TNPSC Current Affairs August 15-19, 2017 (English)

International Affairs

Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city 
  • Melbourne has been declared the world’s most liveable city for the 7th consecutive year by The Economist’s annual global liveability survey, despite soaring housing costs and serious congestion challenges. The annual survey assesses 140 cities and ranks them according to their stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. 
Nikolay Kudashev as Russia's new Ambassador to India
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin today appointed career diplomat Nikolay Kudashev as Russia's new ambassador to India. Russian embassy in New Delhi said Kudashev, a specialist in South East Asia, is currently the Deputy Director General Secretariat of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia.
  • The appoint of Kudashev comes nearly seven months after the death of Russia's previous ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.
Big Ben's historic Ayrton Light to be switched off
  • In UK, the authorities said today that the lamp at the top of the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the iconic Big Ben, will be switched off for the first time in more than 70 years. Located above the Great Bell known as Big Ben, the Ayrton Light needs to be fully dismantled and restored. Installed in 1885, the historic lamp was previously turned off only during both world wars.
Italy to host 2017 G7 Interior Ministers summit on security issue
  • Italy will host a summit of G7 Interior Ministers centered on security issues, which is scheduled to be held in October 2017. The meeting is being organised at the request of Italy’s G-7 partners- Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. Currently, Italy holds the rotating helm of the G-7 industrialised nations.
Bangladesh will chair the IONS first IMMSAREX 2017

  • The International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) will be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in the Bay of Bengal in November 2017.
World Photography Day being observed on August 19

  • World Photography Day observed on August 19, 2017. A number of exhibitions and photography contests were organised across the nation to mark the occasion. This day aims to inspire photographers across the planet to share a single photo with the world.
2017 World Elephant Day (WED) is observed on August 12

  • The World Elephant Day (WED) is observed every year on August 12 to focus the attention of various stakeholders in supporting various conservation policies to protect elephants, including improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory.
National Affairs

RBI to shortly issue new Rs 50 currency note

  • RBI will shortly issue new banknotes of Rs 50 denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. A RBI press release has informed that the base colour of the new notes will be fluorescent blue and its dimension will be 66 mm x 135 mm. 
  • It will have a motif of Hampi with Chariot on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage along with the Swachh Bharat logo, year of printing, numeral 50 in devnagiri and the language panel.
Union Government approves enhanced pay scales for Army doctors

  • Union Government has approved enhanced pay scales for medical officers and specialists in the Army. In a tweet, the Army said, medical and dental officers will get 75 thousand rupees per month. 
  • All specialists working in Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme-ECHS polyclinics will receive 87 thousand and 500 rupees per month for the first year and One lakhrupees per month for the second year with effect from from 16th of this month. 
India to host the steering committee of the proposed TAPI Gas pipeline

  • India will host the next steering committee meeting of the proposed 1,814 kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline in New Delhi. 
The Apiary in President’s Estate on World Honey Bee Day August 19, 2017

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind visited the Apiary in the President’s Estate today (August 19, 2017) on the occasion of World Honey Bee Day.
  • As a unique project, the Apiary was established, in the President’s Estate for the first time with the help of Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as the Government is promoting the ‘Honey Mission’ in the country.
India’s first museum on the Partition of the Indian Sub-continent will open in Amritsar, Punjab

  • India’s first museum on the Partition of the Indian Sub-continent will soon open in Amritsar, Punjab, which focuses on stories and display memorabilia of survivors. 
FM inaugurates the National Conference on Insolvency and Bankruptcy :Changing Paragdigm 
  • “The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley said that since the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code has been implemented a few months back, this has changed the debtor and creditor relationship. Shri Jaitley was delivering the Inaugural Address at the National Conference on Insolvency and Bankruptcy: Changing Paradigm in Mumbai on 19.08.2017.
‘Navroz’ the Parsi New Year

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of ‘Navroz’ the Parsi New Year. In a message, he said that Navroz symbolizes the spirit of fraternity, compassion and respect for all. The Parsi community has made an invaluable contribution to nation-building in various fields, he added.
Union Cabinet approves creation of 7 posts of Principal Director in the Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for 7 posts of Principal Director and 36 posts of Director on regular basis in the Armed Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) Civil Service, Ministry of Defence as part of restructuring . 
Union Cabinet approves completion of balance works of North Koel Reservoir Project 

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar at an estimated expenditure of Rs.1622.27 crore to be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project. 
  • The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).
  • The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.
  • Union Cabinet approves creation of a single non-lapsable corpus fund for Secondary and Higher education from the proceeds of Cess for Secondary and Higher Education levied under Section 136 of Finance Act, 2007 

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval today for creation of a non-lapsable pool in the Public Account for secondary and higher, education known as "Madhyamik and Uchchtar Shiksha Kosh" (MUSK) into which all proceeds of "Secondary and Higher Education Cess" will be credited.
Madhya Pradeshis hosting the India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017 

  • 2017 India-ASEAN Youth Summit has started in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on August 14, 2017 with theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. The event is being organised by Foreign Ministry, Madhya Pradesh government and India Foundation.
Union Government will launch a new sub-scheme “AGEY” as part of the DAY–NRLM

  • Union Government of India will soon launch a new sub-scheme named “Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)” as part of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).
Maharashtra government has launched “Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra” 
  • Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has launched ‘Namo Yuva Rojgar Kendra’ on August 14, 2017 to provide job opportunities to unemployed youth in Mumbai.
Cabinet approves creation of one post of Director and three non-teaching posts for NIT, Andhra Pradesh 
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the creation of one post of Director with basic pay of Rs. 75,000/- + a special allowance of Rs,5000/- and three non-teaching posts (Registrar, Librarian and Principal Students Activity & Sports (SAS) Officer) with Grade Pay of Rs.10,000/- for National institute of Technology (NIT), Andhra Pradesh.
PM addresses nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 71st Independence Day
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 71st Independence Day. 
  • The Prime Minister recalled the great women and men who worked hard for India's freedom. He said the people of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters, and the tragedy in Gorakhpur. 
  • The Prime Minister noted that the current year is special, because it marks the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement; the 100th anniversary of Champaran 
  • Satyagraha; and the 125th anniversary of the celebration of ‘Saarvjanik Ganesh Utsav’ – inspired by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Joint Indian Air Force-Border Security Force Women Camel Expedition 
  • Indian Air Force today embarked upon an all women camel expedition along with Border Security Force from Utarlai (Barmer, Rajasthan) to Attari (Amritsar, Punjab). The expedition will conclude on 30 Sep 17. The team was flagged off from Air Force Station Uttarlai today. The expedition is planned with a team of 10 Women Air Warriors of IAF and 10 Women personnel from BSF.
85 lakh milk producing animals identified and their data uploaded on INAPH data base. 

  • Pashu Sanjivni component under National Mission on Bovine Productivity scheme was initiated by the Government in November 2016. 88 million milk producing animals out of 300 million cattle and buffaloes are being identified using polyurethane tags with 12 digit unique identification (UID) number. Data of the identified animals is being uploaded on Information Network on Animal Health and Productivity (INAPH) data base. As on date 85 lakh milk producing animals have been identified and their data has been uploaded on INAPH data base.
Ministry of Railways to observe “Rail Swachhta Pakhwada” from 16th August to 31st August 2017. 

  • Ministry of Railways is observing ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ across its entire network from August 16TH to 31ST August 2017. This period was allotted to Ministry of Railways by the Nodal Ministry for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ namely ‘Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation’.
  • The nation celebrates its 71st Independence Day today (15th August 2017) and the main function was held at the Red Fort of the national capital where Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the National Flag. 

  • The unfurling of the Tricolour was synchronized with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2281 Field Regiment (Ceremonial). 
HM Rajnath Singh has launched the live twitter wall for promoting Bharat Ke Veer portal 

  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the live twitter wall for promoting Bharat Ke Veer portal on the eve of 71st Independence Day. On the occasion, Mr Singh and Ministers of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Kiren Rijiju contributed their one month salary for Bharat Ke Veer corpus. 
CEOs Conference at New Delhi on 18th and 19th August, 2017-regarding 

  • A two day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference of all States and Union Territories commenced in New Delhi today. It was inaugurated by Shri. A.K. Joti, Chief Election Commissioner of India and Shri. O.P. Rawat, Election Commissioner of India.
Petroleum Minister meets Odisha CM on 18th August 2017 in New Delhi 

  • A meeting was held between the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik and Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on 19.08.2017 in Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi. In the meeting various options available to reach an amicable settlement of the present tax-dispute between Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Government of Odisha were discussed. The Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, the Chairman, IOCL, The Chief Secretary, 
  • Government of Odisha and the Development Commissioner, Odisha were also present in the meeting.
Kharif Crop Sowing Crosses 976 Lakh Hectare Area 
  • The total sown area as on 18th August 2017, as per reports received from States, stands at 976.34 lakh hectare as compared to 984.57 lakh hectare at this time last year.

  • It is reported that rice has been sown/transplanted in 341.58 lakh ha, pulses in 130.68 lakh ha, coarse cereals in 171.75 lakh ha, sugarcane in 49.78 lakh hectare and cotton in 118.14 lakh
Web Based System for Online Processing of Application for ICD/CFS/AFS 

  • The Government has simplified the process for companies to set up an Inland Container Depot/ Container Freight Station (CFS)/Air Freight Station (AFS). The improved procedure is aimed at ensuring a speedier and more transparent approval process. Towards this objective, companies can now make their application online and view its progress/update on-line, without a visit to any government office. Also this is a pioneer attempt as a major Inter-Ministerial IT application rather than a mere Intra-Ministerial IT initiative.
10-yr-old Indian youngest to climb 6,153m mountai

  • A 10-year-old mountaineer from Visakhapatnam, Kaamya Karthikeyan, successfully summited one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas, making her one of the youngest people in the world to achieve this feat.
  • Kaamya completed the expedition three days before she turned 10, on August 7, thereby conquering Mount Stok Kangri. At a height of 6,153 metres (20,187 ft), Stok Kangri is not recommended for beginners and is considered ideal for advanced trekkers.
Karnataka state government has launched “Indira Canteen” for urban poor

  • The Karnataka government and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi have launched ‘Indira Canteen’ in Bengaluru with an aim to reach out to the poorer sections of the society. The canteens will offer breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner at Rs 10 per plate. 
India’s first-ever railways disaster management centre will come up in Bengaluru, Karnataka

  • India’s first-ever railways disaster management centre is expected to come up near Bengaluru, Karnataka by 2018 and will be used to replicate train accidents to improve rescue operation efforts. 
RGNAU is India’s first-ever aviation university

  • The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University (RGNAU), which is India’s first-ever aviation university, will soon be inaugurated at Fursatganj in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. 
First shipment of American crude oil worth USD 100M to reach India next month

  • The first shipment of American crude oil worth USD 100 million will reach India next month, with US President Donald Trump promising to be a reliable, long-term supplier of energy to India's developmental needs. The shipment of crude oil to India comes nearly two years after the then US president Barack Obama lifted the 40-year- old ban on its export. 
India's forex reserves increases by 163.8 m US Dollars

  • India's foreign exchange reserves have increased by 163.8 million US Dollars to touch a new lifetime high of 393.612 billion dollars in the week ended 11th August 2017. An RBI release said foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves rose by 175.6 million Dollars to 369.899 billion dollars.

112 Gallantry Awards to Armed Forces Personnel, members of Paramilitary Forces

  • On the occasion of 71st Independence Day, 112 Gallantry Awards have been approved by the President Ram Nath Kovind for the Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces. It includes five Kirti Chakras, 17 Shaurya Chakras, 85 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry). 

  • Havaldar Giris Gurung from first Gorkha Rifles who was martyred during a major counter-infiltration operation along the Line of Control in Naugam sector of Kashmir has been awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. Major David Manlun, who was martyred during an encounter with militants in Mon district of Nagaland, CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar who was martyred in a terror attack in Srinagar's Nowhatta hours before last Independence Day has also been awarded Kirti Chakra Posthumously. 

  • CRPF commandant Chetan Kumar Cheetah who miraculously recovered from the deep coma after being hit by at least nine bullets during a gun battle with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has been awarded Kirti Chakra, the 2nd highest peacetime gallantry award.
NABARD, the ‘best performance award’ for 2016-17 to which regional rural bank

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has conferred the ‘best performance award’ for 2015-16 and 2016-17 to Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) for its work in the field of credit-linking joint liability groups (JLGs). The KVGB is sponsored by syndicate bank.

2017 Kalpana Chawla Award for Preethi Srinivasan

  • Preethi Srinivasan, the former State under-19 cricket captain, has bestowed with the 2017 Kalpana Chawla Award for courage and daring enterprise from Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami during the 71st Independence Day celebrations at Fort St. George in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 
Sports Affairs

Curtain Raiser Function for FIFA Under 17 World Cup 2017 

  • A curtain raiser function was held in Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi today for FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 to be held in India from 6th to 28th October, 2017. The Trophy for FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 was also displayed at the stadium. The objective of the programme was to promote football in India, especially among children and youth.
Lakshya Sen won the men’s singles 2017 Bulgaria Open International Series tournament

  • Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen has clinched the 2017 Bulgaria Open International Series title after defeating Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final by 18-21 21-12 21-17 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit with five-match ban

  • World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo was banned for five-match by the Spanish football federation. He has been banned for pushing the referee after being sent-off in Real Madrid's 3-1 win over Barcelona in the First Leg of Spanish Super Cup. 
  • Ronaldo received an automatic one-match ban for his dismissal and an extra four games for his reaction towards referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea. He has also been fined 4,500 US dollars and has 10 days to appeal the ban.
Virat Kohli continues to top ICC ODI rankings
  • India captain Virat Kohli continued to be the world's top-ranked One-day batsman in the latest ICC ODI rankings, released in Dubai on 19.8.2017. Indian batsmen in the top-15 are former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni 12th, Shikhar Dhawan 13th and vice-captain Rohit Sharma 14th.
  • However, no Indian bowler figure in the top-10 list.Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar 13th is the lone Indian in top 15.
  • As for the ICC ODI Team Rankings, India are currently at number three and they would have to win the upcoming series atleast by a 4-1 margin to ensure that they stay at that position, ahead of England.At 114 points, India, even if win the series 3-2, will slip to 113 points and behind England on decimal points.

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