“Daily Current Affairs – 07/10/2017”

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National News:-

1. Gujarat first state to slash VAT on fuel prices:-

  • Ahead of the state assembly elections, the state government has cut value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, making it the first state to follow the Centre’s directions to do so.
  • Recently, the union government cut basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre.
  • Gujarat currently levies a 28.96 per cent VAT on petrol and diesel.

2. Paryatan Parv of M/O Tourism begins across the country:-

  • The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with other Central Ministries, State Governments and Stakeholders is organizing a “Paryatan Parv” across the country from the 5th to 25th October 2017.
  • The programme is being organized with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
  • The Parv is being inaugurated at the Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture.

3. Centre launches six-year secure Himalaya project:-

  • The Centre launched a six-year project to ensure conservation of locally and globally significant biodiversity, land and forest resources in the high Himalayan ecosystem spread over four states in India.
  • Protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats is one of the key components of the project which will also focus on securing livelihoods of the people in the region and enhancing enforcement to reduce wildlife crime.
  • The project – called SECURE Himalaya – was launched by the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference.

4. Mukesh Ambani is India’s Wealthiest Man for the 10th straight year:-

  • Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani emerged as India’s wealthiest for the 10th straight year as his net worth swelled to USD 38 billion (nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore) while the wealth of 100 richest rose by 26 per cent despite economic hiccups.
  • Wipro’s Azim Premji was the distant second with a net worth of USD 19 billion, moving up two places from last year, while Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi slipped from his earlier second place to the ninth now (USD 12.1 billion) on Forbes magazine’s annual ‘India Rich List 2017’.

5. UP govt launches mass marriage scheme:-

  • The Uttar Pradesh government approved the Mukhyamantri Samoohik Vivaah Yojana, a mass marriage scheme, wherein Rs 35,000 will be spent on each couple, besides gifting them mobile phones and household items.
  • Under the scheme, mass marriages will be conducted by the social welfare department.
    Programmes in this regard will be organised by urban local bodies like nagar panchayat, nagar palika and nagar nigam, kshetra panchayats, zila panchayats, government/semi-government organisations and NGOs, which will be authorised by district magistrates of respective districts.

6. First Edition of the ASEAN India Music Festival at Purana Qila, New Delhi:-

  • Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Seher presents the first ever ASEAN-India Music Festival from October 6th-8th 2017 at Purana Quila in New Delhi. The Festival is being organised to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.
  • The theme for this commemorative year “Shared Values, Common Destiny” along with this Music Festival aims to boost cultural influences among the peoples of the ASEAN member states and India.
  • The ASEAN-India Music Festival will witness performances by musicians of 10 enigmatic bands from member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam) along with 5 prominent Indian bands.

7. Ministry of Health adjudged best for ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’, receives award:-

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been adjudged as the best department for its contribution during Swachhta Pakhwada, an inter-Ministry initiative of Swachh Bharat Mission of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • The Health Ministry observed the Swachhta Pakhwada from 1st February 2017 to 15th February 2017.
  • The award was presented to the Ministry on 2nd October 2017, the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission. Shri C K Mishra, Secretary (HFW) received the award on behalf of the Ministry.

International News:-

1. India, Ethiopia sign agreements on trade, communication:-

  • India and Ethiopia signed agreements on trade, communication and media to boost bilateral ties as President Ram Nath Kovind held talks with his Ethiopian counterpart Mulatu Teshome.
  • The aim of the ISA is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries and promote the use of solar energy.
  • Ethiopia:-

Currency: Ethiopian birr
Capital: Addis Ababa

2. Mongolian parliament confirms New Prime Minister:-

  • The Mongolian Parliament confirmed Ukhnaa Khurelsukh as the country’s new Prime Minister.
  • His confirmation comes after Jargaltulga Erdenebat was voted out of office over allegations of corruption and incompetence.
  • He is the 30th Prime Minister of Mongolia.
  • Mongolia:-
    Capital: Ulaanbaatar
    Currency: Mongolian tögrög

3. India picked as guest country at World Summit of Governments:-

  • The World Government Summit announced that India is a guest country in its upcoming gathering.
  • The Annual Gathering is scheduled for February 11 to 13, 2018.
  • Honorary guests from India will join the notable list of speakers synonymous with the World Government Summit to showcase the country’s emerging economic growth, highlight valuable knowledge, skills, and capabilities and elaborate on the country’s unique culture, according to the Summit.

4. World Teachers’ Day: 5 October:-

  • World Teachers’ Day is celebrated yearly on October 5.
  • World Teachers’ Day is celebrated around the world since 1994.
  • “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers” is the theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day.

5. Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel prize in literature 2017:-

  • British author Kazuo Ishiguro, best known for his novel “The Remains of the Day“, won the Nobel Literature Prize, the Swedish Academy.
  • The 62-year-old, “in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world,” the Academy wrote in its citation.

Economic News:-

1. India signs €300 million Finance Contract with European Investment Bank:-

  • Government of India and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the Finance Contract for lending of € 300 million for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II Line R6.
  • Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II is to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (€500 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (€300 million).
  • The first tranche of Euro 300mn was signed on October 5.
  • The project envisages extension of East-West & North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km (13.79 km underground) and 61 stations with 12 underground stations.

2. RBI forms High-level Task Force on Public Credit Registry:-

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a High-level Task Force on Public Credit Registry (PCR) for India.
  • The task force has been constituted under the chairmanship of Yeshwant M. Deosthalee.
  • It will review the current availability of information on credit, the adequacy of existing information system and identify gaps that could be filled by a PCR.

3. HDFC Life launches service bot Neo:-

  • HDFC Life Insurance Company has launched Neo — a servicing bot for Twitter that uses artificial intelligence for customer service.
  • The insurer hopes to deploy the bot in answering policy —related queries on social media.
  • This is the second bot put in operation by HDFC Life, after the launch of SPOK, which was an email bot to answer customer queries.

4. India Renewable Energy to be double by 2022:-

  • India’s renewable energy capacity will more than double by 2022 to overtake renewable expansion in the European Union for the first time, International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • The government has a target of raising it to 175 GW by 2022 including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy.
  • IEA said the solar PV and wind together represent 90 percent of India’s capacity growth as auctions yielded some of the world’s lowest prices for both technologies.

5. CCI fines Aditya Birla group firm Grasim for bid rigging:-

  • Fair trade regulator CCI imposed fines totalling ₹6.27 crore on Aditya Birla group firm Grasim Industries and two others for bid rigging Delhi Jal Board tenders for supply of a water purification product.
  • The CCI has imposed a penalty of ₹2.3 crore on Grasim, ₹2.09 crore on Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) Ltd and of ₹1.88 crore on Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd for their anti-competitive conduct, besides issuing cease and desist order against the three above companies.