Current Affairs Update – 24 August, 2017



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

Banking & Financial
News
HDFC becomes the first bank in India to launch DigiPOS

  • HDFC Bank has become the first
    bank in India to launch DigiPOS, a Point of Sale (POS) machine that offers a
    complete suite of digital payment options. DigiPOS will offer customers various
    digital payment options such as UPI, Bharat QR, SMS Pay and PayZapp, in
    addition to the facility to pay through debit / credit cards.
  • The bank has a network of over 4
    lakh PoS machines used by 3 lakh merchants across 4000 locations. In the next
    3-4 months, HDFC Bank will convert its entire network of over 4 lakh PoS
    machines to DigiPOS without any investment by the merchants. The pilots are
    beeing carried out in all four metros with large retailers.
  • Through a market survey, the bank
    realized that the merchants were faced with several challenges around payments.
    The multiple payment modes and multiple devices cluttered the entire mechanism,
    multiple transaction reports resulted in reconciliation hassles, the complex
    steps in receiving payments required the merchants to train their counter staff
    and the multiple service providers added to the confusion. The DigiPOS payment
    solution alleviates these pain points and provides simplicity, value,
    convenience, security to the merchants. The customer interface is simple and
    intuitive. It gives the merchant one single report at the end of the day which
    reconciles all his transactions across payment methods.
  • The payment solution is available
    as a software upgrade fo the existing POS terminals. The merchant does not have
    to make any fresh investment to access DigiPOS. After a software upgrade done
    by the bank’s service engineer, the merchant can use the same POS terminal to
    avail of the payment solution.
Finance Ministry gives formal go ahead to printing of Rs 200 notes

  • The Union Finance Ministry on 23
    August 2017 confirmed the launch of the new Rs 200 note.
  • The information was formally
    revealed through a Gazette notification, which stated, “The central government
    hereby specifies the denomination of bank notes of the value of 200 rupees.”
  • The notification has been issued
    under Section 24 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, on the recommendations
    of the Central Board of Directors of the RBI.
  • Besides confirming the launch of
    the new Rs 200 note, the government also formally announced the release of a
    new fluorescent blue Rs 50 note. However, this does not indicate demonetisation
    of the earlier Rs 50 notes, as they would continue to remain as legal tender.
  • The printing of the new Rs 200
    note is already underway and hence, it would be brought into circulation soon.
    The move aims to increase the circulation of smaller denomination notes, easing
    the pressure off the existing bills.
  • Following demonetisation of all
    ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes on 8 November 2017, there have been reports of people
    facing problems in using the new high-value Rs 2000 note due to insufficiency
    in the number of lower denomination currency, especially in the Rs 100 and Rs
    500 banknotes.
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Union Cabinet approves amalgamation of Public Sector Banks through
Alternative Mechanism

  • The Union Cabinet on 23 August
    2017 approved amalgamation of Public Sector Banks through an Alternative
    Mechanism (AM) with an aim to facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised
    Banks to create strong and competitive banks.
  • The decision regarding creating strong and
    competitive banks will be completely based on commercial considerations.
  • The proposal of Consolidation
    must start from the Boards of Banks.
  • The proposals received from the
    banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation should be
    placed before the Alternative Mechanism (AM).
  • After in-principle approval, the
    banks will be required to take steps in agreement with law and SEBI’s
    requirements.
  • The final scheme will be notified
    by Union Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
India-Nepal signed 8 agreements to boost the bilateral relations

  • India and Nepal on 24 August 2017
    signed eight agreements in different areas of mutual benefit including demand
    reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and
    cooperation in the field of standardization and conformity assessment among
    others. The agreements were signed in New Delhi during Nepal Prime Minister
    Sher Bahadur Deuba visit to India.
  • Nepal PM Deuba is on a five-day
    long state visit to in India (23 August to 27 August 2017). The signed
    agreements will help the two nations to boost the bilateral relations.
List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of
Nepal to India

  • MoU on modalities for utilization
    of India’s housing grant component to support reconstruction of 50000 houses
  • MoU on implementation of the
    grant component of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction package in the
    education sector in Nepal
  • MoU on implementation of the
    grant component of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction package in the
    cultural heritage sector in Nepal
  • MoU on implementation of the
    grant component of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction package in the health
    sector in Nepal
  • MoU for implementation
    arrangement on cost sharing, schedules and safeguard issues for construction of
    Mechi bridge under ADB’s SASEC road connectivity programme (Tranche 2), funded
    by Union Government
  • MoU on drug demand reduction and
    prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances
    and precursor chemical and related matters
  • Agreement on cooperation in the
    field of standardization and conformity assessment
  • MoU between the institute of
    chartered accountants of India and the institute of chartered accountants of
    Nepal
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves closure of Bharat Wagon
and Engineering Company

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA) on 23 August 2017 approved the proposal of Union Ministry of
    Railways to close the Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL).
  • The BWEL is a Central Public
    Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Union Ministry of Railways.
  • The BWEL’s 626 employees will be
    benefitted from the voluntary retirement scheme to be offered at 2007 pay
    scale. The Union Government will have to provide one time grant off Rupees
    151.18 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities
    of the company.
  • In view of the continues poor
    physical and financial performance of the company for more than 10 years, in
    spite of financial assistance and other support provided by the Ministry of
    Railways combined with low probability of its revival in future, the BWEL is
    being wound up.
  • The step will stop flow of
    financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of sick/loss
    making BWEL resulting in savings for the Union Government.
  • The implementation will be done
    as per the timelines prescribed in the guidelines issued by Department of
    Public Enterprises (DPE) on time bound closure of sick/loss making CPSEs.

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News related to India & States
Privacy is a Fundamental Right under Article 21: Supreme Court

  • A nine-judge bench of the Supreme
    Court on 24 August 2017 ruled that the Right to Privacy is the Fundamental
    Right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The bench observed that
    privacy is intrinsic to freedom of life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article
    21 of the Constitution.
  • The bench overruled the previous
    judgments in the M P Sharma and Kharak Singh cases, which declared that the
    Right to Privacy was not protected by the Constitution.
  • Henceforth, the question of whether
    Aadhaar violates the Right to Privacy is now likely to be taken up by a
    five-judge Constitution bench.
  • This verdict will now determine
    whether the submission of an individual’s Aadhaar number can be made compulsory
    for access to government schemes or not.
  • The bench, headed by Chief
    Justice of India J S Khehar, comprises Justices J Chelameswar, S A Bobde, R K
    Agrawal, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, D Y Chandrachud, S K Kaul and S Abdul Nazeer.
This ruling will have its impact
on these landmark cases:
1. Aadhar – Union Government’s
decision to introduce biometric data enabled aadhar ID for citizen.
2. Section 377 – Homosexuality,
oral sex is criminal offence.
3. Section 66 A of IT Act Verdict
– State can take action against an individual for sharing his thoughts on
social platform.
4. DNA Profiling Bill – DNA of an
individual can be profiled without his consent.
Appointments
Union Government names Rajiv Bansal as CMD of Air India

  • The Union Government on 23 August
    2017 named Rajiv Bansal, additional secretary and financial advisor in the
    Petroleum Ministry, as interim CMD of Air India Ltd.
  • The decision came a day after the
    previous Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani was appointed as the Chairman of the
    Railway Board.
  • He has also served in the
    Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, where he looked after
    digital payments, IT Act, Aadhaar and internet governance.
  • During his career spanning close
    to 30 years, he also served as Secretary of the Central Electricity Regulatory
    Commission (CERC), and Joint Secretary in the Department of Heavy Industries.
Ashwani Lohani appointed as Chairman of Railway Board

  • Ashwani Lohani was on 23 August
    2017 appointed as the Chairman of Railway Board of India. Lohani will succeed
    AK Mittal, who resigned as the Chairman of Railway Board following two
    back-to-back train accidents.
  • The announcement was by the
    Appointments Committee of the Cabinet after Union Railway Minister Suresh
    Prabhu offered his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the
    recent train accidents. However, his resignation was not accepted.
  • Mittal’s resignation came hours
    after Delhi-bound Kaifiyat Express got derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya
    district early on 23 August 2017. At least 74 people were injured in the
    incident as nine coaches of the Kaifiyat Express got derailed after colliding
    with a dumper.
  • Earlier on 19 August 2017, 23
    people were killed and 156 injured after fourteen coaches of Utkal Express got
    derailed near Muzzafarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh.
Sports News
England striker Wayne Rooney retires from international football

  • Former England captain Wayne
    Rooney on 23 August 2017 announced his retirement from international football,
    ending a 14-year career.
  • With this, Rooney also leaves as
    England’s most-capped outfield player with 119 appearances.
  • He is the record goalscorer for
    the England national team and for Manchester United.
  • Along with Michael Carrick, he is
    the only English player to win the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions
    League, League Cup, UEFA Europa League and FIFA Club World Cup.
  • He had joined the Everton youth
    team at the age of 9, and made his professional debut for the club in 2002 at
    the age of 16.
  • He made his senior international
    debut for England in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to
    represent England (a record since broken by Theo Walcott) and he is England’s
    youngest ever goalscorer.
Australia beats Iran to clinch 2017 FIBA Asia Cup

  • Australia on 20 August 2017 was
    crowned the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 basketball champions.
  • The team defeated Iran 79-56 in
    the final to grab the title.
  • On the other hand, South Korea
    clinched the third place with a win over New Zealand 80-71.
  • The 2013 and 2015 was the last
    Asian Championship to serve as qualifiers to the FIBA Basketball World Cup and
    the Olympic Games.
  • The 2017 FIBA Asia Cup was the
    29th continental basketball championship in Asia.
  •  It was held at the Nouhad Nawfal Stadium in
    Lebanon from 8 to 20 August 2017, a week earlier from the initial scheduled
    date.
  • The tournament determined the
    composition of the joint FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania qualifiers for the 2019
    FIBA World Cup.
World News
Nepal launches Climate-Smart Snow Leopard Plan

  • Nepal on 23 August 2017 launched
    its climate-smart snow leopard landscape management plan.
  • The plan aims to safeguard the
    endangered species of snow leopard and its habitat.
  • The plan is the first
    climate-smart landscape management plan for snow leopard conservation in the
    world.
  • The conservation plan was
    launched ahead of the International Snow Leopard Summit and Ecosystem Forum
    that addresses key current and emerging threats to the snow leopards, including
    climate change.
  • Nepal’s conservation plan also
    comes ahead of the Bishkek Declaration, which will be signed by all 12 range
    states at the close of the summit and must pave the way for more substantial
    action in securing 20 snow leopard landscapes by 2020.
Books & Authors
I Do What I Do: On Reform,
Rhetoric & Resolve authored by Raghuram Rajan

  • Raghuram Rajan explains economic
    concepts and talks of issues like tolerance and connection between political
    freedom and prosperity in his new book, which is a collection of essays and
    speeches during his stint as RBI head.
  • When Rajan took charge as governor
    of the Reserve Bank of India in September 2013, the rupee was in free fall,
    inflation was high, India had a large current account deficit, and exchange
    reserves were falling.
  • As measure after measure failed
    to stabilise markets, speculators sensed a full—blown crisis and labelled India
    one of the Fragile Five economies.
  • Rajan’s response was to go all
    out, not just to tackle the crisis of confidence, but also to send a strong
    message about the strength of India’s institutions and the country’s ongoing
    programme of reform, publisher HarperCollins India said.
  • Rajan’s commentary and speeches
    in “I Do What I Do: On Reform, Rhetoric & Resolve” convey what it was like
    to be at the helm of the central bank in those turbulent but exciting times, it
    said.
  • This is not Rajan’s first book.
    He co-authored “Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists” with Luigi Zingales and
    wrote “Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy”, for
    which he was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for best business
    book.

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