Current Affairs Update – 13 September, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 13 September, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.


Banking & Financial News

Rs 600-cr rail training centre for bullet train to come up in Vadodara


  • The Rs 600-crore high-speed rail training centre for the first bullet train project will be set up in Vadodara, a senior official of the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) said on Wednesday.
  • "This centre will come up on the five hectares of land inside the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) here," NHSRC Managing Director Achal Khare told PTI.
  • "The training centre will have a sample track fitted with the overhead electrical systems to enable testing of bullet trains that will run on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route," said Khare.
  • According to the official, this centre is expected to become operational by December 2020.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe will tomorrow lay the foundation stone for the country's first bullet train project connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Union Cabinet approves introduction of Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 September 2017 approved the introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament. The Bill amends Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.
  • The Amendment Bill calls for increasing the maximum limit of gratuity of employees in the private sector and in Public Sector Undertakings or Autonomous Organizations under Government which are not covered under CCS (Pension) Rules, at par with Central Government employees.
  • The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons.
  • The main purpose of this Act is to provide social security to workmen after retirement, whether retirement is a result of the rules of superannuation, or physical disablement..
  • It is an important social security legislation to wage earning population in industries, factories and establishments.
  • The present upper ceiling on gratuity amount under the Act is Rs 10 Lakh.
  • The provisions of gratuity for Central Government employees under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 are similar as that of private sector employees or PSUs.
  • However, with the implementation of 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling of gratuity has been revised to Rs 20 Lakhs in case of Government servants.
  • Considering this and keeping in mind the inflation and wage increase, Union Government is of the view that gratuity should be revised for employees who are covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

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Union Cabinet approves release of 1 per cent Dearness Allowance to Government employees


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 September 2017 gave its approval for release of additional 1 per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners with effect from 1 July 2017.
  • The release of the additional 1 per cent instalment of DA over the existing rate of 4 per cent of the Basic Pay or Pension has been done to compensate for price rise.
  • This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
  • With this, the combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief will amount to be Rs 3068.26 crore per annum and Rs 2045.50 crore respectively in the financial year 2017-18.
  • This additional allowance will benefit about 49.26 lakh Central Government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners.

CCEA approves implementation of Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund scheme


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 12 September 2017 approved implementation of Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) scheme with an outlay of Rs 10881 crore.
  • The Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund will be set up as a corpus of Rs 8004 crore with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • The scheme will be implemented during the period from 2017-18 to 2028-29.
  • Initiation and setting up of Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) at a total scheme outlay of Rs 10881 crore.
  • Out of Rs 10881 crore, Rs 8004 crore will be loan from NABARD to National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC), Rs 2001 crore will be contributed by end borrowers, Rs 12 crore will be NDDB/NCDC‘s share and Rs 864 crore will be contributed by DADF for meeting interest subvention.
  • NABARD will disburse Rs 2004 Cr, Rs 3006 Cr and Rs 2994 Cr during the year 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.
  • Allocation of Rs 864 Crore for meeting interest subvention will be released to NABARD over a period of 12 years covering the entire loan repayment period from 2017-18 to 2028-29.
  • The project will focus on building an efficient milk procurement system by setting up infrastructure & installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment, creation of processing infrastructure and manufacturing faculties for Value Added Products for Milk Producer Companies.
  • The project will be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC) directly through the End Borrowers.
  • The end borrowers will be Milk Unions, State Dairy Federations, Multi-state Milk Cooperatives, Milk Producer Companies and NDDB subsidiaries meeting the eligibility criteria under the project.
  • An Implementation and Monitoring Cell (IMC) located at NDDB, Anand, will manage the implementation and monitoring of day-to-day project activities.
  • The end borrowers will get the loan at 6.5 per cent per annum. The period of repayment will be 10 years with initial two years moratorium.
  • The respective State Government will be the guarantor of loan repayment.
  • The implementation of DIDF scheme will generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower.

India to step up cooperation with Egypt in textiles sector


  • India on 12 September 2017 vowed to step up its collaboration with Egypt in the textiles sector.
  • The information was shared by India's Ambassador to Egypt, Sanjay Bhattacharyya just ahead of the Fashion and Tex Exhibition, which opened in Cairo the same day.
  • Bhattacharyya said that both India and Egypt share a long tradition of exchanges in the textiles sector. He revealed that talks were on to increase textile machinery supplies to the Arab nation, as Indian machinery is very good in quality and it would be very suitable for the Egyptian market as like India, Egypt too has a large population and labour force.
  • Further, he stated that India stands ready to work with Egypt towards attainment of its new textile policy goals in production as well as in trade and investments.

CCEA approves survey of Un-appraised Areas of Sedimentary Basins


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 12 September 2017 gave green signal for a significant project to acquire 48243 Line Kilometer (LKM) 2D seismic data for appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins.
  • The survey project will help in increasing the investments in domestic production of oil and gas.
  • The project will be implemented by National Oil Companies (NOCs). They are Oil India Limited (OIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
  • The OIL will conduct survey in North - Eastern States. The remaining area will be covered by ONGC.
  • The Survey work will be carried out in 24 States.
  • The total estimated cost of the entire project is Rs. 2932.99 crore spread over five years.
  • Initially, the NOCs will meet the fund requirement from their own sources, which will be reimbursed by the Union Government.
  • Entire project is likely to be completed by 2019-20.
  • The project will be monitored by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. It will review the progress of the project on monthly basis.

News related to India & states

India’s first advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab inaugurated in Kolkata


  • Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge), on 12 September 2017 inaugurated India’s first State of art virology laboratory at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • The laboratory has been established to develop new drugs and technologies in homoeopathy to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.
  • Key highlights
  • The laboratory is established at a cost of Rs. 8 crore is the only one in India for conducting basic and fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases like influenza, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, chikungunya and swine flu.
  • New drugs and technologies would be developed at the laboratory to combat emerging challenges of viral diseases.

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Minister of State for Home Affairs to inaugurate Conference on Women Prison Officers


  • The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju would be inaugurating a two-day National Conference on ‘Uniformed Women in Prison Administration’ on 14 September 2017.
  • The conference is being organised for women officers of the rank of Jailors to Deputy Superintendents of Prisons. It would include panel discussions, deliberations and syndicate discussions.
The discussions would be on four main themes:

  1. Are Woman Prison Officers getting mainstream duties?
  2. Difficulties in balancing family and work environment of Women Prison Officers.
  3. Training needs of Woman Prison Officers and Correctional Staff
  4. Is there a need for a change of uniform for Woman Prison Officers?

  • All the syndicates would be making presentations based on their interactive session with different state prison officers, academicians, representatives from NGOs and students.
  • The presentations would be followed by an open house interaction, in which participants will be encouraged to interact and share their problems, ideas and experiences in connection with their day-to- day work in prisons as well as dealing with prison inmates.
  • The conference is expected to benefit the participants being in their impressionable stage of service, by the implementation of the knowledge gained through the Conference.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Armenia on Disaster Management


  • The Union Cabinet on 12 September 2017 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Armenia on cooperation in the field of disaster management. The cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The agreement would enhance cooperation between the two nations in the field of Disaster Management and would contribute to the well-being and safety of the people of both the countries in the event of a disaster.
  • The pact would also result in exchange of information in the relevant fields of disaster management that is of mutual interest.
  • The agreement further seeks to create a system, by which both India and Armenia will be able to benefit from the disaster management mechanisms of the other country and will help in strengthening the areas of preparedness, response and capacity building.

Appointments

UN Secretary-General appoints Peter Thomson as 1st Special Envoy for Oceans


  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Peter Thomson, the outgoing president of the UN General Assembly as the first Special Envoy for the oceans.
  • Peter Thomson had played a leading role in the first-ever UN conference on oceans, which was held in June 2017. The conference saw 193 UN member states issue an urgent call for action to reverse the decline in the health and productivity of the world's oceans.
  • Thomson’s appointment was announced by UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on 12 September. Backing the decision, Dujarric said that Thomson, who is the former ambassador for Fiji, will promote action to implement the conference recommendations.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Thomson said that the major challenge facing the oceans currently is the change in climate, which not only affects the seas but also affects the air that is inhaled by all people.

Trump appoints Indian-American Raj Shah to key position in Communications team


  • US President Donald Trump on 12 September 2017 appointed Indian-American Raj Shah to a key position in his Communications team.
  • The White House said in a statement that Shah will serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary. Formerly, Shah was serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director.
  • Trump also appointed Hope Hicks as his Communications Director. Earlier, Hicks was serving as Assistant to the President and Interim Communications Director.

Indexes

India at 103 rank on Global Human Capital Index, lowest among BRICS nations


  • India has been placed at a low 103 rank, the lowest among BRICS economies, on the World Economic Forum's (WEF's) Global Human Capital Index, which has been topped by Norway.
  • India also ranks "among the lowest in the world" when it comes to the employment gender gap, but has fared well when it comes to development of skills needed for the future with a rank of 65 out of total 130 countries surveyed.
  • The list compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) takes into account "the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system" to measure the 'human capital' rank of a country.
  • India was ranked 105th on this list last year, while Finland was on the top which has pushed by Norway to second place this year.
  • The WEF said India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place.
  • Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.

2017 Global Financial Centres Index places London at the Top; Mumbai ranked at 60th position


  • Z/Yen group on 11 September 2017 released its twenty-second Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 22). The index ranks London at the top position with 780 points, while New York was placed at the second position with 756 points. The index was published in collaboration with the China Development Institute (CDI).
  • India’s financial capital Mumbai was placed at the 60th position, which is three positions up from the March edition of the Index. 
  • The GFCI is released twice a year, in March and September, and ranks 92 financial centres.

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