4 September 2017 Current Affairs : Cabinet reshuffle, Nirmala Sitaraman Defence Minister, Hortinet, India whitewashes Sri Lanka

///4 September 2017 Current Affairs : Cabinet reshuffle, Nirmala Sitaraman Defence Minister, Hortinet, India whitewashes Sri Lanka

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 The Hindu, Indian Express, thewire.in. scroll.in, PIB, Govt Websites, Down to Earth.


National Important Current Affairs – 4 September 2017

■ In the third cabinet reshuffle since 2014, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at centre has  promoted four ministers and added nine ministers to the Union Cabinet. These new additions are –

  1. K.J. Alphons Kannanthanam – Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of tourism and MoS in the ministry of electronics and information technology.
  2. Hardeep Singh Puri – Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of housing and urban affairs.
  3. Raj Kumar Singh – Minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of power; and minister of state (independent charge) of the ministry of new and renewable energy.
  4. Satya Pal Singh – Minister of state in the ministry of human resource development and minister of state in the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.
  5. Anant Kumar Hegde – Minister of state in the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship.
  6. Virendra Kumar – MoS in the ministry of women and child development as well as the ministry of minority affairs.
  7. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – MoS in the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.
  8. Ashwini Kumar Choubey – Minister of state in the ministry of health and family welfare.
  9. Shiv Pratap Shukla – Minister of state in the ministry of finance.

India’s defence ministry is headed by a woman after a gap of 35 years in form of Nirmala Sitharaman. Until now, the only woman to head India’ defence ministry was Indira Gandhi: first in 1975 and again in 1980-82.

Sitharaman, was earlier minister of state for commerce. Now the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have two women members- Sushma Swaraj and Sitaraman.

Piyush Goyal has been appointed as the Union Railway Minister. The total strength of the Council of Ministers now is 76.

Here’s the complete list of new Council of Ministers.


■ The West Bengal government will distribute identity cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Rohigya children that are lodged in the juvenile justice homes of the State. This move comes at a time when there are reports that the Union government is planning to deport Rohingyas refugees and the matter is under Supreme Court’s consideration.

The UNHCR has issued identity cards to the Rohingyas in India so as to shield them from harassment and arbitrary arrests. The UNHCR has around 16,500 Rohingyas registered.

The UNHCR issues ID cards to asylum-seekers which help to prevent arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation. These cards include security features like- 3D holograms, bar codes and a large SQR code.


■ The government has released the Guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, which was announced for pan-India implementation w.e.f. 01st January, 2017. PMMVY is implemented by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with State Governments.

The guidelines provide for Aadhaar linkage, Direct Benefit Transfer, antenatal check-up and registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child.

Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), was previously known as Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), which runs as a maternity benefit program of the government of India.


International Current Affairs Capsule – 4 September 2017

■ Around 60,000 people were evacuated in Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital ahead of a planned defusing of a massive World War II Bomb. This bomb was found last week in in an area which includes the central bank. This is Germany’s biggest evacuation since the war.


■ The Tajikistan government has banned women from wearing hijab and has introduced a legislation asking them to “stick to traditional national clothes and culture”. It is noteworthy that about 98% of Tajikistan’s population are Muslims.


■ A state of emergency has been declared in Los Angeles due to the worst wildfires in its history, covering about 5,000 acres. It started in La Tuna Canyon on Friday and have sent plumes of smoke over the city. The declaration of emergency allows state and federal funds to be provided as soon as possible.


Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 4 September 2017

■ The first project funded by the New Development Bank, which was setup by BRICS grouping including India, has started operation in Shanghai. The Shanghai Lingang Distribution Solar Power Project was granted a $76 million loan with maturity length of 17 years under an agreement signed in December 2016. Uner this, a distributed solar photovoltaic power system with total capacity of 100 MW will be built.


■ The Rajaswa Gyan Sangam 2017, a two-day annual conference of senior tax administrators was recently held at New Delhi, inaugurated Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The conference was jointly organised by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).

Objective of Rajaswa Gyan Sangam 2017 is to enable two-way communication between policy-makers and senior officers in field offices with view to increase revenue collection and facilitate effective implementation of law and policies in key result areas.


■ For bringing benefits of technology at farmer’s doorstep, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has developed a mobile app- Hortinetto allow farmers to apply on-line to facilitate their farm registration, tracking the status of application & approvals by State Government and Lab sampling by authorized Laboratories.

Hortinet is an integrated traceability system developed by APEDA to provide e-services to the stakeholders for facilitating farm registration, testing and certification of Grape, Pomegranate and Vegetables for export from India to the European Union in compliance with standards. The key features of the Hortinet app are :


  • Online Farm registration application and status tracking
  • Processing and approval on on-line farmer applications by State Horticulture /Agriculture department.
  • Registration of farmers, farms and products by State Horticulture/Agriculture department
  • Capture geo location of the farms registered through the app
  • Sample collection by APEDA authorized Laboratories along with geo location of the sample.

Note that: The APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985, for export promotion and development of products related to – Fruits, Vegetables, Poultry, Dairy, Honey, Jaggery, Cocoa, Sugar, Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cereals.



Sports Current Affairs – 4 September 2017

■ British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has broken the all-time record for pole positions by taking his career’s 69th at the Italian Grand Prix trophy.

India has whitewashed host Sri Lanka 5-0 in One Day International cricket series. By winning all games, India became the first visiting country to inflict a 5-0 defeat on Sri Lanka. India had, earlier, also whitewashed the 3-match Test series.


■ Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has became the first wicketkeeper in world cricket to effect 100 stumpings in One Day Internationals. Dhoni achieved the feat in his 301st ODI in Colombo when he whipped off the bails to remove Sri Lankan batsman Akila Dananjaya off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s bowling.


“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”

Q1. Which of the following countries are members of EFTA or the European Free Trade Association ?

1. Switzerland
2. Finland
3. Norway
4. Poland

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  • A) 1, 2 and 3 only
  • B) 1 and 3 only
  • C) 2 and 4 only
  • D) 1, 2, 3 and 4


Q2. ‘Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)’, a term sometimes seen in the news, appears in the context of _ ?

  • A) Pre-school education
  • B) Primary school education
  • C) Secondary school education
  • D) a, b and c


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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