Current Affairs Update – 2 August, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 2 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB  & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News
Union Government launches e-RaKAM portal for selling agricultural
produce

  • The Union Government on 1 August
    2017 launched a portal, e-RaKAM, to provide a platform to sell agricultural
    produce.
  • The portal is a joint initiative
    by state-run-auctioneer MSTC and Central Warehousing Corporation arm CRWC.
  • The platform is a digital
    initiative that aims to bring together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and
    buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of
    agricultural products.
  • The e-RaKAM is a
    first-of-its-kind initiative that leverages technology to connect farmers of
    the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet and
    e-RaKAM centres.
  • While launching the portal, the
    Union Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas
    Paswan stated that the effort should be to auction 20 lakh tonnes of pulses in
    the first phase through the platform.
  • With the help of the platform,
    various crops whose price increases due to rainfall or bad weather conditions
    will be managed and get the market.
  • The portal aims at strengthening
    the agriculture-oriented Indian economy and farmers, who play an important role
    in national development.
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RBI Monetary Policy: Repo rate slashed by 25 bps to 6%, lowest since
2010

  • The RBI has cut the repo rate by
    25 bps to 6%. This was on expected lines as market consensus predicted a 25 bps
    cut.
  • Reverse repo rate has also been
    cut by 0.25 per cent to 5.75 per cent.
  • The six member monetary policy
    committee voted on the basis of a majority for a cut. Dr. Chetan Ghate, Dr.
    Pami Dua, Dr. Viral V. Acharya and Dr. Urjit R. Patel were in favour of the
    monetary policy decision, while Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia voted for a policy
    rate reduction of 50 basis points and Dr. Michael Debabrata Patra voted for
    status quo.
  • The cut in rates comes against
    the backdrop of slowing credit growth, very low inflation and low economic
    growth. Retail inflation has fallen to a five year low of 1.5 per cent in June
    and expected to remain soft for a while longer. Bank credit is growing at just
    a little over 6 per cent year on year.
  • The economy has slowed down
    through the past five quarters from a high of 9.1% registered in the fourth
    quarter of fiscal 2016 to a level of 6.1% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.
    Factory activity contracted to a 8-year low with the purchasing managers’ index
    at just 47.9 points in July.
Following are the highlights of the Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy
Statement issued by RBI:

  • Repo rate reduced by 0.25 percent
    to 6 percent.
  • Reverse repo rate cut by 0.25
    percent to 5.75 percent.
  • Focus on keeping headline
    inflation close to 4 percent on durable basis
  • Some risks to inflation have
    reduced or not materialised.
  • Growth forecast unchanged at 7.3
    percent for the current fiscal.
  • Pushes for reinvigorating private
    investments, clearing infra bottlenecks and providing big thrust to PMAY.
  • Forex reserves at $392.9 billion
    as on 28 July.
  • Four members of Monetary Policy
    Committee voted in favour of 0.25 percent rate cut.
  • Farm loan waivers by states may
    result in fiscal slippages, undermine public spending quality.
  • Government, RBI working to
    resolve large NPAs and recapitalise public sector banks.
  • High levels of stress in twin
    balance sheets – banks and corporations – are likely to deter new investment.
  • Next MPC meeting on 3 and 4
    October, 2017.
News related to India & States
PM Modi announces Rs 100cr corpus to study & find permanent
solution to flood problem in North-East

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1
    August 2017 announced a Rs 100 crore corpus to study and find a permanent
    solution to the flood problem in the North-Eastern states of India.
  • In addition to this corpus of Rs
    100 crore, the Prime Minister also announced Rs 2350 crore as an immediate aid
    for the North East after holding a review meeting on the flood situation with
    several North Eastern states in Guwahati.
  • The corpus was announced during
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Guwahati, Assam. He was in Assam to
    take stock of flood situation of Assam and few other North-Eastern States.
  • During the visit, Modi chaired a
    series of high-level meetings to review the flood situation and relief
    operations. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers and senior
    officials of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.
  • Assam Finance Minister Himanta
    Biswa Sarma said the Prime Minister has announced this corpus to find a
    long-term solution to the flood problem in the region by setting up a high-
    powered committee and a research project to study Brahmaputra River and its
    role in creating a devastating flood.
  • Assam Water Resource minister
    Keshab Mahanta said that Rs 250 crore has already been released for Assam for
    immediate rehabilitation measures. He said the Prime Minister announced Rs 2000
    crore rupees for flood affected North Eastern states for infrastructure
    development.
  • The Prime Minister also asserted
    that Assam’s problem is also the problem of the country and assured to take
    steps to convert problems into possibilities.
Maharashtra government planning to relocate tigers from Vidarbha region
to sanctuaries

  • Maharashtra Government is
    planning to relocate tigers from Vidarbha region of the state to the
    sanctuaries elsewhere where their population is smaller, including Sahyadri
    Tiger Reserve (STR).
  • Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) is
    located in Sahyadri ranges in the western Maharashtra, which has only seven
    tigers at present.
  • The information was given in the
    Legislative Assembly of the State by State’s forest minister Sudhir
    Mungantiwar. The forest minister said that the government had set up a
    committee to examine this issue, and a decision will be taken based on its
    recommendations.
  • The committee will examine
    translocation proposal. It will consult experts from the Centre and submit its
    report in 2-3 months.
  • He also said that most deaths of
    tigers happen due to territorial fights owing to overpopulation.
Rajya Sabha passes Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education
(Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • The Rajya Sabha on 1 August 2017
    passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill,
    2017 that amends Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act,
    2009.
  • The Bill extends the deadline for
    teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment by 4
    years.
  • The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha
    on 22 July 2017.
  • The Bill states that the teachers
    who do not possess the minimum qualifications as on 31 March 2015 will acquire
    the minimum qualifications within a period of four years, that is, by 31 March
    2019.
  • The teachers can get the
    prescribed qualification using the Swayam portal.
  • Teachers will also be provided
    practical experience by the respective states.
  • Under the scheme ‘Swayam Prabha’,
    teachers will not only be trained offline but also online and even through
    direct-to- home (DTH) television channels.
Jharkhand Cabinet approves Religious Freedom Bill 2017

  • Jharkhand Cabinet on 1 August
    2017 approved Religious Freedom Bill 2017. The bill named as Jharkhand Freedom
    of Religion Bill, 2017 seeks to bring the stringent anti-conversion law in
    place under which forceful or allurement induced religious conversion will be a
    non-bailable criminal offence.
  • According to an official release,
    Section three of the Bill prohibits forceful conversion. In the event of
    violation of section three, there will be up to three years imprisonment or Rs
    50000 penalty or both.
  • The release says that if the
    crime involves a minor, woman or person from SC or ST community than the prison
    term would be up to four years and a penalty of one lakh rupees.
  • Allurement for religious
    conversion has been well defined in the bill, where cash or economic benefits
    for religious conversion are included. The bill would be tabled in the upcoming
    monsoon session of Jharkhand Assembly.
  • If the Bill is passed, Jharkhand
    would become the seventh State to have a Freedom of Religion Act in place.
    Other six states with similar Freedom of Religion Act are Maharashtra, Madhya
    Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to implement.
India and Somalia sign agreement on transfer of sentenced persons

  • India and Somalia on 1 August
    2017 signed a bilateral agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons. The
    move is step forward in deepening humanitarian cooperation between the two
    nations.
  • Signing the agreement with
    Somalia will facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or
    vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their
    sentence. The step will also facilitate their social rehabilitation.
  • The agreement was signed between
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of the Federal
    Republic of Somalia Yusuf Garaad Omar.
  • The Foreign Minister of the
    Federal Republic of Somalia Yusuf-Garaad Omar arrived in New Delhi on 31 July
    2017 on a five-day visit at the invitation of Sushma Swaraj. This is his first
    visit to India since he assumed office earlier in 2017.
Appointments
Sanjaya Baru appointed as Secretary General of FICCI

  • Sanjaya Baru was on 1 August 2017
    appointed as the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of
    Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with effect from 1 September 2017.
  • He succeeds A Didar Singh, who
    served as Secretary General for 5 years. However, Didar Singh will continue to
    serve as a strategic advisor to Pankaj Patel, President of the FICCI.
  • Baru had earlier served as the
    media advisor to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
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US Senate confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director

  • The US senate on 1 August 2017
    confirmed the appointment of Christopher Wray as the Director of Federal Bureau
    of Investigation (FBI). Wray was elected to the post by winning 92-5 votes of
    the Senate.
  • With this, Wray succeeds James
    Comey, who was unexpectedly fired by US President Donald Trump in May 2017 in
    the midst of the investigation into Russian meddling in US Presidential
    Elections 2016. Since then, Andrew McCabe has been serving as acting FBI
    director.
  • Wray, a former high-ranking
    official in President George W Bush’s Justice Department who oversaw
    investigations into corporate fraud, takes over the FBI at such a challenging
    time when Trump expelled Comey, who was admired within FBI.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi succeeded Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister of
Pakistan

  • Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the loyal
    supporter of Ex-Prime Minister of pakistan Nawaz Sharif, replaced Nawaz as the
    Prime Minister of Pakistan. The lower house of parliament has elected him the
    new Prime Minister of pakistan.
  • The name of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
    was announced during a high-level PML-N meeting. The PML-N (Pakistan Muslim
    League) holds the majority in the lower house of parliament.
  • Shahid Khaqan Abbasi received
    total 221 votes out of 343-member parliament.
  • The decision came following Nawaz
    Sharif’s resignation as Prime Minister of the country on 28 July 2017. He
    resigned following a decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to disqualify him
    from office on corruption charges.
  • Since Nawaz Sharif brother
    Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be
    appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the
    Senate. Therefore, the PML-N wants him to be in office only for the 45 days and
    work as an Interim Prime Minister of Pakistan till the time Shehbaz become a
    member of Parliament.
Obituaries
Renowned scientist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away

  • Pushpa Mitra (PM) Bhargava, a
    veteran molecular biologist and a ardent critic of Genetically Modified crops,
    passed away on 1 August 2017 following a prolonged illness. He was 89.
  • Bhargava was the Founder-Director
    of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).
  • He founded the CCMB in 1977 as an
    institution for research in basic biology and for seeking its application for
    the benefit of society.
  • He opposed the approval of
    Genetically Modified (GM) crops in India and called for a moratorium of at
    least 15 years on genetically modified crops in the country.
  • Bhargava is a recipient of over
    100 national and international honours and awards, including the Padma Bhushan
    in 1986 and the Legion d’Honneur in 1998 of France.
Marian Diamond, known for studies of Einstein’s brain, passes away

  • Marian Diamond, one of the
    founders of modern neuroscience, passed away in July 2017. She was 90.
  • Diamond is mostly known for her
    investigations of Albert Einstein’s brain. After receiving four preserved
    slices of the physicist’s brain in 1984, she discovered that it contained an
    uncommonly high number of glia, cells that were once believed to merely be
    supporting structures in the brain.
  • Her doctoral dissertation thesis
    Functional Interrelationships of the Hypothalamus and the Neurohypophysis was
    published in 1953.
  • She earned her PhD degree in
    human anatomy.
  • She was the first woman science
    instructor at Cornell University where she taught human biology and comparative
    anatomy.
Former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev passes away

  • Former Union Minister Santosh
    Mohan Dev on Wednesday passed away at his home town in Silchar, Assam. He was
    83.
  • The Congress veteran was Heavy
    Industry Minister in the UPA-I government led by former Prime Minister Manmohan
    Singh.
  • The seven-time Congress MP is
    survived by his wife and four daughters, including Ms. Sushmita Dev.
  • Mr. Dev was first elected to the
    Parliament in 1980. Out of the seven terms as the Lok Sabha MP, he has
    represented Silchar five times and Tripura twice.
  • Mr. Dev was the Union Minister of
    State for Communications during 1986-1988 and the Minister of State for Home
    from 1988-1989.
  • He was also the Union Minister of
    State for Steel (independent charge) in the PV Narasimha Rao government in
    1991.

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