17 August 2017 Current Affairs : Navroz, Indira canteen, Knee implant price cap, Aadhar mandatory for farm loans

///17 August 2017 Current Affairs : Navroz, Indira canteen, Knee implant price cap, Aadhar mandatory for farm loans

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 – 17 August 2017

■ Parsi New Year, Navroz is being celebrated today across the world. The festival is celebrated by follows of Zoroastrianism in Middle-East, USA and South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. The vibrant festival began 3,000 years back by the mighty emperor Jamshed, who introduced the new calendar in Persia. Hence, it is also known as Jamshedi Navroz or Navroz.

The day is celebrated to gain health, wealth, prosperity, and productivity. Four ‘Fs’ – Fire, Fragrance, Food, and Friendship – play an important role in the celebration.


■The Union Law Ministry has forwarded to the President the Tamil Nadu government’s proposed ordinance on one-year exemption from NEET. The ordinance will be applicable for only government medical colleges in the State.


■ Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has launched the Karnataka government‘s subsidised food canteens ‘Indira Canteen’ here that would provide breakfast at Rs 5 and lunch and dinner at a cost of Rs 10.


Knee replacement surgeries will become cheaper with the Indian drug price regulator the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capping the prices of ortho knee implants citing larger public interest. The prices of ortho knee implants used in knee replacement surgeries will get cheaper from 30 percent to 78 percent on an average depending on the type and material of implants.

As per the NPPA notification – ortho implants that include prices of femoral components whose maximum retail price (MRP) that used to range from Rs 74,875 to Rs 267,000 are now capped at Rs 62,770.

Tibial component that ranged between Rs 51,000 and Rs 165,000 is now fixed Rs 31,220, while inserts that was priced Rs 25,041 – Rs 57,583 is now clamped at Rs 15,870.

The price of Patella earlier was priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 20,000, now it has been fixed at the lower end of MRP at Rs 4090.


Energy efficient LED bulbs, tubelights and ceiling fans will be sold at petrol pumps across the country. The consumer can purchase LED bulb at 70 rupees, tubelight at 220 and 5 star rated ceiling fans at 1200 rupees. The Energy Efficiency Services Limited has signed an MoU with oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited in New Delhi for distribution of UJALA Energy Efficient Appliances through Petrol Pumps.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 17 August 2017

■ The United States has named Pakistan based Kashmiri terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. This decision comes nearly two months after adding the group’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin to its list of designated global terrorists. Started in 1989, Hizbul is one of the largest and oldest groups operating in Kashmir. Its leader Salahuddin, who is based in Rawalpindi and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, has claimed to have carried out several “operations” in India.

The move comes against the backdrop of upsurge in the terror activities of the group in Kashmir in recent months. This US decision marks a severe blow to Pakistan which has been projecting the terrorist group as a voice of Kashmiri people.


Colombia has announced plans to protect demobilised members of the FARC rebel force, whose leaders say some of their ex-fighters have been murdered. The 7,000 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have disarmed under a peace deal and are preparing to enter civilian and political life. President Juan Manuel Santos declared Colombia’s 50-year conflict with the FARC finally over, as the last batch of decommissioned weapons rolled away to be melted down.


■  Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered that the border with Qatar be reopened to allow pilgrims to carry out their annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. This marks the first step forward since a diplomatic crisis began when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June.


■  India and the United States have agreed to enhance peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new two-by-two ministerial dialogue. The White House has said that the dialogue will elevate the strategic consultations between the two countries. India will receive the first-ever shipment of crude oil from the US this month.


■ Qatar has launched a new direct sea route between its Hamad Port and Pakistan’s Port of Karachi. This move comes after the Gulf nations (GCC) put land, air, and sea blockades on Qatar while cutting diplomatic ties with it for supporting ties with Iran.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 17 August 2017

Reserve Bank of India has made Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers who wish to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18. The apex bank has clarified that farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to 3 lakh rupees at subsidised interest rate of 7 percent that could go down to 4 percent on prompt repayment. RBI has advised banks to make Aadhaar linkage compulsory to ensure hassle-free benefits to farmers under the Interest Subvention Scheme.

Meanwhile, in order to discourage distress sale and encourage farmers to store produce in warehouses, banks will provide subvention benefit to small and marginal farmers with Kisan Credit Cards for a further period of up to 6 months post-harvest.


■  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the proposal of Department of Investment and public Asset Management, DIPAM for the strategic disinvestment. This will help in speedy completion of strategic disinvestment transactions.

The department will now set up an alternative mechanism comprising of the Finance Minister, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Minister of Administrative Department, to decide on the matters relating to terms and conditions of the sale. It will also empower the Core Group of Secretaries to take policy decisions with regard to procedural issues.


Sports Current Affairs – 17 August 2017

■ Former Indian captain MS Dhoni will open a cricket coaching academy in the Dubai Pacific Sports Club (PSC) in the UAE. The academy will be called the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy (MSDCA).


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. The Parliament can create an All-India Judicial Service if _ ?

  • A) The Constitution is to be amended by a special majority of the Parliament and also with the consent of half of the state legislatures by simple majority
  • B) The Rajya Sabha passes a resolution supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting
  • C) Two or more states request the Union Government
  • D) A special ‘Constitutional Convention’, constituted for the purpose of amending the basic structure of the constitution, passes a resolution by a special majority


Q2. ‘Galkynysh gasfields’ which have featured in news recently, are related to _ ?

  • A) India’s natural gas imports from USA
  • B) TAPI gas pipeline
  • C) ONGC’s investments in Iran
  • D) Qatar gasfields out of work after trade ban


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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