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Thursday, April 06, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 5-6 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 5 and 6 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 – 5-6 April, 2017 - Tap to show
  1. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday kept the repo rate unchanged in first bi-monthly monetary policy but raised the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to narrow the corridor in which overnight money moves. Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%, hikes reverse repo to 6%.
  2. The government has decided to geo-tag all assets like farm ponds, soil testing labs and seed godowns created under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) for their better utilisation.
  3. Aimed at encouraging digital transactions, the Reserve Bank on Thursday said it will soon come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments. Pending the final guidelines the existing norms for MDR (merchant discount rate) charges will continue beyond March 31, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said while announcing first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2017-18.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2017 laid the foundation stones of several development projects including a multi-modal terminal and a four-lane bridge over River Ganga at Sahebganj in Jharkhand.
  5. The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017 approved closure of the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY). The scheme was set up in 2012 to address the social security-related issues of the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category workers going abroad for employment to ECR countries.
  6. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Australia on cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
  7. The Indian navy has deployed its warship Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul for two months in the South Indian Ocean to provide surveillance support in the region.
  8. The Reserve Bank has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor.
  9. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on 5 April 2017 announced the appointment of Raman Roy its Chairman for 2017-2018.
  10. India on 5 April 2017 observed the 54th edition of the National Maritime Day.
  11. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) was observed across the world on 6 April 2017.
  12. Japan officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money with effect from 1 April 2017.
  13. India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli on 5 April 2017 was named the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016.




Financial and Banking News –

RBI first bi-monthly monetary policy - RBI surprises with reverse repo hike


  • The six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday kept the repo rate unchanged but raised the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to narrow the corridor in which overnight money moves.
  • Economists said this was an indirect tightening of interest rates even as the policy stance remained neutral.
  • The central bank also warned about rising inflation. Expected at 4.5% in the first half of the current fiscal year, inflation may climb to 5% in the second half owing to risks and an unfavourable base effect. 
Following are the highlights of the first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2017-18 as announced by the RBI:

  • Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%, hikes reverse repo to 6%
  • Narrows policy rates corridor due to increased liquidity, post demonetisation
  • Pegs GVA growth for current fiscal at 7.4% as against 6.7% last year
  • Revises MSF, bank rate to 6.5%
  • Retail inflation in first half seen at 4.5%, 5% in second half
  • Economic indicators point to modest improvement in microeconomic outlook
  • Risk evenly balanced around inflation trajectory; upside risk from uncertainty about monsoon
  • Upside risk to inflation from GST, poor monsoon, pay commission award
  • Further scope for a more complete transmission of policy rates remains, including for small savings rates
  • All six MPC members voted in favour of RBI monetary policy
  • The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee on June 5 and 6.


Govt to geo-tag Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna assets for better monitoring


  • The government has decided to geo-tag all assets like farm ponds, soil testing labs and seed godowns created under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) for their better utilisation.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in this regard on Thursday between the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a wing of Indian Space Research Organisation, and RKVY division of the Agriculture Ministry.
  • NRSC will provide the required app and impart training to officials to facilitate uploading of photos of assets to the Bhuvan-RKVY platform.
  • For instance, details of the number of farm ponds and water level through geo-tagging will help the centre to prepare a better contingency plan to tackle drought, he said.
  • Being aware of the realistic status of assets will not only be helpful in monitoring and utilising, but also in formulating development schemes for the sector, he added.
  • Elaborating about the MoU, Agriculture Secretary Shobhna Pattanayak said that assets created under the RKVY in the last one decade will be identified for geo-tagging purpose. Even new assets that are being developed will also be tagged.
  • As many as 80 kinds of assets are created under the RKVY. A pilot project has already been implemented in four states of Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar. As of now, 17,000 assets have been geo-tagged. Training is underway for 17 states.
  • NRSC officials said that it will complete the geo-tagging process of all assets of RKVY by end of 2017-18 financial year.

Cabinet approves India-France MoU in civil aviation


  • The Cabinet today cleared the pact between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and France's DGAC for technical collaboration in the civil aviation space.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be between AAI and Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).
  • An official spokesperson tweeted that the Cabinet has approved 'India-France MoU in civil aviation' sector.

RBI to come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments


  • Aimed at encouraging digital transactions, the Reserve Bank on Thursday said it will soon come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments.
  • Pending the final guidelines the existing norms for MDR (merchant discount rate) charges will continue beyond March 31, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said while announcing first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2017-18.
  • According to the existing guidelines, the MDR for debit card payments, including for payments made to the government, is capped at 0.25 per cent for transactions up to Rs 1,000 and 0.5 per cent between Rs 1,000-2,000.
  • The existing MDR cap is 0.75 per cent for transactions up to Rs 2,000 and one per cent for over Rs 2,000. However, there is no RBI cap on MDR on credit card payments.
  • The Reserve Bank issued a draft circular on 'Rationalisation of Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for Debit Card Transactions' on February 16.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of multi-modal terminal on River Ganga in Jharkhand


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2017 laid the foundation stones of several development projects including a multi-modal terminal and a four-lane bridge over River Ganga at Sahebganj in Jharkhand.
  • He laid down the foundation stone of Sahibganj-Manihari 4-land Bridge over river Ganga in Sahibganj.
  • He also dedicated the 311-kilometer long Govindpur-Sahibganj Highway to the nation
  • He laid the foundation stone of the River Port Terminal on the river Ganga at Sahibganj
  • He dedicated the 90 KWP solar power unit in Sahibganj District Court and the 70 KWP solar power unit at Sadar hospital, Sahibganj.

First Air services agreement between India and Georgia approved by Union Cabinet


  • The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017 approved the signing of air services agreement (ASA) between India and Georgia.
  • According to an official press release, the agreement will not only help in establishing air connectivity between the two countries but it will also contribute to the expansion of trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two.
  • The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
  • The agreement between the two countries is based on the latest International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) template keeping in view of developments in the Civil Aviation sector.
  • The main objective is to improve the air connectivity between the two countries.

Union Cabinet approves closure of Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana


  • The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017 approved closure of the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY). The scheme was set up in 2012 to address the social security-related issues of the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category workers going abroad for employment to ECR countries.
  • The scheme was launched with an aim to cover 5 million overseas blue collar Indian workers who have the ECR category passports in 17 countries.
  • However, the subscription under the MGPSY was very low and no new subscription was received for more than a year.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY) was a special social security scheme for overseas Indian workers on temporary work permit in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries.
  • The scheme envisaged a co-contribution of Rs 1000 by Government to overseas Indian workers who save Rs 4000 per annum so that on return to India, a MGPSY subscriber could utilise these savings for return and resettlement purposes.

News related to India and States –

Cabinet approves India-Australia MoU in the field of health and medicine


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Australia on cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Australia regarding co-operation between the countries in the sector of health and medicine on April 5, 2017.
  • While the subject of cooperation focused on the regulations of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices, it significantly put light on the subject of communicable diseases such as Malaria and TB, mental health and non-communicable diseases, anti-microbial resistance and responding to public health emergencies; digital health, tobacco control among the other areas of cooperation between the countries, said an official release here on Thursday.
  • The MoU signed by both the countries will comprise cooperation through joint initiatives in the health sector besides the strengthening of bilateral ties between India and Australia.

Union Cabinet approved five agreements with Bangladesh including Audio Visual Co-Production


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2017 approved five agreements with Bangladesh including a pact in the field of judicial sector cooperation and on passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes.
  • All the agreements or draft of measures were cleared prior to visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India. These measures were cleared with an aim to strengthen cultural, judicial, maritime and economic engagements between India and Bangladesh.
List of Agreements/MoUs which were cleared during the Union Cabinet meet

  • Approval to the agreement on Audio Visual Co-Production between India and Bangladesh: Salient features of the Agreement
  • Approval to the signing of MoU in the field of judicial sector cooperation
  • Approval to the MoU on passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes between India and Bangladesh
  • Approval to the MoU for fairway development of Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara River and Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna River in the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route
  • Approval to the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Mass Media

Indian Navy deploys INS Shardul for surveillance in the Indian Ocean


  • The Indian navy has deployed its warship Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul for two months in the South Indian Ocean to provide surveillance support in the region.
  • This move has been made keeping in mind India’s national objective of ensuring a safe and secure regional environment to allow unobstructed social and economic development in India as well as in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • In its initial phase of deployment, the warship carried out joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance of Mauritius from 8-26 March 2017 in close coordination with the National Coast Guard of Mauritius.
  • After successful completion of the Mauritius surveillance project, the warship entered the EEZ of Seychelles on 27 March 2017 to initiate the phase I of EEZ surveillance of Seychelles.
  • Led by Commander Rohit Mishra, the warship entered Port Victoria in Seychelles on 28 March 2017, following which a coordination meeting was held between the officials from INS Shardul and Seychelles Coast Guard at the Coast Guard headquarters.

Appointments –

Malvika Sinha appointed RBI Executive Director


  • The Reserve Bank has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor.
  • Sinha took charge on April 3.
  • As Executive Director, she will look after foreign exchange department, department of government and bank accounts and internal debt management wing, RBI said in a release.
  • Kanungo was Executive Director of the Reserve Bank before being elevated to the post of Deputy Governor.
  • Sinha had joined the Reserve Bank in 1982 and as a career central banker served in the areas of regulation and supervision, foreign exchange and government and bank accounts.

Raman Roy appointed Chairman of NASSCOM for 2017-18


  • The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on 5 April 2017 announced the appointment of Raman Roy its Chairman for 2017-2018. He will take on the new role from 6 April 2017.
  • Roy takes over the position from C P Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra.
  • Roy is the Chairman and Managing Director of Quatrro.
  • Raman Roy has been a member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and was the vice-chairman for 2016-17.
  • In addition, NASSCOM also announced the appointment of Rishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer & Member of the Board, Wipro as the Vice Chairman of NASSCOM for 2017-18.

Days –

National Maritime Day observed in India


  • India on 5 April 2017 observed the 54th edition of the National Maritime Day.
  • At the inaugural function at the Tuticorin Port, Port Trust chairman S Anantha Chandra Bose placed a wreath on the memorial for sailors who sacrificed their lives at sea.
  • On this day in 1919, navigation history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom.
  • It was a crucial step for India shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace observed


  • International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) was observed across the world on 6 April 2017. The date commemorates the inauguration of the first Olympic games of the modern era, in Athens (Greece) in 1896.
  • The United Nations General Assembly on 23 August 2013 through its resolution A/RES/67/296 decided to proclaim 6 April as the International Day of the Sport for the Development and the Peace. The day has been celebrated each year since 2014.
  • The adoption of the day for sports signifies that sports can have a positive influence on the advancement of human rights and economic development.

World –

Japan officially recognises Bitcoin as currency


  • Japan officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money with effect from 1 April 2017.
  • The recognition comes after implementation of a new law amending Banking Act in Japan for legalizing these currencies. The step will facilitate integration of digital currency into legal banking system through regulatory scrutiny.
  • The law proposes setting financial conditions that virtual currency exchange operators should meet, such as a certain amount of capital, and requiring them to manage customer assets separately from their own corporate assets.
  • It calls for introducing a mandatory system for exchange operators to undergo external checks by certified public accountants or auditing firms for their asset management conditions and financial statements.

Malala to become the youngest person to address Canadian Parliament


  • The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau announced on 3 April 2017 that the youngest Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai, will be addressing the country’s parliament on 12 April 2017.
  • The young Pakistani activist will also be receiving her honorary Canadian citizenship, which was bestowed upon her in 2014.
  • Canadian Prime Minister announced that 19-year-old Yousafzai will become the youngest person to address the country’s Parliament.
  • Trudeau also added that he would be discussing empowerment of girls through education with Yousafzai on the occasion.
  • Yousafzai was targeted for her advocacy for women’s education at the age of 15 when she was shot in the head by Taliban militants while returning from school.
  • She won world acclaim with her campaign for female education and human rights advocacy.

Sports –

Virat Kohli named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016


  • India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli on 5 April 2017 was named the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016.
  • The announcement was made in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, which is also often referred to as the ‘Bible of the Cricket.’
  • Kohli also features on the cover of the 2017 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. It shows the cricketer playing a reverse sweep in a Test match.


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