Daily Current Affairs (English) - 06.08.2018

National

HIMACHAL PRADESH LAUNCHES SHAUR NAHIN MOBILE APPLICATION

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched ‘horn not ok’ awareness campaign and ‘shaur nahin’ (no noise) mobile application in state capital Shimla. The campaign aims to spread awareness of unnecessary blowing horn as it creates unnecessary noise pollution and is harmful to health. The first phase of campaign has been launched in Shimla and Manali.

Shaur Nahin mobile app: The mobile application is initiative of department of environment science and technology in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC), Himachal Pradesh. The app will enable general public to report cases of noise pollution. It has settings for two types of users general public and officers both of whom will be authenticated with an one-time password (OTP). Complaints received through this app will be immediately made available to concerned deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, sub-divisional magistrate and sub-divisional police officer who can later respond with the action taken report on the application itself.

This is an initiative of the Department of Atmosphere Science Division and how it is in connection with the nationwide information science center, Himachal Pradesh.The app will allow most people to report noise pollution conditions. There will be two types of customers in it: the general public and the officials, each of which can be certified once with the password (OTP).Complaints may be made to the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, Sub-Divisional Judiciary and Sub-Divisional Police Officer.


GOVT. DISTRIBUTES 5 CRORE GAS CONNECTIONS

The government on Friday gave out the 5-croreth free LPG connection, achieving the target almost eight months ahead of schedule.Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan handed over papers for an LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana -- which was launched on May 1, 2016 with a target to give 5 crore connections by March 2019 -- to a Muslim lady Takrdiran who is a resident of Sangam Vihar of the national capital.Speaking on the occasion, Mahajan said the scheme has not just saved eyes and money of the poor women but also their "honour" as they would now not be required to venture into forests to collect firewood.She, however, wanted more of 5-kg cylinders be given rather than 14.2-kg prevalent now to help poor buy the fuel. the target has been achieved in 27 months instead of 35 months.As many as 3 crore additional free cooking gas (LPG) connections will be given to poor households by March 2020, he said.

Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1,600 to state-owned fuel retailers for every free LPG gas connection that they install in poor rural households. This subsidy is intended to cover the security fee for the cylinder and the fitting charges.The beneficiary has to buy her own cooking stove. To reduce the burden, the scheme allows beneficiaries to pay for the stove and the first refill in monthly installments. However, the cost of all subsequent refills has to be borne by the beneficiary household.the most number of LPG connections were given in Uttar Pradesh, where 87 lakh connections were released, followed by West Bengal (67 lakh), Bihar (61 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (45 lakh), Rajasthan (37 lakh) and Odisha (30 lakh).
 

Trade & Economy

MAURITIUS’S SBM GETS RBI APPROVAL FOR SUBSIDIARY

State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) is likely to become the first foreign bank to open a wholly-owned subsidiary almost four years after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed overseas lenders to open local units in India.SBM is awaiting final approval from RBI and has laid out an ambitious business plan for what will be the largest market for the government-owned lender from the island nation. “We have identified 25 to 30 SME and retail clusters and our distribution is targeted around that. We expect to start 30 to 40 branches within five years in tune with the different branch formats allowed by the RBI,“ said Siby Sebastian, CEO at SBM India.SBM has already registered a local subsidiary, called SBM (India) Ltd, which will manage the local branches in the country. SBM has operations in Madagascar and Seychelles besides Mauritius. Earlier this year, it completed the acquisition of Fidelity Bank in Kenya as part of its expansion in Africa.
 

Science & Technology

WORLD'S 1ST HINDI-SPEAKING ROBOT 'RASHMI'

Ranchi man Ranjit Srivastava has developed Indian version of ‘Sophia,’ a social humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong based company, named Rashmi which can speak Hindi, Bhojpuri and Marathi along with English. The developer claimed it as 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.

“Rashmi functions under a specially designed software and linguistic interpretation system developed by me. The LI programme analyses the feeling of the conversation while AI program analyses the conversation to extract the response from the device,” Srivastava said. Experts termed it an incredible achievement. “I have not heard of any Hindi speaking robot in India. Though I have not seen the robot, it is incredible if it was developed,” said Dr Somnath Chattopadhyaya, associate professor of IIT-Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, who is also the dean of innovation and incubation. A master of business administration (MBA), Srivastava, who has expertise in software development of more than 15 years, has developed the speaking robot in two years at a meager cost of Rs 50,000.

“It will take one month more to give it complete shape of a human. Head and body have been developed and they are functioning properly. Process is on to add hands and legs to it,” Srivastava said. Proprietor of Lotus Communication, a Ranchi based software company, Srivastava, said the robot has many features besides the lip-syncing. It gives facial, eye, lips, and eyebrow expressions and it can move its neck.

Sports

GAGANJEET BHULLAR WINS HIS MAIDEN EUROPEAN TOUR TITLE

A brilliant chip-in eagle at the 17th hole propelled Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar to claim his maiden European Tour title with a one-stroke win over a charging Anthony Quayle of Australia at the Fiji International here on Sunday.The 30-year-old fired a sizzling six-under 66 in the final round but it was his eagle at the second last hole which earned him the lead over Quayle, who broke the course record with a nine-under 63 at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.It was Bhullar’s first win on the European Tour, ninth Asian Tour and 10th crown overall. He thus became the most successful Indian player on Asian Tour and the first Indian to win on Australasia Tour. Bhullar joined Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri as the only Indians to win on the European Tour as this was sanctioned by Asian, Australasia and European Tours.