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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Current Affairs Update – 27-30 October, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs from 27 to 30 October, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

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Banking & Financial News

SBI extends Rs 2,317 crore for rooftop solar power projects


  • State Bank of India on Monday announced sanction of Rs 2,317 crore credit facilities to JSW Energy, Hinduja Renewables, Tata Renewable Energy, Adani Group, Azure Power, Cleantech Solar and Hero Solar Energy for executing rooftop solar projects with aggregate capacity of 575 MW.
  • The sanction is towards financing Grid Connected Rooftop Solar projects under the SBI-World Bank (WB) Programme.
  • SBI has availed a line of credit of $625 million from World Bank for on-lending to viable Grid Connected Rooftop Solar projects undertaken by PV developers and end-users, for installation of rooftop solar systems on the rooftops of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, an official statement said.
  • Financing is being provided to those with sound technical capacity, relevant experience, and creditworthiness, meeting SBI standards, it said.
  • SBI has so far sanctioned 43 projects with aggregate credit facilities of Rs 2,766 crore under the programme. This would add 695 MW of solar rooftop capacity to the grid, and is a significant step towards meeting the Government of India’s target of 40 GW of solar rooftop installations.


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World Bank, Fin Min sign loan deal worth $200 mn for aiding Assam agri-biz


  • The Ministry of Finance and the World Bank on Monday announced the signing of a loan agreement worth $200 million for the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project.
  • "Project will support Assam Govt to facilitate agri-business investments, increase agricultural productivity and market access among others," the Finance Ministry said in a tweet.
  • It added that the project will also enable the small farm holders to produce crops that are resilient to recurrent floods or droughts in the state.
  • "The $200 million loan from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a seven-year grace period, and a maturity of 16.5 yrs," added another tweet.
  • However, the World Bank will release it's 'Doing Business' report on October 31.
  • Following this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reportedly ordered ministries to work towards improving India's rank in the Ease of Doing Business.   

India sends first shipment to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port


  • India on 29 October 2017 sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port.
  • The move has been seen as a landmark one to operationalise the new strategic transit route, bypassing Pakistan. The shipment was flagged off from Kandla port in Gujarat by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani, who joined in through video conferencing.
  • In an official statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the shipment of wheat is a landmark moment as it will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan.
  • The consignment will be transported to Afghanistan from Chabahar through land route. Six more wheat shipments will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months.

Sagarmala project: Shipping Ministry offers grant to JNPT and Karwar port


  • The Ministry of Shipping sanctioned Rs 25 crore to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for development of coastal berth and another Rs 50 crore to the Karwar port in Karnataka on 27 October 2017. The grant was offered under the Sagarmala project.
  • The objective behind the Coastal Berth Scheme (under Sagarmala project) is to develop infrastructure by providing financial assistance to ports or states. The purpose is to foster movement of cargo and passengers either by sea or national waterways.
  • The project at the Jawaharlal Nehru port Trust (JNPT) will be completed by March 2019 with an estimated cost of Rs 170 crore.
  • JNPT is expected to handle about 2.5 million Tons of the coastal traffic and allow easy and quick coastal movement of cement and edible oil.
  • The Karwar port project is likely to be completed in three years and it involves expansion of the existing southern breakwater by 145 metres and construction of a new north breakwater of 1,160 metres.

India, Sri Lanka sign MoU to build 1200 houses in Hambantota


  • India on 26 October 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sri Lanka to build 1200 houses in Hambantota, a southern port city of Sri Lanka.
  • The MoU was signed today by Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Sri Lanka's Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Construction W.K.K. Athukorala.
  • The 1200 houses will be constructed through 50 model villages using Indian grant assistance of Rs 600 million.
  • Out of these 1200 houses, 600 will be constructed in the Southern Province, while the remaining will be constructed across Sri Lanka with one model village in each of the 25 districts.
  • The project will target low income landless and homeless beneficiaries.
  • A cash grant of Rs 500000 will be provided to each beneficiary in five instalments.

Indian Railways to get its first set of solar plants


  • Indian Railways’ first set of solar plants having a total capacity of 5 megawatt peak (MWp) would be launched in New Delhi on 27 October 2017.
  • The launch would be conducted by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The plants built on the roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations would be generating 76.5 lakh units of solar power cumulatively every year and are expected to meet about 30 per cent of the energy requirement of these stations.
  • The project would help the railways save around Rs 421.4 lakh annually and reduce 6082 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • This project is a part of the Union government’s National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission around 1000 MWp solar plants across its wide rail network.
  • It was awarded in December 2016.
  • The cost of the project is around Rs 37.45 Cr and has been bought in by the developer under the PPP model.

Union Government to send CCI officials to Telangana to resolve cotton procurement issue


  • The Union government has decided to send a team of officials of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) to Telangana in order to resolve the issues related to cotton procurement in the state.
  • The information was shared by the Additional Secretary in the Textiles Ministry, Pushpa Subramanyam, who said that the CCI officials would soon visit the state to look into the plight of cotton growing farmers.
  • Former Union Minister and Lok Sabha Member, Bandaru Dattatreya, had earlier wrote a letter to Textiles Minister Smriti Irani seeking her immediate intervention to resolve the issue.
  • In his letter, Dattatreya had expressed concern about the cotton farmers in the state, as they were on a agitation mode due to their demand of minimum support price for their produce. He said that 48 lakh bales of cotton in 12.50 lakh hectares is expected to come to market during the current season and the procurement price being offered to farmers is only 2,000 rupees against the MSP of 5,100 rupees per quintal in 2016.

News related to India and states

SC to form Constitutional bench to hear petitions against Aadhar SC to form Constitutional bench to hear petitions against Aadhar


  • The Supreme Court on 30 October 2017 decided to form a constitutional bench to hear petitions against Union Government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing various services and government welfare schemes.
  • A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, announced that a larger bench would be formed to hear these petitions.
  • On 24 August 2017a nine-judge Constitution bench held that the Right of Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Petitioners are challenging the validity of Aadhaar raising the issue that the scheme violates rights of privacy.
  • The petitioners termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as illegal and unconstitutional.
  • They also objected to the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) move to make Aadhar compulsory for students to appear for exams.
  • Petitioners also argued that the Union Government cannot compel citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or mobile numbers.

India, Japan begin anti-submarine warfare exercise


  • The naval forces of India and Japan initiated an intensive air anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean on 29 October 2017. The exercise will conclude on 31 October 2017.
  • The exercise would witness participation from a P-8 I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft of Indian Navy and two P-3 Orion Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMDSF).
  • The P-3 Orion aircraft reached the Naval Air Station INS Hansa in Goa on 29 October for the exercise.
  • The exercise is happening at a time when the presence of Chinese ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean has increased.
  • Maritime security and freedom of navigation has also figured prominently in India's recent bilateral and multi-lateral defence dialogues.

Bharat Net project: Phase 1 to be completed by December 2017


  • The first phase of the national optic fibre network, also known as Bharat Net project, is expected to be completed by December 2017.
  • The project mainly aims to deploy high-speed optical fibre cables across rural areas. Hence, its completion will provide internet access to around 100,000 gram panchayats.
  • The information was shared by Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, while she was speaking at the fourth edition of ‘i-Bharat 2017’ conference, which was organised in New Delhi by FICCI in association with the ministry of electronics and information technology. The theme of the conference was ‘ICT Elucidations for Unserved and Unsolved’.
  • Speaking on the same, Sundararajan said that so far, Bharat Net has reached 83,000 gram panchayats. She further added that it is imperative to create a fibre-first programme where the government, as well as private sector, can join hands to achieve the objective of doubling the reach of telecom fibre network in the country by 2020.

India to host UN wildlife summit CMS COP13 in 2020


  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 28 October 2017 announced that India will host the next CMS Conference of the Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in the year 2020. CMS COP is a global wildlife conference.
  • The announcement was made during the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in Manila, the Philippines.
  • CMS COP12 was held from 23 – 28 October 2017 and was attended by over 500 delegates from more than 120 countries. The theme of the Conference was ‘Their Future is Our Future - Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People’.


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Vrindavan, Barsana declared as Sacred Sites, no meat and liquor shops allowed


  • The Uttar Pradesh government on 27 October 2017 issued an order notifying Vrindavan and Barsana towns in Mathura district as 'sacred pilgrimage sites' ('pavitra teerth sthals').
  • With this, Vrindavan and Barsana became the first two places to be notified as teerth sthal in government records. No meat and liquor shops will be allowed in these towns anymore.
  • As per the state government, the main objective behind declaring Vrindavan and Barsana as pilgrimage sites is to honour the sentiments of devotees, who are hurt by the operations of liquor and meat shops. The move will help in restoring the age-old traditions of these places.
  • The government also directed the various state departments including departments of Urban Development, Excise, Food and Drug Administration, General Administration and Home to take necessary steps in this regard within three months.

The Paik Rebellion to be named ‘First War of Independence’ in history books


  • The Paik Rebellion of 1817, also called the Paika Bidroha, will be known as the ‘First War of Independence’ in the history books of students from the next academic session onwards.
  • The information was shared by the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar on 22 October 2017 while attending a function marking the bicentenary of Paika Rebellion in Bhubaneswar.
  • "Paika Bidroha will find a place as the First War of Independence against the British Rule in the history books. The students should learn the factual history of 1817," Javadekar said. He also added that the Union government has allocated Rs 200 Cr to mark the occasion across the country.

Appointments

YC Modi took charge as Director General of National Investigation Agency


  • Senior IPS officer Yogesh Chander (YC) Modi on 30 October 2017 took charge as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Modi succeeds Sharad Kumar, who retired on 30 October 2017 itself.
  • Modi is an IPS officer of the 1979 batch of the Haryana cadre.
  • Prior to joining the NIA, he worked with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for 10 years while serving two terms where he handled Special Crime and Economic Offences besides Anti-Corruption cases.

Jacinda Ardern elected Prime Minister of New Zealand


  • Jacinda Ardern was sworn in as the New Prime Minister of New Zealand on 26 October 2017. New Zealand’s Labor leader Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister after Winston Peters leader of New Zealand First and Greens supported her Party to form a coalition government.
  • With this the 37 year old Jacinda became the youngest New Zealand female leader in 150 years.
  • National party leader Bill English had to accept defeat despite a winning 44.4 per cent of the vote, higher than Labour’s 36 per cent. It won 56 seats out of 120 in the parliament and is seen as the strongest opposition in New Zealand.
  • This was the first time since New Zealand adopted proportional voting since 1996.

Sports

Virat Kohli becomes fastest batsman to break 9000-run mark


  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli on 29 October 2017 became the sixth Indian and fastest to complete 9000 ODI runs during India’s third and final one-day international against New Zealand in Kanpur.
  • India beat New Zealand by six runs to take the series 2-1. While Rohit Sharma was named Man of the Match for his astounding knock of 147, winning Captain Virat Kohli was named Man of the Series.
  • Kohli and Sharma together added 230 runs for the second wicket thus, becoming the first pair to achieve double century partnerships on four occasions.
  • Virat Kohli with his individual score of 113 runs became the sixth Indian to complete 9000 ODI runs. He got to the landmark in the 37th over.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni had reached the milestone in 2016. Other Indians who have achieved the feat previously include Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin.
  • Overall, Kohli, who played his 202nd innings, has become the 19th batsman to break the 9000-run mark, making him the fastest to get there.
  • Kohli with his knock also surpassed Rahul Dravid (48 tons) to become the second Indian batsman with most international hundreds (49) , only after Sachin Tendulkar (100 tons).
  • Earlier in the series, Kohli had surpassed former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in the list of most ODI hundreds with his 31st ton.

Kidambi Srikanth wins Men's Singles Title in French Open


  • Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on 29 October 2017 lifted the men's singles title of the French Open Superseries badminton in Paris.
  • Srikanth beat Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in the final to clinch the title.
  • This is Srikanth’s fourth title in the fifth superseries final after winning in the Denmark Open, Indonesia Open and Australia Open.
  • The Women's doubles title was won by Greysia POLL and Apriyani Rahayu who defeated Lee Sottee and SHIN Seung Chen 21-17, 21-15.
  • Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana NATSIR clinched the Mixed Doubles title thrashing Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 22-20, 21-15.

Delhi Olympic Games to be held in December


  • The Delhi State Olympic Association announced on 26 October 2017 to organise Delhi Olympic Games in the capital city. The sporting events will be held from 9 December 2017- 18 December 2017. The announcement to conduct a sporting event of Olympic level came in order to promote Olympics and also the spirit of sports and sportsmen in Delhi.
  • The nine-day sporting events will be held in 25 different stadiums in various parts of Delhi including Talkatora Stadium, Indira Gandhi Stadium, National Stadium, Thyagaraj Sports Complex, Siri Fort, among others.
  • The games will include hockey, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, karate, wushu and 28 other disciplines.
  • Olympic wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt was confirmed as the brand ambassador of Delhi Olympic Games 2017.

World News

Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018


  • Turki Al-Asheikh, Chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, on 29 October 2017 announced that Saudi women will now be able to attend sports events in stadiums starting from 2018.
  • In this regard, the authority will start the repair works at three main stadiums in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah to accommodate families starting in 2018. Restaurants, cafes and monitor screens will be set up inside the stadiums.
  • Though the country has several stadiums, but the government chose the biggest and most important ones. The stadiums are home to six teams in the Saudi Professional League and two of the stadiums included have the highest seating capacity in the kingdom.
  • The move is aimed at empowering and engaging women in the society as an integral part of the development process.

'Dadagiri', 'Jugaad', 'Surya Namaskar' among 70 Indian words added to Oxford English Dictionary


  • Indian words like 'Dadagiri', 'Jugaad', 'Surya Namaskar', 'Anna', 'Achcha', 'Bapu' and few others were added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in the month of September 2017.
  • These words are among 70 Indian words from various regional languages like Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati that were added to the dictionary.
  • The dictionary added over 1000 new words in its September edition.
  • Several Indian food items names found their place in the dictionary this year. These food items names are Bhindi, Gosht, Gulab Jamun, Keema, Mirch, Mirch Masala, Namkeen and Vada.
  • Frequently used terms like jugaad, funda, achcha, natak, timepass and chup also found their place in the dictionary.
  • Alongside respectful words like 'ji', 'mata' and 'jai', this free online dictionary included the words like 'dadagiri', 'chaudhuri', 'chamcha'.

Days

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2017 observed globally


  • World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was observed across the world on 27 October 2017 with the theme 'Discover, remember and share'.
  • On this day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) encourages audiovisual archives around the globe to celebrate 27 October by showcasing their precious collections to promote the value of audiovisual heritage.
  • As per UNESCO, audiovisual documents like films, radio and television programmes are common heritage and contain the primary records of the history of the 20th and 21st centuries. In order to safeguard this audiovisual heritage, the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed every year.

Infantry Day observed on 27 October


  • Infantry Day was observed across India on 27 October 2017 to commemorate the sacrifices made by the infantry who fought against Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. This was the first infantry action by the Indian Army after independence.
  • In 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was invaded by tribals who were getting support from Pakistani Army.
  • The then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru ordered the Indian Army for quick action against the invaders. Following the order, the 1st Battalion of the SIKH Regiment was sent to Kashmir.
  • On 27 October 1947, the Regiment was airlifted from Delhi and landed at Srinagar to liberate Kashmir from the invaders.

Obituaries

Malayalam writer Punathil Kunjabdulla passes away


  • Renowned Malayalam writer Punathil Kunjabdulla passed away on 27 October 2017 in Kozhikode following a prolonged illness. He was 77.
  • Kunjabdulla is regarded as one of the major figures of modernism in Malayalam literature.
  • He won the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Smarakasilakal in 1980 and the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award twice for the same novel in 1978 and for Malamukalile Abdulla in 1980.
  • In 2013, he was honoured with Mathrubhumi Literary Award, the biggest literature award in Malayalam.


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