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Current Affairs Today – May 11 2017

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Current Affairs May 11 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Bishu Parv or Sendra observed in Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary
The Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary is located 10 km from the city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. The 2017 hunting festival “BishuParv” was observed in Jharkhand.
Key Notes:
i. It is famous for holding many elephants and other animals, which come downhill during the monsoons and winter and enter nearby villages and towns of Jharkhand and West Bengal.
ii. Beside elephants there are Indian giant squirrel, sloth bear, barking deer, wild boar, porcupine, mouse deer, pangolin and mongooses in the sanctuary.

Yogi Adityanathgovt to merge local bodies of Mathura-Vrindavan, Ayodhya-Faizabad
The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government decided to merge the local bodies of two temple towns of  Ayodhya-Faizabad and Mathura-Vrindavan on 9th May 2017.
Key Points:
i. Its main aim is to generate more revenue by providing better facilities to the tourists.
ii. The cabinet passed Lord Krishna’s town Mathura-Vrindavan as a Nagar Nigam and Ayodhya- Faizabad as a municipal corporation-Nagar Nigam.Yogi Adityanath Takes Oath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
iii. To strengthen the infrastructure and to purify the Yamuna and to facilitate local residents and pilgrims, it has been decided to make Mathura and Vrindavan together to form a municipal corporation.
iv. There are 14 Nagar Nigams in state and after two new more Nagar Nigams total number comes to 16 Nagar Nigam.
v. He mentioned to develop Ayodhya and its surrounding areas the government decided to make it Municipal Corporation.
vi. The formation of the Municipal Corporation will help in developing the infrastructure in these two temple cities and generate employment.

I-T dept launches e-facility to link person’s Aadhaar with PAN
The Income Tax department has launched a new e-facility to link a person’s Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN). It is a mandatory procedure for filing I-T returns.
Key Points:
i. The department’s e-filing website –https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in– has created a new link on its homepage making it “easy” to link the two unique identities of an individual.
ii. The link requires a person’s PAN number, Aadhaar number and the exact name as given in the Aadhaar card.
iii. Aadhaar has been made mandatory for applying for permanent account number with effect from July 1, 2017.
iv. There is no need to login or be registered on e-filing website (of the I-T department). This facility can be used by anyone to link their Aadhaar with PAN.
v. After verification from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the linking will be confirmed.
vi. In case of any minor mismatch in Aadhaar name provided, Aadhaar OTP (one time password) will be required.The OTP will be sent on the registered mobile number and email of the individual.
vii. The government under the Finance has made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns (ITR).

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bengaluru ranked world’s most affordable tech city
As per Savills Tech Cities 2017 rankings, Bengaluru has been adjudged as the most affordable city having the lowest cost of living out of 22 tech cities across the world.
Overall Ranking of 5 Tech Cities

Overall Rank Tech City
1 Austin, US
2 San Francisco, US
3 New York, US
4 London, UK
5 Amsterdam, Netherlands

India to replace Maitri station in Antarctica, expand research activity
India has planning to replace its Maitri research station in Antarctica with a new one in the next three to four years.
Key Notes:
i. India is drafting its own laws to safeguard its interest in Antarctica, as it is currently governed by international laws.
ii. India assured to expand its research activity in the Antarctica and a new ship, with a India to replace Maitri station in Antarctica, expand research activityspecial ice-cutting facility, will be procured for the purpose.
iii. The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program.
iv. It is controlled by National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
v. It was started in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica. Bharati is the newest base that was commissioned in 2015, constructed out of 134 shipping containers.
vi. India has carried out over 30 scientific expeditions to the Antarctic.

India, US exchange views on maritime developments in Asia-Pacific & IOR
During the two-day India-US Maritime Security Dialogue in Rhode Island, US, top Indian and American officials exchanged views on maritime developments in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
i. Besides reviewing the implementation of the decisions taken at the first Maritime Security Dialogue, the officials also discussed ways to strengthen bilateral maritime security cooperation.
ii. Indian delegation was led by Pankaj Sharma – Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs), whereas David Helvey, the acting Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs led the American Delegation.
iii. Next round of the dialogues will take place in India.

BANKING & FINANCE

Government asks NGOs to open bank accounts in core banking format
In a bid to keep a check on “errant” NGOs, especially those receiving foreign funding, Union Home Ministry has asked as many as 5,845 organisations to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities. This will enable security agencies to have real-time access to all relevant details.
♦ This decision was taken as it was detected that most of the NGOs have accounts in cooperative banks or State Govt. banks, which do not have core banking facility.
NGOs in India – Recent Scenario:
i. Currently there are around 24,000 active NGOs in India as compared to 40,000 in 2014-15.
ii. Over the last three years registration of more than 10,000 NGOs have been cancelled and more than 1,300 have been denied a renewal owing to various violations including violations of provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

DIPAM launches online investor facilitation platform
The Finance Ministry has set up an “Investor Facilitation Platform“. It will provide information about stocks of public sector units.DIPAM launches online investor facilitation platform
Key Notes:
i. The platform that launched by the DIPAM is developed and maintained by PRIME Database.
ii. PRIME Database is India’s first database that works for the primary capital market covering fund raising by the Indian corporate sector and the Government through equity, debt or securitization, in India or abroad.
iii. The platform set up by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is an interactive forum for all stakeholders, including investors, investment banks, law firms, public sector units and administrative ministries that are involved in stake sales.

LIC Housing Finance Launches New Home Loan Product Griha Siddhi’
LIC Housing Finance launches new home loan product Griha Siddhi
Key Notes:
i. Griha Siddhi will offer loans for construction, purchase of house or flat and repairs or renovation to the existing properties.
ii. It will offer interest rate of 8.40 per cent up to Rs 25 lakh and for loans up to Rs 1 crore the interest rate will be 8.50 per cent per annum for the borrowers.
iii. For women borrowers a special interest rate of 8.35 per cent for loans up to Rs 25 lakh.
About LIC
♦ Founded on 1st September 1956.
♦ HQ : Mumbai
♦ Chairman: VK Sharma
♦ Managing Director : Hemant Bhargava

RBI restricts loss making IDBI Bank from hiring, opening branches
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated an action on IDBI Bank that will restrict bank from hiring, opening branches and giving big ticket loans.
Key Notes:
i. The directions from the RBI is aimed at ensuring that the bank takes measures to cut down its losses by reducing expenses and recovering problem loansfrom hiring, opening branches.
ii. IDBI Bank is the first bank against which the revised PCA has been implored.
IDBI Bankiii. The bank had suffered a huge loss of Rs 2,255 crore in the December quarter 2016.
iv. IDBI Bank’s gross NPA had crossed 15% in quarter ending December 2016.
About IDBI
♦ Founded on 1st July 1964.
♦ HQ Mumbai
♦ CEO Mahesh Kumar Jain

IFSC at GIFT inks pact with GNLU to start course on IFSC regulations
India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and International Finance-Tec City (GIFT) signed an agreement with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU).
Key Highlights:
i. It aims to collaborate on efforts for Skill Development in the field of International Financial Services & Regulations.
ii. GIFT IFSC and GNLU have joined hands together to promote the deeper acceptance of financial laws in the global financial markets.
iii. They have provided courses training and certificate programmes in the field of International Financial Services law.
iv. It will also organize a program for Lawyers covering IFSC, International Arbitration and related fields.
v. Under this new pact the GNLU will introduce a new course on International Financial Services Centre.It will start from June 2017.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

ICICI Bank Chief Chanda Kochhar receives ‘Woodrow Wilson Award’ for global corporate citizenship
Chanda Kochhar, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of ICICI Bank became the first Indian woman to be conferred with the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship.ICICI Bank Chief Chanda Kochhar receives 'Woodrow Wilson Award' for global corporate citizenship
i. The award was conferred by Woodrow Wilson Centre on May 10, 2017 in Washington DC, US. Ms. Kochhar received this award for demonstrating a commitment to the common good beyond the bottom line.
ii. 2017 Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service has been conferred on United States Senator, Mitch McConnell.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

British foreign aid boss to be named UN humanitarian chief
Mark Lowcock, the head of Britain’s International Development Department, has been appointed as United Nations’ new humanitarian aid chief by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
i. Mr. Lowcock will replace Stephen O’Brien.
ii. Lowcock will be the 4th British national to hold post of UN Humanitarian Chief since year 2007. His candidature for this post was strongly backed by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Sanjay Mitra appointed as new Defense Secretary
Sanjay Mitra will be the next defence secretary of the country. He is the 1982 batch IAS officer from West Bengal cadre.
♦ He will assume charge on May 24 when incumbent G Mohan Kumar retires.He was holding the charge of secretary in the ministry of road transport and highways.
Other appointments are as follows:
i. Anant Kumar Singh, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh has been appointed as the secretary in the textiles ministry.
ii. Rajiv Srivastava, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, to be the next secretary in Sanjay Mitra appointed as new Defense Secretarythe ministry of woman and child development.
iii. Jagdish Prasad Meena is selected for the post of secretary in the department of consumer affairs.
iv. ArunaSundararajan will hold the additional charge of secretary, department of telecommunications.
v. Jammu and Kashmir cadre and 1984 batch BR Sharma appointed as additional secretary in the home ministry.

In a first, transgenders get jobs at Kochi Metro
Kochi Metro Rail Ltd has announced to employ 23 members from the transgender community.
Key Notes:
i. It is the first time in the history of India that government has appointed members of the transgender community.
ii. All the workers were appointed after a written test and interview.
iii. These 23 transgender workers will be a part of the 530 Kudumbasree workers to be employed at 11 stations in Kochi Metro’s Aluva-Palarivattom corridor.
iv. The better educated workers will be posted at ticket counters and the rest will be deputed for housekeeping works, customer relations, parking, and gardening and to man the coach-depot canteen.

Sohail Mahmood, Pakistan’s new High Commissioner to India
Sohail Mahmood the senior most officer of Pakistan Foreign Service has been designated as Pakistan’s new High Commissioner to India.
About Sohail Mahmood:Sohail Mahmood, Pakistan's new High Commissioner to India
i. Sohail Mahmood joined Pakistan Foreign Service in year 1985.
ii. He holds masters degrees in History and International Relations.
iii
. His first posting abroad was in Pakistan Embassy Ankara, Turkey, where he served from 1991-1994.
iv. He has served in various Pakistan missions abroad including, US, Thailand and Turkey.
v. Mahmood will replace Abdul Basit who has already completed his three-year tenure in New Delhi.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Paytm signs term sheet to acquire rival Freecharge: reports
Paytm has signed a non-exclusive term sheet to acquire Snapdeal-owned payments platform FreeCharge.
Key Point:
i. The term sheet being non-exclusive means that Snapdeal will be able to propose FreeCharge to other potential buyers as well.
ii. Paytm-FreeCharge deal could be finalised at $45 million to $90 million.
iii. It is 80% less than $450 million than FreeCharge was valued at, when Snapdeal acquired it.
About Paytm
♦ CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma k
♦  Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India’s INS Tarkash marks ‘UK India Year of Culture’
Tarkash had arrived at its final docking point in Britain on the river Thames at West India Docks in Londons Canary Wharf to mark UK India Year of Culture.
Key Notes:
i. It helps in promoting cooperation and shared exchanges on naval operations, including disaster management, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy.
ii. Tarkash arrived on UK shores at Plymouth harbour on 2nd May to participate in the India's INS Tarkash marks 'UK India Year of Culture'annual bilateral maritime exercise Konkan-17.
iii. The bilateral Konkan exercise provides a platform for the two Navies to periodically exercise at sea and in harbour so as to build inter-operability and share best practices.
iv. It also marked the 200th anniversary of Britains Indian-made warship HMS Trincomalee.It is the world’s oldest warship which was built at the Bombay Dockyard in 1817.
v. To celebrate the historic HMS Trincomalee, Indian High Commissioner to the UK Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha joined UK defence secretary Michael Fallon and senior Indian and British naval officials.
vi. INS Tarkash participated in support of an anti-hijacking operation onboard MV OS-35 off Yemen in Gulf of Aden on April 9.
vii. Its aims to underscore India’s consensus with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain.It also aims to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and the UK.
viii. INS Tarkash is the second of the three latest stealth frigates acquired from Russia and was commissioned in November 2012.

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister launch e-Krishi Samvad, an online interface
On May 11, 2017, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, launched e-Krishi Samvad  at Krishi Bhawan in New Delhi for welfare and development of agricultural stakeholders in India.
About e-Krishi Samvad:
i. e-Krishi Samvadis internet-based interface that will provide actionable and effective solutions to the problems faced by farmers and stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
ii. By directly connecting to the ICAR website, appropriate solutions from the subject experts and institutes can be availed through web or SMS.
iii. Stakeholders can even upload photographs related to diseases of the crops, animals or fishes for diagnostics and can immediately get remedial measures from experts.
iv. This platform is also accessible through mobile phones having internet facility.

SPORTS

Harpreet Singh wins bronze at Asian Wrestling Championship
Harpreet Singh has bagged bronze medal in Greco-Roman weight divisions in the Asian Wrestling Championship.
Key Notes:
i. It was held at the K.D. Jadhav arena in the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi.
ii. Harpreet clinched the bronze medal after beating his rival Jun Ji Na of China in 80 kg category.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Technology Day – May 11, 2017
The National Technology Day 2017 was observed on 11th of May, 2017 in India.
Key Points:
i. The National Technology Day 2017 theme is Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth.National Technology Day - May 11, 2017
ii. The day is commemorated to mark the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998.
iii. It also marks India’s scientific prowess and technological advancements.
iv. PM Narendra Modi speaks of Technology as a means to transform our potential in various sectors.
v. The missile was then introduced to the Indian Army and Airforce and came as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of India.
vi. On this occasion, a post on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s website shows how Technology has always acted as a means to empowerment for people.

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