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29-30 October 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

29-30 October 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

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AU Small Bank, SIDBI launch Rs. 200-cr fund for MSMEs

  • AU Small Finance Bank tied up with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to launch a Rs. 200-crore fund for providing loans to MSMEs. 
  • The programme will fund term loans in the Rs. 25 lakh to Rs. 2 crore ticket size.
  • It aims to enhance credit to MSMEs. We are looking at disbursing this amount in the next 12—15 months to nearly 100 units.
  • Both the financial institutions will earmark a corpus of Rs. 100 crore for lending under this agreement this financial year.
  • The loans will be offered at a rate of 10 per cent to MSMEs.

India sends first wheat shipment to Afghanistan via Chabahar port

  • India sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in Iran, seen as a “landmark” move to operationalise the new strategic transit route, bypassing Pakistan. 
  • The shipment was flagged off from the Kandla port in Gujarat with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani joining the ceremony through video conferencing. 
  • It will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan.
  • Chabahar port is strategically located in Sistan-Balochistan province on energy-rich Iran’s southern coast in Gulf of Oman near its border with Pakistan and can be easily accessed from India’s western coast.

India to host UN summit on migratory species in 2020

  • India will host the next UN global wildlife conservation and international species protection conference in 2020.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that India will host next Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Conference of Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in year 2020.
  • CMS COP is also known as a Global Wildlife Conference. 
  • The announcement was made during 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP12) to CMS held in Manila, Philippines.
  • It was held from Oct 23 to 28.

Railways Bidar-Kalaburgi line inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Indian Railways’ 110km Bidar-Kalaburgi railway track in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region that is aimed at reducing the distance between Bengaluru and New Delhi by 380km and travel time by six to eight hours.
  • The new track will provide direct rail connectivity from Bengaluru to Bidar in the state’s northern region, about 690km away from the state capital. 

UP declares Vrindavan, Barsana as sacred sites

  • The Uttar Pradesh govt issued an order notifying Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district as “pavitra teerth sthals (sacred pilgrimage sites)”.
  • No meat and liquor shops will be allowed in these towns anymore.
  • The state govt recently merged Vrindavan, a former nagar palika parishad, with the Mathura municipal board to create Mathura Nagar Nigam. Barsana is a nagar panchayat.
  • Both Mathura Nagar Nigam and Barsana Nagar Panchayat will go to polls next month.

Govt makes use of Public Finance Management System mandatory for central schemes

  • The Centre has made the use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) mandatory for all central schemes.
  • It will ensure benefits of government schemes to reach the last mile. 
  • The move would help in tracking and monitoring the flow of funds to the implementing agencies.  
  • A total of 613 schemes of the central government will be covered under PFMS.
  • The ambit of PFMS coverage includes central sector and centrally sponsored schemes as well as other expenditures including the Finance Commission grants.

Home Ministry set to take over Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to move a proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for taking over the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). 
  • BCAS is currently under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and is responsible for laying down standards, policies and measures with regard to security of all commercial flights.
  • Multiple agencies working at airports, including the Intelligence Bureau, immigration officials, security personnel, local police, are bound by regulations passed by BCAS. 

L&T hands over offshore patrol vessel to Coast Guard

  • Larsen and Toubro (L&T) handed over offshore patrol vessel (OPV) named “Vikram” to the Indian Coast Guard.
  • It is country’s first-ever such defence vessel to be built in a private shipyard.
  • The vessel was indigenously developed in-house at L&T’s Kattupalli shipyard.
  • Its entire design and construction processes have undergone dual certification from American Bureau of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.
  • OPV Vikram is first of seven vessels for which by Ministry of Defence had awarded Rs. 1,432-crore contract to L&T in March 2015.
  • It will be inducted into service by April 2018 after completion of extensive trials of equipment and machineries.

Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar assumes charge of Vice Chief of Naval Staff

  • Vice-Admiral Ajit Kumar assumed charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff from Vice Admiral Karambir Singh here. 
  • Vice-Admiral Kumar, an alumni of the National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the service July 1, 1981 and is a specialist in Missiles & Gunnery. 

World’s first hydrogen tram begins operation in China

  • The world’s first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China, marking a big step in the application of green energy in public transport.
  • Researched and manufactured by Chinese, it is the world’s first hybrid electric tram, with hydrogen being the main power source, according to China Railway Rolling Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Co, the maker of the tram. 
  • The tram was put into commercial operation for the first time in Tangshan, north China’s Hebei Province.
  • With water being its only emission, the tram emits no pollutants.
  • No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius.
  • The distance between carriage floor of the tram and the rail is only 35 centimeters thanks to the latest low-floor technology, which can remove station platforms and thus making boarding easy for passengers, the report said. 
  • The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.
  • The tram operates on a 136-year-old railway line in Tangshan City, one of China’s earliest industrial cities, and links several of its industrial heritage sites.

Worlds fastest, shortest laser pulse created

  • Researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland have succeessfully created the world’s shortest X-ray laser pulse with duration of just 43 attoseconds (1×10−18 of a second).
  • This laser pulse is the shortest controlled event that has ever been created by humans.
  • It will allow to observe electrons in slow motion. 
  • In order to fully understand the dynamics during a chemical reaction, scientists must be able to study all movements of atoms and molecules on their basic time scale. 
  • The researchers can now observe in high detail how electrons move within a molecule or

Four Asian vulture species now on highest protection list

  • Several species of vultures, including four that have India on their migratory routes, were awarded the highest protection by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
  • The whale shark, which inhabits the Indian Ocean, got global protection too.
  • They were among 34 species which were awarded highest protection during CMS Summit held in Manila. 
  • The summit held in Manila has been the largest in the 38-year history of the Convention, which is also known as the Bonn Convention after the German city in which it was signed.

Scientists link new virus to kala-azar

  • Scientists have found that parasite called Leptomonas seymouri hosting virus called Lepsey NLV1 may be also responsible for spread of kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis).
  • Earlier it was believed that parasite Leishmania donovani (sandfly) alone is responsible for spread of the dreaded infection. 
  • Kala-azar is endemic to the Indian subcontinent in 119 districts in four countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). 

Gangte appointed as the next High Commissioner to the Republic of Zambia

  • N.J.Gangte has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Zambia.
  • He is presently the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

Cleartrip named ‘Best Mobile App for Travel’ at Mobexx Awards

  • Online travel solutions provider Cleartrip was named the ‘Best Mobile App for Travel and Leisure’ at the Mobexx Awards 2017. 
  • The award was conferred for the success that it has had on the mobile platform, seen by many as the future of advertising and brand marketing. 
  • The Indian team from IIT Roorkee has won Schneider Electric’s global ‘Go Green in the City 2017’ contest held in Paris. 
  • The winners of ‘Go Green in the City 2017 initiative’ were Nimisha Gupta and Raja Jain, of Team Phoenix who are students of chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT).

Sharmila Tagore honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore has received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The 72-year-old actor was bestowed with the recognition by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi for her contribution in the field of cinema.
  • Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari presented the award to Tagore. 

Kidambi Srikanth wins French Open Super Series

  • India’s ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth (World no. 8) won French Open Superseries badminton title in men’s single category.
  • In the final match, he defeated Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto by 21-14, 21-13 score. 
  • It was Kidambi Srikanth’s fourth Super Series Premier title in 2017 season after winning Australian Super Series title, Indonesia Super Series Premier title and Denmark Open Super Series title. 
  • Women’s single: It was won by Tai Tzu-ying from Chinese Taipei.
  • Men’s double: It was won by Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-huei and Lee Yang.
  • Women’s doubles title: Indonesian duo Greysia POLL and Apriyani Rahayu won the title by defeating Lee Sottee and SHIN Seung Chen.
  • Mixed Doubles title: Indonesian pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana NATSIR won the title by defeating Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.

Indian junior team defeat Malaysia to win bronze medal in Johor Cup hockey

  • Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team beat hosts Malaysia 4-0 in the Bronze medal match of the 7th Sultan of Johor Cup 2017 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here today. 
  • Goals from Vishal Antil (15’, 25’), Vivek Prasad (11’) and Shilanand Lakra (21’) were enough for India to finish their tournament with the Bronze medal.

Virat Kohli ranked No. 1 ODI batters in ICC rankings

  • Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has returned to the top of the ICC rankings for batsmen in One Day International (ODI) cricket after smashing his 32nd ODI century on Sunday against New Zealand.
  • Kohli scored 263 runs in the series against Kiwis and logged a career-high rating points of 889 – he has thereby gone past cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Mithali Raj rises to top spot in ICC batswomen ranking

  • India captain Mithali Raj moved up one place to occupy the number one spot in the latest ICC ODI rankings for batswomen. 
  • Ellyse Perry of Australia and Amy Satterthwaite of New Zealand also jumped one place each to be at second and third spots while Meg Lanning of Australia has dropped from first to fourth after missing the series against England due to injury. 
  • Mithali has 753 points, while Perry and Satterthwaite are on 725 and 720 points respectively.
  • Among women bowlers, Jhulan Goswami remained on second spot with 652 rating points, behind Marizanne Kapp (656) of South Africa.

Virat Kohli becomes fastest batsman to score 9000 ODI runs

  • Virat Kohli became the sixth Indian and the fastest to complete 9000 ODI runs during the series-deciding third game against New Zealand. 
  • Kohli got to the landmark in the 37th over when he guided one off Grandhomme towards the third man for a four.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni had reached the milestone last year while other Indians who have done so are Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin.
  • Another milestone was reaching his 49th international century surpassing Rahul Dravid (48 tons).
  • He is second among Indian batsmen in terms of international hundreds after Sachin Tendulkar (100 tons).

Federer Wins 8th Basel Title, 95th Overall

  • The Swiss superstar, Roger Federer won his eighth Basel title, battling back to defeat the surging Juan Martin del Potro, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his ATP World Tour-leading seventh title of the year. 
  • Federer moved ahead of Ivan Lendl into standalone second place on the Open Era titles list, only trailing Jimmy Connors, who owns 109 trophies.
  • He now owns eight or more trophies at three different events: Halle (9), Wimbledon (8) and Basel (8).

Former BCCI GM M.V. Sridhar passes away

  • Former Hyderabad Ranji Trophy star and ex-secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, Dr. M.V. Sridhar passed away, after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 51. 
  • A right-handed batsman, whose career spanned between 1988 and 2000, Sridhar amassed 6701 runs in 97 First Class matches with 21 centuries and a highest score of 366 against Andhra in 1993-94.

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