Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - April 4, 2017

current affairs
Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

IISc Ranked India’s Top University In 2017 NIRF Survey

The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru was adjudged as the best Indian university in the 2017 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released by Union Human Resource Development Ministry. This year it is the second edition NIRF survey and was released as part of the India Rankings 2017 for the Educational Institutions.

What is NIRF Survey? NIRF survey is first of its kind of indigenous ranking framework for higher education institutions in the country. It outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country based on the parameters broadly covering Teaching, Learning and Resources, Research and Professional practices, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and inclusivity, and Perception. It covers six categories of institutions including universities, engineering, management, pharmacy, architecture, and colleges.

Background: In the second edition of India Rankings, a total of 2995 institutions had participated. It included 232 Universities, 1024 Engineering Institutions, 546 Management Institutions, 318 Pharmacy Institutions and 637 General Degree Colleges, and others. Many of these had participated in multiple disciplines, adding to a total of 3319 participants across disciplines.

List of top 5 India Rankings 2017
Indian Institute of Science, Banglore.
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. 
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi

India And Malaysia Sign 7 Agreements

India and Malaysia have inked seven agreements to foster a deeper relationship between the two countries. The agreements were exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Abdul Razak in New Delhi who was on six-day state visit to India.

Signed agreements are:
Air Services Agreement: It is revised ASA with Malaysia signed by both countries in 1974.
MoU on Cooperation Fertilizers sector: It deals with the development of proposed Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in Malaysia and offtake of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India.
MoU on cooperation in Sports: It envisages cooperation through exchange of sportspersons, instructors, information on sports regimen and training curricula, etc.
MoU for cooperation in training: It was signed between Malaysian Human Resource Fund (HRDF and EDII, Ahmedabad. It envisages EDII, Ahmedabad to carry out training and other capacity building programs, as necessary on behalf of the Human Resource Development, Malaysia.
MoU on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications: It was signed between Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). It establishes recognition of equivalence of various degrees awarded by educational institutions in both countries and envisages eventual signing of mutual recognition agreement.
MoU on collaboration in technology development in the field of Palm Oil: It was signed between Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and India’s Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT).
MoU on the implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in Andhra Pradesh: It was signed between MIGHT Technology Malaysia and AP Economic Development Board.

Government Approves Purchase of Barak Missiles

The government today approved procurement of a fresh batch of Barak surface-to-air missiles for Naval warships to enhance India's maritime capability. A meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, approved capital acquisition proposals totaling over 860 crore rupees, including for the purchase of Barak missiles.

Uttarakhand Hosts 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference

i. The 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference (CFC), 2017 begins at Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand on April 3, 2017.
ii. The conference is inaugurated by Uttarakhand Governor Dr. K.K. Paul at Dehradun.The 5-day conference is conducted on a theme Forests for Prosperity and Posterity.
iii. The members from 49 Commonwealth countries will be present at the conference.
iv. The conference is organized by Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in coordination with the Commonwealth Forestry Association of United Kingdom.
v. The main topics to be discussed in the conference are about issues affecting climate change and green cover.
vi. The 18th commonwealth forestry conference was held in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 28, 2010.

Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) Set Up Separate Enforcement Department

i. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Santosh Kumar Gangwar informed Lok Sabha that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is planning to set up a separate in-house Enforcement Department which will be operational from 3rd April 2017.
ii. This Department will be responsible for framing broad policy related to enforcement and take action against registered entities that violate it. It will function as the centralised department to deal with banks exclusively for enforcement action such as issuing a warning or imposing a penalty.

Indira Banerjee Appointed As The New Chief Justice of Madras High Court

i. Indira Banerjee, former judge of the Delhi High Court has been appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court. The appointment was made by the President of India Shri. Pranab Mukherjee.
ii. She will be sworn in as Chief Justice on April 5, 2017, after taking the oath of office from Tamil Nadu governor (in charge) Vidyasagar Rao.
iii. Indira Banerjee will succeed Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who was elected to the Supreme Court on February 18, 2017.
iv. Banerjee would be the second woman next to Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar who was the Chief Justice from June to November in 1992 to head the court.

Scientists Identify Fungus That Eats Plastic

Scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have identified a soil fungus Aspergillus Tubingensis that uses enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials. The plastic-eating fungus was found in Islamabad, Pakistan. The new discovery can help in dealing with plastic waste problem that threatens our environment.

Key facts: Scientists have found that Aspergillus Ttubingensis fungus which ordinarily lives in the soil can also grow on the surface of plastics. In order to grow on plastics, it secretes enzymes on the surface of the plastic which breaks the chemical bonds between the plastic molecules, or polymers. This fungus also uses the physical strength of its mycelia (the network of root—like filaments) to break apart the polymers.

A First Bio-Gas Bus With Flat Re 1 Fare Inaugurated In Kolkata

i. Phoenix India Research and Development Group in Kolkata has designed a bus that will run on biogas produced from cow dung.
ii. The company has tied-up with Ashok Leyland to manufacture the 54-seater bus at a cost of Rs 13 lakh approximately.
iii. The first bus will be flagged off on April 7, 2017, and will run between Ultadanga in the north and Garia in the south in Kolkata.
iv. The ticket will be charged Re 1 for the 17.5 km stretch, which will be the cheapest mode of transport for a passenger in the country.
v. Until today, the lowest fare in a Kolkata bus is Rs 6, which goes up to Rs 12 for 17 km ride.The company has planned to launch 15 more buses on different routes in the city with the same base fare.
vi. The company has got the permission to set up 100 fuel pumps in India. The first pump will come up at Ultadanga.

India And Six Other South Asian Countries Of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Have Pledged To Improve Intra-Regional Connectivity To Boost Trade And Tourism

India and six other South Asian countries of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) have pledged to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade and tourism. The decision in this regard was taken by the Finance Ministers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar in a meeting held in New Delhi to reshape SASEC.  They also came out with the SASEC Vision for 2025 and adopted operational plan 2016-25.

SASEC Vision: It is a new strategic roadmap to guide the subregion's development through 2025. It reflects member nations’ commitment to tap into latent industrial demand and promote sub-regional industry-to-industry links.

Operational Plan 2016-25: It defines the strategic objectives and operational priorities in transport, trade facilitation and energy as well as for the development of the economic corridor. The members are eying for $70 billion incremental GDP and 20 million jobs by 2025 so that SASEC become better, stronger and faster to make South Asia one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the world.

Mega-Conference Of World Parliamentarians Hosted By Bangladesh

i. The 136th Mega-Conference of World Parliamentarians has begun in Dhaka on April 1, 2017.The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina. She will also release a commemorative postage stamp and launch Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) web television.
ii. The main focus of this conference was to provide ways and means to end political and economic inequality for upholding democracy and human rights.
iii. The mega-conference was organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad.
iv. About 1,348 delegates from 131 national parliaments were expected to participate in the conference. The participants include 45 Speakers, 37 Deputy Speakers, and more than 200 women MPs, are expected to make their proposals.
v. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi was the keynote speaker during the opening session of the debates held on April 2, 2017.
vi. The 137th conference is to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia on 14-18 October 2017.

Lenin Moreno To Sworn In As The Ecuador President

i. Ruling Party of Ecuador, Alianza PAIS candidate Lenin Moreno won the Ecuador’s presidential election held on April 3, 2017.
ii. He defeated conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso who demands a recount after three exit polls.
iii. Lenin Moreno was nominated as a Presidential candidate by former President Rafael Correa.
iv. Out of 94 percent of voting acts counted, the National Electoral Council declared Moreno has defeated Lasso by 51 percent to 49 percent.

Renowned Hindustani Classical Vocalist Kishori Amonkar Passes Away In Mumbai

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passed away at her home in Mumbai on the 3rd April 2017. She was 84.
Born on 10th April 1932 in Mumbai, Kishori Amonkar was recognized as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and as an innovative exponent of the Jaipur Gharana. While learning the finer points and techniques of the Jaipur Gharana from her mother, Amonkar also developed her own personal style, which reflects the influence of other gharanas and was generally regarded as an individual variant of the Jaipur tradition. She was known primarily for her skillful singing of classical khayal songs set in the traditional ragas of Hindustani music but also performed the lighter classical thumri, bhajan, devotional songs and film music.

Dawit Isaak To Receive UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, 2017

i. Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist has been chosen for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2017 dedicated to promoting press freedom. The award is to be presented on May 3, 2017.
ii. Dawit Isaak is a Swedish-Eritrean playwright, journalist, and writer, born on October 28, 1964, in Asmara, Ethiopian Empire.
iii. In 2016 it was won by Khadija Ismayilova of Azerbaijan.

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