Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 5, 2017


Niti Ayog Vice - Chairman - Rajiv Kumar

  • Economist Rajiv Kumar as the new vice-chairman of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. Rajiv Kumar will succeed Arvind Panagariya.
  • As Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog he will hold cabinet minister rank. Prime Minister is ex-ocio Chairperson of the Aayog.
  • Government also appointed Vinod Paul, head of the Pediatrics department at AIIMS as a member of the NITI Aayog

Enlighten about About Rajiv Kumar

  • He holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford and PhD from Lucknow University. He is a senior fellow at public policy think-tank Centre for Policy and Research (CPR).
  • He has authored several books on the Indian economy and India’s national security.
  • He also has served as Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • He had also held positions as Director and Chief Executive of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and chief economist of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), as well as in positions with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Indian Ministry of Industries, and Ministry of Finance

Enlighten about NITI ayog

  • Known as premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Union Government, providing both directional and policy inputs. It had replaced the 65-year old Planning Commission established in 1950

13th V ice – President of India – Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu

  • Former union minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu (68) was elected as 13th Vice President of India.
  • He will succeed Hamid Ansari, who held the position for two consecutive terms of 5 years
  • With this victory, BJP has occupied top three constitutional posts of India- President, Vice-President and Prime Minister.
  • Over 98% voting was recorded in the 2017 vice-presidential election. 98.21% polling was registered for the election with 771 out of 785 MPs casting their vote, 11 votes were found to be invalid. 381 votes was the quota set to win the polls.
  • M. Venkaiah Naidu emerged victorious by winning 516 votes, whereas opposition nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi has secured 244 votes.

Enlighten about M. Venkaiah Naidu

  • Born on July 1, 1949 in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh in farmer’s family.
  • He holds a law degree with a specialisation in international law from the Andhra University College of Law in Vishakhapatnam.
  • He entered in the mainstream politics with 1972 ‘Jai Andhra Movement’ and later joined BJP in 1980.
  • He won the assembly election twice in 1978 and 1983 from Udayagiri constituency and became the Rajya Sabha MP thrice in 1998, 2004 and 2010
  • He was elected as the national President of BJP in 2002. He served as a cabinet minister both NDA governments under the A.B Vajpayee

Enlighten about the Election of V.P

  • The Vice-President is selected through a secret ballot by the members of the electoral college consisting of the members of Both Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha)
  • System of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
  • The nominated Members of Rajya Sabha as well as of Lok Sabha are also eligible to be included in the Eeectoral college and, therefore, are entitled to participate in the election.

Science and Technology


  • ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have signed MoU to make indigenous regional positioning system-NavIC independent from the US clock system.
  • Earlier, the satellites on NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) managed by the ISRO relied on the US GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard were working at the high-precision required in satellite-based communication.

Enlighten about the MOU

  • The MoU will help the NAVIC to get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL – the timekeeper of India.
  • It will also help in making NAVIC to get fully operational in the market for commercial purposes
  • NavIC Formally called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary.
  • NavIC System consists of constellation of seven satellites (namely IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G) of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.
  • National Physical Laboratory (NPL) The NPL is part of the Council of Scientic & Industrial Research (CISR).
  • It is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.
  • It is only agency in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST) and hosts most accurate clocks in the country with accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds through the

International Organisations

AIIB –INDIA Loan agreement

  • India has signed a loan agreement with China led-Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) of $329 n for Gujarat Rural Roads Project (GRRP).
  • The objective of the GRRP is to improve the rural road connectivity and accessibility by providing all weather road connectivity to 1,060 villages in all the 33 districts of Gujarat, benefiting about 80 lakh people.
  • It will benefit the service providers such as public transport operators, hospitals, educational institutions, local markets and traders

Enlighten about Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

  • AIIB is a multilateral development bank backed by China, seen as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • It was established to fund various infrastructure projects including energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare in Asia-Pacific region.
  • It established with 57 founding members and started to function in January 2016
  • As of May 2017, the bank has 52 members.
  • It has an authorised capital of US $100 billion.
  • It is headquartered in Beijing.

Share of Votes -

  • China is the largest shareholder with 26.06% voting shares
  • India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5% voting shares followed by Russia (5.93%) and Germany (4.5%).


AGRI-UDAAN Food and Agribusiness Accelerator 2.0 programme

Objective –

  • To promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture
  • It will mentor startups and help them connect with potential investors.
  • Will help convert innovative ideas from India’s rural youth into viable businesses startups and help them connect with potential investors
  • It aims to attract the youth from rural India and elsewhere, and train them so they can add value to the farmers’ produce.
  • It is managed by ICAR-NAARM’s (Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management) technology incubator, a-IDEA along with IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation
  • Start-ups will get incubation space to run their businesses and have access to research laboratories and libraries.
  • It will also help the selected start-ups with regulatory services like company registration and environmental compliances.
  • In the first round of the programme 40 start-ups will be shortlisted who will pitch their ideas to a panel of evaluators.
  • Out of these, 8 to 12 start-ups will be selected for the final capacity building workshop. Following an intensive training lasting six months,