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Saturday, July 08, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 7-8 July, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 7 & 8 July, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, NABARD Grade A & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News

IDFC and Shriram Group to finalise $10 billion mega merger within 90 days

  • IDFC and the Shriram Group have agreed to finalise within 90 days the merger of financial services business of the two groups that will create a financial supermarket with offerings from motorcycle credit to lending for multi-billion dollar power projects.
  • IDFC Bank managing director and chief executive Rajiv Lall called the proposed merger a 'marriage made in heaven' while the founder chairman Deepak Parekh said that IDFC gets 'readymade branches’ and `hope the marriage happens’ amid likely regulatory obstacles.
  • All the operating businesses of the two groups will come together under IDFC Ltd. The retail consumer centric business of the holding company Shriram Capital - Shriram City Union Finance - will be merged into IDFC Bank.
  • The transport finance business will remain a standalone non-banking finance company that would become a subsidiary of IDFC Limited. The share swap ratio and other details of the merger would be worked out in the next 90 says.
  • The merger of the two group of companies will create a financial giant with a market value of at least Rs. 72,000 crores which will also have businesses like mutual funds and life insurance.

MRP on packaged consumer products to be same from January 1

  • With an aim to benefit the consumers and protect them from paying different prices at different locations, the Union Consumer Affairs Ministry has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 (PCR).
  • The new rules seek to regulate the pre-packed commodities across India.
  • After this amendment, which was notified on 23 June 2017, the rules will be known as the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2017. In accordance with the new rules, which will come into effect from 1 January 2018, the price of packed goods would no longer depend on where the product is purchased, may be a mall, a five-star hotel, an airport or a local Kirana store.
Highlights of the amendment

  1. MRP: As per the amended Legal Metrology Rules 2017, the retail sale price of any packed product will be the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes. The rule will have the provision to round off the price to the nearest rupee or 50 paise.
  2. Legal provision on MRPs: A new legal provision has been inserted to make sure that no person is able to declare different MRPs on an identical pre-packed commodity. This provision was inserted with an aim to curb the possibility of any vendor charging differential prices for the same product.
  3. Size of Display: The new rules also talk about the size of the display on the pre-packed goods. The new norms say that the sellers will have to enhance the size of letters and numerals for making declarations about the packaged goods clear to the consumer. The declarations include things like date, month and year for best before use among others.
  4. e-Commerce Marketplaces: In terms of the e-commerce marketplace, the new rules say that “An e-commerce entity shall ensure that the mandatory declarations as specified, except the month and year in which the commodity is manufactured or packed, shall be displayed on the digital and electronic network used for e-commerce transactions.” In this term, e-Commerce entities include companies like Grofers and BigBasket, who stock the inventory. However, e-Commerce entities like Amazon India and Flipkart who do not own an inventory, the responsibility of the correctness of declarations will lie in the hands of the manufacturer or seller or dealer or importer. The onus of ensuring due diligence before dispatching the products, however, will lie with the online marketplaces.

News related to India and states

India, US, Japan begin Malabar Exercise 2017

  • India, Japan and the United States on 7 July 2017 began the joint naval exercise Malabar 2017.
  • Warships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from India, Japan and the US will be participating in the Malabar exercise in the Bay of Bengal from 7 July to 17. The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training.
  • The ashore training in Chennai will include professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol operations, surface warfare, medical operations, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), helicopter operations, and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations.
  • The at-sea training will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal and will be focussed on advancing military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment.

World News

World Bank launches loan programme for women entrepreneurs

  • The World Bank on Saturday launched a public-private loan programme to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries, an initiative championed by U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump.
  • Initial funding of $325 million for the project includes large donations from Germany, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the bank said.
  • “This is going to be what we hope will be a multibillion dollar fund to support women entrepreneurs,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.
  • The programme will work with governments “to improve laws and regulations that are stifling women entrepreneurs,” pushing financial institutions to provide equity to the companies they create, the bank said.

G20 countries leaders agree for action, targeted exchange of information on terrorism

  • G20 leaders on 7 July 2017, the first day of G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, agreed to facilitate swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and it’s financing.
  • The information exchange that will include operational information-sharing, preventive measures and criminal justice response will happen between intelligence and law enforcement and judicial authorities
  • In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit in Hamburg, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities.
  • For this, they called for strengthening measures against the financing of international terrorist organisations in particular ISIL/ISIS/Daesh, Al Qaida and their affiliates.
  • The G20 leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of terrorist financing and calls for a swift and effective implementation of UNSCR and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards worldwide.
  • In addition to this, the leaders also decided that the private sector will be involved in the global efforts to counter terror-financing. Seeking to fight radicalization, the G20 group will take measures to counter terrorist propaganda. Simultaneously, the countries will also seek to promote political and religious tolerance and social inclusiveness to facilitate reintegration.
  • The leaders of G-20 also underlined to fight exploitation of internet and social media for propaganda inciting terrorism and radicalization. Steps would be taken to filter, detect and remove content that incites terrorists’ activities.

PM Modi raises issues of terrorism, climate change at BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting in Hamburg

  • The leaders of the 5 BRICS nations had an informal meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on 7 July 2017. This was in run up to the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit scheduled to be held in September 2017 in Xiamen, China.
  • During the meet, the leaders discussed preparations and priorities for the forthcoming Xiamen BRICS Summit. In addition, President Xi, the leader of the host country for the September Xiamen BRICS Summit said he looked forward to welcoming the BRICS leaders.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was a participant of the meet mentioned that BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy. He stressed that G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors.
  • Referring to reforms in India, including the recent introduction of GST, PM stated that it was necessary to work together for sustained global economic recovery. He advocated collective voice against the practices of protectionism, especially in the spheres of trade and movement of knowledge and professionals.
  • Modi also reiterated India's commitment to implementing Paris Agreement in letter and spirit and described its implementation globally as essential for fighting the climate change.
  • Apart from this, the Prime Minister also called for expeditious action to establish BRICS rating agency and stated that cooperation on development of Africa should be a priority. He also called for greater people-to-people exchanges.

Historic Centre of Vienna inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger

  • The World Heritage Committee on 6 July 2017 inscribed the Historic Centre of Vienna on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • The step was taken due to high-rise projects in the middle of the historic city.
  • The Committee states that the Vienna Ice-Skating Club—Intercontinental Hotel project has failed to comply fully with previous Committee decisions, notably concerning the height of new constructions, which will have adverse effects on the Austrian capital.
  • Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria.

UNESCO declares West Bank city of Hebron as World Heritage Site in Danger

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 7 July 2017 declared West Bank city of Hebron a heritage site, an issue which triggered a new Israeli-Palestinian clash.
  • UNESCO passed an anti-Israel resolution by voting to have the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank, to be inscribed as a Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger.
  • The voting took place along with a secret ballot at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow, Poland with 12 countries voting in favour of the move, while three opposed it and six countries abstained.
  • Generally, votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List are usually done by a show of hands among all the member states. But three countries Poland, Croatia and Jamaica requested a secret ballot.

UNESCO omits Great Barrier Reef from List of World Heritage in Danger

  • The World Heritage Committee, during its annual meeting in Poland, in July 2017 decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef in the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • The Committee voted to endorse the Australian Government’s Reef 2050 Plan, which includes several measures designed to protect and manage the ecosystem.
  • In a draft document later adopted without debate, the World Heritage Committee noted with "serious concern" coral bleaching along the Great Barrier Reef, and asked for an overall report on the state of conservation by December 2019.


Saima Wazed Hossain appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South Asia

  • Saima Wazed Hossain was on 6 July 2017 appointed as the WHO's Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in the South-East Asia region. A globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder, Hossain has been appointed for a period of two years.
  • In the last one year while championing for the cause of autism for WHO, Hossain facilitated the 'Thimphu Declaration' on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders at an international conference in Bhutan in April 2017.
  • As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu declaration which emphasises on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans.

Sanjiv Goenka renominated as the Chairman of IIT Kharagpur

  • Sanjiv Goenka was recently selected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
  • Goenka will serve as the Chairman of the institute for three years.
  • Goenka was nominated by the President, Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as Visitor of the Institute.
  • This will be his second stint for Goenka as the Chairman of Board of Governors. He previously served as the Chairman of the premier institute between 2002 and 2007.

Sports News

22nd Asian Athletics Championships: India on day 1 wins two gold in haul of seven medals

  • India on 6 July 2017 bagged seven medals including two gold in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.With these seven medals on the day one of the championships, India managed to sit at the top position in the medal tally.
  • The two medals were won by Manpreet Kaur and G Lakhsmanan.
  • Shot putter Manpreet Kaur opened India's gold medal account with a career second best throw of 18.28m. Her best record was created with is a throw of 18.86m at the Asian Grand Prix in China earlier in 2017.
  • On the other hand, long distance runner G Lakhsmanan gave India the second gold with an unexpected win in men's 5000m race at the athletic meet.

Lists & Indexes

India ranks 23rd among 165 nations in 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index

  • India ranked a high 23rd out of 165 nations in the 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), a global index that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cybersecurity.
  • The second Global Cybersecurity Index was released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN telecommunications agency, on 5 July 2017.
  • India ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the maturing category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cybersecurity and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives.
  • Singapore topped the Global Cybersecurity Index with a 0.92 GCI score.

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