Current Affairs Update – 9-10 July, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 9 & 10 July, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, NABARD Grade A & Other Exams.




Banking & Financial News

Union Government exempts import of aircraft, aircraft engines from ambit of GST


  • The Union government has exempted the import of aircraft, aircraft engines and its parts via leasing route from the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • A notification from the Union Finance Ministry said that airlines will not have to pay GST at the time of import. However, lease rentals will be subject to GST.
  • This exemption from GST can be seen as a major relief for the aviation industry as it has been asking for relief as it was facing the dual levy of 5 per cent at the time of import and another 5 per cent at the time of payment of lease rent.
  • Earlier, the concerns of the aviation industry were raised by the civil aviation ministry on several occasions before the revenue department.
  • The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) had informed the government that the dual levy on aircraft leasing, 5 per cent at the time of import and 5 per cent at the time of payment of lease rentals, will result in a huge financial burden to the airlines. Reports suggest that this double taxation would have resulted in a loss of Rs 800 crore to the aviation industry on aircraft lease.
  • The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) is an association that represents major domestic airlines IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir and Air India.

India to import crude oil from US for first time


  • India, the world's third-largest oil importer, will import crude oil from the United States for the first time after Indian Oil Corp bought a cargo that will be delivered in October. The purchase comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in June when President Donald Trump said his country looked forward to exporting more energy products to India.
  • IOC bought 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude, a heavy, high-sulphur grade, and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select that will be delivered onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier, IOC's head of finance, A K Sharma, told Reuters.
  • IOC had to obtain special permission from the shipping ministry to buy the cargo on a delivered basis as local regulations favour the use of Indian flagged carriers for imports, Sharma said.
  • India is the latest Asian country to buy US crude after South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan as the countries seek to diversify oil imports from other regions after the OPEC cuts drove up prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content.
  • Indian refiners are seeking these heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks after modifications at their plants make it easier to process these types of crudes, which typically sell at a lower cost relative to other oil types. The US could become an alternative source for the Indian companies for these grades.
  • A second Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd also planned to buy its first ever US crude oil cargo and has issued a purchase tender.







News related to India and states

President Pranab Mukherjee launches digital initiatives to promote e-education


  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 9 July 2017 launched four major digital initiatives in to push e-education. These digital initiatives are SWAYAM, SWAYAM Prabha and National Academic Depository.
  • All these digital initiatives are managed and supervised by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development. 
  • An indigenously designed Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), SWAYAM will host all the courses taught in classrooms from 9th class till post-graduation.
  • More than 400 Courses are available on SWAYAM covering all the engineering and non-engineering subjects at undergraduate and post-graduate levels.
  • The UGC has also issued Regulation that allows transfer of credits earned through the courses done through SWAYAM into the academic record of the students.
  • The platform has been constructed by Microsoft with totally indigenous efforts and it can be accessed by anyone and anywhere at any time.
  • The 32 SWAYAM Prabha DTH Channels aim to provide high quality educational content developed by experts through 32 DTH (direct to home) Television Channels.
  • The SWAYAM Prabha channels are available for free for anyone who has a set top box to receive either DD Free Dish or DishTV. There is no monthly charge for viewing these channels.
  • These channels transmit 4 hours of fresh content every day and contain lectures from the best teachers.
  • These channels include the IIT-PAL channels which were intended to help students taking the prestigious JEE examination taught by the IIT faculty.
  • These channels will help students in the rural areas and in the remote areas where IT infrastructure have not penetrated so well. 

Ahmedabad becomes first Indian city to get UNESCO Heritage tag


  • The Indian city of Ahmedabad on 8 July 2017 was declared India’s first World Heritage City, recognising heritage value of the walled city’s unique heritage.
  • The announcement was made by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO following a meeting in Krakwo, Poland.
  • After the announcement, the city has now joined the likes of heritage cities like Paris, Edinburg, Galle in Sri Lanka, Cairo, among others.
  • Ahmedabad’s nomination received huge support from around 20 countries, who lauded the peaceful co-existence of dominant Hindu, Islamic and Jain communities in the Walled City area. In 2011, the city had figured in UNESCO’s tentative list.
  • As per Mukesh Kumar, Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner, there are 2600 heritage sites and over two dozen Architectural Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments and sites in the walled city.

Union Government proposes scheme to open residential schools for SC girls


  • Union Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on 7 July 2017 said that the Union Government has proposed to introduce a scheme to open residential schools for scheduled caste girls in educationally backward districts.
  • The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot informed about the proposed school while speaking at a regional conference of social welfare ministers from Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and officials from Chandigarh.
  • He said the schools will have classes from VI to XII and 70 per cent of the seats will be reserved for SC girls and the remaining for those from BPL families in other categories.
  • The Minister said the Union Government is committed to ensuring the welfare of scheduled caste and tribes, OBCs and BPL families through the proper implementation of all centrally-sponsored social security and welfare schemes.
  • He urged the ministers and officials to prepare a report on the financial assistance being given under different schemes and by the national financial corporations within a month.
  • Besides, he also informed that the Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana for senior citizens is also being implemented. Benefits of these schemes would be given on the first-come-first-serve basis, a Haryana government release said quoting him. The minister urged officers to send their suggestions and plans on these schemes at the earliest.

India, US, Japan begin Malabar Exercise 2017


  • India, Japan and the United States on 10 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 till 17 July 2017. 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

Brazil's Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List


  • The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO on 9 July 2017 added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List.
  • The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent
  • Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.
  • The place where the site stands is the former harbour area of Rio de Janeiro where the old stone wharf was built for enslaved Africans who arrived in South America through Valongo from 1811 onwards. An estimated 900000 Africans arrived at that time.

122 countries adopted global treaty banning nuclear weapons


  • The global treaty that bans nuclear weapons was adopted at the United Nations on 8 July 2017 despite opposition from the United States, Britain, France and other nuclear powers that boycotted negotiations.
  • The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 in favour with one country the Netherlands voting against while Singapore abstained.
  • Costa Rica's ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty said we have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons.
  • None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel took part in the negotiations or the vote. Even Japan the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945 boycotted the talks as did most NATO countries.
  • Nuclear powers argue their arsenals serve as a deterrent against a nuclear attack and say they remain committed to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Cambodia’s Sambor Prei Kuk temple zone gets UNESCO World Heritage Status


  • Cambodia's Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site on 8 July 2017 was inscribed on the UNESCO'S World Heritage List.
  • The inscription was made during the World Heritage Committee's 41st session in Krakow, Poland.
  • With this, the number of the country's tangible cultural properties in the list is three. The first two listed properties are Angkor Archaeological Park inscribed in 1992 and the Temple of Preah Vihear included in 2008.

Obituaries

Former Indian Ambassador to the US Naresh Chandra passes away


  • Naresh Chandra, former Indian Ambassador to the United States, passed away on 9 July 2017 following a brief illness. He was 82.
  • Chandra served as the Indian Ambassador to the United States from 1996 to 2001.
  • As the Indian Ambassador to the United States from 1996 to 2001, Chandra represented India in the US during the turbulent time after 1998 nuclear test.
  • He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civil awards, in 2007.



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