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Daily Current Affairs – 08th June, 2017

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National News:-

1) Modi government to replace UGC, AICTE with one higher education regulator:-

  • The Modi government is all set to scrap the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and replace them with one higher education regulator, tentatively christened Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).
  • The decision to go ahead with this radical change was taken after a meeting on education chaired by the prime minister in early March.
  • If required, and since setting up a new regulator may take some time, amendments to existing rules will be considered as an interim reform measure.

2) Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates “Saath Hai Viswaas Hai, Ho Raha Vikas Hai” Exhibition:-

  • M. Venkaiah Naidu Minister for Information & Broadcasting has inaugurated the “Saath Hai Viswaas Hai, Ho Raha Vikas Hai” Exhibition at Indira Niketan Park, Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi.
  • Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for I&B was also present on the occasion.
  • The Exhibitions organized by DAVP is being put up across state capitals for duration of 5-7 days which would showcase the achievements of the Government in the last 3 years in various sectors.

3) UP govt to name Mughalsarai railway station after Deendayal Upadhayay:-

  • The Yogi Adityanath cabinet in Uttar Pradesh decided to rename Mughalsarai railway station near Varanasi after RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
  • A meeting of state cabinet was held under the chairmanship of chief minister Adityanath Yogi that gave its approval for the renaming of the station.
  • Upadhyay had died under mysterious circumstances while travelling in a train at Mughalsarai station on February 11, 1968.
  • Mughalsarai is one of the busiest stations of the Eastern Railway.

International News:-

1) India provides $318m credit to develop Sri Lanka railway sector:-

  • The Government of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance has signed an agreement to receive $318m credit from the Government of India for rail development works.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendr Modi initially declared the fresh line of credit (LoC) during his official visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015.
  • The new credit line will used to implement various developments under the supervision of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka, which has prioritised the improvement of passenger transportation facilities in order to attract more passengers to use rail services.

2) Railways to offer 20 stations to Malaysia for redevelopment:-

  • The Indian Railways is firming up plans to join hands with Malaysia to redevelop about 20 stations in Tier-II cities across the country.
  • Aimed at attracting nearly Rs.1 lakh crore private investment, the station redevelopment project envisages infrastructure revamp at platforms and circulating areas.
  • For facilitating growth of Tier II cities, the Centre, state and local governments provide a lot of support to transform these not so big cities into business havens and making them India’s fastest growing cities.
  • While cities like Delhi and Mumbai are in Tier-I category, cities such as Faridabad, Cuttack, Amritsar, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Jammu, and Bikaner are considered Tier-II cities.

Economic News:-

1) RBI Announces Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy:-

  • The Reserve Bank (RBI) of India in its Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy kept its repo rate unchanged at 6.25 percent and reverse repo rate unchanged at six percent respectively.
  • The monetary policy committee (MPC), which is headed by RBI governor Urjit Patel kept the rates unchanged amid most analysts expectation of maintaining a status quo on the policy rate, which stands at 6.25 per cent.
  • However, the central bank lowered economic growth projection to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent for FY18.
    The apex bank cut the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 50 bps to 20%.

2) Axis Bank issues biodegradable prepaid gift cards:-

  • Axis Bank Ltd has announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards on the occasion of World Environment Day.
  • The cards will be acceptable at all domestic merchant outlets and online portals.
  • Biodegradable plastics can break down safely into their raw materials and do not release harmful substances. They can also be recycled.

Appointments:-

1) Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office:-

  • Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights.
  • The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others.
  • The Copyright Office is under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights, who acts under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government, according to norms.

Daily Current Affairs – 07th June, 2017

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National News:-

1) Pension for single-women launched in Telangana:-

  • The single women pension scheme providing Rs 1,000 financial assistance per month to single women was launched across Telangana.
  • Officials have identified 1,08,302 beneficiaries in 31 districts.
  • Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had earlier announced disbursement of pension of Rs 1,000 per month for single women, who have no support.

2) India’s first public bicycle sharing project launched in Mysuru:-

  • Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched India’s first public bicycle sharing (PBS) initiative ‘Trin Trin’ in Mysuru.
  • While more than 600 cities across the world were already providing bicycles as a commuting option, a number of cities in India including Bengaluru were planning to adopt the public bicycle sharing system.
  • However, Mysuru, a cultural and heritage city with a population of 12 lakh people, is the first city in India to have a public bicycle sharing system.

3) J P Nadda launches ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative:-

  • Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative at a function.
  • Speaking on the occasion Shri Nadda said that India enjoys a demographic dividend as more than 65% youth are below the age of 35 years and the Government is determined to seize this opportunity by providing adequate skills and employability to the youth for a strong foundation for continued and sustainable growth.
  • ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ Initiative’ aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system.
  • Under this initiative various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for general public.

International News:-

1) Montenegro becomes 29th and newest NATO member:-

  • Montenegro officially became the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during a ceremony in Washington at the US State Department’s Treaty Room.
  • The US was one of the organization’s 12 founding members in 1949.
    Montenegro has marked its pivot to the West by joining NATO despite Russia’s opposition.

Economic News:-

1) ICICI Bank commissions solar-powered ATMs 200:-

  • ICICI Bank commissioned over 200 solar powered ATM sites in the last one year as part of its efforts to reduce carbon footprint and use more clean energy.
  • ICICI Bank has reduced its overall energy consumption in large offices and branches from 198 million units in 2013-14 to 164 million units in 2016-17, saving 34.2 million units in last three years.

2) India overtakes China to top global retail index: GRDI:-

  • India has surpassed China to secure the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, according to a study that cited India’s rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and a consumption boom as the key drivers.
  • The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables.
  • The GRDI, titled ‘The Age of Focus’, ranks China in second place.

3) SBI to organise mega farmers’ meet on June 8:-

  • Ahead of the kharif season, country’s largest lender State Bank of India said it will meet nearly 10,000 farmers to understand their credit need and provide finance.
  • The meeting will be organised at the bank’s 15,500 rural and semi-urban branches across the country on June 8.
  • During the meet, branches will receive applications for fresh loans as well as for renewal or enhancement of existing loan.

Science & Technology:-

1) ISRO launches India’s heaviest Satellite:-

  • The first developmental flight (GSLV MkIII-D1) of India’s heavy lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota with the launch of GSAT-19 satellite.

Facts:-

  • GSLV-Mk III is capable launching 4 ton class of satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer orbit (GTO). It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C25).
  • This was the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII which was mainly intended to evaluate the vehicle performance including that of its fully indigenous cryogenic upper stage during the flight.
  • Weighing 3136 kg at lift-off, GSAT-19 is the heaviest satellite launched from the Indian soil.
  • The upper stage of GSLV MkIII vehicle is a new cryogenic stage (C25) indigenously configured, designed and realised by ISRO.
  • The cryogenic stage used liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen as propellants with a total loading of 28 tons. The stage is powered by a 20 ton thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) operating on ‘gas generator cycle’.
  • The performance of the engine and stage during the mission was as predicted. About sixteen minutes after lift-off, GSAT-19 satellite was successfully placed in orbit.

Appointments:-

1) Sher Bahadur Deuba elected new Nepal PM:-

  • Nepal’s parliament elected unopposed three-time former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to the top post once again.
  • This is the tenth time in just over a decade the leadership has changed hands in the Himalayan nation.
  • Former PM Prachanda had stepped down following a previous agreement.
  • This will be Deuba’s fourth stint as PM of the Himalayan country.

2) Tendulkar joins UN campaign on fathers:-

  • Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar joins a roster of global celebrities, including David Beckham and Novak Djokovic, for a special UNICEF campaign that highlights the critical role played by fathers in children’s early development.
  • The UNICEF initiative ‘Super Dads celebrates fatherhood and highlights the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.
  • The campaign features stars from the world of entertainment and sports including Academy Award winning American actor Mahershala Ali, British Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton and Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

Awards:-

1) Authors Neelakantan, Satpathy to be honoured with Kalinga Awards:-

  • Popular writer Anand Neelakantan, Odia poet Haraprasad Das and author Paramita Satpathy were announced winners of the Kalinga Literary Awards.
  • The Kalinga International Literary Award, Kalinga Literary Youth Award and Kalinga Karubaki Award will be conferred upon Neelakantan, Das and Satpathy respectively.

Books:-

1) ‘Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ authored by Arundhati Roy launched:-

  • Arundhati Roy’s eagerly-awaited second novel ‘Ministry of Utmost Happiness’ goes on sale worldwide, two decades after her prize-winning debut The God of Small Things.
  • Roy became the first Indian woman to win the prestigious Booker Prize with her 1997 work, which sold around 8m copies and turned the young author into a star of the literary world.

 

ISRO launches India’s heaviest Satellite

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ISRO launches India’s heaviest Satellite:-

  • On 5th June ISRO Successfully launched the communication satellite G-19 into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) which is at altitude of 179 kms Above the earth.The
  • GSLV-Mark III, or the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III was used to launch the satellite. It took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • GSLV mark III has the double capacity if compared to previous GSLV mark II in terms of carrying load capacity.

About GSLV mark III:-

  • India’s GSLV MkIII rocket is an upgraded version of the country’s GSLV rocket. The new version stands 141 feet tall (43 meters) and weighs 705 tons (640 metric tons) at launch liftoff.
  • The height of this shorter than previous carrier but the load carrying capacity is just the double of GSLV mark II.
  • The new version is 200 tons heavier and can deliver satellites weighing up to 8,818 lbs. (4,000 kilograms) to a geostationary transfer orbit.
  • Its first stage is made up of two straps of motors with solid fuels in it.
  • The second and core stage is filled with liquid fuel.

Benefits of this Mission:-

  • The successful launch of GSAT -19 will pave away for launch of GSAT-11 a heavier communication satellite into space.
  • Now India does not need to pay huge amount of money to foreign space agencies for launching 4 tonne satellite.

GSAT-19:-

  • GSAT-19 satellite with a lift-off mass of 3136 kg, is the communication satellite of India, configured around the ISRO’s standard I-3K bus.
  • GSAT-19 carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders. Besides, it carries a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components.
  • GSAT-19 also features certain advanced spacecraft technologies including miniaturised heat pipe, fibre optic gyro, Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) accelerometer, Ku-band TTC transponder, as well an indigenous Lithium-ion Battery.

Daily Current Affairs – 06th June, 2017

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International News:-

1) Second MI Ministerial to be Held 7-8 June 2017 in Beijing:-

  • On 7–8 June 2017, the second Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-2) will take place in Beijing, China.
  • MI-2 will bring together energy ministers and other representatives from MI member countries to share knowledge and collaborate on priorities for clean energy innovation.
  • This event will include ministerial working sessions, opportunities for high-profile announcements, Innovation Challenge discussions, and a series of side events.
  • MI-2 will be co-located with the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8). While MI focuses on breakthrough research and development for the new technologies of tomorrow, the Clean Energy Ministerial focuses on scaling the deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions.

2) Four Arab nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar as Gulf rift deepens:-

  • Four Arab nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, further deepening a rift between these nations and that country for its support to Islamist groups.
  • Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all announced that they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar, a gas-rich nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
  • Later, Yemen’s internationally recognised government also cut ties with Qatar.

National News:-

1) Dr Jitendra Singh announces “Hill Area Development Programme” for Northeast:-

  • The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh announced the launch of, “Hill Area Development Programme” (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal (Manipur).
  • Elaborating on the new scheme, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the hilly areas of Manipur, Tripura and Assam have a distinct geo-physical entity and are lagging in socio-economic development.
  • As a result of peculiar topography, he said, there is a wide gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education etc.
  • The Hill Development Programme, he said, is inspired with a serious research and deliberation of all these factors.

2) Government to implement India’s first Rural LED Street Lighting Project in Andhra Pradesh:-

  • Government of India, through the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power, would be retrofitting 10 lakh conventional street lights with LED lights in Gram Panchayats of 7 districts in Andhra Pradesh.
  • This is the first project for rural LED street lighting in the country under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Project (SLNP).
  • In the first phase, the replacement will be undertaken in gram panchayats of the districts of Guntur, Prakasham, Nellore, Kurnool, Kadapa, Ananthapur and Chittoor.
  • This replacement drive in rural areas will help the gram panchayats to cumulatively save approximately 147 million units of electricity annually and lead to reduction of 12 crore tonnes of CO2.
  • The entire upfront capital cost of this project is being funded by French Development Agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
  • As part of the project, EESL would be carrying out the entire annual maintenance and warranty replacement in these gram panchayats for a period of 10 years.

Economic News:-

1) India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 39.2 Million:-

  • An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery” was signed.
  • The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years.
  • The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.
  • The Project seeks to enable citizens to access services under the RTPS Act in a timely, efficient, and accountable manner.
  • The Project adopts an integrated approach to improve access and accountability.

2) India GDP growth to remain flat at 7.1% in 2017-18: HSBC:-

  • India’s economic growth is expected to remain flat at 7.1 per cent in current fiscal as investment is still weak and government spending might not be as high given the fiscal consolidation, says an HSBC report.
  • According to the global financial services major, the GDP growth momentum is slowing since mid-2016 and this trend is expected to continue going forward.

3) World Bank keeps 2017 global growth forecast at 2.7%:-

  • World Bank maintained its forecast for global growth in 2017 and 2018 unchanged at 2.7 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, as manufacturing and trade are picking up and confidence is improving.
  • However, it expected the advanced economic growth to slow to 1.8 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 per cent in 2019, in line with its forecasts in January.

International Affairs:-

1) National Aviation University signs MoU with Bird Worldwide Flight Services (India):-

  • The National Aviation University (NAU) signed a MoU with the Bird Worldwide Flight Services (India) Private Limited on 1st of June 2017, to develop professional aviation and aerospace education programmes and research for the benefit of the Indian civil aviation industry.
  • Internships and campus placements for eligible students have been incorporated in the provisions.
  • The focus of the skill development programmes would be on quality of skilling which is aligned to the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF).

Appoinments:-

1) Sharad Jain new DG NWDA:-

  • Dr. Sharad Kumar Jain has assumed the additional charge of Director General, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
  • Shri Jain is presently working as Scientist G with National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee.
  • Shri Jain succeeds Shri S. Masood Husain who has moved over as Member (WP&P), Central Water Commission.

May 2017 current affairs from 16-05-2017 to 31-05-2017

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Click the below image to read the May month current affairs from 16-05-2017 to 31-05-2017:-

Daily Current Affairs – 05 June, 2017

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National News:-

1) Odisha to have first automatic coastal warning for disasters in India:-

  • TheOdisha government is all set to commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) that would enable loud sirens go off simultaneously from towers at 122 locations by July.
  • Odisha is the first State in India to have developed an automatic public address system that can be activated along its entire coast.
  • Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh is also building up such capability to face natural calamities.

2) India’s heaviest rocket with GSAT-19 all set for maiden flight:-

  • India’s heaviest rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) is all set for its maiden flight into space along with a communications satellite on 5 June 2017.
  • The rocket, weighing 640 tonnes and standing 43.43 metres tall, will blast off from the second launch pad at India’s rocket port at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It will carry a 3,136-kg GSAT-19 communications satellite, the heaviest to be lifted by an Indian rocket till date to an altitude of around 179 km above the Earth after just over 16 minutes into the flight.

International News:-

1) World Environment Day: 5 June:-

  • World Environment Day (WED) occurs on 5 June every year, is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
  • First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
  • The theme for 2017 is ‘Connecting People to nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator’.
  • The host country for the year 2017 is Canada.

Economic News:-

1) BoB, Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium ink MoU:-

  • Bank of Baroda (BoB) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC).
  • Under this MoU, BoB would play an active role in providing collateral free loans to Farmers Producer Companies (FPC) for which credit guarantee cover up to 85 percent of the loan amount maximum up to Rs 1 crore will be made available by SFAC.
  • SFAC is an autonomous society promoted by Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ welfare.

2) RCom-Aircel merged wireless company to be called Aircom:-

  • Reliance Communications’ executive Punit Garg said that the merged wireless company with Aircel will be called Aircom.
  • That RCom can monetize 49 percent tower co stake in future though sale or a listing process, while further debt reduction options will include sale of direct-to-home business.
  • The executive said that the company can also look at strategic transaction in global or Indian enterprise business.

Books:-

1) President receives first copies of book ‘Lalan Shah Fakir Ke Geet’:-

  • The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the first copies of book ‘Lalan Shah Fakir Ke Geet’ written by Prof. Muchkund Dubey and DVD of selected songs of Lalan Shah Fakir at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The President congratulated Prof. Muchkund Dubey who had served as High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh for his pioneering work and for giving an opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to Lalan Shah Fakir, a great saint, poet and social reformer.

Daily Current Affairs – 31 May, 2017

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National News:-

1) India to be first in world to run all government ports on green energy:-

  • All 12 major domestic ports will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy.
  • The government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at the ports by 2019.
  • Almost 150 mw of this will be solar power and 50 mw wind power generation capacity.
    The capacity could be ramped up to 500 mw in the next few years.

2) India emerges as world’s third largest aviation market:-

  • The central government said that India has emerged as the third largest aviation market in the world with a passenger traffic of over 10 crore reported for 2016-17.
  • This was stated by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha at a media event on the achievements of the Ministry of Civil Avation on the completion of three years of the NDA government.
  • Sinha, that government’s key scheme in the sector regional connectivity scheme (RCS-UDAN) will allow India to have 200 plus airports in the next 10-15 years.
  • The minister added that there are currently 496 aircraft in operation with domestic airlines, and another 654 planes are under purchase orders.

3) Delhi Police launch bicycle patrol:-

  • The Delhi Police has launched patrolling on bicycle to improve policing in congested localities in trans-Yamuna region of the city.
  • The move is also being billed as a green initiative.
  • The bicycle patrols will complement and supplement the existing motorcycle and PCR patrols which focus mainly on crime prevention along the arterial and main roads of Delhi.

4) Ministry of Earth Sciences to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018:-

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018.
  • This will improve India’s position in ocean research field.
  • India was the first country in the world to have been given the Pioneer Area for exploration of deep-sea mineral viz. Polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.

International News:-

1) World No Tobacco Day: 31 May:-

  • World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31.
  • It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe.
  • The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

2) First women’s TV channel launched in Afghanistan:-

  • Women in Afghanistan now have their own television channel.
    Zan – or Women’s – TV began airing this month, with a staff of all female presenters and producers.
  • It’s being seen as a groundbreaking step for women’s rights, in a country still dominated by men.

3) India ranks 120th among 131 nations in women workforce:-

  • In its India Development Report released recently, the World Bank said the country had one of the lowest female participation in the workforce, ranking 120th among 131 countries.
  • Jobs for Indian women remain primarily in the agriculture sector.
  • The share of women in services and industry is less than 20%.

Appointments:-

1) Government appoints two more members to Banks Board Bureau:-

  • The government has expanded the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) headed by former CAG Vinod Rai by adding two more members.
  • Former Allahabad Bank chairperson and managing director Shubhalaxmi Panse and private equity veteran Pradip Shah have been inducted into the board as independent members.
  • The body is responsible for selection of MDs and directors of public sector banks and financial institutions.

Awards:-

1) WHO honours Health Minister Nadda with Award:-

  • Union Health Minister J P Nadda has been honoured by the World Health Organisation with the Director General’s Special Recognition Award for his leadership and commitment to advancing tobacco control.
  • Health ministers of Maldives and Bhutan were also among five individuals and institutions from the WHO South-East Asia Region for this year’s World No-Tobacco Day Award.
  • Nadda is also among the two recipients of the special global award this year. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of the Gambia is the other awardee.

Economic News:-

1) New Re 1 notes to be circulated soon by RBI:-

  • New one rupee notes with a multicoloured look will soon be put in circulation by the Reserve Bank of India, the RBI announced.
  • “The colour of One Rupee currency note shall be predominantly pink green on obverse and reverse in combination with others.
  • Elaborating on the design of the note, the central bank said it will bear the signature of Economic Affairs Secretary.
  • “The numbering shall be in black at right hand bottom portion of the note,” it said.
    On the reverse side, the year ‘2017’ is mentioned.

Science and Technology:-

1) Amul inks MoU with ISRO for fodder acreage estimation:-

  • Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), it has signed an agreement with ISRO for fodder acreage assessment using satellite observation and space technology.
  • GCMMF markets its products under the brand name of Amul.
  • Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ISRO will help in identification between food crops and fodder crops at village level and also locate suitable areas of current fallows and cultivable wastelands at village level for green fodder cultivation.

 

Daily Current Affairs – 30 May, 2017

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International News:-

1) 43rd G-7 summit held in Italy:-

  • The 43rd G7 summit was held on May 26–27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
  • The 43rd G7 summit was the first summit for British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and U.S. President Donald Trump.
  • It was the first time since 1987 that the G7 summit held in Italy was not hosted by Silvio Berlusconi.

Important Points:-

  • The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7.
  • In March 2014, the G7 declared that a meaningful discussion was currently not possible with Russia in the context of the G8. Since then, meetings have continued within the G7 process.
  • Next G-7 Summit will be held in Canada in 2018.

2) 5th India Morocco Joint Commission Meeting (JCM):-

  • The 5th India Morocco Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held in Rabat on 25 and 26 May 2017.
  • The JCM was anchored by Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding was signed for Cooperation on Broadcasting between Prasar Bharati, India and Société Nationale de Radiodiffusion et de Télévision (SNRT), Morocco.

National News:-

1) Prakash Javadekar launches UGC App to fight Ragging:-

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched an Anti-Ragging Mobile App introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) here in New Delhi.
  • Speaking on this occasion Shri Javadekar said this mobile app will help students register complaints to counter the menace of ragging.
  • The Minister said earlier one had to visit the website for registering a complaint of ragging and our record shows that timely action was taken which in turn had resulted in the decrease of such instances. But still this ill has to be eliminated completely.

2) Amitabh Bachchan led Toilet Usage Campaign set for national launch:-

  • For promotion of toilet usage across the country’s villages, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has come out with an aggressive new campaign called Darwaza Band starting May 30th, 2017.
  • Iconic actor, Amitabh Bachchan, who leads the campaign, is to joined by various dignitaries at the formal launch event in Mumbai.
  • The campaign has been supported by the World Bank and is being rolled out countrywide immediately after the launch.
  • It is designed to encourage behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them.
  • The campaign also features actor, Anushka Sharma, who will be seen encouraging women to stand up for this issue in their villages and assume a leadership role.

Economic News:-

1) India to grow at 7.2% in 2017-18: World Bank:-

  • In its latest India Development Update, the World Bank said India’s economy will grow 7.2% in fiscal year 2017-18.
  • GST, the report, would lead to higher tax collection, greater digital financial inclusion and make India’s fundamentals stronger and yet not increase the burden on the poor.

2) Exim Bank extends $500 m LoC to SBM (Mauritius) Infrastructure:-

  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim India) has extended a $500 million line-of-credit (LoC) to SBM (Mauritius) Infrastructure Company Ltd.
  • This LoC has been extended for the purpose of financing its participation through Redeemable Preference Shares in public sector entities to implement infrastructure of other projects in Mauritius.
  • This $500 million credit is Exim India’s first LOC to the SBM, Mauritius.

Appointments:-

1) Najma Heptulla appointed as 1st woman chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia:-

  • Manipur Governor and former minority affairs minister Najma Heptulla has been appointed as the chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia.
  • She has been appointed for a term of five years.
  • The 77-year-old Heptulla succeeds Lt Gen (Retd) MA Zaki who completes his five-year term this month.
  • She is the first woman chancellor of the university since its establishment in 1920.
    Heptulla who has been a five-time member of the Rajya Sabha and served as the minister of minority affairs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet before being appointed as the governor of Manipur.
  • Heptulla has had the distinction of presiding over the women’s parliamentarians’ group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1993.
  • She was elected President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a Geneva-based international organisation from 1999 to 2002, and was nominated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its human development ambassador.

Awards:-

1) Barcelona’s Lionel Messi wins Golden Shoe for fourth time:-

  • Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe for a record-equalling fourth time, drawing level with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • This award is given for scoring highest number of goals in European season.
    Messi previously won the award in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Books / Novels:-

1) President receives first copies of two books:-

  • President of India Pranab Mukherjee has recently received the first copies of two books – Color Atlas of Oral implants and Conservative Dentistry – Basics.
  • The color atlas – authored by Dr. Praful Bali and Dr. Lanka Mahesh focuses on advanced procedures performed by the authors in the field of dental implantology.
  • The other book titled Conservative dentistry – Basics, authored by Dr. Dildeep Bali and Dr. Deepika Chandhok focuses on the basic fundamentals of the subject.

Daily Current Affairs – 29 May, 2017

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International News:-

1) International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers: 29 May:-

  • The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, May 29, is “a day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
  • The theme for the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World.”

2) India participated in global disaster risk reduction meet in Mexico:-

  • India has participated in a five-day long Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) summit held in Mexico.
  • An Indian delegation led by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju went for the summit.
  • The summit, held at Mexico’s Cancun between May 22 and 26, was attended by over 5,000 delegates comprising heads of state, ministers and CEOs.
  • The GPDRR is a global forum for strategic advice, coordination, partnership development and review of progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 which was adopted at the 3rd UN World conference on disaster risk reduction held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.

National News:-

1) WHO confirms India’s 1st Zika virus cases in Ahmedabad:-

  • India’s first three cases of the Zika virus were reported between February 2016 and January 2017 in Ahmedabad, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in its disease outbreak bulletin.
  • The Centre confirmed the three cases, in two pregnant women and in an elderly man, on May 15, 2017.
  • However, the detection and confirmation of Zika cases wasn’t made public by the state government, apparently because it came in the run-up to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit.

2) Haryana announces pension scheme for journalists:-

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a slew of incentives for journalists, including a Rs 10,000 monthly pension scheme, for those who are above 60 years and have completed 20 years in the profession.
  • He also announced a life insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh and a cashless mediclaim policy of Rs 500,000.
  • The announcements were made by the Chief Minister at the “Swarna Jayanti Journalists’ Meet” in Panchkula.

3) Manipur declares Dailong village Biodiversity Heritage Site:-

  • The Manipur government has declared Dailong village of Tamenglong district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site of the state.
  • Dialong village, covering an area of 11.35 sq km, has been declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site under Section 37(1) of Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
  • The declaration was made after the recommendation of Manipur Biodiversity Board.

4) Jaitley dedicates Aeronautical Test range to The Nation:-

  • The Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.
  • The Defence Minister said facilities such as the ATR will help in creating conditions for research, which will in turn develop the type of human resource in the country required in the field of aeronautical testing.

Awards:-

1) Pune police bagged smart policing award 2017:-

  • The Pune city police have bagged the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries’ (FICCI) Smart Policing Award for the year 2017.
  • Out of 133 entries from the state police forces, the ‘Mahila Suraksha’ project of city police won the award.
  • Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner of Pune Police received the award at event held at Delhi recently.

2) Cannes Film Festival 2017: Winners:-

  • The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival took place from 17 to 28 May 2017, in Cannes, France. Here are the winners:-
    Caméra d’Or (best first feature):Jeune Femme
    Best short film: A Gentle Night
    Jury prize: Loveless
    Best actress: Diane Kruger
    Best actor: Joaquin Phoenix
    Best director: Sofia Coppola
    Grand Prix: 120 Beats per Minute
    70th Anniversary prize: Nicole Kidman
    Palme d’Or: The Square

Daily Current Affairs – 25 May, 2017

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ECONOMY, PROJECT AND SCHEMES:-

1) Govt approves abolition of Foreign Investment Promotion Board:-

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the phasing out of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
  • The proposal entails abolishing the FIPB and allowing administrative Ministries/Departments to process applications for FDI requiring government approval.
  • Henceforth, the work relating to processing of applications for FDI and approval of the Government thereon under the extant FDI Policy and FEMA, shall now be handled by the concerned Ministries/Departments in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, which will also issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for processing of applications and decision of the Government under the extant FDI policy.
  • In addition, Foreign Investors will find India more attractive destination and this will result in more inflow of FDI. The move will provide ease of doing business and will help in promoting the principle of Maximum Governance and Minimum Government.
  • Currently around 91-95% of FDI inflow happens through the automatic route, adding that there are only 11 sectors (including defence and retail) needing government approval.
  • The FIPB was initially set up under the Prime Minister’s Office following the economic liberalisation in the early 1990s.
  • It shifted under the DIPP in 1996, and then in 2003 to the department of economic affairs in the finance ministry.

2) CAG report slams Vizhinjam pact:-

  • Unfavourable conditions in the concession agreement of the Vizhinjam seaport project have gone against the interests of the Kerala government and to the advantage of Adani Ports and SEZ Private Limited, the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • According to the latest report on public sector undertakings tabled in the Assembly on 23 May 2017, the CAG has listed a number of conditions unfavourable to the State.
  • The standard concession period for PPP (public-private participation) projects was 30 years. But it had been fixed as 40 years. This would help the company collect an additional revenue of Rs. 29,217 crore.
  • As per the agreement, the concession period of 40 years can be extended by 20 years on the condition of capacity augmentation.
  • The draft agreement had limited it by 10 years. Had the government stuck to the 10-year norm, the State would have got Rs. 61,095 crore.
  • Owing to the modification of the concession agreement on the premise of improving clarity without any demand from the prospective bidders on December 31, 2014, the government had to pay an excess equity support of Rs. 283.08 crore in advance, incurring an interest loss of Rs. 123.71 crore.
  • By affording the concessionaire, the right to mortgage all assets, the government had provided undue benefit to the company.
  • The CAG has also taken note of deviations from the Central Vigilance Commission’s guidelines on pre-qualification criteria.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND RELATIONS:-

1) Africa our top priority: Modi:-

  • Africa has been the NDA government’s top priority in foreign as well as economic policy matters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said inaugurating the annual meeting of the African Development Bank in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • “India’s partnership with Africa is based on a model of cooperation, which is responsive to the needs of African countries. It is demand-driven and free of conditions,” the PM said, alluding to the prescriptive and conditional approach adopted by some countries in their engagements with African nations.
  • “Africa-India trade has multiplied in the last 15 years,” he pointed out.
  • “India’s commodity trade with Africa in 2015-16 was higher than our commodity trade with the United States of America,” the PM said.
  • India’s private sector is also providing an impetus to stronger India-Africa ties with Africa accounting for nearly one-fifth of Indian overseas direct investments between 1996 and 2016, the PM pointed out.
  • India is the fifth largest country investing in the continent, with investments over the past twenty years amounting to $54 billion, creating jobs for Africans,” said Mr. Modi, who has visited six countries in Africa since 2015.
  • “I am proud to say that there is no country in Africa that has not been visited by an Indian Minister in the last three years…Thirteen current or former Presidents, Prime Ministers and Vice-Presidents in Africa have attended educational or training institutions in India.
  • Six current or former chiefs of armed forces in Africa trained in India’s military institutions,” the PM said to drive home the point about forging closer ties on all fronts.
  • Mr. Modi, he was encouraged by the response of African countries to the International Solar Alliance initiative, which was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
  • Nauru ratified the framework and shared it with India, while five other African countries signed the pact on 22 May 2017.

2) FTA will be high on Modi-Merkel agenda:-

  • Shared concerns over China’s Belt and Road initiative should push India and the European Union closer to resume stalled talks over a Free Trade Agreement, German Envoy to India Martin Ney, indicating the issue of the FTA will be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin next week.
  • Referring to the Belt and Road Forum that India boycotted earlier this month in Beijing, Mr. Ney said that while Germany and other European countries had joined the China’s infrastructure and connectivity project, they had refused to sign a trade document at the summit due to a lack of transparency in the negotiations.
  • Germany is making a strong pitch to India over completing the EU-BTIA (called the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement) that has been deadlocked since 2013, despite 16 rounds of negotiations.
  • Mr. Modi’s visit to the European Commission in April 2016 failed to bring about any agreement to even resume the talks that essentially broke down over high taxes, market access and India’s concerns over visas for skilled workers.
  • In the meanwhile, the India-Germany Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), one of 23 BITs with EU countries, lapsed in March this year.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:-

1) A Hyperloop pod to zip between cities:-

  • Over the next two months, 25 students from premier colleges will put their heads together to build their idea of the pod, a vehicle that would meet high speed norms of the futuristic transport system Hyperloop.
  • The Pod Design Competition, to be held in August at Hawthorne, California by the company SpaceX, is the second in the current year.
  • The idea is to have a scaled-down pod prototype that can traverse a one mile long evacuated tube in a vacuum and seat only one passenger.
  • Hyperloop India, the only team in the country to reach the final design stage, will build the OrcaPod, a prototype for speeds of up to 460 km per hour.
  • The Hyperloop system is proposed by inventor-businessman Elon Musk of SpaceX.
  • The concept envisages a pod-like vehicle being propelled through an evacuated tube, under reduced pressure in vacuum-like conditions.

2) ‘India has moved from brain drain to brain gain’:-

  • Over 1,000 Indian scientists working abroad have returned to India in the last two-three years, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.
  • “They feel that India is changing and they can fulfil their ambitions here. They are finding that opportunities in India are better. From brain drain, we now have a scenario of brain gain,”.
  • Dr. Vardhan said that the scientists were being attracted back to India through several scholarships and fellowships, such as the Ramanujan fellowship.
  • Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is all set to roll out a scheme to attract scientists from abroad on a longer term basis.
  • The programme, called Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty Scheme, will offer accomplished NRI scientists the opportunity to undertake research in India for a maximum period of three months every year, while granting them the status of adjunct faculty in an Indian institution round the year.
  • On the subject of developing advanced technologies locally, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) had played an important role in the development of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which was recently inducted into the Air Force.

3) BSNL launches satellite phone service:-

  • State-owned BSNL has started satellite phone service through INMARSAT which will be initially offered to government agencies and later opened for others citizen in phased manner.
  • The service will cover areas where no networks are present and will be provided by INMARSAT which has 14 satellites.

National News:-

1) Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to Initiate “Adopt A Slum” Campaign in Delhi:-

  • Minister of (Independent Charge), Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Vijay Goel announced “Adopt a Slum” – a new campaign to mark completion of three years of the Government.
  • Minister said that the idea is to initiate developmental work in these slums and help the slum-dwellers in resolving various issues.
  • A slum Yuva Daud/Marathon will mark the beginning of this campaign on May 26.
  • Shri Goel further said that Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, along with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, under the aegis of the Ministry, will initiate “Adopt a Slum” campaign and groups like NSS, public schools, rotary clubs, will pool in with efforts and manpower.
  • Shri Goel also stated that he has adopted Indira slum of Timarpur area under the campaign.

International News:-

1) 22 die in Manchester attack, IS claims responsibility:-

  • At least 22 people, including children – one as young as eight-years-old – were killed and 59 injured in a “callous” suicide attack in the northern English city of Manchester on 22 May 2017 night at the close of a pop concert.
  • One person has been arrested in connection with the attack.
  • A 22-year-old British man whose parents had emigrated from Libya was identified on 23 May 2017 as the bomber.
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack via social media.
  • The Indian High Commission confirmed that no Indian citizens are among the dead, though details of the injured are yet to be confirmed.

2) Nepal PM Prachanda resigned:-

  • Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has resigned paving way for Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to become the next Prime Minister.
  • The resignation is to honour an accord signed in August last year when Prachanda was elected the Prime Minister with Deuba’s support.
  • Both Prachanda and Deuba had agreed to run the government on a rotational basis until elections to Parliament were held in February 2018, as per constitutional obligations.

Books:-

1) Mann ki Baat, now a book:-

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s radio broadcast programme Mann ki Baat will be available in the form of a book now.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has written the preface for Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio, which will be presented to the President.
  • The book is authored by NetCore founder and part time member of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Rajesh Jain.
  • It is being released on May 26 at Rashtrapati Bhawan with the first copy to be presented to President Pranab Mukherjee.

2) Kiren Rijiju unveils world’s first philosophical novel on God:-

  • Young Indian IAS officer, Haulianlal Guite, who hails from country’s most remote areas of Manipur state has recently published a book titled “Confessions of a dying mind: the blind faith of atheism” in New Delhi.
  • The book was unveiled by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in presence of David Syiemlieth, Chairman, UPSC.
  • The book billed as “the world’s first philosophical novel for God”, whose author is arguably the first Indian civil servant to write on philosophy since John Stuart Mill published On Liberty way back in 1858.