the country and its policy makers do not have a holistic view on the employment scenario in the country. 

CJI pitches for digital filing of cases

  • PM uploads ‘Integrated Case Management Information System’ on the Supreme Court website.
  • Digital filing of cases would make the judicial system “extremely transparent” and rule out any manipulation of records
  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi uploaded the system on the Supreme Court website at the function held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. It was attended by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and a large number of judges from the Supreme Court and High Courts and senior lawyers.
  • The system would be different from the present e-filing process as lawyers will be required to file only the grounds of appeal in the apex court and the remaining judicial files would be automatically transferred.
  • This programme is the resource from the database which exists. So if you are filing an appeal in the Supreme Court from a case in the High Court, all you need to do is to put in the number of the case you are filing. And besides that, you have to file the grounds. 
  • As soon as you file the grounds, the entire paper book of the High Court gets transferred to the Supreme Court. So the paperwork of the Supreme Court is finished. 
  • It is replaced by the grounds of appeal.

Iowa varsity to set up Mega Seed Park in A.P.

  • The Andhra Pradesh State government entered into the MoC with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State, to promote research and development in science, agriculture and life sciences.
  • Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth M. Quinn and Director Craig Hill, Consul General of India in Chicago Neeta Bushan and others were present. 
  • Mr. Naidu visited the Seed Science Center at the university to initiate the launch of the park project.

Sports

NBA officially opens first academy of its kind in India

  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the official opening of NBA Academy India, an elite basketball training center at Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) for the top male and female prospects from throughout India. 
  • Twenty-one elite male prospects, who were selected following a three-month, nationwide basketball talent search, will receive scholarships and training at NBA Academy India, the first of its kind in the country.
  • NBA Academy India will employ a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills. 
  • As part of the program, the students will compete against top competition throughout the year and will have an opportunity to be selected for travel teams that play in international tournaments and exhibition games.

Harpreet Singh wins bronze in Greco-Roman at Asian Wrestling Championship

  • Harpreet Singh was the lone bright spot for India on the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championship as he bagged a bronze medal in Greco-Roman 80kg category
  • Harpreet bagged his second successive bronze medal at the Asian Championship after defeating Junjie Na of China 3-2.
  • Harpreet’s medal was the only silver lining on a day 

Ganguly leads Cricket Aus' Greatest CT XI, Sachin excluded

  • Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was named skipper of Cricket Australia's Greatest Champions Trophy XI, which also features ex-Indian captain Rahul Dravid as wicketkeeper. 
  • The two are the only Indians in the team, which does not include Sachin Tendulkar. 
  • The team features three Australians, including former players Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath and Shane Watson.

Banking & Business

RBI restricts loss-making IDBI Bank from hiring, opening branches

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated 'prompt corrective action' on IDBI BankBSE 0.45 % which will restrict bank from hiring, opening branches and giving big ticket loans. The directions from the RBI is aimed at ensuring that the bank takes measures to cut down its losses by reducing expenses and recovering problem loans. 
  • The bank had suffered historic loss of Rs 2,255 crore in the December quarter 2016 as it had to make huge provisions for bad loans.
  • The 'prompt corrective action' is triggered when a bank's bad loan is above 6%, 

Paytm signs non-exclusive term sheet to acquire FreeCharge

  • Alibaba Group-backed Paytm has signed a non-exclusive term sheet to acquire rival FreeCharge, the digital payments platform owned and operated by beleaguered online marketplace Snapdeal, in what is expected to be an all-cash deal. 
  • If successful, the deal, estimated at between $45 million and $90 million, could be finalised in a month,.

Appointments

Sanjay Mitra appointed as new Defense Secretary

  • The government named Road Transport and Highways Secretary Sanjay Mitra as its new Defence secretary in a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle
  • Mitra will take over as the secretary after the present incumbent, G Mohan Kumar, completes his tenure on May 24, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) decided Mitra would till then function as an Officer on Special Duty in the Defence Ministry.
  • Mitra, 58, a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the West Bengal cadre, will have a fixed two-year tenure. This will be his first posting in the Defence Ministry. He was appointed Road Transport and Highways secretary in December 2015. 
  • Mitra’s batchmate Rashmi Verma, at present Textiles secretary, is the new Tourism secretary.
  • Jagdish Prasad Meena will be secretary, department of Consumer Affairs. 

Twitter elevates Taranjeet Singh as Country Director for India

  • Microblogging platform Twitter has elevated Taranjeet Singh as its Country Director for India.
  • Mr. Singh was earlier leading the charge for sales and marketing support for Twitter’s advertisers in India.
  • In his new role, Mr.Singh will lead the team by driving an integrated business strategy and spearheading cross-functional collaboration,
  • India is among the world’s fastest growing social media markets. It is already among the largest markets for companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google.
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