Current Affairs Daily Digest – November 16 & 17 2018


1. UIDAI head Ajay Bhushan Pandey to be next Revenue Secretary

Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the head of Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI, will be the next Revenue Secretary as Hasmukh Adhia retires on November 30. Pandey will continue to hold the additional charge of Chief Executive Officer of UIDAI and Chairman of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) until further orders. A 1984 Maharashtra-cadre IAS officer, Pandey will take over from December 1.

2. Padma Shri awardee ad filmmaker Alyque Padamsee passes away at 90

Padma Shri awardee Alyque Padamsee passed away aged 90 in Mumbai. Padamsee is credited with ads like Liril soap’s waterfall girl in a green bikini, Hamara Bajaj and Kamasutra couple. He is also known for portraying Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the 1982 film ‘Gandhi’. A renowned theatre personality, Padamsee had also received a Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

3. India’s 1st engine-less train ‘Train 18’ to go on trial run

The trial run of Train 18, India’s first engine-less train, will be conducted on a standard railway track of Bareilly-Moradabad section. The fully air-conditioned 16-coach train, built at a cost of ₹100 crore in 18 months, can run at a speed of around 160 kmph. The train will reportedly cut travel time by 15% as compared to Shatabdi Express.

4. Kerala-born former Oracle product chief named head of Google Cloud

Google has announced that Kerala-born former Oracle product chief Thomas Kurian will replace Diane Greene as head of the company’s cloud division. Kurian resigned from Oracle after 22 years in September reportedly after disagreements with Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison over Oracle’s cloud business. Kurian will join Google Cloud on November 26 and assume the leadership role in early 2019.

5. India’s first elephant hospital opens in Uttar Pradesh

India’s first specialised hospital for elephants was inaugurated by Agra Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumar in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district on Friday. It offers laser therapy, hydrotherapy, quarantine facilities and has a medical hoist to lift elephants. It also has an observation deck that allows veterinary students and interns to observe elephants’ behaviour.

6. ‘Toxic’ named ‘Word of the Year 2018’ by Oxford Dictionaries

‘Toxic’ has been chosen as the ‘Word of the Year 2018’ by Oxford Dictionaries. Defining the word as “poisonous”, Oxford Dictionaries said it had become a “descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics”. First appearing in English in the mid-17th century, from the medieval Latin toxicus, the word has been used to describe workplaces, schools, relationships, cultures and stress.

7. Infosys names Jayesh Sanghrajka as interim CFO

India’s second largest IT services firm Infosys named Jayesh Sanghrajka as its interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The current CFO, MD Ranganath, step down after an 18-year career with the company. Sanghrajka has spent 13 years in Infosys over two stints and is currently Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

8. India and UK signed pact to collaborate on 5 year cancer research

The MOU was signed between Department of Biotechnology Ministry of Science & Technology, India and Cancer Research UK. It is a collaborative 5-year bilateral research initiative that focuses on affordable approaches to cancer.

9. International Day for Tolerance is observed on 16 November

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.

The year 1995 was chosen by the UNESCO to mark the year for tolerance as well as the 125th birthday anniversary of the Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi in order to promote the tolerance and non violence.

10. Yes Bank chairman Ashok Chawla resigns over corruption charges

In July, the CBI named Ashok Chawla in a chargesheet relating to the Aircel-Maxis case. Mr. Chawla has also been the chairman of the Competition Commission of India, and continues to be the chairman of the National Stock Exchange and is also on the Jet Airways board.

Yes Bank has also accepted the resignation of Vasant Gujrati, the chairman of Yes Bank’s audit committee.

11. Tajikistan inaugurated US$ 3.9 billion ‘Rogun hydro-electric project’

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon inaugurated a USD 3.9 billion hydro-electric power plant, a mega project that will enable the impoverished country to eliminate domestic energy shortages and export electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Built on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan, the plant is expected to reach a height of 335 metres (1,099 feet) in a decade, becoming the world’s tallest hydro-electric dam.

It will double energy production in the country of nearly nine million people, alleviating a long-lasting, debilitating national energy deficit. Surplus energy will be sold to neighbours such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

12. China builds an ‘Artificial Sun’ 6 times hotter than Sun’s core

Scientists at a Chinese institute announced that their nuclear fusion reactor dubbed ‘artificial sun’ reached 100 million°C, the temperature required to carry out fusion on Earth.

The record-high temperature is six times the temperature of Sun’s core of 15 million°C. The reactor is designed to mimic processes occurring at the Sun to turn hydrogen into cost-effective clean energy.

13. IISc, IIT-Delhi among top 100 in Global University Employability Ranking 2018

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore (28th position) , Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi (53rd position) and Bombay are among the top education institutions from India that have made it to the top 150 list of the ‘Global University Employability Ranking’.

The Harvard University topped the list, followed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

14. Railways plans to establish medical colleges

The Indian Railways (IR) plans to establish medical colleges to offer postgraduate courses for doctors at 10 of its existing hospitals across India. The proposal has been cleared by the Railway Board and it waits for the approval of Medical Council of India (MCI).

The Railways will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will local colleges and universities. The MoU is to offer only postgraduate courses, General MD (Doctor of Medicine), for doctors. IR is already teaching over 250 students for Diplomate National Board Course in seven Central hospitals. These hospitals are part of the ten selected hospitals by IR.

15. India International Cherry Blossom Festival Held in Meghalaya

During the programme, the Chief Minister also handed over the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Recognition Award (MEG-ERA) to Perastill R Sangma, an entrepreneur from Garo Hills. The award consists of a citation and a cash award of one lakh rupees.

November 18, 2018

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