Current Affairs 7TH August 2018

  1. HDFC Bank raised fixed deposit rates by up to 0.6%

HDFC Bank has raised interest rate on term deposit with maturity ranging between 6 months one day to 5 years. The deposit of maturity 6-9 months would earn 6.75 per cent, 40 basis points higher than previous rate.

Fixed deposit beyond 2 years 1 days to 5 years will earn 10 basis points higher rate of interest than the previous.

The revised rate of interest is effective August 6, as per the information posted on HDFC Bank website.

Due to RBI’s increase in Repo rate by 25 bp at which it lends to other banks have increased and now increasing the interest rates of fixed deposits will add pressure to increase the lending rate.

  1. Ms. Nooyi resigned her position as CEO of PepsiCo

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi will step down on October 3 after a 12-year stint at the helm of food and beverage multinational. The 62-year-old India-born executive has spent 24 years at PepsiCo. The company announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta to succeed Nooyi as Chief Executive Officer.

 

She has been leading the company since 2006. She studied at the Madras Christian College. She went to the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, before leaving for the U.S. in 1980 for a second master’s degree at the Yale School of Management.  Ramon Laguarta, 54, will succeed Ms.Nooyi as CEO.

However, Nooyi will remain Chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. The 54-year-old Laguarta was also elected to the company’s Board of Directors, effective October 3.

3. Telangana launches life insurance scheme worth Rs 5 lakh for farmers

 

The state government of Telangana on August 6, 2018 launched the first-of-its-kind life insurance programme worth Rs 5 lakh for the farmers in the state.

The scheme, which is called Rythu Bandhu Life Insurance Bonds, is expected to benefit 2.8 million farmers and their families. The launch comes ahead of the 2019 state and parliamentary elections.

Under the programme, the families of the farmers will get the insurance amount irrespective of whether the farmer’s death is natural or accidental. The insurance amount will be given to the farmer’s family within 10 days itself. The distribution of insurance papers to the farmers would begin from August 15.

The scheme has been launched with a rough investment of Rs 650 crore. During the launch, Telangana agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas distributed the life insurance bonds to farmers in Kamareddy district. Officials from the agriculture department took up distribution in other parts of the state.

Most of the bonds are expected to be given to farmers by September 15.

  1. Venezuela’s President Maduro survives ‘assassination attempt’

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro survived an apparent assassination attempt this weekend. It reportedly involved drones packed with explosives. Now, Maduro’s government is deeply unpopular because of hyperinflation and food shortages. Reporter John Otis has more.

Maduro replaced the socialist Hugo Chávez after his death from cancer in 2013.

Maduro was addressing National Guard troops at an outdoor ceremony in Caracas on Saturday when the attack occurred. State television captured the moment.

 

  1. The world’s first-ever high energy storage device has been built in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will unveil the world’s first-ever thermal battery in his Andhra Pradesh state on Monday.

Manufactured by the Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST), the first-of-its-kind cell is aimed at boosting up renewable sources of energy production, instead of non-renewable fossil fuel-based energy generation.

The technology, which will help in mitigating carbon emissions, is best suited for grid balancing and stabilisations. It will also be used to store energy for telecommunication, commercial establishments, electric vehicles and highway charging stations. It can also be effectively used in remote locations, such as hilly terrains and islands.

 It had an estimated cost of Rs 660 crore.It has a capacity of 1,000 MW and would be enhanced to 10 GW in the next six to seven years.

6. India become 3rd Asian nation to get STA 1 status from US

India has become the first south Asian to get the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status.

This status will pave way for high-technology product sales to India, particularly in civil space and defense sectors.

After the US issued a federal notification, India became the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status.

India is also the 37th country to be designated the STA-1 status by the United States.

The federal notification, issued yesterday, gains significance as the Trump Administration made an exception for India, which is yet to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Traditionally, the US has placed only those countries in the STA-1 list who are members of the four export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG) and the NSG. India so far was listed in STA-2 category along with Albania, Hong Kong, Israel, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and Taiwan.

7.Parliament passes Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018

 

The Parliament on Monday passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which ensures stringent punishment for those convicted of raping girls below 12 years of age. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha last month and on Monday it was unanimously passed in Rajya Sabha by voice vote.

The bill will now replace the Criminal Law Ordinance, promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 22 April. In the light of an increase in incidents of rape of minors, the Union Cabinet on 21 April approved a number of measures to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 stipulates a minimum jail term of 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence, for the rape of a girl under 12 years. While perpetrators involved in the gang-rape of a girl below 12 years of age will get life imprisonment or death.

In case of rape of a girl below 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years and it is extendable to life imprisonment. The punishment for the gang-rape of a girl below 16 years of age will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of the life of the convict.

8.Rashmi: India’s first humanoid robot, can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Marathi


Ranjit Srivastava has developed Rashmi, India’s first humanoid robot, which can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri, Marathi and English.

Ranjit Srivastava claimed Rashmi as the world’s first Hindi speaking realistic humanoid robot and India’s first lip-synching robot. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems. It gives facial, eye, lips, and eyebrow expressions. It can move its neck.
Ranjit Srivastava has developed Rashmi in 2 years at a cost of Rs 50,000. Head and body of Rashmi have been developed. He said that, a complete human shape would be achieved in a month’s time.
Ranjit Srivastava is the Proprietor of Lotus Communication, a software company based in Ranchi. He has developed several software for various departments of the state government. His software have also received national recognition.

 

9.China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft: Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2

On 3rd August 2018, China successfully tested “Xingkong-2” or “Starry Sky-2”, its first waverider hypersonic aircraft that could carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems.

Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2 was launched in a target range in Northwest China.  It was launched in a rocket and was released in the air after 10 minutes. It flew independently and landed in the targeted area after making large-angle turning maneuvers. It reached an altitude of30 km with a speed of Mach 5.5-6.

It was designed by the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) along with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Waverider is a flight vehicle that flies in the atmosphere and utilises shockwaves produced by its own hypersonic flight with the air to glide at high speed. After several other tests Xingkong-2 will be handed to the People’s Liberation Army for deployment.

The trajectory of a waverider is relatively unpredictable when compared to current anti-missile defence systems.

10.Swastika Ghosh wins bronze in Hong Kong Open (table tennis)

On 4th August 2018, India’s Swastika Ghosh won a bronze medal in the junior girls’ doubles along with Singapore’s Jingyi Zhou in the 2018 Hang Seng Hong Kong Junior and Cadet Open, in Hong Kong.

Swastika Ghosh and Jingyi Zhou pair was defeated by Li Lin Jassy Tan of Singapore and Ruei Ling Wen of Taipei 2-3 in the semi finals.
In the junior boys’ doubles category, Indian pair of Raegan Alberquerque and Payas Jain pair reached pre-quarters. But they were knocked out as they lost to Yanapong Panagitgun and Supakron Pankhaoyoy of Thailand.