Current Affairs

Important Current Affairs 14th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 14th October 2017

Current Affairs 14th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

The first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda to be dedicated to the Nation by the Prime Minister on Ayurveda Day at New Delhi 

The First ever All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), set up along the lines of AIIMS, will be dedicated to the Nation by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on Ayurveda Day on 17th October, 2017 at New Delhi. 
●    Set up as an apex institute under the Ministry of AYUSH, the AIIA will bring synergy between the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern diagnostic tools and technology. 
●    This was disclosed by the Minister of State for AYUSH, Shr Shripad Yesso Naik at a press conferences in New Delhi today. 
●    Within the short duration of its establishment, AIIA has gained a wide national and International recognition. 
●    It has started working to facilitate quality patient care, research and bridging the gaps in the scientific information about quality, safety and efficacy of Ayurveda products and developing benchmarks of Ayurvedic education, research and healthcare, the AYUSH Minister explained.
●    Shri Shripad Naik said that in the first phase, the AIIA has been set up within a total campus area of 10.015 acres with a budget of Rs.157 Crores. 

New Guiness Record at IISF Chennai 2017 

Day two of the India International Science Festival (IISF) in Anna University campus at Chennai saw the making of a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Biology Lesson. 
●    One thousand forty nine (1049) students participated in the record breaking session. 
●    While inaugurating the Largest Biology Lesson, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Science, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that it is the vision of the Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, to encourage and promote science and the Govt. of India has launched many Flagship Programmes in this regard. 
●    He also invoked C V Raman and how he has won the Nobel Prize, which is first by any Indian to do so.
●    World Record attempts have been a key part of India International Science Festival since 2015, which leads to encouragement and popularizing of Science through public participation. 
●    In IISF 2015, students took a successful shot at the Guinness World record for the world’s largest science Lesson at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. 

Inland Waterways Authority of India raises Rs. 660 crore through Bonds 

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has raised Rs. 660 crore as “GOI Fully Serviced Bonds”. 
●    The resources raised by way of bonds are in addition to the budgetary support from the Government of India. 
●    The Government had taken a decision to enable IWAI to raise Rs 660 crore through GOI Fully Serviced Bonds in 2017-18.
●    The IWAI had engaged arrangers, credit rating agencies, registrars and trustees prior to raising the Bonds. 
●    Both CRISIL and CARE rated the proposed instrument of IWAI as “AAA: STABLE”. 
●    The e-bidding for raising the bonds was organized on 11th October, 2017 on the BSE Portal with the issue size of Rs. 300 crore and Green Shoe option of Rs. 360 crore. 
●    The issue was oversubscribed and the entire amount of Rs.660 crore has been raised in single tranche at a coupon rate of 7.47 percent.

Central team of experts from various departments to investigate the outbreaks of dengue fever in Tamil Nadu

The Centre has deputed a team of experts to Tamil Nadu to investigate the outbreak of dengue in the state. 
●    The team, which includes doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), New Delhi, Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, will provide technical assistance to the state in dengue case management and vector control. 
●    The experts will also assess the situation and provide “necessary guidance” to manage and address the recent upsurge.
●    According to the data from the ministry of health and family welfare, this year alone, Tamil Nadu has reported 12,324 cases of dengue, and 18 deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease. 
●    The state opposition has reportedly claimed that the number is much higher than what is being reported and has been attacking the state government for not being able to control the situation.
●    Last year, only 2,531 dengue cases were reported from the state. 
●    This year, the highest number of cases have been reported from Thoothukudi (1,178), Chennai (1,138), Sankarankoil (1,072), Coimbatore (942), Thirupur (782) and Kanyakumari (777).

NCLT approves allowing Reliance Communications and Aircel to withdraw merger plans

The National Company Law Tribunal has approved the withdrawal of merger deal between Reliance Communications and Aircel, as per a regulatory filing.
●    "The National Company Law Tribunal, Mumbai Bench (NCLT) has passed orders dated October 13, 2017 approving withdrawal of the Scheme of Arrangement between the Company, Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL), Aircel Limited, Dishnet Wireless Limited, Deccan Digital Networks Private Limited, South Asia Communications Private Limited and their respective shareholders and creditors for demerger of wireless business of the Company and RTL to Aircel...," RCom said in a BSE filing today.
●    The order also approved withdrawal of demerger of tower business of Reliance Infratel to Towercom Infrastructure, the filing said.
●    RCom, which is reeling under a debt of about Rs 46,000 crore, had called off merger talks with Aircel, citing " legal and regulatory" delays and "various interventions by vested interests".
●    RCom also blamed high level of competition as one of the reasons for termination of the merger talks.
●    It was claimed that with the deal the debt of RCom will come down to around Rs 20,000 crore, while that of Aircel to around Rs 4,000 crore.

Reliance will invest Rs 70 billion every quarter in Jio

As per the latest Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) financial and operational performance report for the quarter 2, Jio's customer base has been a swift surge. The report notes that the Reliance Jio has added around 15.3 million subscribers in the last three months. 
●    However, instead of adding millions of customers to Jio, the company - as pet the RIL financial and operational performance report has gone through a loss of Rs. 271 crores. 
●    Even after the experiencing loss, Reliance says that the company's financial performance is 'strong'.
●    By adding about 15.3 million users, Jio grew its customer base to 136.8 million in three months. 
●    RIL also posted that the company - Jio has seen a total wireless traffic of 374 crore gigabytes (3.74 billion GB) in Q2, which ended on Sept 30. 
●    It also says that Jio is touting the highest per capita data consumption of 9.62GB per user per month.

IndusInd Bank to acquire Bharat Financial, will complete deal in 10 months

IndusInd Bank on Saturday announced merger with microfinance lender Bhart Financial Inclusion (BFIL). 
●    The deal is subject to approvals from the Reserve Bank of India, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India and Competition Commission of India among others.
●    According to the deal, Bharat Financial shareholders will get 639 shares of the bank for every 1,000 held. The deal is likely to be completed in 9-10 months.
●    The deal comes nearly a month after IndusInd informed the stock exchange that they have entered into exclusive merger talks with Bharat Financial.
●    The composite scheme, which will be effective from January 1, is between IndusInd, BFIL and a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank.
●    The scheme will explore amalgamation of the bank with BFIL without winding up the latter company, IndusInd said in a filing with the stock exchange.

Current Affairs 14th October 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

Trump administration refuses to cooperate with Vibank's capital base hike

The Trump administration has rejected a capital increase by the World Bank, which the Bank says is necessary to expand its global anti-poverty mission.
●    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the huge Washington-based institution is inefficient and can be more effective in the nearly $60 billion in development finance it currently allocates each year.
●    Through greater efficiency, the bank can internally build its capital base and expand lending without the need for more contributions from its 189 shareholder nations -- of which the United States is the largest.
●    He also said, in a statement to the Development Committee, which sets the action program for the bank and the International Monetary Fund, that the Bank needs to cut funding for emerging economies that don't need significant outside assistance.

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Important Current Affairs 13th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 13th October 2017

Current Affairs 13th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Lay Foundation Stone for Four Sewerage Projects and Four National Highways Projects in Bihar Tomorrow

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for four sewerage projects costing Rs. 738.04 crore and four National Highways projects of 195 km. 
●    worth Rs. 3031 crore in Bihar tomorrow. The ceremony will take place at Mokama. 
●    Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping will also accompany Prime Minister for the foundation stone laying ceremony. 
●    These four sewerage projects include Sewage Treatment Plant at Beur, Sewerage System with Sewer Network at Beur, Sewage Treatment Plant at Karmalichak and STP and Sewer Network at Saidpur. 
●    These projects together will create new STP capacity of 120 MLD and upgrade the existing 20 MLD for Beur. 
●    This also includes sewer network of 234.84 km in Beur and Saidpur zones. 
●    In Patna, seven other sewerage projects are at various stages of implementation, out of which two – Digha and Kankarbagh sewerage zones – worth Rs. 1402.89 crore are sanctioned under Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode. 
●    The existing population in the city is 16,83,000 and the existing sewage generated in the city is 220 MLD and sewage load is expected to be 320 MLD by the year 2035. 

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal selects N4 Terminal Operating System

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal, one of the container terminals directly managed by India’s leading container port-JNPT, is constantly innovating and up-scaling operations to not only meet but exceed global benchmarks with an underlying commitment to provide seamless customer service and ease of doing business. 
●    The JNPCT has upgraded its terminal operating system to SPARCS N4 platform to optimize the terminal’s operational cycle with the ultimate goal to increase JNPCT efficiencies so that customers can experience improved productivity.
●    The JNPCT has taken a number of initiatives for faster and economical operations along with automation that has helped in streamlining the processes and helping in reduction of cost, time and documents and thus making it easier for clients and partners to do business with them. 
●    The decision of migration to Navis N4 TOS solution is one of the step towards achieving the objective.
●    The N4 implementation process will be managed by Cargotec Corporation and will directly work with JNPCT, utilizing Navis’ methodology and project management tools. 
●    Cargotec will provide configuration, testing, report and field extensions, go-live support services, including training courses so that the management and mid-management teams are up and running on N4 as quickly as possible.

Ministry of Railways introduces tri- weekly new Special Rajdhani between Delhi – Mumbai route from 16th October, 2017. 

To fulfill the long overdue demand of passengers & to provide faster and convenient connectivity to passengers between two metros Delhi and Mumbai, Ministry of Railways is introducing a new Special Rajdhani Express between Delhi & Mumbai from 16th October, 2017. 
●    Flexi Fare shall not be applicable in this train.  Indian Railways are already running two Rajdhanis and more than 30 mail/exp trains between Delhi and Mumbai.
●    Delhi, the capital city of India, is of great historical significance as an important commercial, transport, and cultural hub, as well as the political centre of India. 
●    Mumbai is India's commercial and financial capital, as well as the capital city of Maharashtra State. 
●    Both the cities are important business centers of the country. Hence, there is a greater need for effective & efficient transport connectivity between the two cities.
●    With the introduction of new Rajdhani Express, the travel time will be reduced from the existing time of about 15 hrs. 50 minute to 13 hours 55 minutes i.e a saving of around 2 hours in journey time. 

Union Textiles Minister inaugurates IHGF - Delhi Fair Autumn 2017

The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani has urged the exporting fraternity to take care of the welfare of artisans who are the backbone of the sector.  
●    The Minister said that design and product development play a crucial role in value realisation and in turn in the benefit that the artisans and producers are able to reap from their products. 
●    The Minister said this after inaugurating IHGF - Delhi Fair Autumn 2017, world’s largest handicrafts and gifts fair. 
●    The fair is being held at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, during October 12 - 16, 2017. 
●    Delivering the inaugural address, the Minister applauded the role of Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts in promoting exports of handicrafts.  
●    She noted that handicraft exports have witnessed a year-on-year growth of 13.15% in 2016-17 and has touched Rs. 24,392 crores.  
●    The Minister appreciated the launch of schemes by EPCH under their CSR programme, for education of children of artisans.  

Current Affairs 13th October 2017: APPOINTMENT

Shri D.K.Gayen appointed as New Member Staff Railway Board 

Shri D.K.Gayen, has been appointed as new Member (Staff) Railway Board and ex officio Secretary to the Government of India to assume charge with effect from 11th October 2017. 
●    Shri Gayen, an officer of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME) of 1981 batch, and is a Bachelor in Engineering in Mechanical Discipline from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in the year 1979.
●    Prior to this assignment, he was General Manager, East Central Railway, Hajipur. 
●    He worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer, South Eastern Railway. 
●    He has also worked in various important posts like Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Eastern Railways & Chief Motive Power Engineer, Eastern Railways, Chief Workshop Manager, Jamalpur Workshop and Liluah Workshop. 
●    He has also worked as Divisional Railway Manager, Asansol and Mughalsarai Division respectively. 
●    He has served in the capacity of Director (Inspection and Liaison), RDSO, Lucknow.

India appoints Gautam Bambawale as new ambassador to China

India on Thursday announced the appointment of Gautam Bambawale as its next ambassador to China.
●    Bambawale, an Indian foreign service officer of the 1984 batch is currently India’s high commissioner to Pakistan.
●    Bambawale was previously India’s ambassador to Bhutan. 
●    He has also handled the China desk in the Indian foreign ministry that looks after relations with Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia and North Korea. 
●    One of the first tasks in front of Bambawale will be to stabilise India-China ties rocked by a military face off in the Dokalam area of Bhutan that lasted 73 days.
●    The two sides agreed to disengage on 28 August, paving the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit China for the BRICS summit in early September.
●    Bambawale appointment clears the way for India’s ambassador to Poland, Ajay Bisaria, to be named India’s high commissioner to Pakistan.

Current Affairs 13th October 2017: GLOBAL NEWS

India 100th on global hunger index, trails North Korea, Bangladesh

India has a “serious” hunger problem and ranks 100th out of 119 countries on the global hunger index — behind North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq but ahead of Pakistan, according to a report.
●    The country’s serious hunger level is driven by high child malnutrition and underlines need for stronger commitment to the social sector, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said in its report.
●    India stood at 97th position in last year’s rankings.
●    As per the report, India ranks below many of its neighbouring countries such as China (29th rank), Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Sri Lank (84) and Bangladesh (88). It is ahead of Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107).
●    North Korea ranks 93rd while Iraq is at 78th position.
●    The GHI, now in its 12th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators — undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.

US leaves UNESCO

The United States will withdraw from UNESCO at the end of next year, the State Department said Thursday, to stop accumulating unpaid dues and make a stand on what it said is anti-Israel bias at the U.N.’s educational, science and cultural organization.
●    In notifying UNESCO of the decision Thursday morning, the State Department said it would like to remain involved as a nonmember observer state. 
●    That will allow the United States to engage in debates and activities, though it will lose its right to vote on issues.
●    The withdrawal follows long-standing issues the U.S. has had with UNESCO and does not necessarily foreshadow a further retrenchment of U.S. engagement with the United Nations, where the Trump administration has been pushing to bring about structural and financial reforms.
●    The most immediate impact is that the U.S. will halt the arrears it has run up since it stopped funding the organization in 2011 to protest UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a full member. 
●    By the end of this calendar year, the unpaid U.S. bill will amount to $550 million. 
●    With no sign that U.S. concerns would be addressed, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to pull out after Dec. 31, 2018, when the unpaid balance will top $600 million.

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Important Current Affairs 12th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 9th October 2017

Current Affairs 9th October 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Belarus for Cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Belarus for cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET).  
●    The MoU was signed on 12th September, 2017 during the State visit of H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus to India.
●    This is for the first time MoU for cooperation in area of vocational education, training and skill development has been signed with Eurasian country.
●    Belarus has a large concentration of industries, mainly into manufacturing and heavy industries, which draw their strength from available skilled manpower and a highly developed skill training system. 
●    The transfer of knowledge of their skilling methodology will immensely help in our initiatives like "Make in India" and "Skill India". 
●    This MoU would pave the way for systematic transfer of their expertise and knowhow in skilling the manpower specially in manufacturing sector.

Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait for mutual co-operation and technical assistance. 
●    The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators, and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries. 
●    It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two. 
●    It is expected to add value to overseas mutual cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and CMA, Kuwait.

Cabinet approves IALA to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization to Inter-Governmental Organization 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to Intergovernmental Organization (IGO). 
●    The move will facilitate “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels". 
●    It will bring IALA at par with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO). 
●    The IALA, having headquarters at St. Germain En Laye (France) was established in 1957 under French law. 
●    It is governed by a General Assembly having 83 National members, with its Council as the executive body. 
●    The IALA council consists of 24 National Members and India is one of the council members represented through the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping. 
●    DGLL establishes and maintains Aids to Navigation in general waters along coast of India including A&N and Lakshadweep group of islands, as per Lighthouse Act 1927. 

Cabinet approves signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Japan on establishing a Liquid, Flexible and Global LNG Market 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan on establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG Market.
●    The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector. 
●    It will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. 
●    This will strengthen our energy security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers.
●    The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of Destination Restriction Clause and also explore possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply.
●    India and Japan are major consumers of energy in the world. In the LNG sector, Japan is the world's largest importer and India is the 4th largest importer. 

Current Affairs 9th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves SANKALP & STRIVE Schemes to boost Skill India Mission 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved two new World Bank supported schemes of Rs. 6,655 crore - Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE). 
●    SANKALP is Rs 4,455 crore Centrally sponsored scheme including Rs. 3,300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas STRIVE is a Rs. 2,200 crore - central sector scheme, with half of the scheme outlay as World bank loan assistance. 
●    SANKALP and STRIVE are outcome focused schemes marking shift in government's implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results. 
●    There has been a long felt need for a national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training and catalysing industry efforts in vocational training space. 
●    The two schemes shall address this need by setting up national bodies for accreditation & certification which shall regulate accreditation and certification in both long and short term Vocational Education and Training (VET). 

North and South Block buildings get a new glitter from tonight 

The iconic North and South Block building flanking the Rajpath in the national capital began to shine with bright, shimmering reflected light combinations with the inauguration of new dynamic façade lighting tonight. 
●    The honour of inaugurating this Rs.15 cr, 16 million colour combination new lighting was given to Shri Mahipal Singh, the senior most support staff who joined the Ministry of Home as a daftary in 1975.
●    Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and 20 other Cabinet Ministers attended the event including Shri Rajnath Singh, Smt.Nirmala Sitharaman and Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, with whom Shri Mahipal Singh was seated in the front row, with others behind them. 
●    After the inauguration, Prime Minister shook hands with Shri Mahipal Singh, who is to retire in 10 days and complimented him.
●    A twenty minute live demonstration of new lighting was organized for the Ministers, senior officials of the Government, media and the large number of public who attended the launch.
●    Rashtrapati Bhawan located between the North and South Block buildings and overseeing the Rajpath will be covered with similar lighting from the first of January next, which would present a continuous stretch of visual delight.

Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 to take place in Delhi

The Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 is getting bigger and better. The 5th edition, being hosted by India is to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on November 23, 2017. 
●    It will see participation of ministers, officials, industry leaders and academia engaged in the global cyber ecosystem.
●    The world’s who’s who in the field of cyber space will congregate in India’s capital city. 
●    Over 3500 participants will take part in the weeklong event directly and millions virtually from India and abroad through video conference, webinars and webcast. 
●    For those who are not travelling to Delhi, about 800 locations around the world will be connected to GCCS 2017 ( through video conference and 2000 locations through webinars.
●    More than 40 events and sessions are being organized by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India, in partnership with the Industry, International Organizations, Academia and Think Tanks. 

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the "Nanaji Deshmukh Plant Finomix Center" developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated the "Nanaji Deshm Plant Finomix Center" developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in Pusa.
●    Climate change and abiotic stresses such as drought, water crisis, heat, salinity, lack of nutrients and biotic, affect the crop productivity and quality.
●    To overcome these problems, it is necessary to identify genes for genetic resource-richness and yield properties and they should be used to develop climate-friendly crop varieties.
●    Traditional methods of symptom-modification are often degenerative and can not characterize the dynamical changes in plants during different phases of plant growth.
●    Symptomatic impairment is the main obstacle that limits the use of germicidal resources in crop correction with the help of genomics.
In the form of a bridge between the symptom and genetic form, the recent multi-disciplinary science of "phenomics" has evolved.
On the various developmental stages of plantation using non-invasive sensors and advanced image processing computational programs, there is an indestructible characterization, phenomics of the functional and morphological properties of plants in real time.

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Important Current Affairs 11th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 11th October 2017

Current Affairs 11th October 2017: APPOINTMENT

Anupam Kher appointed as Chairman, FTII Pune 

Shri Anupam Kher, veteran cine star, has been appointed as Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.  
●    Shri Kher succeeds Shri Gajendra Chauhan.
●    Shri Kher who has appeared in over 500 films is a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts. 
●    The veteran star has won many national and international awards including the ‘Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role’ five times. 
●    He has appeared in acclaimed international films such as the 2002 Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham, 2007 Golden Lion award-winning Lust, Caution and 2013 Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook. 
●    He has appeared in more than 100 plays and has also authored the book ‘The Best Thing about You Is You’.
●    Earlier he served as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and was the Director of National School of Drama from 2001 to 2004. 
●    He is also an alumnus of National School of Drama (1978 batch).

Current Affairs 11th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launches IGL prepaid smart card (Retail and Fleet) for CNG consumers 

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the prepaid smart card (Retail and Fleet) launched by IGL for CNG consumers will be easily available and benefit common man in saving time in transactions at the CNG stations. 
●    Launching the cards here today he said this is an important step taken by GAIL and IGL for making life easy for residents of Delhi. 
●    Shri Pradhan said the initiative is part of Digital India Campaign envisaged by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to take country forward with the help of technology. 
●    He said his Ministry is making every effort to use technology and methods to provide time saving and easily accessible customer service to consumers. 
●    Referring to the challenge of environmental pollution, Shri Pradhan said answer to Delhi’s pollution lies in migrating its power plants, industrial units besides domestic and transport usages to clean fuel. 
●    He said the Government is firm in its commitment to provide clean CNG and PNG for cooking and transport at customer’s convenience to promote Gas Based Economy. 

President of India to Preside over Two-Day Conference of Governors on October 12 & 13, 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will preside over a two-day Conference of Governors on October 12 and 13, 2017, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
●    This is the 48th such Conference to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan and the first Conference to be presided over by President Kovind. 
●    The two-day Conference will deliberate on important agenda items in different sessions. 
●    The theme of the opening session will be ‘New India-2022’. 
●    India will complete 75 years of independence in 2022. 
●    ‘New India 2022’ requires a number of initiatives in infrastructure to cater to the needs of citizens of the country. 
●    Similarly, to build ‘New India 2022’, emphasis has to be given on various services viz. access to quality education, training and skill development, healthcare, cleanliness, open-defecation free cities and villages, pollution free environment, safety and security of citizens, etc. 
●    The Vice President and the Prime Minister will be attending the sessions and addressing the conference. 

Ola raises $ 1.1 billion, continuing talks for an additional $ 1 billion

Ride-hailing company Ola on Wednesday said that it has raised $1.1 billion in a funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited. 
●    Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors, have also participated in this round.
●    Ola said it is also in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round, concluding a total raise of over $2 billion. 
●    The investment is expected to help Ola build its war chest in the battle against Uber, a worldwide ride-hailing colossus, that is rapidly gaining share in the Indian market. 
●    “Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive of Ola, in a statement. 
●    With its latest round of funding, Ola said it will be making strategic investments in supply, technology, and cutting-edge innovations to build for the country’s unique transportation needs.

Vedanta to invest $6 billion

Mining mogul Anil Agarwal has said his company Vedanta Ltd will invest over $6 billion to double oil and gas production to 4,00,000 barrels per day in 3 -4 years, but wants the government to extend Rajasthan oil field licence without any condition. 
●    He also wanted the government to allow export of crude oil produced from the Barmer fields in Rajasthan to discover the right price. 
●    Right policies and unencumbered clearances, according to Agarwal, should be given without delays. 
●    "I feel that except for environment clearance, there should be no other clearance required," he said. 
●    Vedanta, which in 2011 bought Cairn India from its British promoters at an enterprise value of $14.5 billion, has "not recovered the money spent on the acquisition", he said. 
●    "But we are investing more. We are determined to double the oil and oil equivalent of gas production to 4,00,000 barrels per day in 3-4 years," he said. 

Current Affairs 11th October 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

India-China Yoga College started registration in postgraduate courses

India-China Yoga College (ICYC), China's first dedicated yoga college, opened enrollment for its new master's program on Tuesday.
●    Students can now sign up for the three-year program, the first two years of which will be completed in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province, and the final year in India, according to Lu Fang, deputy dean on ICYC.
●    Students who complete the program will receive degree diplomas from both Yunnan Minzu University and India's Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Lu said.
●    Postgraduate courses will include asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), yoga therapy and physiology as well as Hindi and Sanskrit to eliminate language barriers.
●    In order to help students prepare to study in India, the college will also offer courses on Indian culture.

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Important Current Affairs 10th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 10th October 2017

Current Affairs 10th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India inaugurates India water Week-2017 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated India Water Week-2017 today (October 10, 2017) in New Delhi.
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President said that water is essential to life. 
●    It is fundamental to the economy and to ecology – and to human equity. 
●    The issue of water is becoming still more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns. 
●    Better and more efficient use of water is a challenge for Indian agriculture and industry alike. 
●    It requires us to set new benchmarks in both our villages and in the cities we build.
●    The President said that currently, 80 per cent of water in India is used by agriculture and only 15 per cent by industry. 
●    In the coming years, this ratio will change. The total demand for water will also rise. 
●    Efficiency of water use and reuse, therefore, has to be built into the blueprint of industrial projects. 
●    Business and industry need to be a part of the solution.

Historic wage agreement by Coal India Limited 

The 10th Wage Agreement of Coal Workers was finalised on the 10th meeting on 10th day of 10th month of this year. 
●    Wage Agreement of the employees has been due from 1 July 2016. 
●    The negotiation for wage agreement that has been on the negotiation table for more than one year has been concluded today. 
●    Trade Union representatives were insistent for 50% of wage increase. 
●    Their demand was there should be 50% wage increase for the employees. 
●    But considering the country’s position, CIL’s benefit and financial position, a new record has been created by agreeing 20% increase on wages. 
●    The special accomplishment of this agreement is that every employee shall get one day’s rest in a week, as per rule, so that the employee shall have relaxation and shall get an opportunity to spend time with their family paving way for improvement in quality of life through Work-Life-Balance. 
●    The representatives of Trade Union and CIL Management have taken a decision to work together in the spirit of team work and increase productivity to unprecedented level.

Health Ministry discontinues Paper Greetings, switches to eGreetings 

With the aim to reduce use of paper and give a boost to digital initiatives of the Government and to promote a contemporary and eco-friendly method of sending greetings, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to go forward with eGreetings instead of paper-based greetings starting this festive season. 
●    In a circular issued today, the Health Ministry has advised its staff to send festival greetings in the form of eGreetings. 
●    Further, the Ministry has also said that it will not entertain any request for printing of season’s greeting card. 
●    The eGreetings can be sent through the eGreetings portal of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology developed as part of the “Digital India” initiative.
●    The eGreeting portal created by DeitY and NIC allows users to select and send greetings from multiple occasion-specific templates. 
●    Government Departments can also customize the greetings by adding tag-lines and messages related to their programmes and schemes. 
●    The portal includes greetings for various occasions, including days of national importance. 

Union Home Minister inaugurates NIA Hqrs new Office Complex 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has played a key role in making the country a safer place and shielded India from the onslaught of global terrorism. 
●    Inaugurating the new Headquarters Office Complex of the NIA here today, Shri Rajnath Singh said the NIA is on course to check the threat posed by terrorism.
●    The Union Home Minister said the NIA recently launched a crackdown on terrorism funding in the Kashmir Valley sponsored from a hostile neighbouring country and their accomplices in third countries abroad. 
●    He commended the NIA, other Security Agencies, the Army, CAPFs and ATS of State Police Forces for coordinated efforts resulting in the elimination of a good number of terrorists.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said the Government initiated steps to grant full autonomy to the NIA in investigations. 
●    Earlier the NIA sought the MHA’s nod to proceed for action, but I’ve directed that there is no need for MHA’s approval and NIA is free to act discreetly. 

Indian Railways and German Railways sign Joint Declaration of intent 

A Joint Declaration of Intent was signed between Ministry of Railways and Germany on 10th October,2017 in Rail Bhavan in the presence of Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways by German Railways for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph on 50.50 percent cost sharing basis.
●    The current Joint Declaration of Intent is intended to deepen the cooperation, more specifically towards the achievement in the priority area of Semi High Speed Rail: the upgrading of current passenger services to SHS (Semi High Speed) upto 200 kmph on the Chennai-Kazipet corridor (643 km).
●    The Project is envisaged to consist of three phases to be carried out over a 22 month period with the objectives to provide .
●    Phase 1: Definition of three demand-based Upgrade scenarios for the corridor
●    Phase 2: Selection of the preferred Upgrade scenario for SHS on the corridor, based on analysis of respective operations and economic-financial impact.
●    Phase 3: For preferred scenario, Reference design and technical Tender document:
●    Development of Reference design for technical solution on preferred  Upgrade scenario.
●    Procurement concept for Construction works and Railway Systems.
●    Concept and Requirements for construction Phasing under railway  Operations.
●    Preparation of technical tender documents for preferred Scenario usable for Design & Build tendering.

Conference on NPS for Central Public Sector Enterprises organised in the national capital by PFRDA 

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) organised a conference on National Pension System (NPS) for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi with the objective of informing CPSEs benefits and features of NPS and of addressing their queries on NPS. 
●    Based on the recommendation of the 3rd Pay Revision Committee, the Department of PSE notified dispensing with the condition of minimum 15 years of service and superannuation from CPSEs to avail the pension benefit implemented by CPSEs.
●    Separately, the Government has also amended the Income Tax Act providing for tax free migration of superannuation funds to NPS. 
●    This provision will facilitate the CPSEs to implement NPS for their employees. 
●    The total employee strength in CPSEs stood at 12.91 lakh (excluding contract workers) in 2014-15. 
●    The Conference saw an active participation of more than 55 CPSEs with around 150 participants.
●    In his Inaugural Address, Dr. Badri S. Bhandari, Whole Time Member, PFRDA welcomed the participants and expressed the endeavor of PFRDA to expand NPS across all the sectors in the country in affordable and sustainable manner. 
●    He explained the benefits of NPS and communicated the returns generated by Pension Funds since inception, which has been over 10% since inception. 

Reconstituting National Panel of Experts to resolve technical issues regarding use of new technology/ materials/equipment 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has decided to implement a “Value Engineering Program” to promote the use of new technologies, materials, and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode. 
●    The objective of the programme is to use innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly, while simultaneously ensuring that the roads or bridges and other assets get constructed much faster, are structurally stronger and more durable.  
●    The Ministry had constituted a National Panel of Experts (NPE) last year, for approving  proposals pertaining to deployment of (a) new/innovative/alternative materials, (b) new/innovative/alternative technologies and (c) new/innovative/alternative equipment in the highway sector. 
●    The NPE will examine all technical matters involving the new technologies, materials and equipment referred to it by the concerned Engineers or concessionaires/ contractors. 
●    The NPE will also resolve the technical issues which arise as a result of difference in view between engineers and concessionaires/contractors regarding implementation of the new and innovative technologies, materials and equipment. 
●    In addition, it  will also decide about the need for field trials of any new or innovative technology/materials/ equipment before its adoption, and  finalize associated design approaches, construction methodologies/sequences as well as the relevant specifications/codes/ guidelines so that the contractor may use the proposed new/alternative materials/technologies/ equipment in project highway.

$11 billion deal to sell Indus Towers to Bharti Infratel

A consortium led by US buyout fund KKR and comprising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Singapore is in discussions to acquire Indus Towers, the world’s largest wireless infrastructure company, and telecom tower company Bharti Infratel for $11billion, multiple people in the know told ET. 
●    Once completed, this will arguably be the largest such transaction globally. 
●    As the first step, Bharti Infratel will buy out either all or almost the entire 58% shareholding of other partners — Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Providence Equity Partners — in Indus Towers. 
●    Bharti Infratel currently owns 42% in Indus Towers, which has a portfolio of 1,23,000 towers. 
●    Vodafone is likely to retain 8-10% stake to enjoy any future upside. Infratel has the right of first refusal on Vodafone and Idea’s stakes in Indus Towers. 
●    “Bharti Infratel is likely to buy 45-50% stake for $5.5-6.5 billion as a leveraged buyout that will largely be funded out of the reserves and cash flow of Indus Towers,” said one of the sources mentioned above. 
●    Investment banking sources put the enterprise value of privately held Indus at around $11billion, inclusive of $1-billion debt. 
●    Spokespersons for Bharti, Vodafone Plc, KKR, Aditya Birla Group, CPPIB and ADIA declined to comment. GIC had not responded to ET’s questionnaire till press time. 

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Important Current Affairs 9th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 9th October 2017

Current Affairs 9th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Vice President to inaugurate tomorrow the third International Conference on Yoga 

Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the two-day ‘International Conference on Yoga for Wellness’ tomorrow at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. 
●    The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik will preside over the inaugural function.
●    The conference is being organized by Ministry of AYUSH as a part of commemorating the celebration of 21st June as International Day of Yoga declared by the United Nations. 
●    Secretary (AYUSH), Shri C.K. Mishra, Special Secretary, Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and Yoga Gurus of International repute will also be present. 
●    About 500 delegates including 69 from 44 overseas countries are registered to attend the conference.
●    Yoga focused deliberations of the conference will be organized in six technical sessions followed by Panel Discussion among 16 interdisciplinary experts from prominent scientific institutions.
●    The thematic areas of deliberations include Yoga research in non-communicable diseases and scope of Yoga in Integrated Medicine, Control of Cancer, Depression, Gynecological disorders and Pain Management. 

Union Home Minister to inaugurate First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise tomorrow 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the four-day First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) here tomorrow. 
●    The Exercise will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). 
●    At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.
●    The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. 
●    The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017.
●    Earlier, the first phase comprising a Preparatory Meeting and field visit of site selected for FTX during the main exercise, was held in Delhi NCR on August 8-9, 2017.

NMCG Approves Eight Projects worth over Rs 700 Crore Under Namami Gange Programme 

National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved eight projects worth Rs. 700 crore, out of which four pertain to sewage management in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, three are related to treatment of drains through bio-remediation and one of inventorization and surveillance of river Ganga. 
●    On sewage management front, a project for pollution abatement in river Ganga at Bally in West Bengal has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 200.07 crore that would include construction of a 40 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity based PPP model among other works. 
●    Similarly, construction of a 65 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity model has been approved for Bhagalpur in Bihar at an estimated reject cost of Rs 268.49 crore. 
●    In Uttar Pradesh, sewage treatment related works at an estimated cost of Rs 213.62 crore have also been approved that includes construction of two STPs (28 MLD + 05 MLD) in Farrukabad and one 2 MLD STP at Bargadiya drain in Fatehpur. 
●    Pollution abatement works for river Ganga like interception, diversion and treatment of sewage in Bithoor have also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 13.40 crore. 

First ever Conference of Partner NGOs of WCD Ministry held in New Delhi today 

The first ever conference of Partner NGOs of WCD Ministry was held in New Delhi today. 
●    The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the conference titled “Implementation of Policies, Schemes and Programmes for Women and Children: Challenges and Way Forward”. 
●    More than 130 participants from various NGOs across the country attended today’s conference aimed at sensitizing them about the various schemes of WCD Ministry and to give them an opportunity to share their experiences and insights.
●    Addressing the participants, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that NGOs play a very vital role since a large numbers of schemes, programmes and policies of the government, which are being implemented at the ground level with the help of NGOs. 
●    The Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken up several new initiatives like One Stop Centres, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Women Helpline, National Policy for Women, Bill against Trafficking, National Alliance against Child Abuse amongst many such others, the Minister explained. 

Territorial Army Celebrates 68th Raising Day 

Territorial Army (TA) celebrated its 68th Raising Day here today. 
●    As per tradition, the TA fraternity led by ADG TA Major General DA Chaturvedi, called on the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and paid their respect to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
●    In the run-up to the Raising Day several events were organised across the country. 
●    In Delhi the TA organised a half marathon on October 02, 2017 in the true spirit of Citizens’ Army and also to promote healthy lifestyle. 
●    The event comprised 5 Km, 10 Km and 21 Km run and was flagged off from Army Parade Ground, Delhi Cantt by DGMO Lieutenant General AK Bhatt, and Lt Col (Hony) Kapil Dev. 

India Inc is preparing plans for mega investments in charging infrastructure

India Inc is preparing plans for mega investments for the electric vehicle mission including charging infrastructure worth thousands of crores in cities, batteries and purchase of three-wheelers and cars. 
●    Government officials said they have held extensive discussions with more than 50 companies, domestic and foreign, for setting up charging infrastructure – a vital requirement of the country’s ambitious e-vehicle plan. 
●    Ola and several local taxi aggregators are also considering bulk purchases of electric three-wheelers and e-rickshaws and lease them, industry executives and officials said. 
●    A top official involved in the government’s e-vehicle’s programme said Tata Power, ABB, Acme Industries, and few Dutch firms are actively considering setting up vehicle charging stations, while Exide Industries, Amaron Batteries and Microtek have held discussions with officials about supplying batteries and setting up bulk shops for motorists to swap drained out batteries with charged ones.

Union Home Minister attends Passing Out Parade at CISF Regional Training Centre Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) needs to upgrade and technologically advance itself to face and counter any incident of cyber terrorism. 
●    Addressing the Passing Out Parade of Assistant Commandants (Executive), Sub Inspectors (Executive) and Assistant Sub Inspectors (Executive) at the CISF Regional Training Centre (RTC) Arakkonam, in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu today, Shri Rajnath Singh said a specialised Wing in the CISF should be created to conduct regular cyber security audits and build capacities to deal with cyber-terrorism.
●    Pointing out that cyber-terrorism has emerged as a major terror threat facing several countries in the world, the Union Home Minister said the cyber terrorists use digital tracks to attack important institutions, buildings and installation.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh also called upon the CISF to conduct regular security audits of all important buildings and installations. 
●    The CISF should strengthen its security mechanism based on these audit reports and also by adopting new technological solutions, he added. 
●    The Union Home Minister said the CISF needs to maintain its core competence against terrorism so that our strategic installations are not hit by any terrorist group. 
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said India is one of the fastest emerging economies of the world. 

Current Affairs 9th October 2017: AWARDS

Richard Thaler awarded with Nobel of economics

Richard Thaler has been awarded the Nobel prize in economics for his work on how psychology influences decision making.
●    The award – officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in memory of Alfred Nobel, which was first awarded in 1969 – was given to Mr Thaler for his work in “understanding the psychology of economics”, said the prize committee.
●    Richard Thaler is an American economist who is currently professor of behavioural science and economics at the University of Chicago. 
●    He is the 79th recipient of the Nobel, which was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm today. He will receive a prize of 9m Swedish krona ($1.1m).
●    The prize committee said that Mr Thaler’s work on incorporating insights from psychology into economics had inspired many other researchers and transformed behavioural economics from being “a fringe and controversial” field to a “mainstream area”.
●    The insights from this area of economics were summarised in Mr Thaler’s popular book “Nudge”, co-authored with Cass Sunstein, and have been increasingly influential in shaping economic policies.

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Important Current Affairs 8th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 8th October 2017

Current Affairs 8th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Prime Minister launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush 

"Let no child suffer from any vaccine-preventable disease". This was stated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) at Vadnagar in Gujarat, today. 
●    Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child under two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme. 
●    The special drive will focus on improving immunization coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% by December 2018. 
●    The achievement of full immunisation under Mission Indradhanush to at least 90% coverage was to be achieved by 2020 earlier. 
●    With the launch of IMI, achievement of the target has now been advanced. 
●    Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Smt. Anandiben Patel, Ex-Chief Minister of Gujarat, Nitin Bhai Patel, Dy Chief Minister of Gujarat and Shankarbhai Chaudhary, Minister of State, Gujarat Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education, Environment and Urban Development were also present at the launch function along with other dignitaries. 

Union Home Minister to inaugurate NIA Hqrs Office Complex on 10th October 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the new Headquarters Office Complex of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) here on October 10, 2017. 
●    The Ministers of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Shri Kiren Rijiju will also be present at the inauguration ceremony. 
●    The foundation stone of the NIA Headquarters was laid by Shri Rajnath Singh on September 10, 2015 and the work has been completed within the stipulated period of 24 months. 
●    The NIA, which came into existence on December 31, 2008, initially began operations in Hotel Centaur, New Delhi and thereafter shifted its Headquarters to the NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi in June, 2013. 
●    In addition to the Headquarters, the agency has expanded its geographical outreach through a network of branch offices located at Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kochi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur & Jammu. 
●    Apart from these, the NIA is having its camp offices at Chandigarh, Srinagar, Chennai, Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Jagdalpur, Patna, Siliguri, Malda, Ranchi, Vijaywada and Imphal.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates Saudi Aramco India Office 

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, today inaugurated Saudi Aramco’s ARAMCO ASIA INDIA office in Gurugram jointly with Mr Amin H Al-Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco. 
●    The office is located at Two Horizon Tower, Gurugram. 
●    Saudi Aramco through its subsidiary ARAMCO Asia India (AAI) established its formal business presence in India in 2016. 
●    AAI would now formally engage in crude oil and LPG marketing, engineering & technical services, and other business development activities. 
●    Speaking on the occasion Shri Pradhan mentioned that India is one of the biggest markets for Saudi oil and LPG. 
●    He said that he was delighted to jointly inaugurate the Saudi Aramco's Office in India which will help in strengthening the existing buyer - supplier relationship between the two sides to a strategic partnership in the hydrocarbon sector. 
●    ARAMCO India is planning to expand its operation by introducing hydrocarbon sector services functions, including engineering services, IT operations & security and also R&D centre in near future.  

Haj Committee presents report on New Haj policy 2018-22 to Shri Mukhrar Abbas Naqvi 

Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India had constituted a Committee to review the existing Haj Policy of the Government for 2013-17 and to suggest framework for new Haj policy 2018-22. 
●    The Committee presented its Report to the Union Minister of Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the presence of Secretary (Minority Affairs), Shri Ameising Luikham, Chairman of Haj Committee of India, Shri Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, Ambassador of India in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Shri Ahmed Javed, other Members of HCoI and senior officials of the Ministry of Minority Affairs in Mumbai today.
●    Haj is one of the most complex organizational tasks undertaken by Government of India outside its borders. 
●    Although a five day religious congregation, it is virtually a year-long managerial exercise. 
●    Indian Haj pilgrims who constitute one of the largest national group perform Haj through two streams - (i) the Haj Committee of India (HCOI), and (ii) registered Private Tour Operators (PTOs). 
●    HCOI established under the Haj Committee Act 2002 is responsible for making the arrangements for pilgrims performing Haj through them. 
●    All arrangements for the HCoI pilgrims in Saudi Arabia are coordinated by the Consulate General of India, Jeddah. 
●    The Haj quota for India fixed by the Saudi Arabian Government was fixed at 1,36,020 after Haj 2013. 

Dr. Mahesh Sharma to inaugurate ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav-2017’ to be held in Ahmadabad From 7th To 9th October, 2017 

The “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)-2017” will be held from 7th to 9th October, 2017  in India’s 1st World Heritage City i.e Ahmadabad, Gujarat. 
●    Ms. Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Culture addressing the media persons Ahmadabad, Gujarat today said that Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was conceived by the Ministry of Culture in the year 2015 and after the grand success of the First Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in November-2015, the Ministry of Culture decided to organize it with an intent to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Country in all its rich and varied dimensions, viz Handicrafts, Cuisine, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary- all in one place. 
●    So far, this Ministry has organised 5 RSM’s i.e 2 in Delhi, 1 each in Varanasi, Bengaluru and RSM North East in all NE State capitals. 
●    Additional Secretary informed that The Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma will inaugurate the 6th edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav on 7th October 2017 at 7.00 pm at Sabarmati Riverfront Event Centre, A Block in Ahmedabad.

MoU signed between V.V. Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between V.V. Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Guwahati was signed today by Dr. H. Srinivas, Director General of VVGNLI and Dr. D.K. Srivastava, Deputy Director of TISS, Guwahati in the august presence of Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the Union Minister of State (IC) for Labour & Employment in Guwahati. 
●    Shri Pallav Lochan Das, Minister of State (IC) for Labour Welfare, Govt. of Assam and Smt. M. Sathiyavathy, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India were also present during the occasion.
●    Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar in his message advised that the good collaborative work proposed to be done in the North Eastern states could also be replicated in the entire country so that all get benefited. 
●    Shri Pallav Lochan Das stated that labour laws applicable in other states may not be applicable in Assam due to different local conditions. 
●    Hence, there is necessity to devise customized laws. 
●    He welcomed the MoU initiated by the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment.
●    Smt. M. Sathiyavathy in her message outlined the activities of VVGNLI and the MoU’s it has with the International Training Center of International Labour Organisation, Turin; IIM Lucknow etc. 
●    She complemented VVGNLI for its various activities and Director General, VVGNLI and Director, TISS, Guwahati for the present collaboration.

CRZ nod to ONGC's Rs 266 crore desalination plant in Maharashtra

State-run ONGC has received the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance for setting up a seawater desalination plant at its Uran unit in Raigad, Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 266.40 crore, according to an official letter issued to the company.
●    The proposal is to set up a seawater desalination plant with a capacity to process 20 million litres per day (MLD). 
●    The proposed site is about 380 meters away from the high tide line (HTL) of Arabian Sea, along the western coast of India.
●    Desalination is a process to remove dissolved minerals from feed water sources such as seawater and brackish water. 
●    Desalination of seawater is being increasingly adopted worldwide to cope with the deficit in availability of potable water.
●    In the letter, the environment ministry said it has given the CRZ clearance for establishing a desalination plant in Maharashtra after taking into account the recommendation of its expert panel.
●    The approval is subject to compliance of certain conditions such as obtaining of 'no objection certificate' from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for discharge of brine water into the sea after necessary safeguards, it said.

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Important Current Affairs 7th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 7th October 2017

Current Affairs 5th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

PM lays foundation stone for greenfield airport for Rajkot

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed a public meeting at Chotila, in Surendranagar district. 
●    He laid the Foundation Stones for a greenfield airport for Rajkot; six-laning of Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway; and four-laning of Rajkot-Morbi State Highway. 
●    He also dedicated to the nation, a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant; and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar. 
●    The Prime Minister said that it was hard to imagine an airport in Surendranagar district.
●    He said such development works empower citizens. 
●    He said aviation cannot be about rich people. 
●    We have made aviation affordable and within reach of the lesser privileged, he added. 
●    The Prime Minister said that the definition of development has changed. 
●    From the days when handpumps were seen to be a sign of development, today the waters of the Narmada River have been brought for the benefit of citizens. 

PM to address Digital Saksharata Abhinandan Samaroh tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 'Digital Saksharata Abhinanadan Samaroh' tomorrow at IIT Gandhinagar.
●    The event will highlight significance of e-literacy in addressing the issue of digital divide and promoting digital financial transactions to digitally empower the society, a statement said.
●    The government runs Pradhanmantri Grameen Digital Saksharata Abhiyan (PMGDISHA) aims to make six crore citizens digitally literate in rural India.
●    The programme also envisages equal opportunity to rural citizens, enabling them to actively participate in nation building and access livelihood through digital technology, devices and services, according to the release.
●    Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijaibhai Rupani will also be present at the event, among others.
●    So far, more than 55 lakh citizens have been registered on the PMGDISHA portal for digital literacy training, out of which more than 22 lakh citizens have been certified after successfully completing the assessment.
●    Around 7,000 training centre operators -- Common Service Centre Village Level Entrepreneurs (CSC-VLEs) from various states will also participate in the event.

Dr Jitendra Singh to inaugurate a Workshop on "Application of GIS technology in Governance" in Surat next week 

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in association with the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration (SPIPA) is organizing a Workshop in Surat, Gujarat next week on the role of Application of GIS technology in Governance.
●    The day-long Workshop will be inaugurated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh on October 10, 2017.
●    The inaugural session will be followed by a presentation on the awarded initiative of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) regarding the use of GIS technology at SMC, for the purpose of replication by other urban bodies. 
●    It will also deliberate upon Local Area Planning for cities to be implemented by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India as a pilot scheme and coordinated by Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad.

Union Home Secretary chairs special meeting of National Executive Committee (NEC) on PM’s 10 Point Agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction 

The Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba chaired a special meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to sensitize all the stakeholders about the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction and to discuss implementation of the same, here today. 
●    The meeting was attended by Members of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Members of NEC, Relief Commissioners/Secretaries (Disaster Management) & representatives of the States and Union Territories. 
●    The 10 point agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction was announced by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi during the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) held in November last year in New Delhi. 
●    Addressing the participants, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Gauba, said that 10 point Agenda announced by the Prime Minister is a vision document based on three important global frameworks on disaster and sustainable development, namely Sustainable Development Goal, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 
●    He emphasized that interconnectedness and cooperation among different stakeholders including Central Government, State/UT Governments and other stakeholders could help achieving the targets announced by the Prime Minister. 
●    Shri Gauba said that India is one of the most disaster- prone countries. He further added that due to climatic and topographical divergence, different disasters affect different parts of the country.
●    The NDMA can play a role to set up a mechanism for regular monitoring, he added. He also stressed upon the time bound and specific deliverables for disaster risk reduction on implementation of 10 Point Agenda. 

Ministry of Women and Child Development to celebrate the BBBP Week from 09th to 14th October 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th October, 2017. 
●    The week is being celebrated in view of the International Girl Child Day on 11th October, 2017. 
●    The theme of the program will be "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week- The Daughters of New India".
●    Briefing the media in New Delhi today, Secretary WCD, Shri Rakesh Srivastava said that the International Girl Child Day is celebrated every year to promote empowerment of girls and reinforce gender equality. 
●    It also provides a platform to raise issues, concerns and challenges faced by girls. 
●    In order to influence national and mainstream discourse in favour of girls and women and visibility to BBBP, which is one of the flagship programmes of Government of India, Ministry of WCD will be celebrating the BBBP Week, he explained.
●    BBBP Scheme (Celebrate Girl Child, Enable her Education) was launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister on 22nd January, 2015 at Panipat, Haryana as a comprehensive programme to address the declining CSR and related issues of disempowerment of women over a life-cycle continuum. 
●    The Scheme is being implemented in 161 districts of the Country and has completed two and half years of its implementation on ground. 

Thousands protest across Australia against giant Adani coal mine

Large protests were held across Australia on Saturday against Indian mining giant Adani Enterprises' proposed Carmichael coal mine, which would be the country's largest coal mine but has been delayed for years over environmental and financing issues.
●    Environment groups say the mine in Queensland state would contribute to global warming and damage the Great Barrier Reef.
●    The "Stop Adani" movement organised 45 protests.
●    On the sands of Sydney's Bondi Beach more than 1,000 people formed a human sign saying '#STOP ADANI', said organiser Blair Palese from activist group 350.
●    The national rallies come as new polling shows more than half of Australians oppose the mine, reported local media.
●    Analysts have raised doubts about whether Adani can fund the mine, at an initial cost of $4 billion, given a global backlash to investment in fossil fuels.
●    Adani says the project would pay billions of dollars in royalties and taxes, create jobs and export coal to India help bring electricity to rural regions.

Rajan among probables for Nobel Prize for economics

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan features in the list of probables for this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
●    He is one of the six economists on the list of probable winners compiled by Clarivate Analytics, a company that does academic and scientific research and maintains a list of dozens of possible Nobel Prize winners based on research citations.
●    The entry to the list does not guarantee that Rajan is a front-runner but he is a probable who stands a chance to win.
●    Rajan, whose three year term as Reserve Bank Governor ended on September 4, 2016, is considered a candidate for his “contributions illuminating the dimensions of decisions in corporate finance”, Clarivate said.
●    The Nobel Prize in Economics will be announced on Monday.
●    Rajan, who at 40 was the first non-western and the youngest to become the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, shot to big fame three years after he predicted a financial crisis at an annual gathering of economists and bankers in the US in 2005.

Current Affairs 5th October 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

Twenty Years of Science & Technology Cooperation Between India And South Africa 

Union Minister for Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, is leading the Indian delegation to South Africa to participate in the celebration of twenty years of Science & Technology cooperation between India and South Africa.
●    Indian delegation is visiting South Africa to strengthen the strong scientific bonds between the two countries and explore further avenues of cooperation between the two nations in areas ranging from Space Research to Biotechnology. 
●    The delegation will interact with scientists in South Africa where scientists will share experiences and insights on multiple subjects with the Ministerial delegation.
●    The Minister made a visit to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), which is a large multi radio telescope project under development in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 
●    It utilizes radio astronomy and has receiving stations at a minimum distance of 3,000 kilometers (1,900 mi) from a concentrated central core, enabling it to provide the highest resolution images compared to other sub-disciplines of astronomy. 
●    It is being developed in the Southern Hemisphere with cores in South Africa and Australia, where there is least radio interference to observe the Milky Way Galaxy. 

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Important Current Affairs 6th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 6th October 2017

Current Affairs 4th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Dr Jitendra Singh to inaugurate a Workshop on "Application of GIS technology in Governance" in Surat next week 

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in association with the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration (SPIPA) is organizing a Workshop in Surat, Gujarat next week on the role of Application of GIS technology in Governance.
●    The day-long Workshop will be inaugurated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh on October 10, 2017.
●    The inaugural session will be followed by a presentation on the awarded initiative of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) regarding the use of GIS technology at SMC, for the purpose of replication by other urban bodies. 
●    It will also deliberate upon Local Area Planning for cities to be implemented by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India as a pilot scheme and coordinated by Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad.
●    Chief Secretaries and Secretaries, Urban Development of various States/UTs will participate in the Workshop. 
●    Senior Officers from DARPG and line Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and various State/Union Territory Governments will also be present. 
●    The workshop is expected to be attended by more than 100 delegates from Government of India, State Governments and local bodies.

PM Shri Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone for four National Highways projects worth Rs 5825 Crore in Gujarat tomorrow 

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for four National Highways projects worth Rs 5825 Crore at Dwarka  in Gujarat tomorrow. 
●    Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari and MoS Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizer Shri Mansukh L Mandavia will accompany the Prime Minister.
●    PM will lay the foundation for construction of Cable Stayed Signature Bridge between Beyt Dwarka and Okha on NH-51. 
●    The project cost of the bridge is Rs 962 crore. 
●    The other projects for which foundation will be laid  include 4 laning of 116.24 km of Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 at a cost of Rs 1600 crore, 2/4 laning of 93.56 km  of Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51 at a cost of Rs 370 crore and 6 laning of 201.31 km Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 and NH-27 at a cost of Rs 2893 crore.

First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held 

The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held here today. 
●    Shri TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Mr. Stephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General's Department led the respective delegations. 
●    Today’s meeting is a follow-up to the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime exchanged between the two sides during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull to New Delhi in April this year and his talks with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 
●    During the Joint Steering Committee meeting the two sides discussed scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization besides steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes. Issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, combating illegal drug trafficking and sharing information between law enforcement agencies were also discussed.

President to Inaugurate India Water Week 2017 

President Shri Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate India Water Week – 2017 on October 10, 2017 in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari and Union Ministers of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal and Shri Dr. Satya Pal Singh.  
●    About 1500 delegates from India and 13 other countries will attend the five day international event. 
●    The theme of India Water Week – 2017 is “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth”.
●    The 5th edition of India Water Week (IWW) will be celebrated with a multi disciplinary conference and a concurrently running exhibition enriching the theme and showcasing the technologies and solutions available for the areas under deliberation of the meet.
●    A large group of international and national persons of eminence are being invited for sharing their experiences in the field of Water and Power Management, Technical and Sociological interventions for achieving water and energy security in their individual areas and manage the assets created on a participatory basis.

First ever conference of Partner NGOs to be inaugurated by Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in New Delhi on 09th October 

The first ever Conference of Partners NGOs is being organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 9th October, 2017 in New Delhi. 
●    The subject of the conference is “Implementation of Policies, Schemes and Programmes for Women and Children: Challenges and Way Forward”.
●    The conference will be inaugurated by the Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. MoS WCD, Dr. Virendra Kumar will also remain present. 
●    The aim of the daylong conference is to sensitize partner NGOs across the country for the implementation of various WCD schemes and to give them an opportunity to share their experiences and insights. 
●    The challenges confronted at the grassroots level for the welfare of women and children will also be deliberated upon.
●    Two hundred and fifty NGOs across the country, Line Ministries and experts have been invited to participate in the conference.

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurates disabled friendly building of National Career Service Centre for Differently Abled (NCSC-DA) in Guwahati 

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurated the disabled friendly building of National Career Service Centre for Differently Abled (NCSC-DA) in Guwahati today.
●    The Union Minister expressed his desire to expand the Ministry’s footprints in the North East Region with the motive of Labour Welfare at various levels.
●    Shri Gangwar reiterated that the NCSC-DA building would be an inspiration for others to emulate the model apart from bringing positive changes in the lives of Persons with Disabilities. 
●    He also applauded the contribution of the State Government not only for their support in the construction of building but also to have synergy in other areas too.
●    The Guwahati building has been constructed at cost of Rs. 10.40 Cr.  
●    The land for the building was provided by Government of Assam. 
●    The state-of-the-Art building is unique in nature of its kind in the State of Assam and is one among 8 buildings constructed so far for National Career Service Centres for Differently Abled (erstwhile VRCs).

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar lays foundation stone for renovation and upgradation of ESIC Model Hospital in Guwahati 

Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment, laid the foundation stone for renovation and ugradation of ESIC Model Hospital in Beltola, Guwahati today. 
●    While addressing the gathering, Shri Gangwar said that, this hospital will prove a boon for the beneficiaries of ESI Scheme in North Eastern Region in general and beneficiaries of Guwahati in particular. 
●    Shri Gangwar also stated that centre is giving special focus on labour welfare and development of North –Eastern States. 
●    The Ministry of Labour & Employment is all geared up to for the betterment of the life of the working class of this region. 
●    Shri Gangwar informed that with the upgradation and renovation of ESIC Model Hospital, Beltola, Guwahti, all the indoor and outdoor facilities viz. OPDs, 24x7 Emergency Service, ICU, Operation theatres, Pathology Rooms, Radiology, Physiotherapy, Wards, etc. will be made available. 

Union Home Minister and Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways inaugurated sea route to Baratang

Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated an alternate sea route to Baratang Island and laid the foundation stone for extension of dry dock in Port Blair, extension of wharf in Hope Town and construction of an additional jetty along with extension of Berthing Jetty in Neil Island at an event in Port Blair in A&N Islands yesterday. 
●    Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Lt. Governor of A & N Islands Prof. Jagdish Mukhi were also present on the occasion.
●    In his address, the Home Minister said that it is his second visit to A & N Islands within six months. 
●    He said the Home Ministry’s Advisory Committee on A & N Islands had held a meeting to discuss and sort out various problems and issues of the Islands recently. 
●    Shri Singh lauded the efforts of Shipping Minister Shi Nitin Gadkari and said that development projects like the ones inaugurated on the occasion contribute towards development of the country’s economy. 
●    He stated that under PM Shri Narendra Modi’s dynamic leadership, India which now figures in the top ten economies of the world, will emerge as one of the top three economies by 2025-30.

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Important Current Affairs 5th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 5th October 2017

Current Affairs 5th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

IBBI notifies the IBBI (Information Utilities) (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 

IBBI had notified the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017 on 31st March, 2017. 
●    These regulations provided that ordinarily a person should not hold more than 10% of paid up equity share capital or voting power of an information utility, while allowing certain specified persons to hold up to 25%. 
●    These further provided that a person may hold up to 51% of paid-up equity share capital or total voting power of an information utility till the expiry of three years from its registration.
●    IBBI has amended the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017 on 29th September, 2017. 
●    According to the amended regulations, a person may, directly or indirectly, either by itself or together with persons acting in concert, hold up to fifty-one percent of the paid-up equity share capital or total voting power of an information utility up to three years from the date of its registration. 
●    Further, an Indian company, (i) which is listed on a Stock Exchange in India, or (ii) where no individual, directly or indirectly, either by himself or together with persons acting in concert, holds more than ten percent of the paid-up equity share capital, may hold up to hundred percent of the paid-up equity share capital or total voting power of an information utility up to three years from the date of its registration. 
●    However, these amended provisions are be available in respect of information utilities registered before 30th September, 2018.

“Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojna” promotion camp in Hyderabad 

Union Minority Affairs Minister Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that under the “Mudra Yojna”, launched on 08th April 2015, the Centre has approved about 9.13 crore loans. 
●    Addressing the common people, traders, industries’ representatives and people from social sector in Hyderabad during “Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojna” promotion camp, Shri Naqvi said that there are about 76 percent women in these beneficiaries of “Mudra Yojna”. 
●    More than 55 percent of the beneficiaries are SC/ST/OBCs and Minorities.
●    Shri Naqvi said that today each and every country of the world has recognising India as an emerging economic power. 
●    Today, India has become one of the safest and strongest destination for investment. 
●    Shri Naqvi said that during the last three years, the NDA Government has moved forward towards strengthening the Indian economy. 
●    Growth rate has been above 7 percent during the last three years.
●    Shri Naqvi said that “Demonetisation” has started giving results. 
●    Direct Benefit Transfer has ensured transparency, as money has been given directly into the bank accounts of needy.

Plantation drive along National Highways 

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has so far planted about 10 lakh plants along national highways in this monsoon season. 
●    This includes about 4 lakh avenue plants and about 6 lakh plants on the highway medians. 
●    The plantation drive is part of NHAI’s activity towards ensuring and upholding the cause of Swachh Bharat Mission in providing clean, green and pollution free National Highways. 
●    The drive is taken up as a regular activity during monsoons and continues even afterwards with watering and maintenance of the plants. 
●    Plantation work has been mainstreamed as an integral part of highway development projects, thereby ensuring that our highways remain clean, green and pollution free.

 Paryatan Parv started

Ministry of Tourism has launched the ParyatanParv ”  celebrations country wide today.
●    ‘Paryatan Parv’ activities began with the flagging of the cycle rally by Smt. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism from India Gate, New Delhi to Qutab Minar. 
●    Approximately 80 cyclists from across Delhi including members of tourism Industry Stakeholders, officials from central Ministries, doctors, teachers, students participated this rally.
●    The other activities in the capital included a Guided Heritage Walk at  Humayun’s Tomb & painting competition for children etc.
●    Tourism awareness Walk & Run were organised in Shillong , Bhubaneswar , Kovalam (Kerala), Hajipur (Bihar), Gurudaspur, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, Ahmedabad , Jaipur, Imphal, Lucknow, Agra, Hyderabad , Gwalior, Bhopal, Panaji(Goa), Delhi.
●    100’s of student from Institute of Hotel Management in the said cities & local stakeholders enthusiastically participated in the Tourism walk & Run.  
●    The various State Tourism Departments also joined the celebrations by organising various events like trekking programme, photography contest, essay competitions, sensitization program etc.
●    In Guwahati, the students took to rowing in the Brahmaputra river   spreading the message of Paryatan Parv.

Apple and Reliance entering into deep local partnership

Apple and Reliance Industries, the most valuable companies in the US and India, are entering into a “deep” local partnership that will harness the conglomerate’s telecom and retailing networks to help the iconic American phone maker "discover Bharat" and take the brand to 900 cities and towns. 
●    The exercise also seeks to establish Reliance as the largest seller of iPhones in the country. 
●    As part of the arrangement that may eventually help iPhones reach more than 2,000 points of sale through Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio, Reliance is now undertaking the distribution itself.
●    Earlier, distributors would reach out to Reliance Digital stores. “Apple wants to expand rapidly in the smaller cities and towns to sell iPhones where Reliance has a ready infrastructure through its retail and telecom businesses. 
●    Apple’s retail presence will immediately double to over 4,000 outlets through this.
●    Reliance, too, wants to sell phones from Rs 999 to $999.

Mukesh Ambani is richest Indian for the 10th consecutive year

Mukesh Ambani for the tenth consecutive year. 
●    The elder Ambani brother, Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, has seen a very successful year. 
●    One factor contributing to his recent earnings is the massive success of Reliance Jio since its launch in 2016. 
●    Mukesh Ambani tops the list with a staggering Rs 2.47 lakh crore or $38 billion in net worth, a  nd is also one of the top five richest people in Asia. 
●    However, his younger brother, Anil Ambani , is way down the list on the 45th spot with $3.15 billion. 
●    The magazine mentioned that Mukesh Ambani saw his wealth increase by 67 per cent from last year. 
●    In fact there was an increase of 26 per cent in the aggregate wealth of the top 100 richest people. 
●    Forbes also mentions that all of the rank holders in the list are billionaires this year. 
●    The minimum worth to make to the list last year was $1.25 billion, which shot up by 17 per cent this year.

Mastercard, AP sign pact to create digital ecosystem in state

Global payments technology major Mastercard and the Andhra Pradesh government today signed a pact to create a "digital ecosystem" in the state.
●    It focuses on implementing a 4-pronged agenda for the state.
●    Signed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Mastercard President & CEO Ajay Banga, the pact will see implementation of innovative payment technologies that will help the state move towards a cashless society as also to elevate its foothold as a smart city.
●    Mastercard, through a mobile app, will help create a marketplace solution for farmers to buy and sell crops in a safer and simpler way besides being able to get access to credit and transparent pricing.
●    "The first one is to really work hard in enabling farmers to find access to the new ways to be able to get their produce to markets and connect to buyers and get paid for it in the form that does not allow middleman to get between them and take away what is theirs," Banga told reporters at the MoU signing.

Current Affairs 5th October 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

India signs €300 million Finance Contract with European Investment Bank (EIB) for financing Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II- Line R6. 

Government of India and European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed the Finance Contract for lending of € 300 million for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II Line R6. 
●    The agreement was signed by Shri S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary (BC), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Andrew McDowell, Vice President, EIB, on behalf of the EIB.
●    Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II is to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (€500 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (€300 million). 
●    The first tranche of Euro 300mn was signed today. 
●    The project envisages extension of East-West & North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km (13.79 km underground) and 61 stations with 12 underground stations. 
●    The project implementation period is 5 years from date of commencement of the Project.
●    The objective of the project is to bring in a quantum improvement in the transportation sector in the city in tandem with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and other modes of urban transport. 
●    The project aims to ensure modern transport facility for the commuters. 

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