Current Affairs Daily Updates: 2nd August 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 2nd August 2017
US Senate confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director
  • The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Christopher Wray as the Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Wray was elected to the post by winning 92-5 votes of the Senate.
  • With this, Wray succeeds James Comey, who was unexpectedly fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017 in the midst of the investigation into Russian meddling in US Presidential Elections 2016.
  • Since then, Andrew McCabe has been serving as acting FBI director. Wray, a former high-ranking official in President George W Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud, takes over the FBI at such a challenging tme when Trump expelled Comey, who was admired within FBI.
Sanjaya Baru appointed as Secretary General of FICCI
  • Sanjaya Baru was on appointed as the Secretary General of the Freedom of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with effect from 1 September 2017.
  • He succeeds A Didar Singh, who served as Secretary General for 5 years. However, Didar Singh will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to Pankaj Patel, President of the FICCI.
  • Baru had earlier served as the media advisor to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from May 2004 until August 2008.
General Abhay Krishna appointed as new Eastern Command chief
  • General Abhay Krishna appointed as the Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command recently.
  • He succeeds Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi who has retired from service.
  • He is a gallantry award winner in counter insurgency operations in Manipur and commanded Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in the Kashmir Valley.
Dhanraj Pillay conferred with Bharat Gaurav
  • Former Indian Hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay was honoured with the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ by East Bengal Football Club on its foundation day. Bharat Gaurav is the highest award of the club.
  • On the other hand, the club presented lifetime achievement awards to Subhsh Bhowmick, a member of the 1970 Asian Games bronze medal-winning national football team and syed Naeemuddin, former national team coach. meanwhile, Gurwinder Singh bagged the Footballer of the Year award while Boddupalli Amit was adjudged as the Cricketer of the Year.
Airtel Payment Bank ties up with HPCL for ATM services
  • Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first payments bank has announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
  • There are around 14,000 HPCL fuel stations will act as banking points for Airtel Payments Bank.
  • It also offers facilities such as the opening of the account, cash deposit and cash withdrawal to the payment bank’s customers.
  • These cashless payments can be made by smart phones (MyAirtel App).
RBI cuts key policy rate by 25 basis points to 6%
  • On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Urijit Patel, decided to reduce the Policy Repo Rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.25 per cent to 6.0 per cent with immediate effect. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 per cent.
Renowned scientist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away
  • Pushpa Mitra (PM) Bhargava, a veteran molecular biologist and a ardent critic of Genetically Modified crops, passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 89.
  • Bhargava was the Founder-Director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
  • He was one of the leading scientists who led to the discovery of 5-fluorouracil, an anticancer drug. He is a recipient of over 100 national and international honours and awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1986 and the Legion d’Honneur in 1998 of France.
Marian Diamond, known for studies of Einstein’s brain, passes away
  • Marian Diamond, one of the founders of modern neuroscience, passed away in July 2017. She was 90. Diamond is mostly known for her investigations of Albert Einstein’s brain.
  • After receiving four preserved slices of the physicist’s brain in 1984, she discovered that it contained an uncommonly high number of gila, cells that were once believed to merely be supporting structures in the brain.
  • She was the first woman science instructor at Cornell University where she taught human biology and comparative anatomy.
World breastfeeding week is observed from August 1st to August 7th
  • World breastfeeding week is being celebrated from 1st to 7th August every year.
  • The theme for the year 2017 is  “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”.
  • It was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding  World Breastfeeding WeekAction (WABA) and is now observed in over 120 countries by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.
China opens its first overseas Military base in Djibouti
  • China formally launched its first overseas naval facility in Djibouti, an East African nation.
  • Five Chinese formations and Djibouti’s Three Services HonorGuard took part in the launch ceremony on 1 of August 2017.
  • The event marked the 90th anniversary of the Chinese military Services.
  • Djibouti is a tiny East African nation of around 887,000 people, is between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia.
India, China home to 39% of young Internet users according to United Nations report
  • According to recently released report-ICT Facts and Figures 2017, India and China are home to 39% of the 830 million young people worldwide who use the Internet.
  • The report was released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communication Technologies.
  • ITU is the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). It has 193 countries as its members and also 800 private-sectors.
India, Somalia sign agreement on transfer of sentenced persons
  • India and Somalia signed an agreement for the transfer of sentenced prisoners in each other’s country. The agreement was signed in New Delhi during the ongoing visit of the Somalia’s Foreign Minister to India.
  • The agreement gives a new front for collaboration in anti-piracy operation in Eastern Africa as the incidents of piracy originating from Somalia affected Indian interests in the Indian Ocean region near the Horn of Africa.
  • Diplomatic contacts between India and Somalia participated in the 2015 India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi.
Jharkhand Cabinet approves Religious Freedom Bill 2017
  • The bill named as Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill, 2017 seeks to bring the stringent anti-conversion law in place under which forceful or allurement induced religious conversion will be a non-bailable criminal offence.
  • According to an official release, Section three of the Bill prohibits forceful conversion. In the event of violation of section three, there will be up to three years imprisonment or Rs 50000 penalty or both.
  • If the crime involves a minor, woman or person from SC or ST community then the prison term would be up to four years and penalty of one lakh rupees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces Rs2,350-crore flood relief for North-East
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a package of Rs2,350 crores for all North-East states for mitigating the impact of floods on short- and long-term basis.
  • On addition, he arranged a Rs100 crore corpus for setting up a research project to study the Brahmaputra and its role in creating a devastating flood.
  • The seven sisters states of India are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura in northeastern India.
Jeep Compass SUV launched in India
  • The all-new Jeep Compass SUV has been finally launched in India with prices starting at a very competitive Rs. 14.95 lakh for the entry-level Sports petrol and goes up to Rs. 20.65 lakh (ex-showroom) for the range-topping diesel.
  • It will be offered in a total of three variants namely Sport, Longitude, and Limited. It will be available in both petrol and diesel engine options.The company has already secured bookings of over 5000 units and 38000 inquiries for Compass.
  • The Jeep Compass will be retailed out of 50 sales outlets including FCA and Jeep Destination store across 47 cities.
Union Government constitutes Committee to study issues related to data protection
  • The Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) formed constituted an expert Committee to study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them.
  • The ten-member committee will be headed by Supreme Court Judge (retired) Justice B N Srikrishna and comprise of members from government, academia, and Industry.
  • It is seen that protection of data and keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected is expected to provide a good support to Digital economy of the country.
Union Parliament passes Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Amendment Bill
  • The Union Parliament passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with Rajya Sabha approving it Lok Sabha
  • The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 by extending the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.
Union Government launches e-RaKAM Portal
  • The Union Government launched e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi (e-RaKAM) portal to provide a platform for farmers to sell agricultural produce.
  • It is a digital initiative that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products. It has been developed by state-run-auctioneer MSTC Limited and CRWC (Central Railside Warehouse Company) Limited.
  • Under this initiative, e-RaKAM centers are being developed throughout the country in a phased manner to facilitate farmers for the online sale of their produce.
Research says Chemical from turmeric helps treat cancer in children
  • A group of scientists in the U.S. discovered that curcumin, the bioactive component of turmeric, holds the power to treat cancer in children.
  • Researchers at Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida (UCF) found that nanoparticles loaded with curcumin can target and destroy neuroblastoma tumour cells.
  • In the study conducted by the researchers, curcumin was attached to cerium oxide nanoparticles and then tested the nano-curcumin formulation in cell lines of a high-risk form of neuroblastoma.