Current Affairs Update – 3 August, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 3 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB  & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News

Kotak Mahindra Bank launches Aadhaar-based instant forex remittance solution

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank today announced the launch of Kotak Remit – an Aadhaar-based integrated outward forex remittance solution for both customers and non-customers. The 24×7 forex remittance service offers a completely paperless process that enables users to register online using Aadhaar and PAN numbers, and initiate remittances instantly, the bank said in a release.
  • The bank has partnered with Earthport Plc, the leading network for cross-border payments, to transfer money seamlessly across the world. The partnership significantly reduces the cost per remittance for users as well as cuts down on the time taken from as high as up to four days to less than 24 hours, it said.
  • Kotak Remit offers remittances in 15 currencies. Users will receive a notification at every stage of the transaction process, keeping them abreast of the entire remittance lifecycle. The portal can also save beneficiary details to facilitate quick repeat remittances. A customer can remit up to $25,000 or equivalent per financial year through Kotak Remit. Under Kotak Remit, the purpose for outward forex remittance can include remittance for family maintenance and savings, education, medical treatment, immigration, employment and travel for education and medical treatment.

RBI is the first central bank in Asia to cut interest rates this year

  • The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday used the room provided by slumping inflation to cut its main policy rate - the first easing by an Asian central bank this year - but it kept the market guessing on whether there's more space for trimming.
  • The rate cut is the RBI's first since one of the same size in October and a show of confidence in a country that has experienced a surge in foreign investments into debt and shares this year.
  • Cutting the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.00 per cent - the lowest since November 2010 - had been widely anticipated as a slump in food prices sent June consumer inflation to a more than five-year low of 1.54 per cent.
  • The RBI said reduced prices provided "some space" for monetary policy accommodation: inflation is now well below the RBI's 4 per cent target and its projection of 2.0-3.5 per cent in April-September.

MAHSR sanctioned for implementation with financial assistance from Japan

  • Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour session on 2 August 2017 that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project (MAHSR), has been sanctioned for implementation with the technical and financial assistance of the Japan government.
  • Prabhu stated that both India and Japan had signed a MoU for the training of 4000 officials of Indian Railways in 2015, among which so far 137 officers have been trained.
  • Further, Prabhu informed the lower house of the Parliament that procurement of high speed rolling stocks is an integral part of the MAHSR project and that the government envisages promoting make in India of high speed rolling stock in a phased manner.
  • The project is a proposed high-speed rail line that would connect Mumbai in Maharashtra with Gujarat’s Ahmedabad in Western India.
  • The line, also known as the bullet train, would be India’s first high-speed rail line.
  • The construction of the corridor is expected to start by the end of 2018 and reach completion by 2023.
  • The entire rail corridor would be elevated, fully fenced and would have a fully integrated network signalling.
  • The project is a part of Modi’s key promises, which he made ahead of the general elections in 2014.


Government approves MoU for BRICS agriculture research platform

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave ex-post facto approval for an MoU signed by India and other BRICS nations for setting up of an agriculture research platform.
  • In October last year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up agriculture research platform (ARP) was signed by foreign ministers of BRICS countries in the 8th BRICS Summit held at Goa, an official release said.
  • The ex-post facto approval to the same MoU was given by the CCEA in a meeting held today, the release said.
  • BRICS-ARP will act as a global platform for science-led agriculture-based sustainable development for addressing the issues of world hunger, under-nutrition, poverty and inequality, particularly between farmers' and non-farmers' income, and enhancing agricultural trade, bio-security and climate resilient agriculture, the statement added.
  • Establishment of BRICS Agriculture Research Platform was proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 7th BRICS Summit held on July 9, 2015 at Ufa in Russia.

News related to India and states

Indian Army develops app, Humraaz, for soldiers to track promotions, postings

  • The Indian Army has developed a mobile application named Humraaz. The app will allow serving soldiers to track details like postings and promotions.
  • Reports suggest that an army official has said that through the app 'Humraaz', soldiers can also view their monthly salary slips and the Form 16 and also download them.
  • The mobile app has been developed in-house by the Army and will be launched in the second week of August 2017. The app will allow prompt communication of information to junior commissioned officers and other personnel.
  • For security reasons, the installation of the application has been linked to verification of Aadhaar details.
  • The Aadhaar details will be verified with the Army database over National Information Centre cloud and Army personal will get a one-time-password on their registered mobile number.
  • Hence, to enable usage of this mobile application, the latest mobile number of individuals should be linked to his Aadhaar number.

WCD Ministry launches contest for logo design for 'Women of India Festival'

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development on 2 August 2017 launched a contest for designing a logo for the 'Women of India Festival', which is scheduled to be held at Dilli Haat in New Delhi in October 2017.
  • The festival is being organised and fully funded by the Ministry as a part of their major initiative of economic empowerment of women.
  • The festival lays a platform for designers who aspire to see their creation displayed on a National platform.
  • The event would see on display the biggest selection of organic products prepared or grown by women.
  • Participants would include lakhs of visitors and buyers from both India and abroad.
  • Details of the contest have been made available on the official social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) of the Women and Child Development Ministry.
  • The last date to submit entries is 21 August 2017.

EC rejects opposition’s demand to remove NOTA in Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls

  • The Election Commission on 3 August 2017 rejected the demands of the political parties to remove the None of the Above (NOTA) option in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat.
  • The Commission said that the NOTA option will be applicable in the Rajya Sabha Elections in Gujarat. The electoral body made this announcement in the wake of protests by the opposition against the insertion of the option.
  • On 1 August, the Congress had approached the EC seeking removal of the option, claiming it violated the Constitution and the electoral laws.
  • A day later, the BJP also approached the EC with a similar demand. The party said in a memorandum to the EC that the use of NOTA in the upcoming elections has become an issue of contention and debate among the political parties and therefore, a proper consensus should be made before its use in the Rajya Sabha election.

ASI protected monuments to be declared Polythene Free Zones

  • The Archaeological Survey of India has declared all ASI protected Monuments and Archaeological Sites as ‘Polythene Free Zone’.
  • The same was announced by Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 2 August 2017.
  • The national body has directed all of its field offices to take necessary steps to comply with the same order. In this regard, Secretary (Culture) has also issued a Demi-official (D.O) letter to all the Chief Secretaries of States to bring forth their active cooperation in making all the centrally protected monument sites as polythene free zones.
  • The move follows a recommendation by the Ministry of Culture that suggested prohibition on the use of polythene.


Union Cabinet clears proposal to extend proxy voting for NRIs

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending electoral laws. This was informed by a senior government functionary.
  • For overseas Indians, the Representation of the People Act needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. While NRIs and overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies where they are registered, according to the proposal, they will also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which as of now is only available to service personnel.
  • An expert committee in the Election Commission working on the issue had, in 2015, forwarded the legal framework to the law ministry to amend electoral laws to allow overseas Indians use proxy voting.
  • The Union Cabinet has also cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending electoral laws. This was informed by a senior government functionary.
  • For overseas Indians, the Representation of the People Act needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. While NRIs and overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies where they are registered, according to the proposal, they will also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which as of now is only available to service personnel.


Hassan Rouhani sworn in as Iran's President for second term

  • Hassan Rouhani was on 3 August 2017 officially sworn in as the President of Iran for a second term.
  • Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei gave his official approval for Rouhani's appointment by giving him a decree to assign him his duties.
  • Rouhani will administer the oath before the parliament on 5 August 2017 and before that, he has to present his cabinet before the parliament for a vote of confidence.
  • As per Iran’s Election Law, a president-elect is required to get the Leader’s approval before being sworn-in before the Parliament.
  • Rouhani won the re-election in May 2017, after securing 57 per cent of the votes and defeating his main contender Ebrahim Raeisi.


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