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 – 4 August 2017
■ The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. It seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets of banks. The bill replaces the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 which was promulgated on 4th May this year.
- The legislation will enable the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process.
- Note that: Stressed assets are loans where the borrower has defaulted in repayment.
- Why the need? The new legislation will help activate the Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) which will take over the stressed assets of companies to make them turn around as performing assets.
■ The Lok Sabha has also passed the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. It seeks to amend the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981. The bill allows the central government to increase the authorised capital of the Bank from 5,000 crore rupees to 30,000 crore.
- Currently the Central government is holding 99.6 per cent share of the bank and the rest is with the RBI.
- The Bill seeks to transfers the share capital held by the RBI to the central government.
- Why the new bill? Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar said, the interest subsidy on farm loan, which was 6,000 crore rupees in 2014-15, has increased to 12,000 crore rupees in 2016-17. NABARD will now concentrate on providing loans to small scale industries related to agriculture and rural infrastructure.
■ External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said the India-China stand off on Doklam, can be resolved through dialogue and war is no solution. India will continue to engage with the Chinese side through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue.She was replying to a short duration discussion on India’s foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners in the Rajya Sabha.
- India cannot accept the One Belt One Road initiative of China as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir which is an integral part of India.
- On Sri Lanka, she has said, India always takes fishermen issues strongly with Sri Lankan authorities and there is no question of being soft.
■ The Supreme Court has refused to stay the Election Commission’s notification allowing None of the Above (NOTA) provision in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat. The court’s order came on a plea filed by Gujarat Congress Chief whip Shailesh Manubhai Parmar who had sought an interim stay on the operation of Tuesday’s notification. The apex court will not stay the proceedings, but will examine the constitutional validity of the notification. The court did not agree to the contention that NOTA will encourage corruption.
■ Breastfeeding Week is being observed in the first week of August to focus attention on the important aspect of promotion and support of breastfeeding. The theme of 2017 breastfeeding week is ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding’.
- The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has initiated a nationwide programme called “MAA-Mother’s Absolute Affection’’ to bring focus on promotion of breastfeeding and provision of services towards supporting breastfeeding, along with ongoing efforts of routine health systems.
- In addition, “National Guidelines on Lactation Management Centres in Public Health Facilities” have also been recently released to facilitate establishment of lactation management centres for ensuring that the sick and pre-term babies are fed with safe human breast milk.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 4 August 2017
■ US President Donald Trump has claimed relations with Russia had hit an all-time and very dangerous low, putting the blame on Congress after he reluctantly approved sanctions against Moscow. Trump’s outburst came a day after he called the legislation significantly flawed and adding that some of its provisions were unconstitutional.
■ In northern Vietnam, flash floods have been triggered by heavy rains killed seven people and left 27 others missing. Around 900 government forces have been mobilized to search for the missing.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 4 August 2017
■ The government has launched a portal e-Rashtriya Kisan Agri Mandi (e-RaKAM) which will provide a platform to sell agricultural produce.
- e-RaKAM is a digital initiative bringing together the farmers, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products.e-RaKAM leverages technology to connect farmers of the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet.
- Under this initiative, e-RaKAM centres are being developed in a phased manner throughout the country to facilitate farmers for online sale of their produce. The farmers will be paid through e-Payment directly into their bank accounts.
■ India along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam is more attractive to FDIs as compared to other emerging markets.
- A report by Japan’s financial services major, Nomura, has dubbed India and these ASEAN countries as Asia’s tiger cubs.
- It said FDI inflows to these nations will increase from around 100 billion US Dollars per year now to around 240 billion dollars by 2025.
- The sources of FDI to these countries are also witnessing a significant shift with more inflows expected from countries as China and Japan.
- The report also said, rising labour costs in China and an ageing population in Northeast Asia have dis-incentivised FDI and India and the ASEAN-5 are well placed to emerge as new destination.
■ The Government has disinvested 6.83 percent of paid up equity in Hindustan Copper Limited through Offer for Sale. Government is likely to get approximately 400 crore rupees from this disinvestment.
- The floor price was fixed at 64.75 rupees per share and retail investors were offered discount of 5 percent on the cut off price for the Non-Retail Category.
- The retail portion of HCL got good response from the retail investors and the revised offer size of 1.26 crore shares also got fully subscribed.
- The initial offer was for disinvestment of 4 percent paid-up capital.
■ In a set of FAQs on the GST, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has clarified the GST rates applicable on certain specific food items.
- The classic Bengali sweet Sandesh will attract 5% goods and services tax (GST), Khoya or mawa would attract 5% GST.
- Kulfi, idli, dosa batter would attract 18%
- Wet dates would attract 12% levy.
- Dog or cat foods will attract 18% levy.
- Also, fresh isabgol seeds will attract no GST, while dried or frozen isabgol seeds attract 5%. Isabgol husk will attract 5% levy.
- Fresh tamarind will attract no GST, while dry ones will attract 12% rate.
GST rates of other regular use items has also been clarified:
- Rakhi, in form of kalava or raksha sutra, will attract no GST. Any other rakhi would be classified as per its constituent material and attract GST accordingly.
- Nail polish will attract 28% GST.
- Lac or shellac bangles will attract 3% rate—commensurate with the rate on precious metals.
- Hair rubber bands will attract 28% levy, as will battery for mobile handsets.
Sports Current Affairs – 4 August 2017
■ Two-time Paralympic Javelin Throw gold-medallist, Devendra Jhajharia has became the first paralympian to be recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Former hockey captain Sardar Singh has also been recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour.
- The awards selection committee, headed by Justice (Retd.) CK Thakkar nominated the names and suggested that both be considered for the award jointly. The final call on this will be taken by the Sports Ministry.
Besides, the committee has also recommended 17 names for the Arjuna award. The list among others includes cricketers
- Cheteshwar Pujara,
- Harmanpreet Kaur,
- Paralympic medallists Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati,
- golfer SSP Chawrasia and
- hockey player SV Sunil.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1. Which city will host the 2024 Summer Olympics?
- A) Berlin
- B) London
- C) Paris
- D) Verona
Q2. Who is the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan?
- A) Shahbaz Sharif
- B) Imran Khan
- C) Khaqan Abbasi
- D) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
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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