Current Affairs: Daily GK Update 31st August 2017

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i. India and the European Union have agreed to strengthen cooperation between their security and intelligence agencies to combat the threat of terrorism and check terror financing.
ii. During the 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue in New Delhi, the two sides deliberated extensively on combating terror financing and challenges posed by radicalization.

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 European countries.
  • The European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
  • In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

i. The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch PSLV-C39 carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1H). The satellite will lift off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, on board the rocket PSLV C39.
ii. The satellite IRNSS-1H is a part of the indigenous navigation system called ‘NavIC,’ that was initially planned to have a constellation of seven satellites. ISRO's most trusted work horse PSLV, in its forty-first flight (PSLV-C39), will carry and put the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1H into the required orbit.

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • The current chairman of ISRO is A. S. Kiran Kumar. 
  • ISRO was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • Satish Dhawan Space Centre is located in Sriharikota Andhra Pradesh.

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The full list of Cabinet Approvals is given as follows.
ii. Cabinet has approved-
  1. MoU on "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund"- India and Israel will make a contribution of four million US Dollars each for the Fund, both equivalent amount, annually for five years. The Innovation Fund will be governed by a joint Board which will consist of four members from each country.
  2. Promulgation of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017- The approval would allow to increase the maximum rate at which the Compensation Cess can be levied from 15% to 25% on motor vehicles for transport of not more than thirteen persons, including the driver.
  3. MoU with Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan.
  4. MoU between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

i. Unicity International, headquartered in Orem, Utah, United States has launched world's first ever Genomeceutical (gene controlling) range of products to India.

ii. DNA contains the biological code that defines every single protein in the body. DNA undergoes a process called transcription or gene expression that creates a "messenger" molecule, telling the body to make a specific protein.

i. According to the External Affairs Ministry, Former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan has been appointed High Commissioner to Cyprus. His specialization is cybersecurity.
ii. He had been CBI Director from January 1999 to April 2001. The Supreme Court appointed him head of the Anti-Ragging Monitoring Committee in 2006.

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus.
  • Nicos Anastasiades is the President of Cyprus.
  • The current Minister of External Affairs is Sushma Swaraj.

i. Mr. Rajiv Gauba took over as Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mr. Gauba joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Officer on Special Duty on June 27, 2017 and took charge as the Union Home Secretary upon the superannuation of Shri Rajiv Mehrishi.
ii. Mr. Gauba also served in the International Monetary Fund representing the country for four years on the Board of IMF.

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • Mr. Rajnath Singh is the Home Minister of India.

i. Badminton ace PV Sindhu, who recently won Silver at the World Championship, was appointed the first brand ambassador of tyre maker Bridgestone India.
ii. The shuttler has signed a three year deal with Bridgestone India, a subsidiary of Bridgestone which is one of the sponsors for the Olympics 2020 in Japan. The Padma Shri recipient became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Important Takeaways From Above News-
  • Registered Office of Bridgestone India Private Limited is in Pune, Maharashtra.

i. State-owned NTPC has signed a term loan agreement for Rs. 3,000 crore with ICICI Bank for partially funding its capital expenditure.
ii. The loan which has a door-to-door tenure of 15 years will be utilized to part finance the capital expenditure of NTPC. NTPC had commissioned 3,845 MW capacity and added 2,190 MW to its commercial capacity during 2016-17.

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • Gurdeep Singh is the MD and Chairman of NTPC.

i. Gobindobhog rice, a speciality from Burdwan district of West Bengal, has got the geographical indication (GI) status.
ii. The state government had applied for GI status for Gobindobhog rice on August 24, 2015. The region of Burdwan (now divided into the districts of east and west Burdwan) is known as the rice bowl of Bengal.

Important Takeaways From Above News-
  • Mamata Banerjee is the CM of West Bengal.
  • Keshari Nath Tripathi is the Governor of West Bengal.

i. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, has been given scheduled bank status by RBI.
ii. Currently, Ujjivan SFB has 65 full-fledged brick and mortar branches in eight states and two Union Territories. Ujjivan SFB commenced its operations as a Small Finance Bank with effect from February 1, 2017. 

Important Takeaways from Above News-
  • Samit Ghosh is the MD & CEO of Ujjivan SFB.
  • It is Headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

11. Kuldip Kaura is new interim CEO of Vedanta Ltd

i. Metal and mining major Vedanta Ltd appointed Kuldip Kaura as its interim CEO. 
ii. Kaura succeeds Tom Albanese, who steps down as CEO. The company has a presence across India, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, and Ireland.

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