Daily Current Affairs: August 12, 2016, Friday

Michael Phelps wins four consecutive gold medal in same event

  • Phelps has become the first swimmer to win four consecutive gold medals in 200 m individual medley event
  • He completed the event in one minute and 54.66 seconds.

Assam is the first state to ratify  GST Bill

  • The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill has been ratified by Assam assmebly.
  • The Bill will bring into effect the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • GST seeks to integrate all of India into one-market
  • It has two components Central GST(CGST) and State GST (SGST)

Sriram Rajamani is new MD of Microsoft India Research  Lab

  • He has worked with Microsoft for 17 years with proven research skills
  • He has expertise in programming language design, security and privacy, cloud security and probabilistic programming.

Union Cabinet approves liberalization of FDI norms for NBFCs

  •  The Union Cabinet has approved liberalization of foreign investment norms for the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to improve the ease of doing business. Decision in this regard, Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
  • Cabinet has approved Foreign investment in NBFCs can now come under the automatic route provided they are regulated by any of the financial sector regulators. Entities not regulated by any of the regulators (RBI, SEBI, PFRDA etc.)/government agencies will need approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). Minimum capitalisation norms as mandated under FDI policy have been eliminated as most of the regulators have already fixed minimum capitalisation norms.

What is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)?

  • A NBFC is a financial institution that provides banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank, i.e. one that does not hold a banking license. It is established as a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 but its operations are often still covered under a country’s banking regulations.
  • NBFCs may be engaged in the business of loans and credit facilities, savings products, investments and money transfer services. What is difference between banks and NBFCs? NBFCs business activities are akin to that of banks as they can lend and make investments; however, there are a few differences between them. NBFCs cannot accept demand deposits. They cannot issue cheques as they do not form part of the payment and settlement system. Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.

China launches Gaofen-3 high-resolution radar imaging satellite

  •  China has successfully launched a new high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) dubbed as Gaofen-3. It was launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province on the back of a Long March 4C rocket. It was 233rd flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket. The Gaofen-3 satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), under guidance of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CATC).

Important Facts:

  • The Gaofen-3 satellite is China’s first low orbit remote sensing satellite. 
  • It has lifespan of eight years. It will provide high-definition remote sensing data for its users over long periods of time.
  • It has 12 imaging modes that will provide high-definition observation satellite is capable of taking wide pictures of earth and photographing detailed scenarios of specific areas.
  • The Gaofen-3 satellite is China’s first SAR imaging satellite. It is accurate to one meter in distance and covers the globe with an all-weather 24-hour observation service.
  • It will be used for disaster warning, water resource assessments, weather forecasting and the protection of maritime rights.

CCEA gives nod to development of AUSC technology for thermal power plants

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CEEA) has given its approval for the development of Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) technology for thermal power plants. In this regard, CCEA has approved a one-time grant of 900 crore rupees spread over three years for an R&D project for the development of AUSC technology for thermal power plants. The project was proposed by a consortium of three government entities to reduce coal consumption as well as Carbon di-oxide (CO2) emission. They are:
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL),
  • Indira Gandhi Centre of Atomic Research (IGCAR)
  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Important Facts:

  • AUSC technology will enable Indian industries to design, manufacture and commission higher efficiency coal-fired power plants with indigenously developed technology.
  • This will be the first time large power plant equipment will be manufactured without any technological collaboration or licensing agreement with foreign companies. Use of this technology in all future large coal-fired power plants will ensure energy security for the country for a longer period as well as greener environment.

India’s first repository on Tigers to be set up in Dehradun

  • India’s first repository on tigers will be set up by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under its new Tiger Cell at Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The cell will have a database of tigers from over 50 reserves around the country along with their DNA and stripes samples to keep a track on their numbers.
  • If a tiger skin is recovered, the tiger cell will help in locating the area from where it came from. The purpose of the repository is to aid conservation efforts by keeping an update on tiger numbers as well as tracking poaching incidents throughout the country. The tiger cell will be funded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment. It will also give clearance to development projects in areas with tiger population.

Stay tuned to PaGaLGuY for more updates on Current Affairs, as we will be updating the page at regular intervals.
Here is a list of last four articles on Current Affairs and the Monthly Bullet on Current Affairs

Current Affairs Bullet for August 11

Current Affairs Bullet for August 10

Current Affairs Bullet for August 9

Current Affairs Bullet for August 8

Current Affairs Bullet for August 7

Monthly Bullet for July 2016

Article has been updated at 6 pm.