Current Affairs Update – 11-12 July, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 11 & 12 July, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, NABARD Grade A & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News
SBI waives charge on IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs.
1,000

  • The country’s
    largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs. 1,000
    through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions.
  • State Bank of
    India had been charging Rs. 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund
    transfer of up to Rs. 1,000.
  • IMPS is an
    instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as
    well as Internet banking.
  • “In order to
    promote small ticket size transactions, SBI has waived IMPS charges for
    transfers up to Rs. 1,000,” the bank said while informing about the revised
    IMPS transfer charges under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
  • For IMPS, the
    charge will be Rs. 5 along with GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs. 1,000
    to Rs. 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs. 15 for transactions of Rs. 1-2
    lakh.
  • GST at the rate
    of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.
Union Government launches new tax payer service module
Aaykar Setu

  • Arun Jaitley,
    the Union Finance Minister, on 10 July 2017 launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax
    payer service module.
  • The module was
    launched in a mobile responsive android version along with the desktop version
    to enhance mobile access experience.
  • While launching
    the Aaykar Setu, Arun Jaitley stated that this e-initiative would help in
    reducing physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities and
    thereby minimizing the chances of any tax harassment.  
  • The new step is
    an effort by the Income Tax Department (ITD) to directly communicate with the
    taxpayers, on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at
    providing tax information at their fingertips.
Railways launches ‘RailCloud’ to optimise server
usage, faster connectivity

  • In a significant
    IT initiative, the Railways today launched RailCloud – a virtual server with an
    inbuilt security system to optimise server usage and faster connectivity.
  • Cloud computing
    is the emerging technology for faster and on-demand commensurate deployment of
    server resources which result in reduced costs.
  • “Efforts
    are being made to bring the entire Railway system on integrated digital
    platform. RailCloud is another step towards digitisation of railways,”
    Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said after the launch of RailCloud.
  • Developed by
    rail PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs 53 crore, RailCloud will pave
    the way for swifter deployment of applications within 24 hours as compared to
    conventional time running into weeks and months.
  • Currently all IT
    applications have separate servers which increase the cost of operations and
    purchases.
  • The technology
    enables maximising the usage of the available server and storage resulting in
    accommodation of bigger data and more applications within same server space.


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Cabinet approves signing of JIN pact with Bangladesh

  • The cabinet
    today approved the signing of the joint interpretative notes (JIN) agreement
    with Bangladesh to ensure smooth implementation of the investment promotion and
    protection pact.
  • JIN play an
    important supplementary role in strengthening the investment treaty regime, an
    official statement said after the Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi.
  • With increasing
    bilateral investment treaty disputes, issuance of such statements is
    “likely to have strong persuasive value before tribunals”, it said.
  • “Such
    pro-active approach by States can foster a more predictable and coherent
    reading of treaty terms by arbitration tribunals,” it added.
  • The JIN would
    impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing agreement between India
    and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA).
Cabinet approves upgradation of Manipur Highway
connecting Myanmar

  • The Union
    Cabinet on Wednesday approved upgradation of a 65-km-long National Highway in
    Manipur to boost the state’s connectivity with south and southeast Asia via
    Myanmar.
  • Road Transport
    and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters that NH-39 from Imphal to
    Moreh near the Myanmar border would reduce travel time from three-and-a-half hours
    to one hour and 45 minutes.
  • The Imphal-Moreh
    Highway would not only boost international trade and business, but would also
    be important from security point of view, he said.
  • It is also
    crucial for socio-economic development in the northeast region which currently
    has a poor road network, he said.
  • He said the
    project would create employment opportunities in Manipur and is part of the
    Asian Highway project.
  • It is estimated
    to cost around Rs 1,630 crore.
News related to India and states
Rajasthan becomes first State to fix minimum education
qualification for cooperative body poll

  • Rajasthan in
    July 2017 laid down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting
    elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative
    bodies.
  • With this,
    Rajasthan became India’s first state to fix minimum education qualification for
    cooperative body poll.
  • In this regard,
    the Rajasthan Government amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The
    new rules would benefit about 10000 cooperative and agricultural credit
    societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as
    their management will go to expert hands.
  • The State
    Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003, were amended for the purpose and
    notification was issued on 10 July 2017.
  • The educational
    qualifications will range from Class V to Class VIII for election as members of
    governing boards of dairy societies, farming societies, consumer societies,
    weavers’ societies, housing construction societies, urban banks, primary land
    development banks, credit societies, salary earners’ societies and cooperative
    unions.
  • The minimum
    qualifications for the primary committee members will be class VIII. For
    district-level committees, it will be Class X. The education level will be
    graduation for the state level committee.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Ashiana Annexe
in Dehradun

  • Pranab Mukherjee,
    the President of India, on 10 July 2017 inaugurated the Ashiana Annexe in
    Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • The Ashiana
    Annexe comprises of twelve low cost dwelling units constructed to accommodate
    officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan during Presidential visits to the
    Retreat at ‘Ashiana’.
  • On the other
    hand, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between M/s Prashak Techno
    Enterprises and Central Building Research Institute was also signed to
    collaborate for effective proliferation of Habitech-NivaraTantra Technology
    solutions with a focus on low cost, disaster resilient housing, more
    particularly in the rural areas to enable vision of Housing for All with a
    special emphasis on housing for the economically weaker sections and low income
    group communities.
  • These dwelling
    units have been constructed using the Habitech-NivaraTantra – Onsite Sanitation
    Integrated Community Housing Technology Innovations developed at the Asian
    Institute of Technology (AIT).
  • The Technology
    innovations comprise unique blocks known as compacted intermeshing blocks,
    which are made from local soil.
NGT imposes complete ban on nylon and synthetic manja

  • The National
    Green Tribunal (NGT) on 11 July 2017 banned the use of ‘Chinese’ kite strings,
    made of nylon or any synthetic material, which is non-biodegradable, with
    immediate effect.
  • The NGT directed
    all state governments to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, storage,
    purchase and use” of synthetic manja or nylon threads and all other
    synthetic strings used for flying kites with immediate effect.
  • The judgement of
    Tribunal came on a plea filed by animal rights body People for Ethical
    Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others.
  • The green panel
    went on to state that “Although kite flying with ‘manja’ has been a sport and
    recreational activity in the country since time immemorial, but the strings
    endanger the lives of birds, animals and human beings and damage the
    environment”.
  • The ill-effects
    of Chinese manja had not only resulted in injuries to birds, animals and human
    beings, but it also led to a many fatal accidents.
Union Government signs MoU with West Bengal to set up
Centre of Excellence in Transfusion Medicine

  • Union Ministry
    of Health and Family Welfare on 10 July 2017 signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with West Bengal Government to set up a state-of-the-art
    Centre of Excellence in Transfusion Medicine in Kolkata.
  • The move is
    aimed at strengthening the blood transfusion services in the state and the
    surrounding region.
  • The Union
    Government approved this vital initiative with an outlay of approximately Rs
    200 Crores towards equipment, manpower and running costs.
  • The land for this
    initiative will be provided free of cost by the West Bengal government.
  • The National
    Blood Transfusion Council under National AIDS Control Organization will be the
    implementing division of the Ministry for this project.
Kerala Government proposes Stray Dog Zoos

  • The Kerala
    Government on 10 July 2017 informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak
    Misra that it is planning ‘Stray Dog Zoos’ across the state to keep them off
    the streets.
  • For this
    purpose, the State government has asked all district panchayats to keep aside
    two to three acres of land and label them as ‘Stray Dog Zoos’.
  • The State
    government was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the
    construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population.
  • The population
    of stray dogs has increased aggressively in the state over the years and has
    become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. Today, there
    are over 1.16 lakh dog bite victims in the State and 22 have died due to dog
    bites.
Appointments
Gopalkrishna Gandhi named as Opposition’s Candidate
for Vice Presidential Election 2017

  • Mahatma Gandhi’s
    grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi was on 11 July 2017 named as the Opposition
    candidate for the 2017 Vice-Presidential Election.
  • His nomination
    was announced by Congress president Sonia Gandhi after eighteen parties jointly
    approved Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate in a meeting. The meeting
    was attended by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh as well as senior
    leaders of Trinamool Congress, Left parties, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj
    Party and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham.
  • The 2017
    Vice-Presidential Elections are scheduled to be held on 5 August 2017 as
    outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari is about to complete his term on 10 August
    2017.
  • The total
    electoral college for the Vice-Presidential Elections is 790, which includes
    members of both houses of Parliament.
World News
UNESCO adds German Caves with world’s oldest known art
to heritage list

  • Six caves in
    south-western Germany’s Swabia Jura region, home to some of the world’s oldest
    art, In July 2017 were added to the World Heritage List by the United Nations
    Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage
    Centre.
  • The caves were
    occupied some 43000 to 33000 years ago. They are among the earliest known
    dwelling places of modern humans in Europe.
  • These
    archaeological sites feature some of the oldest figurative art worldwide and
    help shed light on the origins of human artistic development.
  • In 2008, more
    than 40 carved ivory figurines have been found in the caves, including one
    called the Venus of Hohle Fels, were discovered in the cave of the same name.
In a first, Israel transfers authority for West Bank
Electrical Substation to Palestinians

  • Rami Hamdallah,
    Prime Minister of Palestinian, and Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Energy Minister, on
    10 July 2017 launched the first power plant in the West Bank that transforms
    high to medium voltage in Jenin, north of the West Bank.
  • It is the first
    time that Israel has given the ownership of electricity infrastructure to the
    Palestinian Authority.
  • The official
    ceremony included signing a commercial agreement between Israeli Electric
    Corporation (IEC) and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to increase
    power supply through operating a new substation in the north of West Bank.
  • As per the
    agreement, the Palestinian National Authority will pay around USD 47 million to
    the Israeli Electric Corporation annually, in order to increase the supply of
    the new power plant by 60 Megawatts in full operation.
Okinoshima, Japan’s men-only island, gains UNESCO
World Heritage tag

  • Okinoshima
    Island, an ancient religious site in Japan where women are banned and male
    visitors need to take off their clothes and take a naked bath before visiting
    the shrine, was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site on 9 July 2017.
  • Okinoshima,
    which is a part of the city of Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan, is located in
    south-west Japan between the main island of Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula.
    Referred as the men-only island, the island is permanently manned by a Shinto
    priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up
    for centuries.
  • The island is
    considered sacred by the local Munakata Taisha and consists of a single
    employee of the shrine. The entire island is considered a Shinto Kami, and the
    island is off limits to women.
Sports News
Ravi Shastri is new coach of Indian Cricket Team

  • The BCCI on 11
    July 2017 named Ravi Shastri as the new chief coach of the Indian cricket team.
    He will be with the team as its head coach till ICC World Cup 2019.
  • In addition to
    it, former fast bowler Zaheer Khan was also appointed as bowling coach for a period
    of two years.
  • Former Indian
    Captain Rahul Dravid has appointed as batting consultant for specific overseas
    tours. Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team has been without a head coach after
    Anil Kumble resigned from the post after the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
  • The appointments
    were made on the recommendation of the Cricket Advisory Committee. The BCCI’s
    three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprises of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav
    Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Afghanistan batsman Shafiqullah Shafaq scores double
century in T20 game

  • Afghanistan’s
    Wicketkeeper-batsman Shafiqullah Shafaq on 9 July 2017 smashed a laudable 214
    innings off just 71 balls including 21 sixes and 16 fours in the Paragon
    Nangarhar Champion Trophy Twenty20, a local tournament of Afghanistan.
  • Shafaq set
    record books on fire with his swashbuckling right-handed batting, striking a
    double century in a local T20 match.
  • His run carnage
    helped his team Khateez Cricket Academy in putting up a massive score of 351
    runs in 20 overs. While, the opposite team Kabul Star Cricket Club could only
    gather 107 runs.
2017 Asian Athletics Championships: India creates
history, tops medal tally

  • With five gold,
    one silver and three bronze  medals on
    the final day of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championship, India finished on top
    of the medals tally, comfortably surpassing China and Kazakhstan.
  • China and
    Kazakhstan took the second and third spots respectively in the medal tally.
  • India showed its
    best performance ever in the Asian Athletics Championships, clinching a total
    of 29 medals, including 12 golds.
Days
World Population Day 2017 observed

  • The World
    Population Day was observed on 11 July 2017 with the theme Family Planning:
    Empowering People, Developing Nations.
  • Around the
    world, some 225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe
    and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access
    to information or services to lack of support from their partners or
    communities. Most of these women with an unmet demand for contraceptives live
    in 69 of the poorest countries on earth.
  • World Population
    Day is an annual event observed on 11 July every year.
  • The day seeks to
    raise awareness of global population issues.
Awards &
Honors
IROAF wins Golden Peacock Award for Eco Innovation for
the year 2017

  • Indian Railways
    Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF) on 10 July 2017 won the Golden Peacock
    Award for Eco Innovation for the year 2017 for introducing eco friendly and
    cost saving Dual Fuel 1400 HP Diesel engines on DEMU trains.
  • With this,
    Indian Railways achieved a major milestone in the field of eco-friendly fuel
    technologies. IROAF substituted fossil fuels (Diesel) by environment friendly
    CNG in DEMU passenger train services. The use of CNG in Train Sets for
    passenger transportation was done for the first time in the world.
  • This innovation
    is expected to reduce emissions by bringing down NOx by 16 per cent, CO2 by 6
    per cent and Particulate Matter by 18 per cent besides achieving economy in
    fuel cost by 8 per cent.
  • Till now, 19
    engines of DEMUs have been successfully converted into CNG based dual fuel
    engines with this technology.
A R Rahman shortlisted for World Soundtrack Award –
Public Choice

  • Academy Award
    winning composer and music maestro A R Rahman in July 2017 has been shortlisted
    for the World Soundtrack Award – Public Choice.
  • The music
    maestro was shortlisted for the development of the music for the British-Indian
    historical film Viceroy’s House that was directed by British filmmaker of
    Indian origin Gurinder Chadha.
  • In 2011, A R
    Rahman won the World Soundtrack Award – Public Choice for the movie 127 Hours.
  • Viceroy’s House
    stars ace actors like Huma Qureshi, Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and late actor
    Om Puri.

Obituaries
Forensic expert Pakkiriswamy Chandra Sekharan passes
away

  • Renowned
    forensic expert Pakkiriswamy Chandra Sekharan passed away on 11 July 2017
    following a brief illness. He was 83 and is survived by his wife and daughter.
  • Sekharan helped
    investigators crack the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and played an
    influential role in getting back the stolen 1500-year-old Pathur Nataraja idol
    from the United Kingdom.
  • An acknowledged
    expert as well as a pioneer in some forensic techniques, he deconstructed the
    suicide bomb attack on Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. It was he who disclosed that
    the killer was a woman who acted as a human bomb.

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