Current Affairs Update – 31 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 31 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming  RBI Grade B Phase I, Dena Bank PGDBF, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 31 May, 2017

  1. State-owned Punjab National Bank has received USD 100 million (about Rs 645
    crore) as the first tranche of ADB’s multi—million dollar funding for
    installation of rooftop solar systems in India.
  2. India and Germany on 30
    May 2017 signed twelve low-profile Memorandum of Understandings
    (MoUs)/agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. The
    agreements include collaboration in the field of digitalization, skill
    development and cooperation in cyber policy.
  3. India and Spain on 31
    May 2017 signed seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) including one on cyber
    security and technical cooperation in civil aviation.
  4. Union Minister for Communications
    Manoj Sinha on 30 May 2017 made the formal announcement of organising India Mobile Congress 2017 (IMC 2017). The three-day IMC
    will be held from 27 to 29 September 2017 in New Delhi. The Ministry also
    launched the logo of India Mobile Congress 2017.
  5. The Minister of Shipping and Road
    Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for eight
    connectivity projects on 30 May 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai. The projects worth Rs
    1117.03 Cr aim to enhance connectivity of the hinterland to the Port Trust.
  6. Bijlipay, an end to end digital payment solutions company, is the
    first Indian Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices providing company to enable Bharat QR
    code on the screens of its POS machines. According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code
    is the world’s first inter-operable payment acceptance solution.
  7. HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies,
    announced the launch of India’s first life insurance email bot today. The email
    bot, named SPOK, can automatically
    read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails that
    are sent to HDFC Life, within milliseconds, the company said in a press release
    here.
  8. Delhi Police on 30 May
    2017 launched the Bicycle Patrols for better policing in the
    capital. The Bicycle Patrols were flagged off by Union minister of Home Affairs
    Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.
  9. To improve India’s position in
    ocean research field, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has decided
    to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by
    January 2018
    . This decision was announced by M Rajeevan, Secretary of the
    Ministry of Earth Sciences on 30 May 2017.
  10. Indian captain Virat Kohli, former captain Mahendra
    Singh Dhoni and batsmen Yuvraj
    Singh and Suresh Raina have been
    featured in ESPN’s World Fame 100 list for 2017. While both Kohli and Dhoni
    feature in the top 20 at the 13th and 15th rank respectively, Yuvraj and Raina
    have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively.
  11. The World No Tobacco Day 2017 was observed across the world on 31 May
    2017 with the theme Tobacco – a threat to development.

Financial & Banking News
PNB gets $100 mn from ADB for solar rooftop fund

  • State-owned Punjab National Bank
    has received USD 100 million (about Rs 645 crore) as the first tranche of ADB’s
    multi—million dollar funding for installation of rooftop solar systems in
    India.
  • The USD 100 million loan
    agreement signed between the Asian Development Bank and PNB is backed by a
    guarantee from the central government.
  • PNB will deploy this fund as loan
    to various developers and end users to install large solar rooftop systems on
    industrial and commercial buildings throughout India, ADB said in a release.
  • As much as USD 330 million of
    this funding will come from ADB’s ordinary capital resources and USD 170
    million from the multi—donor Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The first tranche
    loan comes from CTF.
  • The entire cost of SRIP is
    estimated at USD 1 billion and it aims to install solar rooftop system of
    around 1 gigawatt capacity in India.
India Germany signed 12 agreements; Indo-German inter-governmental
consultations held

  • India and Germany on 30 May 2017
    signed twelve low-profile Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)/agreements to
    boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. The agreements include
    collaboration in the field of digitalization, skill development and cooperation
    in cyber policy.
  • Besides, the two nations also
    agreed to resume the free trade talks between India and the European Union.
  • The agreements were inked during
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Germany (from 29 to 30 May 2017). At
    present, PM Modi is on a four-nation tour, namely Germany, Spain, Russia and
    France. The trip was planned with an agenda to boost trade and commerce and
    economic cooperation along with counter-terrorism steps.
Here’s a list of the
agreements and JDIs:
1.   Agreement on collaboration between the
Ministry of Skill Development and Germany’s BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education
and Research). This agreement will facilitate training of Indian skill
development officers and cluster managers
2.   Agreement between the Ministry of Health and
BMG (Federal Ministry of Health) on cooperation in health sector
3.   Agreement between the AYUSH and BMG (Federal
Ministry of Health) over cooperation in alternative medicine
4.   JDI between Ministry of Science and
Technology and the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) for the
establishment of an Indo-German Centre for Sustainability
5.   JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs
and the German Foreign Office on cooperation on cyber policy
6.   JDI between the Ministry of Finance and BMZ
(Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) on Indo-German
Development Cooperation
7.   JDI between the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry and BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) over
continuation of cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate and
junior executives from India
8.   JDI between the Department of Heavy
Industries and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) on cooperation
in vocational education and skill development for machine tools
9.   JDI between the Ministry of External Affairs
and the German Foreign Office on collaboration between Foreign Service
institutes of both the country
10. JDI between the Ministry of
Railways and German Ministry of Transport on cooperation in railway safety
11. JDI between the Ministry of
Urban Development and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
on cooperation for sustainable urban development
12. JDI on cooperation in the
field of digitalisation, empowerment and economic impact between the Ministry
of Communications and Information Technology and the Germany’s Ministry for
Economic Affairs and Energy
India, Spain sign 7 agreements during PM Modi’s visit

  • India and Spain on 31 May 2017
    signed seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) including one on cyber security
    and technical cooperation in civil aviation.
  • The MoUs were signed during Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Spain.
Highlights of the MoUs

  • The two sides signed one MoU on
    transfer of sentenced persons to respective countries.
  • One of the MoUs was for the visa
    waiver scheme for holders of diplomatic passports.
  • Four MoUs were signed between the
    two countries on cooperation in organ transplantation, cyber security,
    renewable energy and civil aviation.
  • One MoU was signed between
    India’s Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.
  • The agreements were signed after
    PM Modi held wide-ranging talks with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy at the
    Moncloa Palace in the Spanish capital.
PM Modi is the first Indian Prime
Minister to visit Spain since 1988. Spain is India’s seventh largest trading
partner in the European Union. Two-way trade between both the countries
totalled for USD 5.27 billion in the year 2016.
India Mobile Congress 2017 to be held in September

  • Union Minister for Communications
    Manoj Sinha on 30 May 2017 made the formal announcement of organising India
    Mobile Congress 2017 (IMC 2017). The three-day IMC will be held from 27 to 29
    September 2017 in New Delhi. The Ministry also launched the logo of India
    Mobile Congress 2017.
  • IMC will be India’s first and
    biggest platform to bring together all stakeholders from the domain of
    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and take the Indian telecom
    industry at par with its international counterparts.
  • This is the first time India is
    all set to host its own mobile mega show.
  • India Mobile Congress will be the
    biggest event of the telecom industry and it will bring together all
    stakeholders from the industry and government on a common platform.
  • The event will be organised by
    Department of Telecommunications along with Cellular Operators Association of
    India (COAI) and other stakeholders.
Gadkari lays foundation stone for 8 connectivity projects worth 1117 Cr
at JNPT

  • The Minister of Shipping and Road
    Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for eight
    connectivity projects on 30 May 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in
    Mumbai.
  • The projects worth Rs 1117.03 Cr
    aim to enhance connectivity of the hinterland to the Port Trust.
These projects include:

  • Integrated Common Rail Yard
    Facility at JNPT – Rs. 250 crore
  • Connecting 4th Terminal of JNPT
    with Rail – Rs. 100 crore
  • Jasai-JNPT 3rd Railway Line – Rs.
    150 crore
  • Flyover at North Gate – Rs.
    127.45 crore
  • Integrated Centralised Parking
    for Tractor-Trailers – Rs. 149.31 crore
  • Construction of Coastal Berth –
    Rs. 142.32 crore
  • Flyover at Y Junction – Rs. 82.95
    crore
  • Restructuring of Yard behind
    shallow water berth – Rs. 115 crore
Port Connectivity is among the
four pillars of Ministry of Shipping’s flagship Sagarmala programme.

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Link Aadhaar Card with PAN using SMS: IT Department

  • The Income Tax (IT) Department on
    31 May 2017 announced that taxpayers can now link their Aadhaar Card number
    with their Permanent Account Number (PAN) by using an SMS-based facility.
  • The two numbers can be linked by
    sending an SMS to either 567678 or 56161.
  • Moreover, people can also use the
    I-T Department’s e-filing website to link the two numbers.
  • Aadhaar can also be linked into
    PAN database by quoting Aadhaar in PAN application form for new PAN allotment
    or by quoting Aadhaar in change request form used for reprint of PAN card.
  • After verification from the UIDAI
    (Unique Identification Authority of India), the linking will be confirmed.
  • In case of any minor mismatch in
    Aadhaar name provided by the applicant, Aadhaar OTP (one-time password) will be
    required.
  • The OTP will be sent to the
    mobile number registered in the Aadhaar database.

Bijlipay launches India’s first Bharat QR code recognising POS machine

  • Bijlipay, an end to end digital
    payment solutions company, is the first Indian Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices
    providing company to enable Bharat QR code on the screens of its POS machines.
    According to RBI, the Bharat QR Code is the world’s first inter-operable
    payment acceptance solution.
  • Bijlipay firmly believes that
    it’s not just providing digital payments devices that will cultivate the habit
    of cashlessness in Indians. It will take a lot more of handholding, education
    & awareness to see the actual conversions to digital payments in tier
    II-III cities. Hence, Bijlipay ensures that they provide for an end-to-end
    solutions involving demos, documentation, installation, training, risk
    profiling, reconciliation, settlement and analytics. It’s not the number of machines
    in the market that gives the true picture on digital payments, it’s the volume
    that each machine processes which sets the right parameter for a successful
    digitization of payments. .
  • Bijlipay is poised for tremendous
    growth in digital payment space, and is planning to launch several digital
    payment solutions in the Indian market. Apart from acquiring solutions like
    m-POS & GPRS POS and ‘Swipe4Cash’ mini ATM products, Bijlipay also provides
    a best in class issuance platform for prepaid cards/ Forex cards/ Gift cards
    etc.

HDFC Life launches India’s first life insurance email bot SPOK

  • HDFC Life, one of India’s leading
    private life insurance companies, announced the launch of India’s first life
    insurance email bot today. The email bot, named SPOK, can automatically read,
    understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails that are sent
    to HDFC Life, within milliseconds, the company said in a press release here.
  • This automation initiative will
    enable HDFC Life to respond to user queries faster and more efficiently and
    consistently. It will also help generate deeper insight on customer needs by
    identifying patterns in customer interactions and facilitating HDFC Life to
    progressively anticipate and address all customer issues and needs. The
    deployment of SPOK will improve customer experience, while providing the
    support staff with the bandwidth to focus on customer satisfaction and delight.
  • HDFC Life has embarked on this
    initiative in collaboration with Senseforth, a startup that offers a wide range
    of enterprise bots built on its AI platform.
  • Artificial intelligence special
    purpose bots learn and evolve based on guided learning principles and are
    proficient with customer emotion. This will help HDFC Life constantly enhance
    customer experience going forward.

News related to India and states
Delhi Police launches Bicycle Patrols for better policing

  • Delhi Police on 30 May 2017
    launched the Bicycle Patrols for better policing in the capital. The Bicycle
    Patrols were flagged off by Union minister of Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram
    Ahir.
  • In the first phase, a total of 65
    high-end bicycles have been operationalised. Out of 65 bicycles, 30 were
    allotted for North East district, 20 for East district and 15 for Shahdara
    district.
  • The scheme will be extended to
    other areas of Delhi as well.
  • Bicycle patrols were launched as
    a part of green initiative for patrolling the parks, congested lanes, by-lanes,
    the cooperative societies, etc.
  • These patrols were introduced to
    complement and supplement existing motorcycle and PCR patrols of Delhi Police
    which focus mainly on crime prevention along the arterial and main roads of
    Delhi.
  • Cycle patrols can go where
    traditional patrol vehicles cannot. They can reach the narrow and heavily
    congested areas where mechanized vehicles find it difficult to reach.

Yogi Adityanath raises retirement age of UP doctors to 62
  • The Uttar Pradesh Government has
    extended the retirement age of doctors working under provincial medical service
    from 60 to 62 years.
  • The decision was taken by the
    state’s cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a meeting held at
    Lucknow on 30 May 2017.
  • The move has been made in the
    view of non-availability of medical practitioners across the state.
  • Elaborating on the development,
    UP government spokesman and health minister Siddharth Nath Singh stated that
    around 7,327 posts of doctors were lying vacant in the state against the
    sanctioned strength of 18,382.
  • Almost 300-400 doctors retire
    every year in the state and there are not enough qualified doctors to fill up
    the vacant seats.

Ministry of Earth Sciences to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January
2018
  • To improve India’s position in
    ocean research field, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has decided
    to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018. This decision was announced by
    M Rajeevan, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences on 30 May 2017.
  • Secretary was speaking through
    video conference in the workshop arranged by National Institute of
    Oceanography, Dona Paula. On the occasion, Rajeevan also said that “India
    achieved a lot in the field of ocean research; still it is a long way to go”.
  • The workshop titled ‘Three
    decades of India acquiring Pioneer Investor Status- Achievements and way
    forward’ was also attended by MS Nagar, Member Standing Committee, Ministry of
    Earth Science and Dr VSN Murthy, Director, National Institute of Oceanography
    among other dignitaries.

Sports News
Kohli, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Raina in list of World top 100 athletes

  • Indian captain Virat Kohli,
    former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina
    have been featured in ESPN’s World Fame 100 list for 2017.
  • While both Kohli and Dhoni
    feature in the top 20 at the 13th and 15th rank respectively, Yuvraj and Raina
    have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively.
  • The list is ESPN’s ranking of the
    100 most famous active athletes in the world. The first such list was released
    in 2016.
  • Portuguese footballer Christiano
    Ronaldo with the top rank has been adjudged as the most famous athlete on the
    planet.
  • The other players in the top 5
    include NBA legend Lebron James at rank 2, soccer star Lionel Messi at the 3rd
    rank, tennis ace Roger Federer at the 4th rank and American golfer Phil
    Mickelson at the 5th rank.
  • Brazilian footballer Neymar,
    Sprinter Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods make up the top
    10.

World News
Pentagon (US) successfully tests intercontinental ballistic missile
defence system

  • The United States of America on
    30 May 2017 successfully conducted the first-ever test of its defence system
    against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The test was
    long-planned.
  • Speaking on the development, the
    US Missile Defence Agency (MDA) stated that a ground-based interceptor was
    launched at a California air base and it successfully shot down a mock
    ballistic missile.
  • The U.S military fired an
    ICBM-type missile from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands towards the
    waters just south of Alaska.
  • It then fired a missile to
    intercept it from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
  • Experts compare the exercise to
    hitting a bullet with another bullet. The enormous distance involved further
    added to the complexity of the test.
  • It was the first live-fire test
    against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-Based Missile Defense, which is managed
    by Boeing Co.

Days
World No Tobacco Day 2017 observed globally

  • The World No Tobacco Day 2017 was
    observed across the world on 31 May 2017 with the theme Tobacco – a threat to
    development.
  • This year’s theme focuses on
    measures that the governments and public should take to promote health and
    development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.
  • The theme was chosen by WHO to
    highlight that how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide and
    also to press the need for implementing some strong tobacco control measures
    such as banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging
    of tobacco products, raising excise taxes and making public places smoke-free.

Obituaries
Kannada film producer Parvathamma Rajkumar passes away
  • Parvathamma Rajkumar, Kannada
    film producer and wife of the late Kannada superstar Rajkumar, passed away on
    31 May 2017 due to prolonged illness. She was 78.
  • She had been hospitalised since
    14 May. After a major drop in blood pressure, the producer suffered a massive cardiac
    arrest on 31st morning.
  • She was the only woman
    producer-distributor-exhibitor of Kannada films.

Veteran filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao passes away
  • Veteran Telugu filmmaker and
    former Union minister Dasari Narayana Rao passed away on 30 May 2017 following
    heart failure. He was 75.
  • Rao was known for directing
    movies with legendary actors like NT Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao. He
    was also an active politician in the Congress party and served as a Union
    Minister during the UPA regime.
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