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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 25 October, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 24 October, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.


Banking & Financial News

Union Government announces Bank Recapitalisation Plan to boost Indian Economy


  • The Union Finance Ministry on 24 October 2017 announced Rs 2.11-lakh crore Bank Recapitalisation Plan for Public Sector Banks (PSBs). The move comes after the Public sector Banks have been struggling to come out of bad loans. Banks will get Rs 1.35 lakh crore from bonds, Rs 18,000 crore from the Budget and raise the remaining Rs 58,000 crore through sale of share.
  • Another substantial announcement made by the Union Finance Minister was allocation of Rs 6.92 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector with Modi Government’s roads and highways project Bharatmala plan.
  • Simply put, recapitalisation of banks mean adding capital to Public Sector Undertaking Banks. As owners of PSUs government can provide capital to these banks. It is different from loan because a loan has to be repaid whereas recapitalisation injects money without incurring any liability.
  • With over 10 trillion stressed assets and 7.7 trillion Non-Performing Assets, Indian banks are unable to give fresh loans.
  • Most Public Sector Banks are in need of Capital plus, the credit growth has been slow moving for a while for want of big corporate loans. 
  • Banks have been unable to lend loans to big corporate houses due to bank’s weak capital positioning which limited its capability to lend to big corporate houses.

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Union Government and ADB sign USD 300 Million Loan to promote fiscal reforms in West Bengal


  • The Union Government and Asian Development Bank on 24 October 2017 signed USD 300 million loan to promote a series of fiscal reforms in West Bengal to improve the quality of public service delivery.
  • The program agreement was signed by Parwez Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary of Finance Department of West Bengal.
  • Besides the loan, ADB will also provide technical assistance grant of USD 500000 to strengthen key institutions responsible for carrying out fiscal management reforms in the state.
  • This 'Second West Bengal Development Finance Program' targets a further increase in public investment through reduction of unproductive expenditure, and savings from efficiencies in revenue collections.
  • It will create the essential fiscal space to sustain higher public investment in the State which could put the state’s finances on a balanced and sustainable path.
  • It will not only target public investment but will also support private investments by creating an infrastructure facility to support project preparation, development with emphasis on public-private partnerships in health and education.
  • It seeks to simplify the registration and licensing procedure for micro, small and medium enterprises. 

Union Ministries of Power & Textiles jointly launch 'SAATHI' Initiative


  • The Union Ministries of Power  and Textiles on 24 October 2017 jointly launched an initiative 'SAATHI' (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries).
  • Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity under the Union Ministry of Power, will acquire energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Powerloom units.
  • This aggregation, bulk procurement and financing model that EESL has earlier deployed in several sectors like LED bulbs, Smart Meters and Electric Vehicles. 
  • The 'SAATHI' initiative of the Government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis.
  • Initially, cluster wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organized in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.
  • The use of efficient equipment will result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner who can repay in installments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period. 
  • It will lead to reduction in capital cost benefits of which will be passed on to the Powerloom units so that their repayment amount and period would reduce.

Union Government approves 7 lakh crore highway projects to develop 83000 km roads


  • The Union Government on 24 October 2017 approved mega highway projects to build 83677 km of highways over the next five years at a cost of Rs 7 lakh crore.
  • These highway projects include the ambitious Bharatmala project which is the second-largest highway project after National Highways Development Project (NHDP) that saw development of about 50000 km of roads.
  • The Bharatmala Pariyojana or Project will subsume all the existing highway projects, including the flagship National Highways Development Project (NHDP).
  • Referred as "Connecting India like never before", Bharatmala project is an umbrella programme for roads under which 34800 km of highways will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore.
  • Bharatmala Project will include 9000 km of economic corridors, 6000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes, 5000 km of national corridors efficiency improvement, 2000 km of border road connectivity, 800 km of expressways and 10000 km of balance NHDP projects.
  • A study under the Bharatmala project by global consultancy firm AT Kearney identified 44 economic corridors for development. The corridors included Mumbai-Cochin-Kanyakumari, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Hyderabad-Panaji and Sambalpur-Ranchi among others.
  • The government has assigned NHAI, National Highway and Industrial Development Corporation (NHIDCL) and state Public Work Departments (PWDs) for the Bharatmala Project.
  • The substantial delegation of powers has been provided to NHAI, NHIDCL and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to enable speedy implementation.
  • Under the Phase–I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, 9,000 km of Economic Corridors will be developed. The Public Investment Board (PIB) had approved the phase-1 of the project in June 2017.
  • For funding of Bharatmala project, Rs 2.09 lakh crore will be raised as debt from the market, Rs 1.06 lakh crore of private investments will be mobilised through PPP and Rs 2.19 lakh crore will be provided through accruals to the Central Road Fund (CRF), ToT Monetisation proceeds and Toll collections of NHAI.

News related to India & states

CVC to develop 'Integrity Index' to rank govt depts on anti-corruption measures


  • The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) will rank and give a score to the central government organisations on anti- corruption measures being taken by them.
  • The rationale behind this move is to make systematic change through the tool of Integrity Index.
  • In order to make that systematic change the CVC has decided to develop the Integrity Index-based on bench-marking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.
  • It will bring out annual rankings/ scores of Public Sector Banks/ Public Sector Undertakings (PSBs/PSUs) and Financial Institutions/Departments/Ministries of Government of India.
  • These rankings and scores will be based on essential drivers of vigilance with long term efficiency, sustainability and profitability of public organizations.
  • It will promote working with Integrity in public organizations.

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Madras HC bans photographs of living persons on sign-boards and banners


  • The Madras High Court on 24 October 2017 banned the use of photographs or pictures of living persons on banners, flex boards and sign-boards across the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • The court stated in its ruling, “If at all any permission is given by the authority concerned for erecting banners, flex boards, sign-boards, the authority concerned shall ensure that the photographs/pictures of such persons, who are alive, shall not be depicted by way of those banners, flex boards, sign-boards.
  • Justice S Vaidyanathan passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by B Thirulochana Kumari, a resident of Rani Anna Nagar, who had appealed to the court to direct the Chennai Corporation and the city commissioner of police to remove political party banners and flags that were put up in front of her property.

Sports News

Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu win gold in air pistol mixed team event


  • Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi on 24 October 2017.
  • The duo struck gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event on the opening day of ISSF World Cup in the capital. They will make their Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games.
  • Both Rai and Sidhu picked up their third gold together in the mixed team event, officially for the first time at an ISSF World Cup. French pair of Florian Fouquet and Celine Goberville was awarded the silver medal and China's Xiaoxue Cai and Wei Yang settled for the bronze.
  • India’s capital city, New Delhi hosted the ISSF World Cup Finals for the first time in 2017.

Obituaries

‘Queen of Thumri’ Girija Devi passes away at 88


  • Indian classical singer Girija Devi, who was the recipient of India’s second highest civilian honour-Padma Vibhushan, passed away on 24 October 2017 in Kolkatta after suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was 88.
  • The eminent singer was taken to the city's BM Birla Heart Research Centre on the same day with cardiovascular ailments and was put on life support. Her condition was very critical when was brought to the hospital and was admitted straight to the CCU and kept under constant watch.
  • Popularly considered as the Queen of Thumri, Devi is survived by a daughter.

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