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Important Current Affairs 27th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 27th September 2017

Current Affairs 27th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves signing of cooperation Memorandum relating to Credit Ratings by EDIM Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation mechanism 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the signing of the (i) Interbank Local Currency Credit Line Agreement and (ii) Cooperation Memorandum Relating to Credit Ratings by Exim Bank with participating member banks under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism. 
●    As both the Agreement and the MoU are umbrella pacts, and are non-binding in nature, the Board of Directors of Exim Bank has been authorized to negotiate and conclude any individual contracts and commitments within their framework.
●    The Agreements will promote multilateral interaction within the area of mutual interest which will deepen political and economic relations with BRICS nations.
●    Signing of the Agreement will position Exim Bank in the international platform along with large development finance institutions, like CDS, VEB and BNDES. 
●    At an appropriate time, Exim Bank, leveraging this umbrella agreement, could enter into bilateral agreement with any of these member institutions to raise resources for its business. 
●    As and when an opportunity arises for co-financing in commercial terms, by any two member institutions (say India and South Africa), lending in single currency by both the institutions would also be possible.


Cabinet approves Agreement on “Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media” between India and Ethiopia 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to sign the Agreement between India and Ethiopia on “”Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media”.
●    It aims to harness the growing power of Information, Communication and Media for information dissemination and enhancing outreach between the two countries for inclusive development. 
●    It will also enhance people to people contact through exchange programmes. 
●    It would also provide an opportunity for both the nations to share best practices and new innovations in the field of Information, Communication & Media.
●    The Agreement will encourage cooperation between mass media tools such as radio, print media, TV, social media etc. to provide more opportunities to the people of both the nations and create public accountability.
●    The Agreement, through an institutional framework will facilitate exchange of delegations, personnel between the two nations, providing them opportunities to learn from each other’s best practices, bringing in equity and inclusiveness.

Cabinet approves umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for implementation of umbrella scheme of "Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)" for years 2017-18 to 2019-20.  
●    The financial outlay for the scheme over the three year’s period is Rs.25,060 crore, out of which the Central Government share will be Rs.18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.   
●    Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project etc.
●    Under the umbrella scheme,  central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States.
●    Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts has been introduced with an outlay of Rs.3,000 crore to tackle the issue of underdevelopment in these district. 
●    An outlay of Rs.100 crore has been earmarked in the North Eastern States for police infrastructure upgradation, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.


Cabinet approves MoU between India and Belarus in the oil and gas sector 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Belarus in the oil and gas sector.
●    The MoU was signed on 12th September, 2017 during the visit of President of Belarus to India. 
●    The MoU will promote bilateral relationship between India and Belarus and it is envisaged to enhance the economic and commercial cooperation between the two sides in oil and natural gas sector. 
●    Under the MoU, both sides will work towards establishing cooperation in the areas of upstream and downstream activities, capacity building, technology transfer, enhanced oil recovery and development of mature fields in India. 
●    The MoU shall remain in force for three years for the day of its signing. 


Cabinet approves signing and ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between India and Belarus on investments 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the India and Belarus on Investments. 
●    The Treaty is likely to increase investment flows between the two countries. 
●    The agreement is expected to improve the confidence of the investors resulting in an increase in FDI and Overseas Director Investment (ODI) opportunities and this will have a positive impact on employment generation. 
●    The signing and ratification of a BIT between the two countries will work as a strategic initiative as Belarus is the member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). 
●    India has already initiated the BIT text with the Kyrgyz Republic and is in talks with the Russian Federation for a new BIT, based on the Model BIT text.


Cabinet approves revision of policy for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal for revision of policy of Ministry of Defence.
●    It is for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure, based on experience in implementing the policy and guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for issue of clearance for installation of Mobile Towers. 
●    The revised policy will cover allotment of Defence land on lease and grant of permission in Defence areas and Cantonments to Access Service Licensees and Companies registered with DoT as IP-I for setting up shared communication towers and allied infrastructure. 
●    This will improve the quality of communication services in the Cantonments and Military Stations. 


President of India presents the National Tourism Awards 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the National Tourism Awards today (September 27, 2017) at a function held in New Delhi.
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President said that tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. 
●    Its evolution can be estimated from the fact that the number of tourists all over the world has increased from 2.5 crore in 1950 to 123 crore in 2016. 
●    The tourism industry contributes 10.2 percent of the world's GDP. 
●    It is estimated that every 10th person in the world works in the tourism industry.
●    The President said that in India too the livelihood of a very large number of people is linked to the tourism industry. 
●    In the year 2016, tourism’s contribution to GDP was 9.6 percent and 9.3 percent to total employment. 
●    The tourism industry can contribute significantly in generating permanent employment opportunities and eliminating poverty. 


Cabinet approves bilateral MoU between India and Afghanistan on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing an MoU between India and Afghanistan on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development. 
●    The MoU will help in capacity building of Afghanistan National Police and improving the security apparatus in the region. 
●    It has been approved for a period of 5 years from the date of signing the MoU and shall be extended for a further period of 5 years on the condition that are not further changes and or revision. 
●    India and Afghanistan have friendly relations and the police personnel of Afghanistan National Police come regularly for training purposes in different training institutes of India. 
●    India and Afghanistan have already signed an "Agreement on strategic partnership" between the two countries in October, 2011. 
●    A meeting was held between delegates of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Afghanistan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Afghanistan and officials of the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D), MHA at New Delhi in October 2016 and Afghanistan delegates expressed their desire for assistance from India in the field of Police training, police development, law enforcement, strengthening the rule of law in Afghanistan and building sustainable long term cooperation. 
●    In order to take this cooperation forward this MoU has been jointly agreed through diplomatic channels. 

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Important Current Affairs 26th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 26th September 2017

Current Affairs 26th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Minister of Communication Shri Manoj Sinha to launch the first ever India Mobile Congress 2017 

The Minister of Communication Shri Manoj Sinha today announced DoT’s first ever Mobile, Internet and Technology event in India - India Mobile Congress 2017, which is beginning from tomorrow, 27th September till 29th September 2017 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
●    Led by Department of Telecom as the nodal ministry, the India Mobile Congress is being organised by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry association of mobile and telecom operators and internet companies will be a congregation to display, discuss, unveil, imbibe, educate and recognise the importance of the global and Indian telecommunications, mobile, internet, connectivity and digital services sector to the world.
●    The largest and first ever event also has the support of the other ministries like the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Skill Development and Entrepreneurship amongst others and will see participation from senior government representatives from the centres as well as various states.  
●    This is a true example of a public- private collaboration where the government and the industry have put together a world class event in India to further the Prime Minister’s vision of a fully connected and digitally empowered India.
●    Terming it as a grand event of the Indian telecom industry, Shri Sinha said, “We are proud to say that our country is now hosting its own first ever Mobile, Internet and Technology event, The India Mobile Congress. We are hopeful that this will be a huge platform for mobile and internet technology sector in the sub-continent. 
●    We are expecting a convergence of various thoughts, ideas and views from all corners and involvement of key stakeholders and the government will make this event a huge success.
●    The Ministry has been making concerted efforts to bring affordable and universal access to all of India’s 1.32 Billion population and creating success stories in India for the world to emulate. This is a true celebration of Digital India.”


India Constitutes High Level Forum on 5G India 2020 

India is at the cusp of a next generation of wireless technology 5G. 
●    5G has been conceived as a foundation for expanding the potential of the Networked Society. 
●    A digital transformation brought about through the power of connectivity is taking place in almost every industry. 
●    The landscape is expanding to include massive scale of “smart things” to be interconnected. 
●    Therefore, the manner in which future networks will cope with massively varied demands and a business landscape will be significantly different from today.
●    The economic benefits from the 5G technology are also quite immense. 
●    For India, 5G provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. 
●    Worldwide countries have launched similar Forums and thus, India has joined the race in 5G technologies. 
●    We are open for collaboration with them. 
●    Government has constituted High Level 5G India 2020 Forum with three Secretaries of key Ministries/Departments Telecom, Meity and DST, and also comprising of renowned experts like Dr. A. Paulraj, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, USA, Mr Gururaj Deshpande - Chairman of Sycamore Networks, Sandstone, USA, Indian industry led by CEOs of ICT industry, Telecom Standard Development Organisation of India (TSDSI), Professors from IIT Madras, IIT Mumbai, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IISc Bengaluru, IT industry and stakeholders from industry associations.


Indian Navy commissions Water Jet Fast Attack Craft at Mumbai

INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai today. 
●    At an impressive commissioning ceremony, Vice Admiral Luthra expressed confidence that the new INS Tarasa will discharge her duties with élan and resolve, and bring laurels to the Western Naval Command and the Nation.
●    Complementing the designers, builders, engineers, overseers, and the officers and the men whose efforts have fructified in the commissioning of the ship, he said that the ship is of proven design, has good endurance, low draught, high speed and manoeuvrability,  thus making her most suited for her primary role of extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol.
●    He reserved special praise for the ship’s crew and the Warship Overseeing Team, Kolkata for ensuring that the ship has been commissioned with all Weapon and Sensor trials completed. 
●    The passage of the ship during her maiden voyage from Kolkata to Mumbai, in rough weather, bears testimony to the seaworthiness of the ship. 
●    INS Tarasa is the fourth and last of the follow-on Water Jet FAC's built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. 
●    The first two ships of the class i.e. IN ships Tarmugli and They were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam; while the third ship INS Tillanchong was commissioned earlier this year at Karwar on 09 March 2017.  

Vice-President inaugurates a “Crusade for Toilets”
The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, today inaugurated the “Swachhta Hi Seva” and “Shouchalayakkagi Samara” (A Crusade For Toilets) Programme in Karnataka. 
●    He was presiding as the Chief Guest over a public event at Hubli.
●    The Vice President later visited Konnur Village, in Naragund Taluk, Gadag District, where he initiated the activity of ‘Tippe Samskarana’ (Waste Processing). He also inaugurated a “Shudda Kudiya Neerina Ghataka” (Purified Drinking Water Plant), visited the Janata Colony in the village, and addressed a “Shouchalayakkagi Samara” public gathering at the local high school.
●    Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President emphasized the need for Swachhata to become a jan aandolan. 
●    He complimented the taluka, district and State for the good progress made by them. 
●    He urged all present to participate in Swachhata activities and said that Swachh Bharat Mission is a national program, a people's program, and not one of any particular political party. 
●    He gave several examples of ordinary people making extraordinary contributions, including Ms Lavanya, a young girl from Karnataka who persuaded her unwilling family to build a toilet and then went on to inspire her entire village. 
●    The Vice President appreciated the fact that many young women are now demanding toilets before they get married into another family.
●    On the occasion, the Vice President also honoured 13 Village Panchayat Presidents and the Naragund Taluk Panchayat President, the achievers of “Shouchalay Akagi Samara”. 


Union Home Minister launches Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal at the National Conference on Child Labour organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India here today. 
●    The PENCIL is an electronic platform that aims at involving Centre, State, District, Governments, civil society and the general public in achieving the target of child labour free society. 
●    Shri Rajnath Singh also launched the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the enforcement of legal framework against child labour. 
●    The SOP is aimed at creating a ready reckoner for trainers, practitioners and monitoring agencies to ensure complete prohibition of child labour and protection of adolescents from hazardous labour ultimately leading to Child Labour Free India.
●    After launching the portal, Shri Rajnath Singh said that any decent society cannot allow the child labour. 
●    Child labour is a curse, he said. 
●    He said that India needs to take a resolve to eradicate the child labour from the country. 
●    He expressed faith that with conviction and resolve, we can eradicate this menace. 
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said if India could attain freedom in five years after taking resolve of ‘Do or Die’ of Mahatma Gandhi during the Quit India Movement, then there is no reason why India cannot attain a child labour free society in coming five years if the whole country gets united and takes resolve to do so. 
●    He said that childhood is the best period of an individual’s life gifted by God. 
●    But he expressed sadness at the fact that one in every 10 children is involved in child labour and is not able to lead a normal life during his childhood.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said that ratification of treaties by India in this regard shows our resolve to eradicate child labour in a time-bound manner. 

Kandla Port renamed as Deendayal Port 

The Ministry of Shipping has issued a notification renaming Kandla Port Trust as Deendayal Port Trust with effect from 25th of September, 2017. 
●    Kandla Port, located on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, is one of the twelve major ports in the country. 
●    As per the Ministry’s notification, the Central Government, in exercise of powers conferred on it under Indian Ports Act, 1908, made the amendment to replace “Kandla” with “Deendayal”.
●    While inaugurating various projects at Kandla Port in May this year, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had given the suggestion for renaming of Kandla Port after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, who stood for the uplift of the poor and weaker sections of society. 
●    The Ministry of Shipping issued the required notification on the occasion of the closing of the year long centenary celebrations of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.


Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurates National workshop on “Sports for All” in New Delhi 

A national workshop on “Sports for All” was organized here today with the participation of about 80 representatives from Indian Olympic Association, Department of Sports , Sports Authority of India, National Observers , National Sports Federations of high priority and priority disciplines, SGFI and AIUs, Sports Secretaries of the States and the Union Territories, Sports promotion Boards and Sports promotion NGOs.
●    As the Sports development plays a significant role towards individual development, community development, economic development and national development. 
●    One of the key objectives of the workshop was to bring about convergence among all the stakeholders and create a shared vision in order to harness the multiple benefits that sports offer.
●    Inaugurating the workshop, the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore said that a massive overhaul of the entire sporting system is underway with the Khelo India initiative of the government as per the vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 
●    He said the Khelo India scheme is not limited to development of stadiums; it will also work for the development of athletes and the nation. 
●    Khelo India is about broad-basing sports, providing opportunities for playing, creating competition, picking up talent and also awareness of physical fitness and good health.
●    The minister said, there is a need to create multiple levels of competition. Unfortunately, when we ask which domestic national competitions it takes some time for people to give an answer. 
●    School Games Federation of India (SGFI) has been conducting games at school-level for ages, but nobody knows about it. 
●    He said, we are going to launch a new programme, 'Khelo India School Games' in December 2017. 
●    It will be the best tournament at school-level. 
●    It will become a platform for best talent to emerge. 

Current Affairs 26th September 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Fiji, Niger and Tuvalu deposited instrument of ratification of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance 

Fiji, Niger and Tuvalu deposited instrument of ratification of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in the 5th meeting of International Steering Committee (ISC) of the ISA that was held in New Delhi yesterday . 
●    In this meeting representatives from 121 prospective member countries, who either completely or partially lie between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn participated. 
●    The meeting was Chaired by Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Co-chaired by Mrs Ségoléné  Royale, Ambassador for Arctic and Antarctic Poles and Special Envoy for the Implementation  of the  International Solar Alliance, Government of France.
●    Till date 40 countries have signed and 11 countries have ratified the Framework Agreement of the ISA.
●    With ratifications by 15 countries, the ISA will become a treaty based intergovernmental international organization.
●    While welcoming the participants Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE and the Chair of ISC thanked the prospective ISA member countries for their continued support.
●    He stated that the ISA is a reflection of our common desire to significantly augment solar power generation in our countries, and make joint efforts towards technology development and mobilization of the required investment to promote energy security and universal energy access. 

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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 25th September 2017

Current Affairs 25th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

An 18 year old from Srinagar becomes an ambassador for Swachhata Hi Seva

Bilal Dar, a young boy from Srinagar has become the brand ambassador for Srinagar Municipal Corporation. 
●    Dar has been contributing to the  ‘Swachhta Abhiyan’ since the age of 12. 
●    He found a mention in the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s recent Mann Ki Baat.
●    Continuing the shramdaan wave by VIPs the Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain took part in a Shramdaan programme at Guwahati railway station. 
●    CAF and PD Minister Karam Shyam launched Swachhta Hi Seva campaign in Manipur. 
●    Officials of Chandigarh Administration also participated in the “Swachhta hi Seva” drive at UT Secretariat, Chandigarh.
●    The Indian Coast Guards also conducted a special Shramdaan and Clean Up drive along with tree plantation at their premises as part of “Swachhta Hi Seva, Pakhwada”. 
●    Garbage was collected by organising clean ship drive and disposed.


Government to Launch Mudra Promotion camPaigns on Pan India Basis

Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, Government of India is launching a Mudra Promotion Campaign on national basis from 27th September to 17th October, 2017 in different parts of the country. 
●    The campaign will start on 27th September, 2017 at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh where the Union Minister for Railway and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal will be participating in the function organised on this occasion. 
●    In a similar function being organised on 2nd October, 2017 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari will be participating. 
●    On that day i.e., 2nd October, 2017, similar functions will also be held at Dehradun, Uttarakhand and Guwahati, Assam where Shri Ajay Tamta, Union Minister of State for Textiles and Shri Rajen Gohain, Minister for State for Railways respectively will participate.
●    On 3rd October, 2017, there will be three events being organised in this regard in different parts of the country. 
●    One such campaign will be held at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh where the Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be participating. 
●    In Raipur, Chhattisgarh, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel will be participating. 
●    A third function will be held at Agartala, Tripura where Shri Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs will be participating.


Rajnath Singh to launch PENCIL Portal at the National Conference on Child Labour tomorrow 

Children are valuable assets for any country who need to be nurtured for the better future of the country. 
●    The census 2011 showed a substantial decline in child labour as compared to the data of Census 2001, but a lot is required to be done to protect their childhood. 
●    Realizing the multifaceted nature of this problem, Government has embarked on a holistic and multi-pronged approach to eliminate child labour from the country in a phased manner. 
●    Government has enacted the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 which came into force with effect from 1st September, 2016. 
●    With this amendment, employment of a child below 14 years is completely prohibited in any occupation or processes. 
●    This is a historic progression since the inception of the Act in 1986, when a complete ban in engaging children below 14 years is foreseen as a reality by this amendment. : First time the age of child is linked with the age of the child in the Right of Children to free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. 


Railway Protection Force to implement its Child Rescue Campaign in 47 additional Railway Stations


Encouraged with the success of campaign launched by Railway Protection Force (RPF) to rescue distressed children, Ministry of Railways has now decided to implement this campaign in 47 additional Railway stations in addition to existing 35 stations. 
●    With these additional stations, the RPF campaign to rescue children will be implemented from 82 Railways stations. 
●    In this way, all A1 Category stations numbering 75 will be covered under this campaign.
●    ‘Operation Muskaan’, is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to rescue/rehabilitate missing children. 
●    It is a dedicated campaign where several activities are taken up by Police organizations to trace and rescue missing children and reunite them with their families.
●    The Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force are required to take preventive measures and also take action in case children in need of care and protection are found in trains and Railway Premises.
●    During the years 2014, 2015 & 2016, Railway Protection Force personnel have been able to rescue 20,931 children including 1,317trafficked children (944 Boys & 373 Girls) over Indian Railways. 
●    In the current year 2017, upto August, 7,126 children have been rescued by RPF including 185 trafficked children (124 Boys & 61 Girls).


Gadkari to inaugurate/lay foundation stone for NH projects worth Rs 4468 Crore in Andhra Pradesh on 3rd Oct 2017 

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate National Highways projects worth Rs 1928.46 crores and lay the foundation stone for projects worth Rs 2539.08 crores in Andhra Pradesh on  3rd October 2017. 
●    In addition to this he will also lay the foundation stone for the development of Muktyala to Vijaywada stretch of  Krishna River ( National Waterways – 4. )Shri Gadkari is scheduled to visit Vijaywada on 3rd October, 2017.
●    Approximately 415 km of National Highways would be inaugurated by Shri Gadkari, while he will lay the foundation for another 250 km NH. 
●    The projects include rehabilitation and upgradation of existing National Highways, besides construction of a 4-lane bypass to Vijayanagaram Town on NH 43 ( New NH 26).
●    As per an MoU signed with Govt. of Andhra Pradesh on 14th April’2016, NW-4 in Andhra Pradesh is proposed to be developed in three phases
●    Phase-I: -Muktyala to Vijayawada (Krishna River) (82 Km)
●    Phase-II: -Vijayawada to Kakinada (Eluru canal & Kakinada canal) and Rajahmundry to Polavaram stretch of Godavari (233 Km)
●    Phase-III: -Commamur Canal, Buckingham canal and balance stretches of Krishna & Godavari Rivers (573km)
●    Shri Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for Phase- I on 3rd October, 2017. 
●    Work on this phase, that is development of the 82 km from Muktyala to Vijayawada stretch has already commenced. 
●    Dredging began in the shallow areas in  May this year, and the work is expected to be complete by June, 2019. 


TRIFED Signs MoU with Amazon 

Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram inaugurated the National Workshop organized by TRIFED on “Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produces (MFP) scheme – Taking it to the next level for a Fair and Equitable Deal to the Tribals” Ministers of State for Tribal Affairs Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor and Shri Sudarshan Bhagat were specially present to grace the occasion. 
●    Ms Leena Nair, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Shri Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and senior officials were also be present on the occasion. 
●    Senior level functionaries of Government of India from the Ministries of Tribal Affairs, Rural Development, Textiles, Forests and Environment and over 100 senior officers from all the States also participated in the day-long Workshop.
●    Shri Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs said that this workshop is a step to expand the horizon of the scheme of providing Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce. 
●    This scheme is already implemented in 9 States and today it is expanded nationwide. 


President of India will Present ‘National Tourism Awards’ on 27th September, 2017

The President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind will present “National Tourism Awards” to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry at a function organized by Ministry of Tourism in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on World Tourism Day (27 September,2017). 
●    The function will be presided over by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism Shri Shri Alphons Kannanthanam.
●    These awards are being given since the early 1990s and are presented to State Governments / Union Territories, classified hotels, heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators and tourist transport operators, individuals and other private organizations in recognition of their performance in their respective fields and also to encourage healthy competition with an aim to promote tourism. 
●    In an attempt to encourage States and Union Territories to put into place effective mechanisms for maintaining cleanliness at tourist destinations, a new Category of award “Swachhta Award” has been introduced this year. 
●    Other new categories of awards being introduced this year include “Best State for Adventure Tourism” and “Best Wildlife Guide”.
●    The date for the Awards has been selected to coincide with World Tourism Daywhich is celebrated annually on 27th September, to coincide with the anniversary of adoption of the statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). 
●    Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. 

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Important Current Affairs 24th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 24th September 2017

Current Affairs 24th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

After 8 days of Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign, 201 Districts are ODF now. 

Swacchata Hi Seva campaign has fostered collaborations, across the country, to fight against the evils of open defecation. 
●    In a major milestone, the rural sanitation coverage has increased with 4 districts being declared ODF today taking the total tally to 201. 
●    After a week of the Swacchata Hi Seva campaign, the movement received support from Bollywood. 
●    Superstar Rajinikanth responded to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s call by committing to extend full support to Swachhata. 
●    Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli also extended full support to the Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign. 
●    In Balasore, Odisha scientists and staff members of Interim Test Range (ITR) Chandipur, picked up brooms and cleaned roads.
●    As a part of on-going Swachhata Hi Seva programme, several activities have been taken up across Assam. 


 PM to lay the Foundation Stone for AIIMS Vilaspur on 3rd October


Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda today expressed deep gratitude to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji for sanctioning AIIMS Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. 
●    On behalf of the people of the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Nadda thanked the Prime Minister for agreeing to lay the foundation stone of the premier national medical institute on 3rd October. 
●    The Union Health Minister stated that AIIMS Bilaspur is another milestone in the list of achievements of the NDA government in the health sector. 
●    Under the guidance and visionary leadership of the Prime Minister, the Ministry is fast moving in strengthening the tertiary care network in the country. 
●    He stated that AIIMS Bilaspur will provide the much needed tertiary medical services to a vast population of not only Himachal Pradesh but the other northern states too.


Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates “Hunar Haat” in Puducherry 

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that Ministry of Minority Affairs is working to establish “Hunar Hub” across the country to provide a platform to master artisans and craftsmen to display as well sell their products. 
●    Shri Naqvi and Puducherry Chief Minister Shri V. Narayanasamy today inaugurated “Hunar Haat”, being organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs at Puducherry. 
●    Shri Naqvi said that the artisans and craftsmen will also be provided training according to the requirements of the current markets. 
●    Shri Naqvi said that encouragement to talent and skill development will be an essential part of the vision of “New India”. 
●    “Hunar Haat” is being organised at Craft Bazaar, Gandhi Thidal Beach, Goubert Avenue in Puducherry, one of renowned centre of art & culture, till 30th September, 2017 to provide market and opportunity to master artisans from across the country. 
●    Puducherry Member of Parliament Shri R. Radhakrishnan, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation Chairman Shri Shabaz Ali and officials from Puducherry Government and Minority Affairs Ministry were also present on the occasion. 

Centre to launch Neighborhood Action Plan in cities for better Solid Waste Management 


Stressing that the country can’t be made clean without fixing the garbage problem in Delhi that has reached crisis proportion, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri today invoked the pride of being a resident of the national capital to spur people into collective action for effective solid waste management.
●    Shri Puri today participated in the ‘Swachhat Hi Sewa’ campaign at Bhikaji Cama Place in South Delhi by sweeping and collecting the litter and later addressed the people, sanitation workers and officials of the Ministry and South Delhi Municipal Corporation  who undertook shramdan along with him. 
●    He also inaugurated modern litter pickers imported by South MCD.
●    The Minister noted that being a citizen and resident of Delhi is a ‘matter of pride’ and is a unique privilege that brings several advantages in the form of better services and amenities not available in other cities. 
●    He quoted the example of Delhi Metro on which the central and State Governments incurred huge expenditure with more in the offing. 
●    Shri Puri said this pride would however, be punctured if Delhi is  not made clean and the garbage issue was not addressed properly.


2 Lakh more defaulters Directors of defaulter companies released


Intensifying its crackdown on shell companies and their operators, the government has made public names of over 55,000 directors linked to such firms to ensure they do not get associated with similar roles again.
●    More such names will be published soon as the government has already identified over 1.06 lakh directors for their association with shell firms which are either yet to commence any business or have failed to submit their financial statements or annual returns for three straight years.
●    More than two lakh such companies have already been struck off the register of the companies with various ROCs (Registrar of Companies).
●    As per the public notices issued by different ROCs, the names have been made public so far for more than 24,000 such shell companies from the Chennai region, as also of over 12,000 each from Ahmedabad and Ernakulam.
●    Besides, similar lists of thousands of directors have been made public by the ROCs in Cuttack, Goa and Shillong, among others. 
●    However, ROCs in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh are yet to publish such lists.


Coal mine auction will be made easy for private companies


India is planning a simple, attractive system for auctioning coal blocks to private firms by the year end, a measure government officials believe will help accelerate the infrastructure industry and have a multiplier effect on the economy. 
●    Major foreign and Indian companies are eyeing the auction, which is expected to grant operational freedom on pricing and the sale of coal, official said.
●    According to the proposal, the company that offers to pay the highest amount of royalty to the state will win the block. 
●    The government does not propose to quote the value of the blocks, as has been the practice for the captive coal-block auctions. 
●    Miners will offer value for the blocks depending on their own assessments and the highest bidders will succeed.
●    “The awardee of the commercial coal mine will not face any restrictions on selling the coal or pricing the coal. 
●    However, in case of undue profits, when coal prices rise above normal, the miner will have to share a percentage of the gains with the state government,” a government official said.
 

Current Affairs 24th September 2017: SPORTS

Carolina Marin, Victor Axelsen Clinch Japan Open Title


World champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark beat Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei on Sunday to clinch his first Japan Open title.
●    Axelsen, who defeated two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China to bag the world title in Glasgow last month, edged out Lee 21-14, 19-21, 21-14 in the men's singles final.
●    Lee, who has won the Japan Open six times including last year, narrowly took the second game but the Dane put in a brilliant performance to triumph in the third.
●    In the women's singles Carolina Marin of Spain, last year's Olympic gold medallist, overwhelmed He Bingjiao of China 23-21, 21-12.
●    Japan's Rio Olympics gold medallists Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo beat South Korea's Kim Ha-Na and Kong Hee-Yong 21-18, 21-16 in the women's doubles final, to the delight of local fans at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2017

Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2017

Current Affairs 23rd September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Embassy, Taurus to form JV for Rs 900-cr project in Kerala


Realty firm Embassy group today said it will form a joint venture with US-based Taurus Investment Holdings to develop commercial projects, including an SEZ, in Kerala at an investment of about Rs 900 crore.
●    Taurus and Bangalore-based Embassy will develop a 10-acre SEZ project at Trivandrum comprising 1.4 million sq ft of office space through a joint venture firm Winterfell Realty.
●    Taurus will have 51 per cent stake in the JV while Embassy will hold 49 per cent, although the economic interest will be equal between the two partners.
●    In another 10-acre of non-SEZ land, Embassy and Taurus will form separate JV to develop 0.9 million sq ft of office space in the second phase. 
●    Taurus will independently develop 1.2 million sq ft of retail space and a hotel on this land.
●    When asked about investment, he said the total project cost will be about Rs 850-900 crore, which will be infused in form of equity and debt by the partners.
●    The JV expects to sign a lease agreement with Kerala government by November for the SEZ project and start construction work early next year.

Sewage plant unveiled at RSS icon Deendayal Upadhyaya village


To save the Yamuna from pollution, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh Friday inaugurated an eco-friendly and economically viable sewage treatment plant at Farah — the birthplace of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
●    The plant has a capacity to recycle 75,000 litres per day of sewage into agriculture-safe irrigation water by using a new treatment technology developed by the Delhi-based ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
●    “Many villages face the problem of handling wastewater. We are promoting recycling of sewage water across the country. A new plant set up here will help use of treated water for irrigating farm fields,” Singh told 
●    The treatment will reduce 75-85 per cent heavy metal pollution from the wastewater, making recycled water completely safe for both agriculture and aquaculture, he added. 
●    The plant has been set up with one-time investment of Rs 45 lakh by the central government and will be managed by a trust ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Dham’, IARI’s Water Technology Centre Director Ravinder Kaur told. 
●    At present, Farah village — which is 32 km away from Mathura — generates around 40,000 litres per day of sewage, which gets disposed of in the Yamuna river in the absence of a cost-effective recycling plant, she said.

DIAL gives nod to use of Hindon airbase for RCS flights


The Delhi airport operator DIAL has accepted a government proposal on temporary use of Indian Air Force's Hindon airbase for commercial flights under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS).
●    The civil aviation ministry had mooted the idea because of slot constraints at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
●    According to an agreement between Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a consortium led by GMR Group, and the government, commercial flight operations from an airport within 150 kms of the IGI Airport are not allowed.
●    "DIAL has agreed with the Ministry of Civil Aviation's proposal," a GMR spokesperson wrote in response to an e-mail query.
●    According to the terms of negotiation, the use of Hindon airbase is only an interim measure until DIAL completes expansion work at the IGI Airport.
●    "Use of Hindon Air Force Station will only be a temporary and stop-gap arrangement for the limited purpose of operating flights and networks awarded under RCS. 


PM Narendra Modi to launch ‘power for all’ scheme on September 25


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch ‘power for all’ scheme on September 25 to mark the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
●    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch ‘power for all’ scheme on September 25 to mark the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. 
●    The scheme will aim at providing 24X7 electricity to all and the development was confirmed by power minister RK Singh yesterday. 
●    “Another challenge is coming on September 25…when the Prime Minister will announce a big scheme for providing power for all 24X7,” Singh said at The India Power Conclave organised by Network18.
●    Even though Singh didn’t reveal too many things about the scheme, he didn’t mention that it is touted to cover all rural families after expected electrification of all villages by December end this year. 
●    He added that the Narendra Modi led government has asked the states to prepare electrification projects which would be discussed and approved for release of funds under the scheme.

After 7 days, close to one crore citizens join the Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign

In Chennai to keep the city ‘clean and green’, a battery of Judges from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court joined hands with public, students, officials of the district administration, city corporation, police, Public Works and Income Tax departments in a massive cleaning drive along the Vaigai river.
●    In Maharashtra 430 GPs have been declared ODF and over 58 thousand toilets have been constructed since September 15th. 
●    In what can be described as an act of deep commitment, world famous sand artist, Mr Sudarshan Pattnaik, used his award money to construct two toilets for fisherman in Puri, Odisha after receiving a personal letter from the Hon’ble Prime Minister to engage with the cause of swachhata. 
●    A young girl from Bihar created a song on Swachhata which is drawing significant attention and accolades. 
●    In Jharkhand swachhata sentiment was spread to educational institutions by appealing to the universities to clean their campuses.
 

Current Affairs 23rd September 2017: ECONOMY

India to strengthen Korea Plus cell to facilitate investments


India will further strengthen the Korea Plus cell created here to promote and facilitate investments, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said today. 
●    The cell was launched last year to promote and facilitate investments from the east Asian country in India. 
●    Korea Plus comprises a representative each from the South Korean Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy and Korea Trade-Investment and Promotion Agency ( KOTRA). 
●    It also includes three officials from Invest India. 
●    "We would further strengthen the Korea Plus cell created to facilitate Korean investments in India," Prabhu said in a series of tweets. 
●    He is in Seoul for Asia-Europe Meeting ( ASEM) of economic ministers. This meeting is happening after a gap of 12 years.India and South Korea are also reviewing their free trade agreement. 
●    Officially dubbed as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the pact was implemented in January 2010. 
●    The bilateral trade in 2016-17 increased to $16.82 billion from $16.57 billion in the previous fiscal. 

Only Tata, Sekhsaria can appeal as minority shareholders in Tata Sons: NCLAT


Out of 51 shareholders of Tata Sons only Ratan Tata and Narotam Sekhsaria are eligible to file against oppression and mismanagement as minority shareholders, NCLAT has observed while granting waiver to Cyrus Mistry on the minimum shareholding rule calling it 'exceptional' and 'compelling circumstances'. 
●    The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had yesterday waived the minimum shareholding rule to the ousted Tata Sons chairman, Mistry to file a case of alleged oppression of minority shareholders against Tata Sons. 
●    "We find that except Ratan Naval Tata having issued shareholding of 31.43 per cent and Narotam S Sekhsaria having 17.01 per cent shareholding capital of the company, none of the 49 members are eligible to file an application under Section 241, individually having less than 10 per cent of the shareholding," NCLAT said in the order, uploaded today. 
●    Section 241 of the Companies Act 2013 empowers a minority shareholder of the company to approach NCLT against oppression and mismanagement. However, Section 244 mandates that they should have at least 10 per cent ownership in a company and the tribunal has power to grant the waiver. 
 

Current Affairs 23rd September 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

More than 4,00,000 people sign petition to save Uber in London


Over four lakh people have signed a petition calling on Londoners to save Uber, a day after the US-based ride-hailing app firm lost its licence to operate on the streets of the UK’s capital.
●    In a big blow to Uber, London’s transport regulator announced yesterday that it will not renew the taxi company’s licence, citing “public safety and security implications”. 
●    More than 460,000 signatures have been added to Uber’s petition on Change.org titled “Save Your Uber in London” as the company prepares to appeal against the decision.
●    “If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive millions of Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport. 
●    This decision is affecting the real lives of a huge number of honest and hard-working drivers in London,” the petition reads.
●    “The 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride around the best city in the world will be astounded by the decision to ban Uber from the capital,” it said.
●    Transport for London (TfL), chaired by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, had announced that it will not to renew Uber’s Operator Licence when it expires on September 30 as it was not a “fit and proper” operator.
 

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2017

Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2017

Current Affairs 22nd September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Shri Radha Mohan Singh addresses inaugurates Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centenary Krishi Unnati Mela in Mathura 

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the various development and welfare schemes launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the last three years helped farmers reap a record production of food grains during 2016-17. 
●    The production of pulses increased to 22.40 million tonnes in 2016-17 from 16.35 million tonnes in the previous years. 
●    Similarly, the production of food grains increased from 265 million tonnes to 273.38 million tonnes in 2016-17; and horticulture production increased from 244 million tonnes to 295 million tonnes. 
●    Shri Singh said it today at the inaugural function of four-day Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centenary Krishi Unnati Mela organized by National Horticulture Board of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Ministry in Mathura.
●    Shri Radha Mohan Singh further said that the government is committed to the development and welfare of the farmers and is rubbing shoulders with them under the guidance of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. 
●    The government is trying to make farmers economically stable and increase their income by 2022 through various schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, National Agriculture Development Programme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana launched in the last three years.
●    Shri Singh said farmers from 18 states and the entrepreneurs from various fields like horticulture, agriculture, livestock, dairy, fisheries etc. will be demonstrating and selling their products at the fair. 

Centre organizes workshop on sharing experiences among cities in Mumbai

Smart cities in the making are set to rise to an entirely a new level of monitoring and delivery of civic services through digitally integrated Central Command and Control Centres, said Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary (Housing & Urban Affairs), Government of India today. 
●    He said so while inaugurating a day long ‘Learning and Experience Sharing Workshop on Digitally Integrated Command and Control Centres under Smart City Mission’ in Mumbai.
●    Shri Mishra further said that these centres would serve as the ‘brain centres’ of smart cities for ensuring effective coordination in the functioning of various agencies of urban local bodies resulting in improved monitoring and delivery of services to citizens. 
●    He said that with these centres based on a host of sensors connected to a central server function as the ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of cities as well by enabling monitoring of garbage collection and it’s transportation truck-wise, filling and emptying of garbage collection bins, traffic and red light violation, noise pollution etc.
Shri Mishra urged the cities that are setting up such centres under Smart City Mission to ensure their timely completion so that citizens could benefit from them at the earliest.


SAIL set to leverage domestic growth potential, banks on new product mix 

Addressing the 45th Annual General Meeting of Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) held here today, Chairman SAIL, Shri PK Singh was confident of improvement in Company’s performance starting this financial year (FY 2017-18) backed by several management initiatives in every area of operations. 
●    Shri Singh said that, “Given the current stage of development in Indian economy and the likely growth path for Country's economy in next decade, the steel demand in India will witness significant growth in future. 
●    SAIL with newer and better technologies at its disposal aims to leverage potential of growth in steel demand by operating at rated capacities, product differentiation and customer satisfaction.” 
●    World steel association too, in its short range outlook has a forecast of 6.1% growth in steel consumption for India in 2017. 
●    The Company since inception has produced 475 Million Tonnes (MT) of Crude steel and has partnered in all major national projects requiring steel. 
●    Shri Singh added that, “the Company achieved 14% higher turnover during FY 2016-17 over previous year owing to increase in both sales volume (which grew by 8%) and Net Sales Realisation (NSR) of Saleable Steel of five Integrated Steel Plants by about 6%. 
●    The increase in NSR was partly due to an overall improvement in price levels and partly due to measures in enriching Company's product mix.”


Prime Minister dedicates Deendayal Hastkala Sankul to the Nation

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today 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. 
●    Today, he visited the Centre, and was given an overview of the facilities developed there, before arriving on the dais for the dedication.
●    He described the Trade Facilitation Centre as one of the biggest projects for Varanasi for a long time. 
●    He said this Centre would help the artisans and weavers showcase their skills to the world, and facilitate a brighter future for them. 
●    He asked the people to encourage all tourists to visit this Centre. 
●    He said this would result in increased demand of handicrafts, and also boost the tourism potential of Varanasi, and indeed the economy of the city.
●    The Prime Minister said the solution to all problems is through development. 
●    He said the Government is focused on bringing about positive change in the lives of the poor and of succeeding generations. In this context, he praised the efforts of Utkarsh Bank.

Current Affairs 22nd September 2017: DEFENSE

DGMO Level talks between India And Pak 

DGMO level talks on behest of Pak DGMO was held on 22 Sep 17. 
●    During the talks the Pak DGMO raised the issues of targeting of Pak Civilians opposite the Jammu Sector by own troops.
●    Indian DGMO in response highlighted that all Ceasefire Violations in the Jammu Sector were initiated by Pak Rangers and the BSF troops deployed only responded appropriately to them. 
●    It was also emphasised that no targeted firing on civilians was carried out by own troops. 
●    Apart from these, firing by BSF troops were initiated onto Armed intruders attempting to infiltrate from close proximity of Pak posts along Amritsar Border.
●    DGMO also put across emphatically that the trend of infiltration along the LC continued with active support of Pak forward posts impacting peace and tranquility along the LC and also the internal security situation. 
●    This was evident from continued attempts of sniping and targeting of our troops undertaken through cross-border actions duly supported by Pak Army troops.
●    DGMO reiterated that the Indian Army is a professional Army and reserves the right to retaliate appropriately to any incident leading to loss of life of our troop. 
●    He reaffirmed the sincerity in the efforts of Indian Army to maintain peace and tranquility along the LC provided there was a reciprocal effort from Pakistan.

Empowering the Soldier by Project Yash Vidya 

Empowering the soldiers has always been the endeavour of Indian Army. A MoU was signed by Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar, AG, IHQ of MoD (Army) 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. 
●    Apart from the highly subsidised fees charged, the courses offered for study by the university have been carefully selected on the basis of their relevance and overall usefulness.
●    The University will award Diploma in Self Empowerment and a Bachelor's Degree in Arts or Commerce under PROJECT YASH VIDYA enabling them with academic qualifications for better future.
 

Current Affairs 22nd September 2017: SPACE SCIENCE

Dr. Harshvardhan launches Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana 

Department of Science and Technology is implementing several initiatives for upliftment and economic development of rural areas in the country.
●    A number of appropriate technologies have been developed, demonstrated and deployed at several locations in the country.
●    The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harshvardhan today 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.
●    DST has conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in a time bound manner through the tools of Science and Technology (S&T). 
●    The key deliverable in this approach is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and convert them in a manner using science and technology, that substantial value addition takes place in their local produce and services which can sustain the rural population locally.  
●    Further, the local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods. 
●    Once this concept is validated in the few selected clusters, it can be replicated across large number of village clusters in the country.

Current Affairs 22nd September 2017: ECONOMY

Government provides additional Rs.12000 Crores to tackle malnutrition 

The Government has provided an additional Rs.12000 Crores to fight malnutrition over next three years in the country by revising cost norms for supplementary nutrition provided in anganwadis and in the scheme for adolescent girls. 
●    Briefing media persons in New Delhi today, Secretary, WCD Shri Rakesh Srivastava said that the government has effected a quantum increase of about 33% in cost norms, which have been revised for the first time since 2011 in the case of ICDS. 
●    In the case of Scheme for Adolescent Girls, cost norms have been increased first time since 2010. With this, an additional Rs.9900 Crore have been given for supplementary nutrition in anganwadis over the next three years and Rs.2276 Crores in the scheme for adolescent girls over the next three years, he explained. 
●    This reflects commitment of the government to tackle malnutrition on a war footing as reflected in Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji’s vision, Shri Srivastava said.
●    The cost norms have now also been linked to the Food Price Index which will enable the government to increase the cost norms annually without any hindrance.  

 

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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2017

Important Current Affairs 21st September 2017

Current Affairs 21st September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

PM attends Sahkar Sammelan on the occasion of birth centenary of Laxmanrao Inamdar

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that our country is a “Bahuratna Vasundhara” where many people have made great contributions across regions and time periods. 
●    He said that while some of them become well known and are talked about by the media, there are many others who make valuable contributions, even though they remain largely unknown. 
●    The Prime Minister said that Vakil Saheb – Laxmanrao Inamdar – was one such person. 
●    The Prime Minister emphasized that the first principle of the cooperative movement is to unite everyone, even while remaining anonymous. 
●    He said that Shri Inamdar had imbibed this principle, and his life is a source of inspiration.
●    The Prime Minister spoke of the goals such doubling farmers’ income by 2022, and balanced development in rural and urban areas. 
●    He said the cooperative movement can play a key role in the achievement of these objectives.
●    The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of preserving the “spirit” in the cooperative movement, which he said is still largely intact in the rural areas. 

New Campus of Indian Aviation Academy Inaugurated Today 

The Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju today inaugurated the new state of the art campus of Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) in New Delhi. 
●    With the inauguration of this new world class campus, the IAA academy aims to enhance and augment its training and hostel capabilities to more than double. 
●    Speaking on the occasion Shri Raju said that with its enhanced strength the IAA academy would go a long way in meeting the growing demand for skilled manpower in the aviation sector. 
●    The Indian Aviation Academy was constituted under the aegis of NIAMAR (National Institute of Aviation Management and research Society) on 22nd July, 2010 as a joint training academy of Airports Authority of India, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Directorate General of Civil Aviation. 
●    The aim of the academy is to provide training and conduct research and consultancy services in various areas of the aviation sector, like Airports and Aviation Management, Safety Regulations, Security and other related areas. 
●    IAA runs training programmes in Airports Operations & Aviation Safety, Airport Engineering & Planning, Air Cargo Management, Environment concerns in Aviation, besides regulatory training through DGCA and Security training through BCAS. 
●    AAI also offers internationally recognised aviation accredited programmes to participant across the globe in cooperation with ICAO, IATA and ACI. 
●    AAI has also acquired full membership of ICAO Trainair Plus programme.


Union Home Minister inaugurates two-day NHRC National Seminar on Good Governance, Development and Human Rights 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh said that in Indian culture, the focus has always been on duties and not on rights; if everybody attends to his duties, the rights of all automatically get protected. 
●    He was addressing at a National seminar on Good Governance, Development and Human Rights, organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) here today. 
●    He said that the concept of Human Rights in the centuries old Indian ethos is rooted in peace, unlike the West where it shaped up with conflict post- World War-II. 
●    The concept of protection of Human Rights in India is linked with the wellbeing of the whole universe, wherein all elements live in mutual coexistence peacefully. 
●    This, he said, reflects even in our spiritual and divine invocations. 
●    Referring to the issue of governance, Shri Rajnath Singh said that any sovereign nation is free to take action against illegal migrants. 
●    He said that the issue of deportation of Rohingyas for India is not a matter of ego and confrontation but of principles. 
●    Those who, in the name of human rights, are expressing concern on the rights of others should bother first for the rights of the citizens of India. 
●    The citizens of the country have the first right on its resources and not the illegal migrants. 
●    Rohingyas are illegal migrants; they are not refugees for which a process is required to be completed, which they never followed. 


“Hunar Haat” to be organised in Puducherry from 24th to 30th September 2017 by Ministry of Minority Affairs 

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that Ministry of Minority Affairs is organising “Hunar Haat” at Puducherry, one of renowned centre of art & culture, from 24th to 30th September, 2017 to provide market and opportunity to master artisans belonging to the Minority communities.
●    Shri Naqvi said that “Hunar Haat”, organised by Minority Affairs Ministry earlier at different places, have been very successful and encouraging for master artisans belonging to the poor sections of the Minorities.
●    Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Puducherry Chief Minister Shri V Narayanasamy will inaugurate the “Hunar Haat”, to be organised at Craft Bazaar, Gandhi Thidal Beach, Goubert Avenue, Puducherry.
●    Master artisans from 16 states would be showcasing their traditional talent.  
●    Artisans will bring for display and sale, a wide variety of traditional and rare Handicraft and Handloom items which include Hyderabad Pearl, Wrought Iron & Wood Carving, wooden and sandalwood items, hand-made jewellery, Tie and Die,  Kantha Embroidered Jean bags, Handloom Bed Sheets, Ceramic/Clay items, Black Stone Pottery, Hand Embroidery, Chikankari, Leather items. 

PM to lay foundation stone of STP to be built at Varanasi under Namami Gange Programme 

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a 50 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) based on Hybrid Annuity-PPP model in Ramana in Varanasi on September 22, 2017. 
●    This is the first time ever that Hybrid Annuity-PPP model is adopted in sewage sector. 
●    It is a major step forward in realising the dream of Nirmal Ganga under Namami Gange programme.
●    The work to construct, operate and maintain the 50 MLD STP in Varanasi has been awarded to a consortium led by Essel Infra Projects Limited at an estimated cost of Rs 153.16 crore.
●    The Government of India had accorded Cabinet approval to implement the Hybrid Annuity based PPP model with 100% central sector funding. 
●    Under this model, the development, operation and maintenance of the STP will be undertaken by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) at the local level. 
●    As per this model, 40% of the Capital cost would be paid during construction while the remaining 60% of the cost will be paid over the life of the project as annuities along with operation and maintenance cost (O&M) expenses for the next 15 years.


Centre announces new PPP Policy to promote private investments in affordable housing 

 
Central Government today announced a new PPP Policy for Affordable Housing that allows extending central assistance of up to Rs.2.50 lakh  per each house to be built by private builders even on private lands besides opening up immense potential for private investments in affordable housing projects on government lands in urban areas.
●    Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri announced this policy that gives eight PPP (Public Private Partnership) options for private sector to invest in affordable housing segment. 
●    He was addressing the ‘Real Estate & Infrastructure Investors Summit-2017’ organized by real estate body NAREDCO in Mumbai.  
●    Shri Puri explained that this policy seeks to assign risks among the government, developers and financial institutions, to those who can manage them the best besides leveraging under utilized and unutilized private and public lands towards meeting the Housing for All target by 2022.
●    The two PPP models for private investments in affordable housing on private lands include extending  central assistance of about Rs.2.50 lakh per each house as interest subsidy on bank loans as upfront payment under the Credit Linked Subsidy Component (CLSS) component of Pradhan Mantri Awas yojana (Urban). 
●    Under the second option, central assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh per each house to be built on private lands would be provided, in case the beneficiaries do not intend to take bank loans.
●    Shri Puri stated that eight PPP options, including six for promoting affordable housing with private investments using government lands have been evolved after extensive consultations with States, promoter bodies and other stakeholders. 
●    DBT Model: Under this option, private builders can design, build and transfer houses built on government lands to public authorities. 
●    Government land is to be allocated based on the least cost of construction. 


Andhra Pradesh to be declared ODF by March 2018 

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N Chandrababu Naidu, announced that Andhra Pradesh will be declared ODF by March 2018. 
●    This was announced during a Collectors’ Conference in Vijayawada, as a part of the Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign. 
●    Adding momentum to this drive more than 2 lakhs toilet pits were dug on 17th September in Madhya Pradesh. 
●    These are targeted to be converted into one lakh toilets by 2nd October. 
●    In Maharashtra, the focus has been on Shramdaan and IPC, during the week. 
●    In J&K, the administration and masses came together to make their areas swachh. 
●    Cleanliness Drive was carried out in important and iconic places and Solid and Liquid Resource Management activities were undertaken in in Mizoram. 
●    Solid and Liquid Resource Management was also the key focus in Chhattisgarh. 
●    To aid with generating awareness about Swachhata Rajasthan undertook Swachhta Chitran – a campaign where Block level officers, motivators and masons, took to the streets to paint on public walls, water tanks and other such public spaces.


Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurates VASTRA 2017

The Union Minister for Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has said that textile is not just an industry, but also a tradition and a legacy which we present to the world through the magic of India’s handcrafts and machines. 
●    Speaking about the success of the mega textiles event Textiles India 2017, the Minister said that Textiles India was an effort not only of the Government; she said that it was an effort of the entire industry that wanted to tell the world in one voice, “Come, Make in India”. 
●    She added that nothing better says Make in India than Textiles in India. 
●    The Minister said this after inaugurating the 6th Edition of the 4-day international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA 2017, in Jaipur today.
●    The Minister said that this confidence in the textiles sector is bolstered by the recent high growth of FDI in the textiles sector. 
●    Recounting the success of the Integrated Skill Development Scheme, Smt. Irani also said that the success rate of placements of skilled workforce in textiles sector is now over 70%. 
●    She added that the Government continues to engage with the trainees even after placement to ensure that individuals are able to sustain work in their work chain for at least 6 months.

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Important Current Affairs 20th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 20th September 2017

Current Affairs 20th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves Revamped Khelo India Programme 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the revamped Khelo India programme at a cost of Rs.1,756 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20. 
●    This marks a watershed moment in the history of Indian sports, as the Programme aims at mainstreaming sport as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.
●    The revamped Khelo India Programme would impact the entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy.
●    An unprecedented Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines. 
●    Each athlete selected under the scheme shall receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5.00 lakh for 8 consecutive years.


Cabinet approves Rationalization/Merger of the Government of India Press (GIPs) and their modernization 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its for rationalization/merger and modernization of 17 Government of India Presses (GIPs)/Units into 5 Government of India Presses (GIPs) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Minto Road and Mayapuri, New Delhi; Nashik, Maharashtra and Temple Street, Kolkata, West Bengal.
●    These 5 Presses will be redeveloped and modernised by monetisation of their surplus land. 
●    Land measuring 468.08 acres of the other merged Presses will be given to Land & Development Office, Ministry of Urban Development. Land measuring 56.67 acres of the Government of India Text Books Presses (GITBPs) at Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar and Mysuru will be returned to the respective State Governments.
●    Modernisation of the Presses will enable them to undertake important confidential, urgent and multi-colour printing work of the Central Government Offices all over the country.
●    This will be carried out at zero cost to the exchequer and without any retrenchment.

Cabinet approves introduction of the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament subject to modifications of drafting or consequential nature, if any, as may be considered necessary by the Legislative Department by amending the Dentists Act, 1948 (16 of 1948). 
●    The amendment will reduce the redundancy.
●    The clauses being amended include those pertaining to certain modifications in the provisions of the Dentists Act, 1948 with regard to:
●    The Membership  of  the Dental Council of India under clause (f) of   section 3 and
●    The  Membership  of  State  and  Joint  State Dental Councils under clause (b) of section 21 and clause (b) of section 23 of the said Act.
●    As per the existing Act, it was required to have the representation of dentists registered in Part B as Central Government nominees in the Dental Council of India and the election of four/ two members from Part B to the State/ Joint State Dental Councils.  
●    However, it has lost relevance. 
●    With a view to reducing the redundancy of the provisions of their representation, the Central Government has decided to delete these provisions so that their representation does not remain mandatory any more.


Cabinet approves increase of cost norms for Supplementary Nutrition provided in Anganwadis and in the Scheme for Adolescent Girls 


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal for revision of cost norms with annual cost indexation for Supplementary Nutrition (SN) for the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Services and Adolescent Girls (out of school 11-14 years) under the Umbrella ICDS Scheme. 
●    This addresses a long standing anomaly and ensures that the changes in norms keeps pace with changes in costs on an annual basis.
●    This follows the decision by the Government to provide cash benefits to pregnant and lactating mothers under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, and is part of an intensive effort to improve the nutritional status of women and children.
●    The revision of cost norms for SN for beneficiaries of Anganwadi Services would cost additional expenditure of Rs.9,900 crore and for beneficiaries of Adolescent Girls, it would cost Rs.2,267.18 crore as GoI share for a period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
●    The revision in the cost norms of SN for the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Services and Adolescent Girls would impact the health and nutritional status of about 11 crore beneficiaries per annum.

Cabinet approves Extension of time period of the Scheme "Special Industry Initiative for J&K" (Sll J&K) - Udaan

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for extension of time period of the Scheme "Special Industry Initiative for J&K" (Sll J&K)- Udaan till 31st December, 2018 without any modification and cost escalation. 
●    Initially the time period of Udaan was upto 2016-17.
●    Udaan provides exposure to the youth of J&K to the best of corporate India and corporate India to the rich talent pool available in the State. 
●    So far, 109 leading Corporate have partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under UDAAN with a commitment to train youth from the State covering Organized Retail, Banking, Financial Services, IT, ITES, Infrastructure, Hospitality etc. So far, 34,587 candidates have been selected of whom 31,903 candidates have joined, 22,237 candidates have completed the training, 7,649 are undergoing training and 14,694 have been offered jobs.
●    In spite of four months of unrest, the scheme has gained a good momentum and pace of implementation has been the best during FY 2016-17 since its inception. 
●    More than 12,000 candidates had joined training and nearly 10,000 candidates were offered jobs. 140 mega selection drives were held so far covering all districts of the State.
●    Udaan is a national integration scheme with the goal to mainstream J&K youth with rest of the country. 


Ram Vilas Paswan addresses 49th Annual General Meeting of NCCF 

Speaking on the occasion of 49th Annual General Body Meeting of NCCF convened at NCUI Auditorium in New Delhi, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan noted with satisfaction the performance of Apex Body of Consumer Cooperatives in India, which has registered a turnover of about Rs.800 crores with a profit of Rs.7.70 crores. 
●    The Minister further lauded the role of NCCF in protecting the interest of consumers by making available a variety of consumer goods at most competitive prices to the consumers. 
●    Efforts made by NCCF in procurement of paddy and wheat in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu were appreciated by the Minister. 
●    The Union Minister also appreciated the interventions made by NCCF in making available pulses and tomatoes at the subsidised prices to the consumers in Delhi which helped in stabilizing the prices. 
●    Considering the satisfactory performance of NCCF, an increased role of NCCF in procurement of paddy and wheat in other states was emphasized by the Minister. 
●    The Minister also underlined the importance of maintaining a buffer stock of pulses to effectively deal with a situation of sudden surge in the prices of pulses to safeguard the interest of consumers in the country. 
●    Under Price Stabilizing Scheme, the need for designating NCCF as one of the agencies for procurement of pulses was underlined by the Minister. 
●    In order to keep the retail prices of essential commodities at reasonable level at all times, it is important that agencies like Mother Dairy and Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF should also have a sufficient number of retail outlets in Delhi. 
●    To start with, NCCF should make efforts for having one shop in each of the Government establishments for which the Minister assured to write to all the concerned ministries.


National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign – 2017-18

The National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign – 2017-18 is being organized on 19th – 20th September, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. 
●    The Conference was inaugurated by Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh in the presence of Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri G.S. Shekhawat and Ms. Krishna Raj.  
●    The Conference was attended by Secretary, DAC&FW; Secretary DARE and DG, ICAR; Agriculture Production Commissioners / Principal Secretaries/ Secretaries/Directors of the State Department of Agriculture/Horticulture and Agriculture Marketing; Sr. Scientists from ICAR and other Officials from the concerned Line Departments / Agencies of Central / State Government.
●    In his inaugural address, Shri Radha Mohan Singh applauded efforts of Central and State Governments and the Farmers in attaining the ever highest production of more than 275 million tons of foodgrains and 32 million tons of oilseeds during 2016-17 as per the latest and the 4th Advance Estimates. 
●    The Minister made a mention about the quantum jump in pulse production from previous record of 19.25 million tons in 2013-14 to 22.95 million tons during 2016-17. 
●    While sharing his concern about excess rainfall and flood like situation faced by Eastern and few Western States during Kharif-2017, he urged the States to make all out efforts to ensure timely supply of inputs for more area coverage during the forthcoming Rabi season.


Mahesh Sharma releases the book “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika” 

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture released the book entitled “Bhartiya Kala Mein Salil Kridayen Evam Sadyahsnata Nayika” authored by Dr. Kshetrapal Gangwar and Shri Sanjib Kumar Singh at a function in National Museum here today. 
●    This is an Art Book based on original research, written in Hindi and published by National Museum after few decades. 
●    Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Labour and Employment presided over the function.
●    Addressing on the occasion, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that our artists, authors, sculptors and literary persons are the true messengers of our great culture. 
●    He congratulated both the authors for bringing out such a valuable book for the masses and especially for the research scholars.
●    In his address, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar applauded the efforts of both the authors as well as of the National Museum.
●    This is a book written to highlight the Indian Art and describes the Water Sports (Salil Kridayen). 
●    This form of art has been the part of Indian Art from time immemorial. 
●    The literary sources and archaeological evidence proves that it was a dear subject for the artist and Literary persons. 

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Important Current Affairs 19th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 19th September 2017

Current Affairs 19th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Vice President releases Commemorative Coin on Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi 


The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu released a Commemorative Coin on Bharat Ratna Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi and inaugurated an exhibition entitled “Kurai Onrum Illai-MS: Life in Music” on the occasion of Birth Centenary Commemoration of Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi here today. 
●    Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma was the Guest of Honour.
●    Addressing on the occasion, the Vice President said that Dr. M.S. Subbulakshmi was a legendary and iconic figure who mesmerized everyone from Mahatma Gandhi to common man. 
●    India is a land of rich cultural heritage with music in diverse genres representing the truly myriad mosaic of plurality. 
●    He further said that what defines India is this rich heritage of music and its unifying role in bringing people together cutting across religions, regions, castes and communities.
●    He said that the roots of Indian music can be traced to Vedic literature, Sama Veda in particular and as such every note and cadence associated with our ancient music systems have to be preserved and propagated. 
●    He further said that this is our bounden duty to see such cultural heritage is preserved which is given to us by our forefathers and pass it on to the next generation.

Army takes Swachch Bharat Abhiyan to the Highest Battle Field

Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, is a place where everything is ferried from the hinterland. 
●    It is a logistics challenge to move all types of waste out of the glacier so that these do not become environmental hazard.
●    Since October 2014, when Swachch Bharat Abhiyan commenced, Siachen troops have removed and sent back more than 63 tons of garbage to the Base. 
●    These loads of garbage include packing material, barrels and perishables. 
●    On arrival of the trash to disposal areas, these are buried in deep trenches dug mechanically in areas which are not on run of the rivers and where landmass is not fragile.
●    A huge amount of garbage has been brought back through man-pack loads, porters, ponies and sometimes returning helicopter ferries. 
●    Army continues to take steps to ensure hygiene at the highest battle field as hither to fore.

Dr Jitendra Singh to inaugurate first ‘Pension Adalat’ tomorrow 

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the first ‘Pension Adalat’ here tomorrow. 
●    He will also award the Pensioners for their outstanding contribution towards ‘Anubhav’ – a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experience of working with Government. 
●    Moving ahead from e-governance to m-governance, a Mobile App has been created to avail the services of Pensioners’ Portal which will also be launched by Dr Jitendra Singh tomorrow. 
●    As a measure of welfare to the pensioners of Government of India, a workshop on Pre-Retirement Counseling (PRC) of 300 retiring Central Government employees is also scheduled to be held. 
●    The event is being organized by Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India. 
●    The objective of this workshop is to create awareness about the post-retirement entitlements as well as an advance planning for life after retirement. 

Petroleum Minister co-chair 13th Inter-Governmental Commission meeting at Astana, Kazakhstan 


Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan will be visiting Astana, Kazakhstan from 19 - 20 September 2017 to co-chair the 13th Meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) with Kazakhstan. 
●    Mr Kanat Bozumbayev, Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan will co-chair the meeting from Kazakhstan side.
●    The IGC meeting aims to follow up on the agenda set between India and Kazakhstan during the two visits of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in July 2015 and June 2017.
●    During his visit, Shri Pradhan is scheduled to discuss various issues and ideas for stepping up the cooperation in energy sector, trade, economic, investment, transport & connectivity, agriculture, information technology, space, health care and cultural spheres between the two countries with his counterpart. 
●    The two sides are also expected to finalize a strategy and roadmap for expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries.


First ever National Conference on “Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition” held in New Delhi

The first ever National Conference on "Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition" was successfully held in New Delhi today. 
●    The conference was inaugurated by the Minster of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in the presence of Minister of State for Women & Child Development, Dr. Virendra Kuamr. 
●    The CEO, NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer; Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Shri Rakesh Srivastava and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Manoj Jhalani also addressed the participants. 
●    The conference was organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, keeping in mind the goal of “Mission Malnutrition Free India-2022”.
●    Speaking on the occasion, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that after the resounding success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, the WCD Ministry is now targeting malnutrition. 
●    For this, there is urgent need to improve the quality of supplementary nutrition and also make the delivery system efficient, she added. 
●    Smt Maneka Gandhi said that we must provide 1000 calories to women and 600 calories to children under ICDS. 
●    The focus of the entire programme should be to administer nutrition rather than feeding beneficiaries by giving "Nutrient Dense Food". 
●    A change in policy is required to implement this, the Minister said. 


Sixth India Minerals and Metals Forum focuses on Indian Steel Industry Roadmap upto 2025 and mining, production demand and delivery

The sixth India Minerals and Metals Forum organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) of Kolkata gets underway in New Delhi tomorrow. 
●    The Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh will inaugurate it.
●    The discussion in the seminar focuses on Indian steel industry looking up to 2025; mining, production demand and delivery; Innovative applications for a future ready non- ferrous ecosystem; and Metals industry outlook– present challenges and future prospects. 
●    The Indian steel sector has grown rapidly over the past few years and presently it is the third largest steel producer globally, contributing to about 2% of the country's GDP. India has also crossed 100 MT mark for production for sale.
●    India is seen as a “bright spot” for the global steel production growth on account of the government’s push to augment capacity and demand from the construction, automotive and infrastructure sectors. 
●    The government has been spearheading growth in steel production capacity, with upgrades being made to existing steel manufacturing units and state-owned companies stepping in to build new steel plants.
●    The Cabinet approved the National steel policy 2017 that envisages Rs. 10 lakh crore investment to create more capacity in the steel sector. 

TRAI reduced IUC fee 


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Tuesday more than halved the so-called interconnect usage charge (IUC) to six paise with effect from 1 October and abolished it altogether for all local calls starting 1 January 2020, dealing a big blow to older telecom firms, such as Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular ltd, and a potential boost to newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
●    The 57% cut in interconnection usage charges (IUC) to 6 paise/minute will drag Idea Cellular deeper into the red, and can result in losses for Airtel as well. 
●    The change could push some older telecom operators into losses. 
●    Previously, analysts had estimated that a reduction in IUC from 14 paise to 6 paise would mean a gain of around Rs3,800 crore for Reliance Jio and a corresponding loss for incumbents.
●    Trai believes that the reduction of the IUC, levied by a telecom operator for terminating a call from another telecom firm (the second telecom firm pays) will benefit consumers and boost competition.
On its website, the regulator said that the move to the so-called Bill And Keep regime (where no interconnect charge is paid by a telecom firm to another) would “encourage flat rate billing and time differentiated charges, both of which will improve capacity utilization and will be in theinterest of consumers”.
 

Current Affairs 19th September 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Singapore to set up Skill Center in Northeast: Dr Jitendra Singh

The Government of Singapore will set up a Skill Center at Guwahati which will cater to the entire North-Eastern region. 
●    This was stated here by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh after a meeting with a high-level delegation represented by the High Commissioner of Singapore, Mr Lim Thuan Kuan here yesterday. 
●    The Indian side led by Dr Jitendra Singh, consisted of senior officers from the Ministry of DoNER, Department of Space and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, which are the three main areas where Singapore has expressed its keenness to collaborate with India. 
●    As far as Skill Centre at Guwahati, it was stated that an MoU has already been formalized between Singapore and the State Government of Assam. 
●    As a follow-up to this, a Skill Center is proposed to be set up at Guwahati by the year 2019 and the Ministry of DoNER will coordinate in this initiative. 
●    The Singapore delegation also expressed its preference to engage with India in the area of Space Technology for collaboration in “peaceful uses of Outer Space”. 
●    To this, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the issue will be followed up in an appropriate manner. 

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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2017

Important Current Affairs 18th September 2017

Current Affairs 18th September 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Airports Authority of India to take up development work at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports 

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will undertake new development works at Lucknow, Deoghar, Rajkot and Allahabad airports. 
●    The objective is to improve and develop airport infrastructure to meet growing traffic demands.
●    AAI plans to construct new integrated passenger terminal building at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, Lucknow at an estimated cost of Rs. 1230 crores. 
●    Passenger traffic at this airport has grown steadily during the last 5 years. 
●    The new terminal will be able to handle 4000 passengers during peak hour and 6.35 million passengers per annum.
●    At Deoghar in Jharkhand, AAI will develop the airport to facilitate joint use for civil operation up to Airbus-320 and DRDO operation up to C-130 type of aircraft. 
●    The work will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs. 401.34 crore on fixed cost basis and Rs. 427.43 crore on completion cost basis.
●    An MoU was signed between the Govt. of Jharkhand, DRDO and AAI in March, 2017. 


Union Home Minister operationalizes the New Intelligence Set-up of SSB 

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh operationalised the New Intelligence Set-up of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) at a function here today. 
●    This marked the culmination of a long pending aspiration of the Force following approval of the Union Home Minister.
●    SSB has been declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency (LIA) for both the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. 
●    Thus, it was felt that a well knit intelligence network of the highest capabilities that can function and deliver would be the prime requirement of comprehensive Border Management. 
●    This was quite essential as the operations of SSB have to be Intelligence based so as to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan. 
●    MHA has accordingly sanctioned 650 posts in various ranks from Battalion to Frontier Headquarters. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh said the job of SSB is much more demanding and challenging since it is vested the responsibility of guarding open borders unlike other borders. 
●    This makes the task much more challenging and demands highest alertness to check illegal activities like smuggling of arms, Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), drugs and human-trafficking. 

Training programme for CBRN emergencies at Chennai Airport 

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is conducting a basic training programme to enhance the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers to respond to CBRN emergencies, encompassing threats emanating from the use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material at the airports. 
●    The training programme is being conducted in collaboration with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS). 
●    The training programme, which started today at the Kamaraj Airport in Chennai, was inaugurated by Dr. S. Christopher, Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development and Chairman, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
●    The programme consists of lectures as well as field training, including live demonstrations of detection and decontamination, including use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 
●    Apart from equipping the airport emergency handlers to handle CBRN emergencies, the training programme will also enable them to provide medical first aid and initial psycho-social support. 
●    A total of 200 personnel will be trained on various aspects of CBRN emergencies during the week-long training.


Ministry of Tourism Observes Swachhta Pakhwada

The Third day’s work of Swachhta Pakhwada has been planned by the Ministry of Tourism to undertake Cleanliness campaign at the Jantar Mantar and surrounding area by Officers and staff members of Ministry of Tourism. 
●    Accordingly the designated officials and officers visited the ASI monument Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. 
●    Shri P. Venkatesan, Director, PMU (SBM), explained the importance of the monument. After this, the staff members undertook an intensive Cleanliness work, in which all the officials of ASI, including the Conservation Assistant have also taken part. 
●    The cleaning work was done in the parking area, service road, surrounding area of ticket counter and drinking water area. 
●    Thus the Third day s work ended yielding the desired result. 

Swachhata Hi Seva National Media Consultation held in Capital 


Over 100 journalists, development agencies and community workers attended a National Media Consultation on the Swachh Bharat Mission in the Capital. 
●    The Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, presided over the consultation. 
●    In his opening remarks, Shri Iyer shared details of the nation-wide mass mobilization drive, “Swachhata Hi Seva”, which follows an impassioned call by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, ahead of the 3rd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission that falls on 2nd October. 
●    He said that the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign is seeing large scale mobilization of people from all walks of life to undertake shramdaan for cleanliness and construction of toilets, and cleaning up of public and tourist places. 
●    The participation has already begun in full swing, and has ranged from the President of India to the common citizen, involving Union Ministers, Governors, Chief Ministers, legislators, celebrities, faith leaders, and corporate leaders spearheading the campaign in their respective areas of influence. 
●    He particularly appreciated the tremendous efforts being made by school children, central police services and defence personnel.


First ever National Conference on “Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition” to be held in New Delhi

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will hold the first ever National Conference in New Delhi tomorrow on Mission Mode to address Undernutrition in the country. 
●    In his curtain raiser briefing in New Delhi today, the Secretary WCD, Shri Rakesh Srivastava said that this conference is being organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, keeping in mind the goal of “Malnutrition Free India-2022”.
●    Giving details about the conference, the Secretary WCD said that the Government has decided to lay focused attention on this issue and for this said purpose, Ministry of Women and Child Development has identified 113 districts across the States/UTs based on the composite index of NITI Aayog and prevalence of stunting from NFHS-4 data. 
●    At least one district has been selected from each State/UTs so that the action taken in the selected district can be emulated in the other districts also, he explained.
●    Shri Srivastava said that the National Conference, first of its kind, aims at bringing convergence at District/Block levels of the three key Departments (Health & Family Welfare, ICDS/Social Welfare and Drinking Water and Sanitation) wherein a roadmap would be drawn to evolve an appropriate strategy in tackling the problem of stunting, undernutrition and wasting comprehensively and conclusively.
 

Current Affairs 18th September 2017: WORLD NEWS

China Opens Highway To Nepal Via Tibet


China has opened a strategic highway in Tibet to the Nepal border which could be used for civilian and defence purposes, a move that Chinese experts say will enable Beijing to make forays into South Asia, according to a media report today.
●    The 40.4-kilometre highway in Tibet between Xigaze airport and Xigaze city centre officially opened to the public on Friday with a short section linking the national highway to the Nepal border.
●    The highway will shorten the journey from an hour to 30 minutes between the dual-use civil and military airport and Tibet's second-largest city.
●    State-run 'Global Times' quoted experts as saying that the highway "will enable China to forge a route into South Asia in both economic and defence terms" and being a forerunner to a railway line connecting Nepal.
●    Geographically, any extension of the road and railway connectivity to South Asia is through India, Bhutan and to Bangladesh.
●    Chinese officials have said in the past that the projects are feasible and could become a trade corridor for India and China if New Delhi comes on board.


Nawaz Sharif’s wife Begum Kulsoom wins Lahore by-election


Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s ailing wife on Sunday won the crucial by-election in Lahore that was seen as a test of support for the family after the Supreme Court dismissed Mr. Sharif from the office in the Panama Papers scandal.
●    Begum Kulsoom won the NA-120 seat in a close contest with cricket-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i- Insaf candidate Yasmin Rashid.
●    The parliamentary seat, said to be a stronghold of the Sharif family, fell vacant after the Supreme court on July 28 disqualified Mr. Sharif in the Panama Papers case on grounds that he was dishonest.
●    The Election Commission spokesperson said that Ms. Kulsoom bagged 59,413 votes defeating Mr. Rashid with a margin of more than 13,000 votes. 
●    Mr. Rashid got 46,145 votes while Sheikh Yaqoob from the Milli Muslim League, a new party backed by Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ut-Dawa (JuD), stood third with more than 4,000 votes.
●    The support for the Sharif family has, however, diminished as in 2013 general election Mr. Sharif had defeated Mr. Rashid with a margine of more than 41,000.

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