Current Affairs Daily Updates: 27th July 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 27th July 2017
Subhash Chandra Garg appointed as India’s Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of ADB
  • Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India appointed as India’s Alternate Governor to the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila, Philippine.
  • He replaces Former Secretary, DEA, Shri Shaktikanta Das.
Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme revised
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.
  • Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
    • Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
    • Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification.
SIDBI starts merchant banking operations to help MSMEs tap market
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient.
  • The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.
Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge for Rs. 385 crore
  • Axis Bank announced the acquisition of Snapdeal-owned mobile payments provider Freecharge in an all-cash deal worth Rs385 crore.
  • It will get over 50 million customers of Freecharge along with its niche and patented technology and human resources.
  • FreeCharge started as a recharge deal coupons platform before turning into a full-scale mobile wallet.
Union Cabinet approves new wage code bill to ensure minimum wage across all sectors
  • The Union Cabinet approved the Labour Code on Wages Bill which will ensure a minimum wage across all sectors by integrating existing labour related laws.
  • The Labour Code on Wages Bill consolidates the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • It also marks the first major initiative of Union Government in amalgamating labour laws for improving the ease of doing business as well as ensuring universal minimum wage to all.
  • The minimum wage will be applicable on all classes of workers, even workers getting a monthly pay of higher than Rs 18,000 will be legally entitled to a minimum wage.
Union Govt plans to open over 100 new post offices by 2018
  • The Union government is planning to open 81 sub-post offices and 100 branch post offices during the 2017-18 fiscal year under the “Rural Business & Access to Postal Network” scheme. The same was notified to the Parliament.
  • The Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that under the scheme, the Department of Posts plans to open 66 new branch post offices during the current fiscal year by creation of new post offices in 32 worst affected Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit districts in the country.
Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app
  • Microsoft India launched Kaizala app, a ‘made in India’ app.
  • It is powered by Azure Cloud platform.
  • Kaizala will help the organisations to communicate, collaborate and complete tasks in an efficient way.
  • Both ‘Kaizala and Kaizala Pro are integrated with Microsoft Office 365. Kaizala’ is available in India as a free download on iOS and Android phones.
  • The app users can simply get connected using their mobile phone numbers as their primary unique ID.
Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away
  • N. Dharam Singh, former Chief Minister of Karnataka, passed away following a heart attack. He was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of the state.
  • He headed the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from May 2004 to February 2006.
  • Dharam Singh represented the Karnataka Legislative Assembly seven times without a defeat and was a member of the Lok Sabha from Bidar constituency once (2009).
Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India
  • Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat confirmed that The count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017.
  • 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
  • According to the latest statistics, at least 208 tigers have been identified in Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, up from last year's 163.
Madras High Court makes Vande Mataram mandatory in Schools, Govt. and Private Offices
  • The Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across the state “at least once a week”, and in government and private offices at least once a month.
  • To insist a sense of patriotism in each and every citizen of the state, the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all schools/ colleges/ universities and other educational institutions at least once a week (preferably on Monday or Friday).
  • Vande Mataram is written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the former President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former President.
  • He will flag off Kalam Sandesh Vahini, an exhibition bus which will travel across the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th of October, which marks the birth anniversary of the former President.
  • It is designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organization.
GST Council panel to select National Anti-profiteering Authority
  • The Goods and Service Tax (GST) formed a selection committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha to identify and recommend eligible persons for appointment as the chairman and members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority.
  • The Standing Committee is empowered to refer cases requiring detailed enquiry to the Director General of Safeguards, Central Board of Excise and Customs for consideration of the National Anti-profiteering Authority.
  • The National Anti-profiteering Authority is to be headed by a senior officer of the level of a secretary to the government of India and is to have four technical members from the Centre and/or the states, according to the provisions of the law.
Union Cabinet appraised JDI on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi appraised of the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Department of Science & Technology (DST), India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability (IGCS).
  • The objective of the JDI on IGCS is to promote cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied scientific research. It includes areas such as policy support, teaching, training and dissemination of information in the area of sustainable development and climate change through inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary research.
  • Under this JDI, the required institutional framework will be developed to provide fund support to the IGCS at IIT, Madras by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Germany.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration jets for first time will chase solar Eclipse
  • Scientists from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the first time are planning to chase the shadow of the moon using two of NASA’s WB-57F research jets during the upcoming total solar eclipse in the United States.
  • The research jets (planes) will have twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes to capture clearest images of Sun’s corona to date.
  • The corona of the sun is heated to millions of degrees, but the lower atmospheric layers like the photosphere are only heated to a few thousand degrees.
Scientists discover glow in the dark shark in Pacific Ocean
  • Scientists have discovered new species of glow-in-the-dark shark living 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the north-western Hawaiian Islands.
  • It has been named Etmopterus lailae and belongs to lantern shark family.
  • Etmopterus lailae is a strange head shape which is large and bulgy snout where its nostrils and olfactory organs are located in Sea.