Current Affairs Update – 15-17 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 15, 16 and 17 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 – 15 to 17 April, 2017

  1. Wholesale price inflation eased to 5.7 per cent in March as the
    prices of fuel and manufactured items declined.
  2. Maharashtra Government on 16 April 2017 announced Advanced Farming – Enriched Farmer scheme. The scheme
    aims at increasing the income of farmers by cutting production cost and
    increase in output.
  3. Axis Bank has touched 1 million micro-borrowers mark
    and is not keen on acquiring stake in any microlender.
  4. Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) has
    entered into a strategic partnership with a leading South Korean defence major LIG Nex1 to jointly manufacture military hardware for India’s armed
    forces.
  5. The Income Tax (IT) department on 14 April 2017 launched the second
    phase of ‘Operation Clean Money’ to detect black money post-demonetisation
    .
    Over 60000 individuals will be investigated in the second phase. The Central
    Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the department,
    detected undisclosed income of over 9334 crore rupees between 9 November 2016
    till 28 February 2017, that time of the Financial Year 2016-17 when old
    currency notes were banned by PM Narendra Modi.
  6. Anil Agarwal, an Indian
    billionaire, in the second week of April 2017 became the second largest
    shareholder (11.44 per cent) in a British mining group, Anglo American.
  7. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to enter
    into a joint venture with a conglomerate of industries to build launch
    vehicles.
  8. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on
    16 April 2017 flagged-off first-ever
    train with glass roof coaches on Visakhapatnam-Araku route through video
    conferencing from Bhubaneswar
    . The see-through Vistadome coach on
    Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train was launched with an aim to provide a
    delightful travelling experience of the picturesque Araku valley .
  9. The Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) will be launching its ‘South
    Asia Satellite’ on 5 May 2017. The launch aims to benefit all the
    countries in the region, except Pakistan.
  10. Pankaj Advani on 14
    April 2017 defeated Sourav Kothari 6-3 to win the Asian Billiards Championship
    final held in Chandigarh.
  11. B Sai Praneeth on 16 April 2017 defeated
    Kidambi Srikanth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 to clinch his maiden Super Series title in
    the Singapore Open final.

Financial and Banking News –
Wholesale inflation falls to 5.7% in March on easing fuel prices

  • Wholesale price inflation eased
    to 5.7 per cent in March as the prices of fuel and manufactured items declined.
  • WPI inflation was higher at 6.55
    per cent in February. But it was in the negative zone at -0.45 per cent in
    March 2016.
  • “The build-up inflation rate in
    the financial year so far was 5.7 per cent compared to a build-up rate of -0.45
    per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year,” said an official
    statement on Monday.
  • Headline inflation in the fuel
    and power group also eased to 18.16 per cent in March against 21.02 per cent in
    February. “However, the prices of LPG (2 per cent) and aviation turbine fuel (1
    per cent) moved up,” said the release.
  • WPI inflation in the group
    manufactured products stood at 2.99 per cent in March versus 3.66 per cent in
    the previous month.
  • However, inflation in food
    articles rose marginally to 3.12 per cent in March compared with 2.69 per cent
    in February. This was primarily due to higher prices of fruits and vegetables
    and ragi (5 per cent each), bajra (2 per cent) and egg, fish-marine and rice (1
    per cent each).
‘Advanced Farming – Enriched Farmer’ scheme announced in Maharashtra

  • Maharashtra Government on 16
    April 2017 announced Advanced Farming – Enriched Farmer scheme. The scheme aims
    at increasing the income of farmers by cutting production cost and increase in
    output.
  • The scheme announced amidst
    demands for waiver of farm loan in the state, will be launched in the upcoming
    Kharif season.
Key facts of the Advanced Farming – Enriched Farmer’ scheme
Under the scheme, each tehsil of
the state will be declared as a unit. These units will be used on planning for
agri-development
Tasks to be undertaken under the scheme includes
a) Raising
production of major crops (up to the level of its genetic yield potential)
b)
Diversification of crops
c)
Introduction of marketing techniques
d) Uniting
farmers through farm producers’ companies
e) Making them
(farmers) financially stable
In addition to it, the government
will be spending 60 per cent more fund for mechanisation of farming on
tractors, transplanters, power tillers, machines for polishing, grading and
packing of the produce. The grant will be deposited in farmers’ bank accounts
linked to Aadhar.
Axis Bank touches 1 million micro-borrowers mark

  • Axis Bank has touched 1 million
    micro-borrowers mark and is not keen on acquiring stake in any microlender.
  • Three years after getting into
    the segment, the bank hs touched 1 million borrowers mark recently and all of
    them are women who have availed themselves of credit through the joint lending
    group model, Axis Bank’s retail banking head Rajiv Anand told PTI.
  • Stating that the lending book
    stands at Rs. 1,100 crore now, he hinted that the bank will focus on expanding
    the business organically rather than buying into a microfinance company.
  • “As of now, we don’t believe
    there is any need for us to take on any equity stake in an MFI,” Anand said.
  • It can be noted that other
    lenders like Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDFC Bank have acquired stakes in MFIs,
    while IndusInd Bank is in talks with Bharat Financial (formerly SKS) for what
    can be one of the biggest acquisitions in the space.
  • As many as 90 per cent of Axis
    Bank’s borrowers have been tapped by the bank’s dedicated team of 1,600 people,
    while the rest have come from intermediaries, Anand said.
  • The average ticket size of its
    micro loans is Rs. 18,000 and there is a three-tier rate structure with
    interest ranging from 12 to 22 per cent, he said, asserting that this is a “profitable”
    business for the bank.
  • Axis Bank is present in 18 states
    with its microlending offerings and aims to reach 22 states by 2020.
Reliance Defence signs pact with S Korean firm to boost defence
production

  • Anil Ambani group firm Reliance
    Defence Limited (RDL) has entered into a strategic partnership with a leading
    South Korean defence major to jointly manufacture military hardware for India’s
    armed forces.
  • As part of the agreement between
    Reliance Infra promoted RDL and LIG Nex1, the two companies will explore
    opportunities for developing a range of defence products such as air defence
    and surveillance radar, sensors and missiles.
  • The cumulative value of projects
    being targeted by the two companies will be worth multi-billion dollars, an RDL
    official said without elaborating further.
  • Earlier this year, Anil Ambani
    had said that the defence sector will be the largest business area for his
    group in the next few years, considering opportunities worth Rs 1 lakh crore
    per annum in acquisitions for the armed forces.
  • LIG Nex1 is a leader in
    manufacture of smart heavy weapons in categories of anti-ship missiles,
    anti-tank-guided missiles (ATGM), and guided rockets.
I-T department launches 2nd phase of Operation Clean Money to probe
60000 people

  • The Income Tax (IT) department on
    14 April 2017 launched the second phase of ‘Operation Clean Money’ to detect
    black money post-demonetisation. Over 60000 individuals will be investigated in
    the second phase.
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes
    (CBDT), the policy-making body of the department, detected undisclosed income
    of over 9334 crore rupees between 9 November 2016 till 28 February 2017, that
    time of the Financial Year 2016-17 when old currency notes were banned by PM
    Narendra Modi.
  • The identification of undisclosed
    income was done through use of advanced data analytics, including integration
    of data sources, relationship clustering and fund tracking. The high risk
    categories identified include businesses claiming cash sales as the source of
    cash deposits and large cash deposits made by government employees.
  • As per CBDT, over 60000 people
    including 1300 high risk people were identified for investigation into claims
    of excessive cash sales during the demonetisation period.
  • More than 6000 transactions of
    high value property purchase and 6600 cases of outward remittances will be
    subjected to detailed investigations under the second phase.
  • All the cases where no response
    is received shall also be subjected to detailed enquiries.
Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal buys 11.4% of miner Anglo American

  • Anil Agarwal, an Indian
    billionaire, in the second week of April 2017 became the second largest
    shareholder (11.44 per cent) in a British mining group, Anglo American.
  • According to a notice posted on
    the London Stock Exchange, the Volcan Holdings investment company owned by
    Agarwal’s family now owns 11.44% of the group’s capital and voting rights
    following 11 April 2017 share purchase. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) notice
    said the transaction for a total of 160685162 shares took place.
  • It is now the second largest
    shareholder behind South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, which owns
    more than 13 per cent.
  • Agarwal’s investment is believed
    to be worth 1.9 billion pounds (USD 2.4 billion, 2.2 billion euros).
  • The company’s market
    capitalisation is around 16.4 billion pounds. Volcan also owns mining
    competitor Vedanta Resources, which specialises in zinc.

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MoU signed between Indian Academy of Highway Engineers & University
of New South Wales

  • A Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) was signed in April 2017 between the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers
    and the University of New South Wales.
  • The MoU was signed in line with
    the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highway’s vision to influence and
    adopt global innovation into the transportation sector.
  • The MoU seeks to establish a
    Centre of Excellence in Smart Transportation in India.
  • The MoU was exchanged between the
    Director of IAHE V L Patankar and Vice Chancellor of UNSW Prof. Ian Jacobs in
    the presence of Simon Birmingham, Australian Minister for Education.
MoU between NSFDC & Development Commissioner (Handlooms) signed

  • A Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) was signed between the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development
    Corporation (NSFDC) and the Development Commissioner (Handlooms) on 14 April
    2017 in New Delhi.
  • The MoU was signed between the
    NSFDC under the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and
    Development and Commissioner (Handlooms) under the Union Ministry of Textiles.
  • The objective of this MoU is to
    help Scheduled Caste weavers and their families by promoting the production and
    marketing of high value, quality handlooms products at Block level Cluster in
    various States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Odisha.
  • Under the cluster approach, new
    strategy for promoting production and marketing of high value, quality handloom
    products shall be adopted to ensure more earnings of the Scheduled Caste
    Handloom Weavers.
  • Under the MoU, both the signing
    parties shall popularize the schemes of DC (Handlooms) amongst the SC weavers
    through Awareness Programmes and advertisements in electronic/print media in SC
    weavers concentrated areas.
News related to India and States –
ISRO to enter into a joint venture with industries to build rockets

  • The Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) is planning to enter into a joint venture with a
    conglomerate of industries to build launch vehicles.
  • The same was confirmed by ISRO’s
    Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, who stated that the organisation is currently using a
    significant amount of things from the industry and that 80 per cent of their
    work in the case of building launch vehicles is done with the industry.
  • The space agency is planning to
    form a joint venture with industries to build a polar satellite launch vehicle
    (PSLV). The first launch of the vehicle is scheduled to take place between 2020
    and 2021.
  • The organisation is currently
    undergoing the process of establishing the mechanism for the venture and getting
    the necessary approvals.
Railways Ministry launches first-ever train with glass roof coaches on
Visakhapatnam-Araku route

  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on
    16 April 2017 flagged-off first-ever train with glass roof coaches on
    Visakhapatnam-Araku route through video conferencing from Bhubaneswar.
  • The see-through Vistadome coach
    on Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train was launched with an aim to provide a
    delightful travelling experience of the picturesque Araku valley .
  • This specially-designed Vistadome
    air-conditioned coach is claimed to be a first-of-its-kind on Indian Railways.
  • It has large glass windows and an
    observation lounge that offer passengers a panoramic view of the sites along
    the 128-km rail route from Visakhapatnam to Araku valley hill station.
  • A unique feature of this Rs 3.38
    crore 40-seat coach is the double-wide reclining passenger seats that can be
    rotated 360 degrees for a better sightseeing experience.
ISRO announces launch of South Asia Satellite on 5 May; Pakistan’s name
dropped

  • The Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) will be launching its ‘South Asia Satellite’ on 5 May 2017.
    The launch aims to benefit all the countries in the region, except Pakistan.
  • The news on the agency’s plan to
    launch South Asia Satellite was confirmed by ISRO chief AS Kiran Kumar during
    his telephonic interview with PTI. He informed that it’s going up in the first
    week of May 2017.
  • But reports suggest (on basis of
    ISRO sources) that the launch of this communication satellite (GSAT-9) is
    scheduled for 5 May 2017. It will be launched on board the space agency’s
    rocket GSLV-09 from Sriharikota spaceport.
Sports –
Pankaj Advani defeats Sourav Kothari to win Asian Billiards
Championship

  • Pankaj Advani on 14 April 2017
    defeated Sourav Kothari 6-3 to win the Asian Billiards Championship final held
    in Chandigarh.
  • It is Advani’s seventh Asian
    title.
  • He has achieved a hat-trick of
    hat-tricks in English billiards, holding the World, Asian, and Indian National
    Championship titles simultaneously, in three different years: 2005, 2008 and
    2012.
  • In 2012, he became a snooker
    professional.
  • He won the 2014 IBSF World 6-Red
    Snooker Championship, on his debut in that discipline.
  • He is the only player ever to win
    world titles in both the long and short formats of snooker (15-red standard,
    and 6-red) and both formats of English billiards (time and point).
Sai Praneeth clinches 2017 Singapore Open Super Series

  • B Sai Praneeth on 16 April 2017
    defeated Kidambi Srikanth 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 to clinch his maiden Super Series
    title in the Singapore Open final.
  • It was Praneeth’s first
    appearance in a Super Series final, the biggest events of the international
    badminton calendar.
  • Before Praneeth, Saina Nehwal,
    P.V. Sindhu and Srikanth have won the coveted crown.
Obituaries –
Internet pioneer Robert Taylor passes away

  • Robert Taylor, a pioneer of
    Modern Computing and the Internet, passed away on 13 April 2017 following Parkinson’s
    disease. He was 85.
  • Taylor was instrumental in the
    creation of the internet and modern computer.
  • Taylor’s engineering team was
    responsible for the development of Ethernet and a word processing program
    Microsoft Word.
  • In 1961, Taylor was a project
    manager for NASA when he directed funding to Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford
    Research Institute, who helped develop the modern computer mouse.
  • While working for the Pentagon’s
    Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1966, Taylor marshalled the
    creation of single computer network ARPANET.

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