Current Affairs Current Affairs - 13 August 2017 - Vikalp Education

Online Vikalp, Current Affairs, Current Awareness, General Awareness, Aptitude Classes, Daily News, General Knowledge, General Awareness For All Competitive Exam, current affairs quiz,current affairs in india, current affairs about sports, current affairs and gk, current affairs about india, current affairs daily quiz, current affairs dairy, current affairs education, Top News, Breaking News, Latest News

Current Affairs - 13 August 2017

General Affairs 

2 Army Men Killed, 3 Injured In Jammu And Kashmir's Shopian Encounter
  • Two army men were killed and three others, including a captain, injured in an encounter with terrorists in Shopian district of south Kashmir, the police said tonight.

    Security forces launched a cordon and search operation today following information about presence of terrorists in Avneera village of Zainapora area of the district, a police official said.

    He said as the security forces were conducting searches, the terrorists opened firing on them which was retaliated by the law enforcement personnel, triggering a gunfight.

    Five soldiers were injured in the gun battle, he said, adding that they were evacuated to the 92 Base Hospital of the Army for treatment, where two among died due to the injuries.

Despicable If Oxygen Shortage Caused Deaths, Says Yogi Adityanath
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said a magisterial probe has been set up to investigate the deaths of more than 60 children in five days at a hospital in Gorakhpur - the district he has represented in parliament for nearly 20 years - and the state government is doing all it can to find out if oxygen shortage led to the deaths. The principal of the state-run medical college has been suspended and a committee set up to probe the role of the oxygen supplier which won the contract in 2014, before his government came to power.
    "It is a very emotional matter for me as I have been raising the issue of encephalitis for so long... it would be despicable if oxygen shortage caused the deaths," he said, adding Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concern and has been briefed about the incident. 
    "Anyone found guilty will not be spared," he said at the news conference in Lucknow that called after an emergency meeting with officials and two ministers he had sent to Gorakhpur earlier in the day.

    UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh, who visited the hospital today brushed aside calls for his resignation and insisted that none of the deaths had been caused due to a disruption of oxygen supply. He admitted that oxygen supply was "low" for two hours on August 11 but said no deaths were reported during the period.

    Mr Adityanath said he had asked hospital officials during his August 9 meeting about the issues such as encephalitis and dengue but the disruption in oxygen supply was not brought to his notice. "In my personal interaction with officials, the principal of the BRD medical college and in-charge of paediatric ward, I had asked if anything was required from the government but there was no discussion on oxygen," Mr Adityanath said.

    Blaming the principal of the college for the delay in payment to the gas supplier, he said, "I have been told that the principal left soon after the (August 9) meeting without informing the authorities and has been found prima facie responsible. He has been suspended."

    Referring to the letter of the oxygen vendor that supply will be stopped, the chief minister said funds were released from the government on August 5 and the principal should have made immediate payment. UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon, who also attended the news conference, said the hospital finally paid the oxygen supplier on August 11.

LoC Schools Closed After Pakistan Shelling Reopened In Rajouri
  • 658 schools along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Nowshera sector reopened today after remaining closed for a week following cross-border shelling by Pakistan.

    Authorities had closed 67l schools in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district on August 5 for safety and security of students in view of heavy and indiscriminate shelling.

    Thirteen schools in vulnerable areas would remain closed till further orders, officials said.

    Deputy Commissioner (Rajouri) Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had ordered reopening of the schools in the sector from today on the recommendation of the chief education officer, they said.

    The 13 educational institutions which remained close were located in Sehar, Karahli, Numb, Makri, Niki, Sariya, Jhangar, Mohinder Mohalla, Bakshi Mohalla, Pull, Dhanaka and Dandesar, the officials said quoting an order issued by Choudhary yesterday.

    These include two higher secondary schools.

    The officials said while most students returned to the schools this morning, the authorities were monitoring the situation and once it improved, the 13 closed schools would also start functioning normally.

    Thousands of border villagers are staying in six government camps at Nowshera after the Pakistani firing forced them to flee their homes last month.

    Over 200 students had to be evacuated in bulletproof vehicles in Nowshera sector by rescue teams after they got trapped in their schools in the sector last month during the shelling.

Kerala School Diktat On Uniform Causes Backlash
  • An English medium school in Malappuram has courted controversy by reportedly introducing separate uniforms for students based on their academic performance.

    Following intervention by district childline authorities after some parents and students complained to them, the school has withdrawn the move, authorities said.

    The action by the Al Farooque English Medium school at Pandikkad in the district triggered widespread outrage among students and their parents as they felt it was discriminatory and insulting.

    A section of them approached the district childline authorities with written complaints following which a team visited the school which is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education.

    "Two sets of uniforms were introduced by the school in June this year and a section of the students and parents who felt insulted by the move which discriminated among them, approached us with written complaints," said Anwar Karaikkadan, convener of the Malappuram district childline committee.

    "Following this, we made a visit to the school in June to inquire about the matter," he said.

    "Even after our two visits in July and first week of August urging the school authorities to withdraw their move, nothing happened," he added.

    Denying that the students were segragated on the basis of their academic performance, the school authorities replied that a special group was formed among the students only to motivate them, Mr Anwar said.

    "Last week, we moved the District Child Welfare Committee seeking action against the school for causing mental agony among its students by its action," he said, adding, "yesterday I was informed by the school authorities that they had withdrawn their move".

    Meanwhile, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has registered a case and sought a report on the matter from the school principal as well as the deputy director of education within two weeks.

'India A Loud Voice, Can Help Resolve N Korea Crisis': Top US Commander
  • Indian can play a role in defusing rising tension between North Korea and the US by helping the leadership in Pyongyang understand the seriousness of the threat posed by its nuclear programme, a top American commander has said. Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, said it is for India to decide on what kind of role it wants to play.
    "I think India's voice is a loud voice, that people pay attention to. So, I think that India could help North Korea, perhaps, understand the seriousness by which the United States views that threat," Admiral Harris said.

    Tension has been rising since North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs in July. These missiles can carry nuclear warheads across continents, and are said to have the range needed to cover a large part of the US mainland.

    India along with the international community condemned the North Korean missile tests and has been implementing sanctions imposed against it by the US.

    Earlier this year, India suspended trade links with North Korea, a move which was praised by the Trump administration. US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping today reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula and agreed that North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour, the White House said.

    The two leaders spoke over phone to discuss the escalating tension after 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.

Business Affairs

India's forex reserves at new life-time high of USD 393.448 billion
  • The country's foreign exchange reserves touched a new life-time high of USD 393.448 billion after rising by USD 581.1 million in the week to August 4 on account of increase in foreign currency assets (FCAs), the RBI data showed.
    In the previous week, the reserves had surged by USD 1.536 billion to USD 392.867 billion. FCAs, a major component of the overall reserves, rose by USD 964.4 million to USD 369.723 billion, the data showed.
    Expressed in US dollar terms, FCAs include effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, the pound and the yen held in the reserves. After remaining stable for past few weeks, the gold reserves declined by USD 405.7 million to USD 19.943 billion.
    The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by USD 8.9 million to USD 1.504 billion. The country's reserve position with the IMF rose by USD 13.5 million to USD 2.277 billion, the apex bank said.
    Earlier on Friday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 Volume-2 in the Parliament. The Survey report focuses on various aspects of the Indian economy and explains at length what the country's economic conditions are and how it is expected to perform.  
    In a part of its report, the Economic Survey has explained the current position of Indian economy on external debt. Here's what report says on India's external debt. 


    Most of the external debt indicators of India improved at end-March 2017 compared end-March, 2016. India's aggregate external debt stock at end-March 2017 stood at USD 471.9 billion registering a decline of USD 3.1 billion (2.7 per cent) over end-March 2016. The ratio of external debt to GDP fell to 20.2 per cent from 23.5 per cent, while foreign exchange reserves provided a cover of 78.4 per cent to external debt compared to 74.3 per cent in the previous year.
    Debt service ratio fell to 8.3 per cent from 8.8 per cent and ratio of concessional debt to total external debt increased to 9.3 per cent from 9.0 per cent. Short term debt (residual maturity) to total external debt fell to 41.5 per cent from 42.7 per cent. Short term debt (residual maturity) to forex reserves also fell to 52.9 per cent from 57.4 per cent. Cross country comparison of external debt indicates that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries.

Delhi High Court slaps Rs 1 lakh fine on Rajya Sabha secretariat for wasting 10 years to recover Rs 39,000
  • The HC imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 1 lakh for not only wastage of court time but also the harassment faced by the ex-worker.
    Justice Valmiki Mehta observed, "I must express my anguish with the appellant, the Rajya Sabha secretariat and an arm of the legislative body of this country, that it is not only harassing the respondent/defendant for a minor amount of Rs 39,010 but also that by its actions valuable judicial time of three courts, being the trial court, the first appellate court as also this court, has been completely wasted."
    Of the Rs 1 lakh imposed as cost, the court asked that a sum of Rs 50,000 be paid to the former employee, PS Verma. It then directed that the person who had advised the secretariat to pursue and persist with the legal action must donate Rs 50,000 to Bharat Ke Veer, an initiative to help the kin of central armed polices forces personnel who die in the line of duty.
    The court sought an affidavit in this regard from the secretariat. The HC was hearing the matter against Verma, who retired as a senior private secretary.
    The counsel for the secretariat claimed that while settling Verma's dues, it came to light that he was overpaid Rs 39,010 on account of pension that was supposed to be deducted as per the circular from his monetary package. It told the court that when Verma was asked to deposit the over-paid amount through regular reminders, instead of giving back the money he claimed to have paid income tax on the amount received.
    He sought a certificate so that he could recover the excess amount of tax paid from the I-T department. Verma through advocate KS Pathania told the court that during his course of service with the Rajya Sabha secretariat, he regularly sought deduction of his pension from his monthly package, which was never considered by his employer.
    Looking at his documentary proof, the court observed, "The written statement filed by the respondent shows that he has always been very fair and asked his former employer to deduct the amount of pension from monthly package being received by him and he only prayed that he would quietly refund the balance and the appellant must issue the necessary certificate so that he could take back the excess tax paid to the income tax department."
    Observing the litigation to be totally frivolous the court also noted that there is no fraud which was alleged against the respondent and, in fact, Verma himself had been asking the secretariat to take necessary corrective action, but the appellant did so only partially.
    "The respondent (Verma) has now been harassed by this litigation from May 9, 2005, i.e, over 10 years and neither the trial court nor the first appellate court has awarded any costs to the respondent," said the HC.
    "Therefore, though the amount claimed by the appellant is not a large amount and is only an amount of Rs 39,010, however considering the harassment to the respondent by as many as three tiers of this litigation, this appeal is dismissed with exemplary costs of rupees 1 lakh. Out of the amount of rupees 1 lakh, a sum of Rs 50,000 will be paid to the respondent and a sum of Rs 50,000 will be deposited by that person who has directed or opined filing of the present appeal. The costs of Rs 50,000 will be deposited by such person(s) with the website www.bharatkeveer."

Flipkart-Snapdeal deal hindered due to its complexity among other reasons: Sources
  • Snapdeal-Flipkart merger talks hit a dead end for a variety of reasons, including the complex structure of the deal that would have placed millions of dollars worth of tax liability on many of Snapdeal's investors, according to sources.
    Last month, Snapdeal called off the USD 950 million-merger (over Rs 6,000 crore) discussions with larger rival, Flipkart.
    While Snapdeal had stated that it would follow an independent path and was therefore, terminating all strategic talks, sources had said differences in valuation and terms of the deal had led to the fallout after five months of negotiations.
    Two people close to the negotiations said the share swap between Snapdeal (domiciled in India) and Flipkart (registered in Singapore) would have led to an extremely inefficient taxation structure due to restrictions arising out of laws in India, causing millions of dollars of tax burden to multiple investors.
    Snapdeal did not reply to queries sent by PTI.
    The persons did not wish to be identified as the discussions were private and they are not authorised to speak on the matter.
    They added that once the deal value was set, shareholders were not prepared to pay large amounts towards tax payouts and had contented that the tax incidence should have been factored into the valuation at a much earlier date.
    Another point of friction was the differential payout to some of the investors like Kalaari and Nexus Venture Partners.
    One of the persons mentioned above said many of the smaller but influential shareholders like PremjiInvest (Azim Premji's investment vehicle) and Temasek were opposed to it.
    This caused a huge row between the shareholders and the Board and dealt a fatal blow to any efforts to drive consensus, the person added.
    The discussion between the two companies was being driven by Snapdeal's largest shareholder, SoftBank.
    After the deal failed to materialise, the Japanese conglomerate went ahead and invested about USD 2.5 billion in Flipkart through SoftBank Vision Fund earlier this week.
    Snapdeal has a number of investors including Ratan Tata, Alibaba Group, Foxconn and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan among others.
    The second person said there were many clauses put forward by Flipkart that made the deal additionally complex.
    Instead of just a majority approval, Flipkart wanted a sign-off from all of Snapdeal's shareholders, the person said.
    Also, there was a five years non-solicit clause that barred all shareholders from approaching any employee, buyer or seller working with Flipkart for the next five years.
    This was completely unacceptable to the shareholders as it imposed unworkable restrictions on them as there are common buyers and sellers and a small pool of skilled workforce in the e-commerce space, the person said.
    Besides, many of these investors hold stakes in multiple companies and agreeing to this clause would have led to a situation of immense potential conflict and chaos, the source added.

Shell firms case: SAT lifts trading curbs on Parsvnath, five others
  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Friday lifted Sebi's trading restrictions on shares of six suspected shell companies, including Parsvnath Developers, and asked the regulator to hear them and also probe them.
    The other five companies which got relief are Kavit Industries, Pincon Spirit, Signet Industries, SQS India BFSI and KKalpana Industries. Capital market regulator Sebi had on August 7 had asked stock exchanges to restrict trading in shares of 331 suspected shell companies, some of which have several well-known domestic and foreign investors.
    The move came after the watchdog received a list of such firms from the corporate affairs ministry and many of them are under the scanner of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and the Income Tax Department.
    Of the 331 such entities, the six companies have moved the SAT against the Sebi direction and got reprieve today. Yesterday two others, too, got the curbs lifted by SAT. At the hearing today, the companies submitted their respective financials along with other filings before the tribunal to establish that they are not shell companies but are in full compliance with all regulations.
    Following this, SAT lifted the trading restrictions imposed on these companies and the counters of these firms are likely to resume normal trading from Monday. At the same time, SAT said Sebi and stock exchanges can hear these companies and begin probe into their business operations.
    Yesterday, SAT had stayed trading restrictions imposed on J Kumar Infraprojects and Prakash Industries, observing that Sebi issued the list without investigating the credentials or fundamentals of these firms. Of the 331 entities on the list, over 160 are actively traded on the exchanges. 

How can Indian companies harness technology advancements with an Innovation Architecture
  • Large companies in India are increasingly focusing on digital transformations due to greater awareness of new operating models, essential to survive disruption. The adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), combined with design thinking, extends beyond digitally-intense industries such as retail, media and telecom.
    Even manufacturing, transportation, logistics, financial services and energy companies are beginning to work in new ways. However, most Indian companies are stuck with their current business models and lack key aspects such as good customer experience, data security across multiple channels and smooth collaboration with other industries. Attempts at innovation peter out due to lack of funds or leadership interest, or the inability to rapidly scale the innovation.
    Disruptive models involve radically changing both the customer interface as well as the enterprise operations. But Indian companies largely focus on transforming enterprise processes and much less on the customer experience.
    Unlocking Trapped Value
    Unlike agile start-ups, large established players  struggle to scale innovations in time. Such companies fail to realize the opportunity to identify and unveil the tremendous amount of value trapped within their current business models.
    Unlocking the trapped value involves three simultaneous steps. Starting with transforming the core business, companies need to build competitive agility and cost structures to stay profitable in the core business and expand investment capacity.
    They must use the new investment capacity to drive top-line growth in the core business, identify and scale an innovation. And, most importantly, they should know when to pivot to the New by balancing investment between old and new business. The pivot to the New requires a disciplined approach and an architecture that will help the company move its innovative idea from concept stage and pilot to execution at scale and speed.
    Pivoting too slowly could mean being decimated by a disruptor. Pivoting too fast to the New could mean triggering financial risks. Most Indian companies find it difficult to carve practical paths to innovating and leading in the New.
    Companies need to collaborate and generate game-changing ideas through co-creation, use open innovation to shape emerging technologies, build prototypes, rapidly scale up solutions and industrialize the solutions for sales and delivery.
    Both existing and new capabilities should be brought together through an innovation architecture to create a step-change approach in outcomes for end customers.
    Innovation Architecture
    Based on our own transformation journey and our work with clients, we have designed the Accenture Innovation Architecture to help companies innovate using the structural elements of disruption from idea generation to industrialization, combining technology platforms.
    The Accenture Innovation Architecture brings together our various capabilities such as Accenture Research to identify game-changing trends and ideas, Accenture Ventures for partnering and investing in companies creating enterprise technologies using an open innovation approach, Accenture Labs for prototyping, Accenture Studios for solutions, Accenture Innovation Centers to scale solutions and demonstrate their impact, and Accenture global delivery centers to help scale up and industrialize solutions.
    Companies in India need to start building or leveraging innovation architectures if they want to effectively harness technology advances for their innovation priorities at speed and scale.
    Many companies in India need to leverage technology advances in artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics and 3D printing. They must also integrate these into the value chain-from manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing-to create new models for development, delivery and service that can propel game-changing innovation in the industry.

General Awareness

ISRO lines up 21 rockets, to launch 70 satellites in 5 years

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has lined up over 21 rocket launches and will be putting over 70 satellites in space over the next five years. 
    More Details about ISRO’s upcoming Rocket/Satellite Launches:
    • ISRO’s plan to launch 21 rockets in coming years is a part of the Rs 8,658.74 crore sanctioned by the Indian Government to build and launch about 31 rockets, including 15 PSLVs, 13 GSLV’s and three GSLV MK-III.
    • Currently, ISRO’s launch vehicles are being used for launching national satellites towards meeting the earth observation, communication, navigation and scientific needs of the country and the excess capacity is being used to launch satellites of other countries.
    • It is to be noted that India is emerging as a hub for development of satellites as well as a launch pad for small satellites
    Heavier Satellites to be launched by ISRO without Foreign Help:
    • India currently uses the Ariane 5 rocket, of Arianespace, the European Space Agency to launch its heavier communication satellites into
    • ISRO officials have stated that 2017 will be the last year India will utilise foreign launch vehicles to hurl its satellites into space, suggesting that its in-house capabilities have been tested and proven enough to carry out such missions.
    • With GSLV-MK-III, the heavier rocket that can hurl four-tonne communication satellites into space, it can have the capability locally.
    • Going forward, ISRO will focus on building capabilities in heavier rockets that are powered by a semi-cryogenic engine and the reusable launch vehicle that has potential to hurl cargo into space at low costs.
    Quick Facts about ISRO:
    ISRO is the space agency of Government of India, formed with a vision to harness space technology for national development
    Formation Year: 1969
    Founded by: Vikram Sarabhai
    Headquarters: Bengaluru
    Current Chairman: A S Kiran Kuma

No comments:

Featured post

Current Affairs - 16 December 2018

General Affairs   Cyclone Phethai Gathers Over Bay Of Bengal, May Hit Andhra On Monday ...

Copyright © 2016. Vikalp Education