Daily GK Update 3rd August 2017, Important Current Affairs

 1. India and Somalia sign agreement on transfer of sentenced persons
i. India and Somalia signed a bilateral agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons. The move is step forward in deepening humanitarian cooperation between the two nations.
ii. The agreement was signed between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Yusuf Garaad Omar.

2. Cabinet approves MoU between India and BRICS countries to set up BRICS Agriculture Research Platform
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among India and various BRICS countries for establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP).
ii. During the 7th BRICS Summit held in July 2015 at Ufa in Russia, PM Modi proposed to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre which will be a gift to the entire world.

3. Cabinet scraps no-detention policy for kids of Class 5 and 8
i. The Union Cabinet approved the scrapping of the no-detention policy in schools till Class 8th. It also gave its nod to the Human Resource Development Ministry's plan of creating 20 world-class institutions in the country.
ii. An enabling provision will be made in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Amendment Bill which will allow states to detain students in class 5 and class 8. The bill will now be placed in Parliament for approval.
4. SEBI forms committee headed by T K Viswanathan on fair market conduct
i. Regulator SEBI has set up a committee on 'fair market conduct' which will suggest measures for improving surveillance of the markets and strengthen rules for trades.
ii. The panel, under the chairmanship of former law secretary T K Viswanathan, would suggest measures for improvement in PIT (Prohibition of Insider Trading) norms, PFTUP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations and mainly related to 'trading plans' and handling of 'unpublished price sensitive information' during takeovers.

5. 7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers held in Shanghai, China
i. The 7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers was held in Shanghai, China. A six-member delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
ii. Mr. Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce from China, presided over the meetings. Sitharaman discussed with her Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan, the trade deficit in India-China bilateral trade which stands at $51 billion for 2016-17 from the $71.48 billion bilateral trade between the two countries.

6. Humraaz app: Army to launch app for soldiers
i. The Indian Army has developed a mobile application named 'Humraaz' through which serving soldiers can track details like postings and promotions. Through the app, soldiers can also view their monthly salary slips and the Form 16 and also download them.
ii. The mobile app has been developed in-house by the Army and will be launched in the second week of August for prompt communication of information to junior commissioner officers and other personnels.

7. India permitted to construct Kishanganga, Ratle projects under Indus Water Treaty: World Bank
i. World Bank allowed India to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
ii. Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir.

8. Justice B.N Srikrishna to head committee to study issues related to data protection
i. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has appointed an expert panel committee that would study various issues relating to data protection in the country and will suggest a draft data protection Bill.

ii. It is a 10 member panel and it is headed by former Supreme court Judge Justice B N Srikrishna.

9. SEBI approves appointment of Dhirendra Swarup as BSE chairman
i. SEBI has approved the appointment of Dhirendra Swarup as the chairman of the board of directors of the BSE.
ii. Dhirendra Swarup, who was a public interest director at the BSE, replaces incumbent Sudhakar Rao.  Swarup was the former Chairman of the Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

10. US Senate Confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director
i. The US Senate has confirmed Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, replacing James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump.
ii. Christopher Wray was also the former high-ranking official in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud.

11. Sanjaya Baru New Secretary General of FICCI
i. Sanjaya Baru has appointed as the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
ii. Sanjay will assume the charge from 1st September 2017. He succeeds A Didar Singh, who served as Secretary General for 5 years.

12. East Bengal honours Dhanraj Pillay with 'Bharat Gaurav'
i. Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay was honored by East Bengal football club on its foundation day with its highest award, Bharat Gaurav.
ii. Former India international Subhash Bhowmick, a member of the 1970 Asian Games bronze medal-winning national football team, and former national team coach Syed Naeemuddin were honored with lifetime achievement awards.

13. Gautam Kaushik appointed as PAYBACK India's new CEO
i. Payback India has appointed Gautam Kaushik as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
ii. Gautam Kaushik will spearhead the India operations and lead all the critical business areas. Prior to joining PAYBACK, Gautam was working with American Express (AMEX) as Vice President (VP) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

14. Facebook Acquires AI Startup to Make Messenger Smarter 
i. To build out a more elaborate personal assistant for the Messenger users, Facebook has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) startup Ozlo that specialises in understanding text-based conversations.
ii. Ozlo claims that its virtual assistants can understand and provide answers to questions which do not have simple “yes” or “no” answers.

15. Government Launches e-RaKAM Portal for Selling Agri Produce
i. The Union Government launched a portal, e-RaKAM, to provide a platform to sell agricultural produce. 
ii. The platform is a digital initiative that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products.

iii. With the help of the platform, various crops whose price increases due to rainfall or bad weather conditions will be managed and get the market.

16. Pushpa Bhargava, Scientist And Activist, Dies At 89
i. Veteran molecular biologist and a vehement critic of genetically modified crops, Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, died at his home in Hyderabad. He was 89.
ii. Bhargava hold a position of the vice-chairman of the national knowledge commission during 2005-07. He is a recipient of over 100 national and international honours and awards including the Padma Bhushan in 1986. He was also honoured with the Legion d’honneur in 1998.

17. Peter O'Neill Re-elected Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
i. Peter O'Neill has been re-elected prime minister of Papua New Guinea by a newly elected parliament. 
ii. He is the leader of the People’s National Congress and represents the constituency of Ialibu-Pangia. Peter O’Neill won the parliamentary vote 60 to 46.

18. Former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev Passes Away
i. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev has passed away in Silchar, Assam. He was the son of freedom fighter Satindra Mohan Dev.
ii. Santosh served as the Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises under the UPA-1 government led by Manmohan Singh. He was the Minister of State for Communications from 1986-1988 and Minister of State for Home from 1988 to 1989.

19. Lok Sabha passes Bill to replace NPA Ordinance
i. The Lok Sabha gave its nod for a Bill to replace the NPA Ordinance promulgated in May 2017. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2017 sought to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, for this purpose.
ii. The NPA Ordinance had conferred powers on the Centre for authorising the Reserve Bank of India to issue directions to banks to initiate the insolvency resolution process in respect of a default, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.

20. Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Teams Up With Facebook, Google for Online Advertisement Push
i. Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., the herbal products manufacturer founded by yoga guru Baba Ramdev collaborates with Google and Facebook, Patanjali is for the first time investing in advertisements tailored for online audiences.
ii. Searches for Patanjali products on Google have gone up 11 times in the past four years and three-fold over the past three years.

21. Karnataka Bank to offer 5% for Saving Deposits over Rs 1 crore, 3% for Deposits Below Rs 1 lakh
i. Karnataka Bank has raised interest rates on savings bank account for large balance above Rs 1 crore to 5% while for small balances below Rs 1 lakh, the bank has reduced it to 3%. Earlier the private bank was charging 4% irrespective of the amount in the account.
ii. Karnataka Bank has said that the bank will offer 4% on deposits in savings account between Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 1 crore. For deposits between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50 lakhs, the bank will offer 3.5%. The reduction in rate will be with immediate effect.

22. Walmart India Appoints Devendra Chawla as EVP and COO
i. Wal-Mart India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., has appointed Devendra Chawla as chief operating officer and executive vice president.

ii. Chawla was CEO of the Future Consumer Limited (FCL) and Group President - Food, FMCG, Brands Future Group. Devendra will lead merchandising, marketing, and omni channel functions for Walmart India's cash and carry business.

23. MCX, Mahindra Agri sign MoU for agriculture related price information
i. Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX) and Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide agriculture related price information.
ii. This information would be available on their recently launched mobile application- ‘MyAgriGuru’, which is available for free on Google play store. This MoU would enhance the decision-making ability of the farmers further.

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