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Current Affairs 2017

General Studies has now become the core area for testing the abilities of the Civil Services aspirants. There are two parts of General Studies, one is the topics related to the different subjects, and the other is Current Affairs. While subject related topics are static, the Current Affairs is the dynamic aspect of the General Studies.

So the study and analysis of current affairs has to be given more emphasis because significant portion of it is dedicated to it both in the civil services mains and the prelims exam.

Even at the interview stage awareness about current affairs is very important as it decides the rank of the candidates.

In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.

In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis.

Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.

We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.

For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2015 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian newsspace, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.

Current Affairs

Current affairs books and magazine

IAS Academy Bangalore

Current Affairs August 07th to August 13th 2017

International Current News

  • 10th August -this day every year is observed as World Bio-Fuel Day in a bid to create awareness about non fossil-fuels (Green Fuels). Significance of Day: On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil. His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines. Thus to mark this extraordinary achievement, World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August. This year World Biofuel day is being celebrated in 100 districts of the country from 10-13th August 2017.

National Current News

  • DELTA -it stands for Data, Evaluation, Learning, Technology and Analysis is the technology backed data intensive development flagship project of Tata Trusts-one of India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organization. DELTA has impacted 17 lakh people across 1248 villages through data-driven governance in select districts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Jharkhand. As part of the initiative, Tata Trusts has conducted tablet based data collection with over 300 data points which policy makers can use to make effective decisions.
  • The major highlights of the Monetary Policy of RBI–25 basis points reduction in Repo rate, Economic Growth forecast retained at 7.3% and Inflation projection lowered marginally to just above 4% from 4.5% forecast earlier are some of the major highlights of the Monetary Policy announced by Reserve Bank of India on 2nd August 2017. It is the lowest repo rate in 7 years as the last time Repo Rate of 6% was on September 16, 2010. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI governor Urjit Patel decided to lower the policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 6%. In the previous meeting of the MPC in June, the policy rate was left unchanged at 6.25%. The central bank considered a change in its policy stance “opportune” considering the downtrend in consumer inflation, normal monsoon, lower oil prices and smooth roll-out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Rs.15.41 lakh crore -the amount of currency in circulation as on 28 July, 2017 as per the Reserve bank of India. This is about 86% of Rs.17.97 lakh crore of the amount as on 4 November 2016, 4 days later , the government had announced the decision to pull Rs.500 and Rs.100 notes out of circulation to eradicate black money, counterfeits, corruption and terror funding.
  • 25 Paise–the amount by which the prices of kerosene is going up every 15 days in an effort to gradually reduce subsidy on kerosene. This fortnightly hike is since July 2016 and the consumption has gone down a fifth in 2016-17. The demand for kerosene is further falling sharply because villages are being rapidly electrified and the government has supplied cooking gas connections to crore s of poor people in the past three years. Delhi and Chandigarh are already kerosene free cities.
  • RBI–they are planning the creation of a panel to consider creation of Public Credit Registry(PCR), which is one of the development initiatives announced by RBI recently. The central bank has also asked for credit bureaus to provide more comprehensive reports and take further steps to develop the corporate debt market. The PCR will be near real-time and will aid credit assessment not just by lenders but of the lenders themselves. The PCR will be an extensive database of credit information for India that is accessible to all stake holders. The idea is to capture all relevant information in one large database on the borrower’s entire set of borrowing contracts and contracts and outcome. In India, as of date, there exist four credit bureaus-CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF Highmark
  • NPL–it stands for National Physical Laboratory is the CSIR department with which ISRO recently signed a MoU to develop a desi GPS. The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have signed MoU to make indigenous positioning system-NavIC independent from the US clock system. Until now, the satellites on NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) managed by the ISRO relied on the US GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard were working at the high-precision required in satellite-based communication. The MoU will help the NAVIC to get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL – the timekeeper of India. It will also help in making NAVIC to get fully operational in the market for commercial purposes as time synchronisation is essential for all kinds of services such as financial transactions, digital archiving, stock handling, time stamping, national security or prevention of cyber-crimes etc. NavIC, formally called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary. NavIC System consists of constellation of seven satellites (namely IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G) of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary. National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CISR). It is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures. It is only agency in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST) and hosts most accurate clocks in the country with accuracy in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST) and hosts most accurate clocks in the country with accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds through the Primary Time Scale (PTS), an ensemble of five caesium clocks and one hydrogen.
  • SECC 2011 data–this data will now be the main source of data to target individual beneficiaries for all social schemes. The move is in line with the recommendation of a committee formed to study validity and efficiency of the SECC 2011 data in identifying the poor. The panel headed by former finance secretary Sumit Bose, in its report spoke in favour of using SECC data for rural development schemes and suggested a formula to use some deprivation parameters to identify the beneficiaries for specific schemes. SECC data provides for automatic exclusion on the basis of 14 parameters, automatic inclusion on the basis of five parameters and grading of deprivation on the basis of seven criteria. According to the SECC data released in July 2015, more than 62% of rural households in the country qualified as deprived. Of the total 17.9 crore households,13% or 2.37 crore households, still live in houses with only one room with temporary makeshift walls and roof. More than four crore households have no literate over 25 years of age, while 65 lakh are without any adult member between age 18 and 59.
  • 272 Votes–the victory margin is the biggest victory margin in the last 30 years for the elections of Vice-President of India. Former Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu got elected as the 13th Vice-President by defeating Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi by 272 votes. Naidu got 516 votes while Gandhi secured only 244. He will replace Hamid Ansari, the two-time vice-president since 2007.
  • Article 35A- the article of the Constitution of India which empowers J&K legislature to define state's "permanent residents" and their special rights and privileges, unknown to the public domain till recent times, has raked up an intense debate in the country. It was added to the constitution through a presidential order of 1954 with the then J&K government's concurrence. After J&K's accession, popular leader Sheikh Abdullah took over reins from Dogra ruler. In 1949, he negotiated J&K's political relationship with New Delhi, which led to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution which guarantees special status to J&K, restricting Union's legislative powers over three areas: defence, foreign affairs and communications. However, under the 1952 Delhi Agreement between Abdullah and Nehru, several provisions of the Constitution were extended to J&K via presidential order in 1954. Article 35A was inserted then. An NGO, We the Citizens, challenged 35A in SC in 2014 on grounds that it was not added to the Constitution through amendment under Article 368. In another case in SC last month, two Kashmiri women argued that the state's laws, flowing from 35A, had disenfranchised their children.
  • Four Members–the number of members of a family who are counted under the three-unit based formula to fix minimum wages presently. This includes family -- husband, wife and two children. It has no provision to count dependent parents, if any, or even if there are more than two children. The three-unit formula gives the husband a full unit, wife 0.8 unit, and 0.6 units for each of the two children. Based on the three-unit formula, the minimum wage is worked out taking into consideration the calorific value requirements of 2,700 each, certain length of cloth requirement, housing rental value, education and medical expenses etc. This was in the news after the labour ministry recently formed a committee that will look afresh at the minimum wage fixation formula keeping in view the cost to maintain a minimum living standard and also the size of an average family. Now the trade unions are saying that the three-unit system are not sufficient to decide minimum wages because the children continue to stay with the family for longer periods. After the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that dependent parents are to be taken care of by children, it is believed that two more units should be added and the formula be based on six-unit formulae than three.
  • Bharat-22–the name of newly created exchange-traded fund (ETF) -that will comprise shares of 22 central public sector enterprises, state-owned banks and some holding in SUUTI. Bharat-22 will cover six sectors. It will feature four banking stocks -- SBI, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank -- other than CPSEs such as Nalco, ONGC, IOC, BPCL and Coal India. Besides, there will be nine other PSUs as well as REC and PFC. SUUTI's holding in ITC has also been included. Ninety per cent of the equities included are traded in futures. ICICI Prudential will manage the fund.
  • Reserve Bank of India–this agency promoted platform is the place through which the new priority sector lending certificates (PSLCs) are being traded. Banks, with deficit in priority sector loans, can buy PSLCs from banks with surplus priority loans to bridge the gap for of a fee and without any real transfer of assets. This instrument, introduced last fiscal, has substituted the complex securitisation or direct assignment structures for buying or selling priority sector loans. PSLC is being traded exclusively between banks while non-banks aren’t allowed to do so. Last fiscal, about Rs 49,800 crore of PSLCs were traded between banks — bypassing the securitisation and IBPC routes — to meet their priority-sector lending mandate. Despite this, securitisation volume last fiscal grew 47% year-on-year to Rs 1,02,500 crore, riding on transactions of non-priority sector loans. Securitisation, on the other hand, is done through pooling of loans and selling them to another lender by issuing pass through certificates issued by trusts or special purpose vehicles, or selling them bilaterally via a process called direct assignment of loans. PSLC is preferred over other instruments, as they allow banks to leverage on their strength in a particular segment of priority lending such as agri lending, small farmer financing and MSMEs. It also incentivises banks having surplus in their lending to priority sector categories by way of earning premium on selling the PSLC. No capital provisioning is required as this is an off-balance sheet investment, whereas IBPC, securitisation and DA require capital provisioning. Furthermore, the transactions are completely digitalised and enables market dynamics to decide on the pricing of the instruments. The Crisil study showed that around 55% of the PSLCs traded are related to loans to small and marginal farmers.
  • Article 80(3)–the article of the Constitution authorizes the President of India to nominate (on the advice of the Government) 12 members to the Rajya Sabha. These members are people from outside the realm of politics and elections. These are people who have excelled in their respective fields and whose expertise and vision can help shape legislation in the country. This was in the news as many of the presently nominated members of Rajya Sabha of this category are not contributing to the development of legislature and participating in meetings.
  • 2022–it will be the 75th anniversary year of the 'Quit India' movement by which t Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the creation of a "new India" free of corruption and poverty. The next five years could be as important as the five years between 1942, when the 'Quit India' movement was launched, and 1947, when India got its Independence, the Prime Minister said in the Lok Sabha recently.He urged people to take a pledge to end corruption, poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy, besides ensuring gender equality.The house later adopted a resolution for the creation of an inclusive and prosperous India of the dreams of freedom fighters by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India's Independence.
  • PMRPY–it stands for Pradhan MantriRojgarProtsahanYojana, is the scheme launched in august 2016, under which the government is obliged to pay the entire employee pension scheme (EPS) component of the employer’s Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) contribution for worker’s with a salary up to Rs.15, 000 per month for the first three years of their employment. Of the employer’s share of EPF kitty 8.33% goes to EPS, 3.6% to EPF, 0.65% towards administrative charges, 0.5% to Employees Deposit-Linked Insurance scheme and 0.01% for EDLI maintenance. Under the PMRPY, the EPS share is provided by the government so that firms are encouraged to recruit unemployed persons and also bring informal workers into the payroll. Under the Pradahan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana for the textile sector the government bears the entire 12% employer’s contribution to the retirement fund for the first three years-against 8.33% for other sectors under PMRPY.
  • Rs. 30,659 crore–it is the amount of annual dividend transferred to the centre by Reserve bank of India in 2017. This was in the news recently as it is almost half of Rs.65,876 crore paid in 2016. Analysts believe that this must have reckoned the unusually high logistics cost of printing currency post-demonetisation and dollars it expended to stem the rupee rally in recent times.
  • The advantages of the merged SBI-Merged SBI will now be the 45th top bank of the world, The customer base of merged SBI will be 37 crore, Merged SBI will have a deposit base of Rs.26 lakh crore and advance of Rs.18.50 lakh crore will be the advantages of the merged SBI which was approved by Lok Sabha recently. The Lok Sabha passed the Bill to repeal the SBI (Subsidiaries Banks) Act, 1959 and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956 and to further amend the State bank of India act, 1965. Following merger SBI will have 24,000 branches and nearly 59,000 ATMs.
  • Invest India–it is the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Government of India, mandated to facilitate investments into India. It is envisaged to be the first point of reference for potential investors. A team of domain and functional experts provide sector-and state-specific inputs, and hand-holding support to investors through the entire investment cycle, from pre-investment decision-making to after-care. They assist with location identification; expediting regulatory approvals; facilitating meetings with relevant government and corporate officials; and also provide aftercare services that include initiating remedial action on problems faced by investors. All facilitation and hand-holding support to investors under the “Make in India” programme is being provided by Invest India. Invest India is promoted by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • The four major steps played by banks in the successful implementation of DBT and DBTL-(1)Opening of accounts of all beneficiaries (2) Seeding of bank accounts with Aadhaar numbers and uploading on the NPCI mapper;(3)Undertaking funds transfer using the National Automated Clearing House -Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (NACH-APBS). (4) Strengthening of banking infrastructure to enable beneficiary to withdraw money are the four major steps played by banks in the successful implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL).The objective of DBT Scheme is to ensure that money under various developmental schemes reaches beneficiaries directly and without any delay. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT),the scheme was launched in the country from January, 2013 and was rolled out in a phased manner, starting with 25 welfare schemes, in 43 districts and extended to additional 78 districts and additional 3 schemes from 1st July, 2013. Presently DBT in 35 schemes have been expanded across the entire country.Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) was rolled out in 291 districts in the country from 1stJune 2013 in six phases.
  • PMVVY –it stands for Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana is the new scheme of government to provide assured pension to senior citizens. Based on the success and popularity of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2003 (VPBY-2003), Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2014 (VPBY-2014) schemes, and to protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to the uncertain market conditions, as also to provide social security during old age, the government decided to launch a simplified scheme of assured pension of 8% called the ‘प्रधानमंत्री वय वन्दनायोजना’. This is implemented through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. As per the scheme, on payment of an initial lump sum amount ranging from a minimum purchase price of Rs. 1, 50,000/- for a minimum pension of Rs 1,000/- per month to a maximum purchase price of Rs. 7, 50,000/- for maximum pension of Rs. 5,000/- per month, subscribers will get an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum, payable monthly.

Sports Updates

  • Jamaica -the country of famous athlete Usain Bolt who announced his retirement recently. Bolt, the fastest human in history won 8 Olympic and 11 world gold medals over a glittering career

Current Affairs August 01th to August 06th 2017

National Current News

  • 7.4% -it is the growth rate for India as forecasted for fiscal 2017 by Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB forecasted a growth rate of 6.7% for China for 2017. ADB upgraded its growth outlook in the Asian region from 5.7% to 5.9% in 2017 and from 5.7 to 5.8 for 2018. The smaller uptick in the 2018 rate reflects a cautious view on the sustainability of the improved more than expected export demand in the first quarter of 2017.
  • She-Box–it stands for Sexual Harassment electronic Box is the name of the online complaint management system launched recently by central government against sexual harassment at work place in the central government. The portal is an initiative to provide a platform to women working or visiting any office of the Central government including central ministries, departments, public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies and institutions to file complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace under the SH(Sexual Harassment at workplace)Act.
  • Features of Payment Banks -It is bank with differentiated license and not universal license like commercial banks. It can take deposits up to Rs.1.00 lakh per account. It can issue debit cards but not credit cards are some of the features of Payment Banks. The main objective of these banks is to further financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts and payments/remittances services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses and other unorganized sector entities. RBI has mandated the minimum capital up equity capital for payment banks at Rs.100 crore.
  • 304–it is the biggest overseas victory margin achieved by India in Test cricket. This margin was achieved on July 26, 2017 when India defeated Sri Lanka by 304 runs during the first Test match at Galle. Before this the biggest margin of victory was of 279 runs against England on June 19, 1986.
  • Muntra–it is the first unmanned tank developed by India. Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) has developed an unmanned, remotely operated tank which has three variants: surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance , for areas with nuclear and blowweapons. Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear risk or bio-weapon risk.
  • Support Two sisters–it is the programme was recently launched by government on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. The first sister referred to sister known to one while the second sister referred to unknown sister who weaves the Khadi fabric. This campaign was to support the sale of Khadi Gift Coupon in India.
  • Kisan Sampada Yojana–it is the scheme under which financial assistance for creation of infrastructure for agro processing clusters are provided by Government of India. Preferably these clusters must be set up near the identified agri-horti production clusters in the country. SAMPADA( Scheme for Agro-marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) have been renamed as Kisan Sampada Yojana with an allocation of Rs.6,000 crore for the period 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle with the following schemes: Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Creation/expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities, Infrastructure of Agro Processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Food safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure & Human Resources and Institutions.
  • NEFT, RTGS & UPI–these are the major digital payment gateways catering to the customers in addition to the e wallets in India. NEFT stands for The National Electronic Fund Transfer and is the most commonly used method to transfer funds from one bank account to another. RTGS stands for the Real Time Gross Settlement and is used to transfer large amounts of money. UPI stands for Unified payments Interface and enables funds transfers through smartphones using lesser number of steps, free of cost. The transfer interface for NEFT & RTGS are the Bank’s Website or App while for UPI it is only App. In NEFT the money is transferred after a time lag while in RTGS the transfer is in real-time and in UPI it is instant. In NEFT there is no minimum amount but not more than Rs.10 lakh can be transferred while in RTGS a minimum of Rs. 2 lakh with no upper limit can be transferred while in UPI there is no minimum amount but upper limit is of Rs.1 lakh. In NEFT & RTGS there is a transaction cost while no cost in UPI. International transfers can be done in NEFT & RTGS but not through UPI. In NEFT & RTGS the details required are Beneficiary’s name, account number and IFSC code while in UPI only Beneficiary’s VPA is required. NEFT & RTGS are easily accessible and is available across all banks but there is limited availability for UPI.
  • CERT-In- which stands for Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, is the agency at national level in India, where any cyber security threat has to be reported. It was in the news recently as it witnessed more than 27000 cyber security threats incident in the first half of 2017. In 2016 nearly 50,362 incidents were reported while the number was 49,455 in 2015 and 44,679 in 2014. Threats reported include phishing attacks, website intrusions and defacements or damages to data as well as ransom attacks. The Reserve Bank is planning to launch Fin-CERT to deal with the financial sector breaches on apilot basis.
  • Rs.4 per month–it is quantum increase in cost of domestic LPG cylinder which has been suggested by the centre with an aim to hasten to bridge the gap between subsidized and market rates of domestic LPG. The gap with the market price is now just around Rs.86. Each household is entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2 kg at subsidized rates in a year and pays market rates for refills beyond this cap.
  • Lithium, Antimony, Mercury, Arsenic and Lead–these are the substances which will have been banned from use in fireworks by Supreme Court recently. Lithium is a metal used to impart red colour to fireworks and antimony is used to create glitter effects. Similarly, lead oxide is used to provide a crackling effect which if enhaled in high concentration could damage the nervous system. The court also directed Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) and Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation(PESO) to lay down standards with regard to composition of chemicals in firecrackers.

Sports Updates

  • Caleb Dressel -the swimmer of US recently created history by winning seven gold medals in one edition of World Championship when he won 7 gold medals at the Budapest World Championship,2017. Phelps achieved this feat in Melbourne in 2007 while Mark Spitz won seven gold at the 1972 Olympics at Munich