Current Affairs for September 2017 : Useful for UPSC, GPSC, CLAT, CAT, IIFT, XAT, SNAP, CMAT & other entrance exams
1) East African country Kenya joined more than 40 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy.
2) ISRO’s attempt to augment the country’s indigenous navigation services through the IRNSS-1H satellite became unsuccessful as the heat shield of the PSLV rocket did not open as the satellite reached sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit also first time private sector had been actively involved in satellite development
The PSLV C39 launch vehicle had a problem and heat shield did not separate. The first three stages of the satellite launch were completed as intended. IRNSS 1-H was intended to replace the IRNSS 1-A satellite that was launched on 1 July 2013.
3) Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Ltd. (USFB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, was given scheduled bank status by RBI during August 2017. USFB commenced its operations as a small finance bank with effect from 1 February 2017. Currently it has full-fledged brick and mortar branches in eight states and two Union Territories.
4) Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He replaces Shashi Kant Sharma
5) Sunil Arora appointed the Election Commissioner in the 3-member Election Commission of India (ECI)
While Achal Kumar Joti is the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Om Prakash Rawat is the other Election Commissioner.
6) Nirmala Sitharaman created history as she became the first-ever full-time woman defence minister. Indira Gandhi was the only other woman to head country’s defence ministry
India’s Defence Ministry was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She first headed the Defence Ministry in 1975 and again in 1980-82. But she looked after the Defence Ministry as part-time charge apart from her primary duties as the Prime Minister.
7) Star India entity won the television and digital rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a period of five years for a staggering Rs 16347.5 crore
8) India’s longest hanging bridge was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kota (Rajasthan)
The bridge is cable-stayed with single plain suspension with the main span of 350 metre and lateral spans of 175 metre on either side of the bridge. The bridge is around 60-metre-high from the surface of the Chambal River. Cables of the bridge are aerodynamic giving them the ability to be neutral in stormy winds
9) Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005.
2. Arunachal Pradesh and J&K are Fastest Growing Economies. Arunachal Pradesh’s gross State domestic product (GSDP) expanded 16.5 per cent and that of Jammu and Kashmir 14.7 per cent at constant 2011-12 prices.
Top 5 Largest state Economies are- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka
10) India's largest autonomous public organization Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been ranked ninth in the world. The institute has been ranked ninth amongst a total of 1,207 government institutions, according to the Scimago Institutions ranking World Report 2017.
The ranking (Government Institutions) was topped by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
CSIR was established by the Government of India in 1942.
10) Prominent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail was presented with the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel 'Hawthan'. The novel 'Hawthan', published in 2009, captures cultural lives of traditional potter community in Goa.
He was awarded the Sahitya Akadami Award in Konkani language for his short story collection ‘Taranga’ in 1993. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a citation and a plaque of goddess Saraswati.
11) Ahmedabad Formally Accorded Status of India’s First World Heritage City by UNESCO
The honour makes the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India, and the third in Asia, to be on the list. The other two cities are- Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.
India is second after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, and overall seventh in the world.
India now has a total of 36 World Heritage Inscriptions — 28 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed site.
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Irina Bokova is the Present Director-General of UNESCO.
12) PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day annual conference, Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, 2017 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The conference, jointly organized by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise and Customs.
13) IAS officer Anita Karwal was appointed as the new Chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE. The 1988-batch officer from Gujarat cadre is currently serving as additional secretary in HRD Ministry.
14) The world's highest sandcastle is now standing 16.68 meters tall in the German city of Duisburg. A German travel operator organized the construction of the mammoth sandcastle, bringing in 3,500 tons of sand over the past three and a half weeks to the site at a former steelworks in the inland city.
Berlin is the Capital of Germany. Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany.
15) The government has issued an alert on the spread of new malware 'Locky Ransomware' that can lock computers and demand ransom for unlocking them. Electronics and IT Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar tweeted that an alert regarding spam spreading Locky Ransomware was issued by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
Ransomware is a malicious software and the Locky Ransomware is learnt to be demanding the ransom of half Bitcoin, which at present rate is equivalent to over Rs 1.5 lakh.
16) Hockey India has sacked national coach Roelant Oltmans after a string of unimpressive outings at the international level. High-Performance Director David John will be in charge till a suitable replacement is found for a smooth transition of the men’s team.
17) Hurricane Irma is the most powerful hurricane ever recorded over Atlantic Ocean. It is the first Category 5 hurricane to impact the northern Leeward Islands of Antigua on record.
National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the United States began monitoring a tropical wave over the western coast of Africa. It continued to strengthen and turned into a Category 5 hurricane, with winds of up-to 295 kmph being generated.
Irma is threatening the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the state of Florida in the US.
Category 5 hurricanes are rare and are capable of inflicting life-threatening winds, storm surges and rainfall.
18) Indian institutes continued to perform poorly in global university rankings with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore sliding in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018. These prestigious rankings published annually by the UK-based university ranking agency
After first 200 ranks THE places universities in groups instead of assigning them individual ranks. IISc, IIT Bombay (351-400), IIT Delhi (501-600), IIT Kanpur (501-600) and IIT Kharagpur (501-600) were the top five Indian schools in the 2018 rankings.
Oxford University continues to be the top ranked university in the world followed by Cambridge University (2nd), California Institute of Technology and Stanford University (both jointly third) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (5th).
19) ‘Antara’ and ‘Chhaya’ are the two new contraceptives launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The contraceptives, which are available for free in Medical Colleges and District Hospitals at present, have so far been launched in 10 states that includes Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and Goa.
20) Gauri Lankesh was a journalist and activist who worked as the editor of Kannada weekly ‘Lankesh Patrike’. She was known in Karnataka and beyond as a firebrand journalist and her voice was among the most courageous anti-establishment voices in Karnataka. Gauri was also known for being a critic of right-wing Hindu extremism. She was one of the few female editors in Kannada press.
21) DIKSHA (diksha.gov.in) is the name of the new portal launched by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on 5 September 2017. The primary objective of this portal is to provide world class digital infrastructure for the teachers and make their task easier and more fruitful.
22) HDFC Bank Ltd. banking entity was declared a domestic-systemically important bank (D-SIB) by the Reserve Bank of India.
RBI declares a list of D-SIBs every year. The first list was released in 2015, in which SBI and ICICI Bank were named systemically important.
The D-SIB classification means the collapse of these lenders could have a cascading impact on the entire financial system and the economy. These entities are mandated to maintain a progressively higher share of risk-weighted assets as tier-I equity, which is a measure of the bank’s core capital. In case of HDFC Bank, the additional capital surcharge will be applicable from 1 April 2018.
23) Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow became the ninth Indian city to have its own operational metro rail system
Eight Indian cities having operational metro services are – Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurugram (Gurgaon), Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai and Kochi.
24) Exim Bank of India, Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social, China Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa and Vnesheconom bank of Russia are the 5 representative banks in the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism (ICM). 5 banking entities establish a framework mechanism to extend credit lines in local currencies to the BRICS ICM members and the BRICS companies against guarantees of the signatory banks. The use of local currencies will help promote mutually beneficial economic cooperation, mitigate currency risks, increase trade, and facilitate companies in accessing the BRICS markets.
25) The First water ATM has been inaugurated by Telangana State. A total of 200 ATMs will be set up to reach a targeted 150,000 people. In the first phase, 50 water ATMs will be operationalized by 2018.
26) The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) chief executive officer (CEO) A.B. Pandey was appointed the interim chairman of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).
This firm provides information technology (IT) backbone and portal for registration and tax returns under the GST regime. Pandey was given additional charge days after GSTN’s first chairman Navin Kumar completed his term on 29 August.
27) US banking regulators ordered Pakistan’s Habib Bank to shutter its New York office after nearly 40 years, for repeatedly failing to heed concerns over possible terrorist financing and money laundering.
The state’s Department of Financial Services, which regulates foreign banks, also slapped a 225 million Dollars fine on the bank. Habib Bank has operated in the United States since 1978.
28) Sjoerd Marijne Named New Coach of Indian Men's Hockey Team
29) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for Ranchi Smart City coming up on the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) land. According to the Urban Development Minister CP Singh, this would be the country’s first ‘green-field’ smart city.
The smart city is coming up on 656 acres of HEC land which would be fully wi-fi, carbon free, garbage free locality with modernized housing, traffic management system and education hub.
30) Prince Charles, the heir to Britain’s throne, became the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history. The 68-year-old broke the record of Queen Victoria’s oldest son Albert, who went on to become King Edward VII after holding the title of Prince of Wales for more than 59 years before becoming monarch.
Prince Charles is the 21st Prince of Wales in the current line. Prince Charles was created Prince of Wales when he was nine years old on July 26, 1958. He has now held the title for more than 59 years.
The Prince of Wales is historically the title bestowed. In 1301 Edward of Caernarfon, the future Edward II was invested as Prince of Wales - this was the first time the eldest son of the King of England had been bestowed the title.
31) Second Indian Workers’ Resource Centre (IWRC) in UAE to provide support and counseling to Indians in distress.
IWRC provides counseling and support to the overseas Indian Community on legal, personal and financial matters, free of cost. IWRC will provide support and guidance to any member of the Indian community in any such distress situation.
32) India's indigenously developed third generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Nag has been successfully flight tested by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in deserts of Rajasthan, marking the completion of development trials.
S Christopher is the chairman of DRDO. DRDO Headquarters in New Delhi.
33) US Open Tennis Tournament 2017: Winners
The 2017 US Open was the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year. It was held on outdoor hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, USA. The tournament is an event run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Rafael Nadal was the winner of Men's Singles. With this win, Nadal captured his third US Open title and his 16th Grand Slam title overall. Sloane Stephens was the winner of Women's Singles. The 83rd-ranked Stephens is only the second unseeded woman to win the tournament in the Open era.
34) The government is moving ahead with linking Aadhaar with mobile SIM cards and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after February 2018.
adhaar mobile linkage is being done as per the orders of Supreme Court passed in February 2017 in Lokniti foundation case and all SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of judgement, with all unlinked phones to be deactivated after February next year.
35) The 51st International Literacy Day is being celebrated on 8th September at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme announced by UNESCO is `Literacy in a digital world.
On this day, in the year 1965, the World Congress of Ministers of Education met in Tehran for the first time to discuss the program of education at the international level. The UNESCO in its 14th Session in November 1966, declared 8th September as the International Literacy Day.
36) Amazon opened its largest fulfillment center in India on the outskirts of Hyderabad, near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad.
The 400,000 sq feet center with close of 2.1 million cubic feet of storage space is the 5th such centre in Telangana. With this, the US major has ramped up its storage capacity to 3.2 million cubic feet in the State alone.
Jeff Bezos was the Founder of Amazon. Amazon is an e-commerce company based in the USA.
37) FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal inaugurated the Nestle Food Safety Institute in Manesar, Gurugram. It will provide guidance and training on food safety.
The FSSAI has been working with Nestle India for setting up the institute at Manesar. While this is the first such institute in India, Nestle already runs a similar Institute each in China and Lausanne, Switzerland.
38) Indian Navy and Sri Lankan Navy has begun the 2017 Sri Lanka-India Exercise (SLINEX) at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. SLINEX 17 aims at reinforcing strong neighborly ties between both countries underscored by extensive maritime interaction and improved understanding. The exercise will commence with a Harbour Phase, during which, the participants will engage in professional, cultural and social interactions.
39) ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has got capital markets regulator SEBI's go-ahead for its estimated Rs 6,000 crore initial public offer (IPO). ICICI Lombard is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.
40) Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of the Express Group was elected Chairman of Press Trust of India, the country’s largest news agency.
41) National Pension Scheme Upper Age Limit Raised to 65
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) announced that the upper age limit for joining the National Pension Scheme (NPS) had been raised to 65 years, from the current 60.
42) The renowned Indian Badminton legend Prakash Padukone has been selected for the first life time award by Badminton Association of India (BAI). He has been selected for the award for his contributions to Badminton.
43) HDFC Bank surpassed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become the country’s second most valued firm in terms of market valuation. Shares of HDFC Bank gained 0.93 per cent to Rs. 1,840 (its 52-week high) on the BSE. Reliance Industries Ltd is the country’s most valued firm with a market cap of Rs. 5,33,818.72 crore followed by HDFC Bank and TCS in top three list.
44) Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia has been elected as the new president of the automobile industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
45) Prime Minister Narendra Modi received his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Mr. Abe is in India on a two-day visit to attend the India-Japan annual summit meeting.
The 12th edition of the summit will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
The Japanese Yen is the third most traded currency in the world.
46) Halimah Yacob was sworn-in as the 8th President of Singapore. She became the country’s first female President and the first in five decades to come from the Malay ethnicity.
She was certified by the Presidential Elections Commission as the only eligible candidate, and since she has no opponent, there was no election held.
47) RBI to Introduce Rs 100 Coin to Mark of AIADMK founder Late Dr. M G Ramachandran.
48) Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DPIDF) is the name of a new fund that will be established with an outlay of Rs. 10,881 crore for 2017-18 to 2028-29 to boost the dairy sector. The establishment of the fund was approved by the CCEA
49) India’s first-ever virology laboratory of Homoeopathy was inaugurated at Kolkata
50) For the first time, the Apple Inc. held its unveiling event at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater on 12 September 2017, which is located on a hill, overlooking the main Apple campus in Cupertino (California). Company’s CEO Tim Cook took the stage for the first time at this new venue.
The company unveiled three new iPhones, including two that are upgrades to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus called the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and a premium model called the iPhone X with features like bezel-less design and the Face ID facial recognition system. Price of iPhone X starts from Rs. 89,000 (for 64 GB model) to Rs. 1,02,000 (for 256 GB model)
51) The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI’s) mutual fund advisory panel recommended that funds be broadly segregated into equity, debt, hybrid and thematic. In categories such as equity and debt, there would be further sub-categories such as large cap and small cap. SEBI aims to ensure that an asset management company has only one product offering in each category.
52) To bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling, India’s food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a web-based nationwide online platform named ‘FoSCoRIS’
‘FoSCoRIS’ will also bring together all key stakeholders – food businesses, food safety officers (FSOs), designated officers, state food safety commissioners – on a nation-wide IT platform. On the other hand data related to inspection, sampling and test result data will be shared seamlessly by all the officials.
53) “Navika Sagar Parikrama” is the name of India’s first all-women crew circumnavigation expedition that is also considered the first-ever such attempt in the world. This expedition was flagged-off at the INS Mandovi Naval training base near Panaji in Goa by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman..
INSV Tarini, a 55-foot sailing vessel, will be used in the mission. It has been built indigenously
The mission comprises of 6-member crew of the Indian Navy led by Lt. Cdr Vartika Joshi and would cover the expedition in five legs with stop-overs at four ports (Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (the Falklands) and Cape town (South Africa) for replenishment of ration and repairs as necessary, before returning to Goa in April 2018.
54) Sloane Stephens won the US Open, beating compatriot Madison Keys by 6-3, 6-0 in the women’s singles title of 2017 US Open
55) State-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) is all set to become a Maharatna company. The company is at present a Navratna firm. The decision to elevate BPCL to Maharatna status was taken by a panel headed by the Cabinet secretary.
Under government rules, a firm is eligible for Maharatna status if it is already a listed Navratna firm, has an average turnover, net worth and annual net profit after tax of at least Rs. 25,000 crore, Rs. 15,000 crore and Rs. 5,000 crore, respectively, in the last three years. Moreover, the company should have significant global operations.
Maharatna and Navaratna state-owned units operate in strategic fields such as coal, petroleum, steel, heavy engineering, power supply, telecommunications and transportation services.
At present, there are seven Maharatna companies – Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), Coal India Limited (CIL), GAIL, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), NTPC, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
56) Manipur recorded India’s lowest infant mortality rate (IMR) consecutively for the last three years. According to the Health Ministry report, Manipur’s infant mortality rate (IMR) stands at 9 deaths per 1000 live births, the lowest in the country.
The national IMR, according to the latest available data, is 43 deaths per 1000 births.
57) United Left candidate Geeta Kumari won the president’s post of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union. She defeated Nidhi Tripathi of ABVP
58) Indian Army took the decision to induct women in the Military Police wing. Initially, 800 women will be inducted in the military police, a wing in which women were not allowed till now. Since 1992 women are allowed in select areas in the military such as administrative wing and logistical wing. However, women have been the part of army’s medical core for many decades.
59) According to the conclusions made in a recent academic research study, Parali I- uninhabited island of the Lakshadweep Archipelago has vanished due to coastal erosion
Parali I is part of Bangaram atoll and was spread over 0.032 square km in 1968. It has now eroded completely resulting in its inundation, the study claimed. It is also claimed that four such territories in the sea are also shrinking fast.
60) Andhra Pradesh develop India’s first Hyperloop route, the most futuristic transport mode, as it signed an agreement with California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) to develop India’s first Hyperloop route in the state.
Hyperloop is a cutting-edge technological disruption in the transportation industry. It comprises a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at very high speeds.
The proposed route for the Hyperloop between the city centers of Vijayawada and Amaravati could potentially turn a trip of more than one hour into a 6 minute ride. The ambitious project will use a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors.
61) Scientists of Pune-based National Chemical Laboratory, a lab under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), have successfully developed an artificial leaf that is capable of absorbing sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water. This development is important as it may provide clean energy for powering eco-friendly cars in the future.
The leaf developed by scientists is basically an ultra-thin wireless device that mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight. The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system.
When visible light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, producing electric current. The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen – which researchers believe is one of the cleanest forms of fuel as its main byproduct is water. The device of an area of 23 square centimetres could produce 6 litres of hydrogen fuel per hour.
62) The UJALA programme has been one of the prime achievements of Government of India in promoting and executing the concept of energy efficiency. It is a zero-subsidy programme executed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under Ministry of Power, Government of India. It is the world’s largest and most extensive LED distribution programme.
UJALA Scheme was launched in the State of Melaka, Malaysia. Under this scheme, each household in Melaka will get 10 high quality 9-watt LED bulbs at a cost of only RM 10, which is a special price and is almost half of what in begin offered in the market. The initiative will have the logistical assistance and facilitation support from Green Growth Asia, which is a not for profit organization.
63) The world’s largest X-ray laser- European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL)- is all set to open in Germany, promising to shed new light onto very small things by letting scientists penetrate the inner workings of atoms, viruses and chemical reactions.
64) Mexico’s central region was hit by a powerful earthquake that measured 7.1 on Richter scale. Mexico is one of the world’s most seismically active regions, sitting atop several intersecting tectonic plates.
65) ‘Khelo India’ (Play India) scheme under which 1,000 selected athletes will receive an annual scholarship of Rs. 500,000 each for eight years. The scheme, which would cost the government Rs. 1,756 crore between 2017-18 and 2019-20, will also promote 20 universities across India as hubs of sporting excellence.
It is worth mentioning that until now, sports schemes were focused on building infrastructure such as stadiums. However, the revamped ‘Khelo India’ scheme will focus on nurturing talent and connecting rural India to global games. Corporate entities will also be allowed to fund the ‘Khelo India’ scheme under corporate social responsibility (CSR).
66) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will now regulate all peer-to-peer lending (P2P) platforms in the country. Such platforms will now be treated as non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). The notification is a precursor to the norms that RBI is likely to release for regulation of P2P lending in India.
P2P lending is primarily a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest. It can be defined as the use of an online platform that matches lenders with borrowers in order to provide unsecured loans.
67) Liliane Bettencourt was the heiress of the French cosmetics giant L’Oreal. She was the daughter of L’Oreal founder Eugene Schueller who passed away in 1957 and thus inherited the L’Oreal empire. L’Oreal is a $126 billion global cosmetics brand today and is France’s fourth-largest listed firm.
68) ‘Tez’ is the Google’s customized-for-India payments app based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Tez app in seven languages – Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
For making payments, users can either pay someone using their UPI capable bank account through the Tez app, or use a UPI ID, scan a QR code or pay using a friend’s phone number. However, both parties need to have a bank account linked to the Tez app. The government has been pushing the UPI platform to boost digital payments in India, to reduce use of cash.
69) ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company’s will be the first non-life insurer to be listed on Indian stock exchanges. ICICI Lombard General Insurance is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Canadian NRI Prem Watsa-promoted Fairfax Financial Holdings.
70) Senior IPS officer Y.C Modi, appointed National Investigation Agency (NIA)
71) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) cut the interconnect usage charges (IUC), also known as terminating charges) by 57% from 14 paise currently to 6 paise per minute.
72) The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River was laid by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru nearly six decades ago, on 5 April 1961. But, the construction began only in 1987. Still it took three decades to be completed. It is the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States. This dam project is also the biggest in terms of volume of concrete used in it.
Sardar Sarovar Dam is built on the Narmada River and is situated near Navagam in Gujarat. It is the largest of the 30 dams planned on Narmada and is part of the Narmada Valley Project. The total installed capacity of the power facilities of the dam is 1,450 MW. The height of the dam is 138.68 m. The initial height was just 88 m but was raised numerous times. It is 1.2 km in length and has a depth of 163 m. Its final storage capacity was raised to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.
The dam was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September 2017 on the occasion of his 67th birthday. The power generated from the dam would be shared among three states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat while in addition to these 3 states Rajasthan will also get water from it. About 57% of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27% and Gujarat gets 16%.
The project has been mired in several controversies ever since its foundation stone was laid. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by social activist Medha Patkar has been protesting against the project raising several environmental concerns. In 1996, the construction work was suspended following a stay by the Supreme Court.
73) Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who was the only officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be promoted to five-star rank and first IAF Chief to be designated the rank of Air Chief Marshal passed away
Arjan Singh was commissioned into the then Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) in 1939. He took part in the Second World War. He led the first fly-past of RIAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi on India’s Independence on 15 August 1947. He was Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), from 1 August 1964 to 15 July 1969. He led the IAF in giving a commendable contribution in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He has been the only Chief of the Air Staff to have headed the IAF for five years as opposed to the regular tenure of two and a half to three years. He retired at the age of 50.
In recognition of his extraordinary contribution, the government conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in January 2002. He was the only 5 star-ranked officer to survive since the death of the hero of 1971 Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 2008. Field Marshal Cariappa was the only other 5 star-ranked officer of Indian defence forces.
74) India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed $400 billion first time during September 2017, as was disclosed by the RBI
75) Rajasthan became the third BJP-run state to waive farm loans
Rajasthan announced Rs. 20,000 crore farm-loan waived, Uttar Pradesh had waived Rs. 36,359 crore, Maharashtra had waived Rs. 30,000 crore in June 2017, while Congress-ruled Punjab announced a waiver amounting to Rs. 20,500 crore in June 2017.
76) Cassini was the name of an unmanned spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn by American space agency NASA. It was part of the Cassini-Huygens joint mission that was launched from Earth on 15 October 1997 through Titan IVB/Centaur. It entered Saturn’s orbit on 1 July 2004.
It is the only spacecraft to ever orbit Saturn, the second largest planet of our solar system. It collected more than 453,000 images and traveled 4.9 billion miles. It was an international endeavour, with 27 nations taking part. The final price tag of this mission was $3.9 billion.
77) Astra is the of the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) that has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in cooperation with the IAF. Its final development trials were conducted over the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chandipur in Odisha.
78) India was ranked at a lowly 103rd rank in the latest edition out of 130 countries compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Human Capital Index (GHCI). The index was topped by Norway. India’s rank was the lowest among five BRICS economies. India was ranked 105th on this list last year, while Finland was on the top.
The overall list was topped by Norway, followed by Finland and Switzerland in the second and third place respectively. Other countries in the top 10 include the United States (4th), Denmark (5th), Germany (6th), New Zealand (7th), Sweden (8th), Slovenia (9th) and Austria (10th).
79) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe launched work on India’s first bullet train at Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on 14 September 2017. The 508 km high-speed rail link between Ahmedabad and Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex) will have its first terminal foundation-laying at Sabarmati
The Rs. 1.1 lakh Crore bullet train project is a joint venture between the Indian Railways and Japanese firm Shinkansen Technology. The Japanese team estimated that the first train would roll out by 2023, but Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said PM Modi wants the train to start on 15 August 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence.
The high speed train will pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under sea near Thane in Maharashtra. Travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will be reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all the 12 proposed stations and around two hours if it stops at only four.
Japan will fund 81% of the project, nearly Rs. 88,000 crore, in soft loans at an interest rate of 0.1%. The loan will have to be repaid over 50 years.
80) Paris and Los Angeles cities will host the Summer Olympics for year 2024 and 2028 respectively, as was announced by the International Olympic Committee
81) Karnataka became the first Indian state to formulate an electric vehicle policy. The policy is the first-ever such policy by an Indian state and aims to attract close to Rs. 31,000 Crore of investment into the state in the electric mobility sector.
82) “What Happened”, the 469-page fiction novel released by Hillary Clinton
83) A five-member ministerial committee, led by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, was constituted by Union Government to oversee and help GSTN and to resolve the IT challenges affecting tax payer compliance under the goods and service tax (GST).
84) State Startup Conference held at New Delhi
85) Kochi to Host Coastal Shipping and Inland Water Transportation Summit
86) Hindi Diwas observed on 14 September
87) Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched -Mission 24 for Mumbai's M east ward which is known to have one of highest slum population's in the city.
The project by NGO Apnalaya and Mumbai first plans to work along with the BMC -as the principal stakeholder over the next 24 months to improve the quality of lives of people living in M east ward of Mumbai.
88) The International Day of Democracy is observed across the world on 15 September. The theme for the year 2017 is ‘Democracy and Conflict prevention’.
89) India has started 'Operation Insaniyat' to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of Rohingya refugees into that country from Myanmar.
90) Google launched a payment service ‘Google Tez’, which will include support for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as well as mobile wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik.
91) Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was elected as Chair of Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for a four-year term. Ban succeeds Youssoupha Ndiaye of Senegal whose term has come to an end.
Ban Ki-moon was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. The president of IOC is Thomas Bach.
92) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) formally awarded to Goa the rights to host the 36th National Games in November 2017.
The National Games were formerly known as the Indian Olympic Games. The first Modern National Games on the lines of the Olympics were held in 1985 in New Delhi.
93) 'Unstoppable: My Life So Far' authored by Maria Sharapova
94) President Ram Nath Kovind launched a nation-wide campaign Swachhata Hi Sewa from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
He will administer nation-wide Swachhta Hi Seva pledge initiating parallel action in all the two lakh 50 thousand plus Gram Panchayats and cities in India.
The objective of the campaign is to mobilize people and reinforce the Jan Aandolan for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gandhi's dream of a Clean India.
95) India's first Centre for Animal Law has been established at The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research- NALSAR in Hyderabad,
96) India’s First Lithium-Ion Battery Unit in Gujarat
97) The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed globally on 16 September every year. The theme for 2017 is 'Caring for all life under the sun'.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.
98) The world's oldest person Violet Mosse-Brown from Jamaica has died at the age of 117. She was born on March 10, 1900, in Jamaica.
99) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in New York to represent India at the annual UN General Assembly, UNGA, session.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN is Mr. Syed Akbaruddin.
100) According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm to 6 am to allow others to sit in the seats for the rest of the time.
101) An indigenous artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.
102) India and Japan signed an agreement that will allow their airlines to operate the unlimited number of flights between the two countries.
The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to enter into an 'open sky' air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000-kilometre radius from New Delhi.
103) Airtel Payments Bank has become the first payments bank in India to integrate the UPI on its digital platform. In January 2017, Bharti Airtel launched Payments Bank in India to enable transactions on digital platforms.
104) ‘Father of nephrology in India’ Dr KS Chugh dies of cancer at 85
105) Tripura has become the first state in the country to set up family welfare district committees to examine the complaints of women against their husbands and in-laws and find an amicable solution.
Tripura High Court is the first high court among 24 high courts of the country that has constituted the family welfare district committees. The new system would be valid for the next six months and after that National Legal Services Authority (NLSA) would submit a report of its performance to the apex court, on the basis of which a new course of action would be decided.
106) The Union Cabinet has given its approval for rationalization/merger and modernization of 17 Government of India Presses (GIPs)/Units into 5 Government of India Presses (GIPs) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Minto Road, and Mayapuri, New Delhi; Nashik, Maharashtra and Temple Street, Kolkata, West Bengal.
These 5 Presses will be redeveloped and modernized by monetization of their surplus land. Modernisation of the Presses will enable them to undertake important confidential, urgent and multi-color printing work of the Central Government Offices all over the country.
107) Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, reached the value of $1 trillion for the first time. This amount equals nearly $189,000 (157,000 euros) for each of the 5.3 million people living in Norway.
The fund mainly invests not only in stocks but also in bonds and real estate. With stakes in nearly 9,000 companies, it owns 1.3 percent of the world's market capitalization, and 2.3 percent in Europe.
108) China restored the maximum speed of bullet trains on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line to 350 kilometers per hour, making it the fastest commercially run train, six years after it reduced the speed due to a fatal accident.
China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometers, about 60 percent of the world’s total.
109) Fifty countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.
110) India has replaced China as the top retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index. The change in ranking was an outcome of four factors including increased consumer spending beyond essentials, rising mobile and internet penetration, favorable foreign investment climate and bold action on cashless transaction and GST.
111) ‘Saubhagya’ is the name given to an ambitious new flagship scheme of the Union Government that aims at providing last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households. The full name of this Rs. 16,320 crore scheme is ‘Saubhagya – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’ and was launched on 25 September 2017.
The scheme targets to complete electrification by March 2019. States that reach the target by December 2018 would get additional funds.
Under the scheme, the Union government would provide 60% funds for the programme amounting to Rs. 12,320 crore. For special category states, the Centre’s contribution would be 85%. State governments and their utilities would provide 10% funds. In the case of special category states, it would be 5%. The remaining 30% expenditure would be met through loans.
112) Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister was headed by Bibek Debroy
Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy has been picked as the Chairman of the 5-member Council, which will also include Aayog’s principal advisor and former finance secretary Ratan Watal as its member-secretary. Economist Surjit Bhalla, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) director Rathin Roy and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research professor Ashima Goyal are other members of the council.
113) The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) lowered the minimum average monthly balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to Rs. 3,000 from Rs. 5,000.
The revised MAB requirement and charges will become applicable. Now, the penalties at semi-urban and rural branches range from Rs. 20 to Rs 40 and at urban and metro branches from Rs. 30 to Rs. 50, the bank said. Earlier, in the metros, the bank was charging Rs. 100 plus GST if the balance fell below 75% of the MAB of Rs 5,000. If the shortfall was 50% or less, the penalty charge was Rs. 50 plus GST.
SBI had re-introduced MAB and charges for non-maintenance of balance after a gap of five years. In metropolitan areas the minimum balance requirement was Rs. 5,000. For urban and semi-urban branches, it was fixed at Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 2,000, respectively, and for rural branches it was Rs. 1,000.
114) INS Kalavari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over to the Indian Navy for its commissioning. This submarine has been built indigenously under a venture called ‘Project 75’, at Mumbai’s Mazagon Docks. Under this project, the Indian Navy was authorised to build six submarines in collaboration with French firm DCNS at a cost of around Rs. 350 crore.
Construction of this first submarine had started on 23 May 2009 and the project ended way behind schedule.
115) State Bank of India (SBI) launched ‘FTSE SBI Bond Index Series’ – India’s first bond index series for overseas investors at the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
116) PM Modi flagged off remotely Varanasi-Vadodara country’s third Mahamana Express.
117) The Himachal Pradesh government on launched first-of-its-kind electric bus service in the 51km-long stretch road between Manali and Rohtang Pass.
With this initiative, the state has become the first in the world to start electric buses at an altitude of 13 thousand feet.
118) ‘Newton’ will be India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars 2018, according to the Film Federation of India.
119) The First LPG Panchayat will be held in Gandhinagar, where Pradhan will preside over the interaction between women using LPG under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) and the companies.
120) Dr. Harshvardhan launched “Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana” which will experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
121) India has received its first High Horsepower Locomotive with the bodyshell of 12000 HP loco from Alstom France at Kolkata port. This first-of-its-kind high-power electric locomotive will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed by 2018.
This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector. The first such locomotive is estimated to cost about Rs 30 crore. The Indian Railways is currently using 6,000HP locomotives for freight services. The locomotive will run at a speed of up to 120 km/h.
122) Angela Merkel won a fourth term as chancellor in Germany elections that lifted the far-right party Alternative for Germany into parliament for the first time since the immediate aftermath World War II.
123) President Ram Nath Kovind will make his first foreign trip as head of state to the strategically-significant African continent in the first week of October. The President will visit to Ethiopia and Djibouti.
124) first time, India, US and Afghanistan will hold a joint trade and investment show in Delhi, as New Delhi steps up to its role of being a bigger development partner to Afghanistan.
125) India is third in the world in the number of nuclear reactors being installed, at six, while China is leading at 20, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017.
The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is, however, declining globally for the fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017.
126) The 7th ASEM (Asia–Europe Meeting) Economic Ministers’ Meeting was held in Seoul, South Korea. Theme for this year’s meeting was ‘Innovative Partnership for Inclusive Prosperity’.
127) Eminent scientist, Professor C.N.R Rao, has become the first Asian to be chosen for the prestigious Von Hippel Award for his immense contribution in materials research.
128) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that Masala bonds will be treated as External Commercial Borrowings (ECB)
129) Kargil war hero Captain Vikram Batra was martyred at the tender age of 24. The biography of Captain Vikram Batra "The Shershah of Kargil" has been written by 21-year-old Deepak Surana.
130) Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom has become the first Indian to be picked as the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) representative for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Forum.
131) India Becomes World No. 1 in Both ODIs and Tests
132) ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission Completes 3 Years in Orbit
ISRO had launched the spacecraft on its nine-month-long odyssey on a homegrown PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5, 2013.
AS Kiran Kumar is the Present Chairman of ISRO.
133) Two Indian women have featured on Fortune's list of Most Powerful Women in business outside the US. Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar was ranked fifth and Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank Shikha Sharma was ranked at 21.
Top three Most Powerful Women in business in the List are-
1. Ana Botin (Spain) 2. Emma Walmsley (UK) 3. Isabelle Kocher (France).
134) ICC Announces Major Changes in Cricket Rules
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced several changes to the existing template of how the sport of cricket is played. All the new rules will be implemented from September 28. The new rules incorporate bat thickness, player conduct, DRS, run outs and catches.
Here are the major excerpts from the release:
1. The restriction on the length and width of bats remain unchanged but the thickness of the edges can’t be more than 40mm and the overall depth can be 67 mm at the most.
2. In a new playing condition pertaining to players’ conduct, a player can now be sent off the field for the rest of the match for any serious misconduct, meaning it will apply to Level 4 offences while the Level 1 to 3 offences will continue to be dealt with under the ICC Code of Conduct.
3. The above changes will be applicable across all formats, as will be a change in the DRS rules by which a review will now not be lost in case of a decision that remains unchanged, solely as the result of an ‘umpire’s call’. The DRS will now also be allowed to be used in T20Is.
4. An important change with respect to run outs is that if a batsman is running or diving towards the crease with forward momentum, and has grounded his/her bat behind the popping crease but subsequently has lost contact with the ground at the time of the wickets being put down, the batsman will not be run out.
5. For boundary catches, airborne fielders making their first contact with the ball will need to have taken off from within the boundary, otherwise, a boundary will be scored. Also, a batsman can now be out caught, stumped or run out even if the ball bounces off the helmet worn by a fielder or wicket-keeper.
135) World Tourism Day: 27 September
The theme for World Tourism Day 2017 is 'Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development'.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
136) The Kandla Port, one of the top 12 major ports in the country, has been renamed as Deendayal Port in the name of Hindutva icon Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
Kandla Port, located on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, is one of the twelve major ports in the country
137) Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is the world’s third-biggest energy company behind Russian gas firm Gazprom and German utility E.ON, according to Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings.
Coal India Ltd, the world’s largest coal producer, was the only Indian firm to have slipped in the ranking - 45 in 2017.
Russia’s Gazprom snagged the number 1 spot, ending US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil’s 12-year reign at the top of the list.
138) Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labor (PENCIL) Portal at the National Conference on Child Labor organized by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
139) The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) security at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai has been recognised as the best service in this domain by a global quality rating agency.
140) India remains the most competitive country in South Asia, appearing at No. 40 in the global competitiveness ranking of 137 countries by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The ranking is one lower than last year.
141) INS Tarasa, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft intended for extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrolling, was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
It is the fourth and last of the Water Jet FACs built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Kolkata. The first two, INS Tarmugli and INS Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based in Vishakhapatnam. The third, INS Tillanchang, was commissioned in March 2017 and is based in Karwar.
142) Crude oil comparison:
1. A comparison of crude oil prices with domestic petrol and diesel prices, suggests that this argument is far from convincing. In 2012, a barrel of crude costs around $120, a litre of petrol was sold at around 65 in retail fuel stations. Today, when the Indian crude basket price has dropped to around $50, the retail price of petrol is well over the 70 mark.
2. The deregulation of petrol and diesel pricing, in 2010 and 2014 respectively, caused fuel prices to be determined primarily by the forces of supply and demand rather than input costs
143) Divorce rules:
1. According to the SC judgement, Hindu couples who have mutually agreed to separate need not wait anymore for the mandatory “cooling off” period of six months before divorce
2. The court held that the waiting period should be done away with in cases where there is no way to save the marriage
3. The application for waiver of waiting period can be filed in court within a week of their first motion for separation
144) The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through its ‘One Nation One Pension’ Mobilization Campaign has sourced approximately 3.07 lakh APY accounts which led to a total of 62 lakh enrolments under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) as on date. This campaign was organized all over the country by PFRDA from 2nd August to 19th August 2017 in association with the APY Service Provider Banks.
145) The Business & Climate Summit is the leading annual forum for businesses, investors and policymakers on climate action. It is where business and governments come together to agree on a roadmap for reaching net zero emissions over the next half century.
146) Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) or Amber Box support.
The subsidies by the developed countries amount to about USD 160 billion. On the other hand, countries like India provide a subsistence amount of about USD 260 per farmer annually. Most of the developing countries, including India and China, do not have AMS entitlements.
The WTO divides subsidies into amber, blue and green box subsidies. Amber box are trade-distorting subsidies, blue box are subsidies with restrictions designed to reduce distortion and green box subsidies are non-trade distorting subsidies. Direct cash transfers, coupons and subsidies that do not impact production are not considered trade-distorting subsidies and categorized as green box.
147) According to the Economic Survey 2016-17 (Volume 2), the burden of farm loan waivers could be as much as `2.2-2.7 lakh crore if all states start offering the relief and would stoke short-term deflationary shock in the economy.
148) The government has released the Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had announced the pan-India implementation of this scheme w.e.f. 01st January, 2017.
Guidelines inter-alia provide Aadhaar linkage, Direct Benefit Transfer, antenatal check-up and registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child.
PMMVY is implemented by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with State Governments.
Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), previously Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), is a maternity benefit program run by the government of India.
It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for first two live births.
It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
149) About Asia- Africa Corridor:
The Asia Africa Growth Corridor project was planned by India and Japan with the active support of the African Development Bank and several African countries including South Africa who wish to reduce their dependence on Beijing. The idea is to “create a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific region’ by rediscovering ancient sea-routes and creating new sea corridors” by integrating the economies of South, Southeast, and East Asia with Oceania and Africa. It primarily focuses on Development Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Skills, and People-to-People Partnership.
150) Astronomers working for Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Listen (BL) project detected a mysterious signal in a distant galaxy and termed it a possible extra-terrestrial communication which sparked a controversy. They reportedly picked up 15 fast radio bursts (FRBs) from a source unknown and are not sure if they came from neutron stars, black holes or extraterrestrial lives across the universe.
151) The Code on Wages, 2017:
It seeks to consolidate laws relating to wages by replacing: (i) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, (ii) the Minimum Wages Act, 1949, (iii) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and (iv) the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
152) DIKSHA Portal is an initiative of HRD ministry for providing a digital platform to teacher to make their lifestyle more digital.
Diksha portal launched with a tagline “National Digital Infrastructures for Our Teacher Our Teacher”.
The portal will consist the whole teacher’s life cycle – from the time they were enrolled as student teachers in Teacher Education Institutes (TEIs) to after they retire as teachers.
Teacher can learn and train themselves for which assessment resources will be available. The complete work and accomplishment of teachers in Teacher’s educational institutes will be recorded from start to end point till their retirement.
153) A 1,300-km undersea pipeline from Iran, avoiding Pakistani waters, has been proposed to port cheap gas. It is said that this pipeline can bring natural gas from the Persian Gulf to India at rates less than the price of LNG available in the spot market.
IPI pipeline was envisaged to transport natural gas from South Pars gas field of Iran to Pakistan and India with a carrying capacity of 60 million standard cubic meters per day, to be equally split between India and Pakistan. The total length of the pipeline up to Indian border (near Barmer) was about 2,135 km (1,100 kms within Iran and the rest within the territory of Pakistan). As per past estimates, investments required for this pipeline were in excess of $7 billion.
154) India’s zero-subsidy UJALA Programme has paved the way for a brighter future and has now travelled to Malaysia. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under Ministry of Power, Government of India has launched UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All) Scheme in the State of Melaka, Malaysia. The scheme has seen successful implementation in the UK.
With a fairly large switch to LED bulbs, Melaka will also be able to reduce carbon emissions by around 19,000 tonnes per year.
155) M2M is the basis for automated information exchange between machines and can impact various industry verticals like smart city, smart grid, smart water, smart transportation, smart health etc. The government has also recognized the potential of M2M and emphasized the same in National Telecom Policy 2012.
156) As per Educational Statistics for 2015-16, the literacy rate in India increased to 69.3% in 2011. In comparison to 2001, when the literacy rate was 61.0%, the improvement is decent.
A dramatic improvement is seen in the literacy rate of female population which improved from 47.8% in 2001 to 59.3% in 2011. Among males, the literacy rate has improved from 73.4% in 2001 to 78.8% in 2011.
Though the literacy rate has been on a upward trajectory in the past decade, the overall literacy rate in India is still lower than the global rate. Compared to the global youth literacy rate of 91%, India lags far behind with 69.3%.
157) FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
The scheme has four focus areas, technology development, demand creation, pilot projects and charging infrastructure.
The scheme envisages Rs 795 crore support in the first two fiscals starting with the current year.
It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.
158) New study has revealed that one of Lakshadweep’s bio-diversity rich islands Parali I has vanished. Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll, which was 0.032 km2 in 1968 has been eroded to an extent of 100%, resulting in its inundation. Additionally, four other territories in the sea are also shrinking.
A general trend in erosion has been noticed in almost all islands he studied. The magnitude of such events was higher in Parali group, evidenced by the complete erosion and inundation of the island Parali I. The magnitude of net erosion was higher in Parali I island (100%), which resulted in its inundation. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). The complete erosion and inundation of Parali I was pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within the atoll.
1. Construction of the first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is happening on 14 September at a function attended by Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe
2. It is a major leap in infrastructure development in India, this project signifies the friendship and collaboration between India and Japan
1. The 534-km Rs1 trillion high-speed rail project will operate trains with average speeds of 200-250kmph
2. It will be a game-changer in terms of inter-urban connectivity and establish India as a market for such technologies
3. Japan is providing a loan that would cover 80% of the estimated project cost at 5% interest, with a 15-year moratorium followed by a 35-year payback period.
1. Route design which would include questions like:
Detailed alignment choice, especially when it is over ground, keeping in view land acquisition challenges versus providing access to the population along the corridor.
Location of stations: Being in the periphery of an urban node, would reduce costs and generate urban growth around the station, and even shift the center of gravity of the urban area.
Number of stations: Demand for more stations would increase the catchment and reduce the average speed due to higher number of stops. One option is to have different service categories like fast (stopping at all stations) and super-fast (only at major cities).
2. Evacuation facilitation:
Efficient bus services as well as accessible parking lots for private vehicles should be provided.
At major stations, where passengers could move to other trains, th transfer must be seamless.
3. Land acquisition: This will be a critical issue, especially where the alignment would veer off from existing railway lands.
It would be best addressed by the line ging over ground, where the actual acquisition would be limited
4. Human resource development: It would be important to train a large number of Indian engineers and managers for design, construction and operations at standards that would be essential for high speed rail, including for stringent safety standards
5. Future expansion: It would be useful to have a perspective on how the expansion of this line would happen.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 12 September 2017 gave its approval for establishment of a new fund to boost the dairy sector for 2017-18 to 2028-29. What is the name given to this fund? – Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DPIDF)
159) Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DPIDF) is the name of a new fund that will be established with an outlay of Rs. 10,881 Crore for 2017-18 to 2028-29 to boost the dairy sector. The establishment of the fund was approved by the CCEA
This fund will be managed by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and the National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC) will be used to provide loan for building an efficient milk procurement system and other processing infrastructure.
Under the DPIDF, loan will be provided at an interest rate of 6.5% per annum with a repayment period of 10 years with initial two years of moratorium. The state government will be a guarantor of loan repayment. If the end user is not able to contribute its share for the project sanctioned, the state will contribute the same.