Current Affairs: 23 August 2017

National Events

Andhra Pradesh first to implement Bharat QR digital payments

  • Andhra Pradesh’s Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (EPDCL) and the Southern Power Distribution Corporation of AP Ltd (SPDCL) have become the first state-owned distribution companies in India to accept payments through Bharat QR, the world’s first interoperable quick response code acceptance solution launched by the Reserve Bank of India. 
  • As part of the ‘Vizag less–cash city’ initiative underway between Visa and the Andhra Pradesh government, the state has witnessed a slew of initiatives aimed at increasing the rate of digital payment adoption across the masses
  • The Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp project is an initiative spearheaded by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Visa, to develop Visakhapatnam into India’s first “less–cash” city. 
  • Visa and bank partners will focus on driving the digitization for a range of key use cases determined to significantly boost the rates of cashless payments.

SC strikes down instant triple talaq

  • The Supreme Court banned on Tuesday a controversial Islamic practice of instant divorce as arbitrary and unconstitutional, in a landmark verdict for gender justice that will stop Muslim men calling off a marriage on a whim.
  • In a split verdict, three of the five all-male judges on the case said the practice of saying “talaq”, or divorce, three times in one go – sometimes even over email and WhatsApp – violated women’s right to equality and was not integral to Islam.
  • The dissenting note came from Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and justice S Abdul Nazeer, who argued instant talaq should be suspended and the government asked to bring a law to regulate the practice within six months. The majority verdict overrides the minority view.
  • Muslim men in India can still divorce using two other forms of talaq that have a three-month cooling off period. Muslim women usually divorce using a practice called Khula. Instant talaq, or “talaq-e-biddat”, is banned in 22 Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, for being sinful and arbitrary.

International Events

TRAI inks cooperation pact with Malaysia telecom regulator

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has inked an agreement with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission(MCMC) to deepen bilateral cooperation in telecom and broadcasting regulation.
  • The two telecom regulators on Tuesday signed a letter of intent (LoI), under which they will exchange information and regulatory best practices.
  • TRAI chairman RS Sharma and MCMC chairman Halim Shafie were signatories to the pact, which will enhance cooperation and bilateral ties between the two entities.
  • The telecom regulators of India and Malaysia will also undertake joint capacity building exercises in telecom and broadcasting regulation

Awards & Honours

Hyderabad startup wins award CMO Asia Excellence

  • Hyderabad based startup, Paynear Solution was awarded ‘Best Use of Mobile Technology in Financial Services in Asia’ at the ‘Eighth CMO Asia Excellence’ awards, which were held in Singapore
  • Pitted against some stiff competition in the category, Paynear emerged as a winner, thanks to its innovative use of technology to help the seamless processing of omni-channel transactions across platforms. 

Arkansas Novelist Padma Viswanathan Awarded 2017 Porter Fund Literary Prize

  • Indian American novelist and playwright Padma Viswanathan is the recipient of the 2017 Porter Fund Literary Prize for fiction.
  • The Porter Fund Literary Prize is presented annually to an Arkansas writer who has accomplished a substantial and impressive body of work that merits enhanced recognition. The $2000 prize makes it one of the state’s most lucrative as well as prestigious literary awards. 

National Sports Awards – 2017

  • National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four year.
  • Arjuna Award is given for consistency outstanding performance for four years, Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events, Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development. 
(i) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2017
S. No. Name of the Awardee discipline
1.Shri DevendraPara Athlete
2.Shri Sardar SinghHockey
(ii) Dronacharya Awards 2017
S. No. Name of the Awardee Discipline
1.Late Dr. R. GandhiAthletics
2.Mr. Heera Nand KatariaKabaddi
3.Mr. G.S.S.V. PrasadBadminton (Lifetime)
4.Mr. Brij Bhushan MohantyBoxing (Lifetime)
5.Mr. P.A. RaphelHockey (Lifetime)
6.Mr. Sanjoy ChakraverthyShooting (Lifetime)
7.Mr. Roshan LalWrestling (Lifetime)
(iii) Arjuna Awards 2017
S. No. Name of the Awardees Discipline
1.
Ms. V.J. SurekhaArchery
2.
Ms. Khushbir KaurAthletics
3.
Mr. Arokia RajivAthletics
4.
Ms. Prasanthi SinghBasketball
5.
Sub. LaishramDebendro SinghBoxing
6.
Mr. CheteshwarPujaraCricket
7.
Ms. Harmanpreet KaurCricket
8.
Ms. OinamBembem DeviFootball
9.
Mr. S.S.P. ChawrasiaGolf
10.
Mr. S.V. SunilHockey
11.
Mr. Jasvir SinghKabaddi
12.
Mr. P. N. PrakashShooting
13.
Mr. A. AmalrajTable Tennis
14.
Mr. SakethMyneniTennis
15.
Mr. SatyawartKadianWrestling
16.
Mr. MariyappanPara-Athlete
17.
Mr. Varun Singh BhatiPara-Athlete
(iv) Dhyan Chand Award
S. No. Name (S/Shri) Discipline
1 .
Mr. Bhupender SinghAthletics
2.
Mr. Syed Shahid HakimFootball
3.
Ms. Sumarai TeteHockey

  • The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2017.

Appointment

N B Gupta appointed as Director (Finance), PFC


  • N B Gupta has been appointed by Government of India as Director (Finance), Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) for a period of five years or date of his superannuation whichever is earlier. Mr Gupta has assumed the charge of 'Director (Finance)' in PFC w.e.f. August 18, 2017. 
  • He has more than 30 years of experience in Power Sector and carries with him rich experience in the fields of Fund raising, International Finance, Internal Audit and Accounts Finalization etc.

Dharmendra Kumar appointed Director General of RPF


  • CISF ADG Dharmendra Kumar has been appointed as director general of the Railway Protection Force.
  • Kumar, who is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, took charge
  • Before being appointed additional director general (ADG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Kumar was serving as special commissioner (Special Unit) in the Delhi Police.
  • After the retirement of S K Bhagat in June this year, the additional charge of DG, RPF, was being handled by National Security Guard (NSG) DG, Sudhir Pratap Singh.
  • Kumar will retire on September 30, 2018.


Ajay Vipin Nanavati appointed chairman of Syndicate Bank


  • Ajay Vipin Nanavati was today appointed as the chairman of Syndicate Bank.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as Non-Official Director/Non-Executive Chairman in Syndicate Bank for three years, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
  • In 2015, the government had bifurcated the posts of chairman and managing directors in public sector banks.
  • While the chairman became responsible for overall policy directions, the managing director and chief executive officer became the executive head, accountable for the day-to-day functioning of the bank.

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