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Daily Current Affairs 8th October 2017

image 2017-10-08 19:36:03
Daily Current Affairs 8th October 2017

1.    Ban on stubble burning in Hary, Punjab goes up in smoke
High cost of agricultural residue burning machinery and lack of an alternative mechanism are proving to be biggest hurdles in the implementation of the ban on burning paddy stubble in Punjab and Haryana. The farmers in the states continue to ignore warnings by authorities on burning paddy stubble, thus inviting health risks and adverse effects on soil quality. The Haryana and Punjab governments have imposed a ban on burning paddy residue, with erring farmers subject to prosecution on their failure to toe the official line.

The state authorities are also providing subsidy on farm implements like happy seeder, rotavators and straw reapers for managing straw in a sustainable manner to stop the practice. However, farmers, especially with small land holdings, rue that that do not have the adequate financial capital to buy the machinery.

2.    PM lays Foundation Stone of Barrage over Narmada, addresses public meeting at Bharuch
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of Foundation Stone of Bhadbhut Barrage over the River Narmada. At a public meeting in Bharuch, the Prime Minister also flagged off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat) and Jaynagar (Bihar). He also unveiled a plaque to mark the laying of Foundation Stone, and Inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertilizer Corporation Ltd.

3.    PM launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush at Vadnagar
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today visited his home town, Vadnagar, for the first time since assuming office of Prime Minister. Residents of the town thronged the streets to welcome the Prime Minister. He offered prayers at the Hatkeshwar Temple. He also stopped briefly at the school in which he had studied as a child.  The Prime Minister visited GMERS Medical College, Vadnagar, and unveiled a plaque to mark its dedication. He also interacted briefly with students.

The Prime Minister launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush, to accelerate progress towards the goal of full immunization coverage. It will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage. The Prime Minister distributed e-tablets to health workers to mark the launch of ImTeCHO - an innovative mobile phone application to improve performance of ASHAs. He also launched some development works.

4.    Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates Saudi Aramco India Office
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, today inaugurated Saudi Aramco’s ARAMCO ASIA INDIA office in Gurugram jointly with Mr Amin H Al-Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco. The office is located at Two Horizon Tower, Gurugram.

Saudi Aramco through its subsidiary ARAMCO Asia India (AAI) established its formal business presence in India in 2016. AAI would now formally engage in crude oil and LPG marketing, engineering & technical services, and other business development activities. India is one of the biggest markets for Saudi oil and LPG. He said that he was delighted to jointly inaugurate the Saudi Aramco's Office in India which will help in strengthening the existing buyer - supplier relationship between the two sides to a strategic partnership in the hydrocarbon sector.

5.    Prez launches Rs 100 crore clean water initiative
 President Ram Nath Kovind today launched Mata Amritanandamayi Math's Rs 100 crore clean water initiative for rural India at the math headquarters in the coastal hamlet of Vallikkavu near here. Kovind, who is on his maiden visit to the southern state after assuming office, inaugurated the 'Jivamritam' filtration system, envisaged to provide clean drinking water to 10 million villagers across the nation. The programme was organised as part of the 64th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, popularly known as 'Amma' among her devotees.

6.    PNB puts 32 NPAs with outstanding loan of Rs1,176 crore for auction
State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has put assets of as many as 32 bad loans with outstanding loan exposure of Rs1,176 crore on the block in an effort to bring down its non-performing assets (NPAs). These NPAs include Hanung Toys and Textile, Harbs India, United Foods and Harman Textile. PNB has a total exposure of Rs771.65 crore to the consortium that extended the loan to Hanung Toys and Textile, as per public auction notice put up by the bank.
The listed toys and textile company is the biggest defaulter in the list with consortium lending to the tune of Rs2,960 crore. Assets owned by accounts would be e-auctioned on 8 November, the notice said, adding auction would be conducted by Delhi zonal office. For the quarter ended June 2017, the gross NPAs in absolute term stood at Rs5,77,207 crore, while the net NPAs were Rs3,45,727 crore. In percentage terms, the gross NPAs declined marginally to 13.66% of gross advances as on 30 June, 2017 from 13.75% a year earlier.

7.    Indian Air Force's 85th anniversary celebrations
The Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 85th anniversary at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. The celebrations were marked by the IAF displaying its vintage, modern and fighter aircraft, including those deployed for various important missions like Operation Rahat and Operation Meghdoot. The IAF's Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) also performed on the occasion.

8.    Uttar Pradesh Government to Convert 5,000 Primary Schools Into English Medium
Nearly 5,000 state government-run English medium primary schools are likely to come up in Uttar Pradesh soon, Anupama Jaiswal, the minister of state for basic education. Reportedly, five or more such schools will be set up in over 820 blocks of the state.
Notably, the government will not set up new schools instead, it will convert the existing primary schools into English medium institutions. For this purpose, teachers will be provided with a thorough training and English books will be given to them.

9.    Rio 2016 Olympic Committee Chief Resigns
The chairman of Brazil’s Olympic Committee, who helped organize the Rio 2016 Games, submitted his resignation, saying he wanted to concentrate on defending himself against corruption charges. He also resigned as chairman of the Rio 2016 organizing committee, which ran the first Olympics ever held in South America. The Games were generally lauded as a success at the time.
However, the aftermath has produced a flow of corruption scandals alleging the embezzlement of millions of dollars.

10.    Amazon may start selling medicines online
Amazon is reportedly planning to start selling medicines online, according to an email from the e-commerce giant. The email also said that it will decide before Thanksgiving whether to move into selling prescription drugs. Earlier, Amazon also hired Mark Lyons from nonprofit health insurance company Premera Blue Cross to create an internal pharmacy benefit manager to serve its employees.

11.    Hamilton wins Japanese GP to extend c'ship lead to 59 points
Mercedes' British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 59 points. Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished in second and third positions. Hamilton is on course to win his fourth championship with four races remaining in the season.

12.    Tamil Nadu govt hikes theatre ticket prices by 25 %; to cost Rs 160
The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday issued orders to hike theatre ticket prices by 25 per cent against the backdrop of the film industry bodies not releasing any new movies to protest the levy of 10 per cent local body tax in the state. As per a government order, it was decided to raise the price of film tickets by 25 per cent following representations by various film industry associations. The maximum ticket price in multiplexes and air-conditioned theatres in Chennai would now be Rs 160 while the minimum will be Rs 50.
The new ticket prices come into effect from October 9. The government had formed a high level committee to examine the film fraternity’s issues following their indefinite stir in July against the implementation of the goods and service tax.

13.    About 5,695 new classrooms in over 100 government schools inaugurated in Delhi
A total of 5,695 new classrooms in more than 100 government schools across the city were inaugurated on Saturday by leaders of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party. While Education Minister Manish Sisodia inaugurated the classrooms at Veer Udham Singh Sarvodya Kanya Vidyalya in Patparganj, the rest were inaugurated by AAP MLAs in the their respective constituencies. The AAP government dubbed it as "Delhi's biggest-ever education infrastructure expansion project".

14.    Axis Bank appoints Sangram Singh as Freecharge CEO
Axis Bank Ltd has completed the acquisition of mobile wallet firm Freecharge and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO. “Pursuant to the receipt of approval for the said transaction from the Reserve Bank of India, the bank has completed the acquisition of Freecharge for a cash consideration of Rs373.27 crore, on a cash free, debt free basis,” Axis Bank said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges. Sangram Singh has been appointed as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Pvt. Ltd.