Daily Update On Current Affairs – August 13, 2017

Current Affairs

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Jharkhand Assembly passes Religious Freedom Bill
Jharkhand Assembly has passed Religious Freedom Bill 2017. It aims to stop the forced conversions in the state. The bill will now be sent to the governor, following whose approval would go to the President for assent. While ruling NDA MLAs hailed it as a legislation that should have been implemented right when Jharkhand became a state, opposition members pointed out that penal provisions already exist in the Indian Penal Code. The Bill has a provision for an imprisonment of three years and fine of 50,000 rupees or both, and four-year imprisonment and 1 lakh rupee fine, or both, if the person converted is a minor, woman or a member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe. It also says that a person converting willingly will have to inform the Deputy Commissioner about details such as time, place and the person who administers the conversion proceedings.
No plans for duty-free sugar imports: Paswan
Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ramvilas Paswan has clarified, there is no plan to allow further import of sugar at zero duty. He told newsmen in New Delhi, the country has sufficient stock of sugar to meet the current demand. Paswan said, sugar mills have been asked to commence crushing operations early to ensure smooth supply and stable prices.  The government had allowed duty-free import of five lakh tonnes of sugar. However, last month import duty on the sweetener was hiked to 50 percent to restrict cheap imports.
Haryana Government to promote drip irrigation

Haryana Government to promote drip irrigation in the southern part of the state. Drip irrigation is a technique in which the water flows through a filter into special drip pipes, with emitters located at different spacing. For this, the state government will soon provide pipes and other equipment at subsidized rates to ensure conservation of water. This was stated by Chief Minister Manohar Lal during his visit to distributaries in Bahal, Paju, Sirsi, Chahar Khurd, Sorda Kadim and Sorda Jadid villages in Bhiwani district yesterday. He said that water has been supplied to these villages through distributaries after many years. Mr. Manohar Lal urged farmers not to be misled and avail the benefits under schemes and adopt the use of drip irrigation technique instead of sprinklers, which would lead to conservation of water and electricity.
All villages on the Banks of Ganga river declared open defecation free

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that all four thousand four hundred and eighty villages on the banks of Ganga River have been declared open defecation free under ‘Namami Gange’ initiative. These villages are situated in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. He made this announcement at the ‘Ganga Gram Sammelan’ held at Allahabad on the 12th August 2017.
National Anthem launched in sign language

On the 10th August, the HRD Ministry of the Union Govt has launched the Indian National Anthem in sign language in the video form, using disabled and partially disabled children. Directed by the famous director Govind Nihalani, the three-minute video features Mega Star Amitabh Bachchan singing the National Anthem using sign language in the company of the children with the historic Red Fort as the backdrop.
Telangana launches Smart Streets Lab

The Telangana Government, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute India Ross Centre, has launched the Smart Streets Lab. This has been done to improve the road safety standards in Hyderabad and other major cities of the state. The Lab will initiate road safety and women safety solutions by leveraging on technology. Applications have been invited for projects in this area.

World’s oldest man dies 

World’s oldest man, Israel Kristal, who lived through both World Wars died on Friday. He also survived the Auschwitz concentration camp and passed away just a month before his 114th birthday. Last year, Guinness World Records awarded Kristal a certificate as the world’s oldest man at his home in Haifa, Israel.
US and Chinese Presidents reiterate their commitment to de-nuclearize the Korean Penninsula

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and agreed that North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour.  The White House said two leaders spoke over phone to discuss the escalating tension after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un threatened the US this week to fire missiles at Guam, a US island territory, after the US sponsored a resolution imposing new economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear weapons programmes. The two leaders affirmed that the recent adoption of a new UN Security Council resolution regarding North Korea was an important and necessary step toward achieving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
India born researchers develop new algorithms in the USA     
Indian-origin researchers in the US have developed a mechanism to differentiate genuine and fake products. The mechanism uses algorithms and a smartphone to detect counterfeit products. Researchers of New York University in the US said, sale of the counterfeit products is an estimated seven percent of the world trade. The new mechanism provides a non-intrusive solution to easily distinguish authentic versions of a product and fake versions. It’s accuracy is more than 98 percent, said Professor L. Subramanian of the New York University.
Pakistan’s “Mother Theresa” dies
Dr. Ruth Pfau, a German Doctor popularly known as the “Mother Theresa” of Pakistan died on the 10th August 2017 in Karachi. She spent her entire life for the eradication of leprosy in the country. Dr. Pfau was born in 1929 in Germany and migrated to Pakistan in 1960 and spent the rest of her life in the country. She founded the Mary Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi in 1962 and established branches in many parts of Pakistan.
Canara Bank launches two new digital initiatives

Bengaluru based Canara Bank has launched two new digital initiatives – Bharat QR for payment at merchant locations and Bharath Bill Payment Systems – an integrated payment system for the Net Banking customers.
Three Indian Companies in the list of Forbes’ world’s 100 most innovative companies

In the latest list of the World’s Top 100 most innovative companies, three Indian companies feature. They are Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, and Bharti Airtel. Airtel has entered the list at the 78th position. HUL and Asian Paints have improved their position to the 7th and 8th respectively.
Scientists develop micro propulsion based on liquid water
Engineers at the Purdue University in the USA have designed and tested a micro propulsion system based on liquid water as the propellant. They are used for orbital maneuvering tiny satellites called Cube Sats. These tiny satellites weigh as little as 2 kgs. They can carry out tasks like imaging and remote sensing.
World Elephant Day – August 12th

The government launched a nationwide campaign on the 12th August 2017 – Gaj Yatra to protect elephants on the occasion of World Elephant Day. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states. Launching the campaign in New Delhi, Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan  emphasised that an attempt must be made to bring an end to the man-animal conflict. He said, a war must be waged against poachers and hunters who harm elephants and other wildlife. Calling for proactive, innovative and out-of-the-box ideas, Dr. Vardhan said that efforts for elephant conservation must bring about a qualitative improvement by the next World Elephant Day.
New MD of EXIM Bank

David Rasquinha has been appointed as the Managing Director of Exim Bank w.e.f 11th August 2017.  He is presently the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank. His appointment is valid for a period of three years.
In the World Athletics Championships Usain Bolt and Mo Farah bid farewell

In World Athletics Championships, sprint superstar Usain Bolt could not finish the last race of his illustrious career in London on the 12th August 2017. Bolt, was on tracks in the 4×100 meters Final, anchoring one last time for his country Jamaica. As soon as he took the baton, he cramped up and stumbled on the tracks. Bolt was lifted off by his team mates as he limped his way back to the halls, ending his career on such a low. The event was won by hosts Great Britain, who clocked 37.47 seconds. Another shocking farewell was that of Mo Farah the greatest distance runner, as he finished 2nd place in the 5000 meters event.

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