Current Affairs Daily Updates 18 August 2016[the_ad id=”1859″]
World’s Largest Aircraft Gets Off Ground
- The world’s largest aircraft has embarked on its maiden flight.
- The Airlander 10, part plane, part airship took to the skies at an airfield in Cardington, central England.
- It was originally developed for the US army as a surveillance aircraft.
- The Airlander can fly at up to 4,880 metres & reach speeds of 148 km per hour.
- It can stay airborne for more than 2 weeks unmanned & up to 5 days if manned.
Tanden is Co-Chair of Hillary Team
- Indian-American Neera Tanden was named co-chair of the transition team of Hillary Clinton.
- The transition team usually prepares an incoming President to take over the reins the day he or she is sworn in.
- The new President will have to appoint not only Cabinet members but also fill nearly 4000 posts at various levels.
- The transition team organises these efforts.
China, ASEAN Agree to Form SCS Framework
- China & ASEAN countries have agreed to form a framework for a code of conduct to ease tension in the disputed South China Sea (SCS).
- The two sides agreed to get the framework for the code of conduct done by mid-2017.
- They also agreed to set the sea rules & guidelines for a hotline for use during maritime emergencies.
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] is the grouping of ten countries.
Australia to Close PNG Refugee Centre
- Australia & Papua New Guinea (PNG) had agreed to close a controversial Australian-funded asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island.
- Under Australian law, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to camps on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru or to Manus Island off Papua New Guinea (PNG).
- They are never eligible to be resettled in Australia.
- PM Modi laid the foundation stone of new BJP HQ building in New Delhi.
- The new state-of-the-art headquarters will be constructed at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg near ITO.
- It will have wi-fi,conference halls,media facilities, library & other facilities.
- The new building is expected to be ready before 2019.
- Present office at 11 Ashoka Road is considered small for party’s expanded activities.
PM Lays the Foundation Stone of BJP HQ
Initiatives Launched under Namami Gange
- The govt has launched new initiatives including setting up of a water purification plant under Namami Gange in Mathura – Vrindavan.
- The projects were launched in the presence of Ms. Uma Bharti.
- Under the new project, a water recycling plant will be set up at Mathura Refinery were contaminated Yamuna water will be recycled.
- MoU was also signed between Water Resources Ministry & Petroleum Ministry.
Rahman Honoured with Tamil Ratna Award
- Oscar-winning music maestro A.R. Rahman has been honoured by the America Tamil Sangam with its Tamil Ratna Award.
- Allah-Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician & philanthropist.
- The previous recipients of its Ratna award include Tamil movie director Bharathi Raja; Bharatha Natyam exponent Kamala Lakshman; Srinivasa Varadhan.
J P Nadda Inaugurates AMRIT Outlets
- Health Minister J P Nadda has inaugurated Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets in Shillong, Imphal, and Jodhpur through video conferencing.
- These outlets are aimed at reducing the expenditure incurred by common patients on treatment of cancer and heart diseases.
- With this, the number of AMRIT outlets have reached at 12 across the country.
4 New Governors Appointed
- Former Union Minister Najma Heptullah was appointed Governor of Manipur as President announced new gubernatorial appointments for 3 States & a Union Territory.
- Former Rajya Sabha MP V.P Singh Badnore was appointed Punjab Governor.
- Banwarilal Purohit, a three-time former member of Lok Sabha will be the Governor of Assam.
- Prof. Jagdish Mukhi was made Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Under 18 cannot Participate in Dahi Handi
- The Supreme Court has said that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi Handi ritual.
- The height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet.
- The Dahi Handi ceremony is annually held on Janmasthami in Maharashtra ,the birthday of Lord Krishna.
- It involves forming a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot filled with buttermilk tied on a string at the top.
Simone Biles Wins 4th Gold Medal in Rio
- American gymnast Simone Biles won the gold medal in the women’s floor exercise.
- She scored a 15.966 in the floor exercise final with a series of difficult moves executed to near-perfection,
- She has captured her fourth gold in the Olympics.
- She is now the fifth woman & first American woman to win four gymnastics gold medals in a single Olympic Games.
India Displace Australia as No. 1 Test Team
- The Indian cricket team has moved back to No. 1 on the ICC table for Test Teams.
- Australia has conceded their No.1 ranking to India after Sri Lanka made a 3-0 clean sweep of the 3 match test series.
- Pakistan has moved into the second position.
- To retain the number-one ranking, India will now have to win the fourth and final Test of the four-Test series against the West Indies.
Sri Lanka Beats Australia in Third Test
- Sri Lanka has clinched their first series 3-0 whitewash over Australia.
- Sri Lanka won the third & final Test against Australia by 163 runs, with spinner Rangana Herath taking 7 wickets for 64 runs.
- It was the first time that Sri Lanka had ever recorded a clean sweep of a major cricketing nation since they gained Test status in 1981.
- Sri Lanka had only beaten Australia once before in a Test match.
Sakshi Malik Wins Bronze for India
- India’s Sakshi Malik from Rohtak, Haryana has won a bronze medal in the wrestling 58kg category at Rio.
- She defeated Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 in the bronze medal bout.
- She became only the fourth woman athlete from India to win an Olympic medal.
- Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari ,boxer MC Mary Kom & shuttler Saina Nehwal were the only other women athletes from India to have won a medal in Olympics.
DBS to Launch ‘Bank Conversationally’
- Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) is set to roll out its latest banking innovation in India by end of this year.
- It will enable customers to “bank conversationally”from their preferred mobile messaging app.
- The Artificial Intelligence (AI) based innovation will allow access banking services quickly on Facebook Messenger.
- In April, DBS launched had “digibank”, India’s first mobile-only bank.
China Launches $30 billion VC Fund
- China’s state council has approved a $30.19 billion venture capital fund to invest in innovative technology & industrial upgrading projects.
- China has been encouraging its industrial firms to rise up the value chain through technical innovation.
- It aims of creating globally competitive conglomerates.
- The main sponsor & controlling shareholder is China Reform Holdings Corp Ltd.
Indians Online to Hit 730 million by 2020
- The number of Internet users in India is likely to more than double to 730 million by 2020.
- This was according to a new report‘The Future of Internet in India’,compiled by Nasscom and Akamai Technologies.
- There were about 330 million Internet users in the country as of December 2015.
- India has an Internet user base next only to China & will remain the fastest growing market.
Ola Ends Rides at “Taxi For Sure”
- India’s largest cab aggregator Ola has said it was shutting down operations at TaxiForSure (TFS).
- The decision comes 17 months after Ola has acquired its rival for Rs.1,200 crore in a cash & equity deal.
- TaxiForSure was founded in 2011 by two Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad alumni Raghunandan G & Aprameya Radhakrishna.
- Ola has completed the integration of TFS to its Ola app.
Power Ministry Unveils Apps
- The Power Ministry has launched three mobile apps to enhance transparency in the power transmission sector.
- The apps TARANG,e-Trans & DEEP have been developed.
- The TARANG app will monitor upcoming transmission projects & the progress of Inter-State & Intra-State transmission system.
- The ‘e-Trans’ is for e-bidding & e-reverse auction for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding in transmission projects.
Jharkhand Become 3rd State to Ratify GST
- Jharkhand Assembly voted unanimously to ratify the Goods and Services Tax, GST Bill.
- With this Jharkhand has become the third state after Assam and Bihar to ratify the GST Bill passed by the Parliament.
- The GST Bill is described as India’s biggest tax reform.
- The Bill needs to be ratified by at least half the state assemblies in the country before it is sent to the President for approval.