Current Affairs Update – 31 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 31 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming  RBI Grade B Phase I, Dena Bank PGDBF, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 31 May, 2017
  1. State-owned Punjab National Bank has received USD 100 million (about Rs 645 crore) as the first tranche of ADB’s multi—million dollar funding for installation of rooftop solar systems in India.
  2. India and Germany on 30 May 2017 signed twelve low-profile Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)/agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. The agreements include collaboration in the field of digitalization, skill development and cooperation in cyber policy.
  3. India and Spain on 31 May 2017 signed seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) including one on cyber security and technical cooperation in civil aviation.
  4. Union Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha on 30 May 2017 made the formal announcement of organising India Mobile Congress 2017 (IMC 2017). The three-day IMC will be held from 27 to 29 September 2017 in New Delhi. The Ministry also launched the logo of India Mobile Congress 2017.
  5. The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for eight connectivity projects on 30 May 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai. The projects worth Rs 1117.03 Cr aim to enhance connectivity of the hinterland to the Port Trust.
  6. Bijlipay, an end to end digital payment solutions company, is the first Indian Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices providing company to enable Bharat QR code on the screens of its POS machines. According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code is the world’s first inter-operable payment acceptance solution.
  7. HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies, announced the launch of India’s first life insurance email bot today. The email bot, named SPOK, can automatically read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails that are sent to HDFC Life, within milliseconds, the company said in a press release here.
  8. Delhi Police on 30 May 2017 launched the Bicycle Patrols for better policing in the capital. The Bicycle Patrols were flagged off by Union minister of Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.
  9. To improve India’s position in ocean research field, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has decided to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018. This decision was announced by M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences on 30 May 2017.
  10. Indian captain Virat Kohli, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have been featured in ESPN’s World Fame 100 list for 2017. While both Kohli and Dhoni feature in the top 20 at the 13th and 15th rank respectively, Yuvraj and Raina have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively.
  11. The World No Tobacco Day 2017 was observed across the world on 31 May 2017 with the theme Tobacco – a threat to development.






Financial & Banking News

PNB gets $100 mn from ADB for solar rooftop fund


  • State-owned Punjab National Bank has received USD 100 million (about Rs 645 crore) as the first tranche of ADB’s multi—million dollar funding for installation of rooftop solar systems in India.
  • The USD 100 million loan agreement signed between the Asian Development Bank and PNB is backed by a guarantee from the central government.
  • PNB will deploy this fund as loan to various developers and end users to install large solar rooftop systems on industrial and commercial buildings throughout India, ADB said in a release.
  • As much as USD 330 million of this funding will come from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and USD 170 million from the multi—donor Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The first tranche loan comes from CTF.
  • The entire cost of SRIP is estimated at USD 1 billion and it aims to install solar rooftop system of around 1 gigawatt capacity in India.

India Germany signed 12 agreements; Indo-German inter-governmental consultations held


  • India and Germany on 30 May 2017 signed twelve low-profile Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)/agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. The agreements include collaboration in the field of digitalization, skill development and cooperation in cyber policy.
  • Besides, the two nations also agreed to resume the free trade talks between India and the European Union.
  • The agreements were inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany (from 29 to 30 May 2017). At present, PM Modi is on a four-nation tour, namely Germany, Spain, Russia and France. The trip was planned with an agenda to boost trade and commerce and economic cooperation along with counter-terrorism steps.
Here's a list of the agreements and JDIs:
1.   Agreement on collaboration between the Ministry of Skill Development and Germany's BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). This agreement will facilitate training of Indian skill development officers and cluster managers
2.   Agreement between the Ministry of Health and BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) on cooperation in health sector
3.   Agreement between the AYUSH and BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) over cooperation in alternative medicine
4.   JDI between Ministry of Science and Technology and the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) for the establishment of an Indo-German Centre for Sustainability
5.   JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs and the German Foreign Office on cooperation on cyber policy
6.   JDI between the Ministry of Finance and BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) on Indo-German Development Cooperation
7.   JDI between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) over continuation of cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate and junior executives from India
8.   JDI between the Department of Heavy Industries and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) on cooperation in vocational education and skill development for machine tools
9.   JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs and the German Foreign Office on collaboration between Foreign Service institutes of both the country
10. JDI between the Ministry of Railways and German Ministry of Transport on cooperation in railway safety
11. JDI between the Ministry of Urban Development and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on cooperation for sustainable urban development
12. JDI on cooperation in the field of digitalisation, empowerment and economic impact between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

India, Spain sign 7 agreements during PM Modi's visit


  • India and Spain on 31 May 2017 signed seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) including one on cyber security and technical cooperation in civil aviation.
  • The MoUs were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Spain.
Highlights of the MoUs

  • The two sides signed one MoU on transfer of sentenced persons to respective countries.
  • One of the MoUs was for the visa waiver scheme for holders of diplomatic passports.
  • Four MoUs were signed between the two countries on cooperation in organ transplantation, cyber security, renewable energy and civil aviation.
  • One MoU was signed between India's Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.
  • The agreements were signed after PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace in the Spanish capital.

PM Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Spain since 1988. Spain is India's seventh largest trading partner in the European Union. Two-way trade between both the countries totalled for USD 5.27 billion in the year 2016.

India Mobile Congress 2017 to be held in September


  • Union Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha on 30 May 2017 made the formal announcement of organising India Mobile Congress 2017 (IMC 2017). The three-day IMC will be held from 27 to 29 September 2017 in New Delhi. The Ministry also launched the logo of India Mobile Congress 2017.
  • IMC will be India’s first and biggest platform to bring together all stakeholders from the domain of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and take the Indian telecom industry at par with its international counterparts.
  • This is the first time India is all set to host its own mobile mega show.
  • India Mobile Congress will be the biggest event of the telecom industry and it will bring together all stakeholders from the industry and government on a common platform.
  • The event will be organised by Department of Telecommunications along with Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and other stakeholders.

Gadkari lays foundation stone for 8 connectivity projects worth 1117 Cr at JNPT


  • The Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for eight connectivity projects on 30 May 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai.
  • The projects worth Rs 1117.03 Cr aim to enhance connectivity of the hinterland to the Port Trust.
These projects include:

  • Integrated Common Rail Yard Facility at JNPT - Rs. 250 crore
  • Connecting 4th Terminal of JNPT with Rail - Rs. 100 crore
  • Jasai-JNPT 3rd Railway Line - Rs. 150 crore
  • Flyover at North Gate - Rs. 127.45 crore
  • Integrated Centralised Parking for Tractor-Trailers - Rs. 149.31 crore
  • Construction of Coastal Berth - Rs. 142.32 crore
  • Flyover at Y Junction - Rs. 82.95 crore
  • Restructuring of Yard behind shallow water berth - Rs. 115 crore

Port Connectivity is among the four pillars of Ministry of Shipping’s flagship Sagarmala programme.


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Link Aadhaar Card with PAN using SMS: IT Department


  • The Income Tax (IT) Department on 31 May 2017 announced that taxpayers can now link their Aadhaar Card number with their Permanent Account Number (PAN) by using an SMS-based facility.
  • The two numbers can be linked by sending an SMS to either 567678 or 56161.
  • Moreover, people can also use the I-T Department's e-filing website to link the two numbers.
  • Aadhaar can also be linked into PAN database by quoting Aadhaar in PAN application form for new PAN allotment or by quoting Aadhaar in change request form used for reprint of PAN card.
  • After verification from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the linking will be confirmed.
  • In case of any minor mismatch in Aadhaar name provided by the applicant, Aadhaar OTP (one-time password) will be required.
  • The OTP will be sent to the mobile number registered in the Aadhaar database.


Bijlipay launches India's first Bharat QR code recognising POS machine


  • Bijlipay, an end to end digital payment solutions company, is the first Indian Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices providing company to enable Bharat QR code on the screens of its POS machines. According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code is the world’s first inter-operable payment acceptance solution.
  • Bijlipay firmly believes that it’s not just providing digital payments devices that will cultivate the habit of cashlessness in Indians. It will take a lot more of handholding, education & awareness to see the actual conversions to digital payments in tier II-III cities. Hence, Bijlipay ensures that they provide for an end-to-end solutions involving demos, documentation, installation, training, risk profiling, reconciliation, settlement and analytics. It’s not the number of machines in the market that gives the true picture on digital payments, it’s the volume that each machine processes which sets the right parameter for a successful digitization of payments. .
  • Bijlipay is poised for tremendous growth in digital payment space, and is planning to launch several digital payment solutions in the Indian market. Apart from acquiring solutions like m-POS & GPRS POS and ‘Swipe4Cash’ mini ATM products, Bijlipay also provides a best in class issuance platform for prepaid cards/ Forex cards/ Gift cards etc.


HDFC Life launches India’s first life insurance email bot SPOK


  • HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies, announced the launch of India’s first life insurance email bot today. The email bot, named SPOK, can automatically read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails that are sent to HDFC Life, within milliseconds, the company said in a press release here.
  • This automation initiative will enable HDFC Life to respond to user queries faster and more efficiently and consistently. It will also help generate deeper insight on customer needs by identifying patterns in customer interactions and facilitating HDFC Life to progressively anticipate and address all customer issues and needs. The deployment of SPOK will improve customer experience, while providing the support staff with the bandwidth to focus on customer satisfaction and delight.
  • HDFC Life has embarked on this initiative in collaboration with Senseforth, a startup that offers a wide range of enterprise bots built on its AI platform.
  • Artificial intelligence special purpose bots learn and evolve based on guided learning principles and are proficient with customer emotion. This will help HDFC Life constantly enhance customer experience going forward.



News related to India and states

Delhi Police launches Bicycle Patrols for better policing


  • Delhi Police on 30 May 2017 launched the Bicycle Patrols for better policing in the capital. The Bicycle Patrols were flagged off by Union minister of Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.
  • In the first phase, a total of 65 high-end bicycles have been operationalised. Out of 65 bicycles, 30 were allotted for North East district, 20 for East district and 15 for Shahdara district.
  • The scheme will be extended to other areas of Delhi as well.
  • Bicycle patrols were launched as a part of green initiative for patrolling the parks, congested lanes, by-lanes, the cooperative societies, etc.
  • These patrols were introduced to complement and supplement existing motorcycle and PCR patrols of Delhi Police which focus mainly on crime prevention along the arterial and main roads of Delhi.
  • Cycle patrols can go where traditional patrol vehicles cannot. They can reach the narrow and heavily congested areas where mechanized vehicles find it difficult to reach.


Yogi Adityanath raises retirement age of UP doctors to 62

  • The Uttar Pradesh Government has extended the retirement age of doctors working under provincial medical service from 60 to 62 years.
  • The decision was taken by the state’s cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a meeting held at Lucknow on 30 May 2017.
  • The move has been made in the view of non-availability of medical practitioners across the state.
  • Elaborating on the development, UP government spokesman and health minister Siddharth Nath Singh stated that around 7,327 posts of doctors were lying vacant in the state against the sanctioned strength of 18,382.
  • Almost 300-400 doctors retire every year in the state and there are not enough qualified doctors to fill up the vacant seats.


Ministry of Earth Sciences to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018

  • To improve India’s position in ocean research field, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has decided to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018. This decision was announced by M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences on 30 May 2017.
  • Secretary was speaking through video conference in the workshop arranged by National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula. On the occasion, Rajeevan also said that “India achieved a lot in the field of ocean research; still it is a long way to go”.
  • The workshop titled ‘Three decades of India acquiring Pioneer Investor Status- Achievements and way forward’ was also attended by MS Nagar, Member Standing Committee, Ministry of Earth Science and Dr VSN Murthy, Director, National Institute of Oceanography among other dignitaries.


Sports News

Kohli, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina in list of World top 100 athletes


  • Indian captain Virat Kohli, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have been featured in ESPN’s World Fame 100 list for 2017.
  • While both Kohli and Dhoni feature in the top 20 at the 13th and 15th rank respectively, Yuvraj and Raina have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively.
  • The list is ESPN’s ranking of the 100 most famous active athletes in the world. The first such list was released in 2016.
  • Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo with the top rank has been adjudged as the most famous athlete on the planet.
  • The other players in the top 5 include NBA legend Lebron James at rank 2, soccer star Lionel Messi at the 3rd rank, tennis ace Roger Federer at the 4th rank and American golfer Phil Mickelson at the 5th rank.
  • Brazilian footballer Neymar, Sprinter Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods make up the top 10.


World News


Pentagon (US) successfully tests intercontinental ballistic missile defence system


  • The United States of America on 30 May 2017 successfully conducted the first-ever test of its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The test was long-planned.
  • Speaking on the development, the US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) stated that a ground-based interceptor was launched at a California air base and it successfully shot down a mock ballistic missile.
  • The U.S military fired an ICBM-type missile from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands towards the waters just south of Alaska.
  • It then fired a missile to intercept it from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
  • Experts compare the exercise to hitting a bullet with another bullet. The enormous distance involved further added to the complexity of the test.
  • It was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-Based Missile Defense, which is managed by Boeing Co.


Days

World No Tobacco Day 2017 observed globally


  • The World No Tobacco Day 2017 was observed across the world on 31 May 2017 with the theme Tobacco – a threat to development.
  • This year's theme focuses on measures that the governments and public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.
  • The theme was chosen by WHO to highlight that how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide and also to press the need for implementing some strong tobacco control measures such as banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging of tobacco products, raising excise taxes and making public places smoke-free.


Obituaries

Kannada film producer Parvathamma Rajkumar passes away

  • Parvathamma Rajkumar, Kannada film producer and wife of the late Kannada superstar Rajkumar, passed away on 31 May 2017 due to prolonged illness. She was 78.
  • She had been hospitalised since 14 May. After a major drop in blood pressure, the producer suffered a massive cardiac arrest on 31st morning.
  • She was the only woman producer-distributor-exhibitor of Kannada films.


Veteran filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao passes away

  • Veteran Telugu filmmaker and former Union minister Dasari Narayana Rao passed away on 30 May 2017 following heart failure. He was 75.
  • Rao was known for directing movies with legendary actors like NT Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao. He was also an active politician in the Congress party and served as a Union Minister during the UPA regime.









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