Current Affairs Daily Updates: 21st and 22nd August 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 21st and 22nd August 2017
12-year-old Indian-Origin Crowned Child Genius in United Kingdom
  • A 12-year-old Indian-origin boy named Rahul Doshi crowned as the United Kingdom ‘Child Genius’ in a popular television quiz competition days after he became an overnight sensation after answering all questions correctly.
  • Rahul Doshi won the Channel 4 show ‘Child Genius’ by beating his nine-year-old opponent, Ronan.
Telangana Chief Minister Chosen for Agriculture Leadership Award
  • Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has been selected for the prestigious Agriculture Leadership Award.
  • The award will be presented on September 5 at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.
  • He has been selected for the award for his innovative services rendered to the welfare of farmers and the farm sector.
SBI, PNB account for 40% of bad loans
  • State Bank of India(SBI) accounts for over 27% of the total amount owed to public-sector banks by wilful defaulters as many as 1,762 wilful defaulters owed SBI Rs 25,104 crore
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) is next on the list.
  • Together these two banks account for 40% of the total outstanding loans.
  • According to the Finance Ministry data, total outstanding loans due to PSU banks by wilful defaulters amounted to Rs. 92,376 crores.
  • The total outstanding loans by wilful defaulters rose to Rd. 92,376 crore at the end of the financial year 2016-17, from Rs. 76,685 crores at the end of last fiscal 2015-16.
Tata Power JV synchronises 186 MW hydro project in Georgia
  • Tata Power its joint venture company Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL) synchronized 186 MW Shuakhevi Hydro Project in Georgia.
  • AGL is a Tata Power joint venture with Norway’s Clean Energy Invest AS Norway (Clean Energy) and IFC InfraVentures (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
  • It is the largest hydro power plant to be built in Georgia over the past 50 years, and its investment cost exceeded USD 420 million.
Android Oreo released by Google
  • Google launched its version 8.0 of the operating system as Android Oreo.
  • The Oreo boasts of a two times faster boot speed, autofill option, and a longer battery life.
  • The new update comes with a Picture-in-Picture feature that allows the user to see two apps simultaneously.
  • Google is also making it easier to log into different apps, extending the autofill feature currently available on the website, to apps. The much-awaited Android instant apps, which can be accessed right from the browser without requiring installation, are also set to take off with Android Oreo.
ONGC board approves HPCL takeover of 51.11% stake
  • The board of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) given 'in-principle' approval to acquire government's 51 (point) 11 percent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
  • They approved the sale of its 51.11 percent stake in oil refiner HPCL to India's largest oil producer ONGC.
  • HPCL is a Government of India Enterprise with a Navratna Status, and a Forbes 2000 and Global Fortune 500 company.
  • Dinesh K Sarraf is the Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC).
FDI jumps 37% to $10.4 billion during April to June this year
  • The Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country grew by 37 percent to USD 10.4 billion during the first quarter of the current financial year.
  • According to the figures of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), India had received USD 7.59 billion FDI during April-June 2016-17.
  • The main sectors which attracted the highest foreign inflows include services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software and automobile.
  • FDI is a major source of non-debt financial resource for the economic development of India.
Polish-US writer Janusz Glowacki passes away
  • Noted Polish-US playwright and screenwriter Janusz Glowacki (78-year) passed away.
  • Glowacki was the author of award-winning plays “The Fourth Sister” and “Antigone in New York”.
US comedian Jerry Lewis passes away in Las Vegas
  • Hollywood's one of the most successful comedians Jerry Lewis (91-years) passed away at his home in Las Vegas USA.
  • He was started out on New York's Borscht Belt comedy circuit as a singer at the age of five.
  • Jerry Lewis was one of the most popular comic actors of the 1950s and '60s.
  • He became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, chalking up hits such as The Bell Boy, Cinderfella, and The Nutty Professor.
Birthday of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is celebrated today (22nd August)
  • The 413th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is being celebrated all over Punjab, Chandigarh, and Haryana.
  • Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has extended warm greetings to Punjabis living across the globe on the occasion.
  • His teachings are even more relevant today and should be emulated by one and all for the creation of an egalitarian society, rising above the considerations of caste, color, creed, and religion.
Nepalese Prime Minister Deuba to Begin Four-Day Visit to India
  • Sher Bahadur Deuba, the Prime Minister of Nepal accompanied by his spouse Arzu Deuba will be on a state visit to India from 23-27 August 2017 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • This is his first visit abroad after assuming the office of Prime Minister of Nepal in June 2017.
  • The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on issues of mutual interest and advancing age old, special ties of friendship between our two countries.
USA and South Korea 10-day Annual Military Exercise Begins
  • The United States of America (USA) and South Korea began a 10-day-long annual military exercise.
  • The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill is a computer-simulated defensive exercise designed to enhance readiness and maintain stability on the Korean peninsula.
  • He is the first joint military exercise between the allies since North Korea successfully flight-tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and threatened to bracket Guam with intermediate range ballistic missile fire in August.
China to relaunch one of the world's fastest bullet trains
  • China is relaunching one of the world’s fastest bullet trains, capable of running at 350 kilometers (217 miles) per hour.
  • The trains will service the route from Beijing to Shanghai starting next month, making the 1,250-kilometer (777-mile) journey in just 4 hours, 30 minutes. Other routes are being added.
  • It has spent an estimated $360 billion on high-speed rail, building by far the largest network in the world.
Union Government to replace physical Police verification of Passport applicants with online verification within a year
  • Physical police verification for a passport will not be needed from next year as the Centre is planning to connect the procedure with the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, CCTNS.
  • The CCTNS is expected to be linked with the passport service of the External Affairs Ministry allowing online police verification for passports within a year.
  • The Home Minister Rajnath Singh launching the Digital Police portal that integrates the country's 15,398 police stations online and allows citizens to report crime and request antecedents verification online.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar Swasth Bachche Swasth Bharat Programme launched
  • The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar launched ‘Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’ Programme.
  • The programme is an initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs.
  • It aims to provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups and children of different abilities.
Karnataka Government launches clouding seeding Project Varshadhari
  • Karnataka Government launched clouding seeding Project Varshadhari in Bengaluru under which an aircraft will spray chemicals to induce rainfall.
  • It aims to condense small water particles by clouds (size less than 10 microns) to droplets of 50 microns, which can constitute rains.
  • Cloud seeding (also known as weather modification technique) is an artificial way to induce moisture in the clouds so as to cause a rainfall.
  • The cloud seeding project is an experimental project that will cover Bengaluru, Gadag and Yadgir districts of the state.
Union Government launches digital police portal under CCTNS
  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs Shri Rajnath Singh launched digital police portal under Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems Project (CCTNS).
  • The portal is a smart policing initiative of the Government to provide services to citizens and aid efficient police investigation.
  • It is a portal of a platform for citizens to file online crime related complaints and also request for antecedent verification.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews progress of Soil Health Cards Scheme & Fsasal Bima Yojana
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the progress of two agriculture sector related schemes, Soil Health Cards and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in New Delhi.
  • He also emphasized that soil health cards should be printed in the local dialect of the area so that the farmers are able to read and understand them easily.
  • The latest technology including smartphones, remote sensing, satellite data, and drones are being used for speedy data collection with regard to crop insurance claims.
IIT entrance exam to go completely online from 2018
  • The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will go completely online from 2018.
  • In a statement, IIT-Madras Director and JAB Chairman Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi decided that the JEE Advanced will be conducted in online mode from 2018 onwards.
  • Union Human Resource Development Ministry had earlier introduced the option of taking the JEE-Mains online.
  • The JEE-Mains is the entrance examination for admission to engineering courses offered across the country and a qualifying exam for JEE-Advanced which is required for admission to the prestigious IITs and NITs.
Assam Government to launch Scheme for Compassionate Family Pension in lieu of Compassionate Appointment
  • In Assam, State government launching a new Scheme called, Scheme for Compassionate Family Pension (CFP) in lieu of Compassionate Appointment.
  • According to officials, where the employee dies before superannuation, the family pension equal to 100 percent of the last pay drawn by the deceased employee be paid for a period up to the date of 'deemed superannuation' of the deceased employee.
  • This normal family pension shall be fixed at 50% of CFP from the date of deemed superannuation till 67 years of age of the deceased employee.
Union Minister JP Nadda to launch 15 medical outlets of AMRIT Deendayal
  • Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda will launch 15 medical outlets of AMRIT Deendayal in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab through Video Conference.
  • He will also inaugurate one outlet of AMRIT Deendayal at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Shimla. Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment, AMRIT Deendayal Pharmacy is the flagship program of Government of India.
  • The purpose of AMRIT Deendayal program is to provide a different kind of medicines and equipment at cheap rates to the patients.
India’s first calf born to surrogate cow in Pune
  • India’s first calf delivered by a surrogate or recipient cow through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technology carried out in a mobile laboratory in Pune.
  • This is for first time IVF procedure was successfully implemented at the farm level with the help of mobile laboratory.
  • The purpose of producing surrogate calf was to protect indigenous cow breeds in its original form which have been destroyed due to cross-breeding.
US based Indian doctor discovers new way to prevent sepsis in new born babies
  • A team of scientists from United States of America (USA) has discovered an inexpensive prevention technique (therapy) against sepsis in newborn babies.
  • The team was led by US-based Indian doctor Pinaki Panigrahi.
  • Each year globally, more than 600,000 infants die of sepsis most of them in developing countries.
  • In the new oral prevention technique, infants are fed with good bacteria (probiotic bacteria) that populates in his/her gut and block (kill) harmful species.
ICMR and Health Ministry ink MoU with IVI for vaccine for Research and Development
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Vaccine Institute.
  • The signing of the MoU is a continuation of India’s partnership with IVI to provide safe, effective and affordable vaccines for people around the world.
  • India is a vaccine industry powerhouse that supplies 60% of the world’s vaccines.
  • IVI is Seoul (South Korea) based international nonprofit organization devoted to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines.
Indian Navy’s second LCU Mark IV L52 ship commissioned at Port Blair
  • Indian Navy’s second CU (landing craft utility) Mark IV L52 ship was commissioned at Port Blair, capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • LCU L52 is the second LCU Mk-IV class ship to be inducted into the Indian Navy.
  • It is designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
  • It is an amphibious ship with the primary role to transport and deploy Main Battle Tanks (MTBs), Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from the ship.
United Kingdom scientists Create World's Smallest Surgical Robot
  • British scientists have developed the worlds smallest surgical robot which could transform daily operations for tens of thousands of patients.
  • A team of 100 scientists and engineers have used low-cost technology originally developed for mobile phones and space industry.
  • The robot, called Versius, mimics the human arm can be used to carry out a wide range of laparoscopic procedures.
  • The robot is set to be launched next year.
Defence Ministry approves delegation of powers to BRO
  • The Union Defence Ministry approved delegation of administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  • The main purpose of a delegation of powers is to improve the functioning of the BRO and speed up works to avoid delays in projects and to achieve the desired level.
  • Defence Ministry approved that for both departmental and contractual mode of execution of projects.
Shapath Bharadwaj wins bronze at Junior Shotgun World Cup
  • Shapath Bharadwaj won a bronze medal in the mixed team trap competition at the ISSF Junior Shotgun World Cup in Porpetto, Italy.
  • This was India's first medal in the competition apart from the bronze medal.
  • Bharadwaj had qualified in second place for the final, shooting 131 out of 150.
  • In the women's junior skeet, Areeba Khan and Ganemat Sekhon were 12th and 15th respectively.