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Monday, April 03, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 2-3 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 2 and 3 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 – 2-3 April, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. Private carrier Jet Airways fliers can now buy tickets online, using the industry's latest payment mechanism, Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The move makes the city-headquartered airline the only domestic carrier providing its customers with this convenient payment solution.
  2. ICICI Bank on Monday announced the integration of its retail internet banking with 'DigiLocker', an online repository platform for issuance, verification and storage of digital certificates and documents on cloud.
  3. Tax evasion of over Rs 5 crore under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be a non-bailable offence. The new regime also empowers police to make an arrest without warrant.
  4. The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 98.35 Cr for the development of a Heritage Circuit in Assam.
  5. The Union government on 1 April 2017 launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for the development of the powerloom sector.
  6. India and Malaysia on 1 April 2017 inked seven agreements including the development of a fertiliser plant in Malaysia. The agreements were signed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations.
  7. The second Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank began on 31 March 2017 in New Delhi. The meeting will be held for three days  till 2 April 2017.
  8. The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 gave its approval for signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for the establishment of a CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 April 2017 inaugurated Chenani-Nashri tunnel, India’s longest highway tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This 9 km long twin-tube tunnel is an ideal example of the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiative. PM Modi also announced to invest around Rs 7000 crore in highways projects in Jammu and Kashmir in the next two years. A ring road will be built around Jammu at a cost of Rs 2100 crore and another one around Srinagar at a cost of Rs 2200 crore.
  10. B P Kanungo on Monday took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  11. Bajaj Capital on Monday said it has appointed Rahul Parikh as the new chief executive officer.
  12. Diplomat Vipul on 3 April 2017 took charge as the new Consul General of Dubai.
  13. Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist, on 30 March 2017 was chosen to receive the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
  14. P V Sindhu on 2 April 2017 defeated reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain to lift her maiden India Open Super Series title.
  15. Roger Federer on 2 April 2017 outclassed Spain’s Rafael Nadal to win the 2017 Miami Open Men's Singles title.




Finance and Banking News –

Jet Airways becomes first domestic carrier to allow UPI for ticket-booking


  • Private carrier Jet Airways fliers can now buy tickets online, using the industry's latest payment mechanism, Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • The move makes the city-headquartered airline the only domestic carrier providing its customers with this convenient payment solution.
  • The UPI allows money to be transferred instantaneously between any two bank accounts instantly, using a smartphone.
  • Launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI is one of the various measures by the RBI towards a less-cash and a more digital society.

ICICI Bank integrates net-banking service with DigiLocker


  • ICICI Bank on Monday announced the integration of its retail internet banking with 'DigiLocker', an online repository platform for issuance, verification and storage of digital certificates and documents on cloud.
  • 'DigiLocker', an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), is a repository platform for issuance, verification and storage of digital certificates and documents on cloud.
  • ICICI Bank is offering this service free of cost, it said.
  • At present, over 20 organisations including the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, including various eDistrict applications are part of the DigiLocker ecosystem.

Tax evasion over Rs 5 crore will be non-bailable offence under new GST regime


  • Tax evasion of over Rs 5 crore under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would be a non-bailable offence. The new regime also empowers police to make an arrest without warrant.
  • The Central GST (CGST) Act has defined offences related to taxable good or services. The act provides that if the offences will be cognizable and non-bailable when the taxable goods and/or services where the amount of tax evaded or the amount of input tax credit wrongly availed or the amount of refund wrongly taken exceeds Rs 5 crore.
  • The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) in its 223-page frequently asked questions (FAQ) on GST said other offences under the act are non-cognizable and bailable. FAQ suggests that cognizable offence means the serious category of offences in respect of which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant and to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court.

Ratification of Minimum Age Convention & Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention approved


  • The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 approved the ratification of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).
  • The approval for the ratification of the two fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
  • While the Minimum Age Convention deals with the minimum age for admission to employment, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 is concerned with the prohibition and immediate action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour.
  • India is a founder member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which came into existence in 1919. At present, the ILO has 187 members.
  • The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International standards in the form of Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
  • India has so far ratified 45 Conventions, out of which 42 are in force. Out of these 4 are Fundamental or Core Conventions.


Union Cabinet approved signing of new Air Services Agreement between India and Serbia


  • The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 approved the signing of a new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Serbia.
  • The approval was given at a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
  • The essential features of the new India-Serbia Air Services Agreement are -
  •  Under the new  Air Services Agreement, the Indian carriers can operate to any points in Serbia from points in India.
  •  Whereas the carriers of Serbia can establish direct operation to four metros - New Delhi, Mumbai and 2 more points to be specified later.
  • Apart from this, through routing flexibility, any intermediate and beyond point can also be served by the designated carriers on both sides.
  • The designated airlines shall be entitled to exercise domestic code share operation to any four additional points in the territory of the other Party over.

Centre sanctions Rs 98 Cr for development of tourism sector in Assam


  • The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 98.35 Cr for the development of a Heritage Circuit in Assam.
  • The announcement was made by the Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Mahesh Sharma while meeting the state’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • The amount has been sanctioned for the development of Tezpur, Majuli and Sivasagar circuit under the scheme of Swadesh Darshan.
  • It includes the development of a composite tourist infrastructure in Majuli, which will comprise an interpretation centre near Kamalabari ghat, log huts, watch towers, cafeteria, elevated walkway, solar illumination and landscaping.
  • The infrastructure at Majuli itself is expected to cost around Rs. 61.26 Cr.

Five associate banks, Bharatiya Mahila Bank merged with SBI


  • Five associate banks of SBI and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) were on 1 April 2017 merged with the State Bank of India (SBI).

These five associate banks that were merged with the SBI are -

  1. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
  2. State Bank of Hyderabad
  3. State Bank of Mysore
  4. State Bank of Patiala
  5. State Bank of Travancore


  • The merger of these five associate banks with SBI was approved by the Union Government in February 2017. Later in March 2017, the Union Cabinet approved merger of BMB as well.
  • With this merger, SBI will join the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. Currently, no Indian bank features in the top 50 banks of the world.
  • The total customer base of the SBI will now reach to 37 crore people with a branch network of around 24000 and nearly 59000 ATMs across the country. The merged entity will have a deposit base of more than Rs 26 lakh crore and advances level of Rs 18.50 lakh crore.
  • Soon, the bank will rationalise its branch network by relocating some of the branches to maximise reach. This will help the bank in optimising its operations and improve its profitability.
  • Integration of treasuries of the associate banks with the treasury of SBI will bring in substantial cost saving and synergy in treasury operations.

Textiles Minister launches PowerTex India scheme for powerloom sector


  • The Union government on 1 April 2017 launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for the development of the powerloom sector.
  • The scheme was launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani through a video conference at Bhiwandi in Thane district, Maharashtra with a simultaneous launch in 45 other locations across the country including Surat, Erode, Malegaon, Bengaluru, Varanasi and Bhagalpur.
  • The scheme would especially benefit Maharastra and Tamil Nadu. It comprises new research and development in power loom textiles along with new markets, branding, subsidies and welfare schemes for the workers.
  • It is meant to especially benefit the small power loom weavers. The powerloom sector alone employs over 44 lakh people.
  • In all, it has nine components including In-situ up-gradation of Plain Powerlooms, Group Workshed Scheme (GWS), Common Facility Centre (CFC), Yarn Bank Scheme, Tex Venture Capital Fund, Grant-in-Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs).
  • It also includes two new schemes, Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme (PMCS) for powerloom weavers and solar energy scheme (SEC) for powerlooms.

India, Malaysia inked seven agreements


  • India and Malaysia on 1 April 2017 inked seven agreements including the development of a fertiliser plant in Malaysia. The agreements were signed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations.
  • These MoUs/agreements were signed during the Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak’s visit to India. Raazak was on a six-day visit (from 30 March - 04 April 2017) to India.
List of Agreements/ Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) exchanged during the State Visit of Prime Minister of Malaysia to India

  1. Air Services Agreement: The two nations signed an Air Services Agreement.
  2. MoU on Cooperation in the proposed development of a Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in Malaysia and off-take of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India: It envisages Malaysian consortium of Isomeric Holding Sdn Bhd and Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd to put up a 2.5 MT/annum urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Melacca, Malaysia for dedicated consumption by India. It also envisages off take to India the existing surplus Urea from Malaysia as per India’s requirement.
  3. MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Sports: It envisages cooperation through exchange of sportspersons, instructors, information on sports regimen and training curricula, among others.
  4. MoU for cooperation in training and others: The MoU was signed between the Malaysian Human Resource Fund (HRDF)/Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) and EDII, Ahmedabad. The signed agreement envisages that EDII of Ahmedabad will carry out training and other capacity building programmes, as necessary on behalf of the Human Resource Development of Malaysia.
  5. MoU on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications: it was signed between Association of Indian Universities (AIU), India and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Malaysia. It establishes recognition of equivalence of the various degrees awarded by educational institutions in the two countries. It also envisages the eventual signing of a mutual recognition agreement between the two education/higher education ministries, following technical consultations.
  6. MoU for collaboration in technology development in the field of Palm Oil: It was inked between Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), India.
  7. MoU on the implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in AP: It was inked between MIGHT Technology Malaysia and AP Economic Development Board. As per the MoU, the Malaysian industry-government group for high power technology (MIGHT) will act as a facilitator to develop a cluster in AP. As part of fourth generation Technology Park, packing material would be made from recycled agricultural materials.

MPOC signs pacts to promote palm oil in India


  • Malaysian Palm Oil Council today signed pacts with edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors' Association and Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA) to promote palm oil in India.
  • The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were exchanged in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, a statement said.
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), having its registered office in kuala lumpur, seeks to collaborate with trade organizations in India to promote and create opportunities for the greater acceptance of Malaysian palm oil among Indian consumers, food manufacturers and other end-users.
  • The MoUs between MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA) covers various areas of cooperation like educating consumers on usage, nutritional and health properties of palm oil.

2nd Annual Meeting of New Development Bank begins in New Delhi


  • The second Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank began on 31 March 2017 in New Delhi. The meeting will be held for three days  till 2 April 2017.
  • Main event: The opening ceremony of the NDB Second Annual Meeting will be held at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi on 1 April 2017.
  • It will be followed by the singing ceremony, the Second Annual Meeting of the NDB Board of Governors and Press Conference.
  • Seminars: The first seminar will be held under the theme of “Financing Sustainable Development.” It will address the role of governments in financing development and, in particular, sustainable infrastructure.
  • The second seminar will be held under the theme of “Urban Planning and Sustainable Infrastructure Development.”
  • During the seminar, the participants will look into how the urban development could improve the lives of people.

News related to India and states –

Cabinet approved signing of Agreement for establishment CIRDAP Centre


  • The Union Cabinet on 31 March 2017 gave its approval for signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for the establishment of a CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The establishment of the centre within the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR) premises would give the institute an advantage of acquiring first-hand knowledge about networking with organizations that specialise in rural development programmes.
  • The new centre would help the NIRD & PR to enhance its position in the region through connections with other institutes in the CIRDAP member countries and help it create its own storehouse of institutional knowledge.
  • It would also benefit the faculty at the institute with exchange visits to the best practices in the CIRDAP member countries.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s longest Chenani-Nashri tunnel


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2 April 2017 inaugurated Chenani-Nashri tunnel, India’s longest highway tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This 9 km long twin-tube tunnel is an ideal example of the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiative.
  • PM Modi also announced to invest around Rs 7000 crore in highways projects in Jammu and Kashmir in the next two years. A ring road will be built around Jammu at a cost of Rs 2100 crore and another one around Srinagar at a cost of Rs 2200 crore.
  • Moreover, Zojila tunnel is also under construction between Leh and Ladakh at a cost of Rs 6000 crore.
  • This 9 km long all-weather tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir is not only India’s longest highways tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highways tunnel.
  • Built at an elevation of 1200 metres on one of the most difficult Himalayan terrains, the tunnel will cut the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours, bypassing about 41 kms of road length.
  • It will also ensure an all weather passage on a route that often sees heavy traffic jams and disruptions due to landslides, snow, sharp curves, breakdown of vehicles and accidents.
  • The structure of the tunnel consists of a 9 km long two-laned main tunnel with a parallel escape tunnel of same length. The two tunnels are connected by 29 cross passages at regular intervals.
  • These cross passages can be used for evacuation of vehicles and commuters in case of breakdown or any other emergency.

Appointments –

B P Kanungo takes over as new RBI deputy governor


  • B P Kanungo on Monday took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The government on March 11 appointed Kanungo, who was holding the position of Executive Director of RBI, as Deputy Governor for a period of three years.
  • Kanungo will look after the departments of currency management, external investments and operations, government and bank accounts, and information technology, payment and settlement systems.
  • He will also look after foreign exchange department, internal debt management department, legal department and premises department.
  • Kanungo had joined the RBI in September 1982.

Bajaj Capital appoints Rahul Parikh as the new CEO


  • Bajaj Capital on Monday said it has appointed Rahul Parikh as the new chief executive officer.
  • Parikh has almost 17 years of experience in financial services companies like Aditya Birla Money MyUniverse, Birla Sunlife Asset Management Company and ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund.
  • Besides, Anil Chopra has been elevated to Group Director — Corporate Affairs of the company. Earlier, he was Group CEO and Director of the firm. In his new role, he will be working with the shareholders to develop new lines of business.

Vipul takes charge as Consul General of Dubai


  • Diplomat Vipul on 3 April 2017 took charge as the new Consul General of Dubai. Vipul is a 1998 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.
  • Vipul succeeds Anurag Bhushan, who returned to New Delhi to take up his assignment at the Headquarters after a successful term of three years in Dubai.
  • Before joining the Consulate at Dubai , Vipul was working in the office of Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Earlier, he served India’s diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka and Egypt. He has a good command over the Arabic language.

Actor Vishal elected as President of TN Film Producers Council


  • Renowned actor Vishal was on 2 April 2017 elected as the President of the Tamil Nadu (TN) Film Producers Council. Vishal bagged a total of 476 votes out of the 1059 votes polled.
  • He won by a margin of 144 votes defeating Radhakrishnan, who garnered 332 votes in the polls that were held for the film body. Another contestant Keyar secured 224 votes.
  • Former High Court Judge Rajeswaran was appointed as the Election Officer of the Tamil Nadu (TN) Film Producers Council.
  • Vishal is also the General Secretary of the South Indian Film Artistes Association. He owns a production house Vishal Film Factory.

Awards & Honors –

Dawit Isaak awarded 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize


  • Dawit Isaak, an imprisoned Eritrean-Swedish journalist, on 30 March 2017 was chosen to receive the 2017 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.
  • Isaak was chosen for the prestigious award in recognition of his courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.
  • The journalist was arrested in a crackdown on the media that occurred in September 2001. His present location is unknown.
  • The Prize will be awarded on 3 May 2017, World Press Freedom Day, to be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sports –

P V Sindhu defeats Carolina Marin to win India Open Super Series title


  • P V Sindhu on 2 April 2017 defeated reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain to lift her maiden India Open Super Series title.
  • Third seeded Sindhu defeated Marin 21-19, 21-16 at the Sirifort Sports Complex. The Indian badminton player had last defeated Marin in the BWF Super Series in Dubai in the year 2016.
  • In 2013, she became the first ever Indian women's singles player to win a medal at the Badminton World Championships.

Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal to clinch 2017 Miami Open Men's Singles title


  • Roger Federer on 2 April 2017 outclassed Spain’s Rafael Nadal to win the 2017 Miami Open Men's Singles title.
  • Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion defeated Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami Open title.
  • In majors, he has won seven Wimbledon titles, five Australian Open titles, five US Open titles and one French Open title.

Leander Paes and Adil Shamasdin win Men’s Doubles title at Torneo Internacional Challenger Leon


  • Leander Paes on 2 April 2017, combining with Canadian Adil Shamasdin, lifted the Leon Challenger Tour tennis tournament's Men's Doubles trophy at Leon, Mexico.
  • Paes and Shamasdin defeated Switzerland’s Luca Margaroli and Caro Zampieri of Brazil 6-1 6-4 in the title clash at the USD 75000 hard court event.
  • With this win, Paes grabbed his 20th ATP Challenger title. The Indian player has now won at least one title every year for the past 26 years.

World –

Myanmar becomes seventh member of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation

  • Myanmar on 31 March 2017 became the seventh member of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program.
  • Myanmar’s association with the SASEC open up new markets and supply chain links for trade and business between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • The SASEC countries coordinate the planning of projects and activities to increase economic growth by building transport connectivity, facilitating faster and more efficient trade, and promoting cross-border power trade.
  • Up till now, SASEC members have invested more than USD 9 billion in development projects, which have connected markets and businesses over the last 15 years in the subregion.








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