Daily Current Affairs 29th December 2017

1) Environment Ministry Launches a Regional Project to Tackle Stubble Burning

  • On December 28, 2017, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change approved a regional project on ‘Climate Resilience Building among Farmers through Crop Residue Management’ under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
  • This project aims to contain the problem of stubble/crop residue burning which has intensified during recent years in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Stubble burning results in deterioration of air quality in surrounding region and thereby poses a serious health hazard.

2) Telangana becomes first state to offer free power to farmers 24 hours a day

  • From January 1, 2018, farmers in Telangana will get 24-hour free power supply. This is a first of its kind initiative, undertaken by Telangana State Government which will benefit 23 lakh farmers in Telangana.
  • Electricity supply is of utmost importance for farmers who use motorised pumps for irrigation.
  • Supplying free 24-hour electricity to all farmers in the state will create an overall power demand of 11000 MW which will be fully met by March 2018.

3) India Ranks 5th in List of Countries with Highest NPA Levels

  • India has the highest level of non-performing assets (NPA) among BRICS countries and is ranked fifth on a list of countries with the highest levels of NPAs, as per the report by CARE Ratings.
  • The only countries ranked higher than India on the list are Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland. All these countries, along with Spain, are commonly referred to as PIIGS, and have been victims of sovereign debt crises in recent years. At 9.85 percent, India’s NPA ratio is over 400 basis points higher. Spain is the only PIIGS country ranked lower than India on the list, with an NPA ratio of 5.28 percent.

4) SEBI Caps Cross-Shareholding in Rating Agencies at 10%

  • Markets regulator SEBI stated that cross-holding in credit rating agencies (CRAs) will be capped at  10 percentand also decided to raise the minimum networth requirement to Rs 25 crore from the current Rs 5 crore.
  • Also, the board of Sebi has approved a slew of measures for tightening the financial and operational eligibility of the promoters of CRAs, besides greater disclosure requirements for them.

5) China launches world’s largest human genome research project

  • China has launched the world’s largest human genome research project to document the genetic makeup of one lakh people.
  • The objective of this project is to detect the genetic links between health and sickness and use that information to generate precision medicines for the future.
  • The project envisages to decode the hereditary information contained in each of the 25000 known human genes.

6) KKR gets RBI nod to start India’s 1st Foreign-owned ARC

  • International investment firm, KKR & Co has received an approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India and has thereby become the first foreign investor to fully own ARC in India.
  • Asset Reconstruction Company is a financial entity that buys the non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad assets from banks and financial institutions at a mutually agreed value and tries to revive it by using specialised knowledge and expertise. ARCs help banks/financial institution to get rid of NPAs and focus on their core business rather than chasing defaulters.
  •  In a bid to tackle the mounting NPAs problem in Indian banking system, in May 2016, Indian Government allowed foreign institutions to have 100% ownership in asset reconstruction companies in India. KKR is known for its big ticket financing and private equity deals in India.

7) Pluto Exchange launches India’s first bitcoin trading app

  • Pluto Exchange, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency dealer has announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies.
  • Pluto Exchange’s app will be India’s first app-based wallet that enables bitcoin transactions using a mobile number.
  • Users of Pluto Exchange’s app will be able to buy, sell, store and spend bitcoins via a mobile by number using a four-digit personal identification number (PIN).

8) Cristiano Ronaldo wins best player at Globe Soccer Award

  • On 28th December 2017, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid was awarded the Globe Soccer’s Best Player award, in Dubai.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Globe Soccer’s Best Player award for the second consecutive year and fourth time overall.
  • Also, Real Madrid club was named the best club of the year. Also, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was given the best coach award.

9) Sumita Misra appointed as joint secretary in PM’s economic advisory council

  • Senior bureaucrat Sumita Misra has been appointed as joint secretary in Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, EAC-PM.
  • Sumita Misra is 1990 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre. She has been appointed to this post for a period of five years.
  • EAC-PM was set up in September 2017. Its task is to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise, that are referred to it by the Prime Minister and offer advise on the same.

10) Viswanathan Anand wins World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh

  • India’s ace chess player Viswanathan Anand won the World Rapid Chess tournament title in Saudi Arabia by beating Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev 2-0 in a two-game tie-break.
  • Saudi Arabia hosted the world chess tournament for the first time. The women’s title was won by China’s Ju Wenjun.Dronavalli Harika was the best-placed Indian, finishing 19th.

Daily Current Affairs 28th December 2017

1) Lok Sabha passes GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017

  • On December 27, 2017, Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017.
  • This amendment bill seeks to increase maximum rate at which compensation cess on the entry relating to certain category of motor vehicles is being collected by the states. 
  • It applies to motor vehicles for transport of not more than 13 persons (mostly luxury vehicles), including the driver.The amendment bill seeks to increase maximum rate from 15 to 25%.
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has stated that this amendment Bill would replace the ordinance which was promulgated in September 2017.
  • On December 2017, Lok Sabha passed National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to extend the deadline of a law to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in Delhi.
  • The bill has granted immunity to slums and some unauthorised constructions until December 31, 2020. Current immunity under National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, 2014, passed by Parliament in December 2014 was set to expire on December 31, 2017.

2) Indian Science Congress 2018 to be held in Manipur

  • 2018 edition of Indian Science Congress will be held at Manipur University in Imphal, Manipur in March 2018 This will be the 105th edition of Indian Science Congress.
  • Initially, Indian Science Congress 2018 was scheduled to be held at the Osmania University in Hyderabad, in the first week of January 2018. However, it had to be moved on account of security problems.
  • ’Reaching the Unreached Through Science and Technology’ will be the focal theme of this event.

3) Triple Talaq Bill Passed in Lok Sabha

  • The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017 making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. As per the Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, the government has to bring a bill because the practice of instant triple talaq has continued despite the Supreme Court order terming it illegal.
  • The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking subsistence allowance for her and minor children. The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.

4) Indo-Maldives Joint Exercise ‘Ekuverin’ Concludes

  • The two-week long eighth edition of the Indo-Maldives joint military exercise, ‘Ekuverin’, came to an end at Belagavi, Karnataka. ‘Ekuverin’ means ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language.
  • The bilateral annual exercise was a 14-day joint military training between the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). The exercise has been held alternatively in India and Maldives since 2009.

5) India Successfully Test-Fires AAD Supersonic Interceptor Missile

  • India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile at low altitude, from a test range in Odisha.
  • This was the third supersonic interceptor test carried out this year in which an incoming ballistic missile target was successfully intercepted, within a 30km altitude of the earth’s atmosphere by an interceptor. The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system.

6) SBI Gets Board Approval to Raise Rs 8,000 crore to Comply Basel III

  • According to the country’s largest lender, SBI, its board has approved raising Rs 8,000 crore through various sources, including masala bonds, to meet Basel III capital norms.
  • Masala bonds are rupee denominated specialised debt instruments that can be floated in overseas markets only to raise capital. Banks in India have to comply with the global capital norms under Basel III by March 2019, three months later than the internationally agreed time frame by January 2019.

7) Bank of Baroda Enters into MoU with POORTI Agri Services Pvt. Ltd

  • Bank of Baroda has entered into MoU with POORTI Agri Services Pvt. Ltd to enable the farmers to purchase agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, seeds etc. provided by POORTI. This is a Platform for Online Ordering & Rural Transformation of India known as “POORTI”.
  • Poorti is a well-established company providing multi-party mobile commerce platform for easy ordering of fertilizers, pesticides, seeds by farmers with loans given by banks.

8) Abhay Appointed Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau

  • Senior IPS officer Abhay was appointed Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). He is at present working in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post till November 18, 2019. The post was lying vacant after R R Bhatnagar took over as DG of CRPF in April 2017.

9) K S Chitra bags ‘Harivarasanam’ Award

  • Veteran singer K S Chitra has been selected for prestigious  ‘Harivarasanam’ award 2017, instituted by the Kerala government.
  • The award carrying a cash prize of Rs one lakh, citation and plaque would be presented to the veteran playback singer at a function on January 14, 2018.

10) The creator of Bugs Bunny, Bob Givens, Passes Away at 99

  • Bob Givens, one of the animators behind designing the iconic characters Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, died at the age of 99. He was from the USA.
  • He also brought his skills to TV advertising, animating cartoon insects for Raid bug-killer commercials. Givens served in the US army during the Second World War, before returning to the animation industry.

11) Small savings schemes interest rates cut by 20 bps

  • Finance Ministry has notified the reduction in interest rates on Small Saving Schemes for January -March 2018 quarter by 20 basis points (0.2%) as compared to October- December 2017 quarter.
  • The latest reduction in interest rates applies to National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), Sukanya Samriddhi Account and Public Provident Fund (PPF).
  • Post this decision, the applicable interest rate on investment in various Small Savings Schemes is as under:
    Small Savings Scheme Annual Interest Rate
    Public Provident Fund (PPF) 7.6%
    National Savings Certificate (NSC) 7.6%
    Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) 7.3%  (11 months maturity)
    Sukanya Samriddhi Account 8.1%
    5-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme 8.3% (Unchanged from previous quarter)
    Savings Deposit 4.0% (Unchanged from previous quarter)
    Term Deposits (1-5 year maturity) 6.6% to 7.4%
    5-year Recurring Deposit 6.9%

     

12) India ranks 5th in list of countries with highest NPA levels – CARE Ratings

  • As per a report by CARE Ratings, India has ranked 5th on list of countries with highest non-performing assets (NPA) levels.
  • The report classified countries into four categories viz. countries having very low levels of NPAs, countries having low levels of NPAs, countries having medium levels of NPAs and countries having high levels of NPAs.
  • With an NPA ratio of 9.85 percent, India has been placed in fourth category i.e. of ‘high levels of NPAs’. Only countries where NPAs scenario is worse than India are Greece (36.67%), Italy (16.35%), Portugal (15.52%), and Ireland (11.85%).

IPPB 2018 Notification Out!

The Indian Post Payments Bank Limited has released IPPB Recruitment 2018 Notification for 1150 vacancies for Manager, Assistant, and Territory Officer posts to recruit eligible candidates in the department. The IPPB 2018 Recruitment has been released to recruit eligible candidates. IPPB Application Form 2017 has been started from 15th Dec 2017 and it will be closed on 5th Jan 2018. It is a good opportunity for candidates who want to join Indian Post Payments Bank Limited as an employee. Candidates will have to fill IPPB 2018 Application From on or before the last date to appear in the examination.

Following are the posts under this recruitment: 
1. Manager- Area Sales – 200 Vacancies
2. Assistant Manager – Area Operations – 300 Vacancies
3. Territory Officer – 650 Vacancies
Important Dates:
On-line registration : December 15, 2017 to January 05, 2018
Online Payment of Application Fees: December 15, 2017 to January 05, 2018
Download of Admit cards for online examination: January 12, 2018
Date of Online Examination (tentative): January 20, 2018 – for Manager (Area Sales) and for Asst Manager (Area Operations): January 21, 2018 – for Territory Officer

 

Download the Official Notification for IPPB 2018

 

Daily Current Affairs 27th December 2017

1) India’s 1st pod taxi on the way, to follow U.S. safety norms

  • The five-member committee headed by transport expert S K Dharmadhikari, set up for technical and safety standards of India’s pod taxi scheme (also known as Personal Rapid Transit – PRT) has recommended to invite fresh bids incorporating strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.
  • Pod Taxi/PRT is an advanced public transport using automated electric pod cars that shuttles between destinations in horizontally elevated trajectory.
  • PRT is considered to be a revolutionary mode of transport aimed at reducing congestions on busy road stretches.
  • Besides, it is a green mode of transport.
  • Currently, such projects are operational in London’s Heathrow airport, Morgantown (in US) and Masdar city (in UAE).
  • India’s pod taxi scheme is Rs. 4000 crore project spearheaded by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to execute it on 12.30 km Delhi-Gurgaon pilot corridor on a PPP (public-private partnership) basis.
  • Execution of this project has been delayed as NITI Aayog raised some concerns pertaining to safety as the technology which is to be used in this project does not have very long track record. It had thereby asked highways ministry to direct initial bidders to prepare a 1-km pilot stretch for testing purpose.

2) President Dedicated 4 Projects to Andhra Pradesh

  • The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, dedicated to the people of Andhra Pradesh four projects of the State Government at a function held at Velagapudi, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Projects were Andhra Pradesh Fibregrid Project, Andhra Pradesh Surveillance Project, Drone Project; and Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) system. The President focused on the 24/7 hyper-connected world and the online presence of the government.

3) Agriculture Minister Launches Livestock Disease Forewarning (LDF) Mobile App

  • Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has launched Livestock Disease Forewarning –Mobile Application (LDF-Mobile App). The app is developed by ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (ICAR-NIVEDI), Bengaluru.
  • Apart from early warning, the app will also provide information about clinical samples for the diagnosis in case of the epidemic so that immediate action can be taken in case of the epidemic

4) Indian Air Force Conquers ‘Seven Summits’

  • On December 26, 2017, a team of Indian Air Force (IAF) mountaineers successfully scaled Mt Vinson in Antarctica and thereby completed ‘Mission Seven Summits’:’
  • In 2005, after successfully scaling Mt Everest, IAF had launched ‘Mission Seven Summits’, a series of mountaineering expedition to fly the Indian tricolour and the IAF flag on the highest peaks in every continent.
  • Expedition to scale Mt Vinson in Antarctica was flagged off on December 8, 2017. IAF team that scaled Mt Vinson was led by Capt RC Tripathi.

5) AIM selects 1500 schools for tinkering labs across India

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected additional 1500 Schools for establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), thereby taking the total number of schools selected so far to 2441.
  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is Indian Government’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across Indian schools, universities and industries.
  • Vision of AIM is to ‘Cultivate One Million children in India as the Innovators of tomorrow’.
  • Under AIM, Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) have been established in schools across India to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young generation.

6) IRDAI Norms Allow Insurers to Begin Offshore Business From GIFT IFSC

  • Sectoral regulator IRDAI has issued regulations for insurance firms to carry out offshore business from Gujarat-based GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). With this, Insurance operations will get a major boost.
  • Under the regulations, for the first time in the country, foreign insurers are permitted to open IFSC Insurance Office (IIO) at GIFT IFSC. GIFT IFSC already hosts three major insurance players, GIC Re, New India and ECGC.

7) Paytm becomes India’s first payments app to cross 100 million downloads on Google Play Store

  • On 27th December 2017, Paytm announced that its app had passed the 100 million milestone on Google Play Store in the 2nd week of December 2017.
  • Paytm has become India’s first payments app to cross the 100 million downloadsmilestone. The app offers online recharges, bill payments, movie tickets booking, travel booking etc.
  • Paytm has also emerged as the most preferred payments app in India. It enables users to scan its QR code and pay at stores, petrol pumps, multiplexes, restaurants etc.

8) Anushka Sharma is PETA’s ‘Person of the Year’

  • Actress Anushka Sharma has been named PETA’s Person of the Year by animal rights organisation People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
  • Anushka is a vegetarian, has nabbed the title for helping to protect dogs from fireworks to advocating for horses who are forced to pull carriages in Mumbai. She was named PETA’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2015.

9) Vin Diesel, 2017’s Top-Grossing Actor- Forbes

  • Vin Diesel has been named the top-grossing actor of 2017 by Forbes, with $1.6 billion in global ticketing receipts from his film ‘The Fate of the Furious’.
  • The second spot was occupied by Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’, with $1.5 billion receipts. ‘Wonder Woman’ actress Gal Gadot, whose films earned $1.4 billion worldwide, featured in the third spot on the list.

10) Mayanka Patel and Poonam Gaur win Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest

  • On 23rd December 2017, Mayanka Patel and Poonam Gaur were crowned Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest in two different categories, in Gurgaon.
  • Mayanka Patel from Mumbai was named winner in Group A – 21 years to 34 years women’s category. Poonam Gaur from Gurugram won the crown in Group B– 34 years to 45 years women’s category.
  • The Mrs India-Pride of Nation 2017 contest was organised by Glamour Gurgaon. The Grand Finale consisted of 3 rounds and 61 contestants participated.

11) IPS officer Abhay appointed Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau

  • On 27th December 2017, senior IPS officer Abhay was appointed as Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
  • Abhay is currently working with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He has been appointed as Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) till November 18, 2019.
  • His appointment has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.  Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued his appointment order.

12) In a First, Saudi Arabia Hosts World Chess Games

  • Saudi Arabia is hosting a world chess tournament for the first time, nearly two years after the country’s top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game.
  • The tournament has been named as the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships. The world’s top three chess players from Norway, Armenia and Azerbaijan are participating in the tournament.

13) Music Legend Robbie Malinga Passes Away

  • Legendary South African musician Robbie Malinga passed away. The veteran musician suffered from anaemia.
  • He announced his retirement as a solo artist in 2016, after more than 20 years in the industry. The musician is known for his hit songs such as, ‘Sobabili’, ‘Mthanda’ and ‘Baby Please’.

Syndicate Bank 2018 Notification Out!

Syndicate Bank has released the notification for recruitment of Probationary Officers through Post Graduate Diploma in Banking and Finance. There are a total of 500 Vacancies in Syndicate Bank PO Recruitment. Syndicate Bank PO recruitment 2018-19 brings a big and bright opportunity for all banking aspirants. Keep on reading for all details of Syndicate Bank PO Manipal Recruitment 2018.Following are some important dates as mentioned in the Official Syndicate Bank PO Recruitment Notification:
Start date for Online Registration- 02.01.2018
Online Payment of Application Fees- 02.01.2018 to 17.01.2018
Last date for Online Registration- 17.01.2018
Download of Call letter for Examination After- 05.02.2018
Date of Online test(Tentative)- 18.02.2018

 

Daily Current Affairs 26th December 2017

1) Centre releases Rs 167 crore to 9 states for border development under BADP

  • Union Home Ministry has released Rs 167 crore to nine states – Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim – under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP). 
  • BADP (Border Area Development Programme) is fully funded by Central Government. Under this programme, development work is carried out in all villages which are located within the 0-10 km of the international border. 17 states of India have an international border.
  • Priority (for speedy development of infrastructure) is given to those villages which are identified by border guarding forces.
  • Development work permitted under BAPD include construction of helipads in areas which are not accessible by road, skill development training to local farmers, work related to swatchhta aabhiyan, promotion of sports, rural tourism and border tourism.
  • Rajasthan and Punjab share border with Pakistan while West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya share boundary with Bangladesh.
  • Himachal Pradesh shares border with China. Bihar shares border with Nepal while Sikkim shares border with Nepal and Bhutan.

2) Government to roll out ‘Condonation of delay scheme’

  • In order to provide relief for disqualified directors of companies, Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs will roll out ‘Condonation of Delay Scheme’, which will be operational from January 1 to March 31, 2018.
  • Earlier, in a bid to clamp down on illicit fund flows, Union Corporate Affairs Ministry had disqualified more than 3.09 lakh directors of companies, who failed to submit annual filings for a long time.

3) $318 Million Loan Agreement Signed with World Bank for Farmers in Tamil Nadu

  • he Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the World Bank signed a $318 million loan agreement for the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernization Project to promote climate resilient agriculture technologies, improve water management practices, and increase market opportunities for small and marginal farmers.
  • About 500,000 farmers, of which a majority are small and marginal, are expected to benefit from improved and modernized tank irrigation systems. The $318 million loan from the IBRD has a 5-year grace period and a maturity of 19 years.

4) Uttar Pradesh government launches free household power connection scheme ‘Prakash hai to vikas hai’

  • On 25th December 2017, Uttar Pradesh government introduced ‘Prakash hai to vikas hai’, a free household power connection scheme for the poor people, to mark former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary.
  • Uttar Pradesh government plans to provide 16 million power connections by the end of 2018 through the ‘Prakash Hai to Vikas Hai’ (the barometer of development is light) scheme.

5) SDMC launches Atal Jan Aahar Yojana for poor

  • On 25th December 2017, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) launched ‘Atal Jan Aahar Yojana’ for poor people to provide them meal at Rs 10, marking the Good Governance Day.
  • The Atal Jan Aahar Yojana was launched by South Delhi Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Chairman of the civic body’s Standing Committee Bhupender Gupta and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Matiala at Matiala Chowk.
  • The Atal Jan Aahar Yojana scheme has been started at 5 outlets in different locations of south Delhi. Its aim is to provide nutritious meal to the poor and needy

6) China building Bangladesh’s first eco-friendly thermal plant

  • Construction of Bangladesh’s first eco-friendly thermal power plant with ultra-modern clean coal technology has been started by a Chinese consortium in central Bangladesh.
  • The thermal power plant is constructed near a sea port in Payra town in Patuakhali district of Bangladesh. It consists of two units. Both the units would be commissioned in April and October 2019 respectively.
  • Estimated cost of the project is USD 1.56 billion. Bangladesh had signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with the consortium of two Chinese firms in March 2016

7) Govt directs NGOs to open account in any designated bank within month

  • Union Home Ministry has directed all Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System
  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued this directive to ensure a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance.
  • Further, it has also stated that such funds should not be utilised for activities detrimental to the national interest.This directive has been given in context of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010.

8) SLCM Ties up with HDFC, IndusInd bank for Post Harvest Credit

  • Agri service solutions provider Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM) having operations across India and Myanmar has tied up with HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank to provide collateral management services.
  • This tie-up will not only help improve the farmers’ access to post-harvest credits at affordable interest rates, it will also provide easy access to scientific storage facilities leading to a fair price discovery of their products in the market.

9) Samsung, Axis Bank Tie-up to Offer ‘Bill Payments’ on Samsung Pay

  • Smartphone manufacturer Samsung launched its ‘Bill Payments’ on its flagship payments service, Samsung Pay in partnership with Axis Bank.
  • With the introduction of ‘Bill Payments’, consumers will be able to pay their utility bills seamlessly through Samsung Pay, set reminders and search favourite biller based on their current location.

10) Indian Boxers Claim 5 Medals at Galym Boxing Tournament

  • Indian boxers have claimed three gold, a silver, and a bronze medal at the Galym Zharylgapov Boxing Tournament in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.
  • In the event, the country’s Gold Medal winners were K Shyam Kumar in 49kg, Naman Tanwar in 91kg and Satish Kumar in the 91kg category claimed gold medals. The19-year-old Naman Tanwar was also adjudged the best boxer of the tournament.

11) Bengali Film Actor Partha Mukhopadhyay Passes Away

  • Famed Bengali film actor Partha Mukhopadhyay had passed away. He was 70. Mukhopadhyay portrayed a number of memorable roles in the 1960s after getting a break as a child artiste in the film Maa directed by Chitto Basu in 1958.
  • The state government had conferred Mukhopadhyay with a special award for his contribution to Bengali films. Balika Bodhu (1967), Dhonyi Meye (1971), Agnishwar (1975), Amar Prithivi (1985), Baag Bandi Khela (1975) are some of his popular movies.

Daily Current Affairs 25th December 2017

1)  Vijay Rupani Sworn in as Chief Minister of Gujarat

  • Vijay Rupani was sworn in at a grand ceremony in the State capital of Gandhinagar as the Chief Minister of Gujarat state. Governor Om Prakash Kohli administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to 21 ministers including Mr Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel.
  • Along with Mr Rupani as Chief Minister and Nitin Patel as his Deputy, a total of 19 ministers nine of them in cabinet rank and 10 MoS were sworn in.

2) Narendra Modi to be first PM to attend World Economic Forum in 20 years

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first PM in 20 years to attend the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual jamboree of the global elite. The meeting will be held in Davos town of Switzerland.
  • The five-day Davos Annual Meeting of Geneva-based WEF will began in January 2018.  Top Indian CEOs will also be present at the meeting including Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar and Uday Kotak. Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister at the Davos summit since 1997 when the then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had attended.

3) PM Modi inaugurates Delhi Metro’s Magenta line

  • On December 25, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji section (of Magenta Line) of Delhi Metro. 
  • This 12.64-km route of Magenta Line will be Delhi Metro’s first line to get driverless trains.
  • On this line, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be using Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology which would facilitate the movement of trains at a higher frequency as compared to other lines.

4) Bengaluru becomes first city to get its own logo

  • On 24th December 2017, Brand Bengaluru’s own logo was launched at the ‘Namma Bengaluru Habba festival, at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru.
  • The logo was unveiled by Karnataka Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge. The logo is red and black and written partially in English and Kannada.
  •  The rolling font of the logo was designed by Rushi Patel and M Venkateswara Rao. They are the founders of the design firm Nammur.
  • This logo won the contest conducted by the Karnataka government and received a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
  • The tagline states: ‘Bengaluru – Be U’ (be you). This logo aims to promote the image of Bengaluru at a global level. Bengaluru has become the first city in India to gets its own identity badge.

5) Dr Jitendra Singh Launched e-HRMS on Good Governance Day

  • The Union Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh launched the electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS) in New Delhi.
  • He launched it during the observance of Good Governance Day by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The Minister launched the 25 applications of 5 modules of the system. The e-service book launched for DoPT during March 2017 will also be integrated into the e-HRMS

6) Public sector banks’ NPA hits Rs 7.34 lakh crore at September-end

  • According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of Indian public sector banks stood at Rs 7.34 lakh crore by the end of September 2017.
  •  NPAs of private sector banks’ at the end of September 2017 was considerably low at Rs 1.03 lakh crore.
  • Data released by RBI outlined that major portion (77%) of NPAs was on account of corporate defaulters.
  • Top 3 Public Sector Banks with highest NPAs at the end of September 2017:
    Bank NPAs
    State Bank of India 1.86 lakh crore
    Punjab National Bank 57630 crore
    Bank of India 49307 crore

     

  • Top 3 Private Sector Banks with highest NPAs at the end of September 2017:
    Bank NPAs
    ICICI Bank 44237 crore
    Axis Bank 22136 crore
    HDFC Bank 7644 crore

     

7) Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates world’s biggest sand Santa face at Puri beach

  • On 24th December 2017, Sudarsan Pattnaik, international sand artist, created the world’s biggest sand Santa-face with the message “world peace” at Puri beach, Odisha.
  • The sand Santa face is 25 feet tall and 50 feet wide. It is to be placed in the Limca Book of World Records.
  • Sudarsan Pattnaik also created a sand sculpture of Jesus Christ in front of the Santa face. He used around 600 tonnes of sand.

8) Good Governance Day – December 25

  • On 25th December 2017, Good Governance Day was observed all over India.
  • Good Governance Day is observed every year on 25 December to mark the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • This day was instituted in 2014. Also, December 25 was made a working day for government to observe the Good Governance Day.

Daily Current Affairs 22nd December 2017

1) MEA launches SAMEEP to take Indian foreign policy to students across the country

  • Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched Students and MEA Engagement Programme (SAMEEP), which aims to take Indian foreign policy and its global engagements to students in small towns and cities across India.
  • MEA has asked all its officers, under-secretary and above to visit university/college/school attended by them whenever they are on leave or are visiting their hometown.
  • On these visits, officers would interact with students and make them aware about the functions of MEA.
  • The students will get information about how India engages with other countries of the world, what are key features of its foreign policy and how diplomacy is actually conducted.
  • The officers will be given a standardized presentation from the MEA. The officers can exercise his discretion in providing additional information based on his/her experiences.
  • The objective behind this programme is not only to familiarise students about India’s foreign policy and functions of MEA but also to inspire them for considering diplomacy as a career option.

2) Lok Sabha passes Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill

  • On December 20, 2017, Lok Sabha passed Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to amend regulations pertaining to compensation payable for acquisition of immovable property by the Centre for defence and security purposes.
  • The bill was moved by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri.
  •  This is the 12th amendment to the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act and contains a provision to allow Central Government to re-issue the notice of acquisition, so as to ensure that the property’s owner gets an opportunity to be heard.
  • Those individuals whose land is acquired by the centre will be able to get justice through this amendment.

3) Bengaluru to host 7th India International Coffee Festival (IICF)

  • The 7th India International Coffee Festival (IICF) will be hosted by Bengaluru from 16 to 19 January, 2018, at Hotel Lalit Ashok
  • The India International Coffee Festival (IICF) is organised by India Coffee Trust and Coffee Board of India. This festival will promote coffee tourism in Karnataka.
  •  Around 500 international delegates would participate in this festival. The festival will include seven skill building workshops in roasting, brewing and post-harvest technologies.
  •  It will conduct an expo, in which latest coffee-related technologies will be exhibited by more than 60 companies. Also, a startup pavilion and golf championship will be arranged as part of this festival.

4) M. Subbarayudu appointed as Next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru

  • Shri M. Subbarayudu, presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Peru.
  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

5) SBI Card and Bharat Petroleum Launch BPCL SBI Card

  • SBI Card, the credit card issuer and Bharat Petroleum, the leading petroleum company in India announced the launch of the BPCL SBI Card – the most rewarding fuel co-branded credit card in the country.
  • The BPCL SBI Card will offer up to 70 litres of free fuel per year to cardholders. Cardholders can earn rewards and save on fuel at 14000 Bharat Petroleum fuel stations across the country, making the BPCL SBI Card the only fuel co-brand card with such an extensive reach.  It has been launched on the Visa platform.

6) Lt Gen B S Sahrawat takes over as Director-General of NCC

  • Lieutenant General B S Sahrawat took over the reins of National Cadet Corps as its Director General.
  • The General Officer is a third generation army officer.He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned in December 1980 in 13th Battalion (Rezang La), the Kumaon Regiment. He has been awarded the Sena Medal during the floods of Kosi River in Bihar in 2008.

7) Delhi ranks 7th in most expensive office locations list

  • According to a latest report released by JLL India (a real estate services firm), Delhi is the 7th most expensive premium office location in the world.
  • Mumbai (16th rank) is another Indian city to feature in this list.
  •  Interestingly, rent of premium office location in Delhi is much higher than San Francisco and Dubai.
  •  As per the report, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok are the top three most affordable premium office locations in the world.

8) IMF and WB releases the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA)

  • On December 21, 2018, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) released the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) respectively. Second comprehensive Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for India too has been conducted during 2017.
  • FSAP is a joint program undertaken by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) to comprehensively assess and conduct in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector.

9) National Mathematics Day – December 22

  • On 22nd December 2017, National Mathematics Day was celebrated all over India.
  •  National Mathematics Day is celebrated in memory of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s birth anniversaryon 22 December.
  •  In 2012, Dr Manmohan Singh, Ex-Prime Minister of India, declared 22 December as National Mathematics Day. Also, 2012 was celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.

10) Bengali Singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay Passes Away

  • Acclaimed Bengali singer Jatileswar Mukhopadhyay passed away in Kolkata following prolonged illness. He was 82.
  • He passed away due to multi-organ failure. The West Bengal government had conferred him with the Sangeet Samman award in 2012.