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Environment Ministry notifies New Wetland Rules
On 26th September 2017, the Union Environment Ministry notified the new Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017, in New Delhi.
Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017:
i. The new rules will replace the 2010 version of the Wetland rules.
ii. Wetlands are lands mid-way between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems. The water table is usually near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.
iii. There are 115 wetlands that are officially identified by the central government. Out of these, 26 are identified as wetlands of international importance under Ramsar Convention.
iv. Ramsar Covention is an international intergovernmental treaty for conservation of wetlands.
v. The new rules insist setting up of a State Wetlands Authority in every state and union territory.
vi. This will be headed by the State’s Environment Minister.
vii. Government officials will be appointed as members.
viii. It will include one expert from each of the following fields: wetland ecology, hydrology, fisheries, landscape planning and socioeconomics.... Click here to read more
India registers significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)
On 29th September 2017, Sample Registration System (SRS) bulletin was released, which stated that Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of India has declined by three points (8%).
Decline in IMR:
i. IMR has reduced to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016, compared to the 37 per 1000 live births in 2015.
ii. India has registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 compared to 2015.
iii. The total number of estimated infant deaths has reduced to 8,40,000 in 2016 from 9,30,000 in 2015.
iv. According to the SRS Bulletin, the gender gap in India for child survival is reducing steadily.
v. The decline in IMR is reported as 4 points in Bihar, 3 points in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and 2 points in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
About Infant Mortality Rate (IMR):
i. Definition – number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births
India’s first Mobile Congress held in New Delhi
On 27th – 29th September 2017, India’s first Mobile Congress, India Mobile Congress 2017, was held at New Delhi.
India’s first Mobile Congress:
i. More than 300 exhibitors, and hundreds of startups from India participated in the India Mobile Congress.
ii. Main focus of the Mobile Congress was the idea of Digital India through privatisation and the advent of 5G.
iii. LG launched K7i smartphone with inbuilt mosquito-repellent.
iv. Nokia, ZTE and Ericsson displayed several of their products that could accommodate 5G technology.
v. Reliance Jio introduced new feature that enables the phone to be connected to a TV.
vi. Taiwan-based semiconductor company, MediaTek launched its new MT6739 chipset for 4G smart phone users.
vii. Phone-manufacturing company Detel displayed its D1 model phone that retails for Rs.300.
About India Mobile Congress:
i. Venue – Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
ii. Organisers – Indian Cellular Association (ICA), K AND D Communication Limited, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)
Defence Minister inaugurates Pratham-Shyok Bridge in Leh
On 30th September 2017, Defence Minister Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the Pratham-Shyok Bridge that links Leh to Karakoram, in Jammu and Kashmir.
i. The Pratham-Shyok Brigde provides connectivity to the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde axis, for military transport.
ii. This advanced bridge is a major development on the Shyok Gong river.
iii. This will improve travel of locals and Army in this region.
iv. Defence Minister Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
v. She addressed the officers and personnel of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) during the inauguration ceremony.
vi. She said that, constructing roads and bridges in difficult terrains would help in development and progress of the country and its people.
About Ministry of Defence:
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Minister of Defence – Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman
iii. Minister of State for Defence – Mr.Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
Dr.Jitendra Singh inaugurates ISRO exhibition at Surat
On 29th September 2017, an exhibition highlighting the achievements of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Dr.Jitendra Singh, at Surat.
i. The exhibition was conducted with the support of Municipal School Board.
ii. A large number of school children participated in the exhibition.
iii. The Lok Sabha MP Mr.C.R.Patil, MLA Ms.Sangitaben R.Patil and senior scientists from ISRO were also present on the occasion.
iv. The function was followed by an interactive session of the children with Dr.Jitendra Singh.
v. Dr.Jitendra Singh addressed the gathering.
vi. He said that India has already overtaken countries like US and Russia which had started their Space programmes several years before India.
i. Full form – Indian Space Research Organization
ii. Headquarters – Bengaluru
iii. Chairman – Mr.A.S.Kiran Kumar
Govt to procure 10,000 e-vehicles from Tata Motors
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) will procure 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors Limitedannounced on 29th Sept. 2017.
i.The company was selected through an international competitive bidding aimed at increased participation.
ii.Three leading manufacturers – Tata Motors Limited, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Nissan participated in the tender.
iii.The bids for Tata Motors Limited and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) were opened.
iv.Tata Motors will supply the Electric Vehicles (EVs) in two phases:
(a) First 500 e-cars will be supplied to EESL in November 2017.
(b) The rest 9,500 EVs will be delivered in the second phase.
v.The tender floated by EESL is the world’s largest single electric vehicle procurement.
vi.Tata Motor Limited quoted the lowest price of Rs. 10.16 Lakh exclusive of GST in the competitive bidding.
vii.The vehicle will be provided to EESL for Rs. 11.2 lakh which will be inclusive of GST.
viii.It will also provide 5-year warranty which is 25% below the current retail price of a similar e-car with 3-year warranty.
About Tata Motors
Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) headquartered in Mumbai, is an Indian multinational automotive manufacturing company and a member of the Tata Group.
Chairman: Natarajan Chandrasekaran
Team India wins Enactus World Cup 2017
On 29th September 2017, Team India won the Enactus World Cup 2017, in London.
Enactus World Cup 2017:
i. Enactus is an international non-profit organization dedicated to inspire students to take entrepreneurial action to improve the lives of others.
ii. The Enactus World Cup showcases, the best social innovation projects created by college teams from 36 countries.
iii. Enactus Team India was represented by Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.
iv. Team India was declared the World Champion 2017 for its ‘Mission Raahat’ and ‘Project Udaan’.
v. Mission Raahat reduces sanitation issues in slum communities of urban Delhi.
vi. Project Udaan empowers women to operate computer centres in rural India.
vii. 2nd place was secured by Team Canada, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
viii. KPMG was the presenting sponsor of the Enactus World Cup 2017.
i. Type – Non-profit NGO
ii. Location – Springfield, Missouri, US
Banking & Finance
Small savings interest rate unchanged for October-December quarter
On 29th September 2017, the Government has kept unchanged the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter.
Interest rates unchanged for small savings schemes:
i. The Reserve Bank of India would undertake monetary policy review on 4th October 2017.
ii. Before that, the interest rates for small savings schemes have been kept unchanged.
iii. This has been done in a move to urge banks to lower the deposit rate in line with the small savings rate offered by the government.
iv. The interest rates have been kept unchanged for the following schemes:
· Public Provident Fund (PPF) – 7.8 % annually
· Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) – 7.5 % – matures in 115 months
· Sukanya Samriddhi Account – 8.3 % annually
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
SEBI allows FPIs to buy corporate debt up to Rs.9,500 crore in infrastructure sector
On 29th September 2017, The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allowed Sovereign Wealth Funds and other long term Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) to buy up to Rs.9,500 crore worth corporate debt in infrastructure sector.
FPIs allowed to buy corporate debt up to Rs.9500 crore in infrastructure:
i. This has been done, following the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) decision to exclude masala bonds (foreign investment in rupee denominated bonds) from the Combined Corporate Debt Limit (CCDL).
ii. Sub-limit for long term FPIs would be Rs.9,500 crore from 3rd October, 2017.
iii. This would be increased to Rs.19,000 crore from 1st January, 2018.
iv. The CCDL would be renamed as the corporate debt investment limits for FPIs.
v. The upper limit for corporate debt would be stated only in rupee terms.
i. Full form – Securities and Exchange Board of India
ii. Headquarters – Mumbai
iii. Chairman – Mr.Ajay Tyagi
Ireda becomes first Indian financial agency to raise funds overseas
The state-owned Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (Ireda) became the first Indian financial institution to raise funds overseas announced on 30th Sept. 2017. These funds are termed as ‘green masala bonds’.
i.The five-year dated bond raised approximately $300 million (Rs19.5 billion), with a coupon of 7.125%.
ii.It became the first Green Masala Bond to be listed on the International Securities Market (ISM).
iii.Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will help in achieving Indian Government’s vision of 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022.
iv.The new green bond is certified by Climate Bonds Initiative, an international, investor-focused not-for-profit.
v.It helps to build robust and transparent assurance frameworks around green bond investment.
vi.It marks the fourth green bond by an Indian issuer to be issued on London Stock Exchange.
IREDA, a state-owned non-banking financial institution, has a remit to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency conservation projects in India.
The company provides financing for hydro, wind and solar energy projects, new and emerging technologies and for bio energy sectors.
SBI to raise Rs 99 crore from share buyback by dealership arm
State Bank of India (SBI) has raised shares worth over Rs 99 crore as part of a share buyback programme by its subsidiary SBI DFHI on 29th Sept. 2017.
i.As per SBI it is tendering 19,11,974 shares held by it under the buyback of shares being done by SBI DFHI.
ii.As per the buyabck offer, SBI will get Rs 99.42 crore from SBI DFHI. The shares will be tendered at a price of Rs 520.
iii.Currently, SBI holds the largest shareholding of 72.17% in the subsidiary. Rest of 22.32% is owned by banks and 5.51% by financial institutions.
iv.SBI stock traded 0.28% up at Rs 253.50 on BSE.
v.SBI DFHI is engaged into book building and primary auctions of government securities.
vi.It also participates in the domestic interest rate derivatives and equity futures.
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
Government extends deadline to clear unsold pre-GST goods
The Union Government has extended the last date of using (Maximum Retail Price) MRP labelled pre-Goods and Services Tax (GST) stock to December 31.
i.Through this step, it will be a relief for the traders, who were reportedly stuck with old stocks.
ii.The Finance Ministry has given a nod to the extension of date and the Consumer Affairs Ministry will issue the notification.
iii.Under the existing rules, the companies had time till 30th September to clear unsold pre-GST goods with a revised MRP to be displayed along with printed sale price.
iv.The old MRP will have to be clearly on display along with the revised MRP sticker.
v.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has met exporters and industry bodies to discuss their concerns and glitches regarding GST.
Awards & Recognition
IPS Officer Aparna Kumar becomes the first Indian woman to scale Mt Manaslu
Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre, Aparna Kumar has become the first Indian woman to scale Mount Manaslu announced on 28th Sept. 2017.
i.Mount Manaslu is the eighth highest mountain peak in the world.
ii.On September 25, Kumar took up a mission to climb Mount Manaslu in the west-central part of Nepal.
iii.She is a 2002 batch IPS officer, has already successfully scaled the highest peaks of six continents out of seven continents.
iv.In May 2016, she climbed Mount Everest before scaling Mount Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica.
v.In 2014, she scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak on the African continent.
Bengaluru ranked world’s most affordable tech hub, Gurugram bags 2nd spot
According to a study conducted by a realty consultancy firm Bengaluru is the world’s most affordable technology hub on 30th Sept. 2017.
i.Among the top 29 global technology hubs covered by the study, Bengaluru emerged the cheapest in office rentals. Gurugram, another Indian city, comes second.
ii.Bengaluru is the most affordable technology district, with a rent of $9.65 (Rs 632) per sq feet.
iii.Whereas, with a rent of $20.40 (Rs 1,335) per sq feet, Gurugram is the only other Indian tech hub featured on the list.
Bannerghatta National Park
Anshi National Park
Kudermukh National Park
Nagarhole National park
Appointments & Resigns
President Ram Nath Kovind appoints five new Governors
On 30th September 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed governors for the states of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
Appointment of new Governors:
i. Governors appointed for the 5 states are as follows:
· Tamil Nadu – Banwarilal Purohit
· Arunachal Pradesh – Brigadier (Retd.) BD Mishra
· Bihar – Satya Pal Malik
· Assam – Jagdish Mukhi
· Meghalaya – Ganga Prasad
ii. Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
About the newly appointed Governors:
i. Banwarilal Purohit – He was the Governor of Assam till now.
ii. Brigadier (Retd.) BD Mishra – He was a Commander of NSG (Black Cat Commandos). He has served in the China war of 1962, Bangladesh liberation operations in 1971, and in LTTE operations in Sri Lanka in 1987-88. He also volunteered for the Kargil war after retirement.
iii. Satya Pal Malik – He was a Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in 1990. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha, twice and Lok Sabha, once. He was also, a member of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
iv. Jagdish Mukhi – He was previously the Governor of Andaman & Nicabar islands. He administered various departments in Delhi Government like Finance, Excise & Taxation and Higher Education. He led the Opposition in Delhi Assembly.
v. Ganga Prasad – He was an MLC (Member of Legislative Council) in Bihar for 18 years. He led the Opposition for five years.
vi. Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi – He served as the Chief of Naval Staff from August 2012 to February 2014. From 1996-99, he held the position of Defence Adviser at the Indian High Commission in Singapore.
Russia’s Rosneft elects former German chancellor Schroeder as Chairman
On 29th September 2017, Former German Chancellor Mr.Gerhard Schroeder was elected as Chairman of Russia’s biggest oil producer Rosneft, in Russia.
Gerhard Schroeder elected as Rosneft’s Chairman:
i. The Russian government nominated Mr.Schroeder in August 2017, to join the board of Rosneft.
ii. Gerhard Schroeder is a close friend of Russian President Mr.Vladimir Putin.
iii. He is a Social Democrat.
iv. He was elected as Chairman, at a meeting on 29th September 2017.
v. He was German chancellor from 1998 to 2005.
vi. Rosneft is Russia’s biggest oil producer. It is 50 percent state-owned.
vii. Gerhard Schroeder’s appointment as Chairman of Russian firm Rosneft has created many controversies in Germany, about his close ties with Moscow.
i. Headquarters – Moscow, Russia
ii. CEO – Mr.Igor Sechin
iii. Chairman – Mr.Gerhard Schröder
Science & Technology
BSNL, Aeris Communications partner for IoT solutions
State-run telecom firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has announced agreement with IoT solutions provider Aeris Communications to jointly tap the Internet of Things market in India on 29th Sept. 2017.
i.Under the agreement, both the companies will offer packaged IoT solutions and services to enterprises, small and medium businesses and public-sector undertakings, among other segments in India.
ii.The partnership will ensure faster permeation of IoT across India and help businesses and PSUs gain remarkable advantages.
iii.IoT is an enabling technology that bears the potential to take India to a whole new level of development.
iv.BSNL will provide bandwidth for IoT products, which are devices that can be connected and controlled over internet, that Aeris will provide in India.
Some more Points:
BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava
Aeris Communications President Rishi Bhatnagar
Official Ball called Krasava for FIFA U-17 World Cup Unveiled
FIFA has launched the official ball for Under-17 football World Cup and it will be called Krasava, a word generally used by Russian sports fans to describe a striking performance.
i.The ball is manufactured by ‘Adidas’ and the pattern on it features a striking red design with jagged lines running through it.
ii.It designed to represent the design of a Russian Ruby and the metaphorical jewel of the game.
iii.The structure of the ball incorporates the same innovative and widely-praised panel shape as the Beau Jeu and Fracas.
iv.The Adidas balls that were used in the group and knockout stages of UEFA Euro 2016.
v.It offers premium surface structure, enhanced grip and in-flight visibility.
Veteran actor Tom Alter passed away at 67
Veteran theatre, television and film actor Tom Alter, best known for his performances in “Shatranj Ke Khilari”, “Junoon” and “Kranti”, passed away at the age of 67 on 30th Sept. 2017.
i.The actor was suffering from squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
ii.Tom was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 2008 for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
iii.Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films such as Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara.
Veteran journalist, Dainik Asam editor RM Bhagawati dies at 84
Radhika Mohan Bhagawati, veteran Guwahati-based journalist and editor of Dainik Asam, oldest Assamese daily newspaper had passed away. He was 84.
i.He was born at Jamugurihat in Sonitpur district on January 19, 1933.
ii.Bhagawati had started his career as a journalist in 1958 as a sub-editor in the now defunct Assamese daily Natun Asamiya and later rose to be its editor.
iii.Bhagawati was also chairman of Media Trust, successor to the Committee for Celebration of 150 Years of Journalism in Assam.
iv.Bhagawati edited several other newspapers like Tinidiniya Batori, Ajir Asam and Sentinel (Hindi) before joining Dainik Asam, the oldest Assamese daily newspaper.
v.He had won the Sahitya Akademi translation award in 1991.
vi.He also won other awards like the Shiva Prasad Barooah National Media Award (2009), Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya Award (2009), the ‘Sadin’ Journalism Award (2015), RN Borooah & Pratibha Borooah Lifetime Contribution Award (2016) and the first Republic Day Journalism Award instituted by the Assam government (2017).
International Translation Day – September 30 2017
International Translation Day is celebrated every year on 30 September on the feast of St. Jerome. International Federation of Translators (FIT) decides on a theme for each year and invites all of its member associations to join it in celebrating the day around the theme. International Translation Day 2017 theme, ‘Translation and Diversity’.
The year 2017 marks an historical milestone for all professional translators, interpreters and terminologists, with the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopting Resolution A/RES/71/288, recognising the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development. In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day, celebrated across the entire UN network.
i.The Day also recognises transposition of a literary or scientific work from one language to another as indispensable to preserve clarity, climate and productivity in International Public Communication.
ii.The Day was celebrated with an aim to pay tribute to the work of language professionals.
iii.It plays an important role to bring nations together, facilitating dialogue, contributes to the development and strengthens world peace & security.
iv.The date was chosen for the International Translation Day as 30 September celebrates the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered as the patron saint of translators.