Current Affairs

Important Current Affairs 27th October 2017

Current Affairs 27th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India launches Technocity project in Thiruvananthapuram and lays foundation stone for the first government building in Technocity 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, launched the Technocity project in Thiruvananthapuram today (October 27, 2017) and laid the foundation stone for the first government building in Technocity.
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Kerala’s strengths in basic literacy and skills – and the experience of Kerala’s people in the services sector and in consumer driven industries – make this state a natural for an IT ecosystem. 
●    He stated that IT is not just important in itself. It is a force multiplier for the entire services economy. 
●    It has played a game changing role in health-care, education, tourism and many other industries. 
●    These areas are Kerala’s strengths. 
●    He was confident that the development of Techno City will provide new opportunities for the young people of Kerala.
●    The President said that in many parts of the country, people from Kerala are an essential part of the economic landscape. 
●    And such achievements are by no means limited to India.  

First International Conference on Consumer Protection with the theme of “Empowering consumers in new markets” concludes in New Delhi 

The First International Consumer Protection Conference on “Empowering consumers in new markets” for the South, South East and East Asian Countries was held on 26 to 27 October 2017 in New Delhi. 
●    His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India inaugurated the Conference which was attended by 1600 participants that included delegates from 19 countries, Senior dignitaries from the Central Government, State Governments from India, Presidents of the Consumer Commissions,  as well as private sector, consumer associations and academia. 
●    Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD addressed the conference in the Inaugural session.
●    The Prime Minister during his inaugural speech stated that Consumer Protection is one of the priority areas for the Government.
●    Government’s vision is a step further from Consumer Protection to Consumer Empowerment and to Protection of Consumer Interests.
●    The Conference was chaired by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. 

RM Releases Coffee Table Book on Department of Defence Production 

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman released a coffee table book on the Department of Defence Production (DDP), titled ‘A journey towards self-reliance’ here today.
●    The first ever coffee table book on the department, it chronicles the post-independence years of development, indigenisation and production of arms, ammunition and defence equipment, with a view to achieve self-reliance for the Armed Forces of India.
●    Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, in her message printed in the book says, “The coffee table book is a noteworthy initiative of DDP to compile success stories of projects of OFB/ DPSUs, transcending from the stage of inception to execution.
●    The contents of the book are a remarkable collection of past and current defence equipment produced in India. 
●    Avid readers will find themselves immersed in a world of illustrations and remarkable photographs, captured at ‘the’ moments, and revealing relevant texts, which will be of interest to the ‘defence technology-savvy’ Indians.
●    The book epitomises the visionary approach of the Government of India seeking to establish India as a global manufacturing hub, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. 

Establishment of permanent campus of six new IITs at Tirupati, Palakkad, Goa, Dharwad, Jammu and Bhilai 

The Union Cabinet on 24th October 2017 approved a Rs. 7,002 crore plan for construction of permanent campuses for six new IITs, to be completed by 31st March 2020. 
●    Each campus will have facility for housing 1,200 students, beginning from the academic year 2020-2021.
●    Currently, these institutions are functioning from temporary campuses with a total strength of 1,530 students. 
●    After construction of the campuses, this strength will go up to 7,200.
●    The Hon’ble Finance Minister in his Budget Speech 2014-15 had announced establishment of five new IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Goa and Chhattisgarh. 
●    Further, in the Budget Speech 2015-16,establishment of an IIT in Karnataka was announced.
●    In pursuance to the Budget announcements, the academic sessions in IITs at Tirupati and Palakkad started in 2015-16 and in IITs at Dharwad, Bhilai, Jammu and Goa in 2016-17, from their respective temporary campuses.

Power Minister chairs the 4th Foundation Day celebrations of National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram 

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, presided over the 4th Foundation Day celebrations of National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), at its campus in Gurugram, Haryana today.
●    While addressing scientists, research staff and other guests during the event,Shri Singh said that NISE should aim to establish itself as the World’s leading institute in the field of solar energy through its world class R&D, Testing & Certification and Training and emerge as a ‘Centre of Excellence’.
●    NISE should strive further and set up regional centres for research and development in solar energy, Shri Singh added.
●    “There is no dearth of funds for R&D activities”, Shri Singh said, while complimenting the scientists on the number of innovative prototype projects developed at NISE. 
●    Further, the Minister said that NISE should work quickly and patent some of the products and encouraged scientists to work out strategies for public-private collaborations to reach end-users.
●    Shri Singh also launched the Automation System for Customer Service Cellfor Testing Facilities at NISE. 
●    He was presented with a set of four books on Solar Energy published by NISE.

Piyush Goyal inaugurates International Conference on Green Initiatives & Railway Electrification 

Minister of Railways & Coal Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated International Conference on Green Initiatives & Railway Electrification organised by Ministry of Railways through Institution of Railways Electrical Engineer (IREE) India on 27th October 2017.
●    Minister of State for Railways & Minister of State for Communications (Independent Charge) Shri Manoj Sinha was specially present to grace the occasion. 
●    Member Traction Railway Board & Patron, IREE, Shri Ghanshyam Singh, other Railway Board Members, Additional Member Electrical, Railway Board & President, IREE Mr. V. K. Agarwal and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
●    Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal said, "Indian Railways is working with a renewed attitude and confidence. 
●    The mindset of Indian Railways has changed. Indian Railways is working with “will do/can do” spirit, for the Government, Development is a positive agenda. 
●    Indian Railways is working in a mission mode and coming up with solutions to the problems. 
●    Indian Railways is working with a commitment to serve in a time bound manner for the common people. 
●    For the common people, Railways is the preferred mode of transport. 
●    1.3 million Railwaymen have dedicated themselves to serve with commitment. 

The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley launches the mandatory use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all Central Sector Schemes
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley said that the mandatory use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all the Central Sector Schemes of the Government of India would help in tracking and monitoring the flow of funds to the implementing agencies. 
●    Shri Jaitley further said that due to the monitoring of funds through PFMS, one can know the actual status of utilization of funds by the multiple implementing agencies of the Central and the State Governments. 
●    He said that the ultimate purpose of implementing any Scheme is to ensure that the benefits much reach to the last mile. 
●    The Finance Minister specifically mentioned about the implementation of various Schemes through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism in this regard. 
●    The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley was addressing the senior Officers of the Finance and other Ministries after launching the mandatory use of the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all Central Sector Schemes in the national capital today. 
●    These Central Sector Schemes with a budgetary outlay of Rs.6, 66,644 crore covers over 31 percent of the total Central Government expenditure during the current financial year 2017-18. 

Current Affairs 27th October 2017: DAY AND DAYS

Observance of ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ on 31st October 

The Government observes 31st October all over the country as a day of special occasion, to foster and reinforce the Government’s dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity and security of our nation, by celebrating it as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India.
●    In the National Capital Territory of Delhi, celebrations on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. include offering Floral Tribute to Sardar Patel at Patel Chowk by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, followed by administering Pledge and flagging off the Run for Unity.
●    ‘Run’ will take place from National Stadium - C-Hexagon – Shah Jahan Road Radial – India Gate (1.5 km). 
●    A large gathering is expected to participate in the Run. 
●    Ms. P.V. Sindhu (Badminton), Ms. Mitali Raj (Cricket) and Shri Sardar Singh (Hockey) are likely to participate. 
●    The Run will be organized by experienced Coaches from Sports Authority of India. Ministries/ Departments involved in organizing the programme include Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Department of Sports, Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and GNCTD and Organizations involved include CPWD, NDMC, DDA, SAI, CAPFs and Delhi Police.
●    All States/UTs will organize State-level functions at respective capitals and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is coordinating with the local administration to organize functions in 623 districts while the Ministry of Human Resource Development is organizing functions in the Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas. 

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Important Current Affairs 26th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 26th October 2017

Current Affairs 26th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Vigilance Awareness Week to be observed from 30th October to 4th November, 2017 with theme “My Vision-Corruption Free India” 

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has decided that this year the Vigilance Awareness Week would be observed from 30th October to 4th November, 2017. 
●    The theme of the week would be “My Vision-Corruption Free India”. 
●    The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will be the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Function to be held on 30th October 2017.
●    The observance of the Vigilance Awareness Week would commence with the Integrity Pledge by public servants in the Ministries/Departments/Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)/Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and all other Organisations on 30th October, 2017 at 11.00 a.m.
●    While addressing a press conference here today, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, Shri K.V. Chowdary said that the purpose of observing Vigilance Awareness Week is to educate the public at large about the corruption related practices and also educating them how to report about it.  
●    He said that it acts like a mass movement of involving people in saying no to corruption. 
●    Shri Chowdary said that to give recognition to the reforms and good work done by organization in the field of punitive, preventive and participative vigilance, the Vigilance Excellence Awards have been instituted in two categories from this year onwards. 
●    He also said that the Commission is developing an Integrity Index based on benchmarking of internal processes and controls within an organization as well as management of relationships and expectations of external stakeholders. 

Seven shortlisted companies given ‘Letters of Intent’ for 14 monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of M/O Tourism 

Seven shortlisted companies were given ‘Letters of Intent’ for fourteen monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of Ministry of Tourism at the closing ceremony of ‘Paryatan Parv’ at Rajpath Lawns, New Delhi yesterday. 
●    These companies will be the future ‘Monument Mitras’ who would associate pride with their CSR activities. 
●    The Inter-Ministerial Oversight and Vision Committee members appreciated the positive response received from reputed organisations in the Initial phase, wherein Fifty Seven (57) responses have been recorded and fourteen (14) monuments have been opted through seven (7) Expression Of Interest(s). 
●    After detailed scrutiny, the following companies ranging from hospitality industry, travel industry and banking industry were shortlisted for vision bidding for final selection of Monument Mitras:
●    SBI Foundation shortlisted for the adoption of -Jantar Mantar, Delhi.
●    TK International Limited shortlisted for the adoption of -Sun Temple, Konark, Raja Rani Temple, Bhubaneswar, Ratnagiri Monuments, Jajpur, Odisha
●    Yatra Online Pvt. Limited shortlisted for the adoption of:Hampi, Karnataka, Leh Palace, Jammu & Kashmir, Qutub Minar, Delhi, Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra

Raksha Mantri Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Addresses Naval Commanders’ Conference 

Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the Naval Leadership this morning during the ongoing Naval Commanders’ Conference (24-27 Oct 17) being held at New Delhi. 
●    This is the second edition of this year’s bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference.
●    At the very outset, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri complimented all personnel of the Indian Navy for securing the maritime interests of the nation. 
●    Taking note of the recent developments in our maritime neighbourhood, she emphasised the need for the Indian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vigilant to counter any challenges in the maritime domain.
●    The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri acknowledged the high operational tempo maintained by the Navy in the last one year through regular deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft from the South China Sea and Sea of Japan in the East to the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean in the West and the shores of Australia in the South including the focused efforts to deter piracy attempts off the Gulf of Aden.
●    Participation in a number of bilateral exercises and the unprecedented success of the Exercise MALABAR with the US and the Japanese Navy earlier this year were lauded by the Raksha Mantri.
●    Recognising the lead taken by Indian Navy in indigenisation and self-reliance, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri stated that it is the collective responsibility of Service Headquarters, the Ministry and the Industry to promote a more vibrant ecosystem percolating down to the MSMEs, to encourage development of equipment and systems in India and to reduce import dependence in the Defence sector.

Power Minister addresses the 3rd Global Investors’ India Forum 

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh addressed the 3rd Global Investors’ India Forum, here today. 
●    The theme of the event was ‘Ideate, Innovate, Implement and Invest in India’ and it was attended by global industry stalwarts.
●    Addressing the august gathering, Shri Singh said that looking at the future of growing power consumption in India, it is expected that the per capita energy consumption would expand at a breakneck speed, tripling in the next 5-7 years. 
●    The Minister assured the members of Industry that the Government would extend all possible support and remove all impediments in the path of investments in the power sector. 
●    “Electricity is the future of economic growth in India. 
●    This growth cannot take place without Industry participation. 
●    I invite you to come and invest in India’s Energy sector”, Shri Singh said.
●    Shri Singh also informed the gathering that in the near future, to keep pace with this rapid change in the Renewable Energy Sector, Industry needs to partner with the Government in investing in Green Energy Corridors, Battery Storage Technology, Grid Improvement, Electric Vehicles Programme etc. 
●    The Minister invited the Industry stalwarts to devise the future strategy to achieve the above goal, in coordination with the Government.

TCIL Pays Dividend for the Year 2016-17

Shri A. Seshagiri Rao, Chairman & Managing Director, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) presented a dividend cheque of Rs. 70.82 Million to Hon’ble Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Communications (I/c)  in presence of Secretary, Telecom.
●    TCIL has paid dividend of Rs. 1929.87 Million to Govt. till 2016-17 on Government’s initial investment in equity of Rs. 3 Million. Rs.160 Million was further infused during 2015-16. 
●    The group and standalone networth of the company are Rs. 23977 Million and Rs.5889 Million respectively as on 31st March, 2017.
●    In 2016-17, TCIL achieved standalone revenue and profit after tax of Rs.12051.10 Million and Rs.708.22 Million respectively.
●    TCIL established in August, 1978, is a Mini Ratna Category – I Status Company under the Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications. Government of India holds 100% of its share capital. 
●    TCIL is a prime engineering and consultancy company. 
●    TCIL undertakes projects in all field of Telecommunications, IT and Civil construction in India and abroad. TCIL has executed projects in over 70 countries across globe.
●    TCIL successfully executed Govt. of India PAN AFRICA e-NETWORK PROJECT for healthcare and educational services in 48 African Union countries, in collaboration with Indian Universities and Super Speciality Hospitals. 
●    It is a single largest project of its kind which has brought the African countries under one umbrella for collaboration and development with India.
●    Overseas operations of the Company are in Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal etc. in addition to Pan African e-Network project operating in 48 African countries. 

Trai recommendations on data privacy by January

Telecom regulator Trai will come out with its recommendations on guidelines for data privacy, security and ownership by January and is very close to finalising suggestions for the controversial net neutrality, a top official said today.
●    "Currently, there is a huge amount of monopoly and that monopoly is becoming bigger and bigger. We are saying you can use my data because we are using your application, but give us too so that we can use it for other purposes too... This should be finalised by December-January," Trai Chairman R S Sharma said in response to a specific question on timeline for issuance of the recommendations.
●    Sharma, who was speaking at a Ficci event today, made a pitch for larger privacy laws in the country, saying the regulators recommendations may be sent to the Justice Srikrishna Committee set up by the Centre and tasked with suggesting a data privacy framework.
●    Sharma let out that many consultation papers, including those of net neutrality, are at the final stage and the recommendations will be issued very soon.
●    The Trai chief observed that the clarity on data ownership and privacy will help many start-ups in developing new applications, which at present are unable to do so because of monopoly on controlling data of consumers.

Crisil launches inventability index

Crisil announced the launch of Crisil InfinayX.
●    It is India's first investment index, which will monitor and evaluate the development, maturity and investment related attractions of the basic structure areas.
●    Simultaneously, Crisil also unveiled the Infrastructure Yearbook 2017.
●    According to Crisil Infrastructure Yearbook 2017, the government has made considerable progress in the last several years in terms of investment in infrastructure.
●    However, only public investment in this area is not enough. Private sector investment must also be encouraged.
●    According to Ashish Suyash, Managing Director and CEO of Crisil Limited, "Investments in the infrastructure sector of India will be estimated to be around Rs 3,000 crore per day and 56 per cent, or more than Rs 37 lakh crore, from the financial year 2013 to the fiscal year 2017.
●    Looking at this context, Crisil felt the need for a composite investability index to monitor all the nuances of the basic structure sector. 
●    This will prove to be very valuable.

SEBI amended rules for bulk deal of shares

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board SEBI has revised the outline of the sale of shares in the wholesale deal.
●    It has raised the limit of minimum orders to 10 crore rupees.
●    Also, 15-15 minutes of two different trading facilities have been provided.
●    SEBI has taken steps to ensure the confidentiality of big deals and to keep prices stable in such deals.
●    The bulk deal facility has been started in the wake of buyers and sellers for a large number of shares.
●    Talk about such deals is usually done beforehand.
●    Under the new rules, SEBI will provide bulk deals for 15-15 minutes in the morning and afternoon.
●    In addition, the regulator has increased the minimum order for the transaction under this facility to Rs 10 crore.
●    At present, this facility is available for a single transaction of Rs 5 crore only.
●    The morning convenience will be from 8:45 to 9 pm and noon will be from 02:05 to 02:20.

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Important Current Affairs 25th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 25th October 2017

Current Affairs 25th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India addresses members of Karnataka Legislature on 60th anniversary of Vidhana Soudha 

The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, graced the ‘Vajramahothsava’ – Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on completion of 60 years of VidhanaSoudha, and addressed the members of both Houses of the Karnataka Legislature at Bengaluru, today (October 25, 2017). 
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President said that it is not just the 60th birthday of this building (VidhanaSoudha) that we are marking. 
●    This is also the diamond jubilee of the debates and discussions in the two Houses, of legislations that have been passed and policies that have been shaped for the betterment of the lives of the people of Karnataka. 
●    Both Houses of the Legislature jointly and collectively represent the will and aspirations of the people of Karnataka. 
●    Not just that, the two Houses also represent the ideals and optimism and the energy and dynamism of the Kannadiga people. 
●    This building is a monument to the history of public service in Karnataka. 
●    A galaxy of political stalwarts has participated in the proceedings of the two Houses that meet here. 

CVC to develop Integrity Index of 25 Organizations 

In line with the broader strategy and emphasis on preventive vigilance, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) believes that the next level of systemic change can be through the tool of Integrity Index. 
●    The CVC has therefore decided to go in for development of the Integrity Index-based on benchmarking of internal processes and controls within an organisation as well as management of relationships and expectations of outside stakeholders.
●    The Integrity Index will bring out annual scores/rankings of Public Sector Undertakings/Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions/Departments/Ministries of Government of India by linking the essential drivers of vigilance with long term efficiency, profitability and sustainability of public organizations and create an internal and external ecosystem that promotes working with Integrity in public organizations.
●    CVC has adopted a research-based approach for creating an integrity index that various organizations can use to measure themselves and which will evolve with changing needs and with this view IIM-Ahmedabad has been engaged to develop the Integrity Index. 
●    Being a new initiative, initially 25 organizations have been selected for development of the Integrity Index (as per list attached). 
●    Subsequently, it is proposed to extend the Integrity Index concept to all other CPSUs and organizations of Government of India. 
●    The management of all 25 organizations have been involved in the development of Integrity Index.

Bills on MLA disqualification, power distribution passed in Rajasthan assembly

The House passed 'Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Members (Prevention of Disqualification) Bill-2017’ and 'The Rajasthan State Electricity Distribution Management Responsibility (Amendment) Bill-2017’.
●    The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutes in the State and of Appointments and Posts in Services Under the State) Bill-2017’ was tabled in the House by the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Arun Chaturvedi, whereas the 'CrPC (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill-2017’ was referred to the select committee of the House.
●    The CrPC (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill-2017 Bill, which was introduced in the house on Monday, was proposed to be taken up for discussion tomorrow.
●    This bill was introduced on Monday along with the controversial Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill 2017, which seeks to protect judges and bureaucrats from probe without the state government's prior sanction.

Reliance Communications To Shut Down 2G Mobile Business In A Month

Debt-ridden Reliance Communications plans to shut down its 2G mobile business in about a month and continue to operate 3G and 4G services till the time they remain profitable, industry sources said. 
●    RCom Executive Director Gurdeep Singh is learnt to have informed employees that the company has reached a "situation where we need to call it a day on our wireless business" and this would lead to closure of "wireless business 30 days from now".
●    The company will "continue to operate ILD voice, consumer's voice and 4G dongle postpaid services" and mobile tower business till the time they remain profitable and all the other business will be shut down, he has said. 
●    A email query sent to RCom remained unanswered. 
●    The move comes after the company, reeling under debt of around Rs 46,000 crore, failed to close to its wireless business merger deal with Aircel in the beginning of this month.
●    RCom and Aircel in September last year had signed a binding agreement to merge their mobile businesses. 

Interstate migration in India doubled between 2001-2011: WEF

Interstate migration in India doubled between 2001 and 2011 compared to the previous decade, with Pune and Surat emerging as the most affected cities in the Asian region, says a WEF report. 
●    According to the World Economic Forum’s report on ‘Migration and Cities’, India is home to one-fourth of the 100 fastest-growing cities in the world while Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata are among the 10 most populous urban areas worldwide.
●    The report further said in the Asian region, Pune and Surat have been named among the most affected cities, besides Guangzhou and Davao City.
●    According to the United Nations, there are three times more internal migrants than international migrants in the world.
●    In India, interstate migration doubled between 2001 and 2011 compared to the previous decade, growing 4.5 per cent annually, WEF said, adding annual interstate migration in the country averaged about 5-6 million migrants a year. 
●    “Migrants are drawn to cities in search of economic, social and creative opportunities,” said Alice Charles, Lead, Cities, World Economic Forum.

Over 400 industries reduced CO2 emission by 2% in 2012-15

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) today said over 400 industries monitored by it have reduced their CO2 emissions by 31 million tonnes (MT) - about 2 per cent of annual CO2 emissions - between 2012-15.
●    "Over 400 industries reduced their emissions by 31 million tonnes of CO2, approximately 2 per cent of annual CO2 emissions, during the first implementation cycle of Perform, Achieve & Trade Scheme (PAT) by BEE between 2012 and 2015," a BEE statement said.
●    According to the statement, the first cycle of PAT (2012 -15) covered 478 Designated industries (DCs) from 8 energy- intensive sectors - aluminium, cement, chlor-alkali, fertiliser, iron and steel, pulp and paper, textiles and thermal power plant.
●    Together, these sectors account for about 33 per cent of India's primary energy consumption.
●    BEE said the scheme resulted in saving of energy equivalent to 8.67 MT of oil, exceeding the target of 6.86 MT by about 30 per cent.
●    This also resulted in avoided generation of about 5,635 MW, resulting in monetary savings of Rs 37,685 crore. 
●    At the same time Rs 9,500 crore have been saved due to reduction in energy consumption.

Hindustan Unilever gross profit increased by 16 percentage

The country’s largest consumer goods maker by volume and profits Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has posted a better than expected earnings of 16 per cent profit growth at ₹1,276 crore in the quarter ending September 30, 2017, on the back of price cuts, new launches and higher consumer demand.
●    The company's total sales grew by 10 per cent at ₹8,199 crore during the quarter, which also witnessed the country's biggest tax reforms in form of Goods and Services Tax (GST). 
●    However, earnings for this quarter is not comparable with the same quarter in the previous year due to change in the excise duty accounting structure as required by the SEBI, wherein the total sales is inclusive of the excise duty, that is replaced by GST during the quarter.
●    Taking the new accounting structure into consideration, the net sales at ₹8,199 crore during the quarter will be 2 per cent lower than ₹8,335 crore in the year-ago period, the company said. 
●    Volume growth for the quarter came in at 4 per cent, which was more or less in line with estimates.
●    HUL, which claims that about nine out of 10 households in the country consumes its products daily, said that despite the challenges that GST had on trade pipeline, the company was able to manage the transition and maintain demand by passing on the net benefits of the GST to the consumers in terms of price cuts and discounts. 
●    The company had taken about 3-4 per cent price cuts in the July-September quarter. The board has announced an interim dividend of ₹8 per share.

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Important Current Affairs 24th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 24th October 2017

Current Affairs 24th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu launches CIPAM’s Website 

The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the official website for the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) here today.  
●    CIPAM has been set up under the aegis of DIPP with a mandate to effectively implement the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. 
●    Secretary DIPP, Shri  Ramesh Abhishek was also present.
●    The website is interactive providing regular updates on all upcoming events including awareness and sensitization programs being conducted, as also information on all Intellectual Property Rights. 
●    It would make available resource material on IPRs specially curated for various levels: schools, universities, industry and enforcement agencies.
●    One can read the latest news and updates, specially curated feed on all latest happenings in the world of IP, insightful and educational blogs by CIPAM and IP experts.
●    The website provides regular updates on the latest IP trends – statistics on applications filed, examined, grants and disposal for various IPRs. 

Expressway built with SAIL steel lands Air Force’s super hercules transport aircraft 

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) supplied 33500 metric tonnes of steel for the construction of the Agra - Lucknow expressway which facilitated the touch-and-go landing of planes of the Indian Air Force, today. 
●    SAIL had primarily supplied long products consisting of earthquake resistant TMT bars for this project. 
●    SAIL’s branded earthquake resistant EQR TMT Bars have superior qualities and come in various customized specifications.
●    IAF conducted the touch and go landings on a stretch of the expressway today, starting with a 35,000-kg C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. 
●    This is the first time that the C-130J transport aircraft joined the Indian Air Force's special drill to land planes on the expressway. 
●    The IAF had earlier landed its Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets on the Yamuna Expressway and the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Sign $300 Million Loan to Promote Further Fiscal Reforms in West Bengal

The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $300 million loan today to continue a series of fiscal reforms in the State of West Bengal to improve the quality of public service delivery. 
●    The Second West Bengal Development Finance Program targets a further increase in public investment through reduction of unproductive expenditure, and savings from efficiencies in revenue collections. 
●    The Program will build on earlier intervention under Phase I of the project through the $400 million Program that targeted a comprehensive fiscal consolidation program in the state. 
●    The program agreement was signed by Mr. Parwez Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary, Finance Department, Government of West Bengal. 
●    ADB’s first Program focused on augmenting public investments that reached almost 1.3%, as a percentage of gross state domestic product, in FY2016 from 0.5% in FY2012 while the fiscal deficit reduced to 2.2% from 3.4% in the same period. 

WAC Station Commanders’ Conference 

The Western Air Command, Station Commanders’ Conference was held on 23 and 24 Oct 17 at New Delhi. 
●    Air Officers Commanding / Station Commanders of all Air Force Stations under Headquarter Western Air Command and all Principal Staff officers at HQ WAC attended the conference. 
●    The Chief Guest, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC, Chief of Air Staff was received by Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding in Chief of Western Air Command. 
●    On arrival, the CAS was presented a ceremonial guard of honour.
●    Addressing the Commanders, the CAS emphasized the need to enhance mission capability of all platforms and weapon systems. 
●    He reiterated the need for development and upkeep of operational infrastructure and continuous orientation of human resource so as to absorb induction of new technologies for a smooth transition of the IAF into a potent Aerospace power.
●    The Chief re-emphasized the importance and pivotal role of Western Air Command in all future conflicts and in humanitarian assistance and Disaster Relief Missions. 

Vigilance Excellence Awards to be given during Vigilance Awareness Week, 2017 

The Vigilance Excellence Awards will be given during Vigilance Awareness Week, 2017. 
●    The awards would include a memento and a citation.
●    The Central Vigilance Commission as the apex integrity institution in the country has been tasked with exercising superintendence over the vigilance administration and implementing Government policies against corruption. 
●    To give recognition to the reforms and good work done by organizations in the field of punitive, preventive and participative vigilance, the Vigilance Excellence Awards have been instituted from this year.
●    Apart from providing encouragement and motivation to the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) and organizations, the awards have been instituted for the purpose of:
●    Bringing out new ideas that are shown to be effective in advancing the cause of vigilance and anti-corruption measures
●    Giving due recognition to individuals and teams for their resourcefulness and perseverance in making a positive contribution to the organizational efficiency and effectiveness turning concepts into reality.
●    Documenting the innovation process from inception to achievement of results to facilitate replication.

Ministries of Power & Textiles join hands under new initiative SAATHI 

Ministries of Power  and Textiles have joined hands under a new initiative SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries). 
●    Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a public sector entity under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, would procure energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost. 
●    The SAATHI initiative of the Government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis. 
●    To kick start the implementation, cluster wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organized in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.
●    The use of these efficient equipment would result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner and he would repay in installments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period.  
●    This is the aggregation, bulk procurement and financing model that EESL has successfully deployed in several sectors like LED bulbs, Smart Meters and Electric Vehicles.  

 Conference of Defense Ministers of ASEAN Countries

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the fourth meeting of the Defense Ministers of the ASEAN countries held in the Philippines that ASEAN has a glorious place in Asia's institutional structure.
●    She said that ASEAN has made significant contributions in the field of sustainability.
●    India strongly supports the unity of ASEAN.
Mrs. Sitharaman said that new security threats have been occurring in front of the world.
●    Several important changes related to defense have also been noticed in the ASEAN region.
●    All the groups of the group have to be ready to deal with traditional (military) and non-conventional hazards.
●    At present, terrorism and fundamentalism have a serious security threat to our society.
●    The Defense Minister appreciated the efforts of the Philippines to deal with terrorism and said that India will not tolerate terrorism at any cost anywhere.
●    She stressed the need for a joint fight against terrorism.
●    Terrorist groups are working to incite people through social media and the Internet, which is a serious threat.

EESL achieves further reduction in smart meter price

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has achieved a further price reduction in the procurement of 50 lakh smart meters, basis a reverse auction of the tender conducted last week. 
●    ITI Limited has emerged as the lowest bidder (L1 bidder) in this reverse auction, followed by Genus Power and KEONICS. ITI Limited quoted the lowest price of Rs. 2503, per single phase smart meter.
●    L&T had emerged as the lowest bidder in the first round of bids conducted last week, where the company had quoted Rs. 2722. 
●    Through the reverse auction, the price of the single phase smart meter has come down from Rs. 2722 to Rs. 2503 which is a reduction of 8% from the previous tender quote. 
●    The lower price discovered through reverse auction will further benefit the end consumers. 
●    Seven companies including L&T were invited for the reverse auction, as per tender terms and conditions where L&T has been outbid by ITI Limited, Genus Power and KEONICS.
●    As per government guidelines, EESL will invite Genus Power and KEONICS, who have emerged as the L2 and L3 bidders respectively, to match the L1 price.  

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Important Current Affairs 23rd October 2017

Current Affairs 23rd October 2017: APPOINTMENT

IPPB appoints Suresh Sethi as its MD & CEO

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has appointed Mr. Suresh Sethi, the former MD of Vodafone M-Pesa Ltd. as its Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer. 
●    Mr. Sethi had been selected by the Banks Board Bureau from amongst top contenders for the post, from both public and private sector Banking and Fintech professionals. 
●    Mr. Sethi has broad international experience of over 27 years in the Banking and Financial Services industry with Citigroup, YES Bank and Vodafone M-Pesa across India, Kenya, UK, Argentina and US.
●    He has extensively worked in the Financial Inclusion space leveraging Fintech and digital led innovation.
●    His experience in the Digital & Mobile Payments space will be of great relevance to IPPB which aims to deliver financial inclusion with special focus in rural and semi-urban India and among the under-banked segments. 
●    Mr. Sethi takes over from the dynamic leadership of Mr. A.P. Singh who had been the interim MD & CEO of IPPB since January 2017.

Centre appoints Shri Dineshwar Sharma as its Representative in J&K 

In a major development, the Centre today appointed Shri Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of Intelligence Bureau, as the Representative of Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
●    Shri Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand the legitimate aspirations of the wide cross sections of society, particularly the youth in Jammu and Kashmir and communicate them to the State Government and the Centre.
●    The move comes in the wake of various steps taken by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to address the needs of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 
●    It may be recalled that during his visit to Srinagar on November 7, 2015, the Prime Minister had announced a package of Rs 80,068 Crores for the overall development of the State. 
●    He has also met the leaders of political parties from time to time and received suggestions with regard to the issue of peace and development in J&K.

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh appointed as member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram 

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh administered oath of office and secrecy to Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh, here today, on his appointment as member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram. 
●    The JERC is a two-member Commission, each member representing the respective participating State.
●    Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh has been appointed as the member from the Manipur side for a period of 5 years, with effect from the date of his taking charge of the post or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest.
●    Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh holds B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and has retired from the post of Superintending Engineer (Electrical) in the Electricity Department of Government of Manipur.

Current Affairs 23rd October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

New Education policy by December: MoS HRD Dr. Satya Pal Singh 

Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shri Satya Pal Singh has said that the new education policy is in final stages and it would be announced in December. 
●    Inaugurating a 'National Academic meet' in Thiruvananthapuram today, Dr. Singh said the policy envisages to 'correct' the course of education system in the country, that has followed a colonial mindset. 
●    He pointed out that unfortunately after independence, most of the academicians followed the footsteps of British and Western scholars and deliberately denigrating Indian culture. 
●    Stating that the biggest challenge being faced by the education system and the government is 'how to de-colonise the Indian mind' and the government is working on the policy in this regard. 
●    The Minister said it will be the first education policy that was discussed layer by layer and threadbare.
●    Dr. Singh said improving the quality of education from the primary level, making higher education affordable to people and accessing higher education to more are some of the major issues faced by the education system. 
●    He said skill development is one of the major areas the government has given thrust upon. 

India’s First Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for Skilling in Smart Cities launched under Skill India Mission in collaboration with NDMC 

To bring momentum in skilling through collaborative efforts, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh along with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan here today inaugurated India's first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for Skilling in Smart Cities, in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). 
●    The ministers also laid the foundation for a Skill Development Centre at Moti Bagh and a Centre of Excellence at Dharam Marg, New Delhi.
●    Affirming synergies with the Government of India’s flagship programs, the new skill development centres underscore the commitment of the Ministry of Urban Affairs & Housing (MUHA) and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to support skilling in smart cities. 
●    National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), an executive arm of MSDE, has collaborated with New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited (NDMCSCL) to extend cooperation for setting up of PMKK Centres for Smart Cities, to provide skill training for unemployed youth through its short-term training (STT) module and contribute to the capacity building of municipal employees through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program.
●    The event also had graceful presence of dignitaries such as Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, New Delhi; Shri Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC; Shri Karan Singh Tanwar, Vice – Chairman, NDMC; Shri Surender Singh, MLA & Member, NDMC and other senior officials from MUHA, MSDE, NSDC and NDMC.

RIL market cap inches closer to Rs 6 lakh crore mark

Reliance Industries' market valuation is fast inching closer to the Rs 6 lakh crore mark, buoyed by a rally in its share price.
●    At the close of trade on Monday, the company's market capitalisation stood at Rs 5.94 lakh crore, which is just around Rs 6,000 crore short of the Rs 6 lakh crore mark.
●    Shares of the company rose by 3.05 per cent to close at Rs 938.10 on the BSE. 
●    During the day, the share price jumped 3.63 per cent to Rs 943.45 -- a 52-week high.
●    On the NSE, shares of the company gained 3.28 per cent to end at Rs 939.75.
●    In terms of equity volume, 5.40 lakh shares of the company were traded on BSE and over one crore shares changed hands on NSE during the day. 
●    RIL is the country's most valued firm followed by TCS (Rs 4.95 lakh crore), HDFC Bank (Rs 4.81 lakh crore), ITC (Rs 3.25 lakh crore) and HDFC (Rs 2.74 lakh crore).

Current Affairs 23rd October 2017: WORLD NEWS

Japanese Prime Minister Abe wins big in national elections

Japanese media said Monday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and a small coalition partner had together secured at least 312 seats in the 465-seat lower house of parliament, passing the 310-barrier for a two-thirds majority. Four seats remained undecided.
●    The victory boosts Abe's chances of winning another three-year term next September as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party. 
●    That could extend his premiership to 2021, giving him more time to try to win a reluctant public over to his longtime goal of revising Japan's pacifist constitution.
●    In the immediate term, the win likely means a continuation of the policies Abe has pursued since he took office in December 2012 — a hard line on North Korea, close ties with Washington, including defense, as well as a super-loose monetary policy and push for nuclear energy. Stocks rose in Tokyo on Monday morning.
●    Abe's ruling coalition already has a two-thirds majority in the less powerful upper house. 
●    Having a so-called supermajority in both houses gives them virtually a free hand to push even divisive policies and legislation.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd October 2017

Important Current Affairs 22nd October 2017

Current Affairs 22nd October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Bi-Annual Naval Commanders’ Conference to be held at New Delhi from - 24-27 oct 17 

A four day Naval Commanders’ Conference is scheduled at New Delhi from 24-27 Oct 17. 
●    The Conference serves as a platform for institutionalised interaction between the Naval Commanders and senior government officials, as also, with the Chiefs of Indian Army and Indian Air Force.   
●    The Hon’ble RM will address and interact with the Commanders’ during the bi-annual conference. 
●    The Chief of the Naval Staff, with the Commanders’-in-Chief, will review major Operational, Materiel, Human Resource, Training and Administrative activities undertaken in the last six months and deliberate the way-ahead on important activities and initiatives. 
●    An interaction is also planned with Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog to provide the Commanders’ a perspective on broader national interests.   
●    The Navy’s combat readiness would be reviewed with focus on operational effectiveness of combat platforms, logistics and development of shore support infrastructure for sustaining distant operations. 

BSF organised Half Marathon 2017: Run For Martyrs 

The BSF Half Marathon-2017 - in the memory of martyrs was flagged-off by the Minister of State for Youth Affairs (I/C) & Sports and Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore here today. 
●    The marathon received overwhelming response of residents of Delhi and participants who registered to run for the cause. 
●    Total 4865 participants registered for the run. 
●    In addition, BSF Prahari Pariwar participated in large numbers. 
●    Shri Rathore paid tribute to the martyrs of the force and flagged-off half marathon. 
●    Other segment of the race 05 Kilometer run was flagged-off by the MoS (Home) Shri Kiren Rijiju. 
●    Shri Rijiju also participated in the run for martyrs with DG BSF Shri K K Sharma and other force members including members of BWWA. 
●    The BSF Half Marathon had the support of Padma Shri Ms P T Usha, Golden Girl of Indian Athletics, Padma Bhusan Shri Abhinav Bindra, Olympian Ace shooter, Arjuna Awardee Shri Amit Luthra, Golfer and Ms Swara Bhasker, Film Actress and all of them graced the occasion.

The Reserve Bank will list the marketing agencies for multimedia functions

The Reserve Bank is in the process of preparing general tender notices issued in print and electronic media as it is preparing to sign licensing agencies for the publication of multimedia and multilingual advertisements.
●    It has been said in the tender of the proposal released by RBI that the listed agencies will work for preparing, designing and printing advertisements for newspapers and for advertisement in television and radio.
●    Advertisement activities of the Reserve Bank include regular tender notices, multilingual multimedia public notification and information regarding the restoration of staff and creative marketing activities for print and electronic media.
●    There will also be an opportunity for video footage for television and jingles for radio in front of the listed agencies.
●    Apart from this, preparing print advertisement in dubbing and translation of miniature films, television advertisements, radio jingles and Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English and other listed languages. 

Tata Motors plans to change commercial vehicle business, opens 6 new dealerships

Tata Motors plans to make changes to regain market share in commercial vehicle business.
●    For this, the company is focusing on three things - the cost reduction, the product on time and the supply chain.
●    As part of the change strategy, Tata Motors will invest Rs 15,00 crores in various sections.
●    According to the release issued by Tata Motors, note-taking, BS IV norms from BS III and the GST implemented in July saw a decline in commercial vehicle business.
●    However, the company has started to emerge from this and the second quarter has registered strong growth in July-August-September 2017.
●    In order to strengthen its position, Tata Motors will open 6 new commercial vehicle dealerships and 40 new touch points in the region in the year 18.
●    In descending, Tata Motors has a market share of 60 percent in the medium and heavy commercial segment.
●    Along with this, the company has 77 dealerships and a network of 680 touch points.

Maruti becomes No. 1 exporter of PVs from India

Maruti Suzuki India has become the largest passenger vehicles exporter from India in the first half of the ongoing fiscal, dethroning Hyundai Motor India Ltd which has now been pushed to fourth spot behind Volkswagen and General Motors.
●    In the April-September period this fiscal, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) exported 57,300 units of passenger vehicles (PVs) as against 54,008 units in the year-ago period, up 6 per cent, according to the latest data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
●    The long-running number one exporter, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) on the other hand shipped 44,585 units as against 63,014 units in the year-ago period, a decline of 29.25 per cent.
●    The company is now behind Volkswagen and General Motors India in terms of export of PVs from India.
●    During the first half of the fiscal, Volkswagen India exported 50,410 units at a growth of 16.92 per cent. 
●    It is now the second biggest exporter of PVs from India behind MSI. Last year, it had exported 43,114 units during the same period.

Essar completes construction of Ro-Ro terminals in Gujarat

Essar Projects, the EPC arm of Ruias-led Essar Group, today said it has constructed and designed the ‘roll-on-roll-off’ (ro-ro) terminals at both Dahej and Ghogha ports, as part of its Rs 225 crore contract from the Gujarat government.
●    Essar Projects, the EPC arm of Ruias-led Essar Group, today said it has constructed and designed the ‘roll-on-roll-off’ (ro-ro) terminals at both Dahej and Ghogha ports, as part of its Rs 225 crore contract from the Gujarat government.  
●    Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 615 crore ‘roll-on-roll-off’ (ro-ro) ferry service between Ghogha in Saurashtra and Dahej in south Gujarat.  
●    The project was awarded by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) which has executed the ro-ro project, for constructing the ro-ro terminals and supporting onshore infrastructure at Dahej and Ghogha.
●    Congratulating the GMB on reaching the milestone, Essar Projects said: “A GMB project of national significance, the ro-ro ferry will bring down the travel time between Gujarat’s Ghogha and Dahej ports from 7 hours to just 2.5 hours”.  
●    The ro-ro ferry service will be able to carry about 500 passengers and 100-150 vehicles on each trip across the Gulf of Khambhat (also called Gulf of Cambay) over a 30 km (17 nautical miles) navigational channel created on the sea.  
●    Once services commence, the ferry is expected to do four round trips every day.

India, US trade policy forum meet in Washington on October 25

Issues including visa, greater market access for goods and intellectual property rights are expected to figure in the trade policy forum (TPF) meeting between India and the US on October 25 in Washington, an official said. 
●    Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu will attend the meet.
●    After the Trump administration took power, this would be the first formal interaction between trade authorities of the two countries. 
●    The last meeting was held in October here. 
●    The forum was set up in 2005 and the meeting is co-chaired by the Indian commerce minister and the US Trade Representative (USTR), with an aim to expand bilateral trade and investment.
●    The official, who did not wish to be named, said that on September 22, senior officers of both the countries took stock of the issues in run-up to this meet. 
●    It was a preparatory meeting for the ministerial level TPF.

ICAR to study if ‘cow urine’ can be used in organic farming

India’s premier farm research organisation Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been asked to study if ‘cow urine’ can be used to promote organic farming and submit its report in two months. 
●    According to a senior Niti Aayog official, the ICAR has been asked to look into the possibility of converting cow urine into amino acid for use as natural fertiliser to increase farm productivity.
●    The decision to request the ICAR to conduct this study was taken after a high-level meeting at the Niti Aayog, during which Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh talked about organic farming and also how cow urine, bio-waste and cow dung can be used in organic farming.
●    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also many times in the past has asked Niti Aayog to hold discussion with Singh as he had done lot of work in the field of organic farming in Bihar, the official said. 
●    Singh had reportedly told the Niti Aayog meeting that cow urine is a better alternative to chemical fertilisers and can increase the farm productivity as much as by 4-5 times.
●    Amino acids is used an essential nutrient for soil and plant health. 

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Important Current Affairs 21st October 2017

Important Current Affairs 21st October 2017


Current Affairs 21st October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

National Lata Mangeshkar awards to be given in Indore 

Madhya Pradesh Government is organising the National Lata Mangeshkar Award to honour the celebrities in the field of music for their contribution.
●    This time the award for year 2012 to 2016 will be given to the awardees.
●    It is to be noted that a grand award ceremony will be held at Indore’s Brilliant Convention Centre on October 26. 
●    It is to be noted that the Lata Mangeshkar Award is a national-level award instituted to honour works in the field of music. 
●    Various State Governments of India present awards with this name. 
●    The State Government of MP started this award in 1984. 
●    The award consists of a certificate of merit and a cash prize. 
●    This time the maestros receiving the award include music director Usha Khanna for the year 2012, Singer Alka Yagnik for the year 2013, Music Director Bhappi Lahiri for 2014, Singer Udit Narayan for 2015 and Music Director Anu Malik for the year 2016 will be conferred with National Lata Mangeshkar Award. 

Dharmendra Pradhan launches piped natural gas project in Odisha

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan Friday launched supply of piped natural gas (PNG) project under ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ (PMUG) in Odisha.
●    With this, GAIL started supply of environment-friendly PNG to 255 houses in Nalco Nagar located at Chandrasekharpur area in the state capital. 
●    The supply of PNG to a limited households was done ahead of its schedule in March 2018.
●    PMUG will pass through five states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. 
●    The longest stretch of the project, which is about 769km, will be built in Odisha. 
●    “This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India. 
●    Based on this gas-based pipeline, we are also planning to commission Talcher Fertiliser plant and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay foundation stone for this project in coming November”, Pradhan said.
●    City gas distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro–Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL).

Sazerac buys stake in John Distilleries

John Distilleries Private Limited (JDPL), a leading liquor maker in India, announced on Friday that Sazerac Company, a family-owned spirits company in the United States has acquired an equity stake in it.
●    Sazerac, owners of brands including Fireball, Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and E.H. Taylor Bourbon, had acquired an equity stake in JDPL from Gaja Capital, who would continue to remain partially invested in the company, a release said.
●    This strategic partnership marks Sazerac’s entry into the Indian market, one of the largest and fastest growing markets for spirits in the world, it added.
●    “Sazerac’s technological expertise coupled with a global portfolio of brands spread across all spirit categories will be an added advantage for JDPL,” said JDPL chairman and managing director Paul John.

Workers protest Tata Steel Netherlands-Thyssenkrupp merger

A workers’ group of Tata Steel’s Netherlands unit has raised concerns over the proposed Tata Steel-Thyssenkrupp merger of their steel operations in Europe in a 50:50 joint venture.
●    The major concern of Central Works Council(CWC) of Tata Steel Netherlands (TSN) is that, as per the MoU, the Supervisory Board of TSN will no longer be independent and that TSN’s Board of Directors will not be properly constituted, a company statement said.
●    However, Hans Fischer, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations has assured that the company will follow due diligence in consultation with all relevant stakeholders as Tata Steel progresses in the transaction.
●    He said the company has held a number of meetings and had constructive discussions and briefings with groups representing “our employees” including the European Works Council, the CWC and the UK Steel Committee besides the Supervisory Board and Board of Management of TSN.
●    On the other hand, the CWC said there is no clarity as to how the new business will be financed and where the liabilities will be placed in the business.
●    The MoU also raises many other questions, in particular regarding the impact on the downstream activities, it said.

Linking Aadhaar number to bank accounts is mandatory, says RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Saturday clarified that linking bank accounts to Aadhaar is mandatory under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, dismissing media reports which suggested that such a linkage is not mandatory.
●    “The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017,” it said in a statement.
●    RBI also said that the anti-money laundering rules which were amended in June 2017 have statutory force and banks have to implement them without awaiting further instructions.
●    The government had notified under PMLA that every bank account should be linked to Aadhaar by 31 December, failing which the accounts will become inoperative.
●    The central bank’s clarification comes after an RTI reply to said that it has not issued any directive that makes it mandatory to link bank accounts with Aadhaar number.
●    On 14 October, a fresh petition was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the government’s decision to link bank accounts and mobile phones to the 12-digit unique identity number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Arcelormittal joins race to acquire Bhushan Steel under bankruptcy code

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, has joined the bidding race for stressed steel assets in the country by expressing interest to acquire Bhushan Steel. 
●     LN Mittal-led ArcelorMittal has submitted an expression of interest (EoI) for Bhushan Steel, which has been referred to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. 
●    This provides ArcelorMittal, which failed to make much headway in setting up greenfield steel projects in India, an opening to pick up good steel assets in the country at what is widely believed to be reasonable prices, sources said. 
●    “We don’t comment on M&A speculation and rumour,” an ArcelorMittal spokesperson said in response to ET’s query. According to media reports, Korean steelmaker Posco, which faced delays in getting its proposed 10 mt greenfield steel unit in Odisha off the ground for over a decade, is also in the fray for stressed assets like Bhushan Steel and Essar Steel. 
●    India is one of the world's fastest growing markets for steel, including automotive steel, and the country is battling cheap imports from Japan and South Korea.

Sebi slaps Rs 20 lakh fine on Lancor Holdings' promoters

Markets regulator Sebi has slapped a fine of Rs 20 lakh on four promoters of Lancor Holdings for failing to make public announcements following acquisition of shares of the firm through bulk deals.
●    The promoters -- R V Shekar, Shyamala Shekar, Sangeetha Shekar and Swetha Shekar -- have to pay the fine 'jointly and severally', as per an order dated October 18 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
●    According to the regulator, R V Shekar along with persons acting in concert (PACs) -- Shyamala, Sangeetha and Swetha -- had acquired 0.99, 0.70, 0.54 and 0.61 per cent shares of the firm on four separate occasions during September 2009, by way of bulk deals.
●    Following the acquisitions, these entities were required to make public announcements under Sebi's SAST (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations.
●    "The notices (four promoters) by not making public announcements on acquiring shares of the company , have not only failed to comply with the provisions of SAST Regulations but have also deprived the shareholders of the exit opportunity at the relevant times which has to be viewed seriously," Sebi said.

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Important Current Affairs 20th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 20th October 2017

Current Affairs 20th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

PM visits Kedarnath, lays Foundation Stone for infrastructure projects

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited Kedarnath today. 
●    He offered prayers at the Kedarnath Temple, and laid the Foundation Stone for five infrastructure and development projects.
●    These include the development of retaining wall and ghat on the Mandakini River; development of retaining wall and ghat on Saraswati River; construction of main approach to Kedarnath Temple; development of Shankaracharya Kutir and Shankaracharya Museum; and development of houses for Kedarnath Purohits. 
●    The Prime Minister was briefed on the Kedarpur Reconstruction Project.
●    Addressing a gathering, the Prime Minister said he was happy to be in Kedarnath, a day after Diwali. 
●    He said that the start of a New Year is being celebrated in Gujarat today, and conveyed his greetings to everyone around the world.
●    Noting that the service of the people is the service of God, the Prime Minister pledged to devote himself fully to realising the dream of a developed India, by the time we mark 75 years of freedom in 2022. 
●    Recalling the natural calamity of 2013, the Prime Minister said that as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had come to do all that he could for the victims; and offered support from the State of Gujarat for the reconstruction effort.

Determination of Ceiling Prices of Drugs

The Government has been examining the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO) with a view to enhancing the accessibility and affordability of essential medicines at reasonable prices to the poor and needy while providing sufficient opportunity for innovation and competition to support the growth of the Pharmaceutical Industry. 
●    The Government has been actively interacting with the Industry and other stakeholders on these issues. 
●    Any impression regarding tightening of price control is both misleading and misplaced.
●    Under the provisions of DPCO, the prices of only those medicines  are fixed which are in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), numbering about 850 against more than 6,000 medicines available in the market of various strengths and dosages.  
●    This constitutes approximately 17% of the total pharmaceuticals market, in value terms.  
●    There is an Expert Committee which continuously evaluates the list of Essential Medicines.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs issues Notification for commencement of Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 relating to Valuation by Registered Valuers 

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued Notification for commencement of Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 [Valuation by Registered Valuers] with effect from 18th October, 2017. 
●    The Company's (Registered Valuers and Valuation) Rules, 2017 (Rules), which have been finalized after public consultation and detailed deliberations with stakeholders have also been issued simultaneously.
●    The Rules, inter alia, provide for Registration of Valuers for conduct of valuation under the Companies Act, 2013. 
●    The valuers, who may be individuals or partnership entities or companies, would be required to be registered with the authority specified by the Central Government. 
●    The Rules provide for registration of different category of valuers and lay down the requirements on their eligibility, qualifications and experience. 
●    The Registered Valuers are also required to be members of the Registered Valuers Organisations (RVOs), recognised by the authority under the Rules.  

Indra-2017 started

In a glittering opening ceremony at Vladivostok, Russia this morning Indian Task Force Commander Maj Gen ND Prasad and Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation Lt Gen Solomatin declared the tri-service Exercise INDRA 2017 open. 
●    The opening ceremony witnessed Maj Gen ND Prasad and Lt Gen Solomatin inspecting the smartly turned out contingents, which was followed by a march past by the tri-service contingents of both sides. 
●    The opening ceremony also witnessed an astounding display of traditional martial arts and folk dances by the Indian troops and a flypast by four fighter aircraft of Russian Federation Air Force. 
●    In his opening address, Maj Gen ND Prasad, the Indian Task Force Commander said that the initiative taken for the first ever tri-service exercise between both countries reflects the vibrancy of the continued Indo-Russian strategic partnership and that with the rich operational experience of both Russian and Indian armies in counter insurgency operations, both sides will gain immensely from each other and further develop their capabilities. 
●    Lt Gen Solomatin, Chief of Staff, Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation stated that the tri-service exercise will further strengthen the relationship between the two defence forces and lead to enhanced mutual cooperation between the two great countries. 
●    Lt Gen JS Negi, leader of the tri-services Observer delegation, during his media interaction, said that the conduct of the first ever tri-service exercise between the two countries is a significant step in mutual cooperation and marks an important milestone in the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

Depression over coastal Odisha, warning issued

The depression over coastal Odisha moved northward and lay centered at 0530 hrs IST of today, the October 20, 2017 over coastal Odisha near Latitude 20.8º N and longitude 86.5º E about 25Kms west of Chandbali. 
●    The system would move nearly northwards for some time and then north-northwestwards and weaken gradually into a well marked low pressure area during next 24 hrs.
●    Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over coastal Odisha and isolated heavy rainfall over interior Odisha during next 24 hours.
●    Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over Gangetic West Bengal during next 24 hours and isolated heavy rainfall over Sub-Himalayan west Bengal during next 48 hrs.
●    Rainfall at many places with isolated heavy rainfall likely over east Jharkhand, Mizoram & Tripura during next 24 hrs and over Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur during next 48 hrs.
●    Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall very likely over west Assam and Meghalaya and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over remaining parts of Assam during next 48 hrs.

Current Affairs 20th October 2017: DAY AND DAYS

Police Commemoration Day to be observed tomorrow 

The Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21st every year. 
●    The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh will attend the Police Commemoration Day Parade at the Police Memorial Ground here tomorrow. 
●    On the occasion, he will also lay wreath and pay homage at the Police Memorial.
●    The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending our borders with China in 1959. 
●    Indian Police personnel were responsible for manning the 2,500 mile long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.
●    On October 20, 1959, three reconnaissance parties were launched from Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh in preparation for further movement of an Indian expedition which was on its way to Lanak La. 
●    While members of two parties returned to Hot Springs by the afternoon of that day, the third one comprising of two Police Constables and a Porter did not return. 
●    All available personnel were mobilized early next morning in search of the missing personnel. 
●    A party of about 20 Police personnel led by Shri Karam Singh, DCIO proceeded ahead on horseback, while other followed on foot in three Sections.
●    At about mid day, Chinese Army personnel were seen on a hillock who opened fire and threw grenades at the party led by Shri Karam Singh. 

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Important Current Affairs 19th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 19th October 2017

Current Affairs 19th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

ONGC ready to increase production from old oilfields

Government Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is preparing to increase production from some of its old oilfields. The company will soon bid for oilfield service providers for this.
●    Company officials said that long-term contracts will be given for this and the oilfield service provider will be given pre-decided fees to increase the production.
●    For this project, the Executive Committee of ONGC will prepare a policy by the end of this month.
●    After this, the company will tender for bid Mangani within the next two months.
●    ONGC signed agreements with Slumberger and Helibartan for its aging field in Assam and the increase in production from Kalol Field in Gujarat.
●    But these agreements were canceled due to not being legally strong. After this, ONGC had decided to run on the competitive bidding model.
●    Under this proposed model, the service provider will receive the fee to maintain the 'Baseline' production of each increased unit of oil or gas production and field.

Carry oxygen cylinders on all trains: SC to Railways

The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for the railways to keep oxygen cylinders in all trains to ensure that the life-saving gas could be provided to travellers suffering from respiratory problems in case of emergency.
●    A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also directed the railways to take assistance of doctors from AIIMS to explore ways to put in place a system in moving trains to provide medical treatment to travellers if they take ill.
●    "The railways shall keep oxygen cylinders in trains so that anyone suffering from any respiratory problem can be given aid. 
●    If any passenger or his/her companion complains to the ticket collector or the attendant that he has some medical problem and immediate attention is required, it shall be the duty of the said officials to intimate the next railway station so that he/she can be given necessary medical assistance at the next railway station where the hospital is situated," the bench said.
●    The court passed the order on an appeal filed by the Centre challenging the Rajasthan high court's order directing the railways to provide a team of one medical officer, one nurse and one attendant in all long-distance trains to cater to the medical needs of passengers.
●    The government contended that it was not feasible to deploy doctors in trains and it was also not possible to install machines for medical check-up of sick passengers. 
●    It contended that it had launched a pilot project for providing medical treatment to passengers on moving trains, but it failed.

Supreme Court counters push for Aadhaar

Countering the government push to make Aadhaar compulsory for access to social welfare schemes, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said obtaining the 12-digit Unique Identification number, which requires the holder to part with his personal bio-metric data, and using it to avail himself of government subsidy was a voluntary exercise.
●    The court’s observations follows a series of recent government circulars making Aadhaar mandatory to access welfare schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Employees Pension Scheme. 
●    The government has made Aadhaar compulsory for beneficiaries, many of them the poorest of the poor, despite a Constitution Bench of the court directing the government in October 2015 that a citizen cannot be compelled to have Aadhaar as a pre-condition to access Centrally sponsored welfare schemes. 
●    In short, the court had made it clear that the government was not free to discriminate between a person who has the Aadhaar card and one who does not.
●    However, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar on Tuesday found no fault with the government’s choice to make Aadhaar mandatory for “non-welfare” activities like opening a bank account or filing Income Tax returns.

DIPP approved FDI for Madame Tussauds   single-brand retail

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has approved three foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of Merlin Entertainment-owned Madame Tussauds to undertake single-brand retail. 
●    Mountain Trail Foods, which operates the Chai Point outlets, has got approval for food retailing, bringing in FDI inflows of $10 million (Rs 65 crore). 
●    Kohler India Corp's proposal for single-brand retail has also been approved. 
●    The information is available on the foreign investment promotion and facilitation website. 
●    Madame Tussauds is expected to open its first museum in India in Delhi. 
●    The department has, so far, approved 20 single-brand retail proposals worth nearly Rs 4,900 crore for food product and single-brand retail trading, including those of Amazon, Grofers and Urban Ladder. 
●    Single brand trading applications that got the approval also include those of Acer, Fossil India and Bally International.
●    The department received more than 48 pending applications related to single brand retail and food retail after the abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. 

Tata Teleservices to raise Rs 20,000 crore

Tata Teleservices said it will be raising Rs 20,000 crore. 
●    This will be done via redeemable preference shares, non convertible debentures in one or more tranches or through loan from promoter group - Tata Sons and others
●    The company stated this decision will be finalized in its Board meeting scheduled on October 18, in its statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange. 
●    The telco has Tata Maharashtra unit (TTML) as its listed entity.
●    Last week, the telecom arm of Tata Sons announced its plans to sell its wireless business to Bharti Airtel in an cash free, debt free deal, making an exit from the mobility business where it was struggling for years.
●    The firm has a loan of around Rs 30,000 crore. 
●    On Thursday, Tata Communications Thursday said that it is holding 'exploratory talks' to buy the enterprise business of Tata Teleservices and its listed entity Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra).
●    In August, TTSL said it had not been able to satisfy may recall loans of Rs 1,911 crore as the telecom firm has not been able to satisfy them with its financial performance.

Mahindra Lifespace, HDFC to jointly invest in affordable housing projects

Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd, the real estate arm of Mahindra Group, has partnered with HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd to jointly invest Rs500 crore over the next three years to develop affordable housing projects across cities.
●    HDFC Capital, a unit of Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd, will invest through its HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-1.
●    The projects will be undertaken through a new entity called Mahindra Happinest Developers Ltd (MHDL), with a 51:49 equity shareholding between Mahindra Lifespace and HDFC Capital. 
●    The first development under the joint venture is ‘Happiest, Palghar’, a project which is expected to be launched in the latter half of 2017-18.
●    Mahindra Lifespace ventured into the affordable housing segment in 2014, through the brand, Happinest. 
●    It has since launched two projects—in Boisar near Mumbai and Avadi, Chennai—and has launched 1,600 units in these two projects and handed over close to 1,000 homes thus far. 
●    Homes under the Happiest brand are currently priced between Rs17-27 lakh.

OMC gets clearance for new bauxite mine in Odisha

Government has given final forest clearance to develop a new bauxite mine in Odisha.
●    Vedanta's Lanjigarh refinery, which is facing the shortage of bauxite from this mine, can get increased relief.
●    Right now the raw material is being imported for this refinery.
●    Environment Ministry has given forest clearance to mine in the Kodinagmal plateau of Odisha state-owned company Odisha Mining Corp.
●    This mine has a reserve of 8.1 million tonnes and it can produce 3 million tons annually.
●    On September 25, the ministry had allowed OMC to divert 435 hectares of forest land through a note.
●    However, environmental activists and some villagers are opposing it.

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Important Current Affairs 18th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 18th October 2017

Current Affairs 18th October 2017: INTERNATIONAL RELATION

Signing of MoC on Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) between India & Japan 

On the occasion of the visit of the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to Tokyo, India and Japan concluded the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) on 17th October 2017.
●    The MoC was signed by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan on behalf of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of Government of India with Mr. Katsunobu Kato, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan in a solemn ceremony at the Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare in Tokyo, Japan. 
●    The MoC on TITP is expected to significantly expand the bilateral cooperation between India and Japan in the field of skill development. 
●    India is the third country with which Japan has signed the MoC as per the requirements of the Technical Intern Training Act scheduled to enter into force in November 2017.
●    In the bilateral Joint Statement issued during the visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in September 2017, the two Prime Ministers expressed confidence that synergy between Japan’s advanced technology and India’s rich human resources can transform both countries into new centres of production in the global industrial network. 
●    In this regard, they underscored the potential to further cooperate in human resources development and exchanges utilising such frameworks as Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program (TITP).

Current Affairs 18th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas conferred with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award on October 2, 2017

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) has been awarded with Swachh Bharat Inter-Ministerial Award by Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation Shri S.S. Ahluwalia in the presence of Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, and Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation Shri R.C. 
●    Jigajinagi in recently held Swachh Bharat National Award ceremony on Gandhi Jayanti, 02nd October 2017 in New Delhi. 
●    The award in the inter-Ministerial category was presented to MoPNG on the basis of the activities undertaken in the past three years and was received by Senior Adviser (PNG). 
●    This event was organized to mark the third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Swachh Bharat Diwas, and the conclusion of Swachhata Hi Seva fortnight.
●    Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been proactively involved in making India clean mainstreaming Swachhta in our regular activities. 
●    The focus of MoPNG has been not only to garner people’s involvement but also to bring about behavioural and attitudinal change through unique/special contribution to the cause of Swachh Bharat Mission, through innovative and unconventional practices/approaches. 

EPFO introduces a new facility for its members to link their respective UAN with Aadhaar online 

On the eve of Deepawali, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is pleased to introduce a new facility for its esteemed members having Universal Account Number (UAN) and other relevant details to link their respective UAN with Aadhaar online. 
●    This, in turn, would facilitate the members, a better and speedy EPFO services.
●    Using the facility, EPFO members can online link their respective UAN with Aadhaar. 
●    While using the facility, the member will have to provide his/her UAN. An OTP will be sent to his/her mobile linked with UAN. 
●    After OTP verification, the member will have to provide his/her Aadhaar Number. 
●    Another OTP will be sent to his/her mobile/email linked with Aadhaar. 
●    After OTP verification, if UAN details are matched with Aadhaar details, then UAN will be linked with Aadhaar. 
●    After linking, the EPFO member may avail online EPFO services linked with Aadhaar.

Exhibition “Decorated Arms & Armours” from National Museum Reserve Collection Begin Today 

An exhibitions entitled “Decorated Arms & Armours” displaying select daggers, swords, armours as well as pistols from National Museum’s reserve collection, which represents different time period, region, technique and customs associated with these beautiful masterpieces, began here today. 
●    Director General, National Museum Dr. B.R. Mani inaugurated it. The exhibition will be on displayed till 5th November, 2017. 
●    The history of Indian arms and armours begins in pre and proto historic times, however in the historical context they are testified by several sculptures, painting and coins during the medieval period, there was considerable ingenuity and craftsmanship in manufacturing them. 
●    During the Sultanate and the Mughal rule, weapons underwent significant modifications, and weapons with Persian, Arab and Turkish influences became common. Examples are the Shamsheer from Persia and the Zulfikar from Arabia. 
●    A variety of daggers, imported weapons for self-protection and hand to hand combat were also in vogue. 
●    There were regional variants like the Jamadhar, Jambia and Khanjar of Mughal the Chura of Afghans, the Khapwa of Rajputs, the Qurauli of Sikhs and the Khukri of Nepalis. 
●    Many daggers were adorned with ivory, jade, crystal and soap stone and sometimes embellished with calligraphy. 

Madhya Pradesh on third position in milk position in India

Madhya Pradesh has achieved third position in milk production in the country, the state’s animal husbandry
●    minister, Antar Singh Arya, said. “Due to sustained efforts, the state has achieved third position in milk production in the country. 
●    It was at sixth or seventh place 10 to 12 years back and last year it was at the fourth place,” Arya said after introducing the new packaging of Sanchi ghee’s 5 kg and 15 kg packs yesterday.
●    The ghee is manufactured by MP State Co-operative Dairy Federation. “We are striving hard and have set a target to become number one in milk production in the country,” Arya said. 
●    He said the new packaging is totally safe, leak-proof, made from food-grade plastic and there is no scope of any adulteration in it as its seal cannot be tampered with.
●    The state government is committed to doubling the farmers’ income by 2022 and in it the state’s veterinary department has a major role to play, the minister said. 
●    Milk producers were this year paid Rs 200 crore, which is maximum by the state government so far, animal husbandry department’s principal secretary Ajit Kesari said on the occasion.

LT Foods sets up ready-to-heat organic rice plant in US 

The company is aiming to generate revenue of over US $20 million in next five year from this product to be sold under organic food brand ‘EcoLife’, its CEO & MD Ashwani Arora said.
●    “We have set up a plant in the US to produce ready-to- heat organic rice. Trial run is happening and production will start from December. The total market size is US $265 million in the US and growing at 14 per cent,”.
●    This plant, the company’s fourth facility outside India, will produce 20 million pouches of ready to heat organic rice initially and expand to 70 million pouches by 2018.
●    On investment, he said the initial capital investment on the plant is US $5 million and the company expects to generate revenue of US $21 million in next 5 years.
●    “We already have a strong presence in the US through our Basmati rice brand ‘Royal’ and we will be leveraging our strong presence and experience to grow our US market even further,”.
●    LT Foods basmati rice brand ‘Royal’ is largest brand in the US with a market share of more than 40 per cent, he added.
●    The company, which posted a turnover of about Rs 3,300 crore during last fiscal, is continuously diversifying its product portfolio.
●    Besides, selling basmati rice under many brands, including ‘Daawat’, LT Foods has been focusing on organic food and rice snacks.

Maha govt releases Rs 4,000cr of loan waiver scheme

The Maharashtra government has released a sum of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the over Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced today.
●    Disbursal, in the first phase, will cover more than 8 lakh farmers, Fadnavis said as he listed initiatives taken by his government towards increasing investment in the agriculture sector.
●    The remaining Rs 800 crore will be in the form of incentive for 3.78 lakh farmers who are paying their loans on time,” he said.
●    The release of funds under the scheme, announced in June, will be a continuous process, the chief minister said, adding that by November 15, 75-80 per cent of the disbursement will be completed.
●    “The first decision that we took after coming to power (in 2014) was that we did not keep our work limited to relief and rehabilitation, because that was our job anyway,” Fadnavis said at an event organised for disbursement of the loan waiver amount into accounts of farmers.
●    Fadnavis said that from Rs 21,000 crore in 2011-12, investment in the agriculture sector had increased by almost three times to Rs 63,000 crore now.

Sebi to auction 4 properties of Pancard Clubs

Looking to recover over Rs 7,000 crore of investors’ money in the Pancard Clubs case, markets regulator Sebi has decided to auction four properties of the company, in December, for a total reserve price of over Rs 270 crore.
●    The auction of the properties, spread across Maharashtra, and Goa, include a four star hotel and office units, will be conducted on December 7, Sebi said in a notice today.
●    Total reserve price of these properties is pegged at Rs 270.51 crore.
●    The regulator has engaged SBI Capital Markets to assist it for sale of these properties.
●    The market watchdog said the bidders should make their own independent enquiries regarding the encumbrances, litigation, attachments, acquisition and liabilities of the property put on auction prior to submitting their bids.
●    Earlier in May, Sebi had invited bids for sale of shares held by the company and its directors.
●    The order came after the company failed to comply with Sebi’s direction in February this year ordering it to refund over Rs 7,000 crore to investors raised through illegal collective investment schemes (CIS).

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