Current Affairs Update – 1 August, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 1 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB  & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News
Samsung Pay extended to SBI debit cards

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) and
    Samsung India on Tuesday announced the availability of payment platform Samsung
    Pay for higher variants of SBI debit Card.
  • This will allow SBI debit card
    holders to make payments using Samsung smartphones at Point of Sale (PoS) card
    machines at merchant outlets.
  • “Both Samsung and SBI are
    household names in India and it is a momentous occasion for us to collaborate on
    Samsung Pay and extend an innovative solution that is transforming people’s
    lives worldwide,” said Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business,
    Samsung India.
  • SBI debit card users can also
    avail introductory cashback benefits up to Rs 500.
  • Samsung Pay uses Magnetic Secure
    Transmission (MST) technology, enabling consumers to make offline payments
    using Samsung smartphones without the need for a physical Card.
Airtel Payments Bank ties up with HPCL for ATM services

  • Airtel Payments Bank, on Tuesday,
    said it has partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), to
    give further boost to digital payments in the country and to add to customer
    convenience.
  • All 14,000 HPCL fuel stations
    will act as banking points for Airtel Payments Bank, the company said.
  • All Airtel Payments Bank
    customers would be able to access a range of convenient banking services at
    these 14,000 fuel stations like opening new accounts, make cash deposits and
    withdrawals facility, and transfer money.
  • This will add to the depth and
    reach of Airtel Payments Bank’s retail based network that leverages over
    300,000 Airtel retail outlets as banking points.
  • Airtel Payments Bank customers
    will also be able to make secure and convenient digital payments for fuel
    purchases across 14,000 HPCL fuel stations by using their mobile phones, it
    said.
  • These cashless payments can be
    made via smartphones (MyAirtel App) as well as feature phones (USSD), the
    company said.
  • The customer is not charged any
    transaction fee for these digital payments. This partnership will further
    expand Airtel’s nationwide digital payments ecosystem that has over three
    million merchant partners/outlet across India.

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Union Government orders LPG prices to be hiked by Rs 4 per month

  • With an aim to eliminate all
    subsidies by March 2018, the Union Government has ordered state-run oil
    companies to raise subsidised cooking gas, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas),
    prices by four rupees per cylinder every month.
  • The information in this regard
    was provided in the Lok Sabha by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra
    Pradhan on 31 July 2017. In a written reply, Pradhan informed that the
    government in its order dated 30 May 2017 has authorised the oil companies to
    increase the price by four rupees excluding tax per month. The order came into
    effect on 1 June 2017.
  • He said, it will be in effect
    till the reduction of government subsidy to ‘nil’, or till March 2018, till
    further orders, whichever is earliest.
  • Oil companies have raised rates
    twice since then, the last being on 1 July 2017 when rates were up by a steep
    Rs 32 per cylinder. This hike was because of the 30 May 2017 order as well as a
    reflection of hiked tax rates on it under the Goods and Services Tax regime. It
    was the steepest increase in six years.
  • The government had previously
    asked the Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs), namely Indian Oil
    (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL), to raise rates
    of subsidised domestic LPG by Rs 2 per 14.2-kg cylinder per month (excluding
    VAT).
  • Every household is entitled to 12
    cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rates in a year. Any requirement beyond
    that is to be purchased at market price.
New Trade and Transit agreement between India and Bhutan comes into
force
  • The new bilateral Agreement on
    Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan came into force on 29 July
    2017. It aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Bhutan.
  • The Agreement provides for a free
    trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan. It also provides for
    a duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.
  • The agreement was last renewed on
    29 July 2006 for ten years.
  • The validity of the same was
    extended (with effect from July 29, 2016) for one year or till the new agreement
    comes into force, through the exchange of diplomatic notes.
  • The new agreement was signed on
    12 November 2016 by the Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Commerce and
    Industry on behalf of the Government of India.
  • As per the pact’s provisions, it
    has come into force with effect from 29 July 2017, a date that was mutually
    decided by the two nations.
  • The new pact will help strengthen
    the bilateral trade relations between India and Bhutan.
News related to India & States
Swachh Survekshan 2018’s anthem ‘Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai’ released

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and
    Urban Affairs on 31 July 2017 released the Swachh Survekshan 2018’s anthem
    ‘Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai’ that states that the flame of sanitation has been
    lit.
  • The anthem was launched to
    inspire the people to participate in the Swachhata Jan Andolan and connect
    themselves with the ‘Swachhata Survekshan-2018’.
  • The anthem is scripted by Prasoon
    Joshi, sung by Babul Supriyo, Udit Narayanan, Shreya Ghoshal, Akriti Kakar,
    Shann Banerjee and Alka Yagnik. The music of the anthem is directed by Shankar
    Mahadevan.
  • The anthem has been visualized
    free for the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs by Producer Mukesh
    Bhatt. The song also has messages of Amitabh Bachhan and Sachin Tendulkar.
  • The anthem will now be
    extensively used on various platforms including social media to connect the
    people with the sanitation survey. The song will also be dubbed into regional
    languages for wider outreach.
Supreme Court bans use of five harmful metals in firecrackers
  • The Supreme Court of India on 31
    July 2017 announced a ban on the use of five metals including lithium, mercury,
    arsenic, antimony and lead in firecrackers, deeming them as harmful for the
    environment.
  • The decision was taken by a bench
    of justices headed by Justice Madan B Lokur who cited air pollution as one of
    the main reasons behind the move.
  • The order came after the Central
    Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Member Secretary informed the apex court that
    standards on air pollution caused by the bursting of firecrackers are yet to be
    laid down and the exercise would be completed by 15 September.
  • The CPCB stated that till the
    completion of the project, no firecrackers manufactured should contain the
    banned metals in any form whatsoever.
  • The bench stated in its judgement
    that it is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosive Safety
    Organisation (PESO) to ensure compliance particularly in Sivakasi in Tamil
    Nadu. The apex court also made it clear that for setting up of standards for
    firecrackers, collaborative efforts will be made between CPCB and PESO.
Appointments/Resignations
Lt Gen Abhay Krishna appointed as Chief of Eastern Command
  • Lt General Abhay Krishna, who
    owns extensive service experience of the Northeast India, was on 31 July 2017
    appointed as the Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command. Krishna succeeds
    Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi who has retired from service.
  • The appointment of Krishna comes
    at a time when India is facing a stand-off with Chinese troops along the Sikkim
    sector.
  • Krishna was currently serving as
    the Head of the Army’s Jaipur-based Southwestern Command.
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Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman, Arvind Panagariya resigns

  • Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman
    of Niti Aayog announced his resignation from the post on 1 August 2017.
  • Panagariya revealed that he would
    be returning to the field of academics in the US. His last working day in
    office would be 31 August 2017.
  • The 64-year-old was the first one
    to hold the post of Vice- Chairman in Niti Aayog. He was appointed to the
    position in January 2015. His resignation now brings an end to his two and a
    half year-long stint with the Government of India’s policy think-tank.
World News
Switzerland breaks all record, launches world’s longest pedestrian
suspension bridge

  • Switzerland is now home to the
    world’s longest suspension footbridge that was inaugurated on 29 July 2017.
  • The Charles Kuonen Suspension
    Bridge has broken all the record with its length of 1621 feet and height of 279
    feet that makes it the longest in the world. The bridge is named after Charles
    Kuonen, a psychologist and winery co-owner.
  • It passes through the valley
    between the towns of Zermatt and Graechen and cuts the journey across the valley
    from three to four hours to a mere 10 minutes. In actual, the total journey
    time between Zermatt and Graechen is about two days.
  • Guinness has not yet recognized
    the bridge as the longest. The current recognized longest pedestrian suspension
    bridge is the Kokonoe Yume Bridge in Japan, which measures 1279 feet.
Awards & Honors
US army medic conferred Medal of Honour by President Trump 48 years
later

  • US President Donald Trump on 1
    August 2017 awarded the Medal of Honour, first such award under his administration,
    to US army medic James McCloughan, who risked his own life to save wounded
    Americans during the Vietnam War.
  • The recognition comes to the war
    veteran almost 48 years after his selfless acts. The award ceremony was
    attended by several senior White House and administration officials including
    Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and the
    new White House chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Trump
    who was full of praises for McCloughan said, “I know I speak for every person
    here when I say that we are in awe of your actions and your bravery.” Trump added
    saying that McCloughan ran into danger.
  • The 71-year-old after receiving
    the medal pledged to give his all to represent the men who fought alongside him
    as the caretaker of this symbol of courage and action beyond the call of duty.
Sports News
Summer Olympics: Los Angeles agrees to host 2028 Games; Paris gets 2024

  • Los Angeles formally announced
    its bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics after agreeing on a deal with the Olympic
    organizers. This deal with Olympic organizers paves the way for Paris to host
    the Summer Olympics in 2024.
  • With this Los Angeles will be
    hosting the games for the third time since it first hosted in 1932. It last
    hosted Olympics in 1984.
  • Games in Paris, the French
    capital, marks 100 years since the last time it hosted the Games. Paris last
    hosted the Olympics in 1924 and had narrowly lost out to London for the right
    to host the 2012 Games.
  • The Los Angeles Olympic and
    Paralympic bid committee in cooperation with the International Olympic
    Committee (IOC) announced the same on 31 July 2017. The LA bid committee said
    in a statement that Los Angeles will host the Olympic Games and Paralympic
    Games 2028.
  • Los Angeles had been in a race
    with Paris to host the 2024 Games, with the winner to be named by the IOC on
    September 13 in Lima, Peru.
  • The two cities, namely Los
    Angeles and Paris, were competing for the 2024 Summer Games after several other
    contenders withdrew.
Obituaries
Dhrupad maestro Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar passes away

  • Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar,
    a classical vocalist and one of the leading exponents of Dhrupad tradition,
    passed away on 31 July 2017 following a brief illness in Pune. He was 78 and is
    survived by his wife and two sons.
  • Known to his admirers as Sayeed
    Bhai, Sayeeduddin belongs to Dagar family of musicians that is the only one to
    practice Dhrupad, a form of Hindustani classical vocal music. He is the 19th
    generation of the family practising this form of music.
  • With his demise, Sayeeduddin’s
    sons Nafeesuddin and Aneesuddin Dagar will now be the 20th generation of the
    family to practice Dhrupad.
  • Dhrupad is a Sanskrit blend of
    Dhruva (immovable) and Pad (verse). It has its roots in ancient times, it was
    first mentioned in 3rd Century B.C. in the Natyashastra.

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