NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Supreme Court rules Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right On August 24, 2017 The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that privacy is a fundamental right because it is essential to the right to life.

  • A nine-judge Supreme Court bench declared privacy is a fundamental right that may impact everything from the government’s signature Aadhaar programme to civil liberty, rights to collection and use of personal data by Internet and financial firms. The decision can also impact restrictions on right to convert and choice of food.
    Chief Justice JS Khehar informed that ruled privacy was part of the fundamental right to life and personal liberty guaranteed to all citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution.
    The judgment will have a crucial bearing on the government’s Aadhaar scheme that collects personal details, biometrics to identify beneficiaries for accessing social benefits and government welfare scheme.
  • National programmes like Aadhaar, NATGRID, CCTNS, RSYB, DNA profiling, reproductive rights of women, privileged communications and brain mapping  involve collection of personal data, including fingerprints, iris scans, bodily samples, and their storage in electronic form. The Law Commission has recently forwarded a Bill on Human DNA profiling. All this adds to the danger of data leakage.
    Explanation of Right to privacy
  • It had the reason for collection and use of personal data of citizens for Aadhaar become a law under the Aadhaar Act of 2016.The government claimed Aadhaar was a solution to end corruption in public distribution, money laundering and terror funding.
  • Supreme Court also concerned about collection and use of data was the risk of personal information falling in the hands of private players and service providers

Sushma Swaraj to inaugurate first Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate the country’s first Videsh Bhavan, incorporate all Regional Passport Offices under one roof, at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).The formal inauguration will be on August 27,2017
Regional Passport Officer Swati Kulkarni informed that as a first pilot project, four offices of
MEA – Regional Passport Office (RPO), 
Protector of Emigrants (PoE) office, 
Branch Secretariat 
Regional Office of ICCR
The above four have been assimilated and brought under one roof at the state-of-art office.
i.Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (Retd) V.K. Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Administrator of Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Praful Patel and other dignitaries will be present on the occasion.
ii.The shifting of the RPO from its Worli premises to the Videsh Bhavan from August 14,2017 and merging of the Thane and Mumbai RPOs from August 21,2017. But the existing Passport Seva Kendras in Thane and Malad (Mumbai) will continue to function.

Karnataka MOU with Microsoft to develop India’s first Farm Price Forecasting Model

  • Karnataka Agriculture Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft India to develop a first unique “farm price forecasting model”.
  • It will be using latest IT tools to help farmers, administrators and other stakeholders to understand the market behaviour in advance.
  • It will examine related factors including weather, rainfall and external factors that impact market behaviour.
  • It is the model that helps to provide real-time market data and helping to analyze its implication on farm sector.
  • This would help in advance for farmers, policy makers and industry make informed decisions.
  • The forecast would help the government prepare in advance for market intervention if there was an indication of price crash.
  • Microsoft has already taken up 100-day work on the price behaviour of onion and tur dal.
  • Depending upon the outcome of this work, the price forecasting model would be applied to other crops later.It would also develop software for providing sowing advisory services.

Rajasthan govt accords OBC status to Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur

  • Jats of Dholpur and Bharatpur districts have been given reservation under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in Rajasthan on August 24,2017.
    The state social justice and empowerment department has issued a notification after approval from the cabinet.
    Jat community people demanded for a long time to residing in both the districts to include them in the OBC list.
    Jats residing in districts except for Dholpur and Bharatpur were getting benefit of the OBC quota.
  • About Rajasthan
    Capital: Jaipur
    CM: Vasundhra Raje
    Governor: Kalyan Singh

UIDAI launches door step Aadhar enrolment in Delhi

  • Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched door step enrolment facility with Common Services Centers (CSCs) in Delhi. It is the facility available for the elderly, patients and others who cannot travel the Aadhar centers.

Bilateral Meeting between India and Uzbekistan held in New Delhi

  • The bilateral meeting between India and Uzbekistan held in New Delhi on 23rd August 2017.
  • The Commerce and Industries Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman ,Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Trade held detailed discussions on deepening trade and economic ties between India and Uzbekistan.

Telangana government launches 181 helpline for distressed women

  • Department of Women Development and Child Welfare in collaboration with Hyderabad District Collectorate launched a Women Helpline 181 to help and assist women in distress.
  • The helpline will support women affected by harassment, trauma and violence both in private and public spaces such as family, community and workplace.
  • The helpline will function 24/7 and provide service to women affected by violence, women seeking emotional support and also provide information about women welfare schemes introduced by the State and Central government.
  • Women Helpline is being launched with the technical support of GVK-EMRI and it is financially supported by Union government.




INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Nepal launches world’s First Climate smart landscape management plan for snow leopard conservation

  • Nepal has launched its climate-smart snow leopard landscape management plan on 23rd of August 2017.
  • It has been launched to safeguard the Snow Leopard endangered species, also found in India, and its habitat.
  • Its conservation plan launched ahead of the International Snow Leopard Summit and Ecosystem Forum, which starts on 24th of Aug 2017.
  • It must cover for more substantial action in securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by 2020.

Indian Navy Band to Participate in International Military Music Festival in Moscow

  • The International Military Music Festival “Spasskaya Tower” is the parade of the best military music bands of Russia and other countries that takes place every year at Red Square in Moscow. “Spasskaya Tower” is scheduled from 24 Aug to 03 Sep2017

9th meeting of Heads of Governments of SCO dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situation
The 9th meeting of Heads of Governments of SCO dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situation, made by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh at Cholpon- Ata in Kyrgyz Republic on 24th August 2017.

About SCO
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China
The SCO member countries are: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan had joined the SCO in June in Kazakhstan capital Astana.


BUSINESS

Airports Authority of India ties up with Ola, Uber

  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) has tied up with cab aggregators Ola and Uber to allow for cab bookings from airport kiosks.
  • It will provide option for passengers to hire these cabs at select aerodromes.
  • According to this, both Ola and Uber will fulfil commute demand of passengers at the AAI-run Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow and Bhubaneswar airports.
  • This alliance with Ola and Uber will make easy for air passengers to book a cab through the booking kiosks located at the airport itself.
    It will help to reduce of waiting or moving out for such app-based cabs.

Andhra Pradesh first to implement Bharat QR digital payments to make Vizag less-cash city

  • Andhra Pradesh’s Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (EPDCL) and the Southern Power Distribution Corporation of AP Ltd (SPDCL) have become the first state-owned distribution companies in India to accept payments through Bharat QR.
  • It is the world’s first interoperable quick response code acceptance solution launched by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp project is an initiative lead by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Visa, to develop Visakhapatnam into India’s first “less–cash” city.
    The less cash Vizag initiative aims to transform Visakhapatnam into the FinTech Valley of India, and to serve as a dynamic example of a digitized city, on a global scale.
    The initiative will aim to drive access, awareness and adoption of payments focusing on underserved merchant and consumer segments, such as small merchants and women, to educate them on the benefits of digital payments.
    About Bharat QR
    Bharat QR is a secure, network-agnostic interface that enables customers to use their smartphones to make payments without exposing information like card numbers and CVV.

Tata Power synchronises its 186 MW hydro project in Georgia

Tata Power announced its joint venture company Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL) has synchronised 186 MW Shuakhevi Hydro Project in Georgia.  
Key Points:
i.AGL is a Tata Power joint venture with Norway’s Clean Energy Invest AS Norway (Clean Energy) and IFC InfraVentures (IFC), a member of the World Bank group.
ii. In the fall of 2013, plant has started and was synchronized on August 1-2, 2017, in a record time of less than four years.
iii.The shuakhevi project is the largest hydropower plant to be built in Georgia over the past 50 year.
iv.Its investment cost exceeded USD 420 million .The plant will generate about 470GWh of clean energy while lowering greenhouse gases emissions by more than 2,00,000 tonnes per year.
About Georgia
Capital: Tbilisi
President: Giorgi Margvelashvili
PM: Giorgi Kvirikashvili
Currency: Georgian Iari





APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Rajiv Bansal appointed as Air India chief

  • The government has appointed senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India on 23rd of August 2017.
  • He will serve for three months. He is additional secretary and financial adviser of the petroleum ministry.
  • He will replace Ashwani Lohani who has been appointed as the Chairman of Railway Board.
  • Bansal is from the Nagaland cadre of 1988 batch and hails from Haryana.

Ajay Vipin Nanavati appointed chairman of Syndicate Bank

  • Ajay Vipin Nanavati was appointed as the chairman of Syndicate Bank on August 21, 2017.
  • His appointment has approved as Non-Official Director/Non-Executive Chairman in Syndicate Bank for three years according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training.
  • His appointment has approved by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney retires from international football

  • Former England captain Wayne Rooney announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, ending a 14-year careerin which he became the country’s top goalscorer with 53 goals.
  • Rooney earned his first cap against Australia in 2003 at the age of 17 to become the youngest player, at that time, to represent the national side. The 31-year-old also leaves as England’s most-capped outfield player with 119 appearances.

                    BOOKS & AUTHORS

‘I am HIV positive, so what?’ book from Manipur bodybuilder Pradipkumar Singh’s inspirational fight to overcome HIV
Mr. World bronze medal-winning bodybuilder, Pradipkumar Singh from Manipur has written a book struggle against HIV AIDS with his condition and his triumphs.
I am HIV positive, so what?’ the book from Pradipkumar Singh, known for his personal struggle against HIV AIDS.





NECROLOGY

India’s oldest cinematographer Ramananda Sengupta dies at 101
India’s oldest cinematographer Ramanda Sengupta has passed away in Kolkata on 23rd of August 2017. He worked with legends like Jean Renoir, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen, Sengupta.