“Daily Current Affairs – 24/09/2017”

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National News:-

1. PM launches various projects in Varanasi:-

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, dedicated to the nation, the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts – at Varanasi.
  • The Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone of this Centre in November 2014.
    Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the Mahamana Express through a video link. This train will connect Varanasi with Surat and Vadodara in Gujarat.
  • The Prime Minister dedicated a Jal Ambulance service, and a Jal Shav Vahan service to the people of Varanasi, through a video link.
  • He distributed tool-kits and solar lamps to weavers and their children.

2. Empowering the Soldier by Project Yash Vidya:-

  • A MoU was signed by Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar and Prof. E Vayunandan, Vice Chancellor, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nasik on 21 Sep 2017 at New Delhi.
  • The Bachelor’s degree Programme designed for the Army Personnel gives special recognition to the in-service training/Army courses completed and by providing exemption from studying certain courses.
  • The University will award Diploma in Self Empowerment and a Bachelors Degree in Arts or Commerce under PROJECT YASH VIDYA enabling them with academic qualifications for better future.

3. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana:-

  • The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harshvardhan launched “Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana” which will experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
  • Addressing the press, the Minister said that this project has been inspired by teachings and ideals of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay whose birth centenary is being celebrated this year.

4. NITI Aayog and Govt. of Assam launches SATH programme:-

  • The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Assam and NITI Aayog organized a state consultative workshop in Guwahati.
  • The consultation marked the launch of program called SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, a joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, which aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.
  • NITI Aayog selected the three states Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka through a three stage challenge-process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms.

5. Himachal Pradesh: Country’s first electric bus service launched:-

  • In a boost for green transport in Himachal Pradesh, Transport Minister G S Bali flagged off the country’s first electric bus service for Rohtang Pass, a tourist destination near Manali.
  • HRTC, which will run the electric bus service, will make 10 vehicles available in Kullu and later the facility would be extended to other areas.
  • The minister also laid the foundation stone for a Rs 30-crore modern bus stand at Kullu.

6. India to host World Congress on Adolescent Health next month:-

  • Home to around 253 million adolescents, India will next month host the World Congress on Adolescent Health, billed as the biggest global event in adolescent health this year.
  • Held once in every four years, the International Association for Adolescent Health’s 11th World Congress on Adolescent Health be held in New Delhi from October 27-29.
  • This year’s theme is ‘Investing in Adolescent Health-The Future is Now’.

International News:-

1. Working with India to take ties forward post-Dokalam: China:-

  • The Chinese Consul General has said that India and China are working together to take forward their relationship leaving behind the Doklam episode.
  • Chinese Consul General Ma Zhanwu said this while addressing an event to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Kolkata yesterday.
  • Ma Zhanwu also asserted that by working together cooperation and exchanges can be further enhanced. He said India and China are working together.
  • Asked if both the countries have left behind the Dokalam episode, Zhanwu said, that both countiies have left that issue behind and are working together to take forward the bilateral relationship.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping had a meeting on September 5 to discuss how to enhance the relationship. Zhanwu said as long as the two countries work together, we will able to enhance and develop exchanges and cooperation.
  • Prime Minister Modi had met President Xi on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit on September 5.
  • The two leaders had agreed that both the countries should put in more effort to strengthen the cooperation between their security personnel and ensure that Dokalam-like incidents do not recur.

2. UN Chief lauds India’s contribution towards sustainable development, peace operations & tackling climate change:-

  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and praised India’s contribution in the world body’s efforts towards sustainable development, peace operations and tackling climate change.
  • The meeting took place last night after Mrs Swaraj delivered her second annual consecutive address to the UN General Assembly sessions.
  • She was accompanied by Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin during the meeting.
  • A readout of the meeting issued by Mr Guterres office said, the UN chief welcomed India’s efforts to implement the ‘2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals’. They also discussed the importance of UN reforms.

3. Thousands flee as Bali volcano threatens to erupt:-

  • More than 35,000 people have fled a menacing volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, fearing it will erupt for the first time in more than half a century as increasing tremors rattle the region.
  • The numbers today from disaster officials are more than double previous estimates and are continuing to rise, they say. It includes people who left voluntarily as well as those ordered to evacuate from a 9-12 km zone around Mount Agung.
  • Authorities raised the volcano’s alert status to the highest level on Friday following a “tremendous increase” in seismic activity. Its last eruption in 1963 killed 1,100 people.
  • The mountain, 72-km to the northeast of the tourist hotspot of Kuta, is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia.
  • The country of thousands of islands is prone to seismic upheaval due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin.

Economics News:-

1. India growing pretty robustly: World Bank President:-

  • World Bank President Jim Kim has said India has been growing pretty robustly.
    Speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum meeting in New York , Kim said Japan, Europe and the US along with India were growing and there was a levelling-out in developing countries.
  • He called for more cooperation among the multilateral system, private sector and the governments to take advantage of the current win-win situation.

2. Businesses deregistering brands for availing GST must file affidavit: Govt:-

  • Government says, businesses that want to deregister their brands for availing the benefit of lower GST will have to file an affidavit before the tax commissioner about forgoing the rights.
  • A finance ministry statement said, the businesses will also have to print in indelible ink on containers in which they are selling cereals, pulses, flours that they have voluntarily foregone actionable claim or enforceable right on brands.
  • Under the Goods and Services Tax regime rolled out from July 1, unpacked food grains like cereals and pulses are exempt. However, packed foodgrains put up in unit container bearing a brand name attracts 5 per cent levy.
  • Since the GST introduction, it had come to the notice of the tax department that many businesses have been registering their brands to avail the benefit of lower GST.
  • Following that, the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, earlier this month decided that a brand registered as on May 15, 2017, shall be deemed to be a registered brand for the purposes of levy of 5 per cent GST, irrespective of whether or not such brand is subsequently deregistered.
  • Also any brand registered as on May 15, 2017, under the Copyright Act, 1957 shall also be treated as a registered brand for the purposes of levy of 5 per cent GST.

3. Need to fight economic challenges on multiple fronts: CEA:-

  • Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said today the economy is facing multiple headwinds and there is a need to attack them on various fronts.
  • The economy has lots of challenges ahead as growth is slowing down and investment not picking up.
  • Mr. Subramanian said, there is a need to attack these problems on many fronts including exchange rate and public investments while maintaining macroeconomic stability.
  • On the stimulus package, the CEA said, it is being worked out and an announcement will be made at an appropriate time.
  • It is expected that the government will provide a stimulus to various sectors including power and railways to revive growth.
  • His statements came soon after the government decided to give him a one year extension.
  • His current stint was ending on 16th of next month and now Mr. Subramanian will continue for one more year.