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National Current Affairs | Access the Latest Happenings across India
1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley delivered the financial budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 amid subdued economic growth, challenging fiscal situation and farm distress.
Here are the key highlights from the Union Budget 2018:
Economy on course to achieve high growth of 8%.
MSP for all Kharif crops increased to 150% and Operation Green to increase the production.
Kisan Credit Card to Fishermen and Cattle owners.
New National Health Protection Scheme, providing a health insurance cover of INR 5 lakh a family per annum.
Revitalizing Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) Scheme.
Under Ujjwala Scheme distribution of free LPG connections will be given to 8 crore poor women.
Housing for all by 2022 – more than one crore houses to be built by 2019 in rural areas.
Ekalavya Model Residential School to be set up for tribal children.
24 New Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals and Prime Minister Fellowship Scheme.
70 lakh formal jobs to be created this year.
To develop 10 prominent tourist sites into iconic tourism destinations.
Over 3600 km of track renewal targeted in current fiscal.
Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations.
Mumbai’s local train network to have 90 kilometers of double line tracks at INR 11,000 crore cost.
150 km of additional suburban network planned for Mumbai.
To expand airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.
To set up 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to provide net-connectivity to five crore rural citizens.
To revise emoluments to INR 5 lakh for the President, INR 4 lakhs for the Vice President, INR 3.5 lakh per month to Governor.
National Bamboo Mission to promote the bamboo sector.
Gobar – Dhan Yojna to improve villages using bio-agro resources.
2. 7th India Energy Congress was held in New Delhi on February 1, 2018.
The theme of the 7th edition of India Energy Congress was ‘Energy 4.0: Energy Transition Towards 2030′.
It is the flagship event of World Energy Council India (WEC) and joint event of ministries of power, coal, new & renewable energy, petroleum & natural gas, external affairs and Department of Atomic Energy.
3. The Maharashtra government has approved Ghodazari in Chandrapur district as a new wildlife sanctuary in the state.
The sanctuary, in the North East of Tadoba, will include 159 sq. km of Brahmapuri forest.
4. State government in association with UNICEF has launched massive door to door campaign DASTAK in Uttar Pradesh to eradicate deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis disease in the state.
5. The Haryana government has launched the Gobardhan Yojana to provide for the sale of organic manure and cow urine with an aim to benefit farmers.
A provision of INR 11 crore has been made to provide benefits of various projects under this scheme.
6. The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav 2018 of Gommateshwara Bhagwan Sri Bahubali Swami at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka.
The Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav is celebrated once every 12 years.
It has been celebrated for over 1,000 years.
7. The Ministry of Railways has decided to set up a massive rail coach factory in Latur district in Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
It will help to generate employment opportunities and bring economic development in Marathwada region which is one of the most backward parts of Maharashtra.
8. The Union Government has announced Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme for promoting solar farming.
It is aimed to decentralized solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to help farmers.
It will reduce transmission losses of DISCOMs as well as provide support to improve financial health of DISCOMs by reducing subsidy burden to agriculture sector.
9. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched Green Good Deeds campaign in New Delhi.
The purpose of the campaign is to sensitize people and students about climate change and global warming.
10. Britain’s Prince Charles has launched a new 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond (DIB) to help improve education for over 200,000 children in India.
The DIB is the largest bond of its type in South Asia.
It is the latest fundraising initiative by British Asian Trust (BAT) set up by Royal Family 10 years ago to fight poverty in South Asia.
11. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Center for learning Sanskrit language in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad.
The center will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language.
12. The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, hosted an LPG Panchayat organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The aim of LPG Panchayat is to provide a platform for LPG consumers to interact with each other, promote mutual learning and share experiences.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas intends to conduct 1 lakh such Panchayats across India before March 31, 2019.
13. The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has inaugurated the 8th Global Theatre Olympics at the majestic Red Fort in New Delhi.
This Global Theatre Festival is being held in India for the first time.
The 51 days long event is scheduled in 17 Indian cities with 450 shows, 600 ambience performances and 250 power packed youth forum shows.
14. Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad has inaugurated the Friendship Gate constructed near Integrated Check Post, 90 km South of capital Shillong on border with Bangladesh.
The aim of the construction of this Friendship Gate is to have a Wagah-like beating retreat ceremony for the Indian and Bangladesh border guards.
15. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has inaugurated the World Sustainable Development Summit 2018 (WSDS) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
WSDS is the flagship forum of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and seeks to bring together on a common platform, global leaders and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors.
The theme of the Summit this year is ‘Partnerships for a Resilient Planet’.
16. Maharashtra government will be setting up country’s first institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Mumbai.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has unveiled the plan for the institute during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit.
17. The West Bengal became the first state to opt out of Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) which was announced in Union Budget 2018-19.
According to State Government, it has made hospitalization and medical treatment free for its citizens.
The Maharashtra government has already enrolled 50 lakh people under its Swasthya Sathi programme.
18. The India has organized a tri-service maritime exercise ‘Paschim Lehar’ at India’s western coast
The aim of the exercise is to build interoperability between Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard.
This exercise includes participation of large number of ships, submarines and aircraft from Western Naval Command of Indian Navy and units from Eastern Naval Command, Indian Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.
19. The Goa government has launched a motorcycle ambulance service to provide quick medical help to patients in need in the coastal state.
A batch of 20 two-wheeler ambulances would be deputed in high risk areas like the coastal belt.
These motorbikes will be equipped with medical facilities, including oxygen cylinders.
20. The Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the National Banana Festival 2018 held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
India is the largest producer of banana in the world with 29.7 million tons from an area of 0.88 million hectares with a productivity of 37 MT/ha.
21. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated World Information Technology Congress in Hyderabad, Telangana via Video Conference.
The theme of this edition of conference was ‘Future Enterprises.’
It has been organized in partnership with NASSCOM, WITSA and the Government of Telangana.
22. Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and United Nations Environment Program chief Erik Solheim has announced that India will host the World Environment Day 2018.
The theme for the World Environment Day 2018, held every year on June 5, is Beat Plastic Pollution.
Canada hosted the World Environment Day
23. A Sanskriti Mahotsav named ‘Swachhagraha – Bapu ko Karyanjali’ was organized at the Man Mandir Ghat and Assi Ghat in Varanasi to celebrate the creative and cultural industries in Varanasi and to focus attention on the need for Swachhta by using cultural forms.
The mahotsav will see the engagement of the academia, artists, artisans, writers, poets, environmental and cultural forums on the use of cultural expressions for conservation and protection of the river and the ancient city.
The 2-day event included performances on the theme of ‘Swachhagraha’.
24. The Indian and Indonesian armies began the sixth edition of their annual military exercises named Garuda Shakti in the West Java province of the country.
The opening ceremony of the two-week military drill between the Special Forces of the Indian Army and the Indonesian Army was held at Bandung.
25. The Union Government has ordered to set up the NITI Forum for North-East Region.
The main aim is to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country and to recommend suitable interventions for addressing identified constraints.
It will help to review the development status in the NER.
26. The Haryana government launched a scheme named Parivartan, to report 10 issues including cleanliness and pollution, in 46 developmental blocks of the state.
The 10 issues include facilitation of financing, making agriculture profitable and sustainable, improving health services, implementing Swachh Bharat, decongesting market areas, engaging the youth, checking air pollution, ensuring availability of identity-related services, effective policing, and ensuring road order and conduct.
27. Ministry of Culture is organizing a Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix in Madhya Pradesh to celebrate the idea of unity in diversity.
The States participating in the event with Madhya Pradesh are Nagaland and Manipur.
The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.
28. Maharashtra government is going to launch Asmita Yojana on the International Women’s Day to provide subsidized sanitary pads to school girls and women.
Under the scheme, school girls studying in Zilla Parishad schools will get sanitary napkin packet at INR 5 while rural women can avail it at subsidized rate of INR 24 and INR 29.
29. The Indian Army and Seychelles People’s Defence Forces started 8th joint military exercise at Mahe Island, Seychelles.
The exercise is named Lamitye, which means friendship.
It is bilateral exercises being conducted in the beautiful island nation.
30. PM Narendra Modi has launched the Tamil Nadu Government’s Amma Scooter Scheme and a massive tree plantation drive to commemorate the 70th birth anniversary of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
Under the Amma Scooter Scheme, over one lakh working women will get scooters at subsidized rates.
International Current Affairs | Know What’s happening around the World
1. India has joined the Ashgabat agreement to setting up of an international transport and transit corridor linking central Asia with the Persian Gulf to significantly ramp up trade and investment.
Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman and Uzbekistan signed the agreement on April 25, 2011.
In October 2016, Pakistan had formally joined the project. Kazakhstan is also a part to this agreement.
2. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen has declared a 15-day state of Emergency in order to protect the peace and welfare of all the citizens and the country.
The move gives sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects as Yameen refuses to comply with a Supreme Court order to release political prisoners.
The latest crisis was triggered when the Maldivian Supreme Court ordered the release of some opposition leaders, after overturning their “terrorism” convictions.
3. A Special Court in Dhaka has sentenced former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to jail for five years in a 10-year-old graft case.
The court also sentenced her son, Tarique Rahman, and four others to jail for 10 years. Rahman is a resident of London.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case, accusing Ms. Zia and the five others of misappropriating over 2.1 crore Bangladeshi Taka that had come from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.
4. Bhutan is going to open a consulate in Guwahati trying to shake off the militancy tag.
Bhutan become the second country to open consulate in Guwahati, after the Bangladesh.
Bhutan has already had a consulate in Kolkata for years.
5. Rwanda become the first low-income/ poor country to provide eye care for its 12 million population.
The government has partnered with the organization Vision for a Nation (VFAN) to train more than 3000 eye care nurses.
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation of a Hindu Temple from the Dubai Opera House via video conferencing.
The temple will be the first to be built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE which is home to a huge Indian migration.
The UAE has two Hindu temples which are located in Dubai.
7. The Pakistani Senate has approved a motion to declare Mandarin as one of the official languages of Pakistan.
The motion said the step was necessary in view of ties between Pakistan and China.
Punjabi, which is widely spoken in Punjab province of Pakistan, Pashto and many other native languages have not been declared as the official languages of the country.
8. Saudi Arabia has allowed women to open their own businesses and benefit from government e-services without having to prove consent from husband or male guardian.
It is a significant move of Saudi government’s initiative to create gender-neutral society.
9. Venezuela become first sovereign country to officially launch its own cryptocurrency called Petro backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves to avoid US-led financial sanctions.
The Petro aims to help Venezuela to advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome financial blockade.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) | Get the Best Information Out of Top Agreements
1. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) signed an agreement for financing the shared infrastructure of two large Solar Parks in Madhya Pradesh.
Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), World Bank & IREDA have made a proposal to channelize US$ 100 Million for creating common infrastructure for ultra-mega solar parks in India.
The aim of the proposal is to achieve the 100 GW solar capacity target by 2022, set by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
2. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) signed a MoU with the World Bank, as the latter entered into a US $ 375 million loan agreement with the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance for Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP).
The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March, 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank.
The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on 1st National Waterways (NW-I).
3. Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and Joint Stock Company, United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russia have signed a MoU to Design, Development and Execution of specialized vessels for Inland and Coastal Waterways.
The agreement will give a push to the government’s Make-in-India programme, and its plans to develop eco-friendly and economic transportation along India’s inland waterways and coastal shipping routes under SAGARMALA.
It will mainly include development of High-Speed Vessels, Passenger Vessels, River-Sea Cargo Vessels, Dredgers and other watercrafts for inland waterways and coastal shipping.
4. Paytm Payments Bank, a digital bank which provides zero balance accounts and zero charges on digital transactions, partnered with the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, the pioneers of home-cooked food delivery.
As part of this association, around 5000 dabbawalas will now be able to collect instant payments for their Dabba service through Paytm QR.
They will also avail an easy access to banking and other financial services by opening their bank accounts with Paytm.
5. The Union Cabinet approved signing of Memoranda of Understanding for Secondment Programme between India and Australia.
The MoU will be signed between Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)-Indian Economic Service Cadre and The Treasury, Government of Australia for period of three months.
6. India and Palestine have signed six MoUs in different areas including health and education.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were signed MoUs after bilateral talks at Ramallah. The MoUs are signed:
For setting up of India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethlehem Governorate at a cost of US $ 30 million.
For construction of India Palestine Center for Empowering women in Turathi at a cost of US $ 5 million.
For setting up of new National Printing Press at Ramallah at a cost of US $ 5 million.
For construction of school in Muthalath Al Shuhada Village at a cost of US $ 1 million.
For Construction of school in Tamoon village in Tubas Governorate in Palestine at a cost of US $ 1.1 million.
Assistance of US $ 0.25 million for construction of additional floor to Jawahar Lal Nehru for Boys at Abu Dees.
7. Punjab National Bank has signed an agreement with National e-Governance Services Limited for information utility to expand the information infrastructure in India.
The agreement will enable storing of financial information that will help substantiate defaults and verify claims expeditiously.
This will in turn facilitate resolution in the National Company Law Tribunal in a time bound manner.
8. PM Narendra Modi has signed 8 MoUs on the occasion of the visit to Oman as given below:
Agreement on Legal and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial matter.
MoU on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, Special, service and official passports.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of health.
MoU on Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
Agreement on Cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Oman Diplomatic Institute.
MoU on Academic and Scholarly cooperation sectors between National Defence College Sultanate of Oman and the Institute for Defence Studies and the Analyses.
Agreement in the field of Tourism cooperation between India and Oman.
Annexure to the MoU on Military Cooperation.
9. To provide accounting and banking on an integrated platform, software company Zoho has tied up with private lender ICICI Bank.
The partnership will deliver a streamlined digital banking experience to customers using Zoho’s cloud accounting software, ‘Zoho Books’.
This will also help businesses eliminate data entry, automate reconciliation, provide multiple payment options to their customers, request working capital loans, and pay suppliers directly from their accounting platform.
10. A loan agreement was signed between Government of India and the New Development Bank (NDB) for financing of Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the Desert Areas.
The objective of this project is to rehabilitate the 678 km long Indira Gandhi Canal system to prevent seepage, conserve water, and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use.
11. Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Natural History Museum (NHM), UK have signed a MoU for cooperation in the field of genetic/taxonomic studies, research and training, conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments, etc.
NHM will help BSI in capacity building in areas of systematic botany and long-term conservation of plant genetic resources in India.
12. President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani has signed various MoUs during a three-day visit to India. List of the MoUs is given below:
Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation
MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports.
Exchange of Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty.
Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port- Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.
MoU on the establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.
MoU on Postal Cooperation.
13. State-owned telecom firm BSNL and Japan’s NTT AT along with their Indian partner Virgo Corps, have signed an agreement to collaborate in developing futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence and jointly create a 5G test bed.
The agreement aims to collaborate on the next generation technologies.
14. The Government of India and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $84 million loan agreement for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar.
The loan is part of the $200 million Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012.
The aim of agreement is to provide sustainable urban infrastructure and services in four towns in Bihar – Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.
15. The India and Germany have signed an Implementation Agreement in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in India.
The objective of the agreement is to develop and apply concepts for sustainable urban development about the provision of urban basic services and housing in selected cities and Smart Cities in India.
16. The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and UK’s Natural History Museum (NHM) have signed MoU for cooperation in field of genetic and taxonomic studies, research and training, conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments.
The objective of MoU is to help both nations keep up with their commitment to use scientific evidence to support goals of Convention on Biological Diversity, and Nagoya Protocol.
17. The Virgin Group has signed an agreement with Maharashtra Government to build world’s first hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune.
It aims to reduce travel time between two mega cities to 20 minutes from three hours at present.
18. The government-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has signed MoUs with Andhra Pradesh government to invest INR 3,730 crore in the state.
The MoUs, spanning across e-mobility, energy efficiency and renewable energy and aimed to create 15,000 jobs.
19. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into a MoU with the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for designating Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow (CSIR-CIMAP) as Coordinating Center on Medicinal Plants.
The IORA Center at CSIR-CIMAP will establish a database on the important medicinal plants, their value-added products, related experts and organize meetings and training programmes to promote trade, commerce and scientific exchanges to complement the strength and limitation of the member states.
Merger and Acquisition | Insights of Major Companies & Organizations
1. The government will merge three general insurance firms into one and subsequently list the entity on stock exchanges as part of divestment of public sector entities.
These three public sector general insurance companies are National Insurance Co Ltd, United India Assurance Co Ltd and Oriental India Insurance Company.
The government has begun strategic disinvestment in 24 Public Sector Units (PSUs), including national carrier Air India.
2. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have approved JFC Finance (India) Ltd’s bid to acquire the insolvent Palogix Infrastructure, a 20-year old firm in railways logistics.
JFC Finance is a Delhi-based non-banking firm, has proposed to acquire close to 80% in Palogix for INR 100-crore.
The logistics firm owes INR 150 crore to creditors.
3. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) led consortium of Indian state oil firms have acquired 10% stake in Abu Dhabi’s offshore Lower Zakum Concession for $600 million.
The acquisition is part of deal inked between company executives and UAE officials in presence of PM Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
4. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister has approved capital acquisition of 7.4 lakh assault rifles, 17,000 light machine guns, 5,719 sniper rifles and Mareech Advanced Torpedo Decoy Systems (ATDS) for Indian Navy.
DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procurement.
Banking Awareness & Economics Current Affairs | Understand the Top Trends in India
1. India’s annual financial allocation to Nepal for 2018-19 has nearly doubled under the Union Budget presented on February 1.
The External Affairs Ministry has been allocated a total INR 15,011 crore, which indicates a marginal increase of INR 1,321 crore over the previous year’s grant.
For India’s development and diplomatic engagement under the ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, the Budget has allocated INR 5545 crore.
Bhutan is traditionally the largest recipient of Ministry’s allocation.
2. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched CriSidEx, India’s first sentiment index for Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) developed jointly by CRISIL & SIDBI.
CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative ) to 200 ( extremely positive).
The benefit of CriSidEx is that its readings will flag potential headwinds and changes in production cycles and thus help improve market efficiencies.
By capturing the sentiment of exporters and importers, it will also offer actionable indicators on foreign trade.
3. On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep repo, reverse repo rates unchanged.
Current Monetary Policy Rates:
Repo Rate: 6%
Reverse Repo Rate: 5.75%
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate: 6.25%
Bank Rate: 6.25%
Cash Reserve Ratio: 4%
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): 19.5%
4. State Bank of India has inked an Information Utility (IU) agreement with National E-Governance Services Ltd. (NeSL) to share financial & security information under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IU) regulation 2017.
Under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), IU will offer services for accepting electronic submission of financial information, verifying and authenticating the financial information submitted by a person .
5. Forbes business magazine has released its first ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.
Ripple Co-Founder Chris Larsen has topped the list with crypto net worth of $ 7.5-8 billion.
He is followed by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1.5 billion) and founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($ 1-1.2 billion).
6. Bank of Baroda will shut down its operation in South Africa due to a development that comes within months of the South African Reserve Bank imposing a fine of R11 million for lapses in compliance.
The Registrar, which is part of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), is in discussions with the Bank of Baroda to ensure its orderly withdrawal from South Africa so that no depositor is disadvantaged.
7. The Reserve Bank of India has constituted a five member panel under former board member Y H Malegam to investigate INR 11,300 crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank.
The Panel will look into the wide discrepancy by banks in asset classification and provisioning and reasons for frauds.
8. Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has reduced interest rate on deposits to 8.55% for 2017-18 following a general decline in interest rates.
EPFO had announced an interest rate of 8.65% for 2016-17 and 8.8% in 2015-16.
9. The GOI and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has signed an MoU to usher the programme based research support in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges.
During the last five years (2012-17), 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million were funded by the IDRC in India.
10. The Telangana Government has signed an MoU with Taoyuan City of Taiwan for better technology partnership in the state.
The MoU was signed after the closing ceremony of World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018 in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
11. The Reserve Bank of India has launched Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) for redressal of complaints against them.
The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme.
The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at four metro centers, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Science & Technology Current Events | Stay Advanced with Latest Inventions
1. The third Scorpene class submarine named Karanj was launched on 31 January 2018 by Mrs Reena Lamba, President Navy Wives Welfare Association.
The submarine ‘Karanj’ was constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited for the Indian Navy.
2. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has approved 60 Cities including 13 Pilot and 5 Model Cities up to 12th Five-year Plan period, under its Development of Solar Cities scheme.
The Stake-holders Committees have been constituted in 21 Cities and Solar City Cells have been created in 37 Solar Cities.
Solar PV projects with aggregate capacity of 8069.16 KWP and Solar Water Heating System with aggregate capacity of 7894 meter square collector area have been sanctioned under the programme.
INR 101.64 crore has been sanctioned and INR 25.92 crore has been released under scheme “Development of Solar Cities” so far.
3. ISRO has established Village Resource Centers (VRCs) on a pilot scale in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments.
The aim of the project is to demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas.
VRCs have provided various space technology enabled services such as tele-health care, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture, career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training etc.
4. Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K Singh, launched a Web based monitoring System and a Fly Ash mobile application named ASH TRACK.
These platforms will enable better management of the ash produced by thermal power plants by providing an interface between fly ash producers (Thermal Power Plants) and potential ash users such as road contractors, cement plants etc.
5. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have inked MoU to establish a ‘Centre to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance’ in New Delhi.
The center will help in combating the growing threat of Anti\-Microbial Resistance (AMR) in India.
The partnership will help to implement series of comprehensive interventions, ranging from AMR stewardship programmes for nursing homes.
6. Short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-1 was successfully test-fired from mobile launcher located at Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha.
Agni-1 is indigenously developed intermediate range surface-to-surface, single-stage missile.
It was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Center Imarat (RCI).
7. Google and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has signed a pact to integrate a course on ‘Digital Citizenship and Safety’ in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) curriculum.
The course aims to bring awareness amongst the young generation of India to make internet a safe space.
8. Indigenously developed nuclear capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from a test range in Odisha.
Prithvi-II is short range surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It is 9 meter long, single-stage liquid-fueled missile capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads.
9. For first time, scientists from Britain and United States have succeeded in growing human eggs in laboratory from earliest stages in ovarian tissue that could be fertilized.
Using this technique, scientists had developed mouse eggs in laboratory to stage where they produced live offspring, and also matured human eggs from a relatively late stage of development.
10. The Indian Navy has unveiled the Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) at INS Garuda, naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala.
IAAMS is ambitious project of Indian Navy to modernize Meteorological infrastructure of 9 Naval Air Stations (NAS).
It is expected to bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy.
11. India’s first online radio station, Radio Umang has been launched that allows the listener to just download and tune in.
Listeners can tune in to this online radio station through web streaming or download the app.
With 24 hours programming, it has found that listeners in Hindi speaking regions of India and in over 60 countries worldwide.
12. Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered three new species of eel along northern Bay of Bengal coast. They are:
Gymnothorax pseudotile: It was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. It has dark brown and white dots on the dorsal side. It is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long.
Gymnothorax visakhaensis: It was discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is uniformly brown and about a foot long.
Enchelycore propinqua: It was also discovered from Visakhapatnam coast. It is reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots. It is the smallest of three measuring less than a foot.
13. Scientists from the Rockefeller University in New York have discovered a new class of antibiotics called Malacidins.
It has been produced by microorganisms living in soil and dirt and is capable of killing off several antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
14. Indian scientists of IISc institute have developed a super critical carbon di oxide Brayton test loop facility that would help generate clean energy from future power plants including solar thermal.
This is India’s, first test-bed for next generation, efficient compact, waterless super critical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle test loop for power generation.
The technology is perhaps the first test loop coupled with solar heat source in the world.
15. Scientists have discovered nearly 100 new exoplanets outside our solar system based on data from second mission of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Kepler Space Telescope (K2 mission) released in 2014.
With this discovery, total number of exoplanets found, using NASA’s K2 mission, has reached almost 300.
This discovery will help astronomers to develop much better picture of nature of exoplanets, which in turn will allow us to place our own solar system into galactic context.
16. Surface-to-surface Agni-II ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from the Abdul Kalam Island, off Odisha coast.
The test was aimed at re-establishing operational effectiveness of weapon system.
17. Scientists from Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have identified new plant species named Drypetes kalamii from Buxa and Jaldapara National Parks in West Bengal.
The new species is close relative of medicinal plant known in Sanskrit as Putrajivak.
18. India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ‘Dhanush’ ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off Odisha coast.
Dhanush missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.
Sports Current Affairs | Read all the Major Achievements in Popular Tournaments
|S. No.||Tournaments/Sports Names||Winners||Pictures|
|1.||National Men’s Singles Title (Table Tennis)||Sharath Kamal|
|2.||National Women’s Singles Title (Table Tennis)||Sutirtha Mukherjee|
|3.||Cooch Behar Trophy||Vidarbha Under-19 cricket team|
|4.||India Open Boxing Tournament (Women)||M.C. Mary Kom|
|5.||Under-19 World Cup Champions (Cricket)||India|
|6.||India Open Super 300 Badminton Tournament Runner-Up||PV Sindhu|
|7.||Highest Ranked Indian Golfer||Shubhankar Sharma|
|8.||First Female Cricketer to Take 200 ODI Wickets||Jhulan Goswami|
|9.||Winter 2018 Olympics is being held at||South Korea|
|10.||Champions of Khelo India School Games||Haryana|
|11.||Highest Ranked Indian Squash Player||Saurav Ghosal|
|12.||ICC’s 1st Independent Female Director||PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi|
|13.||Senior Women’s National Football Championship Winner||Tamil Nadu|
|14.||Oldest ATP World Number One Player||Roger Federer|
|15.||13th National Chess Championship for Blind Winner||Kishan Gangolli|
|16.||First Asian to Swim across Ocean Seven||Rohan More|
|17.||1st Indian Golfer to Qualify for China LPGA Tour||Sharmila Nicollet|
|18.||Highest Run Scorer in T20I Cricket||Martin Guptill|
|19.||Rotterdam Open Title Winner||Roger Federer|
|20.||Qatar Open Shotgun meet Winner||Manavaditya Singh Rathore|
|21.||Shiv Chhatrapati State Sports Awards||Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma|
|22.||Brand Ambassador of Pak Cricket Board||Shoaib Akhtar|
|23.||CCI India All India Open Snooker Championship Winner||Brijesh Damani|
|24.||Most Successful Athlete in Winter Olympics||Marit Bjoergen (Norway)|
|25.||Swiss Open Men’s Single Title Winner||Sameer Verma|
|26.||Austrian Open International Challenge Winner||Parupalli Kashyap|
|27.||First Indian Gymnast to Win Bronze Medal at Gymnastics World Cup||Aruna Budda Reddy|
|28.||Vijay Hazare Trophy Winner||Karnataka Cricket Team|
Awards and Honours | Fetch the List of Top Awardees in Distinct Fields
|S. No.||Awards Names||Awardees Names||Pictures|
|1.||Sahitya Akademi Bhasha Samman Award||Shesh Anand Madhukar|
|2.||42nd Rank in Annual Global Democracy Index of Economist Intelligence Unit’s||India|
|3.||Most Polluted State of India according to Greenpeace Report||Uttar Pradesh|
|4.||Top 3 Crude Steel Produce Countries||1st China|
|5.||Times Power Woman 2017 Award||Shabnam Asthana|
|6.||V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award||Shyam Benegal|
|7.||First State to have Transgender Welfare Board||Maharashtra|
|8.||Biggest Floating Island of India||Neknampur Lake, Hyderabad|
|9.||Who Resigned as the Chairperson of The Children’s Film Society||Mukesh Khanna|
|10.||World’s Busiest International Airport||Dubai International Airport|
|11.||World’s Busiest Single-Runway Airport||Mumbai Airport|
|12.||Pelican Birds Festival 2018 was held at||Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, Kolleru lake|
|13.||India’s Rank in International Intellectual Property (IP) Index||44th Rank|
|14.||Golden Peacock Award 2017 for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)||Reliance Industries (RIL)|
|15.||6th Wealthiest Country||India|
|16.||Geospatial World Excellence Award-2018||Odisha|
|17.||List of Indian Institutes Placed in Top 100 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking||IISc Bengaluru – 29th Rank|
|IIT Bombay – 44 Rank|
|IIT Kharagpur – 60 Rank|
|IIT Roorkee – 65 Rank|
|IIT Kanpur – 81 Rank|
|IIT Delhi – 86 Rank|
|Tezpur University – 100th Rank|
|18.||Jnanpith Award||Hindi writer Krishna Sobti|
|19.||Mo Ibrahim African leadership prize||Ellen Johnson Sirleaf|
|20.||12th Richest City Globally according to New World Wealth||Mumbai|
|21.||First Raj Kapoor Award||Ramesh Sippy|
|22.||World Government Summit 2018 will be held in||Dubai, UAE|
|23.||Allan Border Medal Award||Steve Smith|
|24.||World’s Most Ethical Company 2018||Tata Steel|
|25.||3rd International exhibition and conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device will be held at||Bengaluru|
|26.||Startup of the Year 2017||Milkbasket|
|27.||Best Government Emerging Technologies Award||Aadhaar|
|28.||Best m-Government Service Award||Umang App|
|29.||Earnest Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2017||Sanjiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv|
|30.||Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit will be held in||Qingdao, China|
|31.||National Award for Contribution in the Field of Science, Technology and Communication||Raghbir Singh Khandpur|
|32.||Scientific and Engineer Award||Vikas Sathaye|
|33.||Grand Collar of the State of Palestine||Prime Minister Narendra Modi|
|34.||World’s Best Employer||Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)|
|35.||Honorary D.Litt from IIEST||Former President Pranab Mukherjee|
|36.||World’s Top Three Most Valuable Company||AppleAlphabetAmazon|
|37.||BAFTA Award for Best Film||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri|
|38.||BAFTA Award for Best Director||Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water)|
|39.||BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actor||Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)|
|40.||BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actress||Frances Mcdormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)|
|41.||First Non-Suburban Railway Station of India managed by all-Woman||Gandhi Nagar, Jaipur|
|42.||81th Rank in Global Corruption Perception Index||India|
|43.||7th Most Targeted Nation for Web Application Attacks||India|
|44.||World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS 2018) was held at||Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi|
|45.||Northeast’s First Regional Centre for Agriculture with Israeli collaboration will be established at||Mizoram|
|46.||Head of the Committee to Monitor Bad Loans & Rising Cases of Frauds||Y H Malegam|
|47.||First Woman Fighter Pilot to Fly Fighter Jet||Avani Chaturvedi|
|48.||First International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit will be held at||New Delhi, India|
|49.||44th Khajuraho Dance Festival 2018 was held in||Madhya Pradesh|
|50.||India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) was held at||Colombo, Shri Lanka|
|51.||15th Edition of BioAsia will be held at||Hyderabad|
|52.||India’s Rank on Inclusive Internet Index||47th|
|53.||India’s first Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre launched in||Chandigarh|
Appointments Latest GK Updates | Upgrade Your Knowledge Cart with the List of Top Influencers
|S. No.||Position & Organization||Name||Pictures|
|1.||Director General (DG) of Sports Authority of India (SAI)||Neelam Kapoor|
|2.||Ambassador of India to the Romania||Thanglura Darlong|
|3.||Directors to the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India||Prasanna Kumar MohantyDilip S. Shanghvi|
|4.||Cyprus President||Nicos Anastasiades|
|5.||Niti Aayog CEO||Amitabh Kant|
|6.||Financial Commissioner of Railway Board||A.K. Prasad|
|7.||Assistant Chief of Naval Staff – FCI||Atul Anand|
|8.||SBI Card MD & CEO||Hardayal Prasad|
|9.||Brand Ambassador of Muthoot Group||Amitabh Bachchan|
|10.||Chief Executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex||Dinesh Srivastava|
|11.||New Director General of NSG||Senior IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia|
|12.||First Women Chief Justice of Manipur High Court||Abhilasha Kumari|
|13.||Chief Justice of Kerala||Antony Dominic|
|14.||New Board Chairman of Alphabet Company||John L. Hennessy|
|15.||Chairman of Federal Reserve||Jerome H Powell|
|16.||Non-Executive Chairman of NPCI||Biswamohan Mohapatra|
|17.||Private Banking Head of HDFC Bank||Rakesh Singh|
|18.||President of Bangladesh||Abdul Hamid|
|19.||President of Sahitya Akademi||Chandrashekhara Kambara|
|20.||Next Ambassador of India to Brazil||Ashok Das|
|21.||Who Resigned as President of South Africa||Jacob Zuma|
|22.||Who Resigned as Prime Minister of Ethiopia||Hailemariam Desalegn|
|23.||Prime Minister of Nepal||K P Sharma Oli|
|24.||President of South Africa||Cyril Ramaphosa|
|25.||Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)||Arvind P. JamkhedkarArchaeologist and Historian|
|26.||Reappointed as Bank of Japan Chief||Haruhiko Kuroda|
|27.||Best Minister in the World Award||Mulyani IndrawatiIndonesia’s Finance Minister|
|28.||Executive Directors of Canara Bank||Debashish Mukherjee|
|29.||Executive Directors of Vijaya Bank||Murali Ramaswami|
|30.||Indian Assistant for IT infrastructure for the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)||Nandan Nilekani|
|31.||New Speaker of Gujarat Assembly||Rajendra Trivedi|
|32.||Editor-in-Chief of Rajya Sabha TV||Rahul Mahajan|
|33.||Ambassador of India to Bolivia||M. Subbarayudu|
|34.||Deputy Prime Minister of Australia||Michael McCormack|
Important Days & Dates | Mark them to Boost up your General Knowledge
|S. No.||Important Days||Dates|
|1.||Indian Coast Guard Day||1 February|
|2.||World Wetlands Day||2 February|
|3.||World Cancer Day||4 February|
|4.||National Deworming Day||10 February|
|5.||National Productivity Day||12 February|
|6.||World Radio Day||13 February|
|7.||World Day of Social Justice||20 February|
|8.||International Mother Language Day||21 February|
|9.||National Science day||28 February|
Recent Deaths of Famous Personalities | Know who died today?
|1.||Lakshmi Devi – Telugu actor|
|2.||Madavoor Vasudevan Nair – Kathakali Maestro|
|3.||Chandrasekhar Rath – Noted Litterateur|
|4.||Asma Jehangir – Pakistan’s Iron Lady (Top lawyer and human rights activist)|
|5.||Bolla Bulli Ramaiah – Former Union Minister|
|6.||Ruud Lubbers – Former Dutch Prime Minister|
|7.||Gundu Hanumantha Rao – Telugu Actor|
|8.||BK Goyal – Padma Vibhushan Cardiologist|
|9.||M S Anantharaman – Noted Violinist|
|10.||Kunwar Bai – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Ambassador|
|11.||Sridevi – Indian Actress|
|12.||TSR Subramanian – Former Cabinet Secretary|
To fetch the complete list of Important Abbreviations that are asked in Competitive Exam, please visit the blog – Popular Abbreviations for Competitive Exams: SSC, IBPS, RRB, Govt Jobs.
The Important Abbreviations used in the Current Affairs of August month are included in the PDF. Download the PDF through the link given below.
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