21 July 2017 Current Affairs

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan. The WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was a major milestone for the global trading system. This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA. According to a Finance Ministry statement, all actions covered under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short, mid and long term.

ICICI Bank introduces Instant Personal Loans through ATMs

Largest private sector lender ICICI Bank will be selling personal loans of up to Rs 15 lakh through its ATMs that can be availed of by select salaried customers even if they haven’t previously applied for one. The facility offers a bouquet of features – swift application in simple steps, multiple eligible loan amount options up to Rs. 15 lakh based on pre-checked CIBIL scores and instant transfer of the money to the customer’s account. Using data from credit information companies, the lender will pre-qualify select customers for personal loans. Such customers will get a message on the ATM screen after completing a transaction, informing about their eligibility for personal loans. If a customer chooses to go in for one, they can avail of a five-year personal loan of upto Rs 15 lakh and the amount will be credited instantly into their account. The service is already available.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana for Poors: Interest free loans on e-rickshaws, three-wheelers

The Union Ministry of Rural Development announced that it will launch a new sub-scheme Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). The Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana aims to provide an alternative sourc of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas. The sub-scheme will provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services like e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages with key services and amenities including access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of the area.

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park dies

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, passed away in Calfornia, U.S. He was 41. Bennington apparently hanged himself, which lead to his death. Chester Bennington was an American singer and songwriter. He was best known as the frontman for the rock band Linkin Park. He was also the lead singer for Dead by Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force recently. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes in this regard. The agreement was signed on 11th November 2016 in Tokyo during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between the two sides and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.

Neil Armstrong Moon Bag sold for USD 1.8 million in New York

Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million in New york. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone. The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samaples from the Moon during the 48th anniversary of that mission. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm ffrom five different locations at th Sea of Tranquility.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Lord Mervyn Davies appointed as Chair of UK India Business Council

Lord Mervyn Davies was apponted as the Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) with effect from 1 September 2017. He will succeed Patricia Hewitt, who is stepping down after 8 years. Davies will serve a three- year term. UK India Business Council is the leading market entry advisory and advocacy consultancy fcused on the United Kingdom and India trade opportunity. It supports the UK Government in its volume services as well as providing a business voice in Government to Government discussions.

Kamal Haasan is the brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of team Tamil Thalaivas in the fifth season of Pro Kabbadi League. Tamil Thalaivas is owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The tournament starts from 28 July in Hyderabad.

DDA signs MoU with NIUA for preparing Delhi Master Plan 2041

The Delhi Developement Authority (DDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) for preparation of the Master plan for Delhi (MPD) 2041. This information was provided by DDA to Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is also th Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority. The Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2041 will be an enabling strategic plan which would be th guiding framework of the planning and growth of Delhi till 2041.

Prez inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion of Odisha

The President of India Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture. The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East Inida Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company’s forces. The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

SEBI inks pact with ESMA for info exchange on CCPs

Markets regulator SEBI has entered into a pact with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) for exchange of information concerning Central Counterparties (CCPs). CCPs are entities that help facilitate clearing and settlement activities. The MoU establishes cooperation arrangements, including exchange of information regarding CCPs which are established and authorised or recognised in India by SEBI and which have applied for EU recognition under EMIR. EMIR provides for signing of a cooperation arrangement between ESMA and the relevant non-EU authorities, whose legal and supervisory framework for CCPs have been deemed equivalent to EMIR by the European Commission. Signing of MoU is one of the conditions for recognition of third country CCPs by ESMA under EMIR.

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formally launched the Pradhan mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the Union Government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The scheme is available from 4 May 2017 to 3 May 2018. The scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme. The scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent per annum and is payable monthly for 10 years. The pension is payablle at the end of each period during th policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-early/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner. This scheme is exempted form Service Tax or GST.

Indian Army inks MoU with DRDO to raise MRSAM defence system regiment
The Indian Army has signed MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to raise one regiment of the advanced Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAM) defence system. The Indian Army is planning to have a total of five regiments of MRSAM defence system, which will be deployed opposite to China and Pakistan. Each regiment consists of four launchers with three missiles each. So five regiments will have total 60 missiles. Earlier the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi had approved proposal for procuring MRSAM system for the army. The MRSAM is an advanced, all weather, mobile, land-based air defence system. It can shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS aircraft. It is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets at ranges of more than 50 km. The system will be jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and DRDO with the involvement of DPSUs and private sectors. It has majority indigenous content, giving boost to the Make-in-India initiative.

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