Tnpsc Current Affairs August 1-3, 2017 (English) 2017

Tnpsc Current Affairs August 2017
International Affairs

2017 BRICS Trade Ministers Meeting held Shanghai 

​The 7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers was held in Shanghai from 1-2 August. A six-member delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, along with Ambassador J.S. Deepak, PR to WTO participated in the meetings.

First meeting of Japan-India Coordination Forum (JICF) for DoNER  
  • The first meeting of the Japan-India Coordination Forum (JICF) for Development of North-Eastern Region was held in New Delhi on 03.08.2017. Secretary, Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Shri Naveen Verma led the Indian side while the Japanese delegation was led by the Japanese Ambassador to India, Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu. 
  • Priority areas of cooperation identified by Indian side including Connectivity and Road Network Development, especially inter-State roads & major district roads; Disaster Management; Food Processing; Organic Farming and Tourism were discussed in the meeting.
China's first "Overseas Military Base" opened in Djibouti
  • China opened, their first Overseas Military Base in Djibouti with a flag raising ceremony and military parade. This event connected with the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of China's People's Liberation Army, on August 1.
  • Djibouti's exists on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean. Djibouti is a tiny barren nation sandwiched between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.
World's longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Switzerland
  • Switzerland is set to become the longest moving pedestrian bridge in the world, which has now been opened for travelers. This bridge, built near the Swiss city of Zermatt, is 1,620 feet long and is at an altitude of 278 feet.
  • This bridge has been named EuropaBrakki (Europe Bridge). This bridge connects two mountainous villages named Germet and Gretchen in Randa, Switzerland.
  • Zermatt Tourist Board says it is the longest in the world, hanging at a heady 85m above the Grabengufer ravine, although a 405m bridge in Reutte, Austria hangs 110m higher. The Europaweg replaces an older bridge which was closed in 2010 after it was damaged by falling rocks.
India’s ranked 53rd in the 2017 Digital Evolution Index (DEI) 
  • The Fletcher School at Tufts University, in partnership with Mastercard, presented the Digital Evolution Index (DEI) 2017. 
  • Among the 60 countries, India got ranked 53rd ithis DEI indes 2017. The list is topped by Norway, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Finland. 
"Shahid Khaqan Abbasi" elected as new Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the member of the Pakistan Muslim League (N)(PML-N), is elected as the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan after defeating his rival Naveed Qamar of PPP by 221 votes on August 1, 2017. S.K. Abbasi served as the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources in the third Sharif ministry from 2013 to 2017. 
  • Previously, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified as the Prime Minister by the Supreme Court in July 2017 in connection with Panama Papers scam.
World Breastfeeding Week observed in August 1-7, 2017
  • 2017 World breastfeeding week is being observed from August 01st to 07th, 2017 with the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”. The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017
  • World Breastfeeding Week was first observed in thee year 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding World Breastfeeding Week Action (WABA).  As of now, WBW is observed over 120 countries by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners. 
NRI student Riddhiraj donates Prize Money to Indian Army Welfare Fund
  • Kuwait living NRI student Ma. Riddhiraj Kumar presented a cheque of Rs. 18,000 to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as donation for Army Welfare Fund. He won total 80 KD (Kuwait Dinars), equal to his donation, as prize money from ACER. Ma. Riddhiraj Kumar met Shri Narendra Modi along with his mother. 
NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission by 2021

ISRO and NASA are working towards realisation of NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission by 2021.
  • In NISAR mission, NASA is responsible for development of L-band SAR and ISRO is responsible for development of S-band SAR. The L & S band SAR will be integrated with ISRO’s spacecraft and launched on-board India’s GSLV. The total cost of the project includes ISRO’s work share cost of about Rs. 788.00 Cr and the cost of JPL’s work share of about USD 808 million. 
National Affairs

Union Cabinet apprised of MOU between India and Spain on India-Spain "cooperation in renewable energy" 
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on India-Spain Cooperation in renewable energy. The MoU was signed on 30th May, 2017 at Spain. 
  • The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries with the exchange of expertise and networking of information.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and BRICs to set up BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP)
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among India and various BRICs countries for establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP). 
  • BRICS-ARP will be the natural global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing the issues of world hunger, under-nutrition, poverty and inequality, particularly between farmers' and non-farmers' income, and enhancing agricultural trade, bio-security and climate resilient agriculture.
Union Cabinet approves construction of "Doubling of line with electrification between Vanchi-Maniyachchi- Nagercoil"

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the construction of double line with electrification between Vanchi-Maniyachchi- Nagercoil via Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
Union Cabinet approves construction of doubling of line with electrification between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanniyakumari 
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the construction of double line with electrification between Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
“Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC) is  the  Indian Global Positioning System 
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has deployed an indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC). It consists of seven satellites in a constellation to provide Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in Indian mainland and surrounding region up to 1500 Km. It provides two types of services viz. Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS). 
  •  ISRO has established the required space segment of the NavIC system for providing signal in space enabling position, navigation and timing information and it can support commercial civil applications. Indian entrepreneurs are being enabled for providing services through NavIC receiver system and requisite information has been made available in public domain.
Indian Constitution 123rd Amendment Bill 2017
  • Constitution 123rd Amendment Bill, 2017 for setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes was passed by Rajya Sabha after dropping an important clause On July 31, 2017. 
  • The Rajya Sabha passed the bill by dropping Clause 3 which pertains to the insertion of a new article 338B about the constitution and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes.
  • One amendment sought increase in the number of members of the proposed commission from three to five with reservation for a member from a minority community and another for women.
AGRI UDAAN- Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0 Programme
  • ICAR-NAARM Technology Business Incubator (TBI), a-IDEA and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A) incubator Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) announces “AGRI UDAAN”- Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0. 
  • This programme will help to selected innovative startups who will be mentored in to scale up their operations in agri value chain for effective improvement in agriculture. This is a 6 month program in which shortlisted agri startups with promising innovative business models will be mentored & guided to scale up their operations.
Punjab launched "Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar scheme" for Jobless Youths 
  • The Punjab government launched its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme for jobless youth by flagging off over 100 UberMOTO bikes. Under this Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar scheme, the Punjab government going to provide commercial two wheelers and four wheelers for unemployed youth with subsidised rates.
Cochin  Airport (CIAL) became the "First Airport in the World, to be completely Powered by Solar Energy"
  • The Government of India encourages development of green airports. In order to develop airports in Andhra Pradesh as green airports, AAI has commenced installation of 1MWp solar power plant at Tirupathi and Vijaywada Airports. AAI has completed installation of solar power plants at 29 airports/locations with a total capacity of 12.84 MWp. 
  • The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) became the first airport in the world, to be completely powered by solar energy. This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 03.08.2017. 
Telangana Setting up "Spice Park for Turmeric " 
  • Central Government has received proposal from the State Government of Telangana for establishing a Spice Park at Nizamabad for turmeric. It has been intimated to the State Government that the Spices Board would extend all technical support if land and funds for establishing the Spice park is provided by the State. 
  • Central Government has also approved the setting up of a Spice Development Agency (SDA) for Telangana having headquarters at Warangal for co-coordinating with the State / Central Agencies implementing programmes for research, production, marketing, quality improvement and export of spices, including chilli and turmeric.
150 universities and 230 colleges have initiated implementation of Gender Champions Scheme 
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January, 2015 to address the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and related issues of women empowerment over a life-cycle continuum. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
  • The Gender Budgeting Scheme was also launched by the Ministry in the year 2008 for conducting trainings/workshops, capacity building measures, research surveys, etc. Under the Scheme inter alia, the Ministry undertakes many programmes as well as provides financial support to Central/ State Government agencies in order to strengthen the process of gender budgeting.
Budgetary provision of Rs. 2700 Cr. made for implementation of PMMVY
  • The Government of India has approved Pan-India implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) to cover all the districts of the country with effect from 01.01.2017. PMMVY envisages payment of maternity benefits of Rs. 5,000/- in beneficiary’s bank/post office account in three instalments at the stage of early registration of pregnancy, after six months of pregnancy with at least one antenatal check-up and registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child. 
  • The Government of India has made adequate budgetary provision of Rs. 2,700 crore for implementation of PMMVY during the financial year of 2017-18. 
India Setting up of "Border Haats" as Border Trade across Neighbouring Countries
  • Setting up of Border Haats is one of the methods for facilitating and increasing border trade across neighbouring countries. 
  • Currently four Border Haats are operational along India-Bangladesh border. Two Border Haats are located in Meghalaya at Kalaichar and Balat and two are located in Tripura at Srinagar and Kamalasagar. 
  • In addition to the four functional Border Haats, Government of India and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh have agreed to set up six more border haats-two in Tripura and four in Meghalaya.
Child marriages show a declining trend 
  • As per census 2011, the percentage of child marriage in 2011 is 31.6% which was 52 % in 2001 which shows a decreasing trend. As per National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4(2015-16), the percentage of Women age 15-19 years who were already mothers or pregnant is 6.3% which was 16% in National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3(2005-06). 
  • The Government of India has enacted the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 in order to prohibit child marriages rather than only restraining them. 
New Chief of Eastern Command is Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna  
  • Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna appointed as the head of the Army's Eastern Command which guards a major part of Sino-India border including the Sikkim sector where armies of India and China have been locked in a face-off. Lt. Gen. Krishna, who was heading the Army's South Western Command succeeds Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi.
Swachh Survekshan-2018 launched in the country
  • Central Government launched ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ to rank all the 4,041 cities and towns of the country based on infrastructure development for improved sanitation services and their sustainability, outcomes, citizen connect and visible impact on ground.
  • Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched the survey, the third in the series and released a comprehensive Survey Tool Kit, explaining the methodology, weightages and new features and thrust areas  that helps cities and towns prepare for the field survey over the next six months.
‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’ scheduled to be held  in New Delhi

A two day Conclave of Tax Officers entitled ‘Rajaswa Gyansangam’ will be held on 1st and 2nd September, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate this Conclave on the 1st day of September, 2017. The focus of the discussion will be on GST as well as on unearthing black money.
Indian Telecom Market will cross the Rs 6.6 trillion revenue mark by 2020  
  • The Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha (2.8.2017) said that the Indian telecom industry has seen a paradigm shift from a voice centric market to a data-centric market. While voice business still contributes a large chunk towards operator revenues, data revenues have shown an exponential growth trajectory over the last few years, Speaking at a Workshop on Telecom India.
  • The end of 2016 the number of internet subscribers in India was 391.50 million making India globally the 2nd highest in terms of internet users. The ‘Digital India’ initiative was ‘BharatNet’, launched to deploy high-speed optical fiber cables to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayat across the country by 2018. 
India declared Monuments and Archaeological Sites as ‘Polythene Free Zone’
  • Ministry of Culture has recommended prohibition on use of polythene. Archaeological Survey of India has declared all ASI protected Monuments and Archaeological Sites as ‘Polythene Free Zone’. All the field offices of ASI have been directed for necessary compliance. 
  • In this regard Secretary (Culture) has also issued a D.O. letter to all the Chief Secretaries of States to elicit their active cooperation for making centrally protected monuments as polythene free zone.
Sports Affairs

Sebastian Vettel topped in Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix 2017 
  • A German racing driver Sebastian Vettel, driving in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari, won the 2017 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix tournament at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod, Hungary.
Paris will host 2024 Summer Olympics 
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC), recently announced about the 2024 Summer Olympics will be hosted by Paris in France, which is scheduled to be held from August 8-18. Beside this,  IOC  also announced  the 2028 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to be hosted by Los Angeles (United States).  This decisions will be ratified at the 131st IOC Conference in Lima, Peru on September 13, 2017.
Recommendations for Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award 2017

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award Recommentations 2017
  • Two-time Paralympic Javelin Throw gold-medallist Devendra Jhajharia and Former hockey captain Sardar Singh's name has also been recommended for the country's highest sporting honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. 
Arjuna Award Recommentations 2017
  • 17 names for the Arjuna award. The list includes cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Harmanpreet Kaur, Paralympic medallists Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati, golfer SSP Chawrasia and hockey player SV Sunil.
"Justice (Retd.) CK Thakkar Committee" Reviews the Recommentations
  • The awards selection committee, headed by Justice (Retd.) CK Thakkar, nominated the names and suggested that both Jhanjhariya and Sardar Singh be considered for the award jointly. The final call on this would be taken by the Sports Ministry.
India's Manju Kumari wins bronze medal at Jr World Wrestling Championship
  • India's Manju Kumari won the bronze medal with a 2-0 victory over Ilona Prokopevniuk of Ukraine in the Junior World Wrestling Championship in Tampere, Finland on 3.8.2017. 
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