Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.
Ashwani Lohani to be new Chairman of Railway Board
Ashwani Lohani will be the new Chairman of Railway Board, the appointment of Mr. Lohani, an officer of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers, IRSME, was cleared by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet today. He is presently serving as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. He has previously served as DRM, Delhi Division, Director of National Rail Museum and Chief Administrative Officer of Rail Alternate Fuel. Incumbent Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal today resigned owning moral responsibility for Muzzafarnagar train accident which had claimed over 20 lives.
Countrymen take New India Pledge – Sankalp Se Sidhi at Joint Check Post at Attari
Thousands of people from various states took the New India pledge- Sankalp Se Sidhi to make India terrorism, communalism, and poverty free at Joint Check Post at Attari in Amritsar. They also pledged to keep India clean. The special oath taking ceremony was organized by the Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP) of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in coordination with the Border Security Force (BSF) on the 22nd August 2017. The Inspector General of BSF, Punjab Frontiers, Mukul Goel lauded the audience which had come in large numbers to watch the retreat ceremony and to boost the morale of the BSF, the first line of defence.
Union Cabinet approves setting up of a Commission to examine sub-categorization of Other Backward Castes
Union Cabinet has approved setting up of a Commission to examine sub-categorization of Other Backward Castes and has raised the income tax ceiling for creamy layer among OBCs from six lakh to eight lakh rupees. Briefing media about the Cabinet’s decisions in New Delhi on the 23rd August, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the decision to set up the commission is based on the recommendation of National Commission for Backward Classes. The finance minister said the sub-categorization will apply for reservation in Central government jobs.
Dera chief followers throng Panchkula
Thousands of ‘Premis’ (followers) of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda are thronging Panchkula in support of their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in case the court verdict goes against him in the rape case. The followers have been gathering at Naam Charcha Ghar (the congregation centre) in Sector 23 for a few days now, ahead of the verdict to be delivered by the CBI special court on August 25. The number of followers is swelling, in a sign that the security forces may face a tough challenge in case of an adverse ruling.
Pakistan using India as excuse to support terrorist groups: Trump administration official
Dismissing concerns over Indian development activities in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official has said Pakistan is using a perceived threat of encirclement by India as an “excuse” to continue its support to terrorists. National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said during a conference call yesterday that what India is doing in Afghanistan is not a threat to Pakistan. He said India is not building military bases and it is not deploying troops. Anton said in the worst case, the Pakistani government has been guilty of “active direct support” for terrorist groups. He said India is not doing the things that would constitute encirclement, which is one of the things that the Pakistanis complain about.
Typhoon Hato slams China; streets flooded, flights cancelled
Hato, the 13th typhoon to hit China this year, made landfall in the city of Zhuhai in the southern Guangdong Province, on the 23rd August bringing gales of up to 45 metres per second. The National Meteorological Center said Hato will move west and scale down to a tropical storm passing through Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region tonight. No casualties were reported in Guangdong Province. So far, 13 cities and counties in Guangdong have issued red alerts for the typhoon. Gales and downpours have suspended work, classes, and production in the cities of Zhuhai, Jiangmen, and Zhongshan.
Spanish police track down, shoot dead Barcelona attacker
Spanish police on 21st August 2017 shot dead an Islamist militant who killed 13 people with a van in Barcelona last week, ending a five-day manhunt for the perpetrator of Spain’s deadliest attack in over a decade. Police said they tracked 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub to a rural area near Barcelona and shot him after he held up what looked like an explosives belt and shouted: “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest). A bomb squad then used a robot to approach his body. Abouyaaqoub had been on the run since Thursday evening after he drove at high speed into throngs of strollers along Barcelona’s most famous avenue, Las Ramblas. After fleeing the scene, he hijacked a car and fatally stabbed its driver.
Cabinet approves framework of consolidation of public sector banks
Cabinet has approved framework of consolidation of public sector banks. The decision is aimed at creating strong and competitive banks in public sector to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have the capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the State exchequer. The decision about creating strong and competitive banks could be solely based on commercial consideration. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that the final scheme will be notified by the Central government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.
Nepal PM repose faith in Make In India; says it will help Nepal in reviving its manufacturing sector
Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba has reposed faith in Make in India initiative saying, it will also help Nepal in reviving its manufacturing sector and create jobs. Speaking at an India-Nepal Business Forum meeting in New Delhi yesterday, Mr. Deuba said, through Foreign Direct Investment, Nepal is eager to participate in the scaling up benefit from the regional value chain. The Nepalese Premier, who arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a five-day visit to India, said his goal is to work for the future youth.
CCEA approves renaming of central sector scheme SAMPADA as PM Kisan Sampada Yojana
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. Earlier, the CCEA in its meeting in May this year had approved the SAMPADA with same allocation and period.
Government notifies new Rs 200 notes
The government on the 23rd August gave its go ahead to the RBI to issue 200 rupee notes that will ease pressure on lower-denomination currency bills. Finance Ministry, in a notification, said that on the recommendations of the Central Board of Directors of the RBI, a government has notified bank notes of 200 rupees. The new 200 rupee notes are likely to be in circulation shortly. This is the fourth new note to be announced since November when 1000 and 500 rupee notes were demonetised. The introduction of the new notes is expected to ease the problems faced by people due to high-value 2,000 rupee notes.
NABARD announces Rs 1350 Cr loan to Rajasthan Govt
On the 20th August 2017, NABARD announced that it was giving a loan of Rs 1350 cr to the state government of Rajasthan. The loan is for the creation of rural infrastructure in the state under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund. The loan includes assistance for construction of two rural drinking water supply projects, Rs 600 Cr for strengthening and rehabilitation of 1614 rural roads and modernization of three major irrigation projects.
Backup navigation satellite to be launched on Aug. 31
ISRO has announced its next mission on August 31. The back-up navigation satellite, IRNSS-1H, will be launched from the Sriharikota launch centre just before 7 p.m on the 31st August 2017. The spacecraft weighing over 1400 kg is similar to the other seven that are already in orbit. It will be put in a geostationary orbit in space over 55 degrees East longitude on ISRO’s light-lifting PSLV rocket. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System — since renamed Navigation with Indian Constellation or NavIC — has been put up to give near-exact ground positions and time of objects or people, similar to what the American GPS does on a global scale. NavIC gives these details for land, sea or air, as required by the various Indian user agencies or individuals.
‘New state of matter’ discovered
Scientists have discovered a potentially new state of matter that may help explain phenomena like superconductivity. Superconductivity is extensively used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), particle accelerators, magnetic fusion devices, and microwave filters. Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. showed that among superconducting materials in high magnetic fields, the phenomenon of electronic symmetry breaking is common. The ability to find similarities and differences among classes of materials with phenomena such as this helps establish the essential ingredients that cause novel functionalities such as superconductivity.
British sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss dies at 92
Brian Aldiss, one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, died aged 92. Literary agency Curtis Brown said Aldiss died early Saturday at his home in Oxford, England. Born in 1925, Aldiss served in India and Burma with the British Army during World War II and later became a bookseller, publishing his first stories in a trade magazine. Aldiss’ 1969 short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long was an unrealized dream project for the late Stanley Kubrick formed the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.
Maria Sharapova back in Grand Slam tennis
Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova will make her first Grand Slam appearance next week since serving a 15-month doping suspension, bringing a renewed passion and resolve to the US Open. The 30-year-old Russian was given a wild card into the tournament by the US Tennis Association (USTA), a movie critic complained about earlier in the season but another key step in the road back for the five-time Grand Slam winner.