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Law Ministry approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017
On 18th September 2017, Law Ministry approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017, in New Delhi.
Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017:
i.The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017 would enable the government to seize the property of economic offenders and defaulters who escape from India, through a new provision.
ii.According to the law, a ‘fugitive economic offender’, means an individual against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for an economic offence and the person has escaped from the country and refuses to return to face criminal prosecution.
iii.Before the bill is introduced in Lok Sabha in the winter session of Parliament a ‘Saving Clause’ would be added in the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017….Click here to read more details
ONGC discovers oil in Arabian Sea near Mumbai offshore
On 20th September 2017, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) made a significant oil discovery near Mumbai High in the Arabian Sea, in Mumbai.
New oil well discovered in Mumbai High:
i.Oil was discovered in a well on the west of Mumbai High oil fields in the Arabian Sea.The new discovery in well WO-24-3 is estimated to have around 20 million tonnes of oil in reserve.
ii.Mumbai High is India’s biggest oil field.It produces 2,05,000 barrels of oil per day and more than 10 million tonnes of oil per year.The new oil well will contribute to increased oil production within two years.
iii.ONGC has informed about the discovery to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).ONGC has planned to drill assessment wells to find the size of the new well’s oil reserve.
iv.ONGC Senior Official said that nine zones were tested. All nine contained hydrocarbon. The last zone gave out 3,300 barrels of oil.
v.He also informed that in deeper zones both oil and gas were found.He said this is a mid-sized discovery but significant….Click here to read more details
West Bengal gets $300 million loan from ADB for fiscal reforms
On 21st September 2017, ADB announced that it has sanctioned a $ 300 million loan to West Bengal for carrying out fiscal reforms.
Loan from ADB for fiscal reforms:
i. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $ 300 million to carry out fiscal reforms in West Bengal to make public services more accessible, affordable, and high quality.
ii. The reforms would be implemented in a period of 2 years.
iii. The reforms include linking medium term expenditure plans to actual budgets, strengthening internal audit system and enhancements in the integrated financial management system (IFMS).
iv. The reforms also include improved tax monitoring and support for information technology systems in tax and land administration.
v. Gross state domestic product is expected to rise to 2.2 % by 2021- 2022 after these reforms.
vi. Along with the loan, $ 5,00,000 would be given for technical assistance.
i. Full form – Asian Development Bank
ii. Motto – Fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific
iii. Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
iv. President – Mr.Takehiko Nakao
First National Conference on ‘Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition’ held in New Delhi
On 19th September 2017, the First National Conference on ‘Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition’ was held in New Delhi.
National Conference on ‘Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition’:
i. The conference was inaugurated by the Minster of Women & Child Development, Ms.Maneka Gandhi.
ii. The focus of the conference was ‘Mission Malnutrition Free India-2022’.
iii. Ms.Maneka Gandhi urged to improve the quality of supplementary nutrition and delivery system.
iv. She also said that women should be provided with 1000 calories and children with 600 calories.
v. She said that the focus should be on providing nutrition to people under the scheme instead of loading people with nutrition dense food.
vi. On this regard, new guidelines would be issued by the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
vii. A separate protocol would be issued for severely and acutely malnourished (SAM) children.
viii. The Deputy Commissioners and District Collectors along with other district level officials would be involved in the mission.
ix. She distributed awards to Chattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat for reduction in stunting.
x. She also released the book “Forest Lanterns”. It was about improving nutrition for tribal children.
About Ms.Manekha Gandhi:
i. Political Party – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
ii. Position – Minister of Women and Child Development
Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurates first ‘Pension Adalat’
Dr Jitendra Singh had inaugurated the first ‘Pension Adalat’ on 20th of Sept. 2017.He will award the Pensioners for their outstanding contribution towards ‘Anubhav’. It is a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experience of working with Government.
i.The event is being organized by Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India.
ii.A workshop on Pre-Retirement Counseling (PRC) of 300 retiring Central Government employees is also scheduled to be held.
iii.The objective of this workshop is to create awareness about the post-retirement entitlements as well as an advance planning for life after retirement.
iv.The ANUBHAV AWARDS 2017 will be presented to 17 pensioners for their contribution towards creating institutional memory for the departments.
v.With this App, a superannuating Central Government official will be able to monitor the progress of his pension settlement.
vi.Through this app the retired officials will be able to self-assess their pension through the pension calculator and will also be able to register their grievances, if any, and get updates on orders issued by the Department.
Indian Army organized Operation Sadbhavana for National Integration
The Indian Army has organized Operation Sadbhavana for National Integration. These
operations are carried out by Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir and North East states respectively. It has been organized on 21st of Sept. 2017.
i.Under this, army undertakes various civic action programmes which aimed at winning hearts of the people and integration of the people with the nation.
ii.The Sadbhavana tour was organised by the 109 Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army.
iii.Its main aim is to develop trust among and reignite the minds of youth towards national integration.
iv.Under operation sadbhavana, recently army sponsored educational and national integration tour for Jammu and Kashmir youths.
v.As part of this tour, these youths are visiting Srinagar, Delhi, Lansdowne, Rishikesh and Dehradun.
Dr.Sekhar Basu attended 61st IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria
Dr.Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy attended the 61st IAEA General Conference held in Vienna, Austria.
61st IAEA General Conference:
i.The 61st Annual IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) General Conference is conducted from 18th – 22nd September 2017 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) in Vienna, Austria.
ii.Representatives of IAEA Member States discuss various issues in the Conference.
Scientific Forums and Exhibitions are also conducted.
India Collaborates with Russia for nuclear power plant in Bangladesh:
i.On 20th September 2017, Dr.Sekhar Basu announced that India is collaborating with Russia to build the Roppur power plant in Bangladesh, at the IAEA General Conference. This is India’s first atomic energy plant abroad.
ii.The Roppur Atomic energy project would be Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project.
iii.India signed a civil nuclear co-operation deal with Bangladesh, along with two more agreements, in April 2017. This deal allows the two sides to supply and manufacture equipment and material for the atomic power plant….Click here to read more detail
India & Sri Lanka sign MoU to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Srilanka
On 20th September 2017, India and Sri Lanka signed a MoU to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Sri Lanka.
MoU to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre:
i. The MoU was signed by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka and Mrs. R. Nadarasapillai, Secretary, Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development.
ii. The Thondaman Vocational Training Centre (TVTC), is located in Nuwara Eliya district of Sri Lanka.
iii. Government of India would provide LKR 199 million to upgrade the training facility.
iv. The upgradation includes construction of new infrastructure facilities like class rooms, IT lab, auditorium, compound walls and renovation of old buildings.
v. Also machinery, equipment and tools for new courses, furniture and vehicles would be provided.
vi. Around 500 candidates would be trained every year.
About Sri Lanka:
i. Capital – Colombo
ii. Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
iii. President – Mr.Maithripala Sirisena
iv. Prime Minister – Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe
Joint Sea-2017: China, Russia joint naval drills in Russian port city, Vladivostok
On 18th September 2017, China and Russia started the second stage of their “Joint Sea-2017” naval exercises in Vladivostok, Russia.
i. The exercises took place in Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea.
ii. For the first time Naval forces from both countries conducted joint submarine rescue exercises and joint anti-submarine exercises.
iii. The Chinese fleet has missile destroyer “Shijiazhuang”, missile frigate “Daqing”, comprehensive supply ship “Dongpinghu”, submarine rescue ship “Changdao”, a deep submersible rescue vehicle, two ship-borne helicopters and marines.
iv. The Russian fleet has a large anti-submarine ship, a frigate, a rescue ship, a deep submersible rescue vehicle, two ship-borne helicopters and marines.
v. The “Joint Sea” exercises by Chinese and Russian navies are carried out to maintain global peace and regional stability.
i. Capital – Moscow
ii. Currency – Russian ruble
iii. President – Mr.Vladimir Putin
iv. Prime Minister – Mr.Dmitry Medvedev
China launches world’s fastest bullet train running between Beijing and Shanghai
China has launched world’s fastest bullet train on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line to 350 kilometres per hour announced on 21st Sept. 2017.
i.The speed was reduced to 300 kilometres per hour after a major accident in July 2011 that killed 40 people.
ii.The train called Fuxing, or rejuvenation in Chinese, offers features such as power outlets, USB ports, and free WiFi.
iii.The new train completes the 1,200-kilometer journey in just under four-and-a-half hours.
iv.From 21st September these trains will make seven round trips each day.
v.The trains are entirely designed and manufactured in China, led by the China Railway Corporation.
vi.China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometers, about 60% of the world’s total.
vii.China has sold its high-speed trains to Indonesia, Russia, Iran, and India.
President: Xi Jinping
Banking & Finance
MSE launches Member Activation Drive, provides infrastructural support, incentives to members
On 20th September 2017, Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSE) launched a Member Activation Drive for its members.
Member Activation Drive:
i. MSE introduced a Business Loyalty Program called MY MSE.
ii. This scheme will provide infrastructural support, incentive schemes and lowest transaction charges on all product contracts to its members.
iii. The members should satisfy several business and risk mitigating parameters to be eligible for the incentive.
iv. MSE will reimburse the Clearing Fee paid by its trading members to their clearing members. This will reduce transaction cost for brokers.
v. User Id activation fee will be reimbursed for all brokers.
vi. MSE will focus on expanding the market by identifying the gaps.
About Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSE):
i. Headquarters – Mumabai
ii. Chairperson – Ashima Goyal
iii. MD & CEO – Udai Kumar
SBI Card to offer pre-approved cards to SBI customers
SBI card is all set to offer pre-approved cards to customers of its parent State Bank of India announced on 21st Sept. 2017.
i.It has entered into a tripartite agreement with SBI and India’s first credit bureau TransUnion CIBIL to offer pre-approved cards to eligible customers.
ii.The agreement will allow the credit bureau to check the credentials of SBI customers and SBI Card to leverage the data.
iii.SBI Card is a joint venture between the SBI and GE Capital, which is set to exit as part of the American giant’s global business revamp.
iv.SBI Card has co-branded cards with seven banks including Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Maharashtra and private sector South Indian Bank.
v.It also has co-branded cards with India’s railway ticketing portal IRCTC. It issues two lakh new cards every month.
vi.SBI Card has two entities — SBI Cards and Payment Services Private Ltd.
vii.It mainly focuses on customer acquisition, marketing and risk management and GE Capital Business Processes Management Services Ltd taking care of the technology and processing needs.
State Bank of India (SBI) is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company. It is a government-owned corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman : Arundhati Bhattacharya
State-run PSUs sign MoU to form Khanij Bidesh India Ltd
On 19th September 2017, 3 state run PSUs National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), signed a MoU to form a joint venture named Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (Kabil).
MoU to form Khanij Bidesh India Ltd:
i. Mr.Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD of NALCO, Mr.Santosh Sharma, CMD of HCL and Mr.Gopal Dhawan, CMD of MECL signed the MoU in Bhubaneswar.
ii. Khanij Bidesh India Ltd will identify, explore, acquire, develop and process minerals overseas for commercial use and to meet domestic supply needs.
iii. It will deal with 12 strategic minerals that are not available in India or available in a very low quantity.
iv. The Committee of CMDs will meet in November under the leadership of CMD of NALCO to finalise the Joint Venture.
v. After that approval of Mines Ministry and Niti Aayog would be obtained.
vi. This initiative would boost the Make in India drive.
About National Aluminium Company (NALCO):
i. Headquarters – Bhubaneswar, Odisha
ii. Chairman & MD – Dr.T.K.Chand
About Hindustan Copper (HCL):
i. Headquarters – Kolkata
ii. Chairman & MD – Mr.Santosh Sharma
About Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL):
i. Headquarters – Nagpur
ii. Chairman & MD – Mr.Gopal Dhawan
TRAI cuts Mobile Termination Charges by 57% to 6 paise per minute
On 19th September 2017, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) cut mobile termination charges (MTC) by 57% to 6 paise per minute with effect from October 1, 2017.
Mobile Termination Charges (MTC):
i. Mobile Termination Charges (MTC) would be completely cut by January 1, 2020.
ii. MTC is currently 14 paise per minute.
iii. It is paid by the operator whose subscriber makes a call to the operator whose subscriber receives the call.
iv. This directly affects the tariff.
v. Hence reduction in MTC would lead to reduction in call rates.
vi. This decision has originated from a dispute between Reliance Jio and other top telecom operators.
vii. Airtel, Vodafone and Idea insisted on doubling the MTC.
viii. Airtel and Vodafone have opposed the decision by saying that any reduction in MTC will destabilize the sector.
i. Full form – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
ii. Headquarters – New Delhi
iii. Chairman – Mr.R.S.Sharma
India Gets Its First High Horse Power Locomotive from France
India gets its first High Power Locomotive from France soon. The arrival of the first bodyshell of 12000 HP loco from Alstom France at Kolkata port on 20th of Sept. 2017.
i.The bodyshell for the fleet of the twin-section electric locomotives which Alstom is to supply to Indian Railways.
ii.It was unloaded at Haldia and ready for delivery to the factory at Madhepura where it will be assembled.
iii.It is the first high-power electric locomotive will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed by 2018.
iv.This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector.
v.Its estimated cost is about Rs 30 crore and will be assembled with components which were brought in from Alstom’s factories in France.
vi.It will set have its trial run by February 2018. The total contract is worth above three billion euro. The locomotive will run at a speed up to 120 km/h.
vii.This project includes the set-up of a plant at Madhepura (Bihar state) and two maintenance depots at Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh state) and Nagpur (Maharashtra state).
viii.The delivery of the locomotives will spread between 2018 and 2028.
ix.As per schedule, 35 locomotives would be rolled out from the factory by 2020, 60 in 2021, followed by 100 every year till the target of 800 is completed.
x.The contract allows for the first five locomotives to be imported, but the remaining 795 are to be manufactured locally in support of the government’s Make in India campaign.
President: Emmanuel Macron
Appointments & Resigns
B Sambamurthy appointed as NPCI interim Board chairman
The Board of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed of B Sambamurthy as interim Chairman of the Board announced on 21st Sept. 2017.
i.NPCI is an umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in the country. Sambamurthy has replaced Balachandran M.
ii.Prior to that Sambamurthy was formerly Director and CEO of Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) and Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank.
Vani Sarraju Rao declared as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Estonia
Ms. Vani Sarraju Rao presently Ambassador of lndia to Finland, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Republic of Estonia.
i.It has been announced on 21st Sept. 2017. She is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
Awards & Recognition
Nigerian lawyer Zannah Mustapha gets top UN peace prize
A Nigerian lawyer Zannah Mustapha was awarded with UNHCR top UN peace prize on 19th Sept. 2017.
i.He worked for the rights of displaced children growing up amid violence in north-eastern Nigeria.
ii.iHe helped in the release of more than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.
iii.Zannah Mustapha awarded for his contributing role as well as his work helping children affected by the long-running conflict.
iv.He founded a school in 2007 in Maiduguri the capital of Borno State and the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
v.The primary school has 540 pupils — more than half of them girls. Students include the children of Boko Haram fighters and Nigerian soldiers.
vi.The school provides a free education, as well as free meals, uniforms and health care, to children affected by violence.
Acquisitions & Mergers
Google buys engineers from HTC in $1.1-billion deal
Google has acquired a part of electronics company HTC Corporation’s engineering and design teams for $1.1 billion announced on 21st Sept. 2017.
i.The deal, which includes employees that have worked on the Pixel smartphone, also comes with a non-exclusive licensing agreement for HTC intellectual property.
ii.This comes ahead of the release of Google’s second generation of Pixel devices, expected to be released next month.
iii.About 2,000 engineers will be transferred to Google. The staff are “primarily focused on research and development.
HTC Corporation is a Taiwanese consumer electronics company headquartered in Xindian District, New Taipei City, Taiwan and founded in 1997.
HTC began as an original design manufacturer and original equipment manufacturer, designing and manufacturing devices such as mobile phones and tablets.
Science & Technology
Fino Payments Bank launches mobile banking app – BPay
On 20th September 2017, Fino Payments Bank launched its mobile banking app called BPay in India.
i. BPay is an extension of its already existing wallet in the same name that was launched in December 2016.
ii. The upgraded BPay app is available on Android currently.
iii. This app enables simple, paperless and convenient banking that allows customers to make bill payments, recharges, fund transfers and buy insurance.
iv. It also allows customers to access wallet as well as savings account, with a single login.
v. Also, people can open Fino bank account from BPay mobile app.
vi. More customer-centric features would be added to BPay in future.
vii. This app has been launched in a move to expand its market in India.
About Fino Payments Bank:
i. Headquarters – Navi Mumbai
ii. MD & CEO – Mr.Rishi Gupta
Bandhan Tod: App to fight child marriage launched in Bihar
The “Bandhan Tod” app is launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on 18th of Sept. 2017. It is a unique initiative, Gender Alliance Bihar, a collective effort of over 270 civil society organisations.
i.Bandhan Tod is part of Gender Alliance’s strategy to support the state government’s efforts to end child marriage and dowry.
ii.A mobile app has come up to fight the rampant social evil of child marriage in the state.
iii.The Gender Alliance is an initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
iv.It is started to bring together civil societies, activists, academicians, researchers, media, and others on a common platform to advocate gender equality.
v.It will create awareness on resisting child marriage and will also help adolescent girls saying no to the practice in the form of an SOS button.
vi.If the SOS button is pressed, the registered mobile number and other details of the user will be sent to the Gender Alliance monitoring cell and civil society organisations.
vii.The Gender Alliance monitoring cell and civil society organisations will contact the user to get details and then alert the local authorities for action.
viii.The app offers innovative features that will give girls the confidence to stand up against marriage before they are 18.
ix.It will be available on Google Play store and anyone can register on it with their details — name, age, block, district and mobile number.
x.Mobikwik, a digital payment gateway, will provide incentive to users who download it.
xi.Gender Alliance has announced the Bandhan Tod award for journalism for mainstreaming gender in media.
xii.It awarded adolescent girls with Bandhan Tod champion title to recognise their brave role in the fight against child marriage.
Denmark launches global alliance for action on climate change
On 20th September 2017, Denmark launched a US based global alliance to manage Climate change, in Copenhagen.
Global alliance for climate change:
i. Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) is supported by the following members –China, Indonesia and C40.
ii. C40 is a group of more than 90 large cities of the world. It represents 25% of the global economy. They work together for climate change.
iii. 12 of the C40 cities are in the US.
iv. This initiative aims to create a forum for sharing knowledge and technology within governments, businesses and community leaders.
v. Denmark is the host country of the initiative.
vi. P4G’s international base will be formed in Washington, in January 2018.
vii. Its first summit will take place in Copenhagen, in November 2018.
i. Capital – Copenhagen
ii. Currency – Danish krone
iii. Official language – Danish
iv. Prime Minister – Mr.Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Khalid Latif banned for five years for role in PSL spot-fixing
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has imposed a five-year ban and a fine of one million rupees on batsmanKhalid Latif for his involvement in spot-fixing during the PSL.
i.The three-member Tribunal of PCB headed by a former High Court judge Asghar Haider found Khalid guilty on all six breaches of the Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code.
ii.He played five one-day internationals and 13 T20Is, the last of which was against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi in September 2016.
iii.Latif had been charged with breaching six clauses, including the serious offense of luring other players to take part in fixing.
About Pakistan Cricket Board
The Pakistan Cricket Board is a sporting organization that is responsible for governing all professional cricket, including Test cricket and One Day International matches played in Pakistan.
It controls and organises all tours and matches undertaken by the Pakistan national cricket team.
Chairman: Najam Sethi
Official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 unveiled
The official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 were unveiled in Paris, France.
i.The slogan of the tournament “Dare To Shine” reflects the development of football, especially women’s football.
ii.The emblem features the competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy.
iii.It symbolizing the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
iv.FIFA President Gianni Infantino and French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel le Graet attended the event.
v.The 2019 edition of FIFA Women’s World Cup will be take place from June 7 to July 7, 2019.
International Day of Peace-September 21 2017
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
i.The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
ii.The theme defines the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes and those leaving in search of a better life.
iii.It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.
iv.The International Day of Peace focuses on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.
v.It is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.
vi.The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.
vii.Later in 2001, the UN General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.