Current Affairs Update – 5 July, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 5 July, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, NABARD Grade A & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News
China-led AIIB clears $329-mn loan for building roads in Gujarat
villages

  • China-led Asian Infrastructure
    Investment Bank (AIIB) on Wednesday said that its board has approved $329
    million loan to build access roads to 4,000 villages in Gujarat.
  • “The board of directors of
    the AIIB approved a loan of $329 million to build access roads to approximately
    4,000 villages in all 33 districts of Gujarat, India,” AIIB said in a
    statement.
  • Insufficient road connectivity
    into these villages limits their ability to access healthcare services, bring
    their goods to market and access transportation for their children to attend
    schools, it said.
  • This project will construct and
    upgrade district and farm-to-market roads for the villagers and provide
    approaches to educational institutions, schools and hospitals.
  • The upgraded road access is expected
    to have a positive impact on women and girls by improving school attendance
    rates as the latter drop out due to lack of access to all weather roads.
Axis Bank rolls out loans for super bikes

  • Axis Bank on Wednesday said it
    has launched Super Bike Loans for 500cc and above bikes.
  • Under the product offering, the
    private sector bank will give loans up to 95 per cent of the bike cost
    including accessory funding with special offers & programmes for its own
    high net worth individual customers.
  • The trend of riding clubs &
    adventure biking activities surrounding these luxury bikes is further adding to
    the popularity quotient of the segment, the bank said in a statement.
  • The average age of customers in
    this segment is now at mid 30s down from the age of early 40s a couple of years
    back, it added.
Svatantra Microfin launches cashless solution ‘Saathi’

  • Mid-sized microfinance
    institution Svatantra Microfin is looking at doubling its loan disbursals to ₹800 crore by 2019, even as it plans to expand its operations
    to more States within the same period.
  • The firm, founded and promoted by
    Ananya Birla in 2012, has so far disbursed micro-credits worth ₹ 450 crore. Its loan book stands at ₹260
    crore, and it has grown 220 per cent year-on-year since its launch in 2014. The
    firm also claims to have broken even this year.
  • Svatantra has also launched an
    app, an end-to-end cashless solution called Saathi, for an entire spectrum of
    operations in areas such as loan originating system, loan management system and
    collections. In partnership with third-party service providers, it has also
    created a affordable, cashless mediclaim product for up to five family members.
  • The company, which started with
    just one branch at Wada in Maharashtra, currently has about 85 branches in six
    States.
  • The plan is to expand to more
    States this year, said Birla, adding that the company is looking to raise funds
    from social capital ventures, both domestic and global, next year. She,
    however, did not quantify the amount the company plans to raise.
Govt’s MERIT app launch to help customers save up to Rs 20,000 cr

  • The ministry of power on
    Wednesday launched a mobile app and web portal for tracking and managing merit
    order dispatch of power. The web portal, called MERIT (Merit Order Despatch of
    Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency), according to the
    government, would entail savings of close to Rs 20,000 crore to consumers in
    the coming five years.
  • The merit order stack is a common
    approach to the problem of minimising the sum of generators’ operating costs,
    while honouring the operational constraints of the available generation to
    supply the demand in a secure and reliable manner, said a government statement.
  • The Tariff Policy, 2016 provides
    that the states and electricity distribution companies (discoms) shall follow
    merit order for the procurement of power and there should be uniformity in the
    merit order mechanism. During the Power Ministers’ conference held at Vadodara
    in October 2016, it was decided that a committee would be constituted to
    examine the status of the ‘merit order dispatch’ and other issues involved in
    it. The committee was also tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the
    proper dispatch of renewable sources, involving compliance to the merit order
    principle.
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Notify price increase through advertisement in two newspapers, if
increased due to GST

  • Union Government, which is
    closely monitoring the price and supply situation of commodities following
    implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), on 4 July 2017, said that the
    manufacturers/companies have time until 30 September 2017 to clear the unsold
    pre-GST goods.
  • The government has allowed
    manufacturers, traders and importers to clear their stock lying with them prior
    to 1 July 2017 by 30 September 2017.
  • Briefing media in New Delhi,
    Consumer Affairs Secretary Avinash Srivastava said, if the rates of commodities
    have gone up following the imposition of GST then, the companies will have to display
    the revised and previous rates on packets and publish it in at least two
    newspapers. The revised rate stickers on unsold items have been allowed till 30
    September 2017.
  • However, where the price has gone
    down, the manufacturer/the company will not have to publish the rates in the
    newspaper but they will have to display the old and revised rates on packets.
  • In addition to this, the Revenue
    Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has informed that the Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha on 3
    July 2017 chaired the meeting of Central Monitoring Committee to take stock of
    price situation. The meeting will be held every Tuesday regarding it.
  • According to Adhia, 175 senior
    officers of Central Government will be given the responsibility of four to five
    districts to monitor the GST situation.
  • The Revenue Secretary said they
    will be briefed about their responsibilities on 5 July 2017 in Vigyan Bhawan.
  • Adhia said, all the state
    governments except Jammu and Kashmir have notified GST-related rules and people
    have accepted it well and no issues have been reported so far in the
    implementation of GST.
  • Besides, to educate people about
    GST, a six-day master class will be started from 6 July 2017 for one hour per
    day. At the same time, the media campaign is on to educate the people about the
    reduction in commodity prices after the implementation of GST.
News related to India & States
President Pranab Mukherjee approves ordinance allowing Kambala in
Karnataka

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on 4
    July 2017 approved the promulgation of The Prevention of cruelty to Animals
    (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to legalise Kambala in Karnataka. Kambala
    is the folk sport involving the bullock cart race.
  • The ordinance also calls to
    exempt bulls from The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • In November 2016, the Karnataka
    High Court banned kambala along with bull-cart race in the state while hearing
    a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing
    animal cruelty.
  • The high court had stayed these
    traditional sports in view of the Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu, a
    traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.
  • However, following the protests
    by people and kambala organisers, Karnataka Assembly passed an ordinance
    Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 in February
    2017 to allow Kambala.
  • In June 2017, the Union Ministry
    of Law and Justice cleared the bill with an aim to legalise Kambala.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is
    the first Prime Minister of India to visit Israel in 70 years. Modi is on a
    three-day official visit to Israel. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the
    establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
India, Israel resolves to fight menace of terrorism and radicalism

  • During his historic visit to
    Israel that started with firm handshakes and hugs on 4 July 2017, the Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi said that common objective of his visit to the country
    is the economic prosperity of the two nations.
  • He also said that the two
    countries must resolutely oppose the evils of terrorism, radicalism and
    violence that plague our times. Modi said those who believe in humanity and
    civilised values must come together and defend it at all costs.
  • His Israeli counterpart
    Netanyahu, also, asserted that the two countries must stand together to fight
    the menace.
  • On the first day of his visit to
    Israel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred his visit to the Yad Vashem
    Holocaust memorial museum, shortly after his arrival in the day that the museum
    was “a tribute to your unbreakable spirit to rise above the depths of tragedy,
    overcome hatred and forge ahead to build a vibrant democratic nation.
  • Giving the pre-dinner press
    statement at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu home in Jerusalem, PM
    Modi said, he wants to frame a relationship that transforms the landscape of
    economic engagements between the two nations.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said
    that technology and innovation were important development priority of India
    which provides the scope to expand academic, scientific and business links with
    Israel.
ISB launches multi-disciplinary research project to study Aadhar impact

  • The Indian School of Business
    (ISB) has taken up multi-disciplinary research initiative on Aadhaar and its
    implications.
  • The research will be taken as
    part of the Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI) launched by the
    Hyderabad-based business school which also has a campus in Mohali.
  • The school will engage with
    researchers and academic institutions from India and abroad to promote an
    ecosystem of academic research on Aadhaar. The initial phase of the research
    will cover the impact of Aadhaar in areas such as benefit transfers, financial
    inclusion, healthcare schemes, public distribution systems and public policy.
  • ISB is excited to be leading the
    Digital Identity Research Initiative as we are confident that this research
    will be path-breaking and will translate into knowledge with immediate
    application for policy makers, educators, service providers, and
    entrepreneurs,’’ Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB said in a release issued here
    on Wednesday.
Haryana government to run electric buses in Gurgaon

  • The Haryana government is
    planning to set up an environment-friendly transportation system in Gurgaon on
    the pattern of Poland.
  • The same was announced by the
    state’s Urban Local Bodies Minister, Kavita Jain on 4 July 2017. The Cabinet
    Minister, who is leading a delegation on a visit to the plant of JBM Solaris
    Electric Vehicles Limited in Poland’s Ponzan, said that in the first phase, 75
    to 100 electric buses would be operated.
  • In the first phase, the electric
    vehicles would be operated in Gurgaon that has excellent infrastructure and
    facilities in residential, commercial and public sectors.
  • In comparison to ordinary buses,
    each electric bus would help save about 4.25 lakh litres diesel and reduce
    carbon emissions by 1150 tonnes in ten years of operation.
  • The deployment of the electric
    vehicles will also reduce traffic congestion and provide better public
    transport system to an average of 50,000 people every day.
Environment Minister launches plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav

  • The Union Environment Minister,
    Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a month-long plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav
    on 5 July 2017. The Minister planted a sapling and also distributed saplings
    for plantation to local residents.
  • The plantation drive was
    organised at Ram Lila Park, C. C Colony and Model Town early in the morning.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Harsh
    Vardhan urged the states to undertake similar initiatives and urged people to
    become ‘green ambassadors’ and participate actively in plantation drives during
    the period of monsoon, in keeping with the spirit of Van Mahotsav.
  • He further advised that native
    trees, which have a high survival rate, should be planted as they readily adapt
    to the local climate and integrate well into the eco-system.
  • He also added that in order to
    meet goals set by India under the United Nations Framework Convention on
    Climate Change (UNFCC), initiatives such as plantation drives with large scale
    active participation from people are important.
Appointments
Somesh Goyal appointed as DGP of Himachal Pradesh

  • Somesh Goyal, a 1984-batch IPS
    officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was on 5 July 2017 appointed as the Director
    General of Police (DGP) of Himachal Pradesh.
  • He succeeds Sanjay Kumar who has
    now been appointed as Director General of the National Disaster Response Force
    (NDRF). Goyal was presently serving as the DGP (Prisons) of the state.
  • Goyal’s main concern as the DGP
    would be to improve the delivery system, project a people-friendly image of
    police, root out drug menace and ensure safety of women.
World News
Beijing Declaration on Education adopted

  • The Beijing Declaration on
    Education was adopted during the 5th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education in
    Beijing, China on 5 July 2017.
  • The main agenda of the meeting
    was to discuss education reforms, various approaches to promote equity in
    education, fostering quality education, strengthening BRICS collaboration in
    the field of education, and exchange of students and scholars among BRICS Member
    States.
  • In order to recognize the
    significance of collaboration in the field of education for enhancing the
    overall partnership among BRICS Member States and enhance people to people
    exchanges to a higher level, BRICS Members declared their support through Beijing
    Declaration on Education.
  • The declaration shows the
    commitment of the BRICS Nations towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4
    (SDG4)-Education 2030 which aims to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality
    education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.
Xiaomi to acquire key Nokia patents

  • Chinese tech major Xiaomi on 5
    July 2017 signed an agreement for business collaboration and patent licencing
    with Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia. As per the agreement, Xiaomi will
    acquire key patent assets from Nokia.
  • The multi-year patent agreement
    includes a cross license to each company’s cellular standard essential patents.
  • Under the agreement, Nokia will
    provide network infrastructure equipment designed to deliver high capacity, low
    power requirements for large web providers and data centre operators.
  • Nokia and Xiaomi will work
    together on optical transport solutions for datacentre interconnect, IP routing
    based on Nokia’s newly announced ‘FP4’ network processor.
  • The companies will also explore
    opportunities for further cooperation in areas such as Internet of Things
    (IoT), augmented and virtual reality and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Xiaomi witnessed a rapid growth
    in the Indian market and clocked over USD 1 billion in revenue in 2016.
Volkswagen returns to Iranian market after 17-year absence

  • German car giant Volkswagen on 4
    July 2017 announced its return to the Iranian market for the first time in 17
    years due to the lifting of economic sanctions.
  • The company said that it would
    resume selling cars in Iran from August 2017 after signing a deal with local
    importer Mammut Khodro.
  • The deal will initially cover
    Volkswagen’s Tiguan and Passat models to gain an insight into current market
    needs, establish the Volkswagen brand in Iran, and offer Iranians modern
    technologies.
  • European firms have been eyeing
    opportunities in Iran since a nuclear deal with world powers came into force in
    January 2016, lifting many sanctions in exchange for tight controls on the
    country’s atomic programme.
  • Volkswagen first started selling
    cars in Iran in the 1950s. However, the company pulled out of the market in
    2000 due to the levelling of international sanctions against the Islamic
    republic.
Jurassic-era crocodile with T-rex teeth discovered in Madagascar

  • A group of scientists discovered
    fossils belonging to an ancient, extinct crocodile relative that has deep and
    massive jaw bones armed with enormous serrated teeth like those of a T-rex.
  • The study was published on 4 July
    2017 in the journal PeerJ.
  • As per the study, the animal
    found in Madagascar in Africa was a top land predator of the Middle Jurassic
    period, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
  • The full name of the predatory
    crocodyliform is Razanandrongobe sakalavae, which means “giant lizard ancestor
    from Sakalava region”.
New Israeli Crysanthumum flower named after Prime Minister Narendra
Modi

  • A new fast-growing Israeli flower
    on 4 July 2017 was named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The step comes as
    a special gesture to mark the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to the
    Jewish nation.
  • Israeli Crysanthumum flower will
    now be called Modi.
  • Danziger Flower Farm named the
    flower Crysanthumum as Modi, commemorating Prime Minister Modi’s visit.
  • The Danziger flower farm is one
    of Israel’s leading floriculture companies with approximately 80000 square
    meters of state-of-the-art greenhouses specialising in reproduction of plants.
Index & Rankings
The Energy Resources Institute ranks second among world’s climate think
tanks

  • The International Centre for
    Climate Governance (ICCG) recently ranked The Energy Resources Institute (TERI)
    second among world’s best climate think tank.
  • The institute was ranked number
    two under the category 2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the
    World-Absolute Global Rankings during ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the
    European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens,
    Greece.
  • The Energy and Resources
    Institute is a research institute based in New Delhi.
  • It conducts research work in the
    fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
  • The institute was established in
    1974.
  • It was formerly known as Tata
    Energy and Resource Institute.
  • As the scope of its activities
    widened, it was renamed The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.

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