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CURRENT AFFAIRS SEPTEMBER 12 TO 20 2017 ---

12th September 2017
Pluto mountains named
2 mountain ranges on Pluto have been named after Tenzing Norgay & Edmund Hillary respectively by International Astronomical Union. These are the 1st geological features to be named following close flyby by New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Names pay homage to pioneering space missions, historic pioneers who crossed new horizons in exploration & scientists associated with Pluto & Kuiper Belt.
London world’s top financial centre
London remains the globe’s most attractive financial centre, extending its lead over New York. London was placed first, followed by New York & Hong Kong in the Z/Yen global financial centres index, which ranks 92 financial centres on factors such as infrastructure & access to high-quality staff. New York’s ranking fell 24 points from last year, largest fall among the top contenders.
India, Afghanistan exchange four pacts
India and Afghanistan exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership. The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi. India will also supply wheat to Afghanistan in coming weeks through Chahbahar port.
HDFC Bank pips TCS
HDFC Bank has pipped Tata Consultancy Services to become the 2nd most valued company in terms of market capitalisation. The bank’s market value stood at Rs 4,71,323 crore compared with TCS’ Rs 4,70,780.75 crore. HDFC Bank’s share have increased by 53% this year on quarter-after-quarter strong results. Reliance Industries with market capitalisation of Rs 5,33,070 stood at the top of the list
Online platform for food inspection
To bring transparency in food safety inspection & sampling, FSSAI has put in place a nationwide online platform. The web-based FoSCoRIS system will help verify compliance of food safety & hygiene standards by food businesses as per govt norms. States have been told to appoint a nodal officer for this purpose & send details of officers of state food authority for integrating them with FoSCoRIS
Inland Water Transportation Summit
Kochi will host the 5th edition of Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transportation Business Summit 2017. The summit will be an initiative to explore immense potential of coastal shipping & waterways as well as an effort to build a shared commitment. It will create a platform to discuss various topics such as Indian Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport: Policies, Current Updates & Vision.
BAI to confer Lifetime Achievement award
The renowned Indian Badminton legend Prakash Padukone has been selected for the first life time award by Badminton Association of India. Padukone had won the 1980 All England, besides bagging a bronze at the 1983 World Championship in Copenhagen. He also won a gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He was bestowed with the Arjuna award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982.
Brilliant Basics acquisition completed
Infosys has completed the acquisition of London-based Brilliant Basics. Through this acquisition, Infosys further expands its worldwide connected network of Digital Studios that are focused on fulfilling the needs of global clients for end-to- end digital transformation solutions Infosys had acquired the company in a cash deal worth GBP 7.5 mn, including earn-out & employee retention amounts
Mohan nominated to Jet Airways’ board
Harsh Mohan, Etihad Group’s chief of support services has been nominated to Jet Airways board. He joined the airline as vice president, internal audit and risk management in 2011, before progressing to senior VP audit, compliance and risk management in 2013. So far Jet has announced just a single nomination-Mohan-to the board. Etihad currently owns about a quarter of Jet.
NPS upper age limit raised
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority has announced that the upper age limit for joining the National Pension Scheme had been raised to 65 years, from the current 60. The aim is to open up pensions to sectors that are without pensions. NPS has emerged as a scheme for income security of senior citizens and grew by over 100 per cent last year.
World’s most expensive coffee
India, Asia’s 3rd-largest producer & exporter of coffee, has started producing world’s most expensive coffee, in Coorg district of Karnataka. The Civet coffee, also called as Luwark coffee, is expensive because of uncommon method of producing such a coffee. It is produced from the coffee beans digested by civet cat. The feces of this cat are collected, processed and sold.
March against child abuse
Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi launched a march across the country to mobilise action against sexual abuse and trafficking of children. Starting from the southernmost tip of peninsular India, Kanyakumari, and passing through Kashmir, the Bharat Yatra will culminate in New Delhi on October 16. He urged the youth to join the campaign to ensure the safety and security of children.
New avenues for cooperation
PM Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with Belarus President Lukashenko to bring new momentum to bilateral engagement, particularly in areas of trade & investment. His visit takes place in a year when Belarus & India are celebrating 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. Two sides are likely to exchange views & assessments on regional & multilateral issues of mutual interest
Impact of smart city projects
To measure quality & impact of ongoing smart city projects, Centre will hold a contest carrying total prize money of Rs 50 lakh. A contest is aimed at recognising & rewarding cities, projects & innovative ideas that promote goals of Smart City Mission. Housing & urban affairs ministry has circulated a concept note & guidelines on ‘India Smart Cities Awards Contest, 2017’ to all States & UT’s
Firodia takes over as SIAM president
Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia has been elected as the new President of the automobile industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Firodia headed SIAM in 1990-91 and 1991-92 as well. Firodia joined the Force Motors board in 1975 and led the company as Managing Director till 2009. Force Motors is a pioneer in the automobile industry in India for last 60 years.
Sumit Nagal wins ITF Futures
Sumit Nagal blasted Colin van Beem 6-3, 6-0 in the singles final to justify the top billing in the 8th MCC – S R Subramaniam Memorial ITF Futures Men’s tennis championship. Nagal, who is ranked 261 in the world will pocket 18 ranking points and a cheque for $2,160 for his effort. The top-seed played fluently from the start, stroking the ball and kept his rival on the run.
China mulls petrol car ban
China is gearing up to ban petrol and diesel cars, a move that would boost electric vehicles. The plan would follow decisions by France and Britain to outlaw the sale of such cars & vans from 2040 to clamp down on harmful emissions. The Chinese govt in June introduced draft regulations compelling automakers to produce more electrically-powered vehicles by 2020 through a complex quota system.
Pawan Chamling honoured
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was honoured for his pioneering work in the field of organic farming during a ceremony at Lagau on the occasion of the One World Festival. Chamling was conferred the Grand Prix Award during the One World Award ceremony. It took Sikkim 13 years to fully implement organic farming since the idea was mooted way back in 2003.
Senior World Championships
Coastal city of Kochi is all set to host the BWF World Senior Badminton Championships from Sept 11 to 17. The week-long tournament will see a total of 665 players from 40 countries battle it out in 8 different age groups. The championship will be held in India for the first time. A total of 175 players will represent India including Olympians — Abhinn Shyam Gupta, Nikhil Kanetkar & V Diju
National kickboxing championship
Maharashtra has won the Chief Minister’s cup with 45 gold medals at the National kickboxing championship being held in Raipur. Chhattisgarh secured second position with 27 gold and Haryana third with 15 gold medals. Overall 2000 players from 27 states participated in the tournament which was held in various weight categories total 500 bouts was organised.

13th September 2017
Govt launches hackathon
Ministry for Electronics & Information Technology has launched a nationwide hackathon ‘OpenGovDataHack’ to support & showcase potential ideas from inner India. NIC & IAMAI have collaborated to conduct hackathon at Jaipur, Chennai, Noida, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Hyderabad & Surat. It aims to enable participants to develop their ideas into apps/infographics primarily by use of open government data
Bharti Airtel, SK Telecom team up
Bharti Airtel & SK Telecom have announced a strategic partnership under which Airtel will leverage latter’s expertise to build advanced telecom network in India. Partnership will work across several areas including developing bespoke software to improve network experience. Two companies will also collaborate on an on-going basis to evolve standards for 5G, & Network Functions Virtualisation.


Bill to increase tax-free gratuity
Centre has approved an amendment Bill that increases limit of tax-free gratuity up to Rs 20 lakh for employees belonging to public as well as private sector. The current upper ceiling on gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, is Rs 10 lakh. Gratuity is a sum of money an employee receives from his or her employee in exchange of services rendered to the organisation.
Force Motors, Rolls-Royce Power tie up
Force Motors has entered into a non-binding joint venture agreement with Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG to produce engines for power generation & rail application for Indian and global markets. Joint venture with Rolls-Royce will be Force Motor’s first step towards diversifying into non-auto segment. Force Motors will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture while Rolls-Royce will hold the rest.
New CMD of United India Insurance
The Union government has appointed M Nagaraja Sharma as the chairman and managing director of United India Insurance. Sharma, currently the director and general manager of UII, is likely to assume the charge of his new post tomorrow. The post of chairman and MD was vacant after the retirement of Milind Kharat a few months ago.
Global Human Capital Index
India has been placed at a low 103 rank, the lowest among BRICS economies, on the WEF’s Global Human Capital Index. Among the South Asian countries also, India was ranked lower than Sri Lanka and Nepal, although higher than neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan. India was ranked 105th on this list last year, while Finland was on the top which has pushed by Norway to second place this year.
Thomson as 1st special envoy for oceans
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Peter Thomson, outgoing president of General Assembly as the 1st special envoy for oceans. Peter Thomson played a leading role at first-ever UN conference on oceans in June. He will lead UN advocacy & public outreach efforts inside & outside of UN system, ensuring that positive outcomes of Ocean Conference, are fully analysed & implemented.
Tendulkar launches Mission-24
Sachin Tendulkar has launched Mission-24 – A programme aimed at improving quality of life in one of Mumbai’s poorest wards through collaborative efforts. Under Mission-24, efforts will be made to provide basic amenities to residents of M-East ward that includes slums of Shivaji Nagar, Deonar & Mankhurd. Aim is to provide amenities like schools & colleges, aanganwadis & health post in the ward
First advanced Homoeopathy Virology lab
MoS for AYUSH, Shripad Naik inaugurated India’s 1st State of art virology laboratory at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Research Institute for Homoeopathy in Kolkata. Established at a cost of Rs. 8 cr it is the only one in India for conducting basic & fundamental research in Homoeopathy for viral diseases. New drugs & Technologies would be developed here to combat challenges of viral diseases
Citizenship to Chakmas, Hajong refugees
Centre is all set to grant citizenship to Chakma & Hajong refugees who have been living in Arunachal Pradesh for more than half a century. Citizenship will not entitle these refugees to the rights enjoyed by Scheduled Tribes in the state. Chakmas & Hajongs were inhabitants of Chittagong Hill Tracts of East Pakistan. They had to flee when their land was submerged by Kaptai dam in the 1960s.
Raj Shah gets key White House position
Indian-American Raj Shah, has been appointed to a key position by the US President in his communications team. He formerly served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director. He was head of Opposition Research in Republican National Committee before he moved to White House. He will now serve as Deputy Assistant to President & Principal Deputy Press Secretary.
First female President of Singapore
Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of parliament from the Muslim Malay minority, did not have to face an election after authorities decided her rivals did not meet strict eligibility criteria. She meets the criteria set out for those in the public sector, having held office for at least 3 years as Speaker. She will be Singapore’s 1st female President & the first Malay head of state in 47 years.
GoM to monitor, resolve IT challenges
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has constituted a Group of Ministers to monitor & resolve IT challenges faced in the implementation of Goods & Services Tax. The Group of Ministers has been constituted under the convenorship of Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. The group will be assisted in its work by chairman & chief executive officer of the Goods and Services Tax Network.
Reliance Energy launches ELEKTRA
Reliance Energy has launched a digital assistance robot, ELEKTRA, to handle and resolve consumer complaints within minutes. The bot is powered by artificial intelligence to provide automated machine responses to customer complaints, requests and enquiries. In case of technical and no-supply complaints, ELEKTRA will provide real time responses with help of integrated SCADA and GIS systems.
Flipkart introduces anti-theft packaging
Flipkart has developed India’s 1st anti-theft packaging to secure goods from in-transit theft & tampering. It will ensure that in case a package has been tampered, the next supply chain person or customer can easily detect it & not accept the package. It will enable Flipkart to squarely tackle issue related to pilferage, while reducing packaging material cost, packing process & shipment volume
Mahendra Pratap Mall appointed IRCTC CMD
Mahendra Pratap Mall has been appointed as the chairman & managing director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years. He is at present director (finance) in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
Earthquake warning system
IIT Roorkee has successfully completed its pilot project on early earthquake warning system. The project will be placed across all major cities in North India which are prone to earthquake. A seismic monitor will be placed near earthquake fault area where seismic waves will be processed & transmit information to processing centers, which in turn can issue an earthquake warning in real-time.
Cabinet approves implementation of DIDF
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund with an outlay of Rs.10,881 cr during 2017-18 to 2028-29. It will focus on building an efficient milk procurement system by setting up of chilling infrastructure & installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment. It will be implemented by NDDB & NCDC through End Borrowers.
BSNL mobile tower assets to be hived off
The Union Cabinet has approved hiving off the mobile tower assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd into a separate company, fully owned by BSNL. This approval authorizes BSNL to monetize its telecom tower infrastructure with the formation of a separate subsidiary company. There are around 4.42 lakh mobile towers in the country out of which more than 66 thousand are of BSNL.
RBI to introduce Rs 100 Coin
Reserve Bank of India will introduce 100 rupees coin to mark the birth centenary of AIADMK founder Late Dr M G Ramachandran. The face of the coin will bear Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the centre with Satyamev Jayate inscribed below on it in Devnagari script. RBI will also issue new Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins to honour the former Tamil Nadu chief minister and the Bharat Ratna-winning singer.

14th September 2017
Smaaash raises Rs280 crore
Sachin Tendulkar-backed sports-based entertainment company Smaaash Entertainment has raised Rs 280 cr through debt & equity. Smaaash owns and operates sports-centric digital entertainment centres for games such as cricket, football, go-karting, bowling & a host of virtual games. This is not the 1st round of institutional fund-raising for Smaaash. In 2014, it raised Rs 65 cr from FidelisWorld
Vincent dies during open heart surgery
Frank Vincent, veteran actor who is known for his role in films like “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas”, died during open heart surgery. He most notably appeared as Tony Soprano’s arch nemesis, Phil Leotardo in the “The Sopranos” starting in season five and until the series’ conclusion in 2007. Frank starred in a number of Martin Scorsese films during his career, which spanned 41 years.
HSBC in tie-up with Sa-Dhan
HSBC has entered into an agreement with microfinance industry association Sa-Dhan to develop digital ecosystem for India’s unbanked segment. Bank will provide technology expertise to train & educate microfinance consumers at grassroots level. HSBC will run a pilot in West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka & Maharashtra. It will involve creating digital hubs with POS machines & internet connectivity
1st global map of water on Moon created
Scientists have created 1st map of water trapped in uppermost layer of Moon’s soil which may prove useful to future lunar explorers. Scientists from Brown University used a new calibration of data taken from Nasa’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft to quantify how much water is present on a global scale. Signature of water is present nearly everywhere on Moon
India out of top 100
Indian football team has dropped 10 places to be placed 107 in the latest FIFA ranking released today. Sunil Chhetri-led side notched up 2 victories & a draw in three matches after they were placed 97th last month. India had achieved one of their best rankings in recent history when they climbed to the 96th spot in July. India have dropped below the 100th spot for the first time since May.
India, Japan ink 15 agreements
India & Japan have signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in several key areas including investment promotion, civil aviation & science and technology. The agreements were signed after 12th annual summit talks in Gandhinagar. The two countries also agreed upon a mutual investment support road map. Japan invested $4.7 bn in India during 2016-17, 80% higher than last year.
Bandhan Bank appoints managers for IPO
Bandhan Bank has appointed Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Axis Bank, JM Financial & Kotak Mahindra Bank as lead managers to manage its proposed IPO. Kotak Mahindra Bank will act as the left lead in the issue. The final decision on the proposed IPO will be subject to all regulatory approvals. Bandhan is the first microfinance institution to receive universal banking licence in 2015
Manisha Singh to key diplomatic position
Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American lawyer Manisha Singh to a key administration position in State Department, making her in charge of economic diplomacy. If confirmed by Senate she would replace Charles Rivkin as assistant secretary of state for economic affairs. She is a former deputy assistant secretary of state in Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs.
Pacts with Morocco and Armenia cleared
Union Cabinet has approved signing of an agreement with Morocco on healthcare and another with Armenia on cooperation in disaster management. MoU with Morocco, once signed, will see cooperation in the fight against child cardiovascular diseases and cancer. MoU with Armenia seeks to put in place a system so that the 2 countries benefit from the disaster management mechanisms of each other.
Brian Acton leaves company
Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp which was later acquired by Facebook has announced that he is leaving the company to start a non-profit venture of his own. Acton had co-founded WhatsApp with Jan Koum in 2009 and agreed to sell it to Facebook in 2014 for approximately $19 billion in cash and stock. The duo worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp. Acton had spent 8 years with WhatsApp
Coach for women boxers resigns
India’s 1st ever foreign coach for women boxers, Stephane Cottalorda has resigned within a month. He complained about delay in salary payment & lack of professionalism in national federation. His resignation comes as a blow to the women’s team, which is gearing up for the Asian Championships in November in Vietnam. Cottalorda is a certified coach in AIBA Pro-Boxing & World Series of Boxing.
Container Terminal of the Year
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal was awarded “Container Terminal of the Year” Award for above 0.6 mn TEUs category at Gateway Awards. JNPCT won for its proactive strategies to ease congestion, smooth delivery of containers & revamping of infrastructure to support trade amidst adverse conditions. Gateway Award was instituted to recognise & promote best practices in Maritime industry.


Electric vehicle policy
Karnataka has become the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy. The state estimates that it will be able to create employment for 55,000 individuals over the next few years through electric vehicle industry. Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 cr from companies looking at R&D and manufacturing of electric vehicles in the state.
HCL CFO S G Murali quits
HCL Infosystem’s Group Chief Financial Officer S G Murali has resigned from the company. Deputy CFO Kapil Kapur has been given the charge of CFO post to ensure smooth transition of duties. Murali was associated with HCL Infosystems since April 1, 2015. The Audit Committee of the company accepted Murali’s resignation, which was also endorsed by the Board of Directors.
Foundation stone for bullet train
Prime Minister Modi & his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train b/w Ahmedabad & Mumbai. The Rs 1.10 lakh cr train project b/w Ahmedabad and Mumbai is expected to be completed by 2022. Project is a joint venture b/w Indian Railways & Japan’s Shinkansen Technology. Japan has extended a soft loan for the ambitious project conceptualised by Modi
Rajiv Kumar resigns from DHFL board
Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has resigned from the board of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation as independent director post. He has been an independent director on the board of the company since 2015. Kumar, an economist took over as the Niti Aayog vice chair from Sept 1, replacing Indian-American economist Arvind Panagariya who returned to academia in US.
Team to track loan default resolutions
State Bank of India has set up a team of experts to deal with the resolution process of at least 32 defaulters. All these cases have been identified by Reserve Bank of India in its 2 lists of around 40 defaulters sent to banks. SBI has exposure to at least 20 accounts that are part of 2nd list of defaulter accounts. The move to set up a dedicated team is to ensure quicker decision making.
Google to launch mobile payment service
Joining the digital payment bandwagon in India, Google is reportedly launching a UPI based digital payment service called “Tez” as early as next week. Tez will offer payment options beyond the existing ones like Google Wallet or Android Pay. Tez will include support for the government-backed Unified Payments Interface and other consumer payment services including Paytm and MobiKwik.
Hindi day celebrated
Hindi Divas is an annual day celebrated on 14 September in India. It serves to promote & propagate Hindi language. It was on this day in 1949 that the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the country. Hindi Divas is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Beohar Rajendra Simha, who contributed in highlighting the importance of Hindi.
India starts ‘Operation Insaniyat’
India has started Operation Insaniyat to provide assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crisis being faced on account of large influx of Rohingya refugees. Under it, relief material consisting of items including rice, pulses, sugar, salt, biscuits & mosquito nets will be provided to the affected people. 1st tranche will be brought to Chittagong by an Indian Air Force plane.
15th September 2017
One of the largest non govt contracts
Touted as one of the largest non-govt contracts, Dell Technologies announced that GE will use Dell infrastructure & end-user computing solutions to support GE’s ongoing digital transformation efforts. Under the deal, Dell becomes the primary IT infrastructure supplier for GE. GE will now use Dell EMC servers, storage and backup aiming to enhance the reliability of its IT infrastructure.
Animal Law set up at NALSAR
India’s first Centre for Animal Law has been established at the city-based NALSAR University of Law. Centre will create curriculum on animal welfare laws, including developing topics for research. Centre will also conduct workshops on animal laws & animal welfare issues. Humane Society International, India will work with NALSAR University to steer and coordinate the activities of the centre
Astra completes development trials
indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air missile moved one step closer to induction into the Air Force after successfully completing development trials. A total of 7 trials were conducted against Pilotless Target Aircrafts successfully. Missile was tested in various missions & all sub-systems including radio frequency seeker performed accurately, meeting all mission parameters.
India’s forex reserves top $400 billion
The country’s forex reserves surged by USD 2.604 billion to reach an all-time high of USD 400.726 billion. The foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves, increased by USD 2.568 billion to USD 376.209 billion, according to data by the RBI. The country’s reserve position with the IMF also increased by USD 21.4 million to USD 2.304 billion.
Jane Austen 10-pound note launched
A new plastic 10 pound note featuring renowned author Jane Austen has gone into circulation in Britain. Austen is the first female writer to feature on a British banknote, replacing a paper 10 pound note which featured a portrait of naturalist Charles Darwin. The new Jane Austen 10 pound note joins the Winston Churchill five pound note in the first series of polymer Bank of England banknotes
High-level talks on Indus Waters Treaty
A two day high-level talks between India and Pakistan on technical issues of the Indus Waters Treaty has begun in Washington. These meetings are a continuation of a discussion on how to safeguard the Treaty for the benefit of the people in both the countries. IWT was signed in 1960 after 9 years of negotiations b/w India & Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.
IndusInd Bank secures $200 million loan
IndusInd Bank has secured up to $200 million loan from Asian Development Bank to serve low income women borrowers in rural areas. This 7 year senior loan will help the bank to expand its efforts to finance underserved people of the country in less developed states As per the agreement, 95% of funding will go towards credit for women borrowers.


Swachhta Hi Seva campaign
Centre will launch a nation-wide, fortnight-long sanitation campaign to highlight govt’s flagship cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission. The initiative, which is being coordinated by ministry of drinking water & sanitation, will include ‘sharamdaan’ or voluntary work & will focus on mass mobilisation. The campaign will be launched by President Kovind from Ishworiganj village in Kanpur
MPEDA bags Rajbhasha Keerti Award
The Marine Products Export Development Authority has been awarded National level Rajbhasha Keerti Award for the third consecutive year. The award has been given to The Marine Products Export Development Authority for the best Implementation of Official language in the organisation. MPEDA Chairman A Jayathilak received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at Vigyan Bhawan.
Most expensive office location
According to CBRE, Connaught Place has slipped one position to become 10th most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of $111 per sq ft. Bandra Kurla Complex is at 16th rank while Nariman Point is at 30th position in CBRE’s latest report. Hong Kong’s (Central) ranked first with overall prime office rent of USD 269 per sq ft per year, followed by Beijing (Finance Street).
Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar
Vijaya Bank has bagged the first prize under the Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar (Region C) for the year 2016-17. The bank got the award for active implementation of Hindi in its day-to-day activities. President Kovind gave away the award to MD and CEO, R. A. Sankara Narayanan. Vijaya Bank is a public sector bank headquartered at Bangalore & is one of the nationalised banks in India.
Goa to host 36th National Games
The Indian Olympic Association has formally awarded to Goa the rights to host the 36th National Games. The National Games of India comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. The 2015 National Games was organised in Trivandrum and was associated with green protocols.
Ban Ki-Moon Tabbed for IOC Ethics Chair
Former U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon has been elected chair of International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission. Ban, who had close ties with IOC during his time as UN head was elected on a 4 year term & succeeds Senegal’s Youssoupha Ndiaye. His appointment comes at a time when the Olympic body is battling to improve its image amid a string of corruption cases involving senior members.
Sweden holds biggest war games in 20 years
Sweden has launched its biggest war games in 2 decades with support from NATO countries amid concerns over threat posed by Russia’s growing strength. Around 1,500 troops from US, France & other NATO allies are taking part in the exercise, dubbed Aurora. Sweden has been deeply troubled by Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula Crimea & its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Happy Engineer’s Day
Nation is celebrating Engineer’s Day to mark 156th birth anniversary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, one of the greatest engineers India has produced. Visvesvaraya was not only known for his contributions in field of engineering but was also called precursor of economic planning in India. It is a significant occasion considering the fact that India produces close to 20 lakh engineers a year
Maha Mission 1 Million
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched ‘Maharashtra Mission 1 Million’ initiative under which over 10 lakh students across the state will play football. It will not only create football players and lovers of the game, but will also help in overall development of the state. The FIFA U17 World Cup is happening for the first time in India and in Maharashtra.
Indian swimmers win 47 medals
Indian swimmers won 47 medals, including eight golds, at the 9th Asian Age-group Aquatic Championship. Prakash won gold and silver in men’s open category in 200m butterfly and 800m freestyle, respectively while Madhu bagged silver in open men category in 100m backstroke event. Katariya won gold in 200m freestyle and silver in 100m freestyle in womens open category.
HDFC Bank is India’s top brand
HDFC Bank has topped the list of the country’s top 50 brands according to a report released by WPP Plc and Kantar Millward Brown. HDFC Bank’s brand value is estimated at $17.97 billion, followed by Airtel at $10.23 billion. HDFC bank has retained the top slot for the fourth year in a row. The highest ranked new entrant on the list is Reliance Jio, at #11.
India’s first Lithium Ion battery unit
Suzuki Motor will invest more than Rs 1,150 cr along with Japanese partners Toshiba & Denso to set up India’s first lithium ion battery facility in Gujarat. It will cater to Maruti Suzuki as well Toyota’s range of electric vehicles of the future. It is a major boost to the government’s ambitious vehicle electrification and Make in India initiatives.
MoU b/w Corporate Affair Ministry & CBDT
Corporate Affairs Ministry & CBDT has signed an MoU for automatic & regular exchange of info to curb menace of shell companies & black money in the country. It will enable sharing of specific info such as PAN no. data & statements of financial transactions received from banks relating to corporate Info shared will pertain to Indian corporates as well as foreign corporates operating in India.

16th September 2017
India favours first discussion at UNGA
India has favoured a discussion in UN General Assembly, 1st in 12 years, on ‘Responsibility to Protect’ & prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing & crimes against humanity. As many as 113 countries, including India voted in its favour, while 21 others including Pak opposed the idea. This is the for the first time in 12 years that Assembly voted to include the item on formal agenda
Basu gets 1-yr extension
Noted scientist Sekhar Basu was given one-year extension as Atomic Energy Secretary, till mid-September next year. This is his second extension on the post. He was appointed to the post in October 2015 and his tenure was to end in September 2016. He had been the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and chief executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board.
World’s oldest person dies aged 117
The oldest person in the world, Violet Mosse Brown, has died in Jamaica aged 117. Known as ‘Aunt V’ to friends, she was born in Trelawney on March 10, 1900 and lived there all of her phenomenally long life. She succeeded Italy’s Emma Morano, who was the last person whose life spanned three centuries, from 1899 to 2017. Violet was named ‘World’s Oldest Person’ on April 15 this year.
Abanti Sankaranarayanan as Chairman
The Advertising Standards Council of India has appointed Abanti Sankaranarayanan as the chairman of its board. Sankaranarayanan, former Vice-chairman of Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies, has been a member of the Board of Governors for four years. She is also the Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer at Diageo India.
Least and Most Stressful Cities Ranking
According to 2017 Global Least & Most Stressful Cities Ranking, Stuttgart is the least stressed out city across the globe, with 4 of top 10 relaxing cities situated in Germany. Luxembourg stood at 2nd spot while Hanover was at 3rd place in the ranking. Of the 150 cities ranked, Delhi ranked 142, while Bengaluru stood at 130 and Mumbai at 138. The most stressed city in the list is Baghdad.
Trawl System by DRDO
DRDO has undertaken design & development of Trawl System for minefield area in the battle zone to meet the operational requirements of Indian Army. It is employed for breaching of land mines & creating a vehicle safe lane, through a minefield for advancing columns of mechanized forces in combat zone It is capable of breaching a variety of land mines including passive & active influence mines
Amazon ties up with Bank of Baroda
Amazon has tied up with Bank of Baroda to offer micro loans to its sellers. Loans will be extended in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 25 lakh at an annual interest rates b/w 10.45% & 11.5% RPT. Loans will be offered on invite-only basis to marketplace sellers. Repayments will be done through a locked account provided by Bank of Baroda, thus helping the bank, too, to grow its customer accounts.
TOP athletes to get monthly stipend
Ministry of sports & youth affairs has decided to pay a monthly stipend of Rs 50,000 to each elite athlete preparing for the coming Commonwealth & Asian Games. The govt has selected 152 athletes under the TOP scheme, stipend will be paid with effect from Sept 1. The announcement meant that the sports ministry has accepted recommendation of Olympic Task Force, headed by Abhinav Bindra.
Odia language university
The Odisha government passed a bill to launch the first-ever Odia language university for post-graduation. The university which will be established in Bhubaneswar will also devise ways to make Odia script more adaptable to technology. In February 2014, Odia became the sixth language of the country to get classical language status.
Hydro electric projects to come up in AP
The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation said its two hydro-electric projects in Arunachal Pradesh are on the verge of completion and they would be commissioned next year. Commissioning of the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Electric Project and the 110 MW Pare Hydro Electric Project was delayed by about a couple of months due to floods and landslides. NEEPCO was formed in 1976.
Salman Khan honoured
Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons. Salman received the award from Keith Vaz, British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP. The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of diversity in the world, and he is certainly one of them.
Pakistan beat World XI
Pakistan rode on Ahmed Shehzad’s 89 and Hasan Ali’s 2/28 to beat the World XI by 33 runs and clinch the three-game series 2-1. Pakistan beat the World XI by 20 runs in an exciting finish to the first Twenty20 match in Lahore. It was only the second time Pakistan has hosted an international match since a 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, also in Lahore.
NASA finds ‘shape-shifting’ bacteria
Bacterial cells treated with a common antibiotic have been spotted changing shape to survive while aboard the International Space Station. The way bacteria act in near-zero gravity environments could pose a serious problem for treating astronauts with infections. The group of researchers was led by Luis Zea of the University of Colorado.
International Day of Democracy
In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy—with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy. In September 1997 the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) adopted a Universal Declaration on Democracy. The theme for 2017 is, “Democracy and Conflict prevention”.
India, China unlikely to grow
According to UNCTAD’s recently released Trade and Development Report 2017, India and China at their current levels of growth will not serve as “growth poles” in near future. TDR is flagship report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and is treated as a barometer for assessing the global economy. World economy is expected to reach 2.6%.
India, Japan sign open sky agreement
India and Japan signed an agreement that will allow their airlines to operate unlimited number of flights between the two countries. The open sky agreement will be signed in accordance with the National Civil Aviation Policy (NACP), 2016 The NACP allows government to enter into ‘open sky’ air services agreement on reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory
Harry Dean Stanton dies
Actor Harry Dean Stanton, known for his roles in films like The Godfather II, Alien and Cool Hand Luke, has died of natural causes at the age of 91. The Kentucky-born star had a career which spanned more than six decades, appearing in dozens of films, including 1984’s Paris, Texas. More recently, he appeared in the hit HBO show Big Love, and this year’s revival of the cult classic Twin Peaks
World Ozone day
The International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer is being observed today. The day marks commemoration of the date of signing of Montreal Protocol in 1987 on substances that deplete Ozone layer. This year, the theme for the Day is ‘Caring for all life under the sun’. It is mainly intended to spread awareness of depletion of the Ozone Layer & search for solutions to preserve it.
India inks $76-mn loan deal with JICA
Govt of India has signed a loan worth $76 mn with Japan International Cooperation Agency for a project to upgrade environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yards. The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board and is likely to be completed by 2022. This project will help Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations.
Export of tur, moong and urad
Govt has opened up exports of tur, moong & urad dal after more than a decade. India had banned export of pulses in 2006, which was extended from time to time. It will help support prices of urad & moong currently being harvested & bumper tur crop, which will hit the markets in a next 2/ 3 months. At present, only organic pulses & kabuli chana are allowed to be shipped in a limited quantity.

17th September 2017
Modi dedicates Sardar Sarovar Dam
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the Sardar Sarovar Dam, almost 56 years after its foundation stone was laid. The foundation stone of the dam was laid on 5 April 1961 by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The dam on the river Narmada has been described as ‘Gujarat’s lifeline’ as it aims to provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages.
Indian start-up wins award in Israel
An Indian startup has won a prestigious award in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers steady & dependable income Kheyti, was chosen among 10 finalists in MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies. Kheyti design, adapt & implement low-cost farming solutions that help farmers increase yield & predictability of produce
Russia and Iraq restore air travel
Russia and Iraq have restored scheduled commercial airline services for the first time since 2004. An Iraqi Airways plane left Baghdad and will arrive at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. The two countries may also later agree on air travel to the Iraqi city of Basra. Russia suspended regular flights to Iraq in 2004 after the US-led invasion in 2003 plunged the Arab country into war.
Railways cuts down sleeping time
According to a circular issued by railway board, passengers in reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm & 6 am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the time. Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am. The circular, however, makes an exception for sick and disabled passengers, and pregnant ladies.
Indigenous artillery gun sets new record
Indigenous artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km. ATAGS is a 155mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode by DRDO as a part of Army’s artillery modernisation programme. It has several significant features including all-electric drive, quick deployability, & auxiliary power mode
Survey to remeasure Mount Everest
Nepal has begun remeasuring Mount Everest to check if the height of the world’s tallest peak was altered by a powerful earthquake that struck the nation in 2015. The official height of Mount Everest is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet), first recorded by an Indian survey in 1954. Nepal has never measured Everest on its own although the world’s highest peak lies in its territory.
Cassini spacecraft ends 20-year journey
NASA’s $3.9 bn Cassini spacecraft ended its 20-year-long groundbreaking journey with a fiery plunge into Saturn’s crushing atmosphere. Cassini began its mission to Saturn in 1997, reaching the ringed planet in 2004. Its aim was to take pictures, giving the most detailed look at Saturn’s rings & its moons. Cassini found new moons orbiting the planet, signs of possible life on existing moons.
Snow leopard upgraded to ‘vulnerable’
Elusive snow leopard, long considered endangered has been upgraded to vulnerable. It still face serious challenges including poaching & loss of prey in their Himalayan habitat. Snow leopards had been listed as endangered since 1972. Endangered snow leopard is found in rugged mountains of Central Asia. Snow leopards are perfectly adapted to cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home.
UPI enabled digital payments.
Airtel Payments Bank has become the 1st payments bank in India to integrate Unified Payments Interface on its digital platform. It will allow customers to create their personalised UPI handles on Airtel app & enable them to make digital payments in both offline & online space. Customers can also link their savings accounts to any of their UPI handles on apps like BHIM or UPI of other banks.
Iceland PM resigns
Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson lost his 9 month- old, centre-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by PM’s father to help clear the name of a convicted paedophile. Benediktsson took office in January, uniting his Independence Party, Reform Party & the centrists. Benediktsson was also named in Panama Papers as having held a stake in a Seychelles- based investment company.
Centre releases new Metro policy
Housing & Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri released new Metro Policy for expanding the metro network across various cities in the country. The Policy empowers States to make rules & regulations & set up permanent Fare Fixation Authority for timely revision of fares. It also makes Public Private Partnership component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects.
Indo-US commence exercise Yudh Abhyas
Indian & U.S. armies have started the 13th iteration of their Yudh Abhyas series of joint military exercises at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington. The exercise will focus primarily on counter-terrorism operations & will also included strategic consultations b/w senior armed forces officers on both sides. The first-ever drill under Yudh Abhyas moniker was carried out in 2004.
Direct flight to Copenhagen
Air India has launched a direct flight to Copenhagen, as part of national carrier’s plan to expand its international operations with services to overseas destinations. Copenhagen is Air India’s 44th international destination & 11th European non-stop destination. Service to Copenhagen will be operated with a Dreamliner aircraft thrice a week. Air India has an operating fleet of 142 aircraft.
Arjan Singh passes away
Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, the only officer of Air Force to be promoted to 5 star rank, died at 98. He was the IAF chief from Aug 1964-69. He was the 1st Indian Air Chief to be elevated to the rank of Air Chief Marshal on Jan 16, 1966. He played a key role in India’s victory in the 1965 war against Pakistan. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan for his leadership during 1965 war


PV Sindhu wins Korea Open
PV Sindhu avenged her World Championship loss in Glasgow by beating Nozomi Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the Korea Open 2017 women’s singles final to clinch her 3rd Superseries title. Sindhu made history by becoming the first Indian to win the Korea Open. This is Sindhu’s second Super Series title of the year, having earlier won the India Open, beating Spain’s Carolina Marin in the final.
India likely to be 3rd largest economy
According to HSBC, India is likely to overtake Japan and Germany to become the third largest economy in the next 10 years. HSBC’s estimates show India will be a $7 trillion economy in 2028, as compared to less than $6 trillion & $5 trillion for Germany and Japan, respectively. Demographics and macro stability were pointed out as key strengths for the country.
First unmanned attack helicopter
China has put on display its 1st unmanned combat helicopter AV500W for foreign buyers in a bid to enlarge scope to market its military drones abroad. It is capable of carrying 120 kg of weapons & equipment. The 7.2m long aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 450 kg, a maximum speed of 170 km/h & flight ceiling of 4,000m. Only U.S. & Israel have developed unmanned armed helicopters.
Youngest cricketer to claim 100 wickets
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan has become the youngest cricketer to take 100 T20 wickets. Rashid Khan, who is just five days away from his 19th birthday, took 3/22 for Bamd-e-Amir Dragons during SCL 2017 game against Boost Defenders to reach the landmark. He broke the record of English left-arm spinner Danny Briggs who achieved the feat when he was 23 years 56 days old.
President’s medal for former DIG D Roopa
Former DIG D Roopa, who highlighted in a report alleged irregularities at Central jail in Bengaluru, including preferential treatment to V K Sasikala, was conferred the President’s Medal. The award was presented to Roopa for her meritorious service by Governor Vajubhai Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan. She was the only woman IPS officer to receive the medal from more than 40 award recipients
US & UAE to conduct military exercise
The ground forces of the United Arab Emirate and the United States are holding a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi. Codenamed, ”Iron Union 5,” the joint military exercise is an extension of a series of ”Iran Claw” exercises. The exercise will help both armies to promote their international co-operation in joint military operations, to address current global challenges and crises.

18th September 2017
First Asian man to win an acting Emmy
Riz Ahmed has become the first man of Asian descent to win an acting award at the Emmys. He is a British actor of Pakistani descent. Ahmed bagged Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series award for his portrayal of Nasir “Naz” Khan in ‘The Night Of’. The actor has been very vocal about how the representation of minorities can shift negative perspectives.
Indian women boxers shine
India have signed off with a rich haul of one gold, four silver, and three bronze medals at the Ahmet Comert Boxing Championships for youth women boxers held in Istanbul, Turkey. India’s lone Gold came through Soniya in the 48kg category. The silver winners for India were Niharika Gonella (75kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg), Parveen (54kg), and Ankushita Boro (64kg).
Sebi allows REITs, InvITs to raise funds
Markets regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India has allowed Infrastructure Investment Trusts & Real Estate investment Trust to raise capital by issuing debt securities. SEBI introduced the concept of strategic investor for REITs on similar lines of InvITs. Sebi also allowed REITs to lend to underlying holding company. It also amended the definition of valuer for both REIT & InvITs.
M&M enters into alliance with Ford
Mahindra & Mahindra has entered into a strategic alliance with Ford Motor to explore cooperation in the sphere of products, technologies and electrification of cars amongst other areas. Both companies will collaborate and work together for a period of up to three years. The tie-up could facilitate Mahindra’s expansion into other global emerging markets.
China, Russia begin naval drills
China & Russia have begun naval drills near North Korea amid continuing nuclear tensions. It comes ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week. Exercises will take place b/w Peter the Great Bay near Russia-North Korea border & southern part of Sea of Okhotsk. The drills are 2nd part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, first part of which took place in Baltic in July.
Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix
Mercedes-AMG F1’s Lewis Hamilton claimed a stunning victory at the Singapore Grand Prix after pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel crashed out following huge early drama. With his 60th race victory and seventh this season, Hamilton now stands 28 points ahead of Vettel with six Grand Prix left this year. Ricciardo finished second while Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third.
Rajamouli receives ANR award
Venkaiah Naidu, honoured SS Rajamouli with ANR National Award for his contribution to Telugu Film Industry. Baahubali franchise made SS Rajamouli a name to reckon with in the entire world. Naidu described Rajamouli as One of the most creative, innovative & inspiring film-maker. ANR award was instituted in 2005 with an aim to recognise the contributions of stalwarts to Indian film industry.
DNA databank in India
Maharashtra forensic department is in talks with a Pune-based tech company to create a DNA fingerprinting database of offenders for state through a public-private partnership. Maharashtra will be the 1st state to start DNA database which will help law enforcement agencies in tracking maoists as well as terrorists. Almost all developed countries including USA, Canada & UK have DNA database.
Chris Gayle creates history
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has added one more feather to his cap as he became the 1st batsman to complete a century of sixes in T20Is. Gayle reached the milestone during the lone T20I against England in his 52nd match. In the list of most sixes, Gayle is followed by Brendon McCullum (91), Shane Watson (83) & David Warner (74). Gayle has smashed 96 & 238 maximums in 103 Tests & 269 ODIs.
New director general of NIA
Senior Indian Police Service officer Y C Modi was appointed as the new director general of National Investigation Agency. He will replace Sharad Kumar, who is set to retire on Oct 30. Modi is an IPS officer of 1979 batch of Haryana cadre & was appointed as the chief of NIA in 2013. He had been part of a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team that probed 2002 Gujarat riots case.
China opens dual-use highway
China has opened a strategic highway in Tibet to Nepal border which could be used for civilian & defense purposes. The highway will shorten the journey from an hour to 30 mins b/w dual-use civil & military airport & Tibet’s 2nd-largest city. The highway will enable China to forge a route into South Asia in both economic & defense terms.
Reliance’s Unlimit & IBM to collaborate
Reliance Group’s Unlimit & IBM have announced a collaboration to co-create IoT solutions for industry verticals, including automotive & industrial automation. IBM will provide its Watson IoT Platform to collect & connect data, including sensor data, from devices. Unlimit will design IoT use cases for various industries in the Indian market & build them on IBM Watson IoT Platform.
Postage stamps on Indian yoga experts
Japanese postal department has released postage stamps on yoga legend Bishnu Ghosh & his family members to acknowledge the role played by them in spreading Indian postural yoga in Japan. Stamps on Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son Biswanath, daughter Karuna & Karuna’s father in law Asutosh Ghosh were released in Japan. It is the 1st time Japan has released postal stamps on any yoga experts.
Economy Minister as new PM
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has appointed a former Economy Minister Mercedes Araoz as the new Prime Minister. Araoz replaces Fernando Zavala, who was forced to resign under Peru’s constitution because of the no-confidence vote. Araoz, who is also a lawmaker has served as the economy minister during part of the 2006-11 administration of President Alan Garcia.
First African-American to win best actor
Sterling K Brown created history by becoming the 1st African American to win the best actor drama Emmy awards in 19 years for his performance as Randall Pearson in “This Is Us”. This was the second Emmys win for K Brown, who took home a supporting-actor trophy last year. The last African American actor to win the award was Andre Braugher in 1998 for his role in “Homicide: Life on the Street”
ICICI plans payday-type loans
ICICI Bank will partner with e-commerce firms to provide automated payday loan-type credit to customers at the bottom of the digital pyramid. The digital credit planned by the bank will be available to non-customers and new-to-credit borrowers. The ‘pay later’ facility will be available to even those who have not availed of any loan in the past and for small amounts of up to Rs 20,000.
Tunisia lifts ban on Muslim women
Tunisia has abolished a 44 yr old ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslims as president seeks to secure equal rights for country’s female population. Until now a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Muslim Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam & submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Commission led by a female lawyer & rights activists was created, aimed at drafting revised rules.


Sanjay Rajagopalan quits
Infosys Senior Vice-President Sanjay Rajagopalan has resigned from his post, month after Vishal Sikka stepped down as company’s managing director & CEO. Rajagopalan was among the dozen executives whom Sikka had roped in from SAP. Rajagopalan headed the Design Thinking, a creative, user-centered approach to problem-solving & help the company implement it.
Assam Assembly Passed Pranam Bill
Assam assembly has passed a bill seeking to deduct a fraction of salary of state govt employees for benefit of their parents or differently abled siblings. Known as Assam Employees PRANAM Bill, it is aimed at ensuring that employees do not neglect their loved ones in times of need. Bill has provisions for deducting 10% of an employee’s pay & transferring it to account of the relative concerned
India exempts import duty on goods
Central govt has exempted import duty on sports items and a wide range of goods for the upcoming Under-17 football World Cup to be held in India. All sports goods, sports equipment and sports requisites, fitness equipment, team uniform/clothing & consumables will be exempted from the customs duty. The first FIFA event to be held in India will have 52 matches spread over six cities.

19th September 2017
Zero Hunger Prog to be launched in Oct
3 districts – Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha & Thane in Maharashtra will initiate India’s ambitious ‘Zero Hunger’ program through interventions in farm sector on Oct 16 (World Food Day). The Programme will be initiated by ICAR, ICMR and BICAR. The programme aims to end malnutrition in India by 2022.
MoU to form Khanij Bidesh India
National Aluminium Company, Hindustan Copper & MECL have signed an MoU to form a joint venture Khanij Bidesh India (Kabil). The proposed JV will identify, explore, develop and process strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and to meet domestic supply needs. JV will deal in 12 strategic minerals that are either not available in India or quantity available is lower than requirement.
Brand ambassador for Swachh Bharat
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced appointment of Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission in the state. Objectives of Swachh Bharat are to reduce or eliminate open defecation through the construction of individual, cluster and community toilets. Akshay Kumar was also appointed as the brand ambassador for cleanliness drive by Uttar Pradesh Govt.
Inter-Governmental Commission meeting
Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan will be visiting Kazakhstan to co-chair the 13th Meeting of Inter-Governmental Commission. The meeting aims to follow up on the agenda set b/w India & Kazakhstan during the 2 visits of PM Modi to Kazakhstan. Two sides are expected to finalize a roadmap for expanding trade, economic & investment cooperation b/w the 2 countries.
Singapore to set up Skill Center
The Government of Singapore will set up a Skill Center at Guwahati which will cater to the entire North-Eastern region. The Skill Center is proposed to be set up at Guwahati by the year 2019 and the Ministry of DoNER will coordinate in this initiative. An MoU for the same has already been formalized between Singapore and the State Government of Assam.
Robbins as Executive Chairman
Cisco has announced that its CEO Chuck Robbins will be appointed as the Executive Chairman of the company. The announcement came after John Chambers, present Executive Chairman, notified the Board of Directors that he will not stand for re-election. Robbins had joined Cisco in 1997 & assumed the role of CEO in July, 2015. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.
First US military base in Israel
For the first time in history, U.S. has established a permanent military base in Israel. The base will be located within Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School in southern Israel. It will include barracks & several other buildings for U.S. troops to be stationed in the country, as well as systems to identify & intercept aerial threats. It will operate under Israeli military directives.
Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana’
Jharkhand Govt has launched Shaheed Gram Vikas Yojana which aims at developing villages of freedom fighters. The initiative was launched from Ulihatu Village, the birth place of freedom fighter & Jharkhand’s tribal icon, Birsa Munda. In addition to developing the villages, inhabitants of the villages will be provided with basic amenities.
Largest sovereign fund hits $1 trillion
The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, has officially hit $1 trillion for the first time. Norway’s fund was set up more than 20 years ago to invest revenue arising from oil extraction. Strengthening of the world’s major currencies against the U.S. dollar combined with strong equity markets during 2017 has rapidly increased the value of the fund.
Bambawale new envoy to China
India’s high commissioner to Pak Gautam Bambawale has been appointed as the ambassador to China. He has served as joint secretary of East Asia division where he handled both China & Japan. Reshuffle was necessitated as India’s current ambassador to China Vijay Gokhale was appointed as Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA. Gokhale played a lead role in defusing the Doklam crisis with Beijing
SSB’s new intelligence unit
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has operationalised the Sashastra Seema Bal’s 1st ever intelligence wing. It will gather intelligence on terrorists, illegal immigrants, fake currency etc along Bhutan & Nepal borders. The wing will have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information. SSB was also declared as the Lead Intelligence Agency for both Indo-Nepal & Indo-Bhutan borders.
First Pension Adalat
MoS for Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the 1st Pension Adalat in New Delhi. It aims to bring aggrieved pensioner, concerned department & bank on a common table so that cases can be settled within framework of extant rules. Dr Singh will also award pensioners for their contribution towards Anubhav- a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experience of working with govt
Krishnan joins Twitter
Twitter has hired Indian-born Sriram Krishnan, a former top executive from Facebook and Snap, as its Senior Director of Product. He will be responsible for core features inside the main Twitter app, including timeline, direct messaging and search. Krishnan left Facebook in February 2016 to help lead advertising efforts at Snapchat’s parent company Snap. He quit Snap in February.
Mark Beaumont breaks world record
Cyclist Mark Beaumont has broken the world record for cycling around the world in 79 days – 44 days shorter than the previous record. Beaumont arrived in Paris 1 day ahead of schedule after cycling 18,000 miles & an average of 240 miles per day. His new record beats New Zealander Andrew Nicholson’s 123 days, set in 2015. Beaumont slept 5 hrs a night & was on his bike for over 16 hrs per day
Rajnikant Mishra appointed new SSB chief
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed senior IPS officer Rajni Kant Mishra as the new chief of Sashastra Seema Bal. Mishra is a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh Cadre IPS officer, will succeed Archana Ramasundaram who is set to retire on September 30. He was appointed as Additional Director General of the BSF in 2014 & was recently elevated to Special Director General rank in the BSF.
Punit Goenka Re-appointed
Punit Goenka was re-appointed as President of The Indian Broadcasting Foundation for a second consecutive year at the 18th Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi. Goenka is the MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited. IBF is an apex body for the broadcasting sector in India. It was set up in 1999 to promote & represent the interests of television broadcasters in India.
International Yoga Festival in Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra inaugurated the second International Yoga Festival and International Yoga Sports Championship 2017. The festival is being organized by Yoga Society of Kashmir & about 300 participants from various parts of India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Bulgaria, USA & Nepal are participating in the festival. The first International Yoga Festival was held in Uttarakhand.
Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition
The Ministry of Women & Child Development will hold the first National Conference in New Delhi on Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition in the country. The Government has decided to lay focused attention on undernutrition and identified 113 most backward districts across the country. These districts will be required to improve nutritional outcomes by 2 to 3% per year till 2020.
India’s father of nephrology dies
Dr Kirpal Chugh, fondly called father of nephrology in India, passed away at 85. He is fondly called father of nephrology in India for single-handedly first separating this discipline from medicine & then developing this into super-specialty in India. He was awarded Padma Shri, 4th highest civilian award in 2000. He produced 72 Doctorate in Medicine in his career of 3 decades at PGIMER.
District family welfare committees
Tripura has become the 1st state in the country to set up family welfare district committees to deal with issue of fake & biased complaints by women against their husbands, in-laws & husband’s relatives. The welfare committees have been launched in all 8 districts in Tripura. Over 80% frivolous, fake & biased cases across the country are filed by a section of women against husband & in-laws.


20th September 2017
Presence of aerosol over Asia
A joint study by ISRO & NASA which had commenced after satellite images showed presence of an aerosol layer over Asia region, has confirmed the same. The study also found presence of nitrate, which is a new finding. Aerosol are sub-micron size particles suspended in air that are produced from a variety of man-made & natural processes such as vehicle exhaust, waste-burning & wind blown dust.
Countries that faced natural disasters
According to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, India ranked 3rd among the countries that have faced the most natural disasters in the last half century. U.S, followed by China, India, Philippines and Indonesia, have experienced most disasters since 1995 – more than 1,600, or once every 5 days. Climate change was among the 7 global threats that he listed needing immediate global action.
Top retail destination in 2017
India has replaced China as the numero uno retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index. The change in ranking was an outcome of 4 factors including increased consumer spending, rising mobile and internet penetration, favourable foreign investment climate and GST. Over the past 12-15 months, 100% cash and carry operations are gaining significance in India.
Emblem and slogan for Women’s World Cup
The official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 has been unveiled. The emblem features the competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy symbolising the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The slogan of the tournament “Dare To Shine” reflects the development of football.
Bill on fugitive economic offenders
The law ministry has given its concurrence to a draft bill that will give powers to the government to confiscate property of economic offenders and defaulters who flee India. The proposed law will be applicable in cases where the value of offences is over Rs 100 crore. The bill also has provision for appointment of an administrator to dispose off the property to pay off the creditors.
Centre to exit 3 ITDC hotels
Centre has decided to exit 3 ITDC hotels including Jaipur Ashok and handover them to the state govts concerned. The cabinet approved transfer of Hotel Jaipur Ashok & Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, Mysore, to govts of Rajasthan and Karnataka, respectively. The policy has been formulated in line with the view that running & managing hotels is not the job of govt or its entities.
Tata Steel, Thyssenkrupp Sign MoU
Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp AG have signed MoU to create Europe’s second-largest steel enterprise by combining the flat steel businesses of the two companies. The proposed 50:50 joint venture would be focused on quality and technology leadership, and the supply of premium and differentiated products to customers. The new company is likely to be headquartered in Amsterdam region.
Saudi Arabia to unblock internet calling
Saudi Arabia has decided to lift ban on internet calling apps as it faces criticism over censorship. All online voice & video call services like Skype & WhatsApp that satisfy regulatory requirements will become accessible. It is aimed at improving business confidence as kingdom transitions into a post-oil era, access to VoIP will reduce operational costs & spur digital entrepreneurship.
Merger of 17 govt presses into 5 units
The Cabinet has approved the merger and modernisation of 17 Government of India Presses (GIPs) into five GIPs. The modernisation will enable these presses to undertake confidential, urgent and multi-colour printing work of the Central Government offices all over the country. The five presses are to be redeveloped and modernised through monetisation of their surplus land.
Zannah Mustapha wins UN award
Zannah Mustapha won the annual Nansen Refugee Award for his ‘crucial mediating’ role and efforts to help children affected by the insurgency in the country. Mustapha is the founder of Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, a school that provides free Islamic-based education to children orphaned by insurgency. The school also provides free meals, uniforms and health care to its pupils.
P2P platform as NBFC business
RBI has said that Peer-to-peer lending platforms will be treated as non-banking financial companies and thus regulated by the RBI. P2P lending is a form of crowd-funding used to raise loans which are paid back with interest. The interest rate may be set by the platform or mutual agreement b/w borrower & lender. RBI had floated a consultation paper in April 2016 on such lending platforms.
North East Festival to return to Delhi
The fifth edition of the North East Festival, which brings together the numerous colours and talents of the region, will begin in Delhi. The three-day festival, to be held at IGNCA, Janpath, will present Naga warrior dance, Thang ta of Manipur, Hojagiri of Tripura and much more. Various northeastern states, developmental councils will present investment and tourism potential of the region.
WHO grants $175,000 for Rohingyas
WHO has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide lifesaving healthcare to “vulnerable population” in Bangladesh. Grant will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months. WHO is working closely with UNFPA, UNICEF & other health, partners in ensuring that adequate health services are provided to the vulnerable population.
China issues stamp
China has issued a commemorative stamp in honour of the world’s largest radio telescope located in Guizhou province. With an investment of 1.2 billion yuan, the telescope is single-dish with a diameter of half a kilometre. The telescope is designed to probe space for the faintest signs of life and is sensitive to any electromagnetic interference.
Advani renominated as chairman
Veteran BJP leader L K Advani has been renominated as chairman of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Besides Advani, all other 14 members have also been given another term. The Ethics Committee examines every complaint relating to the unethical conduct of a member referred to it. It is also free to take up suo motu investigation into matters relating to ethics.
MS Dhoni for Padma Bhushan award
BCCI has nominated MS Dhoni for country’s 3rd highest civilian award – The Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the game. Dhoni is already a recipient of prestigious Arjuna, Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna & Padma Shri award. If Dhoni is conferred with Padma Bhushan, he will become the 11th Indian cricketer to get the honour. BCCI has not sent any other nominations for Padma awards this year.
100 greatest living business minds
3 Indian entrepreneurial legends, Ratan Tata, Lakshmi Mittal & Vinod Khosla have been included in Forbes’s list of world’s ‘100 Greatest Living Business Minds’. Other Honorees featured on the list include Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg and others. List includes individuals who have either created something with a lasting impact on world or innovated in a way that transcends their given field
BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise
The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by NDRF as the lead agency in Delhi & NCR. It will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction, strengthening regional response among BIMSTEC member countries. Majority of BIMSTEC countries are situated in South Asian Region, prone to natural disasters.
Rs 100 coin released by Venkaiah Naidu
Celebrating the legacy of Carnatic music icon M S Subbulakshmi, Venkaiah Naidu released special commemorative coins of Rs 100 & Rs 10 denominations. She had many firsts to her credit, from being the first musician to be awarded Bharat Ratna to winning Ramon Magsaysay Award, & performing at UNGA. A nearly 2 week-long exhibition, titled ‘Kurai Ondrum Illai’, is being held in honour of Subbulakshami.
24 additional judges

24 judges to Allahabad and Calcutta high courts were appointed today. Allahabad high court, with an approved strength of 160 judges is functioning with 91 judges while Calcutta high court has an approved strength of 72 judges, but is working with 31. These are the first set of fresh appointments to the high court after Justice Dipak Misra took over as Chief Justice of India.


source;  testbook.com

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