Current Affairs Update – 4 October, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 4 October, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, OICL AO, UIIC Assistant & NICL Assistant Exams.

Banking & Financial News
RBI monetary policy: Repo rate
kept unchanged at 6%

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s
    (RBI’s) six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Governor Urjit
    Patel, on Wednesday kept the repo rate – the key policy rate at which the RBI
    lends money to banks – unchanged at six per cent, in a decision that was broadly
    in line with expectations.
  • The RBI reduced the gross value
    added (GVA) growth target for the current financial year to 6.7 per cent from
    7.3 per cent earlier.
  • In its fourth bimonthly review of
    the monetary policy, the RBI, however, lowered the statutory liquidity ratio –
    the reserve requirement that commercial banks need to maintain in the form of
    gold or government-approved securities before providing credit to customers –
    by 50 basis points to 19.5 per cent, with effect from October 14 fortnight. The
    MPC voted 5-1 in favour of the status quo on both repo rate and reverse repo
    rate — the latter was kept unchanged at 5.75 per cent.
  • In the one year since the setting
    up of the MPC in October 2016, it has lowered the repo rate twice – by 25 basis
    points each in October 2016 and August 2017.
  • Most analysts had been expecting
    the central bank to maintain the status quo this time, but effect a rate cut
    later in the financial year. Some have even been saying that the rate-cut
    cycle, which started on January 15, 2015 with a rate reduction to 7.75 per cent
    from 8 per cent, might have reached its end.
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RBI to allow inter-operability in
prepaid payment instruments

  • To make electronic payments
    efficient and more secure, the Reserve Bank of India today said it will issue
    revised directions by October 11 to allow ‘inter-operability’ among prepaid
    payment instruments (PPIs).
  • PPIs are the substitute for paper
    currency or cash that prepaid payments industry issues in the form of paper
    coupons, mobile wallets or electronic formats.
  • It is expected that PPIs can
    inter-operate within six months of the revised directions, RBI said in the
    ‘Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies’ today.
  • “Inter-operability amongst
    KYC compliant PPIs shall be implemented within six months of the date of
    issuance of the revised master directions, which will be issued within a week,
    i.e., by October 11, 2017,” it said.
  • The first guidelines for issuance
    and operations of PPIs came in April 2009 with the objective to create an
    ecosystem and earlier in March this year, the RBI asked for feedback on the PPI
    industry so far.
  • The RBI said revised framework
    will pay the way for inter-operability into the usage of PPIs, as per the
    vision for Payment and Settlement Systems in the country.
  • The vision envisages for India to
    migrate to electronic payments and ensure that such payments are safe, secure,
    authorised, efficient and accessible.
  • Among others, the regulator has
    also eased processes for cooperative banks to open the current account with the
    RBI that will enable them to maintain sufficient liquid funds for clearing or
    settlement, transactions of government securities, remittance services and currency
    chest operations.
Service charge exemption on train
e-tickets extended till March 2018: Railways

  • The Railway Board has directed
    the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to extend the
    benefit of service charge exemption on tickets booked online till March 2018.
  • This will enable the rail
    passengers to continue to enjoy the service for an extended time period.
  • The government had waived off
    service charges on online booked rail tickets in November 2016 following
    demonetisation to encourage digital modes of booking. The facility had been
    extended to 30 June and then to 30 September 2017.
  • Service charges on booking train
    tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.
  • This decision was taken by the
    Railway Board, the ticketing agency of the railways, on 29 September 2017 and a
    notification in this regard was sent to the IRCTC.
  • According to senior railway
    officials, almost 33 per cent of the IRCTC revenue comes from the service
    charge collected through online bookings. As per the revenue collection of the
    last financial year, about Rs 540 Cr of IRCTC’s revenue of over Rs 1,500 Cr
    came from ticket bookings.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit
2017 to be held in Hyderabad

  • The eighth annual Global
    Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017 will be held in Hyderabad, India from 28 to
    30 November 2017. A high-level delegation from the Government of India and the
    USA met at NITI Aayog to plan the summit.
  • The Summit will be inaugurated by
    the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Advisor to the POTUS (President of the US)
    Ivanka Trump, who will lead the US delegation.
  • The GES is the paramount annual meeting
    of emerging entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors from around the
    world.  Through mentoring, networking and
    workshops, the GES allow entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, secure funding,
    build partnerships, and create innovative goods and services that will change
    societies.
  • This year, the focus will be on
    women entrepreneurs and the incredible potential women bring to
    entrepreneurship.
Government reduces central excise
duty on Petrol and Diesel by Rs 2 per Litre

  • The Union government has decided
    to reduce the central excise duty on Petrol and Diesel by Rs 2 per Litre
    effective from 4 October 2017.
  • With this reduction, the decrease
    in prices of Petrol and Diesel will be Rs 2.50 per litre and Rs 2.25 per litre
    respectively in Delhi. This measure is aimed at giving relief to the consumers
    and farmers, especially in the view of the upcoming agricultural season when
    Kharif crops would be harvested and Rabi crops would be sowed.
  • Since the past few weeks, prices
    of both the fuels were rising due to increase in their prices in the
    international market.
  • The prices of Petrol and Diesel
    on 3 October were Rs 70.88 per litre and Rs 59.14 per litre respectively in
    Delhi.
  • Besides this, the centre has also
    requested the state governments to make reduction in VAT imposed by them on
    Petrol and Diesel so as to give more relief to consumers.
  • The Revenue loss on account of
    these reductions in excise duty would amount to about Rs 26,000 Cr in a full
    year and about Rs 13000 Cr during the remaining part of the current financial
    year.
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Reports
India to top global remittances
chart with $65 billion in 2017: World Bank

  • India is likely to maintain its
    place as the top remittances receiving nation, with its Diaspora set to pump in
    a whopping USD 65 billion in the year 2017, the World Bank said today.
  • Ahead of the annual summit of the
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, a report published by the
    global lender said that remittances, which include flows to high-income
    countries, are projected to grow by 3.9% to USD 596 billion.
  • The other top 5 remittances
    receiving countries after India are China (USD 61 billion), Philippines (USD 33
    billion), Mexico (USD 31 billion), and Nigeria (USD 22 billion).
  • However, as a share of GDP (gross
    domestic product) for 2017, the top 5 recipients are smaller countries-
    Tajikistan, Nepal, Kyrgyz Republic, Haiti and Liberia.
  • The bank said that the
    remittances increase to the South Asia region, will be moderate at 1.1% to USD
    112 billion this year, due to systematic impact of lower oil prices and
    ‘nationalisation’ polices leading to controlled labor market situation in the
    Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
  • The report also pointed out that
    the remittances the world’s largest remittance recipient country India will
    grow by 4.2% in 2017 to USD 65 billion, following a decline of 9% in 2016.
  • In 2016, India received
    remittances of USD 62.7 billion.
Highlights of Report:

  • Remittances to Pakistan are
    likely to remain flat this year, while Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal will
    see a decline.
  • Remittances to the region will
    grow by a weak 2.6% USD 114 billion in 2018.
  • However, India’s remittances is
    expected to grow at 2.5% in 2018.
  • The economic deceleration in the
    GCC has badly impacted migrant worker flows from the South Asia Region.
  • Authorised migrant workers in
    Saudi Arabia fell from 522,750 in 2015 to 462,598 in 2016; those in the United
    Arab Emirates declined from 326,986 in 2015 to 295,647 in 2016 for Pakistan.
  • The number of Indian workers
    migrating to Saudi Arabia dropped from 306,000 in 2015 to 162,000 in 2016;
    those going to the United Arab Emirates decreased from 225,000 in 2015 to
    159,000 in 2016.
  • Total Indian worker outflows fell
    from 781,000 in 2015 to 506,000 in 2016, the bank said.
With 6 per cent growth, India to
surpass China as fastest-growing oil market in Asia

  • India will outshine China as the
    fastest-growing petroleum product market in Asia on the back of a 6 per cent
    demand growth says a report. This seems possible as Chinese stipulated growth
    is seen halving to 2.5-3% in 2017-18 from a higher 6% in 2016-16.
  • Despite the failing growth
    numbers in both these countries, India and China will maintain to be the key
    growth engines for the sector in Asia, representing over 80% of the expected
    growth in 2018.
  • Highlighting the American energy
    information administration projections, the report said that the demand for
    petroleum products in the Asia Pacific will increase a modest 2% or 0.7 million
    barrels per day to 34.6 million bpd in 2018.
  • The report said that the seeing
    the oil sectors dependence on China and increasingly India, it is believed that
    demand would face considerable threat if economic growth weakens materially
    below our expectations.
  • However, India will outshine
    China as the fastest growing product market in Asia with petroleum consumption
    growing 6 % in 2018.
  • It also says India and China
    growth will make sure that Asian refining margins will stay firm, thereby
    supporting the earnings growth.
  • On China, the report says that as
    China’s economic activity dials back, we anticipate its refined product demand
    growth will modest to 2.5-3% in 2017-18 which is nearly half of higher CAGR of
    5% in 2012-16. Still, in absolute terms, China will account for 48% of Asian
    R&M demand growth in 2018.
News related India & states
Turtle Sanctuary to be set up in
Allahabad

  • The Union government has approved
    the development of a Turtle sanctuary in Allahabad along with a River
    Biodiversity Park at Sangam under Namami Gange programme to protect the rich
    aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from growing anthropogenic pressures.
  • This project will be initiated at
    an estimated cost of Rs 1.34 crore and it would include expansion of River
    Biodiversity Park at Sangam (convergence of Ganga, Yamuna and mythical
    Sarasvati), establishment of a Turtle Rearing Centre (Permanent nursery at
    Triveni Pushp and makeshift annual hatcheries) and to raise awareness about the
    significance of river Ganga and imperativeness of its conservation has been
    agreed.
  • This Turtle sanctuary project
    will give much needed platform to make the people aware of their place in the
    ecosystem, improve their understanding of the complexity of co-existence with
    the environment, their task and responsibilities, and help generate awareness for
    reducing the impact of human actions on crucial natural resources.
  • The task of dissipating knowledge
    about river Ganga will be taken up ardently in this project, which is 100
    percent centrally funded.
  • The sustenance of more than 2000
    marine species including dolphins, endangered gharials,  and turtles in river Ganga exemplifies the
    rich biodiversity of this lifeline to over 40% of the country’s population.
Cabinet approves the Extradition
Treaty between India and Lithuania

  • The Union Cabinet led by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi on 4 October 2017 gave its approval for the signing and
    ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania.
  • With the approval of the treaty,
    it would now provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists,
    economic offenders and other criminals to and from Lithuania.
Government constitutes a High
Level Committee for water resource management in NER

  • The Union government has
    constituted a high-level committee for proper management of the water resources
    in the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • The committee would be headed by
    the Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog, Dr Rajiv Kumar. The move follows Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Guwahati in August 2017 to review the flood
    situation and relief work in the North Eastern States.
  • The committee would mainly
    facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in the form of
    hydro-electric power, agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, reduced flood
    damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism.
  • Ministry of Development of North
    Eastern Region (DoNER) will serve as the coordinating point.
  • The Committee will have to submit
    its report including Plan of Action by June, 2018.
India unveils 3rd National
Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031

  • Third National Wildlife Action
    Plan for 2017-2031 was unveiled by India spelling out the future road map for
    wildlife conservation.
  • A road map to conserve wildlife
    of the country, in the form of an Action Plan was mooted in the 15th convention
    of Indian Board for Wildlife (NBWL) during 1982 and accordingly, the 1st
    National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP-1) was drafted and adopted in 1983. It was
    put into practice from 1983 through 2001.
Highlights of Third National Wildlife Action Plan

  • The Plan is based on the
    foundation that ecological processes that are governed, supported or strongly
    moderated by ecosystems are essential for food production, health and other
    aspects of human survival and sustainable development. So, maintenance of these
    ecosystems that can be termed as ‘Life Support Systems’ is vital for all
    societies regardless of their stage of development.
  • It also emphasizes on other two
    aspects of living resource conservation that is, preservation of genetic
    diversity and sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems which has a
    direct bearing on our scientific advancements and support to millions of rural
    communities.
  • It additionally underlines on
    other two parts of living resource preservation namely, conservation of genetic
    diversity and sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems which has a
    direct bearing on our scientific progressions and support to a million rural
    communities.
  • The plan implements landscape
    approach in the preservation of all uncultivated flora and undomesticated fauna
    that has ecological value to mankind irrespective of where they occur.
  • It accords special emphasis to
    the rehabilitation of endangered species of wildlife while conserving their
    habitats which include coastal, inland aquatic and marine eco-systems.
  • It also takes note of
    apprehension relating to climate change on wildlife by integrating it into
    wildlife management Planning.
UP tops all states by building
3.2 lakh toilets in 17 days

  • The Uttar Pradesh government on 3
    October 2017 stated that it has built over 3.52 lakh toilet units in 17 days
    under the Centre’s Swachhta hi Seva campaign thereby, topping other states in
    the  effort.
  • According to an official
    statement, the toilets were constructed between 15 September and 2 October.
  • Following UP in the effort is
    Rajasthan, which constructed around 2, 54,953 toilets and then Karnataka, which
    built around 2, 41,708 toilets in the same period.
  • Overall, almost 18, 24,549
    toilets were constructed across states, according to a statement issued by the
    office of chief secretary Rajive Kumar.
  • The statement also added that
    nagar panchayat Sahanpur in Bijnore district was declared open defecation free
    by the Centre on 4 September. Further, it said that the state government has
    requested the Centre to declare 12 nagar panchayats and other local bodies of
    the state open-defecation free following a third party inspection.
  • Besides this, the chief secretary
    has instructed officials to speed up the work, so that 653 urban local bodies
    of the state could be declared open- defecation free by May 2019. Instructions
    have also been issued to raise the amount given for construction of personal
    toilets from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 under urban local bodies.
Appointments
Rajnish Kumar appointed as SBI
Chairman

  • Rajnish Kumar, Managing Director
    of State Bank of India (SBI), was on Wednesday appointed as the next Chairman
    of the largest public sector bank.
  • He will succeed Arundhati
    Bhattacharya, who is at present serving her one-year extension, that ends on
    Friday.
  • The Appointments Committee of the
    Cabinet has approved the appointment of Kumar for a period of three years from
    October 7, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and
    Training (DoPT).

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