Current Affairs Update – 28-29 June, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 28 & 29 June, 2017. These are important for the upcoming IBPS RRB OS-I, Office Assistant, IBPS PO, Dena Bank PGDBF, NABARD Grade A Recruitment Exam 2017.

Banking & Financial News
Maharashtra Government issued government resolution on loan waiver

  • The Maharashtra government issued
    the Government Resolution (GR) on 28 June 2017 for the farm loan waiver of Rs
    34022 crore announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week.
  • The resolution said, loans of all
    indebted farmers whose accounts went into default until 30 June 2016, will be
    waived off with a cap of Rs 1.5 lakh per farmer.
  • It said, the farmers who have
    paid off their outstanding loans after 30 June 2016, will get a blanket help of
    Rs 25000 from the state government. The GR said, the farmers are entitled to
    get the benefit only once.
  • Persons with an annual turnover
    of over Rs 10 lakh and those who are registered under VAT or Service Tax will
    be ineligible for loan waiver. Retired persons excluding ex-servicemen whose
    monthly pension is Rs 15000 or more are also not eligible.
  • The GR says that the farmers, who
    have more than Rs 1.5 lakh debt, will get the benefit of loan waiver after they
    pay their remaining amount of debt along with interest. It also says that woman
    farmer would be given priority in this scheme.
India makes voluntary contribution of USD 100000 to United Nations Tax
Fund

  • India on 27 June 2017 made
    voluntary contribution of USD 100000 to the United Nations Trust Fund for
    International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UN Tax Fund).
  • This voluntary contribution will
    be dedicated towards ensuring greater support for developing country
    participation in the subcommittee meetings of the UN Tax Committee which are
    currently unfunded.
  • By handing over the cheque to the
    UN Tax Trust Fund, Indian Government is hopeful that more developing countries
    will contribute towards the fund. This move is also expected to ensure that
    global tax cooperation norms and rules will work more effectively and
    efficiently for all countries and all stakeholders.
  • Voluntary contributions for the
    Trust Fund have been called for by the UN Tax Committee since its establishment
    in 2006. The call for contributions was also emphasized in the Addis Ababa
    Action Agenda adopted at the Third International Conference on Financing for
    Development in 2015.
Union Government launched new bidding mechanism for mega oil and gas
auctions

  • The Union Government on 28 June
    2017 simultaneously launched two key interventions: a revamped oil and gas
    bidding mechanism named Open Acreage Licensing Process (OALP) and the National
    Data Repository (NDR) for the first major oil field auctions to be held from 1
    July 2017.
  • The auctions will be held under a
    new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP).
  • Arun Jaitely, Union Finance
    Minister, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Petroleum Minister, launched both the
    initiatives in a mega event in New Delhi.
  • The new bidding mechanism will
    allow interested firms to bid for blocks of their choice at any time of the
    year with the help of National Data Repository.
  • The NDR is a comprehensive
    database of India’s key sedimentary basins that will provide the bidders data
    on contract areas that will be available for auctioning.
  • Under the mechanism, an investor
    will be allowed to put forth an Expression of Interest for undertaking
    contracts under Petroleum Operations Contract (POC) or Reconnaissance Contract
    (RC).
  • The investor will have the
    liberty to apply for such contracts bi-annually. They may also participate in
    rounds of auctions conducted by the regulator DGH over and above the
    applications made under OALP.
India, World Bank sign USD 35 million agreement to enhance efficiency
in tax administration in Assam

  • India on 27 June 2017 signed a
    loan agreement of USD 35 million with the World Bank for Assam State Public
    Financial Institutional Reforms Project.
  • The loan will be provided by the
    International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), an international
    financial institution under World Bank that offers loans to middle-income
    developing countries.
  • The agreement was signed by Raj
    Kumar, Joint Secretary under Department of Economic Affairs and John Blomquist,
    Acting Country Director of World Bank (India). The Implementing Entity
    Agreement was signed by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) of Assam’s
    Department of Finance and John Blomquist.
  • The objective of the project is
    to improve predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency
    in tax administration in Assam.
  • The project will benefit the
    citizens of Assam through efficient processes, enhanced transparency and better
    service delivery such as electronic payments and collections for services.
  • It will also lead to better
    public procurement and enhanced taxpayer services provided by public
    institutions.
  • The total project cost is USD 44
    million, out of which USD 35 million will be financed by the World Bank. The
    remaining amount will be funded out of the State Budget.
  • The project duration is of 5
    years.
6th Joint Trade Committee was convened between India and Myanmar

  • The 6th India-Myanmar Joint Trade
    Committee (JTC) Meeting was held on 27 June 2017 at New Delhi. The meeting was
    co-chaired by Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from
    India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar. The Joint Trade
    Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to the enhancement of
    the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion,
Sitharaman stated that both the countries have a long history of shared
religious, linguistic and ethnic ties:

  • – Myanmar is India’s gateway to
    South East Asia and ASEAN with which India is seeking greater economic integration
    through ‘Act East’ Policy.
  • – Myanmar shares a long land
    border of over 1600 Kms with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of
    Bengal.
  • – The bilateral relationship
    between the two countries has been further strengthened by the high-level
    exchanges.
  • – Prime Minister of India visited
    Myanmar in November 2014 for the Twelfth India-ASEAN Summit while the state
    counsellor of Myanmar visited India in October 2016.
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India’s policy panel proposes to break up of Coal India into 7 firms

  • A new draft of a New Energy
    Policy (NEP) prepared by Union Government’s policy think-tank, NITI Aayog, says
    that India should split the seven units of state-controlled Coal India Limited
    (CIL) into independent companies. This action will help the firm to be more
    competitive.
  • About 70 percent of India’s power
    generation is fired by coal. The country is the world’s third-largest producer
    and third-biggest importer of coal, which the government wants to change by
    boosting local coal production.
  • Fresh coal production should come
    from private sector mines, the government think-tank NITI Aayog said, adding
    that the move called for reforms in allocating coal blocks to independent
    companies specialised in coal mining.
  • The previous report of December
    2016 by Reuters said that senior Indian government officials, tasked by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi with reviewing energy security, were recommending the
    breakup of the world’s largest coal miner within a year.
  • Attempts to break up the world’s
    biggest coal miner could expect resistance from powerful unions representing
    the firm’s more than 350000 employees. The government backed down from a
    similar proposal in the face of union protests in 2014.
  • One of the unions, which is close
    to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, is against the move and says it, has
    the support of about half of Coal India’s workers.
  • According to reports, Baij Nath
    Rai, president of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh in its conversation with Reuters
    said, “We are opposing the recommendations made by NITI Aayog”.
News related to India and states
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Israel on National
Campaign for Water Conservation

  • The Union Cabinet, presided by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 28 June 2017 approved signing of a Memorandum
    of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on National Campaign for Water
    Conservation in India.
  • The MoU will help India in
    conserving water for future generations.
  • As per the agreement, the two
    nations will work to enhance cooperation at the national, regional and
    international level to design, implement and monitor a professionally-designed
    National Water Conservation campaign in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Centenary Celebrations of
Sabarmati Ashram

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
    29 June 2017 inaugurated the centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram in
    Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • In addition, PM Modi also
    released the coin and postal stamp in the honour of Jain saint and philosopher
    Shrimad Rajchandra on his 150th birth anniversary at Abhay Ghat.
  • Shrimad Rajchandra was a Jain
    poet, philosopher, scholar and reformer.
Election Commission to launch nationwide Voter Registration Reminder on
Facebook

  • The Election Commission of India
    (ECI) on 28 June 2017 announced that it will launch a special drive to enrol
    left out electors, with a special focus on first time electors.
  • The step is taken in the
    direction of Commission’s motto that ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’.
  • It is the first time that
    Facebook’s voter registration reminder has been rolled out across India. The
    drive will be launched on 1 July 2017.
  •  In order to reach out to maximum eligible
    voters, the ECI is collaborating with Facebook to launch first nationwide Voter
    Registration Reminder. 
  • With over 180 million people in
    India on Facebook, the Register Now button is designed to encourage Indian
    citizens to register themselves with the Election Commission of India.
  • On 1 July 2017, a notification of
    the Voter Registration Reminder will be sent to people on Facebook in India who
    are eligible to vote.
India’s communication satellite GSAT-17 successfully launched

  • India’s latest communication
    satellite GSAT-17 was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana on 29
    June 2017. The satellite was launched by French rocket Ariane-5. The European
    launcher Arianespace Flight VA238 blasted off from Ariane Launch Complex No 3
    (ELA 3) at Kourou, a French territory located in the northeastern coast of
    South America, a couple of minutes delayed than the scheduled time of 2:29 hrs
    India time.
  • After its lift-off at 2:45 am
    (IST) and a flight lasting about 39 minutes, GSAT-17 separated from the Ariane
    5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a
    perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 249 km and an apogee (farthest point to
    Earth) of 35920 km, inclined at an angle of 3 degrees to the equator.
  • GSAT-17 with a lift-off mass of
    about 3477 kg carries payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band to
    provide various communication services. GSAT-17 has a life expectancy of 15
    years.
  • The Satellite also carries
    equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue
    services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites.
India-Netherlands Joint Communique issued during PM Modi’s visit

  • India and the Netherlands on 27
    June 2017 released a Joint Communiqué at The Hague. The Joint Communique was
    released after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his
    Dutch counterpart, Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
  • The communiqué was released
    during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s working visit to the Netherlands on 27
    June 2017. Modi was on a visit to the Netherlands at the invitation of his
    Dutch counterpart. His visit to the nation also marked 70 years of the establishment
    of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands.
  • During this visit, Modi met with
    his counterpart Mark Rutte, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty
    Queen Maxima. In addition, Prime Minister Modi also met with representatives of
    Dutch companies operating in the Indian market and those who are keen to invest
    there.
  • Earlier on his arrival, the Prime
    Minister was welcomed at Schiphol Airport by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert
    Koenders.
Indian Army gets first batch of modern bullet-proof helmets

  • The Indian Army reportedly
    received its first batch of bullet-proof helmets from Kanpur-based MKU
    Industries.
  • The MKU Industries, which
    supplies military equipment to the United Nations and NATO, was awarded a
    contract to manufacture 1.58 lakh helmets at the cost of Rs 180 crore.
  • Indian Army has ordered the
    bolted version of bolt-free ballistic helmets. Bolt-free is a higher and
    expensive version of bullet-proof helmets, which gives all-round protection
    from head injuries.
  • The MKU Industries claims that
    the bullet-proof helmets go through rigorous quality tests and ballistic lab
    test conducted at its testing facilities in India as well as in Germany.
  • The helmets are reportedly
    designed to bear the impact of 9 mm ammunition fired from a short range.
  • They match global standards of
    equipment for armed forces.
  • The bullet-proof helmet has the
    main protective layer of Kevlar, which has high tensile strength-to-weight
    ratio; by this measure it is 5 times stronger than steel.
JNPT, India’s largest container port, hit by cyber attack

  • Operations at one of three
    terminals at India’s largest container port Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in
    Mumbai were disrupted by the global ransomware attack. The attack was confirmed
    by the port authorities on 28 June 2017.
  • The impacted terminal is operated
    by Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk. The Maersk group confirmed
    individually on 27 June that its operations were hit by a cyber attack named
    Petya that affected its multiple sites and select business units.
  • The group’s statement read, “We
    are responding to the situation to contain and limit the impact and uphold
    operations.”
  • Anil Diggikar, JNPT chairman also
    stated that the port has been trying to clear containers manually but its
    operating capacity has dropped to a third at the terminal.
  • “This is a fallout of global
    cyber attack. Containers are piling up outside the port due to delay in loading
    and unloading at Gateway Terminals India,” Diggikar said and added that they are
    hopeful that the operations would normalise in a day.
  • AP Moller-Maersk operates the
    Gateway Terminals India (GTI) at JNPT, which has a capacity to handle 1.8
    million standard container units.
Appointments
Rajiv Kumar appointed as Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh

  • Rajiv Kumar was on 29 June 2017
    appointed as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment was approved
    by the Uttar Pradesh Government.
  • Prior to this appointment, Kumar
    was a Secretary in the Union Shipping ministry. He is a 1981 batch IAS Officer
    of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
  • Kumar succeeds Rahul Prasad
    Bhatnagar, who was appointed by the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government
    and continued to serve in the office for three months under the Yogi Adityanath
    government.
  • Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar, the
    outgoing Chief Secretary, will now serve as the Chairman of the Greater Noida
    Authority and also as the Investment Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh in New
    Delhi.
Former Vice Chancellor of Ambedkar University takes oath as UPSC Member

  • Dr. Manoj Soni, former Vice
    Chancellor of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, took the Oath of Office
    and Secrecy as Member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 28 June
    2017 at Delhi.
  • The Oath was administered by the
    UPSC Chairman David R Syiemlieh. UPSC conducts recruitment exams to select
    country’s top bureaucrats.
Indian-American Krishna R Urs appointed as US Ambassador to Peru

  • Indian-American Krishna R Urs was
    on 28 June 2017 appointed as the United States (US) Ambassador to Peru by the
    President Donald Trump administration.
  • Krishna is currently serving as
    the Charge d’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain, where he was also
    the Deputy Chief of Mission. He has been a career service American diplomat since
    1986.
  • During three decades of State
    Department service, Urs has specialised in economic issues and developed
    extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.
Narinder Nath Vohra appointed as President of India International
Centre

  • Jammu and Kashmir Governor
    Narinder Nath Vohra in the last week of June 2017 was appointed the President
    of the India International Centre (IIC).
  • Vohra was appointed as the
    president at the Annual General Meeting, which was held on 23 June 2017.
  • The appointment was made after
    eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee quit the presidential post.
He is the first civilian Governor
of Jammu and Kashmir in 18 years after Jagmohan.
Loknath Behra appointed as DGP of Kerala

  • Loknath Behra was on 28 June 2017
    appointed as the Director General of Police (DGP) of Kerala as incumbent TP
    Senkumar will retire as the state DGP on 30 June 2017.
  • Behra’s appointment as state
    police chief was confirmed by the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government after
    the cabinet meeting.
  • Behra is currently serving as the
    Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. He is a 1985 batch Kerala
    cadre IPS officer.
Kaushik Basu takes over as President of International Economic
Association

  • Former Chief Economic Advisor
    Kaushik Basu on 27 June 2017 took over as the President of the International
    Economic Association (IEA) with effect from 23 June 2017. He will serve the
    office for three years.
  • The IEA is a leading organisation
    for professional economists that seeks to shape global economic policy and
    research. Among IEA’s past presidents are Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow, Robert
    Solow, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz.
Days
International Day of the Tropics 2017 observed globally

  • The International Day of the
    Tropics 2017 was observed across the world on 29 June 2017 with an aim to raise
    awareness to the specific challenges faced by tropical areas and the
    far-reaching implications of the issues affecting the world’s tropical zone.
  • The International Day of the
    Tropics celebrates the diversity of the tropics and provides an opportunity to
    share tropical stories and expertise and to acknowledge the diversity and
    potential of the region.
  • The day was proclaimed on 14 June
    2016 by the resolution of United Nations General Assembly to mark the
    anniversary of the ‘State of the Tropics Report’ that was launched by Nobel
    Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on 29 June 2014.
Sharjah named World Book Capital 2019 by UNESCO

  • Sharjah, a city in the United Arab
    Emirates has been named as ‘the World Book Capital’ for 2019 by the
    Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova for the quality of its literary and
    cultural activities and for its efforts to make books accessible to the entire
    population of the nation.
  • Bokova took the decision on the
    recommendation of the Advisory Committee that met at the Headquarters of the
    International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) at La Haye.
  • The programme runs with a slogan
    ‘Read – you are in Sharjah’.
  • It focuses on six themes:
    inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing and children.
  • It would include a conference on
    freedom of speech, a contest for young poets, workshops for creating Braille
    books and tactile books as well as many other events for Sharjah’s multi-ethnic
    population.
World News
Trump’s travel ban: Visa applicants from these 6 Muslim nations require
close family ties in US

  • The Trump administration has set
    new criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim nations and all refugees that
    require a close family or business tie to the United States.
  • According to the new guidelines
    sent to all the US embassies and consulates on 28 June 2017, visa applicants
    from six countries- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen-must prove a
    relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law,
    daughter-in-law or sibling in the United States in order to get a go ahead.
  • The new guideless have been set
    by the State Department, according to which extended family members including
    grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins,
    brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and fiancées are not considered to be close
    relationships.
  • These new measures are expected
    to be implemented from 29 June 2017.
  • The court’s opinion exempts applicants
    from the ban if they can prove a “bona fide relationship” with a US person or
    entity. However, it is up to the government lawyers to determine how to define
    such a relationship. The court offered only broad guidelines suggesting it
    would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the US.
  • The move comes after the Supreme
    Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was
    widely criticised as a ban on Muslims.
World’s first ATM celebrates its 50th birthday

  • The Automated Teller Machine
    (ATM) marked its 50th anniversary on 27 June 2017.
  • The first ATM was opened on 27
    June 1967 at a branch of Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, the first of
    six cash dispensers commissioned by the bank.
  • To celebrate the occasion, the
    British bank decorated the site of the world’s first cashpoint in gold. A
    black-and-white picture of Varney using the ATM hangs above it, while a
    commemorative gold plaque has been placed on the bank wall.
  • The original cash machine was the
    brainchild of Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron, who was commissioned by
    the bank to create six cash dispensers, which based on vending machines.
  • The first person to use the
    inaugural ATM was actor Reg Varney, the star of a popular British TV comedy
    called “On The Buses.”
  • Transactions were initiated by
    inserting paper cheques issued by a teller or cashier, marked with carbon-14
    for machine readability and security.
Chinese Navy launches biggest new generation destroyer

  • China’s Navy on 28 June 2017 launched
    its biggest new generation destroyer that weighs around 10,000 tonnes at the
    Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) in Shanghai. The launch is a part of the country’s
    massive expansion effort to become a global naval power.
  • The new destroyer, which is a
    domestically designed and produced vessel, is the first of China’s new
    generation of destroyers.
  • The destroyer is equipped with
    new air defence, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.
  • The ship is believed to be the
    first Type 055 destroyer, which is considered to be a successor class to the
    country’s smaller Type 052D guided missile destroyers.
  • The vessel will have to undergo
    planned testing including equipment operation, berthing and sailing before it
    is commissioned into use.
Chana and Chana Dal words added to Oxford English Dictionary

  • The words Chana and Chana Dal
    were on 27 June 2017 added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). ‘Chana’
    means Chickpeas and ‘Chana Dal’ stands for split chickpea lentils.
  • With this, these Indian food
    essentials Chickpeas (chana) and the split chickpea lentils (chana dal) join
    the vast list of more than 600 other words and phrases that have been included
    in its quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • The other prominent new entries
    in the OED include a batch of tennis-related words like “Forced
    Error”.
  • A slang ‘Bagel’ has also been
    added which refers to a score in a set of six games to love, as there is
    similarity of the numeral zero to the shape of a bagel.
  • A new sense of ‘woke’, which was
    shortlisted for ‘Word of the Year’, has also been added. It means alert to
    racial or social discrimination and injustice.
US adds China to the list of Worst Human Trafficking Offenders

  • The United States State
    Department in the last week of June 2017 issued highly public criticism of
    China in its latest annual report on the global state of human trafficking.
  • As per the Trafficking in Persons
    report, China is among the worst offenders of human trafficking.
  • China is now grouped with Tier 3
    offenders such as Syria, Iran, Russia and North Korea.
  • China was downgraded to Tier 3
    status in 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in part because it has not taken
    serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking, including forced
    labours from North Korea that are located in China.
  • Several other countries like the
    Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Mali were downgraded to Tier 3
    status.
Sports News
Kidambi Srikanth re-enters top 10 of BWF men’s rankings

  • Indian badminton player Kidambi
    Srikanth has re-entered the top ten of the Badminton World Federation (BWF)
    men’s singles rankings for the first time in ten months.
  • The rankings, which were released
    on 29 June 2017, saw Srikanth placed at the 8th position with 58,583 points.
    The development comes less than a week after the ace shuttler beat Olympic
    champion Chen Long in straight games 22-20, 21-6 to claim the Australian Open
    Super Series and before that Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai to clinch the Indonesian
    Open.
  • Srikanth is the lone Indian
    shuttler to figure in the top-10 of men’s singles ranking after climbing up
    three places.
  • The 24-year-old had last reached
    the top ten in October 2016, few months after he reached the quarter-finals at
    the Rio Olympics 2016.
Lasith Malinga gets one-year ban, fined for media remarks

  • Sri Lankan fast bowler, Lasith
    Malinga has been handed over a suspension ban of six months after a
    disciplinary inquiry found him guilty of breaching his contract by speaking to
    the media without permission.
  • Malinga will also be fined 50
    percent of the match fee from his next one-day international. He will be facing
    a disciplinary inquiry over his comments about Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister
    Dayasiri Jayasekara. 
Roger Federer defeats Alexander Zverev to lift ninth Halle Open title

  • Swiss legend Roger Federer on 25
    June 2017 defeated Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the final to clinch the 2017
    Halle Open Men’s Singles title.
  • The final took place at the Gerry
    Weber Stadion in Halle, Germany.
  • He also won the Olympic gold
    medal in doubles with his compatriot Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Summer Olympic
    Games and the Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
  • He is currently ranked world No.
    5 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).

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