Current Affairs Update – 18 August, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 18 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.


Banking & Financial News

Union Government signs GEF Grant Agreement with World Bank


  • The Union Government on 16 August 2017 signed a Grant Agreement worth USD 24.64 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for Ecosystem Service Improvement Project.
  • The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Indian government and Hisham Abdo Kahin, Acting Country Director for India on behalf of the World Bank.
  • The project would be entirely financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The total duration of the project is five years.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) would be implementing the project in the States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education under the National Mission for Green India.
  • The project’s main objective is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations and to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.

Power Grid inks $500 m loan pact with ADB


  • State-run power transmission utility Power Grid Corp today said it will get a loan of USD 500 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its various projects.
  • “Power Grid has entered into a loan agreement with ADB on August 17, 2017, for an amount of USD 500 million,” Power Grid Corp said in a BSE filing.
  • According to the statement, the proceeds of the loan are proposed to be utilised for funding of Green Energy Corridor (Part D); 800KV High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) bipole link between Western Region (Raigarh, Chhattisgarh) and Southern Region (Pugalur, Tamil Nadu) and 320 KV HDVC link between Pugalur and North Trichur (Kerala).


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Cabinet approves raising Rs 9020 Cr for Long Term Irrigation Fund


  • The Union Cabinet on 16 August 2017 gave its approval for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) of up to Rs 9020 Cr for Long Term Irrigation Fund as per the requirement during 2017-18.
  • The funds will be raised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) through the issuance of Bonds at 6% per annum as per requirement. They will be used for the implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works of 99 ongoing prioritised irrigation projects along with their command area development (CAD) works under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
  • A large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under the AIBP were suffering mainly because of inadequate provision of funds.
  • To cater to the large fund requirement and ensure completion of these projects, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech 2016-17, had announced the creation of dedicated LTIF in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs 20000 Cr for funding identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD).
  • The corpus of LTIF was to be raised through budgetary resources and market borrowings to fast track implementation of incomplete major & medium irrigation projects.
  • To make the loan from NABARD attractive for states, it was decided that the rate of interest may be kept around 6% by providing requisite cost free funds to NABARD every year during 2016-17 to 2019-20 on which interest cost would be borne by Government of India.

NHAI launches mobile App MyFASTag and FASTag Partner


  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on 17 August 2017 launched two mobile apps MyFASTag and FASTag Partner to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection.
  • The mobile apps will ease the process of purchase and recharge of FASTags just at the click of a mobile button.
  • MyFASTag is a consumer app that can be downloaded from the App Store for both Android and iOS systems.
  • Through this app, a consumer can purchase or recharge FASTags.
  • FASTag Partner is a merchant app that will help agencies like Common Services Centre, banking partners and vehicle dealers to sell and enroll FASTag through this App.
  • It can also be used to activate the RFID tags that came built in with around 74 lakh cars in the country.

News related to India and states

Union Environment Ministry launches Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali Campaign


  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan on 17 August 2017 launched the “Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali” campaign.
  • The Ministry also administered a Pledge for a Green and Healthy Diwali to the gathering of students.  The Pledge will be widely circulated to the schools, colleges and other educational institutions.
  • The ministry launched the campaign while addressing a gathering of about 800 children from schools of Delhi and NCR.
  • The campaign is aimed at enlightening the children about harmful fire crackers.
  • It will motivate children to not to buy fire crackers, instead buy a gift, food items, or sweets for the poor and underprivileged children living in their locality.
  • As a part of the campaign, the Environment Ministry will undertake various activities to create awareness among various stakeholders and encourage people to participate in combating air pollution.
  • Some of the activities to promote Green Diwali among school children include stickers/logo distribution, poster competition, advertisement on public transport systems, public appeal using Radio. 
  • As a part of the social media campaign, an online competition will be conducted, where any individual or organisation can make a video or audio clip on the theme ‘Pollution Free Diwali’.


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Defence Ministry clears proposal to procure 6 Apache attack helicopters for Army


  • Defence Ministry on 17 August 2017 cleared a proposal to procure 6 Apache attack helicopters for Army. The acquisition of the helicopters, equipment and training will cost around four thousand 168 crore rupees.
  • The approved proposal is different from India’s purchase of 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015 for Rs 13 952 crores for the Air Force.
  • As per reports, the decision on procuring 6 Apache attack helicopters was taken in Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.
  • Reports also suggest that the helicopters are being bought under an option clause of 50 percent repeat order in the previous deal under which 22 Apache attack choppers were bought for the IAF. The deadline for using the option clause is to end on 28 September 2017.
  • These Apache AH-64E choppers will come with associated equipment that includes spares, training, weapons and ammunition. The Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter is the most advanced multi-role heavy attack helicopter in the world and they carry advanced weapons systems and night-fighting features.

Appointments

Vishal Sikka resigns as Infosys CEO, Pravin Rao appointed interim chief


  • Vishal Sikka on 18 August 2017 resigned as Managing Director and CEO of Infosys. The board has accepted his resignation with immediate effect.
  • Infosys in a notice to stock exchanges said Sikka will remain with Infosys as executive vice-chairman. The position is a newly created position at Infosys.
  • Infosys, second largest software exporter of India, has appointed chief operating officer UB Pravin Rao as interim managing director and CEO.

Mamta Suri takes charge as Executive Director of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board


  • Mamta Suri on 16 August 2017 took charge as the Executive Director of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
  • Prior to this appointment, Suri was serving as the Chief General Manager of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India.
  • Suri is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, and she has completed her graduation in law.
  • Suri has obtained her Ph.D. in Finance from University of Delhi and M.Sc. in Insurance Risk and Management from City University, London.
  • She has also received Honorary membership for High Scholastic Achievement from USA.

Obituaries

Veteran photographer S Paul dies at 88


  • S Paul, the veteran photographer who was described as 'The Henry Cartier-Bresson of India' by B&W Magazine of US, died in New Delhi on 16 August 2017. He was 88.
  • He died at a private hospital after undergoing a surgery a few days ago.
  • A self-taught photographer, Paul discovered his passion for the art as a teenager. He joined The Indian Express in the 1960s and retired from the newspaper in 1989.



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