Current Affairs Update – 31 October, 2017

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


Banking & Financial
HDFC Bank opens SmartUp Zones in
9 branches in Bengaluru

  • HDFC Bank has opened nine SmartUp
    Zones in Bengaluru.
  • A SmartUp Zone is an exclusive
    area inside the branch dedicated to start-ups. In the first phase, SmartUp
    Zones have been launched in nine branches in the city, catering to all the start-ups
    located in Karnataka.
  • The new SmartUp Zones were
    inaugurated by Vidhya Shankar, Executive Director, Grant Thornton India and
    Arun Mediratta, Branch Banking Head, HDFC Bank.
  • The branches with SmartUp Zones
    are in Koramangala, M G Road, J P Nagar, Whitefield – ITPL Road, Marathalli
    Junction, Indira Nagar CMH Road, BTM Layout, Jayanagar – RVS Paradise and
    Koramangala – II HSR Layout.
India, Italy sign six MoUs to
boost bilateral relation

  • India and Italy on Monday signed
    six Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) across various fields to further
    strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.
  • The MoUs signed between the two
    sides included Joint Declaration of Cooperation for Safety in the Railway
    Sector, MoU on 70 years of Diplomatic Relations, MoU on Cooperation in the
    field of Energy, Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation, MoU between MFA,
    Italy & FSI, MEA, India and MoU for Promoting Mutual Investment.
  • The MoU were exchanged following
    delegation-level talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his
    Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni.
  • Earlier in the day, the two
    leaders interacted with Indian and Italian CEOs for boosting economic and
    investment cooperation.
  • The visiting dignitary also met
    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and discussed issues of mutual intrest.
  • After receiving a ceremonial
    reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by Prime Minister Modi, the Italian Prime
    Minister said that both the nations have strong economic relations, common
    interest and are fighting against terrorism.
  • The Italian Prime Minister and
    his wife Emanuela Gentiloni also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the
    Nation, at Rajghat.

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Union Government launches MSME
Samadhaan Portal
  • The Union Government on 30
    October 2017 launched MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) delayed payment
    portal ‘MSME Samadhaan’ (
  • The portal was launched with an
    aim to empower micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) across the country to
    directly register their cases related to delayed payments by Central
    Ministries, Departments, CPSEs or State Governments.
  • The portal will give information
    about the pending payments of MSEs with individual CPSEs, Central Ministries,
    State Governments, etc.
  • The CEO of public sector
    enterprises and the Secretary of the Ministries concerned will also be able to
    monitor the cases of delayed payment under their jurisdiction and issue
    necessary instructions to resolve the issues.
  • The portal will help in
    monitoring the delayed payments in a more effective manner.
  • The information on the portal
    will be available in public domain with an aim to exert moral pressure on the
    defaulting organisations.
  • It will also empower the MSEs to
    access the portal and monitor their cases.
India, Tunisia sign agreements to
boost bilateral relations

  • India and Tunisia on 30 October
    2017 jointly agreed to enhance cooperation in various sectors including in the
    fields of renewable energy, infrastructure, transport and automobiles,
    textiles, agriculture, drugs & pharmaceuticals, healthcare, ICT, SMEs and energy.
  • The nations also agreed to
    jointly combat terrorism and extremism while boosting cooperation in the field
    of security.
  • The agreements were signed during
    the 12th Session of the India-Tunisia Joint Commission, which was held in New
    Delhi on 30 October. While External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj led the
    Indian delegation at the meeting, the Tunisian delegation was headed by
    Khemaies Jhinaoui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia.
  • This was the first time
    India-Tunisia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held at the Foreign
    Ministerial level.
  • The meeting enabled a
    comprehensive review of bilateral ties between India and Tunisia and also
    detailed discussions on how to strengthen them further.
  • The two sides also discussed
    regional and international issues of mutual interest.
  • The two sides have also come with
    a roadmap for India-Tunisia partnership to give a new thrust to bilateral
  • India signed a MoU with Tunisia
    for establishment of Soil, Water and Tissue Testing Laboratory in Tunis.
  • Tunisia shared India’s concerns
    on terrorism and agreed to fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism,
    drugs and organized crime and cooperate in the field of security including
    cyber security.
  • Both countries also proposed to
    reach the bilateral trade to USD 1 billion in the next five years, in order to
    expand bilateral trade and investment.
  • India called for greater market
    access in pharma and fertilizer sectors.
News related to India & states
India’s first indigenously built
offshore patrol vessel handed to Coast Guard

  • OPV Vikram, the first-ever
    defence vessel to be entirely built in a private shipyard, was handed over by
    Larsen and Toubro (L&T) to the Indian Coast Guard, ahead of the March 2018
    delivery schedule.
  • The vessel was indigenously
    developed in-house at L&T’s Kattupalli shipyard. Its entire design and
    construction processes have undergone dual certification from American Bureau
    of Shipping and Indian Registrar of Shipping.
  • OPV Vikram is the first of the
    seven vessels for which Ministry of Defence had awarded Rs 1,432 Cr contract to
    L&T in March 2015.
  • The vessel is equipped with
    modern weapon and state-of- the-art radar systems.
  • It would mainly be deployed for
    day and night surveillance patrol, search and rescue and in pollution response
    operations in exclusive economic zones of the country.
  • It will be inducted into service
    by April 2018 after completion of extensive trials of equipment and
Union Minister launches Jan
Aushadhi Pariyojana in Mumbai
  • Union Minister for state for
    social justice and empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on 30 October 2017 launched the
    Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana during the fourth workshop of ”Pradhan
    Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana” in Mumbai.
  • The workshop was organised by
    Pratishtha and Sanjivani trust. Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister
    stated that generic drugs for one and all are the need of the hour and we are
    glad to launch the same in our state. “This will be a revolutionary step in
    healthcare and we will also urge doctors to prescribe for generic drugs. This
    will help people save money and bring relief to the public,” he added.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi
    Pariyojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an objective of
    making high-quality medicines available to all at affordable prices, especially
    to the poor and underprivileged, through exclusive outlets such as Jan Aushadhi
    Medical store.
  • The scheme would make quality
    drugs available at affordable prices through dedicated stores selling generic
  • The medicines, though lesser in
    price, are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
India tops list of new tuberculosis
cases in 2016: WHO
  • The World Health Organisation on
    31 October 2017 released Global TB Report 2017, according to which, India has
    topped the list of seven countries that account for almost 64 per cent of the
    10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016.
  • India was followed by Indonesia,
    China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa. The report stated that
    an estimated 1.7 million people died from TB in 2016, including nearly 400,000
    people who were co-infected with HIV, recording a drop of 4 per cent in
    comparison to 2015.
  • India along with China and Russia
    accounted for almost of half of the 490,000, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB)
    cases registered in 2016. Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public
    health crisis and a health security threat.
  • The WHO estimates that there were
    600 000 new cases with resistance to rifampicin, the most effective first-line
    drug, of which 490 000 had MDR- TB.
  • Despite global efforts to combat
    TB, which saved an estimated 53 million lives since 2000 and reduced TB
    mortality rate by 37 per cent, the disease still was the top infectious killer
    in 2016.
  • TB has also been reported to be
    the main cause of deaths related to antimicrobial resistance and the leading
    killer of people with HIV.
Carbon-free tourism initiative to
be launched in Assam’s Majuli district

  • The Assam Tourism Development
    Corporation(ATDC) announced to launch the Majuli Sustainable Tourism
    Development Project (MSTDP) on 2 November 2017 to encourage carbon-free tourism
    experience in the country’s largest river island, Majuli.
  • Thirty cycles painted in orange
    will be launched as part of the carbon-free travel experience at Majuli. The
    objective behind the project is to create an environmental protocol for tourism
    industry in the island.
  • The MSTDP will be managed by Root
    Bridge Foundation which is an NGO promoting sustainable tourism practices in
    northeast India.
  • The Assam government had recently
    announced that Majuli will be the ‘first carbon neutral district’ in India and
    major steps have been initiated to achieve the same.
Suresh Chukkapalli appointed as
Consul General of Korea
  • Suresh Chukkapalli, Chairman of
    Phoenix Group of Hyderabad, has been appointed as Honorary Consul General in
    Hyderabad by the Republic of Korea, with consular jurisdiction over the state
    of Telangana.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs,
    Government of India, notified the same recently.
  • Suresh Chukkapalli will be given
    charge/invested formally on November 1 at a ceremony in New Delhi.
  • Now Chairman of Phoenix group,
    Suresh Chukkapalli, who comes from a distinguished family of entrepreneurs, was
    former Director and founder Promoter of Lanco Group and former Member of
    Central Board of Film Certification.
Vikram Singh appointed Private
Secretary to President
  • Railway officer Vikram Singh was
    today appointed Private Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Singh is a 1997 batch officer of
    the Indian Railway Traffic Service.
  • The Appointments Committee of the
    Cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of two years, an
    order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
  • In another order, IAS officer P C
    Meena was appointed Private Secretary to Minister of State for Commerce and
    Industry C R Chaudhary.
  • Meena is a 2004 batch IAS officer
    of the Haryana cadre.

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Shekhar Kapur Appointed Honorary
Scholar at MIT Media Lab

  • Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur
    has announced that he has been appointed scholar at the MIT Media Lab, an
    interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of
  • “Proud to be appointed honorary
    Scholar at MIT. Start my semester soon. It’s going to be the most exciting next
    phase of my life,” Kapur tweeted Oct. 29.
  • The laboratory is devoted to
    projects at the convergence of technology, multimedia, sciences, art and
  • Kapur is best known for directing
    films like “Masoom,” “Mr. India,” “Bandit Queen,” “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth:
    The Golden Age.”
  • He is currently busy working on
Neelamani N Raju appointed as
chief of Karnataka Police
  • Neelmani N Raju has been
    appointed as Director General and Inspector General of Karnataka Police on
  • Neelamani, a 1983 batch IPS
    officer is the first lady to be appointed as the police chief after Director
    General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) Rupak Kumar Dutta retired
    on Tuesday.
  • Raju, was serving as the state
    intelligence head prior to her appointment on Tuesday.
  • Retired Karnataka Police chief,
    RK Dutta who had served for the post for 10 months was given a grand farewell
    at KSRP grounds in Koramangala on Tuesday.
Poonguzhali becomes first woman
Sr DDG appointed in TERM, DoT

  • N Poonguzhali has become the
    first woman to be appointed as senior Deputy Director General, Tamil Nadu,
    Telecom Enforcement Resource Monitoring, Department of Telecommunications.
  • An Indian telecom service officer
    of the 1979 batch, she is an alumnus of IIT Madras, from where she graduated in
    Electronics and also completed her Masters in Business Administration, an
    official release said.
  • Her new role is in Telecom
    Enforcement Resource Monitoring under the Department of Telecommunications. The
    wing ensures that the telecom service providers function within the rules and
    regulations stipulated by the Centre.
  • She has 36 years of experience in
    the Department of Telecommunication and at Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in various
    responsibilities. She also bagged the distinguished woman engineers’ award by
    the Institute of Engineers, it said.
  • Prior to taking up the new role,
    she served BSNL as Chief General Manager, Tamil Nadu Circle, the release added.
Lists & Indexes
India jumps to 100th spot in
World Bank’s ease of doing business index

  • India jumped into 100th place on
    the World Bank’s ranking of countries by ease of doing business for the first
    time in its report for 2018, up about 30 places, driven by reforms in access to
    credit, power supplies and protection of minority investors.
  • The report, based on data from
    the capital New Delhi and the financial hub of Mumbai, ranked India among the
    top 10 “improvers” globally, having done better in eight out of 10 business
  • India has for the first time
    broken into the club of the top 100 nations easiest to do business in.
  • India has also been adjudged the
    5th best performing nation globally in reforming the business environment.
  • It also improved it’s ranking in
    six of the ten sub-categories used by the World Bank to judge the climate of
    business ease in a country.
  • The multilateral agency has
    recognised reforms by the government in eight sub-categories.
  • Among these, the biggest improvement
    in rankings was seen in the category of paying taxes where India managed to
    reach 119th position from the 172nd position earlier.
  • The World Bank, however, did not
    specifically ask respondents about the implications of the Goods and Services
    Tax regime. While the multilateral body said that GST was not a majorly
    mentioned issue from the respondents side, it cautioned that the tax system
    would play out significantly in the rankings over the next few years.
  • In the protecting minority
    investors category, India is now the 4th best in the world, a jump of 9 ranks
    from the 13th place last year.
  • However, despite hoping to get a
    better ranking in the securing construction permits category, India’s rank has
    only improved to 181 from last year’s 184.
World Cities Day 2017 observed

  • The World Cities Day was observed
    across the world on 31 October 2017 with the theme ‘Innovative Governance, Open
    Cities’. While, the general theme of World Cities Day is ‘Better City, Better
  • Every year, a different sub-theme
    is selected to celebrate the day to promote successes of urbanization and to
    address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.
  • This year’s sub-theme Innovative
    Governance, Open Cities highlights the important role of urbanization as a
    source of global development and social inclusion.
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas observed on
142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel

  • The nation observed Rashtriya
    Ekta Diwas on 31 October 2017. The day is celebrated annually to commemorate
    the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who has played a huge role in
    unifying the country.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid
    homage to Sardar Patel on 142nd birth anniversary. Speaking on this occasion
    Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the people of the country to resolve
    for ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.
  • The Prime Minister also flagged
    off the ‘Run For Unity’ from Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi.
    ‘Run for Unity’ is organised to celebrate Sardar’s extraordinary vision and
    strategic astuteness. In 2013 he also laid the foundation of Statue of Unity as
    a tribute to the visionary leader.
Awards & Honors
Girish Karnad to be honoured with Tata Literature Lifetime Achievement
Award 2017

  • Versatile actor and playwright
    Girish Karnad will be honoured with Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement
    Award 2017 on 19 November 2017. The award will be presented to the veteran
    actor at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point in
    Mumbai. The actor will receive the award as a playwright.
  • He writes in Kannada which is often
    translated in English and some other Indian languages.
  • He is also a proud recipient of
    Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards.
  • Among other recipients of the
    Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award include notable writers Amitav
    Ghosh (2016), Kiran Nagarkar (2015), MT Vasudevan Nair (2014), Khushwant Singh
    (2013), VS Naipaul (2012), and Mahashweta Devi (2011).
  • Tata Literature Live! Lifetime
    Achievement Award which honours distinguished writers in India will be held
    from 16-19 November 2017 in Mumbai.



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