“Daily Current Affairs – 14/09/2017”

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International News:-

1)Air Forces of Pakistan, China Begin ‘Shaheen VI’ Exercises:-

  • The Pakistan Air Force and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Air Force (PLAAF) began joint training exercises dubbed ‘Shaheen VI’ in China.
  • The exercises will run until September 27.According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency China had sent a wide range of aerial assets and troops.
  • The Shaheen series of exercises between the two countries, who are close partners, began in March 2011 and has since gone through five major iterations.

2)Third Eastern Economic Forum held in Russia:-

  • India participated in the third Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), which was held in Vladivostok, Russia at the invitation of the Russian Federation.
  • India’s External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj attended the meeting.
    She presented a clear vision of India’s role and support in the development of the Russian Far East region as a Strategic Partner of Moscow.

Important Facts:-

  • Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia.
  • Russia’s capital is Moscow while its currency is Ruble.
  • Vladimir Putin is Russia’s President while Dmitry Medvedev is the Prime Minister.

3)India up 2 spots on WEF Human Capital Index:-

  • India has moved up two spots on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Human Capital Index 2017.
  • The country ranks 103rd of 130 countries, up from 105th the year before.
    Norway leads the latest rankings, followed by Finland, Switzerland, the US and Denmark.
  • India ranks even lower than Kenya (78th), Myanmar (89th) and Ghana (72nd).

Important Facts:-

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, headquartered in Cologny, Geneva.
  • It was founded in 1971. Klaus Schwab is the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
  • The Forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos.

National News:-

1)NTPC to phase out 1,460 MW of old depreciated plants:-

  • NTPC plans to phase out 1,460 MW of old depreciated plants over time. One plant of 460 MW at Talcher (Odisha) and another plant of 1,000 MW at Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh) will be retired.
  • According to K Biswal, Director (Finance), NTPC will be setting up two plants – of 1,320 MW each – in both these places, ie, Talcher and Singrauli.
  • The Talcher unit is expected to come up by 2021, while tenders have been floated for the Singrauli plant.
  • With approximately Rs. 7 crore being spent for setting up each MW of power, the investment across these projects is expected to be in the tune of Rs. 20,000 crore.

2)Assam to provide skill development training to surrendered militants:-

  • In a positive move, Assam government will empower as many as 30 thousand surrendered militants with the much needed skills to tread the journey of life the legal and lawful way.
  • Mission Director of Assam Skill Development, A P Tiwari said that training will also be given to jail inmates.
  • He said that another 24 thousand youths in Assam will be trained under the Prime Minister Kaushal Vikash Yojna.

Important Facts:-

  • Assam is a state in northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak Valley.
  • Assam is known for Assam tea and Assam silk.
    Sarbananda Sonowal is the Chief Minister of Assam while Banwari Lal Purohit is its Governor.
  • Dispur is the capital of Assam.
  • Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park are situated in Assam.

3)Mamata’s Cabinet Approves Renaming of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’:-

  • The West Bengal government cleared a proposal to rename the state ‘Bangla’ and will now send a proposal to the Centre for the name change.
  • The Mamata Banerjee government had earlier too sent a proposal for the change of name, but it was rejected by the central government.
  • The earlier proposal had three different names for the state. TMC members said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wants to rename West Bengal because the state figures at the bottom of lists prepared in alphabetical order in any official circular of the central government. Also, it will help MPs from the state in the Parliament to raise issues in the first half of session.
  • If the Parliament clears its, then West Bengal’s position will be raised to four from 28 currently.

4)India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata:-

  • The Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) Shri Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated India’s first State of art virology laboratory at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata.
  • The laboratory, established at a cost of Rs. 8 crore is the only one in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chickunguniya and swine flu.
  • New drugs and technologies would also be developed here to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.

5)Cabinet approves the scheme ‘Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund’:-

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” (DIDF) with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore during the period from 2017-18 to 2028-29.
  • Consequent to the Union Budget 2017-18 announcement, Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund will be set up as a corpus of Rs 8004 crore with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • Initiation and setting up of Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) at a total scheme outlay of Rs 10881 crore.
  • Out of Rs 10881 crore of financial outlay for project components of DIDF, Rs 8004 crore shall be loan from NABARD to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC), Rs 2001 crore shall be end borrowers contribution, Rs 12 crore would be NDDB/NCDC‘s share and Rs 864 crore shall be contributed by DADF towards interest subvention.

6)Ravi Shankar Prasad launches the Nation-Wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack:-

  • Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a nation-wide hackathon #OpenGovDataHack.
  • As part of the Startup Eco-system Development program, NIC and IAMAI have collaborated to conduct Nation Wide Hackathon #OpenGovDataHack across seven states of India.
  • It aims to Support & Showcase potentially great Ideas/Talent from Inner India by reaching out in their own State/City (7 Cities).

7)Conference on ‘Sustainable Landscapes & Forest Ecosystems: Theory to Practice’:-

  • Inaugurating a two-day conference on ‘Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice’, the Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan urged the gathering to deliberate and come out with out-of-the-box ideas and solutions on increasing the forest cover much beyond the stipulated 33 per cent.
  • ‘Innovation is the need of the hour. Innovation co-efficient now is more important than any other co-efficient’, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

Economic News:-

1)HDFC Bank pips TCS to become 2nd most valuable company of India:-

  • HDFC Bank surpassed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become the country’s second most valued firm in terms of market valuation.
  • Shares of HDFC Bank have surged nearly 53 per cent so far this year, while that of TCS rose nearly 5 per cent.
  • Reliance Industries Ltd is the country’s most valued firm with a market cap of Rs 5,33,818.72 crore followed by HDFC Bank, TCS, ITC (Rs 3,35,993.75 crore) and HDFC Ltd (Rs 2,84,580.02 crore) in top five list.

2)Cabinet nod for separation of BSNL’s tower business:-

  • The Cabinet approved hiving off the mobile tower assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) into a separate company, fully owned by BSNL.
  • It has authorised BSNL to monetise its telecom tower infrastructure with the formation of a separate subsidiary, said an official release.
  • BSNL owns 66,000 of the 4.42 lakh towers in the country.
  • The government is looking at external tenancies and garnering revenues for the new, ‘dedicated’ tower company of BSNL.

3)All 1.55 lakh post offices to offer payments bank service:-

  • India Post Payments Bank is gearing up to provide its financial services through all of 1.55 lakh post offices and 3 lakh employees by the end of 2018 — which will create India’s second-largest payments bank in terms of reach.
  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) Chief Executive Officer AP Singh, this at an event organised by United Nations on Financial Inclusion in New Delhi yesterday. That India Post will have bank footprint in every district by March 2018.
  • Payments banks can accept deposits of up to one lakh rupees per account from individuals and small businesses.
  • The new model of banking allows mobile firms, supermarket chains and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses.