Current Affairs: 22 August 2017

National Events

'Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat': HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar Launches KVS Initiative

  • 'Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat' Programme, an initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs of Kendriya Vidyalaya students was launched in Kochi. 
  • Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat programme will provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups and children of different abilities.
  • It also intends to imbibe values of Olympics and Paralympics amongst students. Bring back the childhood amongst children and make physical activity and recreational games an integral part of learning process , Motivating potentially outstanding performers in various games and sports of excellence, using technology for data capture and analytics, and giving access to schools, parents and teachers are also the objectives of the programmes.

Cloud seeding begins in Karnataka

  • The cloud seeding experiment taken up at cost of Rs.35 crore, called Project Varshadhari, began on Monday. 
  • This cloud seeding operation, a first in Magadi and Ramanagaram, aims to condense small water particles by clouds (size less than 10 microns) to droplets of 50 microns, which can constitute rains.
  • The flight for cloud seeding - BQ-100 Beechcraft - was scheduled to take off from Jakkur Airport at 2.45 p.m. 
  • The flight is expected to a one-hour sortie and will spray Silver Iodide, Sodium Chloride and Potassium Chloride to condense the water particles. 
  • A committee, comprising meteorologists, experts in cloud physics and hydrologists, will monitor the process.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh launches digital police portal

  • A digital police portal under the CCTNS project, which aims to create a national database of crimes and criminals, was launched by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 
  • The police portal will provide 11 searches and 46 reports from the national database for state police and central investigation agencies. 
  • Central investigating and research agencies have also been provided logins to the digital police database to access crime statistics 
  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS) has enabled 13,775 out of 15,398 police stations to enter 100 per cent data into the software. 
  • The CCTNS project will interconnect about 15,398 police stations and additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and digitise data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge-sheets in all police stations. 
  • This would lead to development of a national database of crimes and criminals, the official, privy to the development 

International Events

First regional centre of NDB opens in S Africa

  • The first regional centre of the New Development Bank, set up by India and other BRICS nations, was officially opened in Johannesburg by South African President Jacob Zuma and the banks Indian head K V Kamath.
  • The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) with an initial authorised capital of the bank is USD 100 billion.
  • The idea for setting up NDB was proposed by India at the 4th BRICS summit in 2012 held in New Delhi. The creation of a NDB was the main theme of the meeting.

Sports

Davinder Singh Kang finishes 12th in javelin final

  • Davinder Singh Kang finished 12th in the men’s javelin’s throw final on the penultimate day of competitions at the World Athletics Championships in London
  • Kang, who has become the first Indian to have qualified for the final round in javelin throw in a World Championship, came up with a best throw of 80.02m in his third attempt to end 12th in a 13-man field.
  • Johannes Vetter of Germany won the gold with a best throw of 89.89m while Jakub Vadlejch (89.73m) of Czech Republic and Petr Frydrych (88.32m), also of Czech Republic, clinched the silver and bronze respectively.

15-yr-old wins bronze for India at Junior Shotgun World Cup

  • Shapath Bharadwaj, a 15-year-old from Meerut, won a bronze medal in the double trap event at the ISSF Junior Shotgun World Cup in Italy. 
  • Earlier, shooters Lakshay Sheoran and Manisha Keer combined to win a bronze medal in the mixed team trap event. 
  • Italy is currently dominating the event with three golds, three silvers, and a bronze medal.

Banking & Finance

Banks to pay 3% GST on gold imports: CBEC

  • Banks importing gold and precious metals will have to pay 3% tax under the GST which can be claimed as input tax credit
  • Central Board of Excise and Customs said banks did not pay any VAT on the import of precious metals previously.
  • They only paid customs duty. However, under GST, “3% Integrated-GST is payable on all imports of precious metals in addition to the basic customs duty. IGST paid can be taken as input tax credit by the banks
  • Import of gold attracts a 10% basic customs duty. On top of that a 12.5% countervailing duty (CVD) was levied prior to GST.
  • Since GST subsumed CVD, hence the GST rate on gold at 3% has to be paid at the time of imports in the form of IGST with effect from 1 July.
  • The CBEC also clarified on levy of GST where the total value of a gold ornament is Rs30,000, including Rs2,000 as making charge

Awards & Honours

President of India presents Colours to all five Ladakh Scouts Battalions

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovindpresented Colours to all five Ladakh Scouts Battalions and the Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre.
  • It has been 54 years since the Ladakh Scouts became part of the Indian Army. 
  • The regiment has earned 605 Honours and Awards for conspicuous gallantry and distinguished service. This speaks for the exceptional valour and spirit of the Regiment personnel and is a model for all soldiers and officers of our armed forces. 
  • They have earned distinction in various wars and operations and excelled in sports, adventure pursuits and professional challenges.

Telangana CM chosen for agriculture leadership award

  • Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has been selected for the prestigious Agriculture Leadership Award-2017, according to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office.
  • A Committee headed by agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan has recommended the CM’s name. The award will be presented on September 5 at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.
  • The Chief Minister has been selected for the award for his innovative services rendered to the welfare of farmers and the farm sector. 
  • The award, instituted by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture in 2008, is presented every year since then.

Appointments

Shri Dharmendra Kumar appointed as DG, Railway Protection Force

  • Shri Dharmendra Kumar, IPS (AGMU:84) appointed as the Director General, Railway Protection Force, Railway Board. Presently he is working in CISF as Additional DG. 
  • The appointment of Shri Dharmendra Kumar will be effective from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier. 

Uber India appoints Vishpala Reddy as Chief People’s Officer

  • The US-based cab aggregator, Uber has roped in former American Express executive Vishpala Reddy as the Chief People’s Officer for its India and South Asia operations. 
  • With over 17 years of experience, Reddy will also focus on enhancing diversity and inclusion by developing programmes to foster an equal opportunity workplace at Uber as part of her role.

Science & Technology

Google Android 8.0 Oreo is now official

  • Google Android 8.0 Oreo, the next version of the mobile OS has been officially announced for the world. Google announced the Android Oreo name
  • Android 8.0 brings a host of improvements and new features to Android including Picture-in-Picture mode, better battery optimization and more. 
  • First, Picture-in-picture will let users do two tasks simultaneously on any size screen, and apps like YouTube, Google Duo already support this. 
  • In terms of notifications, the new notification dots will let users tap these and see what is new in the app. There’s also the Autofill framework, which will auto fill log-in for apps where users have granted permission. 
  • Additionally developers of password manager apps can now use the new APIs to make this autofill otpion available to users in other apps.

UK scientists create world’s smallest surgical robot to start a hospital revolution

  • British scientists have developed the world’s smallest surgical robot which could transform everyday operations for tens of thousands of patients.
  • From a converted pig shed in the Cambridgeshire countryside, a team of 100 scientists and engineers have used low-cost technology originally developed for mobile phones and space industries to create the first robotic arm specifically designed to carry out keyhole surgery.
  • The robot, called Versius, mimics the human arm and can be used to carry out a wide range of laparoscopic procedures – including hernia repairs, colorectal operations, and prostate and ear, nose and throat surgery – in which a series of small incisions are made to circumvent the need for traditional open surgery. 
  • This reduces complications and pain after surgery and speeds up recovery times for patients.
  • The robot is controlled by a surgeon at a console guided by a 3D screen in the operating theatre.

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