Today Current Affairs 14th July 2017

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For the first time in the country, a team of Indian scientists claimed to have discovered an "extremely large supercluster of galaxies", Saraswati, in the universe. This 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.

Tata Sons appoints Aarthi Subramanian as Chief Digital Officer. She is an executive director at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Subramanian is the second TCS whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay.  N Chandrasekaran is present Chairman of Tata Global Beverages Limited.

BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (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 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed for two years. The collaboration will help in research and explore newer collaboration opportunities in the domain of emerging technologies.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry 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, under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) TISC program. The objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to promote entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India. The services offered by the Services offered by TISCs include: Access to online patent and non-patent (scientific and technical) resources and IP-related publications Assistance in searching and retrieving technology information; Training in database search; On-demand searches (novelty, state-of-the-art and infringement) Monitoring technology and competitors Basic information on industrial property laws, management and strategy, and technology commercialization and marketing.

India has contributed an additional one million dollars to a United Nations Partnership Fund to support sustainable development projects across the developing world.  The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was set up last month as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). The initial contribution of a million dollars when the fund was created and the amount were allocated for the implementation of a project benefiting seven Small Island Developing States in the South Pacific.

Union Health Minister Shri J P Nadda launches the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). This plan focuses on the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria. National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) was launched in 2016 with the aim of eliminating malaria by 2030.

India 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 Top Countries in the Index are 2017 SDG Index were Sweden (1st), Denmark (2nd), Finland (3rd), Norway (4th), Czech Republic (5th). The SDGs are the set of 17 non-binding goals featuring 169 targets to be implemented from 2015 to 2030. They were adopted by member countries of United Nations at the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit held in New York.

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched the following schemes Rail Cloud Project, NIVARAN-Grievance Portal (First IT Application on Rail Cloud), Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) Scheme. RailCloud is the next step towards Digitization of Railways. Rail Cloud works on popular Cloud Computing system. ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud.  Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) is to provide aim to provide immediate care to its retired employees in Golden Hour, the Railway Board has rolled out a Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) for retired employees.

Google acquired Bangalore-based artificial intelligence firm Halli Labs. It focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The firm which was co-founded by former chief technology officer Stayzilla, Pankaj Gupta, announced the acquisition in a blog post. Halli Labs develops multi-device content, supporting more digital payments systems, and create localised content among others.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul in Turkey from 9 to represent India at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference. The theme for 22 World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. He chaired a ministerial session on the subject ‘Current Economic Strategies in Indian Oil and Gas Sector’ and a plenary session on ‘Supply and Demand Challenges for Oil, Gas and Products’.

The Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) appointed former Supreme Court judge, Justice Vikramajit Sen, as the new chairperson of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). He will serve the position for the next three years. Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) is an independent self-regulatory body set up by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in June 2011 to examine content-related complaints relating to all non-news general entertainment channels in India.

Kishore Sansi Managing Director and CEO of Vijaya Bank conferred the ‘Personality of the Year’ award by Skoch Consultancy Services. The award is part of the ‘Skoch Banking and Financial Leadership’ series. The Past recipients of the award include C Rangarajan, Dilip Parekh and Nandan Nilekanion.

The United States military conducted a successful test of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. The U.S. successfully shoots down a simulated intermediate-range ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. It is more successful than the nation’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which is designed to target an Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Indian batsman Sandeep Patil named as the brand ambassador of the Indian Indoor Cricket Team. The tournament will be held in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). The 10th edition of the World Cup will include approximately 400 players and officials from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Union Government has set up Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM), a new wing to provide intelligence inputs taking action against tax evaders. It will be under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The data analytics and processing coupled with intelligence inputs by DGRAM will provide the CBEC with the national and sub-national perspective for policy formulation.