Read current affairs online with GK Eduwrap. It covers the last week current affairs in a comprehensive manner ensuring you prepare confidently for the general awareness for bank exams.
National – Across the India
1. Following the tough decision to demonetize Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked citizens for undertaking sacrifice to cleanse the economy of black money.
He announced several welfares sops to help the poor, the rural sector, small businesses, and other citizens to lighten the burden of demonetization.
2. The Supreme Court in its latest verdict has held that election candidates cannot seek votes on the grounds of religion, caste, creed, community, or language of voters.
The ruling was given by a 4-3 majority of the seven-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur.
It held that if the candidate is found violating the order will result into call for his disqualification.
3. Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme to provide the medical treatment to the people below Above Poverty Line (APL) at Rs. 1200 premium per annum.
The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government.
To avail of the benefits of Arogya Raksha, all one needs to do is pay `100 per month per head.
4. Odisha’s World famous 11-day gala festival Bargarh Dhanua Jatra started on 2nd January 2017.
All rituals were performed before Goddess Samaleswari, the presiding deity of the event.
It is the world’s largest open air theatrical festival.
5. In a bid to safeguard fingerlings, fish species and increase their population, all purse seine nets, large fishing nets used to catch fish in bulk were banned across Maharashtra from 1st January 2017.
6. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the dates for the assembly elections in five states– Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur, and Goa.
With the Election Commission announcement, the Model code of conduct has come into effect.
Counting of votes for all five states will take place on 11th March 2017.
7. The Union Ministry of Urban Development has launched Swachh Survekshan 2017 to rank 500 cities/towns across the country on cleanliness with a population of 1 lakh and above.
The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan in a bid to encourage competition to improve sanitation.
8. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
In Haridwar, 68 MLD sewage treatment plants (STP) and 14 MLD STP in Sarai was with Central government funding and under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the five-day 104th Indian Science Congress at the Srinivasa Auditorium in Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupati.
‘Science and Technology for National Development’ would be the focal theme of the Indian Science Congress.
10. The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement Toolkit for Police.
This toolkit will be provided to all state police departments across the nation to assist them in dealing with the cases relating to Trademarks and Copyrights infringements.
11. The 16th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi.
It was chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
It was attended by heads of all financial sector regulators as its members.
12. The Union Sports Ministry has constituted committee to frame comprehensive National Sports Development Code across sports disciplines.
It will be headed by Injeti Srinivas, Sports Secretary.
The committee will study the existing sports governance frame work, issues relating to sports governance in the country, recent developments related to sports governance.
13. The two-day Assam Biotech Conclave has begun on 5th January in Guwahati.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the conclave in presence of Science and Technology Minister Keshab Mahanta.
The conclave is being organized by Guwahati Biotech Park in association with industry body FINER.
14. The Island Tourist Festival 2017 has begun at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Island.
The 10-day mega event will see performances of the cultural troupes from mainland India.
This is to help the Islanders to renew their ties with the mainland.
The festival was inaugurated by the Lt. Governor Jagdish Mukhi at ITF ground.
15. Fourth Assam International Agri-Horti show has begun in Guwahati, Assam on 6th January.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has inaugurated the show.
Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora informed that 10 foreign ministers are also taking part in the show.
16. The 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) convention begun on 7th January 2017 in Bengaluru.
The main convention was inaugurated on 8th January by prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pravasi Bhartiya Divas has been traditionally held on every year on 9th January to commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi as a pravasi from South Africa to India.
17. The Centre has declared the Rs.1782 crore to drought-hit Karnataka and Rs.209 crore to the people of Uttarakhand who had been affected by the floods in 2013.
The decision was taken in a meeting of High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
18. The much-awaited World Book Fair, the largest event of its kind in the country, started from 7th January at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and will last till 15th January 2017.
It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (MoS) of Human Resources Development (Higher education) Mahendra Nath Pandey.
The theme of the fair would be Manushi focusing on writings on and by women.
Eminent Odia writer and Jnanpith awardee Pratibha Ray was the guest of honor and Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of Delegations of European Union to India will be the special guest of honor on the occasion.
International – Across the Globe
1. Beipanjiang Bridge, world’s highest bridge has opened to traffic in China, connecting two provinces in the mountainous southwest and reducing travel times by as much as three-quarters.
The Bridge soars 565 metres (1,854 feet) above a river and connects the two mountainous provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou.
2. Finland has become the first country to pay its unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum, in a social experiment.
Under the two-year, nationwide pilot scheme, which began on 1st January, 2,000 unemployed Finns aged 25 to 58 will receive a guaranteed sum of €560.
3. India and Sri Lanka have expressed confidence for finding a long-lasting solution to the issue of fishermen between the two countries.
In this regard, talks co-chaired by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera were held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
4. The United Nations (UN) has declared 2017 as a year to recognize that tourism is important in fostering better understanding among people.
International travel leads to greater awareness of the heritage of other civilizations, and thus an appreciation of other countries.
5. Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Varanasi as smart cities.
This was conveyed by Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu during his meeting with Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu.
6. A Festival of India is being organized in Cambodia from 10th January to 16th February 2017.
The activities of the Festival include Ramayana Performance, Rajasthani Folk Music & Dance Group (Dance Group plus Manganiyar Group), Classical Dance.
7. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The declaration recalls the potential of tourism sector to advance the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
8. China has launched its longest bullet train ‘Shangri-La of the World’ connecting Kunming in Yunnan Province to Shanghai.
The route of 2252 km Shanghai- Kunming line links China’s prosperous east coast with the less developed south-western coast.
The speed of the Bullet train is 330 km/hr and the time it takes to travel this distance is 11 hours, which was 34 hours earlier.
9. Norway is all set to become the first country in the world to switch off its FM radio network.
The shutdown of the radio will begin on 11th January 2017 from northern city of Bodoe.
10. According to Scientists, the giant iceberg is set to break away from Antarctica.
It will break because of the expansion of rift that was slowly developing across the Larsen c ice shelf in Antarctica Peninsula in the recent years.
It has been expanded abruptly by 18 km.
1. Ravaged by injuries, India’s star singles player Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis, bringing an abrupt end to what was once a promising career.
The 31-year-old’s career hampered by a recurring shoulder injury in 2012.
He was conferred the Arjuna award the country’s second highest sporting honour in 2011.
2. Lionel Messi has won the Best Playmaker of 2016 award for his overall contribution to club and country by the International Federation of Football, History, and Statistics.
3. China’s table tennis Grand Slam champion Li Xiaoxia announced her retirement through social media in Beijing.
Li won the team gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 when she also finished the runner-up in the singles event.
4. A dominant India defeated Bangladesh 3-1 to win their fourth consecutive SAFF Women’s Football Championship title at the Kanchenjunga Stadium, Siliguri.
The Indian eves are now unbeaten in 19 matches having won 18 and drawn one.
5. Former Australia cricketer Arthur Morris was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame by ex-skipper Steve Waugh.
Awards & Recognition
1. An Indian-origin British professor of Chemistry and DNA expert at Cambridge University Shankar Balasubramanian has received Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for their contributions.
He was recognized for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing (also known as Solexa sequencing), described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
2. Two new Hindi writers Shraddha and Ghyansham Kumar Devansh have been chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year 2016.
Shraddha was chosen for her short story ‘Hawa Mein Phadphadati Chitthi’ and Devansh for his poem ‘Akash Mein Deh’.
3. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been awarded as “Best Performing Power Distribution Utility in Power Sector” by Central Board of Irrigation & Power (CBIP).
The award was presented to Karan Deep Chaudhri, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, PSPSCL.
PSPCL has been awarded on the basis of outstanding contribution to Punjab by providing reliable 24×7 cost effective electricity to all categories of consumers.
4. Mori, a tiny village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district (Andhra Pradesh) has been transformed completely into a Smart Digital Village, in every sense of the term.
All the 1189 households in the village with a population of 4500 became fully digital.
5. Shahrukh Khan will receive the fourth National Yash Chopra Memorial Award.
The award was announced by jury, comprising Chopra’s wife Pamela, filmmaker Boney Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Padmini Kohlapuri, Subbarami Reddy, Any and Shashi Ranjan.
6. A book on the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was released in New Delhi by the Vice President, Shri M. Hamid Ansari.
The book titled, ‘The People’s President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’ has been written by S.M. Khan who served as the Press Secretary to President Kalam.
Mergers & Acquisitions
1. Public sector lender Bank of Baroda has entered a partnership with CNX Corporation.
The objective is to provide collateral management services towards the loans against warehouse receipt sanctioned to the farmers through the network of the bank’s branches across the country.
2. Online automobile marketplace Droom tied up with Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.
Loans will be provided for up to 85% of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years.
3. Small Industries Development Board of India (SIDBI) has tied up with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to provide capital support to the enterprises in the country.
The idea behind tying up is to boost the venture capital ecosystems for MSMEs.
Appointments & Resignations
1. Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took charge as the 22nd Chief of the Air Staff (CoAS) of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
He succeeded Arup Raha who retires from the service.
He is the third person from Sikh community to head the IAF after Arjan Singh and Dilbag Singh.
2. The Supreme Court has sacked BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke and asked all others to step down, who were disqualified, to hold posts under new court-mandated norms.
3. Shaikh Rafik Mohammed, an Indian-origin Saudi-based entrepreneur has been appointed Major General of Kyrgyzstan, a rare military position occupied by an Indian in the Central Asian country.
4. General Bipin Rawat took charge as the new 27th Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) of India.
He succeeded General Dalbir Singh Suhag who retired from the service.
He had superseded two senior most Lt Generals, Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz.
5. The Centre has appointed Archana Nigam as the next Controller General of Accounts in the Finance Ministry.
Prior to this appointment, Nigam was involved in the critical task of setting up of the accounting framework for the GST regime to be launched by Government in next financial year.
6. Prof David R. Syiemlieh has been appointed as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per Article 316 of Constitution.
He will take over from Alka Sirohi and shall remain the head of the organisation till his retirement on January 21, 2018 or till further orders.
7. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar sworn in as 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI).
He was administered oath to the office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
With this, he became the first person from Sikh community to become the CJI.
8. Surekha Marandi has been appointed as the Executive Director (ED) of RBI.
She was appointed in place of U S Paliwal who retired on December 31, 2016.
In her new role, she will look after Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department, and Secretary’s Department of the RBI.
9. Bharti Airtel has appointed Rajeev Sethi as the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for its Africa operations.
Sethi will be responsible for formulation and implementation of customer centric commercial strategies across the 15 African countries where Airtel operates.
10. Air Marshal SB Deo has been appointed as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) at Air HQ.
He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington.
11. Tata Power Co. has appointed S. Padmanabhan as its chairman, in place of Cyrus Mistry who resigned last month.
In December, Tata Power brought back S Padmanabhan, who was executive director of operations at the company until 2014, as an additional director on the board.
12. Jovenel Moise has been elected as the President of Haiti.
The electoral tribunal officially declared the winner on 3 January 2017.
Jude Celestin remained at the second spot in the race of Presidential election with only 19.5% votes.
Economics & Banking GK
1. To promote cash less transactions, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. introduced Aadhar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS) in more than 1,000 milk booths and ’Safal’ retail stores.
This service would now be available in addition to the existing modes like E-wallets and SmartChange Cards.
2. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed non-resident Indians to exchange scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till June 30.
This facility will be available through RBI offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Nagpur.
3. The Centre has allowed 12 lenders to raise close to Rs. 3,000 crore via preferential shares over and above the Rs. 22,915 crore capital support committed to them in July last year to strengthen the capital base of public sector banks (PSBs).
The Finance Ministry granted approval to 12 PSBs to raise a sum of Rs. 2,914.038 crore through preferential allotment and permission was given to raise Rs. 200 crore by United Bank of India through the QIP mode.
4. Encouraging firms to enroll their workers under schemes run by retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), a 3-month campaign has been launched beginning 1st January.
Here employers will get amnesty and pay just Re 1 as damages for not registering their employees earlier.
5. City based private sector bank Karnataka Bank has launched a month-long campaign under KBL Suraksha. This will be open up to 31st January 2017.
KBL Suraksha is a unique group personal accident insurance Scheme extended by the Bank to its savings bank account holders, in association with M/s Universal Sompo General Insurance Co. Ltd.
6. Axis bank has retained the top investment banking rank in the past 10 consecutive years, leaving behind large foreign banks.
HDFC and State Bank of India are other two top banks in the Bloomberg League table 2016.
7. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India will take the lead among state-run lenders to launch branch-less banking called SBI Digi Bank.
The Digi Bank will have a financial superstore, a market place, and end-to-end digitization for all products and services.
8. According to growth projection released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to grow at a slower pace at 7.1% in 2016-17 as compared to 7.6% in 2015-16.
This estimate is in sync with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) economic growth forecast and is largely based on the data from first seven months of the year.
Bills – New & Amendments
1. A bill backing key changes in the H1-B programme that allows skilled workers from countries like India to fill high-tech jobs in the US has been re-introduced in the US Congress.
The bill among other things increases the minimum salary of H-1B visa to USD 100,000 per annum and eliminate the Master’s Degree exemption.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
1. India and Pakistan exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations.
This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries after the first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992.
This exchange is done every year on 1st of January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities.
2. The Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Uruguay for cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters.
The Agreement will help both countries in the availability of relevant information for the investigation and prevention of Customs offences.
3. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement for cooperation between India and Portugal in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors.
Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
4. India and Kazakhstan have signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention between the two countries in New Delhi.
The DTAC between both countries was earlier signed in December 1996 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
5. The Union Cabinet has approved signing of an MoU between India and Kenya on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
Decision in this regard was taken at the Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Science & Technology
1. The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs has launched Mobile App for Haj Pilgrimage.
The app will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage.
This is for the first-time digital push has been given to the Haj application process.
2. The Maritime Union of India (MUI), country’s oldest union representing Indian Merchant Navy Officers since 1939, has launched android based mobile app named MUI.
The app is aimed at connecting the maritime fraternity across the country to facilitate and enable Indian merchant navy officers to share comments, knowledge and other things related to their profession.
3. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani dedicated India’s first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji of Aravalli district.
The check-post is equipped with advanced ray technology with a cost of Rs 4.72 crore.
4. Scientists from Ireland have claimed discovery of a new human organ named the mesentery that exists in the digestive system. It will be human body’s 79th organ. Mesentery connects the intestine to the abdomen.
The organ was previously thought to consist of fragmented and disparate structures.
5. Internet giant Google launched two new initiatives My Business and Digital Unlocked to train and help small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India capitalize on the digitization wave faster.
These initiatives were launched by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in New Delhi in presence of Union IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.
1. Search engine giant Google honoured India’s 19th Century social reformer Savitribai Phule on her 186th birth anniversary, 3rd January 2017 by dedicating a doodle on its webpage.
The ‘doodle’ had a narration by New Delhi-based NGO Zubaan, with colourful paintings by Malvika Asher on the different historical aspects of Savitribai’s life.
2. The World Braille Day is observed very year across the world on 4th January to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, inventor of Braille script or Braille code.
Observance of the day helps people to spread the importance of Braille language and also help people to produce works in this language to allow visually impaired people to read the works.
1. Pakistan cricket has lost its oldest living Test player Imtiaz Ahmed after he passed away in Lahore following a protracted illness.
The death of Imtiaz leaves former batsman Waqar Hasan, who now lives in London, as the lone survivor from the Pakistan team’s first Test tour.
2. John Berger, a Booker award winner, died. He was 90.
The author of criticism, novels, poetry, screenplays and many less classifiable books, Berger had considerable influence as a late 20th-century thinker.
3. Veteran actor Om Puri passed away following massive cardiac arrest in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 66.
His acting credits include appearances in commercial Indian, British, & Hollywood independent and art films.
He had been awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India.
4. Noted Manipur-based historian, litterateur and scholar Gangmumei Kamei passed away in Imphal following protracted illness. He was 77.
Kamei was currently a member of the North-Eastern Council (NEC).
Earlier, he had served as a minister in Manipur on two occasions.
5. Renowned Sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer khan, the last survivor of his “Sitar Trinity”, died in Mumbai.
He was conferred with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Academy.
He belongs to the Indore Gharana and is credited with the unique music style of “Jafferkhani Baaj”.
He played the sitar for various Bollywood films including- Kohinoor, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Goonj Uthi Shehnai and many others.
Important Abbreviations used in this Article
|NMCG||National Mission for Clean Ganga|
|FSDC||Financial Stability and Development Council|
|UNGA||United Nations General Assembly|
|SDGs||Sustainable Development Goals|
|PSPCL||Punjab State Power Corporation Limited|
|SIDBI||Small Industries Development Board of India|
|AEPS||Aadhar-Enabled Payment System|
|MUI||Maritime Union of India|
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