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Important Current Affairs 20th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 20th August 2017

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Union Home Minister inaugurates office and residential premises of NIA in Lucknow

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the office and residential premises of National Investigation Agency (NIA) at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP) today.
●    The Chief Minister of UP, Yogi Adityanath was also present on the occasion. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh said that NIA has been playing a vital role in curbing terrorism. 
●    He asserted that incidents pertaining to terrorism and naxalism have come down in last three years. 
●    He said that being an autonomous body, NIA performs its duties without any interference. 
●    The NIA has played a crucial role in checking the funding to terrorism, said Shri Rajnath Singh.
●    Addressing in the programme, Yogi Adityanath said that ATS of the State has been coordinating with NIA to curb terrorism related incidents.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi flags off 1st batch of 300 Haj pilgrims from Mumbai Airport

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that the Central Government had completed all the entire process related to Haj 2017 well in time to ensure best facilities to Haj pilgrims.
●    Shri Naqvi flagged off the first batch of 300 Haj pilgrims from Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here today.
●    Shri Naqvi congratulated to Haj pilgrims and extended best wishes to them for their pilgrimage. 
●    A total of 5600 Haj pilgrims are going to Haj this year from Mumbai.
●    Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2017 has been completely successful till date as the Central Government had completed preparations for Haj this year well before in time to ensure smooth pilgrimage.

CEOs Conference at New Delhi 

A two day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference of all States and Union Territories commenced in New Delhi today. 
●    It was inaugurated by Shri. A.K. Joti, Chief Election Commissioner of India and Shri. O.P. Rawat, Election Commissioner of India.
●    Addressing the Chief Electoral Officers of the States and Union Territories, Shri. A.K. Joti, Chief Election Commissioner stressed on the need of providing E-services to stakeholders and emphasised the requirement to develop E-Payment gateways for various election services of Election commission of India. 
●    He underlined the need for extensive training programmes on VVPAT as ECI has decided to conduct all future elections using VVPAT along with EVMs. 
●    CEC also stated that “SVEEP” be developed as core area of election management.
●    Shri. O.P.Rawat, Election Commissioner of India invoked all CEOs to avail the opportunity to share the experiences and good practices of each other and learn election management related issues from senior practitioners. 
●    He stated that all electoral practitioners must work together to reach the higher scale on electoral integrity with further strengthening Indian democracy.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2017 passed in the Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced last month to replace the existing ordinance promulgated in May this year to empower the Reserve Bank of India to deal with stressed assets.
●    Replying to a debate on the bill on Thursday, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the process of resolution of bad loans will start shortly.
●    The finance minister said the Reserve Bank of India had already identified top 12 loan defaulters and more cases will be taken up for resolution.
●    The ordinance had provided for more powers to the RBI to deal with stressed assets. “No one can claim the right of equality in not paying banks back. 
●    RBI has taken up some difficult cases... I am sure they will take up more,” he added.

TRAI to impose penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on telcos

Telecom regulator TRAI today issued stringent guidelines to curb call drops along with a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on service providers if they fail to meet the benchmark for three consecutive quarters. 
●    “We have proposed financial disincentive in the range of Rs 1-5 lakh. 
●    It is a graded penalty system depending on the performance of a network,” TRAI Chairman RS Sharma told reporters here.
●    TRAI Secretary (Acting) SK Gupta said if an operator fails to meet call drop benchmark in consecutive quarter, the penalty amount will be increased 1.5 times and in the third consecutive month it will doubled. 
●    “However, there is cap of Rs 10 lakh on financial disincentive,” Gupta said. Under the previous Quality of Service Rule, penalty on call drop was Rs 50,000 per violation. 
●    After the revision, the regulator has made measurement of call drop rate more granular from circle level to mobile towers in a circle.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: OBITUARY

Former Union minister and BJP MP Sanwar Lal Jat passes away

Sanwar Lal Jat, former Union minister and BJP MP from Ajmer, passed away in New Delhi on 9 August 2017. He was 62.
●    The minister was being treated at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital. 
●    He had suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a meeting chaired by BJP party president Amit Shah at Jaipur in July, following which he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the city’s Sawai Man Singh Hospital.
●    However, he had to be airlifted to AIIMS from Jaipur after his condition turned critical. 
●    He slipped into coma shortly later.  
●    According to the doctors at AIIMS, the cardiac arrest had caused damage to Jat’s brain and he had to be put on a ventilator.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: SPORTS

Manju Kumari bags bronze at Junior World Wrestling Championship

Manju Kumari was the lone Indian woman to have won a medal in women’s wrestling after clinching a bronze in 59kg category at the Junior World Wrestling Championship in Tampere, Finland here.
●    Manju registered a 2-0 victory over Ilona Prokopiuk of Ukraine in her bronze medal play-off bout last night to finish on the podium.
●    En-route to her third-place finish, Manju defeated Aleksandrina Nikolaeva Kasinova of Bulgaria 5-1 in the 1/8 stage before she was outclassed 0-10 by Japan’s Yuzuru Kumano in the quarterfinals.
●    However, with the Japanese girl advancing to the final of 59kg, Manju got another life in the form of repechage and she did not waste the opportunity.

Current Affairs 20th August 2017: DISCOVERY 

Scientists develop world’s first plant-based Zika vaccine

Zika triggered travel warnings, with pregnant women being urged to postpone non-essential trips to affected countries during a surge in cases which revealed the mosquito-borne virus could cause birth defects.
●    Governments, academic laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies invested heavily in stopping the virus.
●    The committed public health efforts paid off, with Brazil declaring an end to its Zika emergency in May after a drop in cases.
●    However the World Health Organisation has warned that tens of millions of people could still be infected in the Americas in the coming years.
●    There are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics available to combat Zika, although a $100m US government-led clinical trial is underway.

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