Current Affairs: 8 June 2017

Important Days

World Oceans Day: June 8

  • World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. 
  • This site serves as the central coordinating platform for World Oceans Day, with free resources and ideas for everyone – no matter where you live – to help expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8 and year-round.
  • Overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017: Our Oceans, Our Future

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National Events

Human Milk Bank Inaugurated At Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi

  • A national human milk bank was inaugurated at Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in New Delhi today to provide breast milk to newborns who cannot be nursed by their own mothers.
  • The human milk bank and lactation counselling centre, 'Vatsalya - Maatri Amrit Kosh', will collect, pasteurise, test and store milk donated by lactating mothers and make it available for infants in need.
  • The 'Vatsalya - Maatri Amrit Kosh' has been set up in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI).
  • It will also act as a dedicated centre to support and promote breastfeeding to improve survival of infants, besides acting as the teaching, training and demonstration site for other milk banks to be established under the ambit of the health ministry.

Dr Jitendra Singh announced Hill Area Development Programme" for Northeast

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh announced the launch of, Hill Area Development Programme" (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal (Manipur) 
  • the hilly areas of Manipur, Tripura and Assam have a distinct geo-physical entity and are lagging in socio-economic development. 
  • As a result of peculiar topography, he said, there is a wide gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education etc. 
  • The Hill Development Programme, he said, is inspired with a serious research and deliberation of all these factors.

War memorial inaugurated in Arunachal Pradesh

  • General officer commanding of Gajraj Corps Lt General Amarjeet Singh Bedi has inaugurated a war memorial at Thembang village in Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • The memorial, constructed by the scout battalion of the Indian Army, has been dedicated to the men of 5 Guards, who fought during the Indo-China war in Thembang village on november 16 and 17, 1962. 
  • The battle brought to the fore the resolute courage and indomitable fighting spirit shown by the brave hearts of 5 Guards pitted against a numerically superior strength of the Chinese

Shri J P Nadda launches Skill for Life, Save a Life initiative

  • Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative
  • India enjoys a demographic dividend as more than 65% youth are below the age of 35 years and the Government is determined to seize this opportunity by providing adequate skills and employability to the youth for a strong foundation for continued and sustainable growth. 
  • ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ Initiative’ aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system. 
  • Under this initiative various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for general public.

National Level Conference on "Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017" concludes today

  • The two-day National Level Conference on "Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017" concluded.
  • The conference was organised by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to develop a synergy and to highlight way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs). 
  • On the second day of National level conference on capacity building of SDRF-2017 today, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi addressed the delegates from the states. He emphasized that NDRF and SDRFs to work together on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by educating the community and adopt new technologies to tackle the new emerging challenges besides their primary role.

International Events

China launches first World Pest Day

  • The first World Pest Day was today launched in the Chinese capital with an aim to eventually reduce and eliminate pest-borne diseases.
  • The inaugural World Pest Day is a milestone in the global pest management industry, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
  • Initiated by the Chinese Pest Control Association (CPCA), international organisations and associations, it was proposed to increase awareness of pest-borne diseases and safeguard public health through scientific and professional pest control methods

US, China, India to be top prospective destinations for FDI: UNCTAD

  • The US, China and India are considered to be the most prospective destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI), predicted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its annual report on investment.
  • According to the report, with a surge of outflows, China also becomes last year the second largest investing country.
  • In 2017, the global FDI is expected to rise by 5 per cent, to almost $1.8 trillion, attributed to higher economic growth expectations across major regions, a resumption of growth in trade and a recovery in corporate profits.

India, Lanka sign pact for $318 million line of credit

  • India today signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to provide USD 318 million as line of credit to develop the island nation’s railway sector, officials said.
  • The agreement was signed by RHS Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass media, and David Rasquinha, Managing Director of India’s Export0Import Bank in Colombo.
  • During his first visit to Sri Lanka as prime minister in 2015, Narendra Modi had declared a line of credit of USD 318 million for the development of Sri Lanka’s railway sector.
  • That visit, the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister since 1987, had come in the backdrop of increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean nation.
  • China has been investing heavily in Sri Lanka, developing mainly ports that could potentially be used as a base for its navy, though Beijing says the investments are part of its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to link it with Europe and Africa via the Indian Ocean.
  • India has provided four lines of credit to Sri Lanka to develop its railway sector, amounting to USD 966 million.
  • These credit facilities have been utilised to improve the southern and northern railway lines and for the procurement of rolling stocks for the Sri Lanka Railways.

India among top five consumer markets in Asia: BMI Research

  • India is among the top five consumer markets in Asia offering retailers consumer spending growth of an average of 6.1 per cent over the next five years, says a report.
  • According to BMI Research, a Fitch group company, China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India and Indonesia represent five favourite consumer markets in Asia, offering retailers the strongest consumer spending growth over its forecast period to 2021.
  • Some of the key factors responsible for increase in consumer spending include, increasing access to consumer credit, lower inflation, and a more favourable regulatory environment for foreign-owned retailers bodes well for India’s consumer sectors over the coming years.

Banking & Finance

HDFC Bank introduces charges for UPI transactions

  • HDFC Bank has introduced charges on UPI. These charges make small value payments over UPI more expensive than those on national electronic fund transfer (NEFT).
  • all UPI outward transactions will be charged from July 10. Transactions from Rs 1 to Rs 25,000 will be charged Rs 3 plus taxes while those above Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh will be charged Rs 5. As against this the NEFT charges are Rs 2.5 for transactions up to Rs 10,000 and Rs 5 for transactions above Rs 10,000.
  • For small value (upto Rs 100) the bank charges are more in UPI than on card payments. However, in the case of card payments the charges are borne by the merchant and not the remitter.
  • The charges on UPI however continue to be lower than Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which attracts a fee of Rs 5 for remittances up to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 15 for transfers above Rs 1 lakh.

State Bank of India to organise mega farmers’ meet on June 8

  • Ahead of the kharif season, country’s largest lender State Bank of India today said it will meet nearly 10 lakh farmers to understand their credit need and provide finance.
  • The meeting will be organised at the bank’s 15,500 rural and semi-urban branches across the country on June 8. During the meet, branches will receive applications for fresh loans as well as for renewal or enhancement of existing loan

Axis Bank to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards

  • Axis Bank Ltd announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards
  • The card made of biodegradable plastic will help spread awareness about the benefits of such products, Singh added. The cards will be acceptable at all domestic merchant outlets and online portals.
  • Biodegradable plastics can break down safely into their raw materials and do not release harmful substances. They can also be recycled.
  • The maximum validity of pre-paid gift instruments is three years.

State Bank of India opens up APIs for hackathon

State Bank of India has opened up their APIs (Application program interface) for a hackathon, Code for Bank, to tap into the larger developer talent pool for new tech innovations. This hackathon, supported by online platform for hackers HackerEarth, is open to developers and startups from India with the idea of taking the platform to global developers in the near future.
The competition has two phases. The first phase invited ideas from applicants wherein, around 3071 participants had registered, out which 603 were women had submitted their ideas. Currently, 481 ideas are being taken forward for the final hackathon rounds.


Science & Technology

Planet in Milky Way galaxy to be named after Bengaluru's 16 year old Sahithi


  • A minor planet somewhere in the Milky Way galaxy, many light years from Earth, will be called Sahithi Pingali.
  • That is the name of a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Bengaluru, whose concern and work towards the city's polluted lakes have made her not only a star but a planet.
  • A minor planet will be named after Sahithi through the Ceres Connection programme run by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Society for Science and the Public.Fewer than 15,000 people in the world share the honour of having a minor planet named after them.
  • Sahithi Pingali won three special awards in addition to a second prize in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair ISEF at Los Angeles. 
  • The awards were for an appbased system which she developed to monitor water bodies.


New species of flying squirrel, a ‘surprising’ discovery


  • Scientists have discovered a new species of flying squirrel in North America that had been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years.
  • Known as Humboldt's flying squirrel, or Glaucomys oregonensis, the new flying squirrel species inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America.
  • Until now, these coastal populations were simply thought to be the already-known northern flying squirrel,


World's first hybrid 'aeroboat' made by Indo-Russian JV unveiled


  • The world's first hybrid "aeroboat" capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand that has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture was unveiled in Moscow on Tuesday at a start-ups event organised by Russia's state-run Skolkovo Foundation.
  • The aeroboat is designed to access difficult terrain, such as flooded or marshy areas where the use of regular boats is made impossible because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation.
  • The aeroboat is on a demonstration in and around a pond in the two-day Startup Village annual event in Moscow for technology entrepreneurs and investors organised by Russia's biggest innovation fund the Skolkovo Foundation.


Awards & Honours

Manisha Koirala bagged Dadasaheb Phalke Award


  • Manisha Koirala, who recently made a comeback to silver screens with 'Dear Maya' bagged the much coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award. She was honoured with the special Phalke Brave and Beautiful award at the ceremony.
  • The actress was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and later went on for the extensive treatment and chemotherapy to a hospital in New York.


Bengaluru FC honoured with special AFC award


  • Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) general secretary Dato Windsor handed a special award for Bengaluru FC for being the South Zonal Champions in the AFC Cup 2016-17 season.
  • Mandar Tamhane, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Bengaluru FC, was in attendance at the AFC Workshop for clubs who have made it into the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League (ACL) and AFC Cup respectively.
  • The AFC Cup West Zone finalists, namely Air Force Club (Iraq) and Al Wahda (Syria), alongside ASEAN Zone finalists, Ceres Negros (Philippines) and Home United (Singapore) were also present at the workshop.


Appointments

Ruchira Kamboj appointed as next High Commissioner of India to South Africa


  • Ruchira Kamboj (IFS: 1987), presently Ambassador/PR to Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, Paris has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of South Africa.
  • She is expected to take up her assignment shortly.


Sharad Jain appointed NWDA director 


  • Sharad Jain appointed NWDA director  general 3 months after clearing Ken-Betwa river link project
  • Sharad Jain, the chairman of the panel which cleared the Ken-Betwa river link project of the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) was appointed as the director general of NWDA only three months after clearing project.


Rahul Mishra appointed CEO of Rays Future Energy


  • Rays Power Infra today said it has appointment Rahul Mishra as CEO to lead new business initiatives under Rays Future Energy India.
  • The new company will focus on distributed solar generation including rooftop solutions, energy storage, e- vehicles & associated infrastructure and solar energy based products
  • Mishra was earlier working with Nereus Capital, a private equity fund focused on investing in the Indian renewable energy sector.
  • He was also involved in setting up operations of GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) in India and South East Asia region


Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office


  • Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights.
  • The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others.
  • The competent authority has approved the appointment of Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service, as Registrar, Copyrights Office, for a period of five years, an order issued recently by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.


K G Karmakar, Gauri Shankar appointed directors of IPPB


  • K G Karmakar and Gauri Shankar were today appointed as Independent Directors of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved their appointment to the post on the board of directors of the bank for a period of three years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said, without giving any detail of these two persons.
  • The IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent equity of the government of India.
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