Friday, 14 July 2017

Current Affairs & Daily GK Update: 14th July 2017

current-affairs-14th-july-2017
1. India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on 2017 SDG index:
  • India has been ranked low 116 out of 157 nations on the 2017 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index and Dashboard report released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Bertelsmann Stiftung. 
  • The index assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious SDGs. It ranks countries based on their performance across the 17 SDGs.
  • The list was topped by Sweden and followed by Denmark (2nd) and Finland (3rd).
2. Indian Railways launches India’s first Solar DEMU Train:
  • Today, the Union Railways Minister ‘Suresh Prabhu’ dedicated country's first solar powered DEMU train to the nation at an event in New Delhi.
  • The 1600 Horse Power (HP) train with solar powered coaches has the special battery bank for use during night hours.
  • There are 16 solar panels of 300 watts capacity each in a coach.
  • The train will run from Sarai Rohilla (Delhi) to Farukh Nagar (Haryana).
3. DIPP to set up India’s first TISC in Punjab:
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry has signed an Institutional agreement with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology in New Delhi to establish India’s first Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) at Patent Information Centre, Punjab.
  • The objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation.
4. Centre, UP govt sign MoU to set up AIIMS in Gorakhpur:
  • Uttar Pradesh government has signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for setting up of an All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Gorakhpur.
  • The hospital will have 750 free beds and the project will cost 1,750 crore rupees.
  • The OPD of the new AIIMS will start by September 2018 and trauma centers will be established by 2020.
5. Maharashtra, first state to have law against social boycott:
  • Maharashtra is the first Indian state to formulate a law to punish social boycott.
  • Punishment for an offense under the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill includes a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment of up to seven years or both.
  • The social boycott for reasons such as religious rituals, inter-caste marriage, lifestyle, dress or vocation would also invite stringent punishment.
  • There is a provision for victims or any member of the victim’s family to file a complaint either with the police or directly to the magistrate.
6. 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey:
  • Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul in Turkey from 9th to 12th July, 2017 to represent India at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference.
  • The theme for 22nd World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. 
  • WPC was first organized in year 1993. Currently, it is being held at the interval of three years. 
7. Haryana government sets up Smart Gram Development Authority:
  • The Haryana government has set up the ‘Haryana Smart Gram Development Authority’ (HSGDA) under the chairmanship of the chief minister to develop smart villages in the state.
  • The HSGDA would oversee the formulation and implementation of plans for converting villages into ‘smart grams’.
  • It would design a strategic long-term policy and programme framework to improve basic amenities like roads, power supply, drinking water, sanitation, and common government to consumer (G2C) services.
8. BRPL, TERI in MoU to explore opportunities in solar rooftops, e-vehicles:
  • BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have entered into a partnership to explore collaboration opportunities for solar rooftop, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, energy efficiency and smart grid technologies.
  • The MoU has been signed for two years. The collaboration will help in research and explore newer collaboration opportunities in the domain of emerging technologies.
9. Google acquires Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence start up ‘Halli Labs’:
  • Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence Startup 'Halli Labs' for an undisclosed sum.
  • The firm was founded with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems.
  • The company would be joining Google’s Next Billion Users team to help get technology and information into more people’s hands around the world. “We couldn’t be more excited,”.
  • Halli Labs was co-founded in early 2017 by Pankaj Gupta, former chief technology officer of online homestay aggregator Stayzilla.
10. Tata Sons appoints Aarthi Subramanian as Chief Digital Officer:
  • Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has appointed Aarthi Subramanian as the conglomerate's chief digital officer. Subramanian, who is an executive director at TCS, will join Tata Sons in August.
  • Subramanian is the second TCSer whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay. 
11. Indian scientists discover supercluster of galaxies 'Saraswati':
  • For the first time in the country, a team of Indian scientists has claimed to have discovered an "extremely large supercluster of galaxies", Saraswati, in the universe.
  • The supercluster was discovered by Shishir Sankhyayan, a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Pratik Dabhade, IUCAA research fellow, Joe Jacob of the Newman College, Kerala, and Prakash Sarkar of the National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur.The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System.
12. YES Bank gets $150 mn from OPIC to fund SME lending:
  • Private sector YES Bank has received $150 million funding from the US government and Wells Fargo to increase lending to support women entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises in India. 
  • This is the third round of funding to the bank as part of an arrangement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) -the US government development finance institution and Wells Fargo.
  • Under the agreement, OPIC will provide $ 75 million in financing and up to $ 75 million in syndicated financing jointly arranged by Wells Fargo Bank to Yes Bank.

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