GA- 12 Aug 2017
12 Aug: International Youth Day
- The International Youth Day is observed across the world on 12 August to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth.
- The theme for this year is ‘Youth Building Peace‘.
- It aims at celebrating young people’s contributions in preventing conflicts and bringing about transformations along with social justice, inclusion and sustainable peace.
- It also reaffirms the important role youth can play in deterring and resolving conflicts, and are key constituents in ensuring the success of both peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
12 Aug: World Elephant Day
- The World Elephant Day is observed every year on August 12 to support various stakeholders involved in supporting various conservation policies to protect elephants.
- This year the day is celebrated with the motive of bringing the world together to help Elephants.
- It also seeks to support stakeholders involved in improving enforcement policies to prevent illegal poaching and trade in ivory, conserving elephant habitats, providing better treatment for captive elephants and reintroducing captive elephants into sanctuaries.
- The World Elephant Day was conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary-General of Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand.
MCX gets SEBI approval to launch India’s first gold options contract
- Commodity derivatives bourse Multi Commodity Exchange Ltd (MCX) has received markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) approval to launch India’s first gold options contract.
- The gold futures contract will have bi-monthly duration.
- The option will also have the existing gold kilo futures contract as its underlier.
- The launch of gold options is one of the major reforms SEBI has taken for the commodity derivatives market.
- The MCX is the country’s largest metals and energy commodity bourse.
Telangana govt launches ‘Smart Streets Lab’ in Hyderabad
- The govt of Telangana in association with the World Resources Institute (WRI) India – Ross Centre and the Indian School of Business (ISB) launched the ‘Smart Streets Lab’ programme.
- It aims to apply and figure out technology-based solutions for women and road safety in Hyderabad.
- Through the ‘Smart Streets Lab’, the state govt aims to utilize technological interventions from outside and integrate them with its various departments.
Economic Survey proposes Transparency of Rules Act
- The Second volume of Economic Survey 2016-17 has proposed Transparency of Rules Act (TORA), a progressive legislation to end any asymmetry of information regarding rules and regulations faced by an average citizen.
- The objective of TORA is to help citizens overcome an opaque mesh of complicated rules that often leads to corruption and endless litigation.
- TORA will require all government departments to mandatorily place all citizen-friendly rules on their website.
- It will make mandatory for updating all existing laws by the department.
Govt launches nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants
- The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a nationwide campaign Gaj Yatra to protect elephants.
- It was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day observed on August 12.
- The ministry also released the All India Census 2017 Report on elephants and Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants by India and Bangladesh.
- The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states across the country.
- It is 15 months campaign the will be led by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).
- The ‘Gaju’ mascot, which was released by the Ministry in 2012, will be helm of the campaign.
- The campaign aims create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan becomes first woman to raise Indian flag at IFFM2017
- Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has become the first female actor ever to hoist the Indian National Flag at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), Australia’s annual celebration of film from India and the subcontinent.
- She hoists the Indian national flag at @FedSquare celebrating the 70th yr of Indian independence.
Odisha govt and Facebook launches ‘SheMeansBusiness’ programme
- Odisha govt and social networking giant Facebook has launched ‘SheMeansBusiness’ programme to train women entrepreneurs in the state.
- It was launched in partnership between Odisha’s MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) department and Project Mission Shakti.
- Under this initiative, 25, 000 women entrepreneurs and self-help group (SHG) members from the state will be given training on digital marketing skills within by the end of 2018.
- Facebook will monitor the growth of the MSMEs in Odisha after imparting training to them in next one year.
- It will also prepare a data base of the MSMEs through registrations in which they will take the email ids and mobile numbers of entrepreneurs in all the workshops.
- The programme has been launched in 16 countries around the world including India.
- It is designed to reach out to aspiring and established women entrepreneurs to help them build and grow their business online.
US Scientists develop micropropulsion system based on liquid water
- Engineers from Purdue University in US have designed and tested a micropropulsion system called a Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array (FEMTA) thruster that uses liquid water as the propellant for orbital maneuvering of tiny satellites called CubeSats.
- CubeSats are basically miniature satellites which typically weigh around two kilograms.
- The FEMTA system uses an innovative design of small thrusters that deliver bursts of water vapor to manoeuvre the spacecraft into different orbits.
Vinay Dube joins Jet Airways as CEO
- Jet Airways appointed Vinay Dube as its chief executive officer after receipt of all requisite government and regulatory approvals.
- An Indian American, Dube’s appointment was approved by the airline’s board of directors on May 30.
- Jet Airways has been without a full-time CEO since Cramer Ball quit in February 2016.
Dilip Asbe appointed as the acting chief executive of NPCI
- National Payments Corporation of India has appointed Dilip Asbe, its chief operating officer, to act as its chief executive officer in the wake of the retirement of A. P. Hota, its founding managing director.
- Hota who had served as the MD of NPCI since its inception retired on August 10.
Milkha Singh appointed WHO’s ambassador for physical activity
- Sprint legend Milkha Singh has been appointed as the World Health Organisation’s goodwill ambassador for physical activity in South-East Asia Region (SEAR).
- As WHO goodwill ambassador, Singh, also known as ‘the Flying Sikh’, will promote WHO SEAR’s non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control action plan which seeks to reduce the level of insufficient physical activity by 10 per cent and NCDs by 25 per cent by 2025.
Vijay Nambisan, poet and writer, passes away
- Poet and writer Vijay Nambisan, who became the first All India Poetry Champion in 1988, passed away.
- He co-authored Gemini, a poetry book, with Jeet Thayil and Dom Moraes.
- He championed the ethical use of language and made an appeal to readers, writers and enthusiasts of literature in his book ‘Language as an Ethic’. He was 54 years old.
Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’ Dr Ruth Pfau dies
- Dr Ruth Pfau, a German doctor popularly known as Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’ for dedicating her life to eradicate leprosy in the country, died at a private hospital in Karachi. She was 87.
- She died after a prolonged age-related illness.
- Dr. Pfau first visited Pakistan in 1960 and was so touched by the plight of leprosy victims that she decided to stay forever in the country to treat them.
- The nun founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi in 1962 and later set up its branches in all provinces of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and treated over 50,000 families.
- Due to her tireless efforts, the World Health Organisation in 1996 declared Pakistan one of the first countries in Asia to be free of leprosy.
World’s oldest man dead in Israel at 113: media
- Israeli Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal, certified last year by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest man, died aged 113.
- Guinness World Records recognised him as the world’s oldest man in March 2016.