Current Affairs: 9 August 2017

National Events

Justice Dipak Misra to be next Chief Justice of India

  • The Union government appointed Justice Dipak Misra as the next Chief Justice of India.
  • He will be replacing incumbent Justice J S Khehar, who is set to retire on August 27. 
  • It was Khehar who had recommended Misra's name to succeed him as the next Chief Justice of India.
  • Justice Misra will be sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India by President Ram Nath Kovind on August 27.

Govt launches a new scheme to boost agri startups

  • Joining hands with the IIM Ahmedabad, India's premier farm research institute - Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - on Friday launched a central scheme to promote agri startups in the country.
  • The programme - known as AGRI UDAAN - Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0 - will help select innovative startups to scale up their operations in agri value chain for effective improvement in agriculture.
  • This is a six month programme in which short-listed agri startups with promising innovative business models will be mentored and guided to scale up their operations. 
  • During this period, the startups will be trained in different aspects of technology commercialization, product validation, business plan preparation, risk analysis, customer engagement, finance management and fund raising.

UP Cabinet changes name of scheme launched by SP government

  • The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet  approved renaming of another Samajwadi Party (SP) government-run scheme, and the Samajwadi Sarvhit Kisan Bima Yojna will now on be known as the Mukhymantri Sarvhit Kisan Bima Yojna
  • One major rule that has already been done away with vis-a-vis police recruitment is addition of physical test marks in the final results; now on, the marks of physical test will not have any bearing on the final results.
  • Previously, physical fitness marks were added to the Class X and Class XII marks. Now on, the recruitment will be done through a written examination, following which a merit list will be made and the physical test will be conducted later. 
  • The applicants will have to fulfil certain physical test criteria like 4.8 km race, which for women will be 2.4 km.

Kerala, Haryana top sanitation survey

  • The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation  released the findings of the survey of 1.4 lakh rural households, undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June this year.
  • The survey, covering 4626 villages across all States and Union territories, claimed that 62.45% of the households had access to a toilet.
  • The survey also pointed that 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it, indicating a change in sanitation behaviour.
  • Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets. And so were the Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.
  • Interestingly, BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and NDA-ruled Bihar were among the worst performers in terms of rural sanitation. In Bihar, only 30% of the rural household had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37% . Another BJP-ruled State, Jharkhand, too scored the same as U.P.

Coconut regains `tree status in Goa as Assembly passes bill

  • The Goa Legislative Assembly passed a bill which reclassifies coconut as a `tree, ensuring legal protection for it.
  • Goa Forward Party, a partner in the Manohar Parrikar-led government, had promised to reclassify coconut.
  • The previous Laxmikant Parsekar-led government had changed classification of coconut tree to a `palm.
  • However, the decision kicked up a controversy as green activists claimed that it would make it easy to cut down coconut trees indiscriminately in the coastal state as it would require no formal permission.
  • The Assembly, on the last day of Monsoon session today, passed the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of) Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees and reclassify it as tree.

NITI Aayog selects 3 States for transformative change in Health & Education sectors

  • In a major push to competitive, cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog, today, announces partnership with three States each to radically transform their Health and Education sectors. 
  • NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States. In Education, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes. 
  • The six States have been chosen after a rigorous competitive process based on comprehensive metrics to determine potential for impact and likelihood of success. 
  • States were called to, first, express intent of collaborating with NITI Aayog to better their Health and Education indices. States then made presentations for each sector which was assessed by a committee comprised of senior members of NITI Aayog and Health and Education ministries. 
  • The States highlighted the initiatives undertaken by them thus far, their willingness to accelerate improvement and justified why they should be selected for the institutional support being offered by NITI Aayog. 
  • This three-way partnership between NITI, State Governments and a knowledge partner for each of the sectors is part of the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative of NITI Aayog. 

International Events

Indian American appointed US county’s Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs

  • Indian American Dilip Chauhan has been appointed to a key position of Deputy Comptroller for Minority Affairs in New York’s Nassau county.
  • Chauhan has been active in numerous community and business organisations in the New York area and had joined the Comptroller’s office in 2015 as Director for Community Affairs, South and East Asia. He served as senior advisor to the Comptroller since early 2017,
  • The Comptroller’s Office has been a driving force in advocating for increased business opportunities for Minority and Women Owned Enterprises (MWBEs) and veterans to meet the county’s aspirational goals

Sports

Ravindra Jadeja becomes top-ranked Test all rounder for first time

  • Ravindra Jadeja was already the top ranked Test bowler in the ICC Test rankings but now he is also World No 1 in all rounders after eclipsing Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh in the latest rankings announced on Tuesday 
  • R Ashwin has been removed from his second spot in ICC Test rankings for bowlers with Jimmy Anderson’s seven wickets propelling him to World No 2.

Real Madrid beat Manchester United to win European Super Cup

  • Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 on Tuesday to lift the European Super Cup for the fourth time as they became the first team to retain the trophy since AC Milan in 1990.
  • The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
  • The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

Banking & Finance

Kotak Bank launches debit card offer for zero balance account

  • Private sector Kotak Mahindra Bank will offer debit card at a special price of Rs 99 for the first year for customers who will open account under its zero balance account scheme till September 15. 
  • The usual annual fee for debit card procured by 811 account holders (zero balance) is Rs 299. 
  • The name 811, inspired by November 8, 2016, decision of demonetisation, allows customers to open a zero balance account using the bank's mobile application.
  • To mark the 70th anniversary of country's independence, the special edition debit card will be available to customers who open an 811 account from August 8, 2017 to September 15, 2017 

Amit Kumar Saroha wins silver in World Para Athletics Championship

  • India’s Amit Kumar Saroha clinched a silver in men’s club throw F51 competition in World Para Athletics Championships
  • Saroha’s best throw of 30.25m, which came in his third attempt, fetched him a silver medal. In the process, the para-athlete from Haryana set a new Asian record in this event.
  • Serbia’s Zeljko Dimitrijevic retained his title with a world record throw of 31.99m.
  • The 32-year-old Saroha had also won a silver in this event in the last edition of the biennial championships in Doha in 2015. He also had won a gold medal in this event in the 2014 Incheon Asian Para Games.

Awards & Honours

Mimaansa wins award for combating learning disabilities

  • A Mumbai-based organisation that works on assisting children who suffer from learning disabilities (LD), was awarded in the Young Innovators Challenge 2017 event hosted by 3M India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for its work with students of municipal schools in Thane. The aim of the challenge was to come up with unique ideas to tackle India’s social and economic problems.
  • Mimaansa, started in 2012 by Poojaa Joshi, a former French teacher and now psychotherapist, works on offering early intervention for children with learning disabilities, including a remedial programme focused on alternative teaching strategies by skilled special educators. 
  • Mimaansa also offers teacher training programmes for municipal school teachers to help them identify and help students with LD, and counselling programme for children with LD.

Dev Patel To Be Honoured With Asia Society Game Changers Award

  • Indian-origin actor Dev Patel is among nine individuals to be honoured by a leading educational organisation for making a ‘transformative and positive’ difference for the future of Asia and the world. London-born Patel, who became popular with his debut film Slumdog Millionaire, will be felicitated with the Asia Society 2017 Asia Game Changers Award at a ceremony to be held at the United Nations, New York, in November.
  • The Asia Game Changer lifetime achievement award will be given to Aga Khan, Founder of the Aga Khan Development Network for using philanthropy to lift millions of Asia’s most vulnerable.

Sardar Singh, Devendra Jhajharia to be awarded Khel Ratna awards

  • Former India Hockey captain Sardar Singh and Paralympian javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia have been selected to be awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards. The awards selection committee has recommended both Jhajharia and Sardar to be considered for the award jointly.
  • With this, the 36-year old Jhajharia becomes the first Paralympian to be recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour. Jhajharia is also the first Indian to have won two Paralympic gold medals in the javelin throw event.
  • Sardar, who is probably the most known hockey player after the likes of Dhyan Chand and Dhanraj Pillay, is now one of the senior players leading the team. He is one of modern hockey’s finest defensive mid-fielders ever, leading India to two successive silver medal finishes in the Commonwealth Games. He was also awarded the Arjuna Award in 2012.

Appointment

Former India all-rounder Madan Lal appointed chairman of DDCA's Cricket Affairs Committee 

  • Former India Test cricketer and Delhi captain Madan Lal has been appointed chairman of the newly-formed Cricket Affairs Committee (CAC) of Delhi & Districts Cricket Assiciation (DDCA).
  • The other members of the panel are former national selector Saba Karim, member 1983 World Cup-winning team Sunil Valson, women's India international Amita Sharma and senior sports journalist GS Vivek.
  • The Committee has been entrusted with the duty of appointing coaches for various teams senior to age group, conducting trials, summer camps, selection matters as well as smooth conduct of Delhi league.

Akshay Kumar appointed brand ambassador for Swachh Bharat

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today announced the appointment of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the state and also made his upcoming film "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" tax free.
  • The movie stresses on the importance of building toilets and ending open defecation in the country.

Flipkart’s head of marketplace Anil Goteti to lead eBay India

  • Flipkart has appointed its head of marketplace Anil Goteti to lead eBay India, which the homegrown ecommerce major acquired recently as part of a $1.4 billion fundraising round.
  • Goteti, who joined Flipkart in March 2013, currently heads the marketplace business, pricing and promotions platforms at the firm.
  • Goteti has worked with Mckinsey & Company and Qualcomm in the past.
  • Naini was appointed recently when his predecessor Latif Nathani, who was managing director and vice president of eBay India since May 2013, resigned from the company.

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