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- Current Affairs 2017 September
Vice President of India lays foundation stone for the first Regional Vocational Training Institute (RVTI) in Hyderabad
On 16th September 2017, Vice President Mr.M.Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone for Regional Vocational Training Institute, in Hyderabad.
Regional Vocational Training Institute (RVTI):
i. This Regional Vocational Training Institute for women is the first of its kind in Telangana.
ii. This would increase skill development opportunities for women and provide them with job opportunities.
iii. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Mr.Dharmendra Pradhan, Deputy Chief Minister, Govt. of Telangana, Mr.Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Minister of Home, Labour & Employment, Telangana, Mr.Naini Narsimha Reddy, and , Former Minister of State for Labour & Employment and Member of Parliament Mr.Bandaru Dattatreya were also present during the occasion.
iv. It was said that one RVTI would be set up in every state.
v. Budget of Rs.19.95 crore has been allotted for construction of building for RVTI-Hyderabad.
vi. The RVTI campus would be set up on 4 acres of land.
vii. 1000 trainees would be trained every year.
viii. RVTI would provide vocational training to 480 women every year in regular courses under Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) and Craft Instructor’s Training Scheme (CITS).
ix. Almost equal number of candidates would be given various short term course trainings in areas that have high market demand.
x. Courses such as Fashion Design & Technology, Architectural Assistantship, Cosmetology, Front Office Assistant, Secretarial Practice (English), Food and Beverages Service Assistant would be taught.
i. Capital – Hyderabad
ii. Official languages – Telegu, Urdu
iii. Chief minister – Mr.K.Chandrashekar Rao
iv. Governor – Mr.E.S.L.Narasimhan
Assam government passes PRANAM Bill – Employees who dump parents will lose part salary
On 15th September ,2017, The Assam state Assembly passed PRANAM(Parental Responsibility And Norms for Accountability and Monitoring ) bill that makes it mandatory for state government employees to take care of their parents and needy siblings or face a cut in their income.
Assam is the first state to approve such a legislation. Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma introduced the bill. The bill was backed by all the ruling and opposition MLAs .
i. The Bill will ensure that all government employees look after their dependents including parents and divyangs(Persons with disability).
ii. The parents or needy siblings who feel neglected can lodge complaints with the head of the department of the person who, after hearing both sides, may deduct 10-15 percent of the salary of the employee and give it to the parents for their survival.
Assam Quick facts
Capital : Dispur
Chief minister : Sarbananda Sonowal
India’s first Centre for Animal Law comes up at NALSAR University of Law
On September 15,2017 Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi inaugurated India’s first Centre for Animal Law that has been established at the NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad.
Humane Society International (HSI), India, will work with NALSAR to steer and coordinate the activities of the centre. NG Jayasimha, Managing Director of HIS, India, has been appointed as the director of the centre
About the centre : –
i. The centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research.
ii. It will also conduct workshops on animal laws and animal welfare issues with judicial magistrates, animal welfare advocates, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders in the government.
iii. To conduct critical gap studies like the impact of China on Indian animals.
After the launch menaka Gandhi pointed about the reduction in the number of horses This sharp fall will have an impact on the defence as Border Security Force personnel were finding to difficult to patrol the border with Pakistan, especially in Kutch area. she explained why animals like dogs, snakes, cockroaches were important for the existence of human beings. She also spoke about different cases for preventing cruelty to chicken, horses and other animals.
Ayurveda Students Set Guinness Record In Jaipur
On September 15,2017 ayurveda sytudents from across the country have set a new Guinness World Record for maximum number of people receiving ‘nasya panchakarma’ treatment at 1st Rashtriya Ayurved Yuva Mahotsav, the national event for students of ayurveda., organised by the National Ayurveda Student Youth Association (NASYA) in association with the Department of AYUSH.
The event was hosted by the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) in Jaipur. The record was set in eight minutes. ‘Nasya karm’ refers to the ayurvedic therapy that includes instillation of herbal oils, juices or powders through the nasal route. It works specifically on disorders of ear, nose and throat.
MOU signed between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and CBDT for Automatic and Regular Exchange of Information
On September 14,2017 a MOU between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for Automatic and Regular Exchange of Information to curb the menace of shell companies, money laundering and black money in the country and prevent misuse of corporate structure by shell companies for various illegal purposes.
Details of the MoU:-
i)The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) have now concluded a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange, on 6th September, 2017.
ii) The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between CBDT and MCA on an automatic and regular basis.
iii) It will enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, Income Tax returns (ITRs) of corporates etc.
iv) The information shared will pertain to both Indian corporates as well as foreign corporates operating in India.
Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims
Tunisia has abolished a ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims on the recommendation of the president. He seeks to secure equal rights for the country’s female population.
i. The announcement came a month after President Beji Caid Essebsi called for the government to lift the ban dating back to 1973.
ii. He created a commission led by a woman lawyer and rights activists aimed at drafting revised rules.
iii. Until now a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof.
iv. Tunisian man is allowed to marry a non-Muslim woman.
v. Human rights groups in the North African country had campaigned for the ban’s abolition, saying it diminish the fundamental human right to choose a spouse.
President: Beji Caid Essebsi
Currency: Tunisian Dinar
Banking & Finance
IndusInd Bank partners with ADB to provide loans to rural women
On 15th September 2017, ADB (Asian Development Bank) announced that it signed a deal with IndusInd Bank to provide loans for low income women in rural areas, in India.
About the loan:
i. Total amount of loan allotted is $200 million.
ii. Atleast 95 % of the loan would be allotted to women borrowers.
iii. Atleast 70 % of the loans will be issued in less developed states of India.
iv. It is expected that $1 million would be allotted for technical assistance.
v. This would enable IndusInd Bank to improve financial literacy among women borrowers and develop digitised processing methods.
About IndusInd Bank:
i. Type – Private Bank
ii. Headquarters – Mumbai
iii. CEO – Mr.Romesh Sobti
India’s Forex Reserve crosses $400 billion for the first time
India’s foreign exchange reserve has crossed the $400 billion mark for the first time to hit an all-time high of $400.726 billion on 8th September.
i. There is a sharp rise in foreign currency assets, mainly huge inflows through foreign direct investments in projects and portfolio investment.
ii.The big rise in forex reserves is to due to inflows through foreign direct investment and portfolio investment in the capital market.
iii. It took the country over nine years to cross the $400 billion level after hitting the $300 billion mark in 2008.
iv. India is now in the sixth position in forex reserves ranking, ahead of Taiwan, Brazil and euro zone.
v. In August 2013, the rupee had fallen to an all-time low of 68.85 against the dollar.
vi.China has topped the table with reserves of $3,053 billion. Japan is in the second position with reserves of $1,188 billion and Switzerland is at third with $743 billion.
vii. According to RBI, foreign currency assets were $376.20 billion, gold reserves at $20.69 billion, SDRs of $ 1.52 billion and $2.30 billion reserves in IMF.
viii. The RBI’s return from foreign currency assets is now only 0.80 per the lowest in the last 15 years compared with 1.29% in 2015-16.
ix. Foreign investors has fallen to Rs 42,659 crore (around $ 6.7 billion) in stocks and Rs 131,565 crore ($20.55 billion) in debt instruments in 2017.
x. The rise in inflows was the major reason for the appreciation of the rupee which closed at 64.08 against dollar on 15th Sept.
India & China unlikely to be growth poles for global economy: UNCTAD Report
On 14th September 2017, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Trade & Development report 2017 stated that growth in India and China is slow and they could not contribute to be growth poles for the global economy.
Reduced growth rates in India & China:
- The report was titled ‘Beyond austerity — towards a global new deal’.
- It said that in developed countries recovery was not strong and in developing countries inconsistency in global capital flow caused reduced growth rates.
- About the world economy the report stated that growth is expected to reach 2.6 % this year. This little higher than 2016, but much lower than the 3.2 % average before financial crisis.
- Increased debts and reduction in demand at the global level has affected the expansion of world economy negatively.
- It also said that India and China are showing growth. But, the growth is slower than that was before the financial crisis.
- India’s growth issues are contributed mainly by new reforms in the banking sector such as demonetisation, GST (Goods & Services Tax) etc., along with large value of non-performing assets.
- China’s downfall is also related to its debt dependencies.
- The report said that China’s estimated debt-to-GDP ratio is 249%. In addition, Chinese Government has introduced plans to reduce debts, which would adversely reduce domestic demand. This would cause negative effects.
- In India and China, the dependence on debt makes it difficult to maintain a sustained growth. And whenever there is a slight downfall this will aggravate the situation and make recovery difficult.
- The report also stated that even if the current growth levels of India and China are maintained, the probability is very less that these countries would serve as growth poles for the global economy in the near future.
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
- Permanent intergovernmental body of United Nations
- Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Amazon ties up with Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to sellers
On 15th September 2017, Amazon, India’s leading e-commerce venture announced that it has joined hands with Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers, in India.
About the tie up:
i. The Indian unit of Amazon has planned to provide unsecured micro loans for its sellers.
ii. The loans would be provided for amounts ranging from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.25 lakh.
iii. Interest rates would be low around 10.45 % – 11 %.
iv. The loans would be given only on invite-basis. Amazon would choose customers based on their performance.
v. The repayment would be done through a locked account provided by Bank of Baroda.
vi. This is like an extension of its Seller Lending programme that was launched in 2016. That was achieved through partnerships with YES Bank and Capital First.
vii. Loans in the range of Rs.5 lakh – Rs.2 crore were given through that scheme.
i. Type – American e-commerce and cloud computing company
ii. Headquarters – Seattle, Washington, US
iii. Chairman, President& CEO – Mr.Jeff Bezos
Air India launches first direct flight to Denmark
Air India has launched its direct flight from New Delhi to Copenhagen. It is the eleventh destination for the airline in Europe and described as connecting ‘Maharaja with the Mermaid’.
i. Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal lit the traditional lamp at Terminal 3 of the airport in New Delhi to mark the launch of the Copenhagen flight.
ii. To mark the launch of the flight to Copenhagen, Air India is offering return fares starting from Rs 42,700, inclusive of all taxes.
iii. Denmark is Air India’s 44th international destination and 11th European non-stop destination.
iv. The Air India service to Copenhagen will be operated with a Dreamliner aircraft thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
v. AI 157 will depart from Delhi at 1430 hours to reach Copenhagen at 1845 hours the same day.
vi. The return flight AI 158 will leave Copenhagen at 2045 hours and reach Delhi at 0735 hours the next day.
vii.The airline has also direct flights to Stockholm, Madrid, Vienna, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, Birmingham and London.
About Little Mermaid statue
“Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen is one of the city’s most famous monuments.
The bronze structure sits on a rock by the waterside in the city and represents a famous character from a fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.
Prime minster: Lars Lokke Rasnummussen
Currency: Danish Krone
Appointments & Resigns
IOC elects former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to head its Ethics Commission
On 14th September 2017, IOC (International Olympic Committee) elected former United Nations General Secretary Mr.Ban Ki-moon as the head of its Ethics Commission, in Lima, Peru.
About the appointment:
i. Mr.Ban Ki-moon has been elected as the head of IOC’s Ethics Commission for a term of 4 years.
ii. This was done in a meeting in Lima, Peru.
iii. Mr.Ban Ki-moon was the United Nations General Secretary from 2007-2016.
iv. IOC is in great need to lift up its image in regard with ethics. It has faced a series of scandals in the recent days.
v. The head of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and former IOC member Carlos Nuzman is being investigated for corruption regarding selling votes for cash to make Brazil win.
vi. IOC member Pat Hickey was arrested during the Rio Olympics due to a ticket scandal. He has resigned from his position and is trying to prove his innocence.
vii. Few more such incidences also happened.
About IOC (International Olympic Committee):
i. Motto – Faster, higher, stronger
ii. Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
iii. President – Mr.Thomas Bach
India’s first foreign coach for women boxers Stephane Cottalorda resigns
On 14th September 2017, India’s first foreign coach for women boxers Mr.Stephane Cottalorda resigned from his position within 1 month of joining.
i. Mr.Stephane Cottalorda has stated delay in salary and other payments as a reason for his resignation.
ii. He has said that he was not paid the full amount of his first month salary.
iii. He has also mentioned that Boxing Federation of India (BFI) lacks professionalism.
iv. BFI has said that payment of salary is carried out by SAI (Sports Authority of India) for all sports bodies in India.
v. BFI explained that due to lack of PAN card, payment in Mr.Stephane’s salary faced issues. However 70 % of his salary was credited. After obtaining PAN card rest of the salary would also be paid.
i. Full Form – Sports Authority of India
ii. Location – Delhi
Suresh Chitturi appointed as Vice-Chairman of International Egg Commission
On 15th September 2017, Mr.Suresh Chitturi, Managing Director of Srinivasa Farms, was appointed as Vice-Chairman of International Egg Commission, in Belgium.
About his appointment:
i. The appointment was made at a meeting in Bruges, Belgium.
ii. Mr.Suresh Citturi would hold this position for the next two years.
iii. Mr.Suresh is the second person from India to be appointed as a top executive of the International Egg Commission.
iv. Mr.B.V.Rao of Venkateshwara Hatcheries was a top executive of IEC 25 years ago.
i. Full form – International Egg Commission
ii. Chairman – Mr. Ben Dellaert
iii. Location – London, United Kingdom
Awards & Recognition
MPEDA bags Rajbhasha Keerti Award for third consecutive year
On 15th September 2017, The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) was awarded National level Rajbhasha Keerti Award.
Rajbhasha Keerti Award:
i. President of India Mr.Ramnath Kovind handed the award to MPEDA Chairman Mr.A.Jayathilak on 14th September 2017, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
ii. MPEDA bags the award for the third consecutive year.
iii. MPEDA was honoured with this award for the best implementation of official language in the organization.
i. Full form – Marine Products Export Development Authority
ii. Headquarters – Kochi, Kerala
Science & Technology
IAF completes development trials of Astra air-to-air missile
On September 15,2017 the final Development Flight Trials of Astra – Beyond Visual Range Air to Air Missile (BVRAAM) were successfully conducted over the Bay of Bengal, Off the Coast of Chandipur, Odisha .A total of seven trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts (PTA) successfully.
i. The Astra (throwing weapon)is an active radar homing beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and IAF (Indian air force)
ii. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has played a role in modifying the aircraft for weapon integration.
iii. Astra is designed to be capable of engaging targets at varying range and altitudes allowing for engagement of both short-range targets (up to 20 km) and long-range targets (up to 80–110 km) using alternative propulsion modes
iv. Astra uses a smokeless propulsion system.
The missions included engagement of target at very long range, engagement of high manoeuvring target at medium range and multiple launches of missiles to engage multiple targets. All the sub-systems including the indigenous RF Seeker performed accurately. Two missiles were also launched in the combat configuration with warhead and the targets were neutralized.
Indigenous artillery gun ATAGS sets new record in range – 48KM
On September 15,2017, An indigenous artillery gun Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the private sector has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.
About ATAGS :-
i. ATAGS is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode by DRDO as a part of the Army’s artillery modernisation programme.
ii. The development is being done through a consortium based model, similar to that adopted for the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launch system.
iii. It was designed by DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) in Pune. In addition, Bharat Forge Limited of Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System from the private sector are involved in a big way along with the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
iv. The gun has several significant features including an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deploy ability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automated command and control system.
v. It has a six round magazine instead of a standard three round magazine. Also, the gun weighs slightly more than normal due to the larger chamber.
The Army has not inducted any new artillery gun since the Bofors in the 1980’s. After decades of failed attempts, the service is gearing up to induct the Dhanush artillery gun which is an indigenously upgraded variant of the Bofors gun. In addition, last November India signed a contract for 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US. In this scenario ATAGS is going to become a crucial role.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ends 20-year-long epic journey
On September 15,2017 NASAs Cassini spacecraft ended its 20-year-long epic journey with a fiery plunge into the Saturns crushing atmosphere, while sending back never- before-seen images of the ringed planet and its moons.
i. The Cassini–Huygens (commonly called Cassini) mission was a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites. It is the first spacecraft to enter into the orbit of Saturn and to study its moons , Enceladus in particular.
ii. The craft were named after astronomers Giovanni Cassini and Christiaan Huygens.
iii. It was used to study the subsurface ocean and signs of hydrothermal activity.
iv. The probe discovered seasonal changes on Saturn, a hexagon-shaped pattern on the north pole and the moon Titans resemblance to a primordial Earth.
v. It found liquid-filled canyons on Saturns moon Titan for the first time. They also found a global ocean on the moon Enceladus, with ice plumes spouting from its surface.
Books & Authors
Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Book by Maria Sharapova
The book titled Unstoppable: My Life So Far is authored by tennis star Maria Sharapova was launched in September 2017.
i. The book describes Sharapova’s rise of tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top.
ii. The book talks about how a seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova became popular by defeating the two-time defending champion Serena Williams to win the prestigious Wimbledon.
iii. In the book it has been described about the winner of five Grand Slam titles to date, Russian tennis player Sharapova also stars on the fashion pages and is notable for her charity work.
iv. Her career has zigged and zagged, particularly with the recent two-year ban now reduced to 15 months after testing positive for a prohibited drug.
Quick glance on Maria Sharapova
i. Maria Sharapova hails from Russia and she is a Russian professional tennis player. She was born on 19 April 1987.
ii. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks.
iii. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam.
iv. She is also an Olympic medalist and bagged silver for Russia in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
v. According to Forbes, she has been named highest paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned USD285 million including prize money since she turned pro in 2001.
vi. On 8 June 2016, she was suspended from playing tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Duminy announces retirement from Test Cricket
On 16th September 2017, South African all-rounder JP Duminy announced his retirement from test cricket, in South Africa.
i. JP Duminy was removed from test cricket team in July, 2017.
ii. He has now decided to concentrate on limited over cricket matches.
iii. He has been playing for the South African cricket team for 16 years.
iv. He has played 46 test matches for the team.
About JP Duminy:
i. Born – Capetown, South Africa
ii. Batting style – Left-handed
iii. Bowling style – Right-arm offbreak
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September
Every year on September 16, the World celebrates the International day for the preservation of Ozone layer as the World Ozone Day.. The date was chosen because the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on September 16, 1987. The theme of this year is “Caring for all life under Sun”
Ozone and its importance :-
i. Ozone is a pungent smelling blue gas. A molecule of ozone consists of three oxygen atoms.
ii. Ozone was discovered by Christian Friedrich Schönbein in 1840. He named it after the Greek for ‘to smell’ which is ‘ozein’.
iii. The ‘ozone layer’ is 12-20 miles above the Earth’s surface and contains most of our ozone. It is in stratosphere.
iv. Ozone makes the planet habitable by absorbing harmful solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation before it reaches the planet’s surface. It utilises UV rays for its formation so harmful UV-C rays is prevented from reaching earth. It is earth’s natural blanket.
v. The hole in the ozone layer was discovered above the Antarctic in 1985. It following a ban on the use of CFCs. In order to save ozone from anthropogenic activities Montreal protocol was adopted in 1987.
International Coastal Cleanup, 16 September
The International Coastal Cleanup day is conducted in various parts of the world on the third Saturday of September every year under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and under the aegis of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) in the South Asian Region.
The world’s largest volunteer effort for our ocean and waterways. People all over the world remove trash from the shores and document what they find. The data is compiled and published in an annual global report on marine debris by the Ocean Conservancy.
Why should you care?
Each year, people around the world produce nearly 300 million tons of plastic and a similar amount of plastic waste. Of that, as much as 13 million tons finds its way into our oceans The plastic wreaks havoc on our fisheries, marine ecosystems and economies, costing up to $13 billion per year in environmental damage.
World’s Oldest Person Dies At 117 In Jamaica
Violet Mosse Brown had passed away in Jamaica 6th Sept. 2017. She was born on 10th March 1900.
i. The oldest person in the world who was the last living subject of Queen Victoria and worked for ‘masters’ on a Caribbean sugar plantation has died at the age of 117.
ii. She became the world’s oldest person on 15th April this year at 117.
iii. It takes 38 days, taking the title from Italian Emma Morano, whose life spanned three centuries and was born in 1899.
Prime Minister: Andrew Holness
Currency: Jamaican Dollor