Current Affairs Update – 12-13 October, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 12 & 13 October, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

Banking & Financial News
RBI introduces strict KYC
guidelines for Prepaid Payment Instruments

  • RBI has announced a fresh
    guideline on the issuance and operation of PPI (Prepaid Payment Instruments).
    It has also has issued stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for the users of
    prepaid instrument or mobile wallets.
  • With these guidelines to complete
    full KYC formalities, the mobile wallet user can now send-receive money between
    wallets of different companies and banks seamlessly through Unified Payments
    Interface (UPI).
  • The guidelines have come into
    effect from 12th October 2017 and the PPIs will have to comply with these norms
    on or before December 31, 2017.
  • According to the new guidelines,
    mobile wallets or PPI, which have been doing a minimum KYC through verification
    of mobile numbers, will have switch to full KYC wallet within one year of
    opening it. All existing wallet users have to switch to the full KYC format by
    this year end.
  • The minimum KYC wallets cannot
    have a balance of more than ten thousand rupees, and this can be allowed only
    for purchase of goods and services and not for remittances to other wallets or
    bank accounts.
  • Full KYC wallets will have a
    limit of one lakh rupees and can avail all facilities for fund transfer.
  • PPIs cannot be loaded with more
    than fifty thousand rupees per month.
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Union Minister launches Sampoorna
Bima Gram Yojana

  • The Union Minister for
    Communications, Manoj Sinha on 13 October 2017 launched the Sampoorna Bima Gram
    (SBG) Yojana, an initiative for expansion of client base of Postal Life
    Insurance.
  • During the launch, the Minister
    said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to provide banking services
    through the postal network needs to be taken forward to provide affordable life
    insurance services to people living in rural areas of the country. He said that
    all villages under the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana will be brought under its
    ambit.
About Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

  • Under the Yojana, at least one
    village having a minimum of 100 households will be identified in each of the
    revenue districts of the country.
  • Following this, effort will be
    taken to cover all households of that identified village with a minimum of one
    RPLI (Rural Postal Life Insurance) policy each.
  • The main objective of the scheme
    is to cover all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village.
  • Under the scheme expansion of
    clientele base of PLI, it has now been decided that benefits of PLI will no
    more be confined to Government and semi-Government employees, but will also be
    available to professionals such as Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Charted
    Accountants and Bankers.
  • The decision has been taken to
    expand the cover of social security and bring maximum number of people under
    the protection of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).
  • These major initiatives being
    undertaken by Department of Posts are expected to serve as an instrument of
    securing lives of people as well as enhancing financial inclusion.
Postal Life Insurance (PLI)

  • The scheme, which was introduced
    in 1884, is one of the oldest life insurance schemes introduced for the benefit
    of Government and semi-Government employees.
  • The Rural Postal Life Insurance
    (RPLI) was introduced on 24 March 1995 on the recommendations of Malhotra
    Committee.
  • The scheme provides insurance
    cover to people residing in rural areas, especially weaker sections and women
    living in rural areas.
  • The main highlight of the schemes
    include Low Premium and High Bonus.
  • Till 31 March 2017, there were
    46.8 lakh PLI and 146.8 lakh RPLI policies across the country.
HDFC Bank launches SmartUp zones
to nurture, collaborate with start-ups

  • HDFC Bank wants to become the ‘Go
    To’ bank and preferred banker for the start-up community in the country, a top executive
    of the private sector bank said.
  • Towards this end, HDFC Bank on
    Thursday announced the launch of SmartUp zones in its branches across India.
  • “We have now completely revamped
    our offering for start-ups. Our aim is to become the Go-to Bank and preferred
    banker in the start-ups community. Numbers will follow,” Smita Bhagat, Senior
    Executive Vice-President and Head of E-Commerce and Branch Banking, HDFC Bank,
    told BusinessLine in an interview here.
  • She said HDFC Bank, which is
    already engaged with 150 start-ups, wants to “nurture” innovate and collaborate
    with more start-ups, especially in interior India where there is an emerging
    start-up ecosystem.
  • A SmartUp Zone is an exclusive
    area inside the branch dedicated to start-ups. In the first phase, SmartUp
    zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities including Tier-2 and-3
    cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.
  • Through these zones, specially
    trained bank staff will offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to
    entrepreneurs.
CCEA approves SANKALP &
STRIVE Schemes to boost Skill India Mission

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA) on 11 October 2017 approved two World Bank supported schemes
    Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and
    Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) to boost Skill
    India Mission.
  • SANKALP is Rs 4455 crore
    centrally sponsored scheme including Rs 3300 crore loan support from World Bank
    whereas STRIVE is a Rs 2200 crore central sector scheme with half of the scheme
    outlay as World bank loan assistance.
  • SANKALP and STRIVE are outcome
    focused schemes.
Highlights of STRIVE scheme

  • STRIVE scheme will incentivize
    ITIs to improve overall performance including apprenticeship by involving SMEs,
    business association and industry clusters.
  • It will develop a robust
    mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening
    institutions- State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), National Skill
    Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils, ITIs and National Skill
    Development Agency (NSDA) etc.
  • It will support universalization
    of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality
    Assurance Framework (NQAF) across the skill development schemes.
  • It will provide the required push
    to the National Skill Development Mission 2015 and its various sub missions.
  • It aligned to flagship Government
    programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan.
Highlights of SANKALP scheme

  • SANKALP envisages setting up of
    Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models. Over 50 such
    academies are to be set up in priority sectors.
  • It will leverage institutions for
    training the trainers in both long & short term VET thereby bringing about
    convergence. Additional trainer academies will also be set up.
  • Greater decentralization in skill
    planning will be ensured by institutional strengthening at the State level
    which includes setting up of SSDMs and allowing states to come up with District
    and State level Skill Development Plans (DSDP/SSDP).
  • It aims at enhancement of
    inclusion of underprivileged and marginalized communities including women, Scheduled
    Castes (SCs), Schedule Tribes (STs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
  • It will develop a skilling
    ecosystem that will support the country’s rise in the Ease of Doing Business
    index.
Union Cabinet approves signing of
the MoC between India and Japan on establishing LNG Market

  • The Union Cabinet on 11 October
    2017 approved the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India
    and Japan for establishing a liquid, flexible and global Liquefied Natural Gas
    (LNG) Market.
  • The MoC will promote bilateral
    relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector.
  • It will contribute to the
    diversification of gas supplies for India.
  • It will strengthen the energy
    security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers.
  • It will provide a framework to
    cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts and abolition of
    Destination Restriction Clause.
  • It will also explore
    possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices
    reflecting true LNG demand and supply.
India to send 3-lakh youth to
Japan for on-job training

  • Under the government’s skill
    development programme, India will send 3-lakh youth to Japan for on-job
    training for 3-5 years, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved
    signing of Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between Japan and India on the
    ‘Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)’.
  • The Technical Intern Training
    Program (TITP) is an ambitious program to send one Lakh Indian technical
    interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of 3-5 yrs.
  • These youth will work in the
    Japanese ecosystem and will get employment opportunities there along with
    accommodation facility.
  • It is also expected that about
    50,000 out of one lakh interns may also get jobs in Japan.
  • The monetary cost of the skill
    training of Indian technical interns would be beared by Japan.
  • The selection of the youth for
    Intern Training Program will be done in a transparent manner as per the Japanese
    requirements.
  • The Memorandum of Cooperation
    (MoC) is likely to be signed in this month.
Union Cabinet approves revised
pay scales of teachers and academic staff

  • The Union Cabinet on 11 October
    2017 approved the revision of pay scales for about 8 lakh teachers and other
    equivalent academic staff of universities and colleges recognised by the
    University Grants Commission (UGC) and also for the staff of Centrally Funded
    Technical Institutions.
  • The approval came following the
    implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission for
    Central Government employees.
  • The decision will benefit 7.58
    lakh teachers and equivalent academic staff in the 106 Universities and
    Colleges which are funded by the UGC/MHRD.
  • It will also benefit 329
    Universities which are funded by State Governments and 12912 government and
    private aided colleges affiliated to State Public Universities.
  • The revised pay package will
    cover teachers of 119 Centrally Funded Technical Institutions such as IITs,
    IISc, IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITIE, etc.
  • The approved pay scales will be
    effective from 1 January 2016.
  • The annual Central financial
    liability on account of this measure will be about Rs 9800 crore.
News related to India & states
Indian Naval Ships to participate
in Passage Exercise with Japanese Marine

  • Indian Naval Ships Satpura and
    Kadmatt would be participating in the Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Japanese
    Marine Self Defence Force.
  • The information was shared by
    Indian navy on 13 October 2017. The navy said in a statement that both the
    ships, INS Satpura and Kadmatt, are visiting Sasebo, Japan, from 12-15 October.
  • Following the completion of the
    harbour phase, the ships would take part in the Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with
    the Murusame Class destroyer, JS Kirisame.
  • The visit of the ships to Japan
    is a part of the Indian government’s initiatives to strengthen the
    long-standing, mutually supportive and strong relationship between Japan and
    India.
Indian Air Force launches health
mobile app ‘MedWatch’

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) on 11
    October 2017 launched an innovative health mobile App named `MedWatch’ on the
    occasion of its 85th anniversary. It was launched by Air Chief Marshal BS
    Dhanoa during the Air Force Commanders’ Conference in New Delhi.
  • The Mobile app was launched to
    keep up with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Digital India’.
  • The concept and content of the
    App is given by the Directorate General of Medical Services (Air).
  • The app was developed in-house
    with zero financial outlay by the Directorate of Information Technology (DIT).
  • It comprises a host of features
    that will provide authentic health information to all IAF personnel.
  • An important component of the App
    is a Reminder Tool that enables timely immunization for the children of all Air
    Warriors. This will directly enable ‘Mission Indradhanush’ of Union Government.
  • It is the first health mobile app
    among the three Armed Services- Indian Army, Indian Navy and IAF.
It is available on the IAF’s
AFCEL network.
Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Anniversary
to be celebrated from 2 October 2019 to 2 October 2020

  • The Union Government on 12
    October 2017 announced to observe the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
    from 2 October 2019 to 2 October 2020.
  • To commemorate the same, the
    Union Government constituted a National Committee headed by Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi.
  • This Committee comprises Chief
    Ministers of all the states, representatives from across the political
    spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers and prominent people from different spheres of
    life.
  • The Committee will direct and
    approve policies, programmes, activities for the commemoration and will also
    supervise the implementation of the decisions taken from time to time.
Chennai Metro Rail introduces
free bicycle ride scheme

  • The Chennai Metro Rail, CMRL has
    introduced a free bicycle ride scheme for its customers. The metro corporation
    has tied up with a private agency to provide 100-hours of bicycle ride free of
    cost every month.
  • Speaking on the development, the
    CMRL said that the initiative is an effort towards providing last-mile
    connectivity service to passengers in order to help promote eco-friendly travel
    in the city. The move is expected to reduce dependence on private vehicles and
    provide a more economical option to the travellers.
  • No registration fee or charge has
    to be paid for renting the bicycles.
  • The users can avail 100 hours of
    free ride under the condition that the cycle is returned within 24 hours.
  • There are 10 cycles in each of
    the stations and people can gain access to them at any time of the day.
Cabinet approves MoU between
India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of water resources

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 October 2017 gave its approval for signing
    of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation
    in the field of water resources.
  • The main objective behind signing
    of the MoU is to enhance cooperation in the field of water resources
    development and management within the framework of their expertise and their
    respective legislations.
Union Cabinet approves MoU
between India and Belarus for cooperation in Vocational Education

  • The Union Cabinet on 11 October
    2017 approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Belarus for
    cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET).
  • The MoU was signed between both
    the sides on 12 September 2017 during the visit of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
    to India.
  • This is for the first time that
    India signed MoU for cooperation in area of vocational education, training and
    skill development with Eurasian country.
  • It will pave the way for
    systematic transfer of their expertise and knowhow in skilling the manpower
    specially in manufacturing sector.
  • The MoU will be implemented
    through establishing institutional partnerships between Republican Institute
    for Vocational Education (RIPO) , an apex institution for development of
    Belarusian vocational education system and Directorate General of Training in
    VET delivery & its sustainability.
  • Belarus will provide
    comprehensive transfer of know-how of emerging technologies, training and
    evaluation methodologies, content development for training of master trainers,
    competency building of the assessors.
Lists & Indexes
Global Hunger Index 2017
released: India ranked 100th among 119

  • The International Food Policy
    Research Institute (IFPRI) on 12 October 2017 released the ‘2017 Global Hunger
    Index: The Inequalities of Hunger’. This year, India ranks at low 100th
    position out of 119 countries on the Index, owing to the fact that one in every
    five children under age 5 has low weight for height.
  • As per the Global hunger Index
    2017, the global hunger levels have fallen more than a quarter since 2000.
  • The Global Hunger Index this year
    underlines that famine has cast a shadow over four countries in 2016 while
    conflict and climate change continue to hit the poorest the hardest. There have
    been long term obstacles to reduce hunger in several countries, which is
    in-turn threatening efforts to reach zero hunger.
Highlights of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017

  • According to 2017 GHI scores,
    fortunately, the level of hunger in the world has decreased by 27 per cent from
    the year 2000.
  • Out of the assessed 119
    countries, 1 falls in the extremely alarming range on the GHI Severity Scale; 7
    fall in the alarming range; 44 fall in the serious range and 24 in the moderate
    range.
  • Only 43 countries have scores in
    the low range.
  • Nine of the 13 countries that lack
    sufficient data for calculating 2017 GHI score raise significant concern. These
    countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Syria may have some of the highest
    levels of hunger.
  • In South Asia, India at 100th
    place is the third-worst in all of Asia, better only than Afghanistan and
    Pakistan. China ranked the highest at 29; Nepal ranked at 72, Myanmar at 77,
    Sri Lanka at 84, Bangladesh at 88, Pakistan at 106 and Afghanistan at 107.
  • In Africa south of the Sahara,
    the Central African Republic is placed in the “extremely alarming” category.
    The country has the same score today as it did in 2000, suggesting any progress
    made in recent years has been subsequently reversed.
  • Several countries including Sri
    Lanka, Mauritania, and Venezuela have higher GHI scores in 2017 than in 2008,
    after witnessing falling scores in the previous two decades.
  • The GHI scores of 14 countries
    including Senegal, Azerbaijan, Peru, Panama, Brazil and China improved by 50
    per cent or more.
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Safe Cities Index 2017: Tokyo
safest in world; Delhi is 43rd

  • Tokyo has once again topped the
    list of The Economist’s Safe Cities Index 2017 while Delhi and Mumbai ranked
    43rd and 45th respectively.
  • The index, produced by The
    Economist Intelligence Unit, was based on 49 indicators covering digital,
    health, infrastructure and personal security.
  • Of the 10 cities at the bottom of
    the index, two are in South Asia (Dhaka and Karachi), three in South-east Asia
    (Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta) and two in the Middle East and Africa
    (Cairo and Tehran), The Economist said.
  • In 2016, there were 31
    megacities, each having more than 10 million people. And that figure is
    projected to rise to 41 million by 2030, the study said.
  • It cited recent terror attacks in
    London, Paris and Barcelona and said the wealthy urban centres are increasingly
    becoming targets of terrorists.
  • The study also noted income
    disparities and growing inequalities among people which can trigger ‘violent
    outbursts such as the 2011 London riots’.
  • The index has retained four
    security categories from the 2015 version and added six new indicators. It has
    also been expanded to cover 60 cities, up from 50 in 2015.
  • Though Japan has fallen out of
    the top ten, to 12th in infrastructure security, it has managed to retain the
    overall ranking for the third consecutive year.
  • Tokyo’s strongest performance is
    in the digital security category and it has risen seven points in the health
    security category, the report said.
Appointments
Gautam Bambawale appointed as
India’s Ambassador to China

  • Gautam Bambawale was on 12
    October 2017 appointed as India’s new Ambassador to China. Bambawale is an
    Indian Foreign Service Officer of the 1984 batch. He will succeed Vijay
    Gokhale.
  • Bambawale is familiar with
    Mandarin Chinese and has earlier served in Hong Kong and Beijing.
  • He served as director in the
    Americas Division of the ministry, responsible for relations with the US and
    Canada (1993-94).
  • He has also functioned as the
    Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.
  • After taking up the position, one
    of the major tasks of Bambawale will be to stabilise India-China ties that were
    rocked by a military face off in the Doklam area of Bhutan which lasted for 73
    days.
  • Both the sides agreed to end the
    face-off on 28 August 2017, paving the way for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to
    visit China for the BRICS summit in September 2017.
Rukaiya Rangwala appointed
MobiKwik payment gateway head

  • MobiKwik, mobile wallet major and
    a payment gateway provider, on Friday announced the appointment of Rukaiya
    Rangwala as the Business Head of ‘MobiKwik Payment Gateway’ to drive the growth
    of the entity.
  • The company had recently
    relaunched its Payment Gateway and aims to have over $5 billion worth of
    transactions processed on the platform by the end of 2017-18.
  • Commenting on the appointment,
    Upasana Taku, Co-founder, MobiKwik said: “Rukaiya brings a wealth of
    experience to MobiKwik and we are pleased to welcome her as the leader of our Payment
    Gateway business.”
  • Prior to joining MobiKwik,
    Rukaiya, who has 15 years of experience in the technology and e-commerce
    industry, spent two years working on entrepreneurial ventures. She spent eight
    years at Dell prior to coming to India with Rocket internet, helping the VC
    establish its portfolio in the country.
World News
US withdraws from Unesco over its
‘anti- Israel bias

  • The United States on Thursday
    announced it will withdraw from the Unesco, accusing the UN’s cultural body of
    “anti-Israel” stance.
  • The withdrawal will take effect
    on December 31, 2018. The US will remain a full member of UNESCO until that
    time.
  • “This decision was not taken
    lightly and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at Unesco, the need for
    fundamental reform in the organisation and continuing anti- Israel bias at
    Unesco,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
  • She said the Department of State
    today notified United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation
    Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the
    organisation and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to Unesco.
Sports News
ICC approves Test world championship
and 13-team ODI league

  • The International Cricket Council
    (ICC) is set to start a nine- team Test league and a 13-team ODI league in 2019
    and 2020 respectively, aiming to bring “context and meaning to bilateral
    cricket”.
  • The Test series league will see
    nine teams play six series over two years — three home and three away — with
    each having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five. All matches will be
    played over five days culminating in a World Test League Championship Final.
  • The ODI league will be a direct
    qualification pathway towards the World Cup and will be contested by the 12
    full members plus the winners of the current ICC World Cricket League
    Championship.
  • In the first edition of the
    league, each side will play four home and four away series each comprising of
    three ODIs moving to all teams playing each other from the second cycle
    onwards.
  • The ICC Board also approved a
    trial of four-day Tests to run through until the World Cup 2019. Members will
    be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement and a set of
    standardised playing conditions will now be finalised.
Ashish Nehra bids adieu to all
forms of cricket

  • Ashish Nehra on 11 October 2017
    announced retirement from all forms of international and domestic cricket.
    Nehra will be playing his last match T20 International (T20I) against New
    Zealand on 1 November 2017 at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi.
  • Left arm medium fast bowler Nehra
    will also retire from the Indian Premier League, which played a huge role at
    his international comeback in 2016.
  • Ashish Nehra made his cricket
    debut in 1999 under Mohammed Azharuddin in India.
  • He made his international debut
    in a Test match against Sri Lanka in Colombo in February 1999.
  • Owing to injuries, Nehra did not
    play a single international match for India between September 2005 and June
    2009.
  • He returned to international
    cricket with 2011 World Cup. He played the semi-final where he broke his finger
    while going for a catch of Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq as a result; he had to give
    World Cup final, a miss.
  • He has taken 44 Test wickets,
    besides 157 ODI and 34 T20.
  • He is best remembered for his 6
    for 23 against England at Durban in the 2003 World Cup, despite being unwell
    and puking throughout the match.
  • Nehra has played 17 Tests, 120
    ODIs and 26 T20 Internationals for the country till date
Days
International Day for Disaster
Reduction observed globally

  • The International Day for
    Disaster Reduction was observed across the world on 13 October 2017 with the
    theme ‘Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement’.
  • The 2017 campaign aims to raise
    global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to
    reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing
    to saving homes and livelihoods.
  • The same can be accomplished only
    through coordination, cooperation and collaboration among many stakeholders.
  • The International Day was to be
    observed annually during the International Decade for Natural Disaster
    Reduction, 1990-1999.

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