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Current Affairs Today September 12 2018

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Current Affairs Today September 12 2018


Cabinet Approvals on 12th September
i. On September 12, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved continuation of the Capacity Development Scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
ii. On September 12, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to revise / fix the price of ethanol.
iii. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved for introduction of Bill in Parliament for amendment of NID Act, 2014.
iv. On September 12, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Policy framework to promote and incentivize Enhanced Recovery (ER)/ Improved Recovery (IR)/ Unconventional Hydrocarbon (UHC) production methods.
v. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MOU between Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) with the participating member banks, under the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.
vi. Cabinet approved Transfer of land for various institutions………………………………………………Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on 12th September
i. Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Brunei Darussalam.
ii. Cabinet approved MoU between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes
iii. On September 12, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi  approved MoU between India and Egypt for cooperation in the field of agriculture & allied sectors.
iv. Cabinet approved signing of MoU between India and Malta for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism………………………………………..Click here to Read more

PM increased remuneration for ASHA and Anganwadi workers; effective from October 2018
On September 12, 2018, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi announced increase in remuneration for ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

PM increased remuneration for ASHA and Anganwadi workers; effective from October 2018i. This would be effective from October 2018.
ii. The key changes to the remuneration structure are:

  • Doubling of routine incentives to ASHA workers,
  • Providing free insurance cover under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana,
  • Increase in the honorarium given to Anganwadi workers which will be as follows:
  • Those receiving Rs. 3000 would get Rs.4500,
  • Those receiving Rs. 2200 would get Rs.3500,
  • For or Anganwadi helpers those receiving Rs.1500 would get Rs.2250.
  • Anganwadi workers and helpers using techniques such as Common Application Software (ICDS-CAS), would get additional incentives in the range of Rs. 250 to Rs. 500.

About POSHAN Abhiyan:
POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 8thMarch, 2018 in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The programme through use of technology, targeted approach and convergence strives to reduce the level of Stunting, Under-nutrition, Anemia and Low Birth Weight in Children, as also, focus on Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers, thus holistically addressing malnutrition.

NOTA option removed from Rajya Sabha, Legislative Council polls by Election Commission
On September 12, 2018, Election Commission announced the withdrawal of the provision of None Of The Above (NOTA) option from ballet papers for elections to Rajya Sabha and legislative council in states.

NOTA option removed from Rajya Sabha, Legislative Council polls by Election Commissioni. It would only be available in Lok Sabha and state assembly elections.
ii. The NOTA option is applicable only for direct elections and not indirect elections such as the Rajya Sabha polls.
iii. This move came after the Supreme court through its 3 member panel headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra rules out the NOTA options in August 21,2018.
iv. The decision was taken during the hearing over a petition filed by Gujarat Congress leader Shailesh Manubhai Parmar.
The Bench consisted of: CJI Dipak Misra, justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

Health Ministry implements HIV AIDS (prevention and control) Act 2017
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced that, the HIV AIDS (prevention and control) Act 2017 has been implemented from September 10, 2018.
Key Points:
i. Rajya Sabha passed the bill in March 2018. Amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014 were revived by the Narendra Modi government in July 2017.
ii. About the bill:

  • The bill empowers a person living with HIV to report discrimination against them.
  • It criminalises discrimination against patients suffering Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) that is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  • It punishes propagation of hatred against the protected person with a minimum jail term of 3 months to a maximum of 2 years and can be fined up to 1 lakh rupees.
  • It makes Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) a legal right for all HIV/AIDS patients. It has also adopted test and treat policy.
  • It provides for confidentiality of HIV-related information.
  • It mandates state governments to appoint an Ombudsman to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act.If a person or an institution fails to comply with any order given by the Ombudsman within the stipulated period of time, they could be fined a maximum of Rs 10,000. A continuous failure could lead to an additional fine of up to Rs 5000 every day until the they comply.
  • It has provisions to safeguard the property rights of HIV positive people.

Samsung opens world’s largest mobile experience centre in Bengaluru
Samsung has opened world’s largest mobile experience centre at Opera House, Bengaluru.
Samsung opens world’s largest mobile experience centre in Bengalurui. The experiences offered include: virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.
ii. Customers can pre-book the home theatre zone at the experience centre for watching movies and shows. It has a service centre for phones and high-speed public Wi-Fi.
iii. It also has a home appliance zone. Samsung will put up the biggest display of mobile accessories on a 24-feet wall at the centre.

Bihar-Nepal bus service launched
On 11th September 2018, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flagged off the first bus service between Bihar and Nepal.
Bihar-Nepal bus service:
i. This bus service will connect Bodh Gaya and Patna in Bihar to Kathmandu and Janakpur in Nepal. This service was commissioned following an agreement between India and Nepal.
ii. It aims to promote Buddhist tourism. They are air-conditioned deluxe buses and can accommodate up to 44 passengers per bus.
iii. 4 Bihar-Nepal buses connecting Bodhgaya to Kathmandu through Patna, Raxaul and Beerganj have started.
iv. 4 buses from Patna to Janakpur through Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi will be operated.
v. Bus service from Kathmandu to Bodhgaya will be started by the Government of Nepal on 13 September 2018.
Some important Stadiums in Bihar:
♦ Moin-ul-Haq Stadium
♦ Patliputra Sports Complex
♦ Rajendra Stadium

Arunachal Pradesh CM inaugurates state’s first Sainik School
On 11th September 2018, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu dedicated Arunachal Pradesh’s first Sainik School at Niglok in East Siang district to the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh CM inaugurates state's first Sainik SchoolKey Points:
i. The school started its first academic session from 27th August 2018 with 60 students. Currently, it is functioning from a temporary building. A permanent campus will be set up within 3 years.
ii. The government has granted 3 Sainik Schools for Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh has become the 3rd North Eastern State after Assam and Manipur to get a Sainik School.
iii. Location of other two sainik schools are yet to be decided. Sainik Schools will encourage the youth to pursue a career in the armed forces.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

IATO’s 34th annual convention at Visakhapatnam from 6-9 September
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and Andhra Pradesh tourism department, will organise the 34th annual convention of IATO from 6th to 9th September 2018 at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
IATO’s 34th annual convention:
i. Union Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda will take part in the convention. More than 900 delegates will be participating.
ii. Theme of the convention is: ‘Mission: 20 million Tourists by 2020, challenges and possibilities’.
iii. IATO will bring out suggestions to enhance tourism in Andhra Pradesh and attract foreign visitors.
iv. Objective of the convention is to explore new tourism destinations and developments to enhance global tourism opportunities in Andhra Pradesh.
v. Andhra Pradesh government had developed some tourism projects based on the recommendations of two conventions of IATO in 1997 and 2003.
About Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO):
♦ President – Pranob Sarkar
♦ Location – New Delhi

Rajasthan CM announces 4% reduction in VAT on petrol & diesel; Andhra Pradesh announces Rs 2 cut in VAT on petrol, diesel
Rajasthan has announced a 4% reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel and Andhra Pradesh has announced Rs 2 reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel.
Key Points:
i. On 9th September 2018, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced 4 % reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, reducing fuel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in Rajasthan.
ii. VAT on petrol is reduced from 30% to 26% and on diesel from 22% to 18%. This announcement was made at a public meeting in Rawatsar in Hanumangarh district as part of ‘Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra’.
iii. The revised rates came into effect from 10th September. This will cost Rajasthan Government Rs 2,000 crore.
iv. On 10th September 2018, Andhra Pradesh government announced Rs 2 reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel.
v. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made this announcement in the state assembly. Andhra Pradesh government will lose a revenue of Rs 1,120 crore due to this move.

Global Investors Meet 2019 to be held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
On 10th September 2018, Tamil Nadu Industries Minister M C Sampath announced that, the 2nd edition of Tamil Nadu government’s ‘Global Investors Meet 2019’, an investment promotion programme, will be held in Chennai on January 23-24, 2019.
i. This announcement was made at a roadshow organized to attract investors prior to the ‘Global Investors Meet 2019’.
ii. For ‘Global Investors Meet 2019’, Rs. 75 crore has been alloted. The previous edition was held in September 2015.


First tripartite meeting amongst India, Iran and Afghanistan held in Kabul, Afghanistan
On September 12, 2018, India, Iran and Afghanistan held their first tripartite meeting chaired by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai in Kabul.

First tripartite meeting amongst India, Iran and Afghanistan held in Kabul, AfghanistanObjective:
To deepen counter-terror cooperation and trade.
Key Points:
i. In the meeting the delegates present were:

  • From India: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale
  • From Iran: Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.
  • From Afghanistan: Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai.

ii. The meeting focused on discussions about:

  • Economic cooperation, including Chabahar,
  • Enhancing cooperation on counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and
  • Continuing support to the peace and reconciliation process led by Afghanistan.

iii. The next tripartite meeting has been decided to be held in India in 2019.
India’s contribution to Iran and Afghanistan:
i. The port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on Iran’s southern coast is being developed by India and Iran.
ii. Chabahar Port in Iran is being built by India.
About Chabahar Port:
i. Under an agreement signed between India and Iran in May 2016, India will operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of USD 85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.
ii. The first phase of the Chabahar port was inaugurated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in December 2017.
On the wake of US sanctions on Iranian oil ports, India and the US, in their first ever “2+2” meeting discussed about the possible impact of the US sanctions on the Chabahar Port. India has proposed for a waiver from sanctions for India on Chabahar.
♦ Capital: Tehran.
♦ Currency: Iranian rial
♦ Capital:  Kabul.
♦ Currency: Afghan afghani

ASEAN World Economic Forum began in Hanoi, Vietnam
On September 11, 2018, Asean World Economic Forum commenced in Hanoi, Vietnam.
ASEAN World Economic Forum began in Hanoi, Vietnami. The 2018 World Economic Forum on ASEAN is in the context of the 4.0 era themed: “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
ii. The ASEAN nations participating in the event are: Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand.
iii. Over 1, 000 representatives from 43 countries are set to take part in 53 sessions and 35 discussions over the two days of the event.
iv. It would focus on 5 topics:

  • New vision for ASEAN and regional integration;
  • New economic models and management in the digital era;
  • Motivations and new business models for ASEAN countries in the 4.0 era;
  • Business, global and regional management;
  • Developing smart infrastructure, skills and job training, innovative startups in the 4.0 era.

♦ Full Form: Association of South East Asian Nations.
♦ Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia.
♦ Capital: Hanoi.
♦ Currency: Vietnamese dong.
♦ Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
♦ President: Trần Đại Quang.

United Nations to hold Climate Summit in September 2019
United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres has announced that a Climate Summit will be held in September 2019.
i. António Guterres appointed Luis Alfonso de Alba, a former Mexican diplomat, as his Special Envoy to lead the preparations for the summit.
ii. The summit will focus on sectors that create the most emissions and areas where building resilience could make great difference and offer leaders and partners an opportunity to demonstrate real climate action.


$400 m raised by YES Bank via syndicated loan facility from its IBU in Gujarat
On September 12, 2018, YES Bank announced that it had raised $400 million (Rs. 2,900 crore) via syndicated loan facility, from it’s IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City.
i. The loan has been underwritten by a group of 8 mandated Lead Arrangers and book-runners.
ii. This comes after the 3 year loan facility tie-up with the firms. They are:

  • Bayerische Landesbank,
  • Commerzbank,
  • CTBC Bank,
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC,
  • Korea Development Bank,
  • State Bank of India,
  • United Overseas Bank and
  • Westpac Banking Corporation.

Other News:
i. The bank has additionally raised  USD 400 million through two syndicated loan transactions in Taiwan and Japan in November 2017. They were:

  • $250 million from Taiwanese banks  and
  • $150 million) from Japan.

ii. It also raised $300-million syndicated loan transaction from 8 banks in July 2018.
Yes Bank:
♦ CEO:Rana Kapoor.
♦ Tagline: Experience our Expertise.

IPPB ties up with FSS to create payments network for unorganized retail
On September 10, 2018, India Post Payments Bank has tied up with Financial Software and Systems (FSS) for providing banking solutions to unorganized sector especially rural households, small and medium enterprises and women.

IPPB ties up with FSS to create payments network for unorganized retaili. The product of the tie up is FSS’ Payments-in-a-Box solution which will help provide affordable, quality banking and payment services to its customers digitally.
ii. Key Features of the tie up:

  • Payments-in-a-Box would include omni-channel payment acceptance, transaction processing and smart management of customer-merchant relations.
  • FSS would complete back-office operations,
  • IPPB will maintain operational efficiencies and optimise costs.

iii. This would ensure that micro-merchants are able to accept payments over any channel – online, unified payments interface (UPI), quick-response (QR) codes, Aadhaar and IPPB accounts.
About IPPB services:
i. IPPB services shall be available at 650 IPPB branches and 3250 Access Points from 1st September 2018 and in all 1.55 lakh post offices (Access Points) by December 2018.
ii. The project will generate new employment opportunity for about 3500 skilled banking professionals
Financial Software and Systems (FSS):
♦ It is a payments technology company.

LIC launches group insurance scheme for CDSL demat account holders
On September 12, 2018, Life Insurance Corporation of India signed an agreement with Central Depository Services (India) to provide group insurance coverage to all eligible demat account holders.
i. The facility will be available to demat account holders between the age of 18 years and 59 years.
ii. It will provide a cover of Rs.1 lakh to Rs.5 lakh for any single individual at a very nominal price.
Central Depository Services (CDSL):
♦ Headquarters: India.
♦ It serves more than 15.85 million demat accounts which is 48 per cent of the industry.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Chairman: Shri Vijay Kumar Sharma.


BSNL & Unlimit ink partnership for IoT services in India
On September 12, 2018, State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) inked partnership with Unlimit, the only end-to-end IoT service provider in India for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

BSNL & Unlimit ink partnership for IoT services in Indiai. Through this partnership, Unlimit will leverage BSNL’s network to provide its solutions and services across industries.
ii. The solutions include:

  • Managed connectivity,
  • Application enabling platform and device management and
  • Advance analytics to customers across industries.

iii. They would be focusing on:
Industries such as automobile, digital manufacturing, transportation, logistics, public-sector enterprises and agriculture.
About Unlimit:
Launched in 2016, Unlimit is the only dedicated, end-to-end IoT business solutions provider in India. Backed by the Reliance ADA Group
About BSNL:
♦ Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was incorporated on 1st October 2000.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ CMD: Shri Anupam Shrivastava.


2018 Balzan Prizes announced
On 10th September 2018, Balzan Foundation announced the winners for 2018 Balzan Prizes.
2018 Balzan Prizes:
i. Terre des Hommes, an international children rights charity based in Switzerland is awarded the 2018 Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace and Fraternity among Peoples.
ii. Terre des Hommes will receive 1 million Swiss francs (USD 1 million) for a project in Mali, an African country, to save infants during childbirth and help their mothers.
iii. Other winners for 2018 Balzan Prize:

  • Eva Kondorosi (Hungary/France) – Chemical Ecology
  • Detlef Lohse (Deutschland) – Fluid Dynamics
  • Jürgen Osterhammel (Germany) – Global History
  • Marilyn Strathern (UK) – Social Anthropology

About Balzan Prize:

  • Balzan Foundation awards prizes of 750,000 Swiss francs (USD 770,000) every year in 2 humanities and 2 scientific disciplines.
  • The humanitarian award is given less frequently, at least once in 3 years.

Indian-American researcher awarded $6.5Mn to identify cancer biomarkers
US National Cancer Institute has awarded the “Outstanding Investigator Award” to Indian-American researcher Professor Arul Chinnaiyan, and funds for $6.5 million over 7 years, to identify cancer biomarkers to enhance diagnosis and develop new targeted therapies.
i. Professor Arul Chinnaiyan is from the University of Michigan. In 2010, he launched the Michigan Oncology Sequencing (Mi-ONCOSEQ) programme.
ii. His lab has analysed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that might play a role in cancer. Studying them further would help in cancer diagnosis, prognosis or treatment.


HDFC Life appoints Vibha Padalkar as new MD & CEO
HDFC Life, has appointed Vibha Padalkar as its new Managing Director and CEO for 3 years with effect from 12thSeptember 2018,after the exit of Amitabh Chaudhary,who joined Axis Bank on September 8.
Vibha Padalkar – MD & CEO of HDFC Life:
i. Vibha Padalkar joined HDFC Life in August 2008. She was conferred the ‘CFO-Woman of the year’ award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 2011.
ii. She also received “Excellence in Financial Control, Compliance and Corporate Governance” award by IMA, India in 2013.She was recently honoured with the ‘CA CFO – Insurance Sector’ award by the ICAI.
iii. HDFC Life also appointed Suresh Badami as a Whole-time Director for a period of 3 years with effect from September 17, 2018.
About HDFC Life:
♦ Non Executive Chairman – Deepak Parekh
♦ Corporate Office – Mumbai


Infosys inks deal with Australian Open as official digital innovation partner
Infosys has signed a 3-year partnership with the Australian Open as its official digital innovation partner.
i. Financial details of the deal were not revealed. Infosys will use technologies like Big Data and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, to offer a unique experience for fans.


Padma Bhushan economist VS Vyas passes away
On 12th September 2018, Padma Bhushan awardee and agricultural economist Vijay Shankar Vyas died following a short term illness, in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Padma Bhushan economist VS Vyas passes awayDeath of VS Vyas:
i. VS Vyas was 87 years old. He was the director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Jaipur.
ii. He was also a senior advisor in the agriculture and rural development department of World Bank.
iii. He was a former member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. He had worked with former Prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh.
iv. He was a member of the central board of directors of Reserve Bank of India. He was chairperson of the first Rajasthan State planning board.
v. He received Padma Bhushan in 2006. He founded the Ajit Foundation in Bikaner, along with his family members.


International Day for South-South Cooperation – 12 September
On 12th September 2018, International Day for South-South Cooperation was observed all over the world.
International Day for South-South Cooperation:
i. International Day for South-South Cooperation celebrates the economic, social and political developments made by regions and countries in the south.
ii. United Nations General Assembly declared 12th September as International Day for South-South Cooperation. This date commemorates the adoption of “Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (BAPA)” by 138 Member States, in 1978.
iii. International Day for South-South Cooperation 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of Buenos Aires Plan of Action.
About United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC):
♦ Objective – to promote, coordinate and support South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the United Nations system
♦ Director – Mr. Jorge Chediek