Current Affairs Update – 18-19 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 18 and 19 April, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 18-19 April, 2017
  1. The State Bank of India (SBI) on 18 April 2017 became India's most valued Public Sector Company in terms of market valuation. The market cap of SBI stood at Rs 235307.51 crore as on 18 April 2017.
  2. The Cabinet has given its approval to the policy guidelines to allow financially sound State government entities to borrow directly from bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners for implementation of vital infrastructure projects.
  3. TAL Manufacturing Solutions in April 2017 unveiled India’s first conceptualized, designed and manufactured articulated industrial robot called BRABO. BRABO stands for “Bravo Robot”. It has been developed indigenously for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India.
  4. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 April 2017 dedicated Phase 1 (Link 2) of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana to the nation. PM Modi also laid the Foundation Stone of Phase 2 (Link 2) of the SAUNI Yojana.
  5. In the third meeting of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, the state government renamed the Gorakhpur and Agra Airports as well as the name of the Department of Welfare of the Differently-abled. The Gorakhpur Airforce Station was renamed after the name of Mahayogi Gorakhnath, the founder of Nath monastic movement. Interestingly, the newly-appointed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the Head Priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, which is a leading centre of the Nath monastic order. Likewise, the Agra Airport was renamed after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay airport.
  6. INS Chennai, a ‘P15A Guided Missile Destroyer’, was dedicated to the city of Chennai on 17 April 2017 in the presence of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami. It is the largest-ever destroyer to be built in India.
  7. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) led coalition in Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided to provide pension to former circus artists in the state.
  8. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is all set to introduce Vastu Shastra classes for its architecture students from August 2017.
  9. The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on 17 April 2017 launched its own portal and mobile app. The portal and app were officially launched by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
  10. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 17 April 2017 launched a comprehensive module for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats.
  11. Devendra Kumar Sharma was on 18 April 2017 appointed as the Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for a period of three years.
  12. B N Mohapatra on 17 April 2017 took over as the new Financial Commissioner (FC) (Railways) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. 
  13. The World Hemophilia Day was celebrated across the world on 17 April 2017 with the theme “Hear Their Voices”.
  14. The 2017 World Heritage Day was observed across the world on 18 April 2017. The theme for the year is Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism.
  15. India’s Sagar Baheti on 17 April 2017 became the first visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon.




Financial and Banking News –

SBI becomes India's most-valued Public Sector Company


  • The State Bank of India (SBI) on 18 April 2017 became India's most valued Public Sector Company in terms of market valuation. The market cap of SBI stood at Rs 235307.51 crore as on 18 April 2017.
  • It surpassed state-run energy major Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) as its market cap was about Rs 2961.79 crore more than that of ONGC's Rs 232345.72 crore. ONGC once used to be the country's most-valued Public Sector Company in terms of market valuation.
  • Among the top-10 most valued companies list, SBI is at the fifth position while ONGC is seventh on the list.  So far in Financial Year 2017-18, shares of SBI have surged almost 16 per cent while ONGC's shares have fallen by over 4 per cent.     
  • On the other hand, in Private Sector, IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the most-valued Indian company with a market cap of Rs 454902.85 crore, followed by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) with Rs 445578.92 crore market cap.
  • TCS had replaced RIL as the most valued firm more than four years ago itself. However, RIL witnessed  a sharp growth in recent past on success of telecom venture Jio.

Cabinet allows State entities to borrow directly from ODA partners


  • The Cabinet has given its approval to the policy guidelines to allow financially sound State government entities to borrow directly from bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners for implementation of vital infrastructure projects.
  • A decision on allowing the Election Commission to purchase 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units at a tentative unit cost of ₹19,650, and at a total estimated cost of ₹ 3173.47 crore during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19 was also taken by the Cabinet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference after the meeting on Wednesday.
  • Taking its decision on State enterprises forward, the Cabinet allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, a State entity, to borrow directly from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for implementation of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project. The estimated project cost is ₹ 17,854 crore while the JICA loan portion is expected to be ₹ 15,109 crore.
  • “The guidelines will allow the State Government entities to directly borrow from the external bilateral funding agencies subject to fulfilment of certain conditions and it would not be limited by the State’s FRBM target,” Jaitley told reporters.
  • The Cabinet also gave its approval for extending the validity of the existing order given on October 27, 2016, in respect of sugar for a further period of six months from April 29, 2017 to October 28, 2017.
  • The main objective of the decision is to enable the States to issue control order with the prior concurrence of the Centre for fixing stock limits/ licensing requirements in respect of sugar, whenever need is felt by them, an official release said.

First Made in India industrial robot BRABO unveiled


  • TAL Manufacturing Solutions in April 2017 unveiled India’s first conceptualized, designed and manufactured articulated industrial robot called BRABO.
  • BRABO stands for “Bravo Robot”. It has been developed indigenously for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India.
  • TAL Manufacturing Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors.
  • The robot was designed and manufactured at the TAL’s Pune factory.
  • It is mainly developed to complement the human workforce.
  • It also developed to repeatedly perform high volume, dangerous and time-consuming tasks ranging from handling of raw materials to packaging of finished products.
  • Other than the motors and drives for the Robo-arm, which are sourced from Italy, all the other parts of the robot were indigenously manufactured in India.
  • The robot has four patents registered in its name. TAL has also applied for an intellectual property certification for the robot.
  • The robot is easy to install, use, program and maintain. It needs only one-time calibration. It does not require any many calibration in case of maintenance.
  • It comes with low-cost power transmission system.
  • It will be able to work on single phase power supply suitable for MSMEs in the country.

West Bengal’s new social security Yojana combines 5 old beneficiary schemes


  • The State government of West Bengal has introduced the Social Security Yojana by combining five separate beneficiary schemes for workers in the unorganised sectors and for self-employed people.
  • The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting held on 17 April 2017. The meeting was led by the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Key Highlights

  • The Yojana is expected to benefit around 5 Cr people, with around 1 Cr getting direct benefits.
The five earlier schemes include:
- State Assistance Scheme for Provident Fund for Unorganised Sector
- West Bengal Unorganised Sector Workers’ Health Security Scheme
- Social Security scheme for Construction Workers
- West Bengal Transport Workers Social Security Scheme
- West Bengal Bidi Workers Welfare Scheme

  • The Trinamool Congress-led state government has spent around Rs 880 Cr between 2011 and 2016 to bring more than 85 lakh people under the schemes.
  • According to the state’s Finance Minister, Amit Mitra, workers from over 46 unorganised sectors including bidi workers, book-binding workers, motor mechanics, boatmen and ICDS workers, as well as self-employed people from 15 sectors including the jewellery manufacturing sector, will stand to benefit from the all-encompassing new scheme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches projects related to SAUNI Yojana at Botad


  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 April 2017 dedicated Phase 1 (Link 2) of the Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana to the nation.
  • PM Modi also laid the Foundation Stone of Phase 2 (Link 2) of the SAUNI Yojana.
  • The design of Phase 2 is to pump Narmada water in 17 dams spread across Botad, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts of Gujarat. This is considered as a second milestone of the Rs 12000 crore projects to pump Narmada water to the arid Saurashtra region.
  • SAUNI Yojana’s Link 1 canal will take water to 30 dams in Jamnagar and Devbhoomi Dwarka districts. In August 2016, PM Modi had dedicated Phase-I of the Link-I canal to the nation.
  • The Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Irrigation Yojana has been launched to divert one one million acre feet (MAFT) excess over flowing flood water of Narmada allocated to Saurashtra Region.
  • The excess over flowing flood water of Narmada will be distributed to 115 reservoirs of eleven districts of Saurashtra through total 1126 km long four link pipelines benefitting 10.22 lakh acres of land.
  • The project aims to utilize the floodwater, which otherwise overflows the Narmada dam during monsoon and drains into the sea.



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News related to India and states –

UP Government renames Gorakhpur and Agra Airports


  • In the third meeting of the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, the state government renamed the Gorakhpur and Agra Airports as well as the name of the Department of Welfare of the Differently-abled.
  • The Gorakhpur Airforce Station was renamed after the name of Mahayogi Gorakhnath, the founder of Nath monastic movement. Interestingly, the newly-appointed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the Head Priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, which is a leading centre of the Nath monastic order.
  • Likewise, the Agra Airport was renamed after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay airport.
  • On the other hand, the Department of Disabled Welfare will now be known as Divyang Jan Vikas Empowerment. Divyang is a term used for the differently-abled.
  • During the meeting, the cabinet also approved the decision to open 20 new agricultural centres.

Indian Navy dedicates its Largest Missile destroyer to Chennai


  • INS Chennai, a ‘P15A Guided Missile Destroyer’, was dedicated to the city of Chennai on 17 April 2017 in the presence of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
  • The dedication ceremony included a series of events and drills. Also present at the event was Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command.
  • On the occasion, Palaniswami also unveiled a plaque at the Chennai Port Trust.
  • The indigenously designed guided missile destroyer was commissioned into the Indian navy’s combat fleet on 21 November 2016 by the then Defence minister Manohar Parrikar in Mumbai.
  • It is commanded by Captain C. R. Praveen Nair and has 45 officers.
  • It is the largest-ever destroyer to be built in India.
  • It is also the third and last Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers built under Project 15A.
  • It has state of the art weapons and sensors and stealth features.

Palladium Cinema site to be developed as heritage museum in Srinagar


  • The Palladium Cinema site at Lal Chowk of Srinagar will be developed as a heritage museum soon. The cinema was once a popular hangout for movie buffs but fell victim to militancy.
  • Palladium Cinema, which is located at the historic Lal Chowk, was closed down in 1989 after the eruption of militancy in the state. Later in 1990, the cinema was gutted in a fire and it has also seen two fidayeen attacks. At present, the cinema is occupied by security forces.
  • The decision was taken on 18 April 2017 at a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Ahmad Khan. The meeting was held to review the progress of various developmental activities being carried out by the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA).

Kerala Government allocates sum for former circus artistes


  • The Communist Party of India (Marxist) led coalition in Kerala, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has decided to provide pension to former circus artists in the state.
  • The decision was taken up after a group of circus artists met Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while he was visiting the state’s Kannur district and conveyed their plight to him.
  • The government has allocated a sum of Rs 1.13 Cr for the same. Thalassery in Kannur district is considered to be the cradle of Indian circus.

Vastu Shastra to be introduced in IIT Kharagpur


  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is all set to introduce Vastu Shastra classes for its architecture students from August 2017.
  • The basics of Vastu Shastra will be introduced to the first and second-year undergraduate architecture students. However, detailed grounding on the subject will be imparted to the post graduate and research scholars in infrastructure.
  • The undergraduate students will be taught graded modules related to basic design and history of architecture will be taught. At the postgraduate level, modules imparting solar principles, sacred diagrams, 9 circuit placements or the nabagraha mandal, sacred altars and design semiotics and semantics will be taught.

Prakash Javadekar launches Portal and Mobile App of RUSA


  • The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, on 17 April 2017 launched its own portal and mobile app. The portal and app were officially launched by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.
  • The portal is a one-stop location for States’ Higher Education Plans, the decision of the States’ Higher Education Councils and details of the resources. Also, the gallery is a rich repository of the projects initiated under RUSA. On the other hand, the mobile application will ensure that all projects under RUSA are tracked 24x7.
  • Besides, the minister also inaugurated 17 facilities created under Rashtriya Ucchatat Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) in one go in 14 states. They include
  • A cluster university in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Micro ATM facility at the RUSA centre for intelligent systems in Pune University
  • New Colleges (Professional): Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College, Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Equity Initiatives: Digital Language Laboratory in Ghatsila College, Ghatsila, Kolhan University (Jharkhand)
  • Infrastructure Grants to Universities: Solar Panelling System in Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Ernakulam (Kerala)
  • Infrastructure Grants to University: Academic Block, Government Rani Durgawati College, Mandla (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Research, Innovation and Quality Improvement in Shivaji University, Kolhapur & Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune (Maharashtra)

Nation-wide training programme launched for Elected Women Representatives of Panchayats


  • The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 17 April 2017 launched a comprehensive module for capacity building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayats.
  • In addition, a training program for trainers of women panchayat leaders across the country was also launched. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women & Child Development, launched the program at Ranchi, Jharkhand through a video conference.
  • The National Commission for Women of the WCD Ministry in collaboration with TISS developed the module.
  • The module includes training guidelines, timeline, implementation guidelines, training schedules and monitoring and evaluation.
  • The training will include group discussions, brainstorming lectures, demonstrations, field visits, case studies, games, exercise, role play, small workshops and individual assignments.
  • The module also discusses various topics like ‘What is an ideal Panchayat’, composition of the Gram Panchayat, development schemes and programmes, resources of panchayats and their utilization, laws for protection of the vulnerable sections among others.
  • The training program aims to empower EWRs of panchayats by upgrading their capacity, capability and skill in governance and administration of villages.
  • The training program will be closely monitored to ensure proper learning by the sarpanches and EWRs.
  • In the first phase of the programme, 40 master trainers of Jharkhand will be trained at the State Institute of Rural Development in Ranchi.

World News –

UN to celebrate International Yoga Day with special commemorative stamps


  • The United Nations will be issuing special commemorative stamps to celebrate the International Yoga Day this year. The day is celebrated across the world on 21 June.
  • The same was confirmed by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin through a tweet on his social media account.
  • The UN postal agency, UN Postal Administration (UNPA) will issue the new special event sheet to commemorate Yoga Day that has been marked annually since 2015.
  • The special sheet comprises stamps with images of the sacred Indian sound “Om” and various yogic asanas.

Appointment –

Devendra Kumar Sharma appointed as Chairman of BBMB


  • Devendra Kumar Sharma was on 18 April 2017 appointed as the Chairman of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for a period of three years. His appointment was approved by the Appointment Committee Of Cabinet.
  • BBMB manages the release of water in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan as it controls Bhakra, Pong and other dams.
  • The post of Chairman of BBMB had been lying vacant since September 2015. Its temporary charge was given to SK Sharma, Member of Irrigation under BBMB.
  • Punjab had been demanding a regular appointment on the post of BBMB Chairman for its smooth functioning.

B N Mohapatra takes over as Financial Commissioner of Railways


  • B N Mohapatra on 17 April 2017 took over as the new Financial Commissioner (FC) (Railways) and ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. 
  • The Financial Commissioner of Railways plays an important role in allocation of funds and for all expenses and revenues of the Railways.
  • He also worked as Executive Director (Establishment), Executive Director (Expenditure), and Advisor (Accounts) at Railway Board, New Delhi.
  • From December 2015 to November 2016, he served as the additional General Manager of East Coast Railway.

Days –

The World Hemophilia Day observed across the world on 17 April


  • The World Hemophilia Day was celebrated across the world on 17 April 2017 with the theme “Hear Their Voices”. The main aim of this campaign is to unite the community and show support for the millions of women and young girls affected by bleeding disorders.
  • The campaign urges women to join the conversation by sharing their story about how the bleeding disorder affected their lives so that others can learn about the condition.

World Heritage Day observed with theme Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism


  • The 2017 World Heritage Day was observed across the world on 18 April 2017. The theme for the year is Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism.
  • The theme for the 2017 World Heritage Day was chosen in relation to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The day is aims at raising awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status.

Sports News –

Sagar Baheti becomes India’s first visually impaired runner to complete Boston Marathon


  • India’s Sagar Baheti on 17 April 2017 became the first visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon.
  • Supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), Baheti completed a distance of 42.16 kilometres in just over four hours.
  • The 31-year old runner finished the 121st Boston Marathon as one of 30000 runners.
  • Baheti is a businessman by profession. In 2013, he was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a type of macular degeneration that eventually leads to blindness.

ICC names Ganguly and Ponting as commentators for upcoming Champions Trophy


  • The International Cricket Council has named former Indian International cricket captain Saurav Ganguly as one of the commentators in their stellar line up for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.
  • Other International cricketers named in the commentary panel include Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Michael Slater, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Shaun Pollock, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ian Bishop, Ramiz Raja, Simon Doull and Athar Ali Khan.
  • The event would also see the ICC TV debut of former International captains including Ricky Ponting of Australia, Graeme Smith of South Africa, Brendon McCullum of New Zealand and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka.
  • Besides this, the International cricketing body revealed their detailed broadcast production plans of the tournament. For the first-time ever, ICC has introduced player tracking for Champions trophy, which will be held from 1 June to 18 June in England and Wales.

Awards & Honors –

Historian A V Narasimha Murthy honoured with Gururaja Bhat Award


  • Eminent historian Professor A V Narasimha Murthy on 17 April 2017 was presented with Dr. Paduru Gururaja Bhat Award 2017.
  • The award was presented to Murthy by D V Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • Murthy was chosen for the prestigious award in consideration of his contribution to Indian Archaeology, Ancient History and Numismatics.
  • Murthy is the Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB), Mysuru. He also served as the Head of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore.         

Obituaries –

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chandra Saxena passes away


  • Girish Chandra Saxena passed away on 14 April 2017 at the age of 90. He was the former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Born in Agra in 1928, he joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) and held many positions.
  • He retired as the Director of India's external intelligence agency - the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • He served in the RAW for 16 years and headed it between 1983 and 1986.
  • He was chief of the agency during the Kanishka Bombing and Operation Blue Star.




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