This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc.) It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 29 and 30 August 2017
■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various National Highway projects in Rajasthan. The projects include a six Lane Cable Stayed Bridge across River Chambal at Kota, four laning of the Gomati Chauraha – Udaipur section and four laning of the Rajsamand – Bhilwara section. PM Modi also layed the foundation stone of various projects including the Jaipur Ring Road. The total outlay on these projects is estimated to be over 15,000 crore rupees.
During the day-long visit, the Prime Minister also visited the Pratap Gaurav Kendra to pay his respects to Maharana Pratap. This Kendra provides information through various exhibits about the life, valour and achievements of Maharana Pratap.
■ The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the YUVA – a skill development programme, an initiative by Delhi Police under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
The ‘YUVA’ initiative by Delhi Police aims to connect with youth by upgrading their skill as per their competencies. It will help them to get a gainful employment under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna under the Ministry of Skill Development. Delhi Police has tied up with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for providing mass job linked skill training for the selected youth.
■ Torrential rains pounded Mumbai throughout the day yesterday causing water logging in the entire city and satellite towns disrupting rail, road and air services, uprooting trees, swamping homes and bringing the megapolis to a total halt. People’s woes were further compounded by the high tide that prevented natural drainage of water into the sea.
■ The goods and services tax, GST, which was launched on 1st July, has got off to a good start, with collections exceeding the revenue target for the first month.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at his briefing on the first set of data on tax collections that it seems comfortable, the redline has been crossed in the first month itself. He said taxes worth Rs 92,283 crore were collected in July from just 64.42 per cent of the total taxpayer base.
- The finance minister added that even after the compensation cess is excluded, the target will still be surpassed when all taxpayers file returns.
- The last date for payment of tax for the month of July was August 25 and for those seeking transitional credit for taxes paid in the pre-GST era, the deadline was August 28.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 29 and 30 August 2017
■ After weeks of diplomatic negotiations, India and China have agreed to disengage from the standoff on the Doklam plateau, which is disputed between China and Bhutan India and China have agreed to expeditious disengagement of border personnel at face-off site in Doklam.
Recall that: In June, Indian soldiers had crossed the Sikkim border to stop China from constructing a road on the Doklam Plateau in Bhutan. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
Significance of this move:
Ahead of Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to China for the BRICS Summit, India and China have agreed to expeditious disengagement of border personnel at face-off site in Doklam. The External Affairs Ministry had always maintained to find a mutually acceptable solution of Doklam standoff through diplomatic channels. India had urged that both sides should withdraw troops to engage in dialogue whereas Beijing insisted on the unilateral pulling out of India’s soldiers.
■ The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences inaugurated the Ocean Forecasting System for Comoros, Madagascar, and Mozambique at the third Ministerial Meeting of Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES). The meeting of RIMES was held recently at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The ocean forecast and early warming information on high wave, currents, winds, tides, sub-surface ocean conditions caters to users like fishermen, coastal population, tourism sector, coastal defence officials, marine police, port authorities, research institutions and offshore industries of these countries.
This system would offer oil spill advisory services, high wave alerts, port warnings, forecast along the ship routes in addition to tsunami and storm surge warnings and help in search and rescue operations.
The INCOIS has already been providing these operational services to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Seychelles.
The ocean forecast and early warning services were most essential for safe navigation and operations at sea and the blue economic growth of many of these Indian Ocean rim countries and island nations.
The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) is an international and intergovernmental institution, owned and managed by its Member States, for the generation and application of early warning information. RIMES provides regional early warning services and builds capacity of its Member States in the end-to-end early warning of tsunami and hydro-meteorological hazards.
■ Boeing will start manufacturing and handing over the made in India, Apache AH-64E multi-role attack helicopter fuselages from next year. India bought 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters worth $3 billion for the Indian Air Force (IAF) under a government-to-government deal with the US in 2015.
This month it also placed order for six additional Apache AH-64E helicopters valued at Rs4,168 crore for the Indian Army.
Boeing will make the helicopter fuselage at Tata Advanced Systems’ Hyderabad facility which will be ready by end of the year and the fuselage will then be taken to the US for fitting. While the first Apaches for Indian Air Force will be delivered in 2019 and are being built in the US and other places, the Indian Army Apache will be made locally.
Note that: India was the world’s fifth highest defence spender in 2016 with a total expenditure of $55.9 billion, up 8.5% from the previous year, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 29 and 30 August 2017
■ The government has notified the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act under which it can authorise the RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process to recover bad loans.
The banking sector is saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) of over Rs. 8 lakh crore, of which Rs. 6 lakh crore is with public sector banks (PSBs). In order to deal with this, Parliament had approved the Act, which replaced an ordinance in this regard.
The government had promulgated an ordinance authorising the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions for banks to initiate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
Recall that: Following the ordinance, the RBI had identified 12 accounts each having more than Rs. 5,000 crore of outstanding loans and accounting for 25% of total NPAs of banks for immediate referral for resolution under the bankruptcy law.
■ The government has brought out the latest edition of its consolidated FDI policy document, which is a compilation of the changes made in the past one year in a single document. It is an initiative aimed at ensuring greater ease of doing business in India and an investor-friendly climate to foreign investors so that the country attracts more FDI.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has for the first time included start-ups. As per the norms, start-ups can raise up to 100% of funds from Foreign Venture Capital Investors. The document said start-ups can issue equity or equity-linked instruments or debt instruments to FVCIs against receipt of foreign remittance.
■ Spice Digital Limited (SDL) has received the final licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), allowing the company to process bill payments as a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) in the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS).
Note that: The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an RBI conceptualised system driven by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is a one-stop payment platform for all bills, providing an interoperable and accessible “Anytime Anywhere” bill payment service to customers across the country with certainty, reliability and safety of transactions.
Sports Current Affairs – 29 and 30 August 2017
■ Mercedes’ British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has registered his 58th career race win after claiming the Belgian Grand Prix title.
■ The Vice President, has launched the Sports Ministry’s much-awaited National Sports Talent Search Portal. This portal will enable any person from across country to upload his information and as per that the Ministry will tap their talent and train them further in their respective disciplines. Around 1000 players will be selected every year and each will receive scholarships of 5 lakh rupees per annum for eight years.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. Which task force has been constituted by the Union Government on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India’s economic transformation?
- A) Gautam Shroff task force
- B) Shantanu Chaudhary task force
- C) V. Kamakoti task force
- D) Vijay Kumar Sankarapu task force
Q2. Which RBI committee has recently recommended that banks should link home loan rates to repo rate?
- A) Viral Acharya
- B) H R Khan
- C) Tarun Ramadorai
- D) Amitav Ghosh
Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!
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