The Daily Brief – 26th August 2017

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The Daily Briefs are a comprehensive update of current affairs for the day. If you’d like to receive updates for current affairs every day, you’ll need to subscribe by entering your email address at the right side of this page. The previous Briefs can be accessed at the archives here. You can thank Sayan Bhattacharya in the comments below for this brief! Also, check out our test series!

  • Several norms of a flagship regional flying scheme have been eased by Union Civil Aviation Ministry to attract more airlines and helicopter operators to participate in trgional connectivity scheme. The scheme is called Ude Desh Ke Aam Nagrik(UDAN), and the new norms of the same were announced during its second round of bidding the results of which will be announced in November.
  • Delicate mosses found in rocks and trees of cities can be used as low-cost bioindicator to monitor urban pollution and to measure the impact of atmospheric change according to Japanese scientists. As a bioindicator, mosses respond to pollution or drought-stress by changing its shape, density or disappearing.  This characteristic will allow scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations and air pollution.
  • Software giant Microsoft has launched Project Brainwave, a deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI). Its launch is important as the real-time AI has increasingly became important as cloud infrastructures process live data streams, whether they be videos, sensor streams, search queries or interactions with users.
  • Ashwini Lohani has been appointed as the new chairman of Railway Board (Ministry of Railways) by the Union Government after A.K. Mital resigned from the post, post Puri-Haridwar express derailment. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India.

    Nandan Nilekani
  • Nandan Nilekani has been appointed as the New Chairman of the software giant Infosys. Nilekani has replaced R Seshasayee, who resigned as chairman of the board. Vishal Sikka stepped down as CEO of the company recently.
  • Karnataka Agriculture Departmenthas signed an MoU with Microsoft India to develop a unique farm price forecasting model” using latest IT tools in a bid to help farmers, administrators and other stakeholders to understand the market behaviour in advance. The proposed initiative is the first-of-its-kind in the country as it is a “multi-variate” one that takes into consideration various factors beyond the conventional supply-demand equation while forecasting the prices for crops.
  • Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award for the 2016/17 season. He received the award at the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco. This is 3rd UEFA Player of the year and second consecutive trophy.
  • UIDAIhas joined hands with CSC India for launching door step enrolment facility in the national capital for the elderly, patients and others who cannot travel the Aadhar centers. The van was flagged off by Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The van will provide Aadhaar enrolment service at door step in Delhi area.
  • Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has penned a book titled ‘I Do What I Do: On Reform, Rhetoric & Resolve’. Raghuram Rajan explains economic concepts and talks of issues like tolerance and connection between political freedom and prosperity in his new book.
  • The International Military Music Festival “Spasskaya Tower”is the parade of the best military music bands of Russia and other countries that takes place every year at Red Square in Moscow. This time Indian Navy Band is participating in the festival. Every year about 1500 musicians, military men and other artists from around 40 countries perform at the “Spasskaya Tower”. The Festival is duly considered one of the largest international events in Russia and attracts tremendous response of the general public.
  • Tony de Brum, the former Marshall Islands foreign minister and its climate ambassador who became a leading advocate for the landmark Paris Climate Agreement and an internationally recognised voice in the fight against climate change, has died aged 72.
  • Country’s oldest cinematographer Ramanda Sengupta, who worked with legends like Jean Renoir, Ritwik Ghatak, and Mrinal Sen, died in Kolkata, West Bengal. Sengupta was 101 years old. He got his first break in 1938 when he joined Film Corporation of India in Kolkata (then Calcutta) as an assistant cameraman. His first film as a full-time cinematographer was in Purbaraag directed by Ardhendu Mukherjee in 1946.

    Today’s Quiz

    1) What is Microsoft’s newest acceleration platform for Artificial Intelligence called?

    2) Who was recently appointed as the new chairman of the Railway board?

    3) Who was recently appointed as the new chairman of Infosys?

    4) Who won the UEFA Men’s player of the year award 2017?

    5) Which Tony De Brum, a leading advocate at the Paris Peace Agreement hail from?

    6) Who is India’s oldest cinematographer who recently passed away?


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