Current Affairs- 17 th August

Science and Technology

BDL joins hands with MBDA to establish facility for ASRAAM missiles in India

BDL joins hands with MBDA to establish facility for ASRAAM missiles in India
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has joined hands with European multinational arms manufacturer MBDA to establish a facility for final assembly, integration and testing (FAIT) of advanced short range air-to-air missiles (ASRAAM) in India.
  • The new facility will also have the potential to conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul operations of ASRAAMs.
  • On Tuesday, BDL and MBDA signed a licensing agreement to establish the manufacturing facility. As per the agreement, MBDA will transfer equipment and knowledge to BDL for the facility.

National

Rajnath Singh flags-in climb-a-thon oragnised to celebrate ‘Azadi ka Amrit’ Mahotsav

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagged-in a climb-a-thon organised by Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav in New Delhi today.
  • The climb-a-thon was organised at four smaller peaks of Sikkim Himalayas from April 20th to 25th this year.
  • The climb-a-thon under the leadership of Group Captain Jai Kishan was conducted at Mt Rhenock, Mt Frey, Mt BC Roy and Mt Palung, by a team of 125 mountaineers.
  • The National Flag measuring 7 thousand 500 square feet and weighing 75 kilograms, was hoisted atop Mt Rhenock at an altitude of 16 thousand 500 feet above sea level.
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Centre notifies RoDTEP Scheme Guidelines & Rates

Centre notifies RoDTEP Scheme Guidelines & Rates
  • The Centre has notified Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products- RoDTEP Scheme Guidelines and Rates.
  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement said that the scheme for zero rating of exports will boost the country’s exports and competitiveness in the global markets .
  • The rates of RoDTEP will cover 8555 tariff lines.
  • The Ministry said that Government is leaving no stone unturned to support domestic industry and make it more competitive in the international markets.

Army to sponsor education for youth of J&K and Ladakh in schools and institutions run by them

Army to sponsor education for youth of J&K and Ladakh in schools and institutions run by them
  • The Indian Army will sponsor undergraduate courses and school education to selected children and youth from the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in residential schools and colleges functioning under the Army Welfare Education Society (AWES) as part of Operation Sadbhavana.
  • The initiative is aimed at providing quality education to deserving candidates from the Union Territories and offer them opportunities and exposure to acquire requisite competence and capability for a secure future.
  • The colleges will offer Bachelors’ Degrees in Hospitality, Fashion Design and Nursing only  for girls.

Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launches ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’

Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launches ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’
  • Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw yesterday launched the ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’ to encourage technology solutions developed by Women Entrepreneurs that facilitate Women’s Safety and Empowerment.
  • The aim is to empower women to help them achieve their full potential. Speaking at the Start-up Women Entrepreneurs’ Awards function virtually, the Minister hoped for the enthusiastic participation in the Shri Shakti Challenge.
  • Talking about the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the country, Mr Vaishnaw said that the number of incubators and accelerators which is around 100 at present, is not sufficient for a country of over 130 crore population.

International

Bangladesh refuses US request to shelter some Afghans

Bangladesh refuses US request to shelter some Afghans
  • The government of Bangladesh has turned down a request from the US to provide temporary shelter to some people from Afghanistan in the wake of the political developments there. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen told the UNB in Dhaka that Bangladesh received a request from the US which it rejected as it is already facing problems by giving shelter to the Rohingya refugees who came to the country from Myanmar.
  • Dr. Momen said that the request from the US came through diplomatic channels from Washington and Dhaka.
  • Earlier, the Foreign Minister had said that Bangladesh will welcome any government in Afghanistan formed by the people of the country.

United States eases travel advisory for India to second-lowest level

United States eases travel advisory for India to second-lowest level
  • The United States has eased its travel advisory for India, lowering it to its second-lowest level in the wake of significant improvement in the COVID situation in the South Asian nation.
  • The US has now categorized India as Level 2 which is considered safe. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, India now has a moderate level of Covid-19.
  • Earlier this year, the US had put India in Level 4, which at that point of time was experiencing an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19

Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians resumed at Kabul airport today

Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians resumed at Kabul airport today
  • The United States said that Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan has resumed operations.
  • Indian Air Force Aircraft C-17 landed at Jamnagar Airbase with all Indian evacuees from Kabul in Afghanistan this afternoon. The IAF aircraft will reach Delhi after refueling at Jamnagar Airbase of the Indian Air Force. According to sources, the District Collector of Jamnagar along with local leaders reached the Jamnagar Airbase and arranged lunch and other requirements for the evacuees. Sources said that the IAF C-17 heavy-lift aircraft reached Jamnagar after taking a longer route via Iran to avoid the Pakistan air space. IAF evacuated Indians from the Kabul Embassy including staff, ITBP soldiers, and others.

Zambia election: Hakainde Hichilema beats President Edgar Lungu

Zambia election: Hakainde Hichilema beats President Edgar Lungu
  • Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been declared the winner of last week’s bitterly contested presidential election.
  • Mr Hichilema defeated the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, by a landslide – more than a million votes.
  • It was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency. His supporters have been celebrating on the streets of the capital, Lusaka.
  • Mr Lungu has accepted defeat and congratulated Mr Hichilema.

Sports

Raunak wins Spilimbergo Open

Raunak wins Spilimbergo Open
  • Young Indian Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani, 15, on Sunday emerged winner in the 19th Spilimbergo Open chess tournament here with seven points from nine rounds.
  • Sadhwani (Elo 2579) remained undefeated in the tourney, notching up five wins and four draws. Seeded fourth, the Indian faced five GMs in the event and beat Oskar Wieczorek of Poland and drew his games against the four others.
  • His wins came against Italian Joshuaede Cappelletto, Aron Pasti of Hungary, Lorezno Lodici of Italy and France’s Loic Travadon.

Other Important Affairs

  • United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed deep concern by accounts of human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan. In a tweet message, Mr Guterres said that Afghan people are looking to the international community for support. He said, they must not be let down.
  • Germany has stopped development aid for Afghanistan for now, the minister responsible said on Tuesday, after the Taliban swept back into power.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully carried out the Ground Run and Low-Speed Taxi Trials (LSTT) of the Hindustan-228 (VT-KNR) aircraft for Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ‘Type Certification’.
  • Israeli firefighters are battling a massive wildfire west of Jerusalem that has burned 2,000 hectares of forest over the past three days.
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has received Swarnim Vijay Mashal at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad last evening.