Current Affairs September 26 2018

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Current Affairs September 26 2018

 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approvals on 26th September
i. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved increasing of Government ownership in Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).
ii. On September 26, 2018, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modihas approved approved financial assistance worth Rs.825 Crore for relining of Sirhind Feeder Canal and relining of Rajasthan Feeder Canal.
iii. Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018). The aims of the policy would be achieved by 2022.
iv. On September 26, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  approved the New Broad Gauge Electrified Line of 294.53 route Kms from Katghora to Dongargarh.
v. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  approved the construction of New Domestic Terminal Building at Patna airport.
vi. Centre approved Rs 8,606 crore for 60 projects under Border infrastructure and management (BIM) scheme………………………………………….Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approvals with Foriegn Countries on 26th September
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  approved the MoU between National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, and Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (MEDRF).
ii. On September 26, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MOU between India and Uzbekistan for establishment of the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan Region of Uzbekistan.
iii. Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MoU between India and South Korea on cooperation in Applied Science and Industrial Technology.
iv. On September 26, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK)……………………………………………Click here to Read more

Cabinet approved 2nd package of Rs 5,538 crore package for sugar industry
On September 26, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the total assistance of Rs 5,538 crore to support the sugar sector .
i. This was taken after the food ministry’s proposal to help double production and assistance to cane growers , transport subsidy to mills and help export up to million tonnes in the marketing year 2018-19.
ii. Out of the total package is of Rs 5,538 crore:

  • Rs 1,375 crore will be given as transport subsidy to millers and
  • Remaining to the sugarcane growers as production assistance.

iii. This is the second financial package to bail out the sugar industry after Rs 8,500 crore announced in June.
iv. This would help mills in clearing huge cane arrears of around Rs 13,000 crore from record production of 32 million tonnes (MT) in the 2017-18 marketing year (October-September), resulting in a closing stock of 10 MT at the end of September.
v.The government will provide financial assistance of Rs 13.88 per quintal cane crushed in 2018-19 marketing year to offset the cost of cane, as against Rs 5.50 per quintal announced for the current 2017-18.

“Jan Dhan Darshak”: a citizen-centric financial services locator app launched by  Finance Ministry
On September 26, 2018, Finance Ministry launched mobile application “ Jan Dhan Darshak”.

Jan Dhan Darshak a citizen-centric financial services locator app launched by Finance MinistryObjective:
For Financial Inclusion.
Key Points:
i. The mobile app has been developed by:

  • Department of Financial Services(DFS),
  • Ministry of Finance and
  • National Informatics Centre(NIC).

ii. It will act as a locator app guiding common people to find financial service touch point at a given location in the country.
iii. Over 5 lakh FI touch points (Bank branches, ATMs, Post Offices) have been mapped on this App out of which 1.35 lakh Bank Mitras would be included by 01.12.2018.
iv. Few Features are:

  • Finding nearby Financial touch points, based on Current location (Branches/ATM/Post offices),Current location (Branches/ATM/Post offices),Search by place name, Search by place name along with Voice Interface,
  • Phone number of bank branches available in appwith integrated dialing mechanism.
  • Users’ feedback to go directly to the concerned bank.

Finance Ministry:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan.
♦ Secretart of Finance:Shri Rajiv Kumar(Finance).

Shri Arun Jaitley launched web portal as a transformative initiative in MSME credit space
On September 25, 2018, the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley launched a web portal for a transformative initiative in MSME credit space.
About the web portal:
i. The web portal is: www.psbloansin59minutes.com .
ii. This is a first one of a kind MSME credit space which will ensure seamless loan approval up to Rs. 1 crore within 59 minutes from SIDBI and 5 Public Sector Banks(SBI, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Vijaya and Indian Bank).
iii. The approved loan will be disbursed in 7-8 working days reducing the turnaround time from 20-25 days to 59 minutes.
iv. It processes details of borrower from various sources such as IT returns, GST data, bank statements, MCA21 etc. in less than an hour.
v. Few Key features are:

  • It is the Only Platform that enables Bankers to create Loan Products in line with the Scoring models & assessment methods within their approved credit policy.
  • It has an integrated GST, ITR, Bank Statement Analyzer, Fraud Check and Bureau Check and
  • It has been integrated with CGTMSE for checking the eligibility of Borrowers.

vi. MSME borrowers can get loan up to Rs.2 crore without any collateral, which is major relief for MSME borrower.

Financial Inclusion Index (FII) to measure financial services launched by Shri Arun Jaitley
On September 25, 2018, the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley  launched the Financial Inclusion Index in New Delhi.
It will be released on January, 2019 and fulfills G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators requirements.
i. An Annual Financial Inclusion Index (FII) would be released by the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance to measure the access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services.
ii. These products include:
Savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
iii. The FII would have 3 parameters:

  • Access to financial services,
  • Usage of financial services and
  • Quality.

iv. It would be used as a development indicator and help in to measure financial services for use of internal policy making.
v. It will also facilitate researchers to study the impact of financial inclusion and other macro-economic variables.

7th National Conference on Excellence in Workplace Safety and Occupational Health in New Delhi
On 26th September 2018, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurated the 7th National Conference on Excellence in Workplace Safety and Occupational Health in New Delhi.

7th National Conference on Excellence in Workplace Safety and Occupational Healthi. He also conferred FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) safety systems excellence awards for the industry to various units, like power generation, manufacturing, construction, Mining etc.
ii. Discussions were held on subjects like: best practices in workplace safety, importance of lighting in workplace safety, occupational health and working conditions, risk assessment strategies for accident prevention etc.

Supreme Court declares Centre’s Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid
On 26th September 2018, Supreme Court declared Centre’s Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.
Key Points:
i. The five-judge constitution bench was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. The bench stated that Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).
ii. But, it will not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts. Telecom service providers cannot look for linking it with mobile connections.
iii. Section 57 of Aadhaar Act that permits private entities to avail Aadhaar data has been struck down.
iv. Also, Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than 6 months.
v. Aadhaar will not be mandatory for school admissions, examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.
vi. The national security exception under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act was also struck down.

3 -member panel to look into jail reforms: Supreme Court
On September 25, 2018, the Supreme Court constituted a three-member committee headed by its former judge Justice Amitava Roy for suggestive jail reforms across the country.
i. This decision was taken by a bench headed by Justice M B Lokur.
ii. The scope of the discussion would involve:

  • Issues concerning women prisoner,
  • Issues including over-crowding in prisons,
  • To tackle the issue of human rights of prisoners in jails.

iii. The committee will give reports to the apex court from time to time.
Background:
The bench was hearing a matter relating to inhuman conditions in 1,382 prisons across India.
Supreme Court:
Chief Justice of India: Justice Dipak Misra.
Currenctly the bench of judges in Supreme court consist of 25 judges.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Famous ‘Indra Jatra’ festival celebrations began in Kathmandu, Nepal
On September 25, 2018, the famous Indra Jatra festival commenced in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Famous 'Indra Jatra' festival celebrations began in Kathmandu, Nepali. It is an eight day long annual festival is observed to worship Indra, the lord of rain and good harvest.
ii. It also marks end of monsoon and beginning of harvest season and festivity.

BANKING & FINANCE

India’s economy forecast remains unchanged at 7.3% for 2018: ADB
On September 26, 2018, according to the Asia Development Bank’s (ADB) annual economic publication, the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, India’s economy is in an upward trajectory.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018i. The GDP forecast remains unchanged at 7.3 per cent for 2018, and 7.6 per cent for 2019.
ii. The challenges faced by India are:
Rupee depreciation, volatile external financial markets, accelerating inflation and impact of rising oil prices.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Procurement of 1000 engines for T-72 tanks for Army approved by Defence Acquisition Council
On September 26, 2018, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of 1,000 engines for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Army.
i. This procurement project is worth Rs.2,300 crore.
ii. The engines are of 1,000 BHP (brake horse power) and have been built under ‘Buy and Make’ category by Ordanance Factories Board (OFB).
Other News:
i. The DAc also approved amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure 2016.
ii. According to the amendnments,

  • Time period for executing Repeat Order has been limited to five years after the date of completion of warranty of final delivery.
  • Provision for repeat orders for procurements by other services like the Central Armed Police Force and Border Roads Organisation.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awards 2017 conferred
On 25th September 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awards 2017 to 10 recipients at an event in Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
i. Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award is the highest national recognition for remarkable achievements in adventure on land, sea and air.
ii. Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award 2017 has been conferred to the all-women crew of INSV Tarini for circumnavigating the world in 8 months.
iii. The INSV Tarini crew who received the award:

  • Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi
  • Lieutenant P. Swathi
  • Lieutenant Pratibha Jamwal
  • Lieutenant Vijaya Devi
  • Sub Lieutenant Payal Gupta
  • Lieutenant B Aishwarya

iv.Other Recipients of Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards 2017:

  • Dr AnshuJamsenpa- Mountaineer
  • Late Shri Ravi Kumar – Mountaineer
  • Capt Udit Thapar – Skydiver
  • SonamWangyal – Mountaineer (Life time)

Olympian PV Sindhu only sportsperson in Forbes India’s first ‘tycoons of tomorrow’ list
Badminton player and Olympian PV Sindhu is the only sportsperson to feature in the Forbes India’s first ‘tycoons of tomorrow’ list of 22 young achievers in the fields of business, acting and sports.

Olympian PV Sindhu only sportsperson in Forbes India's first 'tycoons of tomorrow' listi. ‘Tycoons of tomorrow’ is not a ranking. It is a qualitative selection prepared by Forbes India team and a six-member jury.
ii. Some of the other important persons in the list are: Karan Adani, chief executive of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone; Anant Goenka, group executive director of Indian Express; Ashni Biyani, managing director of Future Consumer, etc.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Anil Khosla to be appointed as new Vice Chief of Air Force
Air Marshal Anil Khosla has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force.
Key Points:
i. Air Marshal Anil Khosla is at present, the Eastern Air Force Commander. He will take charge as Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force on 30th September 2018, following the retirement of Marshal S B Deo.
Other appointments:

NameNew Position
Air Marshal R NambiarCommander-in-Chief of Eastern Air command
Air Marshal HS AroraCommander-in-Chief of Western Air Command
Air Marshal VR ChaudhariDeputy Chief of Air Force
Air Marshal Amit DeoDG of Air operations
Lt Gen Manoj Mukund NaravaneEastern Army Commander
Lt Gen Abhay KrishnaCentral Army Commander
Lt Gens Sanjiv ChopraSouth Army Commander

Google appoints Keith Enright as its Chief Privacy Officer
Google has appointed Keith Enright as its chief privacy officer.
Keith Enright – Chief Privacy Officer of Google:
i. Keith Enright has been Google’s privacy lawyer for a longtime. Earlier, he worked as the Chief Privacy Officer at Macy’s and senior consultant at IBM.
ii. As Chief Privacy Officer, Keith Enright will be in charge of developing Google’s strategy on privacy issues.
About Google:
♦ CEO – Sundar Pichai
♦ Headquarters – California, U.S.

Facebook appoints Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as Vice-President and Managing Director of its India operations
On 24th September 2018, Facebook appointed former Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as Vice-President and Managing Director of its India operations.

Facebook appoints Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as Vice-President and Managing Director of its India operationsAjit Mohan – Vice-President and Managing Director of Facebook’s India operations:
i. This is a newly created role. In this role, Ajit Mohan will be responsible for aligning teams and driving Facebook’s overall strategy in India.
ii. He will join Facebook India in early 2019. He will also be responsible for driving Facebook’s continued investment in India.He Succeeds Umang Bedi,who exits last year.
About Facebook:
♦ CEO – Mark Zuckerberg
♦ Headquarters – California, U.S.

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resign from Facebook owned Instagram
On 24th September 2018, Instagram’s co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resigned as chief executive officer and chief technical officer respectively of Instagram owned by Facebook Inc.
i. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger found Instagram in 2010. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. Instagram has more than 1 billion active monthly users.

ENVIRONMENT

Vorombe titan named world’s largest ever bird
On September 26, 2018, ZSL’s (Zoological Society of London) Institute of Zoology conferred the title of ‘world’s largest bird’ to Vorombe titan.

Vorombe titan named world's largest ever birdi. Vorombe titan (meaning ‘big bird’ in Malagasy and Greek) is believed to have weighed up to 800 kg and was three metres tall.
ii. Elephant birds (belonging to the family Aepyornithidae) are an extinct group of colossal flightless birds that roamed Madagascar.
iii. This study has been published in Royal Society Open Science.

SPORTS

Indian women beat Sri Lanka by 51 runs to win T20 series 4-0
On 25th September 2018, Indian women defeated Sri Lankan women by 51 runs in the fifth and final T20 International andwon the series 4-0 at Katunayake, Sri Lanka.
Key Points:
i. In the final T20 International match, Indian team batted first and scored 156 runs in 18.3 overs.
ii. Sri Lankan women were all out for 105 runs in 17.4 overs. India won the series 4-0.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Contraception Day – September 26
On 26th September 2018, World Contraception Day was observed throughout the world.
Key Points:
i. When: The World Contraception Day is observed every year on September 26. This day was launched in 2007.
ii. Why: to create awareness of all contraceptive methods available and help young people make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons – 26 September
On 26th September 2018, International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was observed throughout the world.
Key Points:
i. When: In 2013, United Nations General Assembly declared 26 September as International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. It has been observed every year since 2014.
ii. Why: to create public awareness on nuclear disarmament matters, educate people on the potential threat by nuclear weapons and the need for their total elimination.
iii. Member States of United Nations, non-governmental organizations, academicians, politicians, mass media and individuals are involved to create awareness on this issue.

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