International Current Affairs 2017 - Current Affairs Today

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  • Bill Gates lauds India for becoming a Leader in Digital Financial Inclusion

    Andhra Agtech Summit was underway when the Microsoft Corporation Co-Founder Bill Gates praised Andhra Pradesh for using technology to help farmers. Better seeds, improved livestock breeds, access to markets and tech-based Agri services could hold the key for improving a lot of smallholder farmers and dairy farmers. Around More than half of India’s population engaged in agriculture, and three-fourths of rural women are engaged in agriculture. Apart from gender equality, research has shown that having more women also increases production by 20 to 30%, The Government had received 259 innovative ideas during the three-day Agtech summit in Visakhapatnam. India faces challenges of population, malnutrition and climate change. In AP, you have a great believer (Naidu) in smart technology. It is a pivotal moment for the state, and agricultural transformation here can be a model for India.

    Britain appoints the first female Black Rod in 650 years

    Current Affairs Britain's Queen Elizabeth on Friday approved the appointment of Sarah Clarke as the country's first female Black Rod, in over 650-year history of the office. She will formally take on the duties as Lady Usher of the Black Rod next year. The Black Rod is responsible for controlling access to and maintaining order within the UK's House of Lords.

    Air Force Chief highlights need for maintaining full operational preparedness with optimal utilization of resources

    Air Force Affairs Chief BS Dhanoa highlighted the need for maintaining full operational preparedness with optimal utilization of available resources and also urged every Air Warrior to exhibit immaculate discipline and unwavering integrity. He highlighted the need for maintaining full operational preparedness with optimal utilization of available resources. He emphasized the need for Air Warriors to keep abreast with the latest technologies and to focus on the associated challenges while the IAF marches ahead with major the upgradation of capabilities and infrastructure. The Air Force Chief urged every Air Warrior to exhibit immaculate discipline and unwavering integrity.

    Iraqi forces successfully liberated town of Rawa from ISIS

    The US-backed Iraqi forces on Friday reclaimed the town of Rawa from the most dangerous terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS). Notably, the town of Rawa is located in Anbar province in the Euphrates valley and was the last known Iraqi town still held by ISIS terrorists. The Iraq's Joint Operation Command (IJOC) said in a statement read that the Iraqi national flag was hosted in the town of Rawa, which was reclaimed from ISIS terrorist organize easily. The commander of the operations S. Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rasheed Yarallah confirmed that assault was launched on Friday early morning and by late morning his forces had broken into the center of Rawa district.

    First WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB held in Russia

    The WHO Global Ministerial Conference “Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multisectoral Response” was held in Moscow, Russia. It aims to accelerate implementation of the WHO End TB Strategy - with immediate action. A Ministerial Declaration was signed at the Conference containing bold commitments by countries to accelerate action to end TB and meet the milestones towards the 2030 SDGs. This will inform the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018.

    India and France Agree to Deepen Security Co-operation

    India and France have agreed to deepen security cooperation, bilaterally and in the multilateral fora, and strengthen strong commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  After holding delegation-level talks with Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France Jean Yves-Le Drain, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated both countries have vowed to get rid of the menace of terrorism.

    Chakravarthi appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO)

    Chakravarthi AVPS, Managing Director, Ecobliss India appointed as global ambassador of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). He is the first Asian to be appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The honorary appointment was made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 99th board meeting of WPO. He has won Worldstar award for packaging excellence for five consecutive years. Before establishing Ecobliss India, he has worked with companies like International paper, Ballarpur Industries, Akerlaund Rausing, Huhtamaki, and Pragati.

    Nicaraguas Sergio Ramirez wins Spains Cervantes Prize

    Nicaraguan author and former politician Sergio Ramirez Mercado won the 2017 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary honor. He has written more than 20 novels, including “Margarita, esta Linda la mar” (Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea), which won Spain’s prestigious Alfaguara award in 1998. The award consists of 125,000-euro ($148,000). The prizes are presented each April 23 on the anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote.

    Union Minister India ended in polio disease and will use a similar intensified effort to end TB

    Union Ministry of Health Affairs JP Nadda reaffirmed India’s commitment to eliminating TB by 2025 at 1st WHO Global Ministerial Conference at Moscow, Russia. The main aim is to strengthen and energize the discourse on TB and are perhaps the biggest window for global action on TB in the foreseeable future the Ministerial and High-Level meetings offer participating nations the potential. The National Strategic Plan has four pillars to address the major challenges for TB control, namely Detect, Treat, Build and Prevent to eliminate TB. Around 257 districts and screened over 30 million vulnerable persons and detected over 15,000 additional TB cases are treated for TB in urban slum areas through the urban health mission.

    Union Cabinet approves Scientific and Technological Cooperation agreement between India and Belarus

    The Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Belarus on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture. The agreement was signed between Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB). It was exchanged in September 2017 at New Delhi during official state visit of Belarus President H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko. The main aim of identifying, assessing, developing and commercializing globally competitive technologies from India and Belarus.

    Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Poland for Civil Aviation Cooperation

    The Union Cabinet approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Poland for Promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation. The main aim of MoU is to recognize mutual benefit of Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation having particular significance in establishing and improving Regional Air Connectivity (RCA) in India. Besides, both sides will recognize mutual benefits of environmental testing and approvals. It recognizes mutual benefits of environmental testing and approvals, aircraft maintenance facilities approvals, flight simulators monitoring and approvals and aircrew members approvals. The MoU will be for a term of five years.

    NEA and CTGC Sign Joint Venture Pact to Construct West Seti Hydropower Project

    Nepal Electricity Authority, NEA signed a joint venture agreement with China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC), a Chinese company to construct 750 MW West Seti Hydropower Project. The agreement was signed in Kathmandu by NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising and representatives of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).   The estimated cost of the project will be 1.8 billion US dollars. CTGC will have 75% stake in the joint venture and NEA will hold remaining 25%.

    US Approves First Pill with Digital Tracking Device

    The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system, in an unprecedented move to ensure that patients with mental illness take the medicine prescribed for them. The drug Abilify MyCite, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia. The ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was approved for marketing in 2012.

    UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference 2017 Held in Canada

    Canada hosted the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, Canada. This conference is the largest gathering of Defence ministers dedicated to UN Peacekeeping. The goals of this conference are to measure the progress made since the 2016 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial; The main aim is to encourage new pledges from the Member States, particularly in areas where the UN faces gaps, such as rapid deployment, helicopters, and francophone units.

    Syria Signs up Paris Agreement on Climate Change

     According to the UN report, Syria officially signed up to the Paris Agreement, leaving the United States as the only country to reject the global climate-rescue pact. War-torn Syria became the 169th of 196 countries that are members of the UN climate convention to take the legal step of ratification. After Nicaragua signed up in October 2017, Syria and USA were the only countries not to have adopted the pact.

    Indonesian beauty queen crowned Miss International 2017

    Indonesia’s Kevin Lilliana was crowned Miss International 2017 at an event held at the Tokyo Dome City Hall.   Lilliana also won the award for being the best-dressed contestant.

    Saudi Arabia Recognizes Yoga as Sport

    The Saudi Arabian government approved the practice of yoga as a sports activity, claimed a social media post of Nouf Marwaai, founder of the Arab Yoga Foundation in the Saudi kingdom. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recognized the practice of Yoga as an approved sport, which can be practiced freely there.

    Virtual Nation Asgardia Launched its First Satellite Asgardia-1 into Space

    The Space Kingdom of Asgardia has launched its first satellite. This so-called ‘virtual nation’ is the pet project of Russian scientist and billionaire Igor Ashurbeyli. In 2016, he proposed a new nation which would be based in space in order to be outside of the control of nations on Earth. The Asgardia-1 satellite, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, and contains half a terabyte of data. It was launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia aboard a Cygnus spacecraft on an Orbital ATK Antares rocket.

    Founding Ceremony of International Solar Alliance Held in Germany

    A Curtain Raiser Event for the Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held in Bonn, Germany. Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was present at the event from the Indian side. The ISA was jointly launched on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and then-President of France, H.E. Francois Hollande, on the sidelines of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) at Paris, France.

    China launches worlds first fully electric cargo ship

    China launched the world’s first all-electric ship, which can travel up to 80 km with 2000-tonnes cargo after a two-hour charge. The ship is 70.5-metre-long and weighs about 600 tonnes. It was launched in Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province. The ship has been manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Limited. It is powered by a 26-tonne lithium battery and can cruise at the top speed of 12.8 km per hour.

    Kenneth Juster sworn in as new US Ambassador to India

    Kenneth Juster was sworn in as the US Ambassador to India. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Juster in Washington. His work related to India played an important role in the transformation of the US-India relationship and helped provide the foundation for the historic civil nuclear agreement between the two countries. He played a key role in enhancing the Indo-US ties under the George W Bush administration.

    Sujoy Ghosh Resigns as Jury Head of 48th International Film Festival of India

    Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh has resigned as Head of the jury of the Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IIFI). His resignation came following the elimination of the two films "Sexy Durga" and "Nude" from the final list of films. Instead of Nude, the Hindi movie Pihu by Vinod Kapri was finalized as the opening film of the festival. The jury includes 13-member jury which was led by Sujoy Ghosh.

    Dantewada hosts India 1st Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit

    To inspire, nurture and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship in tribal youth, the NITI Aayog in partnership with the US government organized India’s first Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit at Dantewada. The summit is inaugurated by MoS Science and Technology YS Chowdhary held at Dantewada in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. This event is an 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, being held in India which ensures yet another step towards tribal-centric sustainable and inclusive development.

    Thirty Seventh India International Trade Fair Begins in New Delhi

    The  37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) has begun at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 14-day annual event has been organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. This year the theme of the fair is “Startup India Standup India”. Vietnam is the Partner Country, while Kyrgyzstan is the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event.

    World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14th across the world

    World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14th across the world. The theme of World Diabetes Day 2017 is Women and diabetes - our right to a healthy future. The main aim to promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetics.

    Bangladesh Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha Resigns

    Bangladesh Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha resigned about six weeks after he went on leave amid criticism by the government over a Supreme Court verdict which scrapped Parliament's power to remove judges on grounds of misconduct and incapacity. Justice Sinha's term was scheduled to expire in January 2018. He is the first top judge of the country to step down.

    United Nations hosts first talks on use of killer robots in Geneva

    United Nations is set to open its first official talks on the use of autonomous weapons, including killer robots, at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) for 5 days, in Geneva. The meeting is chaired by Indian ambassador on disarmament, Amandeep Gill. The discussion will also include civil society and technology companies. It will be partly focused on understanding the types of weapons in the pipeline.

    India and Philippines Inks Four Agreements in Various Fields

    Four agreements were signed by India and Philippines in areas including Defence Cooperation and Logistics, agriculture, Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises-MSME and forging closer relations between the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Philippines Foreign Service Institute. The bilateral meeting was held between PM Narendra Modi and the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The bilateral component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Philippines comes after 36 years. It may be noted that in the Indo-Philippine bilateral meet, President Duterte was accompanied by five of his senior cabinet colleagues.

    Teddy Riner remains undefeated and claims tenth World title

    Teddy Riner won his tenth World title at the 2017 Judo World Championships Open in Marrakesh and remains undefeated emperor in judo. French heavyweight judo champion Teddy Riner won his 10th world title with victory at the open-weight world championships in Marrakech. He won his ninth gold medal at the world championships in Budapest two months ago. He had already become the most successful judoka of all-time with his eighth title in 2015. He has not faced defeat since losing in the final of the open-weight championships to Japanese fighter Daiki Kamikawa in September 2010.

    Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit Held in Vietnam

    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held in Da Nang, Vietnam. The theme of this meeting was ‘Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future’. The Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim countries attended this meeting. This was the first APEC meeting for several leaders including United States President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The APEC summit for 2018 will be held in Papua New Guinea.

    Fourth India-Canada Annual Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi

    A high-level delegation led by the Canadian International Trade Minister, Mr. Francois-Philippe Champagne is in India to attend the 4th Annual Ministerial Dialogue (AMD). The Indian delegation was led by the Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu. In the current round of the Ministerial Dialogue, India and Canada focused on some of the key commercial drivers to enhance the India-Canada partnership.

    UNESCO Confirms France's Audrey Azoulay as New Head

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) member states confirmed the nomination of France's former culture minister Audrey Azoulay to head the cultural agency. A 45-year-old Azoulay becomes UNESCO's second woman director general. Azoulay succeeds Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, whose eight-year term. Ms. Azoulay was France’s Minister of Culture and Communication from February 2016 to May 2017.

    Dubai police officers set a Guinness World Record by pulling3 lakh kgplane

    Dubai police officers set a Guinness World Record by pulling the world's largest passenger airliner Airbus A380 for a distance of 100 metres. The plane which weighs 3.02 lakh kg was dragged by 56 police officers to break the previous record set by 100 people who pulled a 2.18-lakh kg airplane at Hong Kong International Airport in 2011.

    Transport for London gets 2017 Bad Grammar Award by The Idler Academy in Britain

    "Transport for London" has been given the 2017 'Bad Grammar Award' by The Idler Academy in Britain. The award was instituted by the academy to highlight "the incorrect use of English by people and institutions who should know better."

    UNHCR to get Mother Teresa Award 2017 for social justice

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been named as the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, 2017 as an acknowledgement of its exceptional work worldwide. Tthe Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice, which is instituted in 2005, will be presented to the UNHCR on December 10, 2017.

    Qatar appoints four women to Shura Council for the first time

    Qatar has appointed four women to one of its most important consultative bodies, the Shura Council, for the first time in the country's history. The women appointed were named as Hessa al-Jaber, Aisha Yousef al-Mannai, Hind Abdul Rahman al-Muftah and Reem al-Mansoori. Important Person:- Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

    India Re-elected Member of UNESCO Executive Board

    India re-elected as the member of the UNESCO’s executive board, its top decision-making body. The election was held at the 39th session of the General Conference of the UNESCO in Paris, France. The General Conference consists of the representatives of the States Members of the organization. Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.

    Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis

    Uber unveiled a partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. An Uber Air journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.

    Indian Origin Priti Patel resigns as British Minister

    Britain’s first Indian-origin Cabinet Minister Priti Patel resigned as International Development Secretary due to controversies over her unauthorized secret meetings with Israeli politicians. Priti Patel’s resignation is followed by controversies around a dozen undisclosed meetings she had with other Israelis, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for which she had been forced to apologize. She was among the most active supporters of Brexit and had supported the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign in the lead in favor of Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).

    Dubai based Emirates NBD bank begins operations in India

    United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) second largest bank, Emirates NBD started operations in India by opening a branch in Mumbai. plan to invest USD 100 million capital into its Indian operations over a period of time. The Mumbai branch is Emirates NBD’s fifth international branch outside of its UAE. Emirates NBD’s Mumbai branch will offer a range of services to corporate, institutional clients and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

    US President Donald Trump to address key Apec summit in Vietnam

    US President Donald Trump and other world leaders are to address the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, with trade and growth high on the agenda. He vowed to correct a huge trade imbalance with China and Japan. The Apec Summit brings together 21 economies - the equivalent of about 60% of the world's GDP. 

    Hong Kong is World's Top City for International Visits

    Hong Kong remains the world's most visited city by international travelers in spite of strained relations with neighboring China. In a report on the top 100 city destinations that highlights the growth in Asian tourism market research firm Euromonitor International approved 25.7 million arrivals are expected in Hong Kong in 2017.

    Government Notifies Tax Avoidance Protocol Between India and New Zealand

    The Union Government notified the third protocol between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The protocol updates the existing framework of the exchange of tax-related information to a latest international standard which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.

    Bank of China Begins Operations in Pakistan

    Bank of China formally launched its operations in Pakistan, with its first branch inaugurated in Karachi. The bank would strengthen the "brotherly relations" between the two countries in the financial sector.

    Saina Nehwal Beats PV Sindhu to Become National Champion for 3rd Time

    Saina Nehwal became the national champion for the third time. She defeated PV Sindhu in world Level Ranking in the women's singles final of Senior National Badminton Championships, in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Saina played nationals thrice winning the title each time.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Hasina to inaugurate train service between Kolkata and Khulna through video conferencing

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will jointly inaugurate the long-awaited direct train-service between Kolkata and Khulna through video-conferencing. The new train service, called Bandhan Express, is the second cross-border train between the two neighboring countries. They will also launch two railway bridges, built with the Indian line of credit. 

    India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for US $119 Million

    A Financing Agreement for IBRD loan of US$ 119 million (equivalent) for the “Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) Project” was signed with the World Bank. The Objective of the project is to improve the quality of 'students’ equitable access to selected institutions and enhance governance of the higher education system in Odisha. The closing date for the project is 30th November, 2022.

    Chennai Included in UNESCO Creative Cities Network For Contribution in Music

    Among 64 cities from 44 countries have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by Director-General, Irina Bokova. Chennai is the third Indian city on the list of UNESCO Creative Cities list after Jaipur and Varanasi. After this, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 180 cities in 72 countries. Few famous cities included in the list are Auckland (New Zealand), Cairo (Egypt), Cape Town (South Africa), Istanbul (Turkey), Yamagata City (Japan).

    Guinea Becomes New Member Of International Solar Alliance

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Mamady Toure, during the course of which the latter handed over his country’s instrument accession to the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA). According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Sushma Swaraj and Toure exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation.

    India End Commonwealth Shooting Championship at Top with 20 Medals

    The Indian shooting contingent finished the Commonwealth Shooting Championship 2017 with the best tally of 20 medals. Indian shooters won a total of six gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals in the competition. On the competition's final day, Satyendra Singh and Sanjeev Rajput won a gold and a silver respectively in the men's 50m rifle three positions.

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