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Government finalising Electoral Bonds Scheme: Arun Jaitley
On 28th September 2017, Finance Minister Mr.Arun Jaitley said that, the government is finalising the Electoral Bonds Scheme, in New Delhi.
Electoral Bonds Scheme:
i. Mr.Arun Jaitley announced this at a book release, named ‘[email protected] [email protected]’.
ii. This is being done in a move to monitor political funding.
iii. According to the electoral bond mechanism, the proposed bonds will resemble a promissory note and not an interest-paying debt instrument.
iv. They will be sold by authorised banks.
v. They can be deposited in notified accounts of political parties within the duration of their validity.
vi. The bonds will not carry the name of the donor.
vii. Depositing money through banks will make sure that only tax paid money comes into the political system.
About Ministry of Finance:
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Minister of Finance – Mr.Arun Jaitley
iii. Ministers of State – Mr.Arjun Ram Meghwal, Mr.Santosh Gangwar
TK Viswanathan headed committee to deal with hate speech on internet
On 28th September 2017, a committee headed by Mr.T.K.Viswanathan, submitted a report to the Home Ministry, regarding new laws or amendments to deal with hate speech on the internet, in New Delhi.
News laws to deal with Internet hate speech:
i. This committee was formed after the Supreme Court ruled out section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act.
ii. The committee has suggested that section 78 of the IT Act needs to be substituted and Section 153 & 505A of the Indian Penal Code needs to be amended.
iii. The committee has recommended that each state should have a State Cyber Crime Coordinator, which should be an officer not below the rank of Inspector General of Police.
iv. Also, each district should have a District Cyber Crime Cell, headed by an officer not below the rank of sub-inspector.
i. Occupation – Secretary General of Lok Sabha & Lok Sabha Secretariat
ii. State – Tamil Nadu
Directorate General of Quality Assurance Celebrates its Diamond Jubilee
On 28th September 2017, Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) celebrated Diamond Jubilee to mark 60 years of its existence.
DGQA celebrates Diamond Jubilee:
i. Diamond Jubilee was celebrated to mark the completion of 60 years by DGQA, at DRDO Bhawan, in New Delhi.
ii. Minister of State for Defence, Dr.Subhash Bhamare was present on the occasion.
iii. Dr.Subhash Bhamare, Director General of DGQA Lt Gen Shamsher Singh and Secretary of Defence Production Mr.Ashok Gupta addressed the gathering.
iv. Dr.Bhamre released the ‘First Day Cover’ to mark the occasion.
v. He also launched a portal for e-registration of vendors.
vi. Officers and staff were awarded the DGQA Commendation Cards and Cash Awards for their extraordinary performance and excellent services.
About Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA):
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Director General Quality Assurance – Lt Gen Shamsher Singh
Indian Railways to launch 100 new suburban rail services in Mumbai
On 29th September 2017, Indian Railways launched 100 new local train services on its Mumbai suburban network of Western Railway and Central Railway zones.
100 new local train services in Mumbai:
i. Out of the 100 new services, 32 will be introduced on Western Railway and 68 train services will be introduced on Central Railway portion of Mumbai local.
ii. New services in Western Railway will start from 1st October 2017.
iii. Out of these 32 services, 17 will be introduced in ‘up’ direction and 15 in ‘down’ direction.
iv. Out of the 68 new services in Central Railway, 14 will start on ‘harbour line’ from 2nd October 2017, 14 on ‘trans-harbour line’ from 2nd October 2017, 16 on ‘main line’ from 1st November 2017 and 24 on ‘harbour’ and ‘trans-harbour lines’ from 31st January 2018.
About Ministry of Railways:
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Minister of Railways – Mr.Piyush Goyal
iii. Ministers of State – Mr.Manoj Sinha and Mr.Rajen Gohain
Railways working with ISRO to devise safety mechanisms to make train travel safer
On 28th September 2017, Union minister for Railways, Mr.Piyush Goyal said that, Indian Railways is working with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to employ safety mechanisms in trains, in New Delhi.
Railways to devise safety mechanism:
i. Indian Railways and RailTel are working together with ISRO to explore the use of space technology for safety in railways.
ii. There have been several train derailment incidents in the recent times.
iii. This led to the exit of Mr.Suresh Prabhu as the Union Railway Minister.
iv. Mr.Piyush Goyal said that, he has asked RailTel to work on connecting thousands of railway stations with wi-fi.
v. By doing so, we could provide the villages around railway stations also with wi-fi connectivity.
i. Motto – Space technology in the Service of humankind
ii. Headquarters – Bengaluru
iii. Chairman – Mr.A.S.Kiran Kumar
VVPAT to be Used in all Booths of Gujarat Assembly Elections,first time with EVMs
Gujarat will become the second state after Goa to use the new VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in the entire state.
i.It is the first time to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).
ii.The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections about 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during elections.
iii.The Supreme Court of India directed the Election Commission (EC) to implement VVPAT in EVMs for ensuring more transparency in elections.
i.The VVPAT system is a new initiative of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections.
ii.In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the electronic voting machines (EVM), a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol will be printed for the voter.
iii.EVM that is designed to:
(a) Allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly.
(b)Detect possible election fraud or malfunction.
(c)Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
CM: Vijay Rupani
India International Science Festival 2017-Science for New India will be held in Chennai
The third India International Science Festival will be held in Chennai next month announced on 28th Sept. 2017.
i.Prominent scientists from the government are expected to participate in the four-day festival which will be held from October 13-16 at IIT-Chennai.
ii.The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), an organisation linked to the RSS.
iii.The event will be jointly inaugurated by science and technology ministers of Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Portugal.
iv.The project cost will be worth of Rs 10 crore and the festival will have a thematic session on ‘Deep Ocean Research’.
v.This is the third IIS festival, which has been organised since the NDA government came to power in 2014. The first two were held at IIT-Delhi and National Physical Laboratory, Delhi.
vi.The organisers will also attempt a Guinness World Record by holding a “largest biology class” of 1000 students.
Indian Army and Jamia Millia Islamia University signs MoU for Academic Collaboration
Indian Army and Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU), New Delhi has signed MoU for Academic Collaboration, technical advancement and progression of Army Personnel announced on 29th Sept. 2017.
i.The MoU has signed between Lt. Gen. Ashwani Kumar, Adjutant General, IHQ of MoD (Army) & Prof Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU).
ii.The University agreed to recognize the in-service courses run by the Army. With new collaboration, soldiers can avail diploma and degree while being in service.
iii.This would facilitate admission of defence personnel in second or third year Graduation or Post Graduation or Doctorate programme through the medium of distance learning.
iv.It would enable the soldiers to enhance their academic qualification for a better future.
About Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU)
Jamia Millia Islamia (translation: Community Islamic University) is a public central university in Delhi. It was established during British rule in 1920.
It became a Central University by an act of the Indian Parliamentin 1988.
Vice Chancellor: Talat Ahmad
China operationalises its first radar-evading stealth fighter J-20
On 28th September 2017, China announced the commissioning of its first radar-evading J-20 stealth fighter jets into military service, in Beijing.
Stealth fighter J-20:
i. The Chengdu J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet.
ii. It is a twin-engine, single seat stealth fighter.
iii. It was built by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation.
iv. The Ministry of National Defence, China has announced that, the flight tests of J-20 are being conducted as per schedule.
v. It made its first flight in 2011.
vi. It was first displayed to public at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, in November 2016.
vii. The introduction of this J-20 stealth fighter would change the India-China air force balance.
viii. Pakistan has already expressed its interest in acquiring J-20.
i. Capital – Beijing
ii. Currency – Renminbi
iii. Official language – Standard Chinese
iv. President – Mr.Xi Jinping
Banking & Finance
ICICI Bank launches ‘cashback’ home loans
On 28th September 2017, ICICI Bank launched a new home loan product that offers 1 % cash-back for every EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) during the entire loan period.
Cashback Home Loans:
i. The EMI cash-back is available for fresh home loans with minimum period of 15 years.
ii. This loan allows borrowers to select their preferred mode of cash-back.
iii. They can use the cash-back to prepay the principal outstanding of their home loan or accumulate it in their ICICI Bank account.
iv. There is no restriction on the loan amount for availing the cash-back EMI facility.
v. This cash-back facility is also available for other mortgage products like loan against property, lease-rental discounting and top-ups on existing mortgage loans.
About ICICI (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) Bank:
i. Headquarters – Mumbai
ii. Chairman – Mr.M.K.Sharma
iii. MD & CEO – Mrs. Chanda Kochhar
BSNL and ZTE signed MoU for 5G Technology
On 27th September 2017, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese firm, ZTE, at India Mobile Congress (IMC), in New Delhi.
MoU for 5G Technology:
i. BSNL and ZTE would work together on technologies like Pre5G and 5G wireless systems, in order to make a virtual network architecture of a 5G eco system, for research and commercialization in India.
ii. Department of Telecom (DoT) expects that 5G will help the digital transformation of E-governance, education, finance, smart city and many other sectors.
VNL signs pact with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management:
i. Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL and BSNL have signed a MoU to provide solutions for disaster management.
ii. According to that, the ‘Relief 123’ service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected people and integrate information across platforms.
i. Full form – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
ii. Headquarters – New Delhi
iii. Chairman & MD – Anupam Shrivastava
LG Mukhi inaugurates first ever industry established by a tribal youth in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Prof. Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated an industry at Kinyuka village in Car Nicobar Island.
i.This is the first ever industry established by a tribal youth in Car Nicobar.
ii.Prof Mukhi also interacted with people and heard their grievances and assured them of their speedy resolution.
iii.He also attends the meeting with all the local heads of the offices.
iv.He appealed to the youth of the Island to come forward and venture into entrepreneurial activities.
About Andaman & Nicobar Island
Capital: Port Blair
Lieutenant Governor: Prof. Jagdish Mukhi
Awards & Recognition
Swiss professor Maryna Viazovska to get 2017 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize
Maryna Viazovska of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland has been selected for the 2017 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize announced on 28th of Sept. 2017.
i.The prize also recognizes her outstanding PhD thesis of 2013 at the University of Bonn in which she resolved significant cases of the Gross-Zagier Conjecture and her work prior to her PhD with A.
ii.She is awarded the Prize for her resolution of the celebrated sphere packing problem in dimension 8, the proof of which appeared in her paper in the Annals of Mathematics (2017).
iii.The age limit for the prize has been set at 32 because Ramanujan achieved so much in his brief life of 32 years.
iv.The prize will be awarded during December 21-22, 2017 at the International Conference on Number Theory at SASTRA University in Kumbakonam, Ramanujan’s hometown.
About SASTRA Ramanujan Prize
The SASTRA Ramanujan Prize was established in 2005.
It is awarded annually for outstanding contributions by young mathematicians to areas influenced by the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.
India jumps to 14th rank as best country for expats: HSBC
As per HSBC survey India jumps the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in announced on 28th Sept. 2017.
i.The list is topped by Singapore, is part of HSBCs latest expat explorer survey.
ii.It covered 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories in March and April 2017.
iii.At the same time, the country has emerged among the top 10 countries among expats for professional development.
iv.According to survey, about 71% expats in India reported high levels of confidence in the local economy, while 58% reported optimism on political stability.
v.With an average USD 176,408 gross personal income per year one of the highest in the world over 50% of the expats said India is a good place to start a business.
vi.According to their parents, ranking India third in the world for this parameter. Besides, almost half 48% of expat children easily made new friends.
vii.The survey found that moving to India had improved family related issues for expats and the country is now ranked second in terms of bringing expat couples closer together.
viii.The number of resident expats who recommend the country for career progression has increased by 12% points since 2016 to almost two-thirds (63%), placing it seventh in our ranking for career progression.
Founder: Thomas Sutherland
Group Chairman: Douglas Flint
Group Chief executive: Stuart Gulliver
Srinagar and Raipur Airports awarded as Best Airports under National Tourism Awards 2015-16
On 27th September 2017, Srinagar International Airport, Jammu & Kashmir and Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur, Chhattisgarh were jointly awarded the National Tourism Awards 2015-16, in New Delhi.
Best Airports under National Tourism Awards 2015-16:
i. President Mr.Ram Nath Kovind, gave away the award for Best Airport under ‘rest of India’ category.
ii. The event was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on the World Tourism Day on 27th September, 2017.
iii. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India presents National Tourism Awards to various segments of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry every year.
iv. This is the first time, two airports have been jointly selected as best airports for their innovative style of functioning, pro-environment initiatives and passenger friendly approach.
About Ministry of Tourism:
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Minsiter of State (Independent Charge) – Mr.Alphons Kannanthanam
Appointments & Resigns
Rajiv Sabharwal appointed as Tata Capital CEO
Tata Capital has announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as CEO & Managing Director, Designate of Tata Capital Limited on 28th Sept. 2017.
i.Sabharwal will be joining Tata Capital in January 2018. He would be succeeding Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle who will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group effective April 1, 2018.
ii.Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors.
iii.Sabharwal was an executive director in ICICI Bank’s board before joining True North. He was responsible for building one of the largest retail financial services franchise in the country.
iv.He has also been part of several Reserve Bank of India and Indian Bank Association’s Committees.
v.He is a graduate from IIM Lucknow and a mechanical engineer from IIT Delhi.
BHU appoints first woman chief proctor
The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has appointed Royana Singh as the first woman as its chief proctor of the institution on 28th of Sept. 2017.
i.Royana would be succeeding O.N. Singh, who resigned on 26 September. The appointment was approved by Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi.
ii.Prior to the appointment Royana served as an assistant professor at the Institute of Medical Science (Anatomy Department).
iii.As per the reports, Royana is also the chairman of the Women’s Grievance Cell of the BHU.
iv.MK Singh had taken additional charge as a proctor until a formal appointment for the post.
Banaras Hindu University Formerly Central Hindu College, is a public central university located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Established in 1916 by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Etihad Airways appoints Tony Douglas as Group CEO
Etihad has announced the appointment of Tony Douglas on 28th Sept. 2017 as the chief executive officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, parent company of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which owns 24% in Jet Airways.
i.Tony Douglas as Group Chief Executive Officer, who will join the company in January 2018.
ii.Douglas joins Etihad from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, where he has served as CEO of the Defence Equipment and Support department.
iii.He is responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.
iv.Previously, Douglas held senior positions in the UAE, most notably as CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company and as CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company.
v.He was responsible for the successful delivery of Khalifa Port.
About Etihad Airways:
Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the UAE (after Emirates). Its head office is in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Etihad commenced operations in November 2003.
HQ: Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates.
Science & Technology
Scientists detect Gravitational waves for the 4th time
On 28th September 2017, scientists announced that Gravitational waves have been detected for the fourth time.
Gravitational waves detected:
i. Scientists have detected the gravitational waves for the fourth time, in the form of ripples, in the fabric of space and time.
ii. The gravitational wave signal was formed by the collision of two massive black holes, located about 1.8 billion light-years away.
iii. The gravitational waves were emitted during the final moments of the merger of two black holes.
iv. The masses of the black holes are 31 and 25 times the mass of the Sun.
v. The newly produced spinning black hole has a mass of about 53 times the mass of the Sun.
vi. On 14th August 2017, the signal was recorded by the Virgo detector located in Italy, and two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors located in the US.
vii. This is the first time, gravitational waves have been detected in the Virgo and LIGO joint collaboration.
viii. Findings from this event has been named as GW170814.
ix. This will be published in the journal, Physical Review Letters.
x. The next observing run has been planned for 2018.
xi. Scientists said that, similar detections can be expected weekly or even more often, hereafter.
xii. LIGO is a second-generation gravitational-wave detector. It consists of two identical interferometers, in Louisiana and Washington. It uses precision laser interferometry to detect gravitational waves.
xiii. Virgo is a second-generation instrument built and operated by the Virgo collaboration to search for gravitational waves.
xiv. The Virgo detector and LIGO detector started their joint detection on 1st August 2017.
About Virgo detector:
i. Purpose – Gravitational wave detection
ii. Location – Italy
About LIGO detector:
i. Purpose – Gravitational wave detection
ii. Location – US
Scientists discover new species of aquatic snake in North Western Ghats
Researchers have discovered a new snake species named ‘Aquatic Rhabdops’ in the north of Western Ghats.
i. The new species of burrowing snakes belongs to genus Rhabdops.
ii. It is found in Koyna, Chandoli, Barki and Amboli regions of Maharashtra.
iii. It is also found in certain areas of Northern Karnataka and Goa.
iv. These snakes are native Indian creatures.
v. This species is nocturnal, chiefly aquatic and mainly seen underwater.
vi. The young ones and adults are different in colour.
vii. This colour variation may be due to their preference of habitat.
viii. In Maharashtra, it is seen in plateaus where water logging occurs.
ix. The largest known specimen is 950mm in length.
x. It is non-venomous.
About Western Ghats:
i. Region – Western India and Southern India
ii. States – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
India at third position in GHG emissions in 2016: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
On 28th September 2017, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency published its new report on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in Netherlands.
India 3rd in GHG emissions in 2016:
i. India ranked 3rd in the GHG emissions with an increase of 4.7 % in GHG emissions.
ii. India has faced an alarming increase in carbon emissions.
iii. Except India, other major carbon emitting countries have seen a reduction in carbon emissions.
iv. China’s carbon emissions reduced by 0.3 %, US’s reduced by 2 %, Russia’s reduced by 2.1 % and Japan’s reduced by 1.3 %.
v. India has the largest number of cattle in the world. Cattle farts contain methane. Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases.
About PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency:
i. Location – The Hague, Netherlands
ii. Director General – Mr.Hans Mommaas
Five Indians in top-20 of men’s badminton rankings for 1st time, PV Sindhu No.2 in the world
Indian shuttler P V Sindhu has jumped two places to second spot in the Badminton World Federation women’s singles rankings after her Korea Open Super Series title.
i.This is the second time in her career that Sindhu, the Olympics silver medallist, occupied the second spot.
ii.Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying retained her top spot. London Olympics bronze winner Saina Nehwal was static at the 12th spot.
iii.Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain also remained at fifth while world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan moved up one place to eighth.
iv.In the men’s singles rankings, K Srikanth remained unchanged at eighth while B Sai Praneeth and H S Prannoy dropped one place each to be at 17th and 19th respectively.
v.Ajay Jayaram also lost three places to be at 20th spot.
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dead at 91
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Enterprises, has passed away at the age of 91 on 27th Sept. 2017.
i.Playboy Enterprises was born in Chicago on April 9th, 1926, he was the son of Methodists, served as a noncombatant in World War II.
ii.He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois. Hefner published the very first issue of Playboy in December of 1953.
Congress Veteran leader Makhan Lal Fotedar dies
On 28th September 2017, Makhan Lal Fotedar, a veteran Congress leader, died at the age of 85, in Delhi.
Makhan Lal Fotedar’s death:
i. Makhan Lal Fotedar died at 1.30 pm at Medanta hospital in Gurugram, Delhi.
ii. Fotedar was suffering from diabetes, hypertension and respiratory infection.
iii. He was admitted at hospital on 20th June 2017.
iv. He served as a political secretary to Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
v. Later, he was made a Cabinet minister.
vi. He was a member of the powerful Congress Working Committee (CW).
vii. He was a former member of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.
viii. He was a two-time Rajya Sabha member.
About Makhan Lal Fotedar:
i. Occupation – Politician
ii. Political Party – Indian National Congress
World Heart Day – September 29
The World Heart Federation (WHF) organizes the World Heart Day, an international campaign on September 29th every year. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) including strokes are responsible for half of all Non-Communicable Diseases making it world’s number one killer.
This year, World Heart Day theme is ‘share the power’. Small changes, such as eating a healthy diet, getting more exercise and giving up smoking can make heart powerful. The World Heart Foundation on this World Heart Day is asking everyone to share how they power their heart and inspire millions of people around the world to be heart healthy. We should take action to keep our hearts healthy and charged.
i.The World Heart Federation (WHF), in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), announced the establishment of World Heart Day in 1999.
ii.The idea for this event was proposed by Antoni Bayes de Luna, president of WHF from 1997-1999.
iii.World Heart Federation is a Non-Government organization. It is situated in Geneva, Switzerland.
iv.It commits to unite its members and lead the global fight against heart disease and stroke.
v.The WHF focuses on the vulnerable areas of the world, low and middle-income countries.
vi.The World Heart Federation has continued to sponsor the annual event, assembling and distributing information and declaring a theme for the day.
vii.WHO targets for noncommunicable disease mortality reduction by 2025, reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by at least 25%.
viii.Presently, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world.
ix.In the early 2000s, roughly 17 million people worldwide died from cardiovascular diseases annually.
x.Most of these deaths were the result of coronary heart disease or stroke – that’s more than victims of cancer, HIV and AIDS, and malaria.
xi.Risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke include:
High blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.
xii.The government and non-government organizations celebrate and promote World Heart Day with activities such as fun runs, public talks, concerts, and sporting events.
xiii.Every year more and more people participate in these events showing their support for World Heart Day.