Current Affairs Update – 14-15 September, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampunditHere are the Important Current Affairs of 14 & 15 September, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.



Banking & Financial News

IndusInd Bank secures $200 mn loan from ADB for microlending


  • IndusInd Bank has secured up to $200 million (about Rs. 1,282 crore) loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to serve low-income women borrowers in rural areas.
  • The seven-year senior loan will go towards IndusInd Bank’s micro-finance activities, the private players said in a statement.
  • The loan pact was inked here by Director of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, Christine Engstrom, IndusInd Bank chief financial officer S Zaregaonkar, and Head of IndusInd Bank’s Global Markets Group, Arun Khurana.
  • Engstrom said ADB’s financing and technical assistance is a signal of its continued commitment to increase financial inclusion in India, particularly for low income women and their families.
  • This will help the bank to expand its efforts to finance underserved people of the country in less developed states, she said.
  • As per the loan agreement, about 95 per cent of the ADB funding will go towards credit for women borrowers. At least 70 per cent of the number of loans will be deployed to less developed states, the bank said.

ICICI Bank launches cashback scheme for hoam loan borrowers till Nov 30


  • To woo borrowers in this ongoing festive season, ICICI Bank has launched cashback scheme for those availing home loan till November 30.
  • Under the scheme, customers who avail a new home loan or transfer their existing home loan to the bank can get cashback of 20 per cent up to a limit of Rs 10,000, ICICI Bank said in a statement.
  • The cash back amount is based on minimum spend of Rs 30,000 from the customer's ICICI Bank credit or debit card, it said.
  • This offer is valid from September 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017.
  • Similarly, other banks have also come up with festival offers with attractive scheme to woo retail customers.

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Amazon, Bank of Baroda join hands to offer micro loans at 10.45-11.5% interest


  • E-commerce player Amazon on Friday said it has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers.
  • The loans will be offered on invite-only basis to the marketplace sellers.
  • The programme was piloted by Amazon in July this year in association with the bank.
  • The loans will be extended in the range of Rs one lakh to Rs 25 lakh at an annual interest rates between 10.45 and 11.5 per cent.
  • The sellers on Amazon will receive pre-approved indicative offers from the bank for the loan amount they are eligible. They will be able to use their sale disbursements on the Amazon marketplace to directly repay the loan.
  • Currently, loans are offered on an invite-only basis to the marketplace sellers who qualify against various criteria, including account tenure, seller's selling history, customer feedback and compliance with the e-commerce player.

India, Japan sign 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation


  • India and Japan on 14 September 2017 signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in key areas including civil aviation, trade, science and technology, and skill development.
  • Among various agreements, both the sides exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky. With this agreement, Indian and Japanese carriers can now undertake unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other's countries.
  • The agreements were signed during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India.
Highlights of the MoUs & Agreements

  1. MOC between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Cabinet Office of Japan: It aims to cooperate and collaborate in the field of disaster risk reduction and to share the experiences, knowledge and policies on disaster prevention.
  2. MoC in the field of Japanese Language Education in India: It calls for strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation in the field of Japanese language education in India.
  3. India Japan Act East Forum: It aims to enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in the North Eastern Region of India in an efficient and effective manner.
  4. Arrangement between India Post and Japan Post for the Implementation of Cool EMS service: It calls for implementing the commercial arrangement of "Cool EMS” service through which fresh food can be sent from Japan to India in cool boxes for the Japanese expatriates in India.
  5. India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METI: It facilitates and accelerates the Japanese investments in India.
  6. MOC between METI and Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special programme for Make In India’: It calls for cooperation in infrastructure development programmes in the Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj region.
  7. Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky): It opens skies between India and Japan i.e. Indian and Japanese carriers can mount now unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries.
  8. Agreement for International joint exchange programme between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences programme (iTHEMS), RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences (Simons-NCBS): It aims to establish a Joint Exchange Program to identify and foster talented young scientists from both the countries to collaborate in the field of theoretical biology.
  9. Joint Research Contract between National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology of Japan and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of India: It calls for conducting joint research and to establish an International Centre named as "DBT-AIST International Centre for Translational & Environmental Research (DAICENTER) at AIST, Japan.
  10. MOU Between DBT and National Institute of Advanced Science & Technology (AIST): It aims to promote research collaboration between DBT Research Institutes and AIST in the field of Life Science and Biotechnology
  11. MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU): It will facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between both the institutions.
  12. MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU): It will facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between both Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sport Science University , Japan.
  13. LETTER OF INTENT between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and University of Tsukuba, Japan: It will strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, India and University of Tsukuba, Japan
  14. LETTER OF INTENT between Sports Authority of India and University of Tsukuba, Japan: It will strengthen strategic collaboration, joint research programme and exchanges between University of Tsukuba, Japan and Sports Authority of India
  15. MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related Activities: It will promote institutional cooperation between RIS and IDE-JETRO to strengthen the capacity of research and effectiveness of dissemination of research findings

Ministry of Corporate Affairs and CBDT inks MoU for automatic and regular exchange of information


  • The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in September 2017 concluded a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange.
  • The MoU takes forward the initiative launched by the Union Government to curb the menace of shell companies, money laundering and black money in the country and prevent misuse of corporate structure by shell companies for various illegal purposes.
  • The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between CBDT and MCA on an automatic and regular basis.
  • It will enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, Income Tax returns (ITRs) of corporates, financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports and statements of financial transactions (SFT) received from banks relating to corporates.
  • The MoU will ensure that both MCA and CBDT have seamless Corporate Identity Number (PAN-CIN) and Director Identity Number (PAN-DIN) linkage for regulatory purposes.
  • The information shared will pertain to both Indian corporates as well as foreign corporates operating in India.
  • In addition to regular exchange of data, CBDT and MCA will also exchange with each other, on request, any information available in their respective databases, for the purpose of carrying out scrutiny, inspection, investigation and prosecution.
  • The MoU comes into force from the date it was signed, i.e. 6 September 2017.
  • The MoU is an ongoing initiative of MCA and CBDT, which are already collaborating for near real time allotment of PAN and TAN also at the time of Incorporation of companies itself.


News related to India & states

Union Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh


  • The Union Ministry of External Affairs on 14 September 2017 launched Operation Insaniyat in Bangladesh to help Rohingya refugees.
  • The Operation was launched in response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh.
  • Under Operation Insaniyat, India will distribute relief material consisting of items required urgently by the affected people. These materials are rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc.
  • The relief material will be delivered in multiple consignments.
  • The first tranche was brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane on 14 September 2017.
  • The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar.


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Union Government to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees


  • The Government of India in September 2017 has decided to grant Indian citizenship to nearly one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees, who came from the erstwhile East Pakistan five decades ago.
  • The Chakma and Hajong refugees currently live in camps in the Northeast India.
  • The move came following an order of the Supreme Court, which in 2015 had directed the Union Government to grant citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees, mostly staying in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Chakmas are an ethnic group scattered in Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and West Bengal of India and in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
  • The Chakmas are divided into 46 clans or Gozas. They have their own language, customs and culture, and profess Theravada Buddhism.
  • The Hajong people are tribal people of North-eastern India and Bengal.
  • Hajong people are spread out across North East India West Bengal and Bangladesh. Majority of the Hajongs are settled in India.

Indian Railways permits m-Aadhaar as ID proof for travellers


  • Indian Railways on 13 September 2017 permitted passengers to show m-Aadhaar, digital version of the Aadhaar card, as proof of identity in any reserved class.
  • For the purpose of showing Identity proof, a passenger has to open the app and enter his/her password to show the card.
  • Passengers will be allowed to undertake the train journey in any reserved class only when they will show m-Aadhaar on their mobile after entering the password.
  • The m-Aadhaar is a mobile app launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on which a person can download his/her Aadhaar card. However, it can only be downloaded on the mobile number to which Aadhaar has been linked.
  • Aadhaar Card is issued to Indian citizens by the Union Government. It is issued and managed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 on 12 July 2016 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). It is a document for identification.

Harsh Vardhan launches 'Wood is Good' Campaign to promote climate-friendly resource


  • Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a two-day conference on ‘Sustainable landscapes and forest ecosystems: Theory to Practice’ in New Delhi on 12 September 2017.
  • The minister launched the ‘Wood is Good’ campaign on the occasion under the Forest-Plus programme. The purpose of the campaign is to promote wood as a climate-friendly resource and substitute to materials like steel and plastic as it is a renewable resource, having zero carbon footprint, unlike other materials that leave carbon footprint in their production.
  • While emphasising on the need to create an enabling environment through small steps such as planting more trees, the environment minister urged the gathering to deliberate and come out with out-of-the-box ideas and solutions on increasing the forest cover much beyond the stipulated 33 percent.
  • “Innovation is the need of the hour. Innovation co-efficient now is more important than any other co-efficient”, Harsh Vardhan said.
  • The minister further added that the target is proposed to be achieved through a number of planned afforestation drives and initiatives. Referring to the forests being an integral part of Indian culture and tradition, Harsh Vardhan said that India has managed to successfully conserve and enhance its forest resources.

Books & Authors

Unstoppable: My Life So Far authored by Maria Sharapova


  • The book titled Unstoppable: My Life So Far authored by tennis star Maria Sharapova was unveiled in September 2017.
  • The book talks about Sharapova’s rise from nowhere to tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top.
  • The book tells how a seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova became an overnight sensation by defeating the two-time defending champion Serena Williams to win the prestigious Wimbledon.
  • In the book, Sharapova explores in detail her pivotal matches and illuminates the relationships that have shaped her―with coaches, best friends, boyfriends, and Yuri, her coach, manager, father, and most dedicated fan, describing with honesty and affection their oft-scrutinized relationship.

Days

International Day of Democracy observed globally


  • The International Day of Democracy was observed across the world on 15 September 2017. The day was celebrated this year with the theme ‘Democracy and Conflict prevention’.
  • This year's theme focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability.
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit, also addresses democracy in Sustainable Development Goal 16.

National Hindi Diwas 2017 celebrated across India


  • National Hindi Divas (Hindi Day) was observed across India on 14 September 2017 to promote Hindi as Matra Bhasha (mother tongue) of India and to propagate Hindi language and its cultural heritage and values.
  • The day is marked by literary festivals, Hindi poetry sessions, Hindi essay writing competitions, Hindi speech contests and other events.
  • During Hindi Diwas celebrations, the Union Government announced the launch of ‘Lila App' that uses Artificial Intelligence to teach Hindi in various languages.
  • The day marks the adaptation of Hindi language as the official language of India by the Constituent Assembly of India on 14 September 1949.
  • The decision of using Hindi as official language was ratified by Indian Constitution via amendment 343 which stated that all government communications will be penned in Hindi (Devanagari Script). This amendment came into effect on 26 January 1950.

Appointments/Resignations

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon elected as Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission


  • Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was on 14 September 2017 elected as Chair of Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a four-year term.
  • Ban succeeds Youssoupha Ndiaye of Senegal whose term has come to an end. His appointment was proposed by the IOC Executive Board and was approved during the IOC Session in Lima with a 74-4 majority.
  • Ban's appointment comes at a time when the IOC is under fire again after its Brazilian honorary member Carlos Nuzman was arrested on corruption charges for awarding of the 2016 Rio Games.
  • Ban was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016. He has had a close relationship with the IOC as in 2009, IOC was granted Permanent Observer Status at the UN. He has also been the Olympic torch bearer.
  • Ban’s first action as the Secretary General was to introduce a code of ethics to the organisation, which applies to all employees. He constituted an Ethics Committee to devise a unified set of standards and policies for the entire UN system.

Niti Aayog's Rajiv Kumar resigns from DHFL board


  • Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has resigned from his post of independent director in the board of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), the third largest home loan & housing finance company in India.
  • The move came after Kumar got the top post at Niti Aayog, the government think tank.
  • DHFL in an official notice stated that “Dr. Rajiv Kumar as an independent director on the board of the company since 7 August 2015 has expressed his desire to resign from the position of an independent director through his letter dated 4 September 2017 due to his appointment as Vice Chairman Niti Aayog.”
  • The corporation further stated that the board of directors of the company has accepted Kumar’s resignation with effect from 11 September 2017.

Sports News

Devendra Fadnavis launches 'Maharashtra Mission 1 Million' initiative


  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 15 September 2017 launched the ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative under which, over 10 lakh students across the state will play football.
  • The mission was launched in an attempt to support the FIFA U17 World Cup, which is happening for the first-ever time in India and Maharashtra.
  • The under-17 football world cup is set to kick off in October 2017. According to Devendra Fadnavis , the mission will not only create football players and lovers of the game, but will also help in overall development of the state.
  • Under the initiative, the state government aims to ensure that children come out in open spaces and play football.
  • Initiating the same, Fadnavis himself kicked the ball for a brief while at the Bombay Gymkhana in the presence of State Sports minister, Vinod Tawde. The state government also distributed 1 lakh footballs in more than 30000 schools.
  • Overall, the inaugural day itself saw 1 million kids, students from various schools including visually challenged ones, play football creating history.

Goa to host 36th National Games


  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on 13 September 2017 formally awarded the rights to host the 36th National Games to Goa.
  • The announcement was made by the state sports minister Manohar Ajgaonkar.
  • Ajgaonkar said that IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, in a letter to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, had formally conferred the rights to the state to host the sporting event in November 2017.
  • The Indian Olympic Association, the sports organising body of the nation, mooted the concept of the National Games to promote the development of sports and of the Olympic movement in India, and was responsible for host city selection.
  • The first Modern National Games on the lines of the Olympics were held in 1985 in New Delhi.

Obituaries

Constitutional law expert Pavani Parameswara Rao dies


  • Senior Supreme Court lawyer Pavani Parameswara Rao passed away on 13 September 2017 after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He was 84.
  • Widely considered a doyen of Constitutional Law, Rao argued a number of landmark cases before the Supreme Court. He had helped develop the argument against the legal challenge to President’s Rule in four Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, after demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.
  • He was elected the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 1991.
  • In 2006, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan.
  • On 4 March 2010, he was awarded an LL.D. (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his eminence and contributions to the cause of public interest.




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