Current Affairs: 3 June 2017

National Events

Nuclear-Capable Prithvi-II Missile Test-Fired Successfully From Odisha's Chandipur

  • India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army. 
  • The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of a 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore at around 9:50 am
  • The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying a 500 kg to 1,000 kg warhead and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision and accuracy.
  • The state-of-the-art missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed strategic force command (SFC) and monitored by the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise
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Road ministry launches online platform INAM PRO+ for infra raw material

  • Minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday launched INAM PRO+—an e-commerce platform for construction and infrastructure raw material for government and private procurement.
  • The website inampro.nic.in launched by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), a road ministry public sector undertaking, will act as a repository of all raw materials suppliers and manufacturers in the country from where people and construction companies, along with public sector companies, can buy construction material at competitive rates.
  • INAM PRO+ is an updated version of the INAM portal, which was launched by the ministry of road transport and highways in 2015, to procure cement. 
  • The portal has several features like the ability to track orders, adds more products (grade/type), and a payment gateway is incorporated for security purposes and swift cashless transfer of payments. 
  • The INAM portal has already done sales worth Rs32 crore in two years.

Varanasi to get India’s 1st freight village

  • Varanasi will get the country's first 'freight village' spread over around 100 acres. 
  • The plan to set up this project close to the upcoming multi-mode terminal along the Ganga has attracted major players including Dubai Port Worldand IL&FS.
  • A 'Freight Village' is a specialised industrial estate which attracts companies that require logistics services and can cluster to improve their competitiveness.
  •  This will allow relocation of retailers, warehouse operators and logistics service providers supplying the regional FMCG market.
  • World Bank has taken the lead to put in place the project which will provide connectivity to the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, the country's longest waterway, and the national highway as well.

Haryana renames HUDA as 'it rhymes with ex-CM Hooda's name'

  • The Haryana government has changed the name of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP). 
  • The state's Health Minister Anil Vij said HUDA was often misunderstood as it rhymed with the name of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. 
  • Congress leader Hooda is facing CBI investigation in an industrial plot allotment case, among others.

Samsung India to set up 2 more tech schools

  • Samsung India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), renewing its partnership and setting up two new Samsung Technical Schools in Bengaluru and Jamshedpur.
  • On the occasion, the Korean multinational’s Indian arm also announced the MSME-Samsung Technical School Scholarship programme, under which 1,000 girls and differently-abled trainees will be given a grant of up to Rs. 20,000,
  • Samsung already runs 10 such schools in collaboration with Departments of Technical Education, in Sates such as Rajasthan, Kerala, Bihar, Delhi and West Bengal.

International Events

Vucic sworn in as Serbia's new president

  • Populist leader Aleksandar Vucic was sworn in as Serbia's president on Wednesday, pledging to work for peace and stability in the war-weary Balkans while strengthening the country's armed forces.
  • Hours before the oath in parliament, Vucic's supporters clashed with opposition groups that were prevented from protesting in downtown Belgrade. Opposition groups said there were no injuries.
  • Vucic, a former ultranationalist turned self-declared pro-European Union reformer, formally stepped down on Wednesday from his prime minister's post after winning the presidential election by a landslide in April.

Indian-Origin Gay Minister Leo Varadkar Set To Be Ireland's Youngest PM

  • Leo Varadkar's fathe is set to become the once-staunchly Catholic country's first openly gay prime minister, its first of Indian descent and the youngest person ever to hold the office.
  • Varadkar's election as leader of the governing Fine Gael party on Friday means he will almost certainly succeed Enda Kenny as prime minister in the coming weeks, marking another symbolic moment for Ireland.
  • The fact the milestone of electing a gay premier is barely mentioned in local media and has taken place -- in the words of one former government minister -- "without anybody batting an eyelid" shows just how far Ireland has come.
  • Instead, after six years of Kenny's steady stewardship, the focus has been on the stark change of style likely to follow the election of a minister known as a straight talker. Colleagues giddily proclaim that their new leader has the 'X Factor'.

Sports

Mouma-Manika make history at World TT Championships

  • Manika Batraand Mouma Das made history by becoming the first Indian pair to reach the quarterfinals of the World Table Tennis Championships
  • n the men's singles, top-ranked Indian Sharath Kamal stormed into the round of 32 beating Ukraine's Kou Lei in straight games of 11-3, 11-9, 14-12, 11-3.
  • Mouma and Manika created history with luck on their side as they got a walkover from the Netherlands and Polish combination of Li Jie and Li Quian, the latter reportedly was hopsitalised last night after falling sick.
  • Sharath, ranked 43 in the world, defeated the Ukrainian, ranked 24, rather easily without wasting much time.

West Indies cricket team officially renamed as 'WINDIES'

  • The West Indies cricket team has been officially renamed as 'WINDIES' while the West Indies Cricket Board has rebranded itself as 'Cricket West Indies' on its 90th anniversary. 
  • The new name will apply to all teams representing the Board and will be used on all team playing shirts. In a statement, the Board said its new name was more inclusive.

Science & Technology

IIT Kharagpur develops technology for doctors to monitor hospital-bound patients

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has come up with a wireless technology for remote monitoring of patients' condition ferried in ambulances. 
  • Christened 'AmbuSens', the technology has been developed in the SWAN lab of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of the institute. 
  • AmbuSens is capable of wireless monitoring of various physiological parameters like ECG, heart-rate, temperature and blood-pressure. 
  • It can be fitted in an ambulance to ensure remote monitoring of patient condition by the doctors even before they reach the hospital, 
  • The system preserves patient's data confidentiality while simultaneously using the analytic and computing power of cloud computing. 
  • The web interface of the AmbuSens system provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for doctors and paramedics alike with data visualisation tools such as real-time ECG graph rendering, and can be accessed from internet-enabled laptops, tablets and smartphones. 

Appointments

Shashi Shekhar Vempati named CEO of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati

  • Shashi Shekhar Vempati, a former principal architect of Infosys Technologies, has been appointed the new chief executive officer (CEO) of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.
  • The appointment announced on Friday comes seven months after the last CEO, Jawhar Sircar, resigned from the post.
  • Vempanti, a technocrat, had been on the board of Prasar Bharati as a part-time member. His appointment as CEO was made on the recommendation of a three-member committee headed by vice-president Hamid Ansari, Press Council of India chairman Justice CK Prasad and the secretary of the Information and Broadcasting ministry who is also the President’s nominee.
  • An IIT Bombay alumnus, Vempati’s tenure will be for five years from the date of assumption of office.
  • With the appointment of Vempati, the government broke away from the tradition of appointing former bureaucrats to the position. 

RBI appoints S. Ganesh Kumar as new Executive Director

  • The Reserve Bank has appointed Ganesh Kumar as Executive Director (ED) after the voluntary retirement of Chandan Sinha. 
  • Kumar took charge from today. 
  • As Executive Director, Kumar will look after the departments of Information Technology, Payment and Settlement Systems and External Investments and Operations. 
  • Kumar had joined the Reserve Bank in 1984 and as a career central banker, has served in the areas of payment systems, supervision, foreign exchange, information technology and Government and Bank Accounts in the Bank. 

Banking & Finance

Bank of India conducts 'Star Mahotsav'

  • Bank of India conducted a Star Mahotsav across its branch network in the country.
  • The thrust was on contacting every customer at their door step either for recovery of bad loans, disbursement of retail loans including housing and vehicle loan, disbursement under MSME and agriculture and promotion of its products, including debit and credit card, POS machine, and internet banking service.
  • In Coimbatore zone, the bank's zonal head, T Raveendran, inaugurated the campaign.
  • The response was good in this zone. We disbursed about Rs. 46 crore under retail, MSME and agriculture advances and could recover close to Rs. 3 crore from borrowers,”

SEBI forms committee on corporate governance led by Uday Kotak

  • Markets regulator SEBI has set up a committee on corporate governance under the Chairmanship of Uday Kotak, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • Other members of the committee are the representatives of Corporate India, stock exchanges, professional bodies, Investor groups, Chambers of commerce, law firms, academicians and research professionals, the regulator said in a statement.
  • The committee shall make recommendations to SEBI with the aim of improving standards of corporate governance of listed companies in India.
  • The recommendations will be largely based on issues such as maintaining the independence of directors, improving safeguards and related party disclosures and accounting and auditing practices of listed firms.
  • The committee shall endeavour to submit the report within a period of four months

RCom-Aircel merged company to be called Aircom

  • Reliance Communications' executive Punit Garg said that the merged wireless company with Aircel will be called Aircom.
  • RCom can monetize 49 percent tower co stake in future though sale or a listing process, while further debt reduction options will include sale of direct-to-home business.
  • The executive said that the company can also look at strategic transaction in global or Indian enterprise business.
  • Reliance Communications on Friday said that it has received time till December 2017 to close its transactions with Aircel and Brookfield and reduce debt from Rs 45000 crore to Rs 20000 crore, aiming at a reduction of 60% or Rs 25000 crore.
  • RCom has been engaged in discussions with its lenders in order to finalise a debt resolution plan. The lenders on Friday constituted a Joint Lenders' Forum (JLF) to consider and approve the company's plans in this regard as part of which there will be a standstill on company’s debt servicing for next 7 months.

Awards & Achievements

Ananya Vinay wins National Spelling Bee

  • Ananya Vinay of Fresno, California won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, taking home a $40,000 cash prize after 12 hours of picking her way along a precarious lifeline of consonants and vowels.
  • She correctly spelled the word marocain, a dress fabric made of warp of silk or rayon and a filling of other yarns, to win the 25-word championship round of the spelling bee held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in suburban Washington.
  • Marlene Schaff, 14, was ousted by misspelling cleidoic, which means to be enclosed in a relatively impervious shell, like an egg.

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