Current Affairs Update – 13 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 12 April, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 13 April, 2017

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday tweaked rules that trigger
    regulatory action against lenders who overshoot the limit
    on bad loans or
    fail to comply with capital ratios. The changes are under the so-called Prompt Corrective Action framework unveiled
    in 2002
    , which sets thresholds that when breached trigger supervisory
    action from the RBI, including a restriction on dividend distribution.
  2. The World Bank has approved a $375 million loan to India’s first
    waterway project.
    The National Waterway 1 project is to create a water
    transport fairway on a 1,360-km stretch of the Ganga river between Varanasi and
    Haldia.
  3. The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA) on 12 April 2017 approved the listing of 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock
    exchanges.
  4. The Union Cabinet on 12 April
    2017 approved the implementation of Supreme Court’s Judgment dated 27 October
    2015 regarding the implementation of Target
    Plus Scheme (TPS) under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2004-09.
  5. State-owned fuel retailers,
    namely Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) and Bharat
    Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL), have
    planned to launch a pilot scheme under which the fuel prices will be revised on
    a daily basis
    . The rates will be decided in sync with the international
    rates, a practice of several advanced markets. The five cities where the pilot
    scheme will be launched are Visakhapatnam
    and Puducherry, Jamshedpur, Udaipur and Chandigarh.
  6. The Union Cabinet was on 12 April
    2017 apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia for cooperation in the field of Science and
    Technology (S&T
    ). The MoU was signed in October 2016.
  7. The Union Government in the
    second week of April 2017 set up an Inter-Ministerial
    Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee to monitor the regional air connectivity
    scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik)
    scheme.
  8. The Union Cabinet on 12 April
    2017 gave its approval for setting up of
    Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE)
    at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
  9. India and U.K. have
    decided to collaborate in developing new items of Defence technology like gas
    turbine engines and air defence missile systems.
  10. Karnataka Government on 12 April 2017 announced to launch Awareness Campaign against H1N1 in high
    incidence districts of Bengaluru, Mysore and Chitradurga.
  11. The Committee, constituted to
    prepare draft Ganga Act, submitted
    its report to the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and
    Ganga Rejuvenation on 12 April 2017. The Chairman of the committee is Justice Girdhar Malviya (Retd), who is
    associated with Ganga conservation movement.
  12. Priyanka Chopra appointed as jury member of 16th edition of Tribeca
    Film Festival.
  13. Achim Steiner was named
    as the new administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by
    the UN chief Antonio Guterres.
  14. Youngest Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai on 12 April 2017 became the sixth person to receive
    honorary Canadian citizenship.
  15. Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution
    on 12 April 2017 that condemned the use of chemical weapons in the rebel-held
    Syrian town, Khan Sheikhoun and demanded a speedy investigation into the
    details of the attack.
  16. M Veerappa Moily, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister
    of Karnataka released a book tracing the
    life of Draupadi
    on 7 April 2017. 
    The book was released by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee at the
    Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Financial and Banking News –
RBI revises rules for regulatory action on banks
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on Thursday tweaked rules that trigger regulatory action against lenders who
    overshoot the limit on bad loans or fail to comply with capital ratios.
  • The changes are under the
    so-called Prompt Corrective Action framework unveiled in 2002, which sets
    thresholds that when breached trigger supervisory action from the RBI,
    including a restriction on dividend distribution.
  • In extreme cases, the framework
    provides the RBI with powers to force mergers or even wind up the non-compliant
    lender.
  • Regulatory action will be taken
    if a bank’s capital-to-risk-assets ratio falls below 7.75 per cent, RBI said in
    a statement on Thursday.
  • If the ratio falls below 3.625 per
    cent, the bank could be a candidate for a merger or may even be wound up, the
    regulator added.
  • It was not immediately possible
    to draw a direct comparison between the new limits and the existing ones.
  • Meanwhile, on bad loan ratios,
    the central bank said the first threshold will be triggered if a bank’s net
    non-performing assets ratio crosses 6 per cent.
  • A net bad loan ratio of more than
    12 per cent will invite the extreme action of winding up or merger, it added.
World Bank approves $375-mn loan for India’s first waterway project
  • The World Bank has approved a
    $375 million loan to India’s first waterway project. The National Waterway 1
    project is to create a water transport fairway on a 1,360-km stretch of the
    Ganga river between Varanasi and Haldia.
  • “NW1 passes through one of
    India’s most densely populated areas, and a sizeable 40 per cent of the
    country’s traded goods either originate from this resource-rich region or are
    destined for its teeming markets. While the region generates about 370 million
    tonnes of freight annually, only about 5 million tonnes currently travels by
    water,” says World Bank in a press release.
  • The project will help build the
    infrastructure needed to develop water transportation in the area. It will
    finance the construction of six multi-modal terminals, 10 RORO jetties,
    ship-repair facilities as well as passenger jetties along the river. It will
    also help modernise the ageing Farakka lock and add a new lock to allow for
    smoother passage of boats. The project will also help the Inland Waterways
    Authority of India acquire a state-of-the-art River Information System as well
    as navigation aids to make travel on the river safer and more reliable.
  • On the environmental implications
    of the project, the World Bank stresses that the project does not involve any
    abstraction or storage of water, nor will the navigation services planned
    affect the flow of the river. Furthermore, IWAI has decided to accept the
    currently available natural depths of the river – ranging from 3 metres in the lower
    stretches to 2 metres further upstream – for its proposed navigation channel,
    thus minimising the need for dredging.
CCEA approves listing of 11 CPSEs on stock exchanges
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA) on 12 April 2017 approved the listing of 11 Central Public
    Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock exchanges.
The CPSEs are:
1. Rail Vikas
Nigam Limited (RVNL)
2. IRCON
International Limited
3. Indian
Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) Ltd.
4. Indian
Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd.
5. RITES Ltd.
6. Bharat
Dynamics Limited (BDL)
7. Garden
Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd.
8. Mazagon
Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL)
9. North
Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) Ltd.
10. MSTC Ltd.
11. Mishra
Dhatu Nigam Ltd. (MIDHANI)
  • These 11 CPSEs will be listed
    through public offer of shares up to 25 per cent of Union Government’s
    shareholding, which may include offer of fresh shares for raising of resources
    from market.
  • The actual disinvestment in
    respect of each CPSE along with the mode of raising resources will be delegated
    for decision on a case to case basis to the Alternative Mechanism which will be
    headed by the Union Finance Minister.
  • With a view to ensure wider
    participation by small investors in the CPSEs’ disinvestment program, a price
    discount of up to 5 per cent on the issue price will be provided for the retail
    investors and eligible employees of 11 CPSEs .
  • The CCEA has also approved
    reservation of shares for the eligible employees of 11 CPSEs in accordance with
    the extant provisions of SEBI Regulations.
Union Cabinet approves implementation of Target Plus Scheme under
Foreign Trade Policy 2004-09

  • The Union Cabinet on 12 April
    2017 approved the implementation of Supreme Court’s Judgment dated 27 October
    2015 regarding the implementation of Target Plus Scheme (TPS) under Foreign
    Trade Policy (FTP) 2004-09.
  • As per the Supreme Court’s
    Judgment, the revenue implication under the TPS is about Rs 2700 crore. The
    claims which were denied as a result of retrospective notification will be now
    settled as per direction of the Supreme Court.
  • The Target Plus Scheme (TPS)
    2005-06 was already implemented partially.
  • Benefit will be extended
    throughout the country as per provisions of the TPS Scheme under Foreign Trade
    Policy 2004-09.
  • The guidelines and modalities for
    processing the claims will be worked out by the DGFT HQs in consultation with
    Department of Revenue.
  • The claims will be settled within
    one year from now.
Petrol, diesel prices to be fixed daily in five cities

  • State-owned fuel retailers,
    namely Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) and Bharat
    Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL), have planned to launch a pilot scheme under which
    the fuel prices will be revised on a daily basis. The rates will be decided in
    sync with the international rates, a practice of several advanced markets.
  • Reports suggest that initially
    the scheme will be launched in 5 Indian cities from 1 May 2017 (a defined final
    date was not declared but sources said that the pilot will be effective from 1
    May) and will be gradually extended across India.
  • At present, the rates of the fuel
    are revised on the 1st and 16th of every month in accordance with the average
    international price in the preceding fortnight and the currency exchange rate.
  • The five cities where the pilot
    scheme will be launched are Visakhapatnam and Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh,
    Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, Udaipur in Rajasthan and Chandigarh.
  • IOC, HPCL and BPCL own over 95
    per cent (nearly 58000) fuel outlets in the country.
Union Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Russia for cooperation
in Science & Technology

  • The Union Cabinet was on 12 April
    2017 apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia
    for cooperation in the field of Science and Technology (S&T). The MoU was
    signed in October 2016.
  • The MoU is aimed at facilitating
    and supporting the joint scientific and research activities between scientific
    organizations that are subordinated to the Agency and scientific organizations
    and scientists of the Republic of Russian Federation.
  • Exchange of information about
    conducted conferences, forums, exhibitions, seminars that are of mutual
    interest.
  • Support and provision of
    conditions for the formation of scientific projects that are aimed at the
    conduct of joint research.
  • Conduct of joint scientific
    events (seminars, conferences, round tables) that are aimed at establishing
    direct connections between scientists of the two countries in the fields
    determined by the countries.
Union Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN

  • The Union Government in the
    second week of April 2017 set up an Inter-Ministerial
    Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee to monitor the regional air connectivity
    scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme.
  • The scheme seeks to make flying
    affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.
  • The panel would be responsible
    for coordination among stakeholders, including state governments, for
    “time-bound” implementation of the scheme.
  • It will also monitor the schemes
    of promotion of regional connectivity by way of revival of unserved and
    under-served airports/airstrips and RCS-UDAN.
  • The Inter-Ministerial
    Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee will be chaired by Civil Aviation
    Secretary.
  • The Committee would have
    representations from the ministries of finance, defence, home as well as
    petroleum and natural gas.
Union Cabinet approves signing of Framework of Understanding for
hydrocarbon cooperation with Bangladesh

  • The Union Cabinet, presided by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 12 April 2017 approved signing of Framework of
    Understanding (FoU) on Cooperation in the Hydrocarbon Sector with Bangladesh.
  • The proposed Framework of
    Understanding aims to establish a cooperative institutional framework mechanism
    to facilitate and enhance India-Bangladesh bilateral cooperation in the
    hydrocarbon sector on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
Union Cabinet approves setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and
Energy at Visakhapatnam

  • The Union Cabinet on 12 April
    2017 gave its approval for setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and
    Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The institute will be set up as
    “an Institute of National Importance” through an Act of Parliament.
  • The IIPE will have the governance
    structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that
    enjoyed by IITs.
  • A separate Act will also impart
    the required status to the Institute to become a “Centre of
    Excellence” in petroleum and energy studies.
  • The Union Cabinet also approved
    Rs 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs
    200 crore towards its Endowment Fund (in addition to a contribution of Rs 200
    crore from Oil Companies towards the Endowment Fund).
  • As committed under the 13
    Schedule of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, it has been decided to set
    up this Institute.
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News related to India and States –
India, UK to collaborate on developing new defence items

  • India and U.K. have decided to
    collaborate in developing new items of Defence technology like gas turbine
    engines and air defence missile systems.
  • “We agreed to extend our
    defence equipment cooperation on developing new technologies such as gas
    turbine engines and air defence missiles systems,” UK Secretary of State
    for Defence Michael Fallon told during a select media briefing here on Thursday
    after the India-UK Defence Partnership talk.
  • Fallon met Defence Minister Arun
    Jaitley and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday during his
    four-day visit here that began on April 11.
  • Fallon said UK is keenly watching
    and willing to share its experience on building aircraft carriers, a task that
    the Indian Navy has also undertaken.
Karnataka launches campaign against H1N1

  • Karnataka Government on 12 April
    2017 announced to launch Awareness Campaign against H1N1 in high incidence
    districts of Bengaluru, Mysore and Chitradurga.
  • In Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara
    Palike (BBMP) limits, so far 766 positive cases of influenza A H1N1 have been
    reported along with the two deaths.
  • As per the campaign, throat swab
    will be taken by doctor if swine flu is suspected.
  • Within 24 hours, test report will
    be given free of cost.
  • Tamiflu tablets will be given
    free at all the government hospitals and primary health centers.
  • On the similar lines, free
    Homeopathy doses will be given to help build immunity.
Telangana Government to increase quota for Muslims, STs in the state

  • The Telangana Government on 12
    April 2017 decided to increase the reservations quota for the socially and
    economically backward Muslim population and the Scheduled tribes in the state.
  • The decision was taken on the
    basis of a report presented by the State’s Backward Classes Commission, which
    recommended a hike in the reservation for the classes.
  • Presently, while the Muslim
    population who are referred to as BC-E in the state enjoy 4 per cent
    reservation, the STs enjoy 7.5 per cent reservation.
  • The exact raise in the percentage
    of the quota of both the groups would be decided by the cabinet at its next
    meeting, which is scheduled to be held on 15 April 2017.
  • Increasing the reservation quota
    of the BC-E and STs was one of the promises made by the ruling Telangana Rastra
    Samithi party during its election campaign.
  • The decision would be backed by a
    legislation in the name of Telangana State Reservation Act that will be
    introduced at a special session of the state’s assembly on 16 April 2017.
Justice Malviya Committee submits its report on draft Ganga Act

  • The Committee, constituted to
    prepare draft Ganga Act, submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Water
    Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on 12 April 2017. The
    Chairman of the committee is Justice Girdhar Malviya (Retd), who is associated
    with Ganga conservation movement.
  • The committee recognized the
    enormous challenges being faced to maintain the wholesomeness of National River
    Ganga that was perpetuated due to over stressed water demand from agricultural,
    domestic and industrial sectors.
Appointments –
Priyanka Chopra appointed as jury member of 16th edition of Tribeca
Film Festival

  • Filmmaker Amy Berg, actors
    Zachary Quinto and Willem Dafoe, and TV producer Sheila Nevins among others
    will also be on the jury, it was announced on Wednesday, reports
    hollywoodreporter.com.
  • Priyanka, who became a popular
    name in Hollywood through her lead role in TV series Quantico, will look after
    the 2017 Documentary and Student Visionary Competitions alongside Olivia
    Thirlby, Ryan Eggold, Brendan Fraser and Ileen Gallagher.
  • The winners of each category will
    be announced at the Tribeca Film Festival Awards ceremony on 27 April at BMCC Tribeca
    Performing Arts Center.
  • The festival, from 19-30 April,
    will be hosted by Michael Rapaport.
UN chief Guterres names Achim Steiner as new administrator of UNDP

  • Achim Steiner was named as the
    new administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by the UN
    chief Antonio Guterres.
  • Steiner, a German with extensive
    experience at the world organization, will succeed Helen Clark, a former New
    Zealand prime minister. Letter by Guterres dated 12 April 2017 said, Clark has
    steered the UNDP since 2009.
  • Steiner was chosen for the post
    over several other candidates including the French Environment Minister
    Segolene Royal. Reports suggest that the result of selection has surprised
    Royal because Guterres had promised a woman would take the job at UNDP. She
    said that Germany would have used its weight as a major UNDP donor to have
    Steiner chosen for the job.
Awards & Honors –
President Pranab Mukherjee confers Padma awards to eminent
personalities

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 13
    April 2017 conferred the Padma awards to 44 people. The awards were conferred
    at a Civil Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Padma Vibhushan was conferred on
    three personalities including eminent Singer Yesudas, spiritual leader Sadhguru
    Jaggi Vasudev were given Padma Vibhushan award.
  • The award ceremony was held in
    the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan
    and Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with other dignitaries.
Malala 6th person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship

  • Youngest Nobel Peace laureate
    Malala Yousafzai on 12 April 2017 became the sixth person to receive honorary
    Canadian citizenship.
  • Malala, 19, was bestowed with the
    title during an honorary citizenship ceremony held in Ottawa. The Pakistani
    activist was welcomed to the seat of Canada’s democracy by Prime Minister
    Justin Trudeau. With this, she also became the youngest person to receive the
    honorary Canadian citizenship.
  • The privilege was previously
    granted to five others namely Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Myanmar’s Aung
    San Suu Kyi, religious leader Karim Aga Khan IV and Swedish diplomat Raoul
    Wallenberg (posthumously).
World News –
Belle-II detector integrated with SuperKEKB accelerator

  • The High Energy Accelerator
    Research Organization (KEK) on 11 April 2017 successfully completed the
    “roll-in” of the Belle II detector.
  • The term “roll-in”
    refers to the operation of moving the entire Belle II detector system,
    following the completion of the assembly and integration of the various
    components, from its assembly area to the beam collision point.
  • The completion is an important
    milestone for the international Belle II collaboration and the SuperKEKB accelerator.
Russia vetoes UN resolution condemning Syria chemical attack

  • Russia vetoed a United Nations
    Security Council (UNSC) resolution on 12 April 2017 that condemned the use of
    chemical weapons in the rebel-held Syrian town, Khan Sheikhoun and demanded a
    speedy investigation into the details of the attack.
  • The resolution drafted by
    Britain, France and the United States aimed to bring Russia’s ally Syria on the
    negotiating table. The western countries believe that Bashar al-Assad-led
    Syrian government has a lot to do with the chemical attack, a claim that is
    rejected by both Moscow and Syria.

Books & Authors –
The Flaming Tresses of Draupadi, authored by M Veerappa Moily launched

  • M Veerappa Moily, senior Congress
    leader and former Chief Minister of Karnataka released a book tracing the life
    of Draupadi on 7 April 2017.  The book
    was released by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati
    Bhavan.
  • The book traces the whole life
    journey of the legendary Mythological character, right from her birth from the
    sacrificial fire to her marriage to the five Pandavas, to losing all the
    fortune and even honour to the Kauravas in the midst of a gambling game and
    finally the great war of Kurukshetra, which ends with the victory of the
    Pandavas.

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