Daily Current Affairs – 3rd & 4th August, 2016 Wednesday & Thursday

1. India signs $1 billion deal with US for procuring four Poseidon-8I aircraft

a) India has recently signed a $1 billion deal with American defence and aerospace giant Boeing to acquire four additional Poseidon-8I long range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

b) Acquisition of these aircraft were a part of direct deal between India and Boeing made in 2009. Since last decade, India has signed defence deals with US worth around $ 15 billion.

c) P-I8 are armed with deadly harpoon missiles, lightweight torpedoes & rockets. P-I8 will provide strategic blue water and littoral undersea warfare capabilities. They will play vital role in the future with armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the Navy.

2.Muralitharan, Lohmann, Morris and Rolton to be inducted into Cricket Hall of Fame

a) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recently announced the induction of Sri-Lankan Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan along with Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris & George Lohmann in ICC’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

b) Karen Rolton is ICC Women’s World Cup winner and former captain of Australian cricket team. Arthur Morris is a member of Don Bradman’s ‘invincibles’. 19th century English fast bowler George Lohmann is well known for setting a record by taking 100 wickets in just 16 tests.

c) These players will receive commemorative caps honouring their contribution to the game of cricket.

3) Parliament passes Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015

a) Parliament has recently passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 to nab culprits with black money in the domestic economy, hidden through benami properties.

b) Benami Transaction means an arrangement where property is held by one person and amount for it is provided by another. Such properties are held for the direct or indirect benefit of the person who is paying the amount.

c) An assistant or deputy income-tax commissioner can initiate proceeding against an alleged Benami property. The case will be further referred to an adjudicating authority.

d) The beneficial owner in such benami properties will face punishment ranging from 1 -7 years.

4. India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears authored by Ravi Velloor

a) Well-known journalist Ravi Velloor has authored a book titled India Rising: Fresh Hope, New Fears.

b) This book chronicles India’s journey in the decade before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rise.It deals with many events during the Prime Ministership of Dr. Manmohan Singh and how the government handled those issues.

c) Ravi Velloor is an associate editor of Singapore newspaper The Strait Times.

5. Railway Minister flags off maiden broad-gauge train service between Agartala and Delhi

a) Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has flagged off maiden broad-gauge train service between Agartala & Delhi named as ‘Tripura Sundari Express’.

b) The train will travel from Agartala to Delhi via Guwahati & New Jalpaiguri.

c) Along with Bangladesh Railway Minister Md. Mazibul Hoque, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation stone for Agartala-Akhaura International Rail Project.

d) Bangladesh has also decided to launch a new train between Khulna & Kolkata in addition to the currently running Maitree Express between Dhaka & Kolkata.

6. Andhra Pradesh signs MoU with Japan to develop food value chain

a) A MoU was recently signed between Andhra Pradesh state government and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan to develop a food value chain in the state.

b) Through MAFF, various Japanese industries will directly invest in agriculture and food industry of Andhra Pradesh.

c) To strengthen this collaboration and enable technology transfer and investment in the state, officials of MAFF will organise road shows in Japan.

7. Lewis Hamilton wins 2016 German F1 Grand Prix

a) Veteran British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has won the 2016 German Grand Prix held in Hockenheimring.

b) It is the fourth consecutive win for Hamilton in 2016 as he earlier bagged 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, 2016 British Grand Prix and 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.

c) With this win, Hamilton has joined the league of F1 drivers who have won the German Grand Prix for at least three times throughout their careers. The others are Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Juan Manuel Fangio, and Fernando Alonso.

8. Luke Aikins became first person to jump from 25,000 feet without a parachute or wingsuit

a) While carrying out a daring stunt on live television, skydiver Luke Aikins has become the first person to jump from a plane without a parachute or wingsuit.

b) Aikins jumped from a height of 25,000 feet and flipped onto his back to land in a 30x30m net.

9. Rajya Sabha passes The 122nd Constitutional Amendment (GST) Bill, 2014

a) Rajya Sabha has approved the crucial 122nd constitutional amendment go turn the proposed GST bill into law.

b) The bill will be presented in Lok Sabha again to incorporate the amendments approved by 50% of all the state assemblies.

c) Central taxes GST will replace Central excise duty, Additional duties of excise & customs, Special additional duty of customs, Service tax and cesses and surcharges on supply of goods/services.

d) State taxes GST will subsume VAT, Central sales tax, Purchase tax, luxury tax, entry tax, entertainment tax, taxes on advertisements, lotteries, betting & gambling and state cesses & surcharges.

10. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ elected 39th Prime Minister of Nepal

a) Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ got elected as the 39th Prime Minister of Nepal. He has become Nepal’s prime minister for the 2nd time.

b) Prachanda was elected with 363 votes in favour and 210 against him. He was backed by the Nepali Congress, constituents of the United Democratic Madhesi Front and the Federal Alliance and some other smaller parties.

c) Prachanda is the CPN-Maoist (centre) chief who is known for his anti-India stance. He has promised economic development and action plan to bridge the gap between communities following the protests against the new constitution of Nepal.

11. Union Cabinet approved Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2016

a) Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, 2016 was recently approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

b) As per this bill, traffic norm violators will be penalised up to Rs. 10,000 fine for drunken driving and Rs.2 lakh for hit-and-run cases.

c) The union government has set the objective of reducing the number of accidents and fatalities by 50% in next five years.

d) The bill proposes insertion of 28 new sections focusing on issues related to improving road safety and citizen’s facilitation while dealing with the Transport department.

e) The state governments can grant exemptions in stage carriage and contract carriage permits to promote rural transport, public transport and road safety.

f) The bill brings the system of e-governance to enable online licenses, increasing validity period for driving licenses, etc.

12. Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail passes away

a) 1999 Nobel prize winner Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail has recently passed away at the age of 70.

b) He was awarded with the Nobel Prize for his work on the study of chemical reactions over immensely short time scales.

c) His techniques are used by scientists to observe the bonding and breaking of molecules in real time. Research on these observations can lead to new ways of manipulating chemical or biological reactions as well as faster electronics and ultra precise machinery.

13. Sudhanshu Mani appointed as General Manager of Integral Coach Factory

a) Sudhanshu Mani was appointed as the General Manager of Integral Coach Factory(ICF).

b) Prior to this, Mani has worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer at Rail Wheel Factory in Yelahanka, Bengaluru. He has also worked as an Advisor in the Indian Embassy in Berlin, Germany.

14. Scientists developed mechanism to recycle CO2 into usable fuel

a) Scientists from US department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have developed a mechanism to convert carbon dioxide(CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO). This carbon monoxide can be recycled into usable fuel.

b) The mechanism is based on the photosynthesis process by which plants convert CO2 into sugars.

c) The study is named as ‘Nanostructured transition metal dichalcogenide electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction in ionic liquid’.

15. Angela Ruggiero appointed Head of IOC Athletes’ Commission

a) Angela Ruggiero was recently appointed as the new chair of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

b) Ruggiero is currently at the Vice-Chair position in the Commission which acts as the voice of athletes within IOC. She will replace Claudia Bokel.

c) Angela Ruggiero is an ice hockey legend who has played the highest number of games for Team USA. She has authored a book of memoirs about her ice hockey experiences called ‘Breaking the Ice.’