Current Affairs Update – 12 September, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 12 September, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.



Banking & Financial News

India, Belarus sign 10 pacts to expand cooperation


  • India and Belarus on 12 September 2017 signed 10 Memorandums of Understanding to expand cooperation in a range of areas including oil and gas, youth affairs and sports, skill development and entrepreneurship, scientific and technical cooperation, agricultural research and education and culture.
  • The pacts were signed following delegation level talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Belarus President Aleksander Grigoryevich Lukashenko in New Delhi.
Following is the list of 10 MoUs signed by the two nations:
1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.
2. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of the Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Education of the Government of the Republic of Belarus for Cooperation in the Field of Vocational Education and Training.
3. Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
4. MoU between Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India and Belarusian State Agricultural Academy, Gorki, Belarus for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education.
5. Protocol amending the Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus signed on 16 April 2007.
6. Programme of cooperation between the Government of Republic of India and the Government of Republic of Belarus in the field of culture for 2018-2020.
7. MoU between M/o Petroleum & Natural Gas of the Republic of India and Belarusian State Concern of Oil and Chemistry in the Oil and Gas Sector.
8. Memorandum of Understanding between JSV "Belzarubezhstroy” and National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd.
9. Memorandum of Understanding between JSC Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL).
10. Agreement on the implementation of MoU signed between OJSC Minsk Tractor Works and Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd. India in Pune.    

India, Afghanistan exchange four pacts in areas including health, transport


  • India and Afghanistan on 11 September 2017 exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership. The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi.
  • Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani was on a three-day visit to India. He was here to attend the 2nd meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council between India and Afghanistan.
The bilateral documents which were signed and exchanged include
(a) Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic.
(b) Memorandum of Understanding for mutual cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products regulation. This MoU was signed and exchanged between the National Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority of Afghanistan and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
(c) The Orbit Frequency Coordination Agreement between India and Afghanistan on South Asia Satellite (SAS).
(d) Letters establishing the New Development Partnership and launching 116 High Impact Community Development Projects.
In addition, the two nations agreed to expeditiously conclude the agreements/MoUs related to technical cooperation on police training and development, as well as technical cooperation between railway authorities; mutual legal assistance; and cooperation in the areas of food safety among others.

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Union Government reconstitutes six Committees of Cabinet


  • The Union Government on 11 September 2017 reconstituted six Committees of the Cabinet after recent ministry reshuffle.
  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and railway minister Piyush Goyal have been included in the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), reaffirming their elevation in the Union Cabinet.
  • Sitharaman and Goyal, along with petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, have also been included as permanent members of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
There are six Cabinet Committees:

  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet: The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. It decides all higher level appointments in the Cabinet Secretariat, Public enterprises, Banks and Financial Institutions.
  • Cabinet Committee on Accommodation: The Committee is chaired by the Home Minister of India. It is responsible for the allotment of accommodation for various top positions in the Government of India.
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs:  The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. It directs and coordinates the governmental activities in the economic sphere.
  • Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs: The Committee is chaired by the Home Minister of India. It looks after the progress of government business in the Parliament.
  • Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs: The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. It deals with all policy matters pertaining to domestic and foreign affairs. Of all the Cabinet Committees, it is the most powerful committee. It is often described as a "Super-Cabinet".
  • Cabinet Committee on Security: The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. It looks into the matters of defence expenditures and National Security.

FSSAI launches online platform FoSCoRIS for food inspection


  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on 11 September 2017 launched ‘FoSCoRIS’, an online platform to bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling.
  • FoSCoRIS platform will help eliminate discrepancy and will make food safety officers accountable for their inspection.
  • FoSCoRIS system will help in verifying compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms.
  • It will bring together all key stakeholders including food businesses, food safety officers, designated officers, state food safety commissioners.
  • It will help in sharing data related to inspection, sampling and test result by all officials seamlessly.
  • It will ease the process of sample collection by making it transparent and traceable and by controlling the quality of compliances.
  • For using this platform, Food Safety Officers (FSOs) require a hand-held device with internet connectivity.
  • For this purpose, FSSAI has asked all the states to provide such devices to FSOs and appoint a nodal officer for this purpose and send the details of the officers for integrating them with FoSCoRIS.
  • In the initial phase, FSSAI will bear the cost of rental plans of the hand-held devices for first three months to a maximum of Rs 500 per month per connection to first ten states and UTs.

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Commerce Ministry organised state startup conference to help budding entrepreneurs


  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India organised the second State Startup Conference on 12 September 2017 in New Delhi.
  • Inaugurated by the Minister of State, C.R. Choudhary, the event saw in attendance several senior dignitaries from states, Union Territories, incubators, accelerators, funding agencies, VCs, angel investors and startups.
  • The conference was held mainly to deliberate on issues including incubation facilities and making regulations easier for budding entrepreneurs.
  • The discussions were centered on four main themes related to key components of the startup ecosystem:
  • Governance reforms to be undertaken by states for startups.
  • Incubation facilities in India and role of state governments in developing these facilities.
  • Role of state governments in setting up funds for startups.
  • Making regulations easier for Startups.

News related to India & states

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flags-off Navika Sagar Parikrama from Panaji


  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Defence Minister, on 10 September 2017 flagged-off the Navika Sagar Parikrama from Panaji.
  • The Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy will go around the globe on an Indian-built sail boat Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini (INSV Tarini).
  • It is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. The crew will attempt to circumnavigate the globe on Indian Navy’s sailing vessel INSV Tarini.
  • The crew is expected to return to Goa in April 2018, on completion of the voyage.
  • The Navika Sagar Parikrama will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports. These ports are Fremantle in Australia, Lyttleton in New Zealand, Port Stanley in Falklands, and Cape Town in South Africa.
  • During the voyage, the crew would monitor and report marine pollution on the high seas, as also interact extensively with local PIOs during various port halts to promote Ocean sailing.
  • The crew would also collate and update Meteorological/ Ocean/ Wave data on a regular basis for accurate weather forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and subsequent analysis by research and development organisations.
  • The expedition is expected to promote Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Union Government's thrust for Nari Shakti.
  • The Navika Sagar Parikrama also aims to show case the ‘Make in India’ initiative by sailing onboard the indigenously built INSV Tarini.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco in the field of health

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 September 2017 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of health.

Following areas of cooperation are covered under the MoU:
1. Non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
2. Drug Regulation and Pharmaceutical quality control.
3. Communicable Diseases.
4. Maternal, child and neonatal health.
5. Hospital twinning for exchange of good practices.
6. Training in administration and management of health services and Hospitals.
Besides this, the MoU would cover any other area of cooperation that is decided upon mutually by the two nations.
Further, a working group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of the agreement.



Days

International Day for South-South Cooperation 2017 observed globally


  • The International Day for South-South Cooperation was observed on 12 September 2017 by United Nations (UN).
  • The day celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the south. It also highlights UN's efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries.
  • South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.
  • This year, the Global South-South Development Expo 2017 will be hosted by Turkey and will take place in Antalya from 27 to 30 November 2017.
  • The theme of this Expo will be 'South-South Cooperation in the Era of Economic, Social and Environmental Transformation: Road to the 40th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA+40)'.



Awards & Honors

2 US scientists, Indian economist among 2017 Balzan Prize awardees


  • The International Balzan Foundation on 11 September 2017 announced the winners of the 2017 Balzan Prize.
  • This year, Indian economist Bina Agarwal was recognised among other awardees for her work on women's contributions to agriculture in India.
  • Here's the list of 2017 Balzan Prize awardees
  • James P Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Robert D Schreiber of the Washington University School of Medicine were awarded for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy that enhanced the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.
  • Indian Economist Bina Agarwal of University of Manchester (UK) was recognised in the Gender Studies category for her heroic work studying women's contributions to agriculture in India.
  • Belgian astrophysicist Michael Gillon was awarded for his work that has helped in finding new solar systems of planet Earth using robotic telescopes, instead of much more costly satellites.
  • German couple Germans Aleida and Jan Assmann were recognised for presenting collective memory as a requirement for the formation of the identity of religious and political communities.



World News

United Nations Security Council adopts new North Korea sanctions

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 11 September 2017 unanimously adopted a set of new sanctions on North Korea over its recent nuclear test in violation of previous Security Council resolutions.
  • The fresh resolution curtails the country's oil supply by almost 30 per cent and bans all its textile exports worth USD 800 million. It also takes steps to stop North Koreans working abroad from sending their earnings back to the country and provides new tools for combating smuggling of prohibited products by sea.
  • The US mission to the UN described the resolution as the “strongest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea”.
  • As per a statement from the US mission to the UN, the resolution “sends a very clear message to North Korea that the Security Council is united in condemning North Korea’s violations and demanding North Korea give up its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.”


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