Current Affairs Update – 30-31 August, 2017


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 30 & 31 August, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

Banking & Financial News
99 per cent of demonetised notes returned: RBI report

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 30 August 2017 released the Status of the Return of SBNs- Reserve Bank of
    India (RBI) Annual Report 2016-17. The report states that around 99 per cent of
    the demonetised notes that is Rs 15.28 lakh crore have been returned to the
    bank.
  • The high-value currency notes of
    Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were banned by Union Government in November 2016 as a means
    to combat counterfeiting, black money and the financing of terrorist activities.
  • RBI was under intense scrutiny
    since January 2017 after the window for depositing the withdrawn Rs 500 and Rs
    1000 banknotes was closed.
  • Until 30 June 2017, demonetised
    notes were received by RBI either directly or from bank branches or post
    offices through the currency chest mechanism. 
    Some of these notes are still in the currency chests. 
  • The value of the Specified Bank
    Notes (SBNs) received by the currency chests was credited to the banks’ account
    and after an estimation, it was found that Rs 15.28 trillion value of SBNs have
    been returned.
  • The currency in Rs 1000 and Rs
    500 denomination in circulation was at Rs 15.44 lakh crore before November
    2016. 
  • An estimated Rs 16000 crore worth
    of demonetised notes have not come back to the RBI so far.
  • The report shows that only 89
    million pieces of Rs 1000 notes were not deposited.
  • During 2016-17, over 762000
    pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, of which 95.7
    per cent were detected by commercial banks. 
    Detection of counterfeit notes was 20.4 per cent higher than the
    previous year. 
Union Cabinet approves equivalence of posts in PSUs, Banks, Insurance
companies

  • The Union Cabinet on 30 August
    2017 approved the norms for establishing equivalence of posts in Government,
    Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Banks, Insurance Institutions for claiming
    benefit of OBC reservations.
  • This approval came after nearly
    24 years.  This will ensure that the
    children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions
    can get the benefit of OBC reservations.
  • It will prevent treatment of
    children of OBC category individuals in senior positions as non Creamy Layer by
    virtue of wrong interpretation of income standards.
  • The cabinet also approved the
    increase in the Creamy Layer ceiling of OBCs from Rs 6 lakh per annum to Rs 8
    lakh per annum. This increase came with the increase in the Consumer Price
    Index.
  • The above measures form a part of
    the Union Government’s efforts to ensure greater social justice and inclusion
    for members of the Other Backward Classes. These measures are expected to
    ensure greater representation of OBCs in educational institutions and jobs.
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Joint Proposal by India & China in WTO on Aggregate Measurement of
Support

  • India and China have jointly
    submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling for the
    elimination of the most trade-distorting form of farm subsidies, known as
    Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) as a prerequisite for consideration of
    other reforms in domestic support negotiations.
  • The proposal is significant in
    view of the ongoing negotiations for the upcoming 11th Ministerial Conference
    of the WTO, which is scheduled to be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017. It
    counters the efforts of some countries to target the subsidies of the
    developing countries while letting the developed countries retain their huge
    farm subsidies.
  • The proposal reveals that
    developed countries including the US, the EU and Canada have been consistently
    providing trade-distorting subsidies to their farmers at much higher levels
    than the ceiling applicable to developing countries.
  • Developed countries have more
    than 90 percent of the global AMS entitlements amounting to nearly US$ 160 bn.
  • Most of the developing countries
    including India and China do not have AMS entitlements.
  • While listing out the most
    heavily and frequently subsidised products by the developed nations since 1995,
    the proposal calls for the elimination of such subsidies.
Union Cabinet approves MoU on India-Israel Industrial R&D and
Technological Innovation Fund

  • The Union Cabinet, presided by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 30 August 2017 approved a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel.
  • The MoU is on India-Israel
    Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F), which was concluded
    in July 2017.
  • As per the terms and conditions
    of the MoU, India and Israel will make a contribution of four million US
    dollars each for the Fund annually for five years.
  • The Innovation Fund will be
    governed by a joint board, which will consist of four members from each
    country.
  • The MoU envisages promotion of
    bilateral Industrial R&D and Innovation cooperation in the fields of
    science and technology by extending support to joint projects for innovative or
    technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes.
  • Such projects will lead to
    affordable technological innovations in focus areas of mutual interest such as
    water, agriculture, energy and digital technologies.
  • Institutional support in building
    up consortia including private industry, enterprises and R&D institutions
    from India and Israel will be enabled through these collaborative projects.
  • The activities supported by the
    Joint Fund would increase the techno-economic collaboration between the two
    nations by investing in jointly developed technology projects and
    collaborations based on technological innovation.
  • It would leverage the complementary
    strengths of Israel and India to encourage Israel-Indian joint projects that
    capitalize on both the national and global marketplace.
Amazon to help implement Karnataka’s Ksheera Bhagya Scheme

  • Amazon on 30 August 2017
    announced a partnership with the Akshaya Patra Foundation to implement the
    Karnataka Government’s Ksheera Bhagya Scheme in the city.
  • Under the scheme, the school
    children of the city would be provided a glass of milk each five days a week.
    This scheme ensures that children start their day in school with a healthy
    glass of milk, which is rich in protein and fat, essential for healthy growth
    and all-round development of children.
  • The partnership between Amazon
    Cares and Akshaya Patra will enable Akshaya Patra to implement the Ksheera Bhagya
    Scheme to provide milk to school children for five days of the week for this
    entire academic year. The partnership aims to reach out to 170000 children
    across 1300 government schools in the state.
  • The Ksheera Bhagya Scheme was
    launched by the Karnataka Milk Federation in association with Lower and Higher
    Education Department, Women & Child Department of Karnataka State on 1
    August 2013.
Bihar government releases Rs 1935 Cr to undertake relief operations in
flood-hit areas

  • The state government of Bihar has
    released Rs 1935 Cr to undertake relief operations in flood affected areas of
    the state.
  • The decision was taken by the
    state cabinet, which was chaired by the state’s Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar.
The released fund would be
utilised for:

  • Payment of ex-gratia to the
    families of the deceased.
  • Monetary assistance of Rs 6000
    per affected family.
  • Operation of relief camps for
    those affected by the disaster.
  • Arrangement of food for people
    and fodder for cattle.
Besides this, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi after making an aerial survey of the affected areas, announced Rs
500 Cr as immediate relief for the flood-hit state. Modi also announced Rs 2
lakh each for the kin of those who died in the course of the disaster.
Overall, around 171 Lakh people
have been affected by floods in the state, with around 8,54,936 people being
evacuated to safer areas through rescue operations put into place by the Army,
National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force. The
total death toll has reached around 514.
News related to India & states
Union Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Brazil for Zebu Cattle
Genomics

  • The Union Cabinet was on 30
    August 2017 apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and
    Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted
    Reproductive Technologies.
  • The MoU was signed by both the
    sides in October 2016.
  • The MoU will promote development
    of Genomics and Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Cattle through
    joint activities between both the nations.
  • It calls for the formation of an
    implementation committee with equal number of representatives from both the
    sides for regularly determining the activities and developing work plans.
  • Both the countries will undertake
    joint projects in the fields of Productivity Improvement of cattle and
    buffaloes for broadening the existing knowledge base on sustainable dairy
    development.

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EU, India agrees to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation

  • To combat the threat of terrorism
    and check terror financing, India and the European Union on 30 August 2017
    agreed to strengthen cooperation between their security and intelligence
    agencies.
  • The agreement was reached in New
    Delhi during the 10th India-European Union Counter Terrorism Dialogue. Reports
    suggest that the two sides deliberated extensively on combating terror
    financing and challenges posed by radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • In a statement, the Ministry of
    External Affairs said, both sides strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms
    and manifestations.
  • The statement said, they
    underscored the need for deepening cooperation to combat terrorism in a long
    term, sustained and comprehensive manner.
  • It says that the two sides
    exchanged views and assessments on prevailing terrorist threats in their
    respective regions including state-sponsored, cross-border terrorism in the
    Af-Pak region.
  • In addition to this, the two
    sides also agreed to strengthen institutional linkages between Indian agencies
    and their European Union counterparts including Europol for closer interaction
    and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism.
IRNSS-1H: Launch of country’s first satellite built by private firms
fails

  • Indian Space Research
    Organsiation’s (Isro) attempt to launch India’s eighth navigation satellite
    IRNSS-1H failed today. While the rocket took off successfully, the heat shield
    did not separate as planned. This is the first failure in 35 launches for Isro’s
    workhorse PSLV.
  • The satellite, weighing around
    1,425 kilogram (kg), was carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
    (PSLV-C39) rocket.
  • The mission has failed as heat
    shield did not open up for the deployment of the satellite, said ISRO Chairman
    A S Kiran Kumar.
  • This satellite is the first of
    the two satellites – being contracted by Isro to a consortium of small firms
    led by Alpha Design Technologies, a Bengaluru-based aerospace firm.
  • So far, private firms have only
    built components and systems for India’s satellites and rockets. Isro had
    planned to tap private players over a decade ago to build its satellites, but
    the experiment failed as it found the industry wanted a large-scale commitment
    before it began work.
Rajnath Singh inaugurates “YUVA – Skill Development
Programme”

  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath
    Singh on 29 August 2017 inaugurated “YUVA – Skill Development
    Programme”.
  • YUVA is an initiative by Delhi
    Police under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
  • The YUVA initiative by Delhi
    Police aims to connect with youth by upgrading their skill as per their
    competencies.
  • The programme will help the youth
    to get a gainful employment under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY)
    under the Union Ministry of Skill Development.
  • Delhi Police has tied up with
    National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian
    Industry (CII) for providing mass job linked skill training for the selected
    youth.
  • National Skill Development
    Corporation will provide skill training to the youth under Pradhan Mantri
    Kaushal Vikas Yojna.
  • The Confederation of Indian
    Industry will provide job linked training through its Sector Skill Councils who
    are connected to industry and thereby provide job guarantee.
  • A total of 32 police station
    buildings have been identified where Skill Development Centres would be opened
    at the earliest.
Appointments
IAS officer Rajiv Gauba takes charge as Union Home Secretary

  • Senior IAS officer Rajiv Gauba
    took charge as the new Union Home Secretary on 31 August 2017.
  • The 1982 batch officer of
    Jharkhand cadre will serve at the position for a fixed term of two years. He
    succeeded Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer who retired
    from the service on 30 August.
  • Gauba has also served at the
    Centre in the Ministries of Defence, Environment and Forests and Department of
    Electronics and Information Technology in different positions.
  • He had also served as district magistrate
    of Gaya, Nalanda and Muzzaffarpur districts before Jharkhand was carved out of
    Bihar.
  • He also represented India for
    four years on the board of the International Monetary Fund.
World News
China’s TCL to launch waterproof BlackBerry phone

  • TCL Corporation, the Chinese
    electronics company is going to launch a full touchscreen, waterproof
    Smartphone under the BlackBerry name in October 2017.
  • The launch will happen a month
    after Apple launches its new flagship iPhone 8 and a refresh of its iPhone 7
    devices.
  • According to TCL’s François
    Mahieu, BlackBerry’s security know-how will enable TCL to deliver the most
    secure Android phone in the world. “We are there to play. We are just
    playing with different cards, mostly by pushing its strengths of battery life,
    security and durability,” he said.
  • The manufacturing and selling
    rights of BlackBerry branded smartphones India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
    is owned by a telecommunication company called Optiemus Infracom.
Days
International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances observed
globally

  • The International Day of the
    Victims of Enforced Disappearances was observed across the world on 30 August
    2017.
  • The day was first observed in
    2011 after a declaration by the United Nations Generally Assembly. The
    declaration followed the adoption of the International Convention for the
    Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by the assembly on 20
    December 2006.
  • On 21 December 2010, by its
    resolution 65/209  the UN General
    Assembly expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or
    involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest,
    detention and abduction.

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