CURRENT AFFAIRS – SEPTEMBER 17 & 18, 2017

 

NATIONAL

Modi inaugurates Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat, dedicates it to nation:

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world’s second biggest dam Sardar Sarovar Dam described as Gujarat’s lifeline by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

 

Additional information on dam:

The controversial project on the Narmada River, in the country’s western state of Gujarat, will provide power and water to three big states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

The dam is the second-biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.

The foundation stone of the dam was laid on April 5, 1961 by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. However, it took 56 years to complete its construction.

Gujarat

  • Capital: Gandhinagar
  • Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
  • Governor: Om Prakash Kohli

Government to set up vocational training institutes in 6 states:

 Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan stressed that the government was focusing on boosting skill development opportunities for women, pointing out that the ministry is in the process of setting up six Regional Vocational Training Institutes (RVTI) in various states. After attending the foundation stone laying ceremony of Hyderabad’s RTVI along with vice- president M Venkaiah Naidu.

Apart from Hyderabad, six new RVTIs will be set up in Tripura, Patna, Punjab, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.


Direct benefit scheme saved government 65,000 cr.: Javadekar

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar claimed that the Union government has saved ₹65,000 crore due to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. The scheme requires linking Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts and other subsidised services. Till date, the government has opened 30 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts, and has issued 118 crore Aadhaar numbers.


INTERNATIONAL

China provides $10 billion credit line to Iran:

A Chinese state-owned investment firm has provided a $10 billion credit line for Iranian banks, Iran’s central bank president said.

The contract was signed in Beijing between China’s CITIC investment group and a delegation of Iranian banks led by central bank president Valiollah Seif.

The Iran Daily said the funds would finance water, energy and transport projects.

In addition to the credit line, the China Development Bank signed preliminary deals with Iran worth $15 billion for other infrastructure and production projects, Seif announced.

China

  • CurrencyRenminbi
  • CapitalBeijing
  • Prime minister: Li Keqiang
  • President: Xi Jinping

Iran

  • Currency: Iranian rial
  • Capital: Tehran
  • President: Hassan Rouhani

Rajnath Singh to operationalise SSB intelligence wing along Bhutan, Nepal border:

 Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will operationalise the Sashastra Seema Bal’s (SSB) first ever intelligence wing, a home ministry official said.

 

Additional information on SSB:

The paramilitary force guards India’s borders with Bhutan and Nepal, which are often used by criminals and Kashmiri militants returning from Pakistan. The intelligence wing have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information.

Due to the visa-free regime India has with Nepal and Bhutan, there is a trans-border movement of criminals and anti-national elements which pose a major challenge, the home ministry official said.

Bhutan

  • Currencies: Indian rupee, Bhutanese ngultrum
  • Capital: Thimphu

Nepal

  • Prime minister: Sher Bahadur Deuba
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee
  • Capital: Kathmandu

BANKING & BUSINESS

Suzuki to set up India’s first Lithium Ion battery unit with Toshiba & Denso:

Suzuki Motor will invest more than Rs 1,150 crore along with Japanese partners Toshiba and Denso to set up India’s first lithium ion battery facility in Gujarat.

The announcement by the parent of the country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, is a major boost to the government’s ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives.


Airtel Payments Bank links with UPI:

 Airtel Payments Bank announced the integration of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with its digital platform. “This would allow all our 20 million bank customers to create their personalised UPI handles on the Airtel app, and enable them to make digital payments in both the offline and the online space,” said Shashi Arora, MD and CEO, Airtel Payment Bank said.

He said customers will be able to link their bank accounts on Bhim app and make UPI payments.


ICICI plans payday-type loans in pact with e-tailers:

In a first of its kind for India, ICICI Bank will partner with e-commerce firms to provide automated payday loan-type credit to customers at the bottom of the digital pyramid. Unlike other software-based loans, the digital credit planned by the bank will be available to non-customers and new-to-credit borrowers.

The bank will announce partnerships with e-commerce firms, following which buyers on the site will get a ‘pay later’ option. The ‘pay later’ facility will be available to even those who have not availed of any loan in the past and for small amounts of up to Rs 20,000. These borrowers should make a bullet repayment after a month.

 


APPOINTMENT

Bambawale new envoy to China, Bisaria takes his place in Pakistan:

 India’s high commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale has been appointed the ambassador to China and India’s ambassador to Poland Ajay Bisaria will be the next high commissioner to Pakistan.

 

 

Pakistan

  • Currency: Rupee
  • Capital: Islamabad
  • Prime Minister: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Govt sets up personal bankruptcy panel:

In a move towards putting in place a bankruptcy regime for individuals, the government has set up an advisory panel under Justice B N Srikrishna to take the process forward. The 10-member panel will advise and “provide professional support” to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, the regulatory body headed by M S Sahoo, which is drafting the norms for filing bankruptcy by individuals and help them start afresh, a clause that is contained in the law but is yet to be operationalised.


AWARDS

MPEDA bags Rajbhasha Keerti Award for third consecutive year:

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has been awarded National level Rajbhasha Keerti Award for the third consecutive year.

MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.


Salman Khan honoured at Britain’s House of Commons:

Bollywood star Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons.

Salman was at the House of Commons, and received the award from Keith Vaz, British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP.


BHEL Bags PSE Excellence Awards:

 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has been conferred PSE Excellence Awards 2016 for R&D, Technology Development & Innovation, Human Resource Management Excellence and for Contribution of Women in PSEs, in the Maharatna & Navratna CPSEs category, by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The awards were received by Mr. Atul Sobti, Chairman & Managing Director, BHEL from Mr. Babul Supriyo, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.


Vijaya Bank bags Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar:

 Vijaya Bank has bagged the first prize under the Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar (Region C) for the year 2016-17. It got the award for active implementation of Hindi in its day-to-day activities.

President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the award to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, R. A. Sankara Narayanan, in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of state Kiren Rijiju, Minister of state Hansaraj Gangaram Ahir, and others.


SPORTS

PV Sindhu beats Nozomi Okuhara to win Korea Open Super Series:

 India’s PV Sindhu won her third Super Series title beating Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles final of the Korea Open.

 


Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix:

Lewis Hamilton capitalised on incredible first-lap drama to win the Singapore Grand Prix and extend his Formula One world championship lead to 28 points.


OBITUARY

Arjan Singh Marshal of Indian Air Force passes away:

 Arjan Singh, Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and India’s oldest, five-star ranked air force officer, died after suffering a heart attack. He was 98.


 

 

 

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