Current Affairs Update – 23-25 September, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 23, 24 & 25 September, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

Banking & Financial
PM Narendra Modi launches
‘Saubhagya’ scheme

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra
    Modi launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana-Saubhagya’ on 25
    September 2017 in New Delhi to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal
  • Listed on the agenda of the
    Cabinet meeting held last week, the scheme is expected to cover all rural
    families after expected electrification of all villages by the end of 2017.

Aim & Objective

  • The Yojana mainly aims to provide
    last mile power connectivity to all rural and urban households.
  • The scheme would provide subsidy
    on electrical equipments such as transformers, meters and wires.
  • The Yojana aims to re-enforce the
    centre’s target of achieving power for all.

  • The benefit of this Yojana is
    expected to reach villages, especially the rural area of the country by the end
    of 2017.
  • The scheme is expected to provide
    all the villages with equal benefits.
  • With electric connection in the
    villages, the rural sector is expected to receive more benefits.
  • The scheme would also further
    revitalise the ‘Digital India’ vision and there will be penetration of more
    technology in the remote areas of the country.

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SBI launches chatbot
“SIA” to help customers in banking activities

  • Artificial intelligence banking
    platform Payjo today said it has launched an AI-powered chat assistant for
    State Bank of India to addresses customer enquiries.
  • The chat assistant, known as SBI
    Intelligent Assistant, or SIA, will help customers with everyday banking tasks
    just like a bank representative, the company said in a statement.
  • “SIA is a revolution in the
    banking industry. It is set to disrupt the way banks and customers
    interact,” Payjo founder and CEO Srinivas Njay said.
  • SIA has been set up to handle
    nearly 10,000 enquiries per second, or 864 million in a day, which is nearly
    25% of the queries processed by Google every day.
  • “SIA will enhance customer
    service several notches above. Payjo’s expertise in the conversational banking
    domain helped us build SIA as a superior chatbot in the global banking space.
  • With SIA, the bank will reduce
    significant operational expenditure over time.
  • Currently, SIA can address
    enquiries on banking products and services.
SBI revises service charges on
maintaining monthly average balance

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has
    reviewed the requirement of maintaining Monthly Average Balance (MAB) and the
    charges for non-maintenance of MAB. In this context, SBI would like to state
    that financial inclusion including JAN DHAN Accounts have never been subject to
    any charges.
  • In respect of the rest, it has
    now been decided to exempt the pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits
    from the Government and accounts of Minors. Therefore, this is in addition to
    the already exempted categories under PMJDY accounts and Basic Savings Bank
    Deposit Accounts (BSBD).
  • The Bank has also decided to
    treat the metro and urban centres in the same category and the requirement of
    MAB in metro centres stands reduced to Rs 3,000.
  • For non-maintenance of MAB, the
    charges have also been revised downward ranging from 20% to 50% across all population
    groups and categories.
PM forms Economic Advisory
Council; Bibek Debroy appointed chairman

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi
    today constituted Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EAC-PM), which will
    focus on structural reforms.
  • NITI Aayog’s Bibek Debroy has been
    appointed as its chairman.
  • Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy,
    Aashima Goyal and Ratan Watal will be part-time members of EAC-PM.
Terms of reference of the EAC
would be as follows:
1) Analyse any
issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the PM and advising him theron.
2) Addressing
issues of macro-economic importance and presenting views thereon to the PM.
3) Attending to
any other task as may be desired by the PM from time to time.
Union Government announces new
PPP Policy for Affordable Housing

  • The Union Minister of Housing
    & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on 21 September 2017 announced a new PPP
    Policy for Affordable Housing that allows extending central assistance of up to
    Rs 2.50 lakh  for each house to be built
    by private builders even on private lands.
  • The policy seeks to assign risks
    among the government, developers and financial institutions and to those who
    can manage them the best besides leveraging underutilized and un-utilized
    private and public lands towards meeting the Housing for All target by 2022.
The two PPP models for private
investments in affordable housing on private lands include:

  • Central assistance of about Rs
    2.50 lakh per each house as interest subsidy on bank loans as upfront payment
    under the Credit Linked Subsidy Component (CLSS) component of Pradhan Mantri
    Awas yojana (Urban).
  • Central assistance of Rs 1.50
    lakh per each house to be built on private lands would be provided in case the
    beneficiaries do not intend to take bank loans.
This new policy gives eight
Public Private Partnership (PPP) options for private sector to invest in
affordable housing segment. Among these, six options call for using government lands.
These 6 PPP options are:

  • DBT Model: Under this
    option, private builders can design, build and transfer houses built on government
    lands to public authorities. Government land will be allocated based on the
    least cost of construction.
  • Mixed  Development Cross
    –subsidized Housing
    : Government land will be allotted based on number of
    affordable houses to be built on the plot offered to private builders.
  • Annuity Based Subsidized Housing: Builders will invest against
    deferred annuity payments by the Government and land allocation to builders
    will be based on unit cost of construction.
  • Annuity-cum-Capital Grant Based Affordable Housing: Builders will
    be paid a share of project cost as upfront payment.
  • Direct Relationship Ownership Housing: Under this option, promoters
    will directly deal with buyers and recover costs. Allocation of public land
    will be based on unit cost of construction.
  • Direct Relationship Rental Housing
    Recovery of the costs by builders is through rental incomes from the
    houses built on government lands.
India to collaborate with Russia
for Bangladesh nuclear power plant

  • India announced a collaboration
    with Russia on 20 September 2017 to build a nuclear plant in Bangladesh.
  • The move is the first initiative
    under the Indo-Russia deal to undertake atomic energy projects in the
    third-world nations. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture
  • The information was shared by
    Atomic Energy Commission chairman Sekhar Basu at the 61st general conference of
    the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”We
    are collaborating with our Russian and Bangladeshi partners on establishing
    Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh,” he said.
  • The Roppur project, which is
    being built near Dhaka, will be Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project.
  • After commissioning of two units,
    each with a capacity of 1200 MWs, Bangladesh will be the third South Asian
    country after India and Pakistan to harness energy from atomic fission.
  • In India, the government has
    approved construction of 10 new indigenously built nuclear power projects.
  • With this, the total number of
    reactors would go up to 21 under construction and 22 in operation, which in
    turn will increase the country’s atomic energy capacity to over 22,000 MW by
    the end of next decade.
News related to India & states
Union Government launches Pt.
Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

  • Dr. Harshvardhan, the Union
    Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest
    & Climate Change, on 22 September 2017 launched the Pt. Deen Dayal
    Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana.
  • The Project aims at formulating
    and implementing appropriate Science and Technology (S&T) interventions for
    sustainable development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
Key highlights

  • The project has been inspired by
    teachings and ideals of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay whose birth centenary falls in
    the year 2017.
  • The Department of Science and
    Technology (DST) conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand
    and transform them to become self-sustainable in a time bound manner through
    the tools of S&T.
  • The key deliverable in this
    approach is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and
    convert them in a manner using science and technology, that substantial value
    addition takes place in their local produce and services which can sustain the
    rural population locally. 
  • Under the project, the local
    communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of
    jobs and livelihoods. Once this concept is validated in the few selected
    clusters, it can be replicated across large number of village clusters in the
  • Four clusters at Gaindikhata,
    Bazeera, Bhigun (in Garhwal) and Kausani (in Kumaon) have been selected for the
    intervention through a series of dialogues held among officials of DST and
    Uttarakhand State Council of Science and Technology (UCOST), Gramodaya Network,
    Surabhi Foundation and Uttarakhand Utthan Parishad, and other experts.

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New underground water treatment
plant inaugurated in Tripura

  • In Tripura, a new underground
    water treatment plant was inaugurated on 23 September 2017 at Sadhutilla in
    southern part of Agartala with the support of the state Urban Development
  • The plant mainly aims to fulfil
    the long cherished aspiration of people of drinking water that is free from iron
    and any other contamination.
  • The water treatment plant has
    been designed to treat surface water and deep tube wells.
  • The plant will start by treating
    underground water collected through six deep tube wells of the Sadhutilla
  • It has treatment capacity of 4.8
    million litres per day and will supply potable water to 2500 connections at
    households, schools, markets and institutions of 13 small residential
  • It also has two Over Head Storage
    Reservoirs with capacities of 1,130 kilo litre and 450 kilo litre.
  • Initially, the plant will supply
    treated water to 565 households through pipe line.
  • The main speciality of the plant
    is that it would be treating water at higher standards with minimizing
    turbidity and iron in water much below the permissible level.
Multi-agency exercise Pralay
Sahayam held in Hyderabad

  • A multi-agency exercise Pralay
    Sahayam was conducted on 23 September 2017 on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake
    in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • The event demonstrated efforts of
    all central and state agencies, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the
    Armed Forces towards jointly tackling an urban flooding scenario in Hyderabad.
  • For the purpose of the
    multi-agency exercise, Hussain Sagar Lake was transformed into urban colonies
    partly submerged under water, post heavy showers in the city.
  • A large number of dummy
    structures depicting multi-storied buildings and houses with stranded people,
    power stations, educational institutes etc., were erected in the lake in an
    inundated condition.
  • The hapless stranded occupants of
    these dwellings were rescued in joint operations carried out by the State
    Government agencies, Police, State Fire & Emergency Services, NDRF, CISF
    and the Armed Forces.
Rajiv Mehrishi sworn in as new
CAG of India

  • Rajiv Mehrishi took over as the
    13th Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on 25 September 2017,
    succeeding Shashi Kant Sharma, who left office on 22 September.
  • Mehrishi was administered the
    oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function in
    Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi. Several dignitaries including Vice President M
    Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present at the occasion.
  • His predecessor Shashi Kant
    Sharma had taken over as the CAG on 23 May 2013. Prior to his appointment,
    Sharma was serving as the defence secretary.
Awards & Honors
C N R Rao chosen for 2017 Von
Hippel Award

  • Renowned scientist C N R Rao in
    September 2017 became the first Asian to be chosen for the Von Hippel Award.
  • Rao is chosen for the prestigious
    award for his immense contribution in materials research.
  • The award citation noted Rao’s
    immense work on novel functional materials, including nanomaterials (having
    particles of nanoscale dimensions), graphene (the strongest and thinnest
    material) and 2D materials, superconductivity, and colossal magnetoresistance
    (change in electrical resistance of a material in a magnetic field).
  • The award is the US-based
    Materials Research Society’s (MRS) highest honour.
  • Rao will be presented with the
    award on 29 November 2017 in Boston during an MRS meeting.
Sports News
Mary Kom to be AIBA
representative at IOC Athletes’ Forum

  • Five-time world champion and
    Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom in September 2017 became the first Indian
    to be picked as representative of the International Boxing Association (AIBA)
    for the IOC Athletes’ Forum.
  • The 33-year-old athlete has been
    invited to attend the 8th International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’
    Forum in Lausanne from 11 November to 13 November 2017.
  • However, the event overlaps with
    the Asian Championship in Vietnam, which is scheduled from 2 November to 12
    November 2017. If Mary Kom is selected for the tournament after trials later in
    September 2017, her participation at the IOC event would become uncertain.



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