Current Affairs Update – 5-6 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 5 and 6 April, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 5-6 April, 2017 – Tap to show
  1. The six-member Monetary Policy
    Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday kept the repo rate
    unchanged in first bi-monthly monetary policy but raised the reverse repo rate
    by 25 basis points to narrow the corridor in which overnight money moves. Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%, hikes
    reverse repo to 6%.
  2. The government has decided to
    geo-tag all assets like farm ponds, soil testing labs and seed godowns created
    under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna
    (RKVY)
    for their better utilisation.
  3. Aimed at encouraging digital
    transactions, the Reserve Bank on Thursday said it will soon come out with
    final guidelines on MDR charges on debit
    card payments
    . Pending the final guidelines the existing norms for MDR (merchant discount rate) charges will continue
    beyond March 31
    , RBI Governor Urjit Patel said while announcing first
    bi-monthly monetary policy for 2017-18.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2017 laid the foundation
    stones of several development projects including a multi-modal terminal and a
    four-lane bridge over River Ganga at
    Sahebganj in Jharkhand
    .
  5. The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017 approved closure of the Mahatma
    Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY).
    The scheme was set up in 2012 to
    address the social security-related issues of the Emigration Check Required
    (ECR) category workers going abroad for employment to ECR countries.
  6. The Union Cabinet chaired by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Australia on
    cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
  7. The Indian navy has deployed its
    warship Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul
    for two months in the South Indian Ocean to provide surveillance support in the
    region.
  8. The Reserve Bank has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director following the appointment of B
    P Kanungo as Deputy Governor.
  9. The National Association of
    Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on 5 April 2017 announced the
    appointment of Raman Roy its Chairman for 2017-2018.
  10. India on 5 April 2017 observed
    the 54th edition of the National
    Maritime Day
    .
  11. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) was
    observed across the world on 6 April 2017.
  12. Japan officially recognized bitcoin
    and digital currencies as legal money with effect from 1 April 2017.
  13. India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli on 5 April 2017 was named the Leading Cricketer in the World
    for 2016.

Financial and Banking News –
RBI first bi-monthly monetary policy – RBI surprises with reverse repo
hike

  • The six-member Monetary Policy
    Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday kept the repo rate
    unchanged but raised the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to narrow the
    corridor in which overnight money moves.
  • Economists said this was an
    indirect tightening of interest rates even as the policy stance remained neutral.
  • The central bank also warned
    about rising inflation. Expected at 4.5% in the first half of the current
    fiscal year, inflation may climb to 5% in the second half owing to risks and an
    unfavourable base effect. 
Following are the highlights of the first bi-monthly monetary policy
for 2017-18 as announced by the RBI:

  • Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%,
    hikes reverse repo to 6%
  • Narrows policy rates corridor due
    to increased liquidity, post demonetisation
  • Pegs GVA growth for current
    fiscal at 7.4% as against 6.7% last year
  • Revises MSF, bank rate to 6.5%
  • Retail inflation in first half seen
    at 4.5%, 5% in second half
  • Economic indicators point to
    modest improvement in microeconomic outlook
  • Risk evenly balanced around
    inflation trajectory; upside risk from uncertainty about monsoon
  • Upside risk to inflation from
    GST, poor monsoon, pay commission award
  • Further scope for a more complete
    transmission of policy rates remains, including for small savings rates
  • All six MPC members voted in
    favour of RBI monetary policy
  • The next meeting of the Monetary
    Policy Committee on June 5 and 6.
Govt to geo-tag Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna assets for better
monitoring

  • The government has decided to
    geo-tag all assets like farm ponds, soil testing labs and seed godowns created
    under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) for their better utilisation.
  • A memorandum of understanding
    (MoU) was signed in this regard on Thursday between the National Remote Sensing
    Centre (NRSC), a wing of Indian Space Research Organisation, and RKVY division
    of the Agriculture Ministry.
  • NRSC will provide the required
    app and impart training to officials to facilitate uploading of photos of assets
    to the Bhuvan-RKVY platform.
  • For instance, details of the
    number of farm ponds and water level through geo-tagging will help the centre
    to prepare a better contingency plan to tackle drought, he said.
  • Being aware of the realistic
    status of assets will not only be helpful in monitoring and utilising, but also
    in formulating development schemes for the sector, he added.
  • Elaborating about the MoU,
    Agriculture Secretary Shobhna Pattanayak said that assets created under the
    RKVY in the last one decade will be identified for geo-tagging purpose. Even
    new assets that are being developed will also be tagged.
  • As many as 80 kinds of assets are
    created under the RKVY. A pilot project has already been implemented in four
    states of Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar. As of now, 17,000 assets
    have been geo-tagged. Training is underway for 17 states.
  • NRSC officials said that it will
    complete the geo-tagging process of all assets of RKVY by end of 2017-18
    financial year.
Cabinet approves India-France MoU in civil aviation

  • The Cabinet today cleared the
    pact between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and France’s DGAC for
    technical collaboration in the civil aviation space.
  • The memorandum of understanding
    (MoU) would be between AAI and Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).
  • An official spokesperson tweeted
    that the Cabinet has approved ‘India-France MoU in civil aviation’ sector.
RBI to come out with final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card
payments

  • Aimed at encouraging digital
    transactions, the Reserve Bank on Thursday said it will soon come out with
    final guidelines on MDR charges on debit card payments.
  • Pending the final guidelines the
    existing norms for MDR (merchant discount rate) charges will continue beyond
    March 31, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said while announcing first bi-monthly
    monetary policy for 2017-18.
  • According to the existing
    guidelines, the MDR for debit card payments, including for payments made to the
    government, is capped at 0.25 per cent for transactions up to Rs 1,000 and 0.5
    per cent between Rs 1,000-2,000.
  • The existing MDR cap is 0.75 per
    cent for transactions up to Rs 2,000 and one per cent for over Rs 2,000.
    However, there is no RBI cap on MDR on credit card payments.
  • The Reserve Bank issued a draft
    circular on ‘Rationalisation of Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for Debit Card
    Transactions’ on February 16.
PM Modi lays foundation stone of multi-modal terminal on River Ganga in
Jharkhand

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6
    April 2017 laid the foundation stones of several development projects including
    a multi-modal terminal and a four-lane bridge over River Ganga at Sahebganj in
    Jharkhand.
  • He laid down the foundation stone
    of Sahibganj-Manihari 4-land Bridge over river Ganga in Sahibganj.
  • He also dedicated the
    311-kilometer long Govindpur-Sahibganj Highway to the nation
  • He laid the foundation stone of
    the River Port Terminal on the river Ganga at Sahibganj
  • He dedicated the 90 KWP solar
    power unit in Sahibganj District Court and the 70 KWP solar power unit at Sadar
    hospital, Sahibganj.
First Air services agreement between India and Georgia approved by
Union Cabinet

  • The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017
    approved the signing of air services agreement (ASA) between India and Georgia.
  • According to an official press
    release, the agreement will not only help in establishing air connectivity
    between the two countries but it will also contribute to the expansion of
    trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two.
  • The cabinet meeting was chaired
    by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
  • The agreement between the two
    countries is based on the latest International Civil Aviation Organization
    (ICAO) template keeping in view of developments in the Civil Aviation sector.
  • The main objective is to improve
    the air connectivity between the two countries.
Union Cabinet approves closure of Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha
Yojana

  • The Union Cabinet on 5 April 2017
    approved closure of the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY). The
    scheme was set up in 2012 to address the social security-related issues of the
    Emigration Check Required (ECR) category workers going abroad for employment to
    ECR countries.
  • The scheme was launched with an
    aim to cover 5 million overseas blue collar Indian workers who have the ECR
    category passports in 17 countries.
  • However, the subscription under
    the MGPSY was very low and no new subscription was received for more than a
    year.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha
    Yojana (MGPSY) was a special social security scheme for overseas Indian workers
    on temporary work permit in 17 Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries.
  • The scheme envisaged a
    co-contribution of Rs 1000 by Government to overseas Indian workers who save Rs
    4000 per annum so that on return to India, a MGPSY subscriber could utilise
    these savings for return and resettlement purposes.
News related to India and States –
Cabinet approves India-Australia MoU in the field of health and
medicine

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Australia
    on cooperation in the field of health and medicine.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led
    Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Australia regarding
    co-operation between the countries in the sector of health and medicine on
    April 5, 2017.
  • While the subject of cooperation
    focused on the regulations of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices, it
    significantly put light on the subject of communicable diseases such as Malaria
    and TB, mental health and non-communicable diseases, anti-microbial resistance
    and responding to public health emergencies; digital health, tobacco control
    among the other areas of cooperation between the countries, said an official
    release here on Thursday.
  • The MoU signed by both the
    countries will comprise cooperation through joint initiatives in the health
    sector besides the strengthening of bilateral ties between India and Australia.
Union Cabinet approved five agreements with Bangladesh including Audio
Visual Co-Production

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2017 approved five agreements with
    Bangladesh including a pact in the field of judicial sector cooperation and on
    passenger cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes.
  • All the agreements or draft of
    measures were cleared prior to visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
    to India. These measures were cleared with an aim to strengthen cultural,
    judicial, maritime and economic engagements between India and Bangladesh.
List of Agreements/MoUs which
were cleared during the Union Cabinet meet

  • Approval to the agreement on
    Audio Visual Co-Production between India and Bangladesh: Salient features of
    the Agreement
  • Approval to the signing of MoU in
    the field of judicial sector cooperation
  • Approval to the MoU on passenger
    cruise services on the coastal and protocol routes between India and Bangladesh
  • Approval to the MoU for fairway
    development of Ashuganj-Zakiganj stretch of Kushiyara River and
    Sirajganj-Daikhawa stretch of Jamuna River in the Indo-Bangladesh protocol
    route
  • Approval to the MoU on
    Cooperation in the field of Mass Media
Indian Navy deploys INS Shardul for surveillance in the Indian Ocean

  • The Indian navy has deployed its
    warship Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul for two months in the South Indian
    Ocean to provide surveillance support in the region.
  • This move has been made keeping
    in mind India’s national objective of ensuring a safe and secure regional
    environment to allow unobstructed social and economic development in India as
    well as in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • In its initial phase of
    deployment, the warship carried out joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
    surveillance of Mauritius from 8-26 March 2017 in close coordination with the
    National Coast Guard of Mauritius.
  • After successful completion of
    the Mauritius surveillance project, the warship entered the EEZ of Seychelles
    on 27 March 2017 to initiate the phase I of EEZ surveillance of Seychelles.
  • Led by Commander Rohit Mishra,
    the warship entered Port Victoria in Seychelles on 28 March 2017, following
    which a coordination meeting was held between the officials from INS Shardul
    and Seychelles Coast Guard at the Coast Guard headquarters.
Appointments –
Malvika Sinha appointed RBI Executive Director

  • The Reserve Bank has appointed
    Malvika Sinha as Executive Director following the appointment of B P Kanungo as
    Deputy Governor.
  • Sinha took charge on April 3.
  • As Executive Director, she will
    look after foreign exchange department, department of government and bank
    accounts and internal debt management wing, RBI said in a release.
  • Kanungo was Executive Director of
    the Reserve Bank before being elevated to the post of Deputy Governor.
  • Sinha had joined the Reserve Bank
    in 1982 and as a career central banker served in the areas of regulation and
    supervision, foreign exchange and government and bank accounts.
Raman Roy appointed Chairman of NASSCOM for 2017-18

  • The National Association of
    Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on 5 April 2017 announced the
    appointment of Raman Roy its Chairman for 2017-2018. He will take on the new
    role from 6 April 2017.
  • Roy takes over the position from
    C P Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra.
  • Roy is the Chairman and Managing
    Director of Quatrro.
  • Raman Roy has been a member of
    NASSCOM’s Executive Council and was the vice-chairman for 2016-17.
  • In addition, NASSCOM also
    announced the appointment of Rishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer & Member
    of the Board, Wipro as the Vice Chairman of NASSCOM for 2017-18.
Days –
National Maritime Day observed in India

  • India on 5 April 2017 observed
    the 54th edition of the National Maritime Day.
  • At the inaugural function at the
    Tuticorin Port, Port Trust chairman S Anantha Chandra Bose placed a wreath on
    the memorial for sailors who sacrificed their lives at sea.
  • On this day in 1919, navigation
    history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam
    Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom.
  • It was a crucial step for India
    shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British.
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace observed

  • International Day of Sport for
    Development and Peace (IDSDP) was observed across the world on 6 April 2017.
    The date commemorates the inauguration of the first Olympic games of the modern
    era, in Athens (Greece) in 1896.
  • The United Nations General
    Assembly on 23 August 2013 through its resolution A/RES/67/296 decided to
    proclaim 6 April as the International Day of the Sport for the Development and
    the Peace. The day has been celebrated each year since 2014.
  • The adoption of the day for
    sports signifies that sports can have a positive influence on the advancement
    of human rights and economic development.
World –
Japan officially recognises Bitcoin as currency

  • Japan officially recognized
    bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money with effect from 1 April 2017.
  • The recognition comes after
    implementation of a new law amending Banking Act in Japan for legalizing these
    currencies. The step will facilitate integration of digital currency into legal
    banking system through regulatory scrutiny.
  • The law proposes setting
    financial conditions that virtual currency exchange operators should meet, such
    as a certain amount of capital, and requiring them to manage customer assets
    separately from their own corporate assets.
  • It calls for introducing a
    mandatory system for exchange operators to undergo external checks by certified
    public accountants or auditing firms for their asset management conditions and
    financial statements.
Malala to become the youngest person to address Canadian Parliament

  • The Prime Minister of Canada,
    Justin Trudeau announced on 3 April 2017 that the youngest Nobel laureate,
    Malala Yousafzai, will be addressing the country’s parliament on 12 April 2017.
  • The young Pakistani activist will
    also be receiving her honorary Canadian citizenship, which was bestowed upon
    her in 2014.
  • Canadian Prime Minister announced
    that 19-year-old Yousafzai will become the youngest person to address the
    country’s Parliament.
  • Trudeau also added that he would
    be discussing empowerment of girls through education with Yousafzai on the
    occasion.
  • Yousafzai was targeted for her
    advocacy for women’s education at the age of 15 when she was shot in the head
    by Taliban militants while returning from school.
  • She won world acclaim with her
    campaign for female education and human rights advocacy.
Sports –
Virat Kohli named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016

  • India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli
    on 5 April 2017 was named the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016.
  • The announcement was made in the
    Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, which is also often referred to as the ‘Bible of
    the Cricket.’
  • Kohli also features on the cover
    of the 2017 edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. It shows the cricketer
    playing a reverse sweep in a Test match.

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