Current Affairs: 30 August 2017

Important Days

United Nation observed International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29

  • The UN-established International Day against Nuclear Tests was observed across the world on August 29 'to galvanize the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world'.
  • Since 2010 the event is being observed by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, and lectures in academic institutions, media broadcasts and other initiatives.

National Events

Narendra Modi inaugurates ‘hanging bridge’ in Kota

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi threw open to traffic Rajasthan’s first six-lane cable stayed (CS) bridge in Kota via video conferencing from Udaipur
  • The bridge, over Chambal River, has the longest main span of 350 metre in the country and will also act as a bypass to Kota City.
  • Meanwhile, large LED screens had been put at the bridge to broadcast the PM’s speech from Udaipur and a large number of people arrived at the bridge to witness the ceremony.
  • This bridge will reduce commuting time by 60 minutes through National Highway no 27 (Kota-Chittor National Highway) and National Highway no 12 (Kota-Jhalawar NH).

Karnataka to merge health schemes, launch 'Arogya Bhagya

  • In a move to ensure medical benefits to entire population of Karnataka, the State government has decided to  merge various health schemes and launch unified 'Arogya Bhagya' to  cover all the 1.4 crore households. 
  • The Universal Health Coverage scheme would help the card holder get treatment in all the empanelled private hospitals besides government hospitals to get treatment without paying any cash. 
  • The main theme of the 'Arogya Bhagya' scheme is ''Treatment First and Payment Next''. 
  • All the health facilities will be provided through Aadhaar linked Universal Health Card. For priority households that consists of 1.05 crore families there will be no need to make any contribution
  • This include farmer household, teachers from aided schools, Anganwadi, Asha workers, mid-day meal workers, households

Government to hold pan-India handloom, handicraft camps

  • The textiles ministry would organise camps across the country from October in handlooms and handicrafts clusters to provide different services including issuance of credit facilities to weavers and artisans.
  • These camps, to be organised from October 7 to 17, will be organised under the initiative 'Hastkala Sahyog Shivir'.
  • Services that will be provided to weavers and artisans in these camps include issuance of credit facilities through MUDRA scheme; assistance for technological upgradation; distribution of modern tool kits and equipments; issuance of Yarn Pass Book among others.
  • It is proposed to organise the camps in more than 200 handloom block level clusters and weavers' service centres and more than 200 handicraft clusters in collaboration with states

Gobindobhog rice gets geographical indication status

  • Gobindobhog rice,a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status. The state government had applied for GI status for Gobindobhog rice on August 24, 2015. 
  • The region of Burdwan (now divided into the districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal. As a result of getting the GI tag, as the certification is also called, rice from other regions or rice of other varieties cannot be branded as ‘Gobindobhog’. he marketability of the rice would be strengthened, for the local, national and international markets, government officials said. 
  • This variety of rice is primarily cultivated in east Burdwan district - in the southern basin of the Damodar river in the Raina 1, Raina 2 and Khandaghosh blocks. Gobindobhog was cultivated in an area of 35 hectares last year. Of this, 20 hectares were spread over f Raina 1 and Raina 2 blocks. 
  • The south Damodar belt has been the traditional area of Gobindobhog rice cultivation. 

International Events

Two-day Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo from Aug 31

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference to be held from August 31 in which Sri Lankan prime minister and president are among key speakers. Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, will host the IOC 2017 in collaboration with RSIS, Singapore, and NIFS, Colombo–both research and study centres–and the theme of the conference is peace, progress and prosperity
  • This will be second IOC conference. The first was held in Singapore last year in partnership with think tanks from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

U.N. nuclear watchdog opens uranium bank in Kazakhstan

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. global nuclear watchdog, opened a uranium bank in Kazakhstan, a $150-million facility designed to discourage new nations from enriching the nuclear fuel.
  • The Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in the city of Oskemen, in eastern Kazakhstan, will store up to 90 tonnes of the fuel, enough to power a large city for three years, and sell it to IAEA members if they are unable to procure it elsewhere.
  • The LEU Bank will serve as a last-resort mechanism to provide confidence to countries that they will be able to obtain LEU for the manufacture of fuel for nuclear power plants in the event of an unforeseen, non-commercial disruption to their supplies
  • Russia has operated a similar bank since 2010 but the one in Kazakhstan will be the first one fully owned and operated by the global nuclear watchdog.

Sports

Bidhuri seals India's 1st medal at World Boxing C'ships 2017

  • Indian boxer Gaurav Bidhuri assured India its first medal at the World Boxing Championships 2017 after defeating Tunisia's Bilel Mhamdi to enter the semifinals of the 56kg event. 
  • Bidhuri, a wildcard entrant, became only the fourth Indian boxer to secure himself a medal in the World Boxing Championships. 
  • The boxer was given entry after Bhutan declined the wildcard offer.

14-yr-old beats 36-yr-old to become youngest TT champion

  • Japanese table tennis player Tomokazu Harimoto, aged 14 years and 61 days, defeated 36-year-old German Timo Boll in the Czech Open final to become the youngest winner of an ITTF men's singles tournament. 
  • Harimoto broke the record of China's Yu Ziyang, who was aged 16 years and 30 days when he won the Japan Open in 2014.

Awards & Honours

NRDC wins two awards

  • NRDC, the technology transfer and commercialisation arm of the Ministry of Science & Technology, has won two accolades. It has won the Assocham Services Excellence Award 2017 and its Chairman and Managing Director, H Purushotham, an international recognition.
  • The International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Sweden honoured Purushotham with the IAAM Medal 2017 for his outstanding R&D contributions in the Advanced Materials Science & Technology during its award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • The award was presented during the three-day European Advanced Materials Congress held from August 22-24, where over 800 researchers/ scientists representing 92 countries had congregated. Purushotham delivered the IAAM Medal lecture on 'Commercialising advanced materials technologies from Indian R&D institutions to industry-challenges and case studies'.
  • NRDC also won the Assocham Services Excellence Awards 2017 in the area of Technology Transfer Services. NRDC has transferred IPs and technologies to about 5,000 SMEs /start-ups / corporates.
  • Martens named 2016/17 Women's Player of the Year

Dutch star Lieke Martens has been named UEFA Women's Player of the Year for the 2016/17 season

  • The 24-year-old Barcelona forward, who recently helped the Netherlands to win UEFA Women's EURO 2017 on home soiland aided Rosengård to the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, received the award at a ceremony during the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco
  • The UEFA Women's Player of the Year award is based on players' performances during the 2016/17 season in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.

Appointments & Resigns

Indian Hotels appoints Puneet Chhatwal as MD, CEO

  • Tata group hospitality firm Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has appointed Duetsche Hospitality chief executive Puneet Chhatwal as its managing director and CEO.
  • He will take over from incumbent Rakesh Sarna, who is stepping down on 30 September. 
  • Chhatwal is currently chief executive and member of executive board of Duetsche Hospitality/Steinberger Hotels AG, a large European hotel chain

Mohammad Mustafa takes charge as Sidbi chairman

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) said Mohammad Mustafa has assumed office as the chairman and managing director.
  • Prior to this, Mustafa was working as joint secretary in the department of financial services at the Centre
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment for a period of three years, according to a Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) order.

BSE board approves another 5-year term for Ashish Chauhan as CEO

  • Top stock exchange BSE's board has approved another five-year term for its chief Ashish Chauhan, who has steered a strong turnaround and a highly- successful initial public offering (IPO) of the bourse with strong business expansion.
  • Chauhan, who joined BSE as deputy chief executive officer (CEO) in 2009, was made MD and CEO for a period of five years with effect from November 2, 2012.
  • The board approved re-appointment of Ashishkumar Chauhan as BSE's Managing Director and CEO for a further period of five years from November 2, 2017, to November 1, 2022.

Uber Selects Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi As Its New CEO

  • Uber's board of directors selected Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi as the company's new CEO
  • Khosrowshahi, a surprise candidate, will replace former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick, who resigned more than two months ago amid a series of scandals and controversies that have rocked the ride-hailing company for much of this year.
  • Khosrowshahi, who is 48, has led Expedia since 2005, through a period of rapid expansion. An Iranian-American, Khosrowshahi is a graduate of Brown University who previously worked at IAC and Allen & Company. Earlier this year, he gained notoriety for his strong condemnation of Donald Trump. 

Obituary

Legendary footballer and Olympian Ahmed Khan dead at 90

  • Ahmed Khan, a member of India's gold winning football team at the first Asian Games in 1951, passed away at the age of 91 after prolonged illness.
  • A prolific striker, Khan represented India in two Olympic.
  • Games -- 1948 in London and 1952 in Helsinki apart from two Asian Games in Delhi and 1954 in Manila.
  • Khan, who played as a striker represented India in 11 matches and made his debut against France in the London Olympics. He scored 3 goals including one against Yugoslavia in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

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