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Indian Affairs Cabinet approves implementation of the scheme “Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” On September 12,2017, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) approved a “Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” (DIDF) with an outlay of Rs10,881 crore during the period from 2017-18 to 2028-29.This fund will give new impetus to the dairy industry and to people relying on it.The project will be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC). The objective of the fund : – i)Building an efficient milk procurement system by setting up of cold storage infrastructure. ii)Installation of electronic milk adulteration testing equipment iii)Creation/modernization/expansion of processing infrastructure and manufacturing faculties for Value Added Products for the Milk Unions/ Milk Producer Companies….………Click here for more detail Chennai-Vladivostok sea route: India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR India is planning to launch major connectivity initiative, connecting Chennai with key Russian port Vladivostok via sea route with an aim to harness natural resources from Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region. This effort by government of India will counter china’s OBOR project. Importance :- i. This shipping link would enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to East Russia via Europe ii. This proposed maritime route which could be transformed into a corridor could compete with Indo-Japan Pacific to Indian Ocean Corridor amid Beijing’s OBOR of which MSR is a part virtually connecting entire SE Asia through road, shipping and rail links. India – Russia relations :- i. The Indo-Russian strategic partnership has been built on five major components: politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism co-operation and space. ii. Russia has stated publicly that it supports India receiving a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. iii. India was first country to establish resident Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992. iv. India’s current engagement with region is limited to isolated pockets such as Irkut Corporation in Irkutsk where Mig and Sukhoi aircraft are built and over $6 billion worth of investments by ONGC Visesh Limited in Sakhalin 1 project. v. The region has wealth of natural resources such as timber, mineral resources (coal & diamonds) and precious metal deposits (gold, platinum, tin and tungsten) and oil and natural gas. Russia Quick facts : – Capital : Moscow Currency : Russian ruble President : Vladimir Putin Ministry of Railways permits m-Aadhar as one of the prescribed proofs of Identity for Rail Travel Purpose On September 13,2017 Railway Ministry has decided to permit m-Aadhar as one of the prescribed proofs of Identity for Rail Travel purpose in any reserved class. m-Aadhar :- i. Its a mobile application launched by UIDAI in which a person can download his/her Aadhar Card. ii. It can be done only on the mobile number to which Aadhar has been linked. iii. For showing Aadhar, the person has to open the app and enter his/ her password to show the Aadhar Card. This should be accepted as proof of identity in any reserved class over Indian Railways. UGC rolls out application process for institutes seeking status of eminence. On September 12,2017, The University Grants Commission(UGC) announced the beginning of a 90-day application process for public and private universities to seek the status of institutions of eminence, which will provide them freedom from the regular regulatory mechanisms. Twenty institutions (10 public and 10 private) will be given this status with the aim of making it in par with world-class institutions. Qualification process and sole purpose: – i. Institutions in the top 50 of the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings or those who have secured ranking among top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS University Rankings or Shanghai Ranking Academic Ranking of World Universities are eligible to apply. ii. The 10 state-run institutions will have an additional benefit, provision of Rs10,000 crore will be allotted over a period of 10 years in addition to the regular grants. iii.These institutions will have world class status over the period of 10 years. Rs 600-cr rail training centre for bullet train to come up in Vadodara On september13,2017 Managing Director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) Achal Khare informed that high-speed rail training centre worth 600 crore for the first bullet train project will be set up in Vadodara. This centre will come up on the five hectares of land inside the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) . The training centre will have a sample track fitted with the overhead electrical systems to enable testing of bullet trains that will run on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. This centre is expected to become operational by December 2020. Kerala to open India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics On September 12,2017 Kerala’s Health minister K.K. Shylaja announced that kerla is planning to open India’s first transgender-exclusive clinics at government medical colleges across the state. i. As a part of the state’s Transgender Policy 2015, this move has been undertaken by the state’s Health and Social Justice departments, in collaboration with Legal Services Society with an aim to make the state’s health sector transgender-friendly. ii. The first clinic will be set up at the government medical college of Kottayam within the next two months and will be one of the two clinics to provide the sex-change surgery. Sachin Tendulkar launches Mission 24 to develop the poorest ward in Mumbai On 12th September 2017, Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar launched Mission 24 —to improve the quality of life in one of Mumbai’s poorest wards, in Mumbai. Mission-24: i. The project is carried out by NGO Apnalaya and Mumbai’s Municipal body – BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation). ii. They would work for the next 24 months on M-East, Mumbai’s poorest ward. It has the maximum of the slum population in Mumbai. iii. BMC Commissioner Mr.Ajoy Mehta said that apart from improving the standard of schools in the slum areas, initiatives would be taken to improve the overall quality of education. iv. BMC has already set its priorities for the next 2 years for various wards in Mumbai. About Sachin Tendulkar: i. Former Indian Cricketer & best batsman ever ii. Born – Mumbai iii. Batting style – Right-handed iv. Bowling style – Right-arm medium, leg break, off break Karnataka Cabinet clears Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy Karnataka Cabinet has cleared Karnataka Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy 2017 with a clear plan tomake Bengaluru the electric vehicle capital of India. Key Points: i.The policy main aim is to reduce pollution. The policy was formulated by the Major and Medium Industries Department after consulting the stakeholders, including vehicle manufacturing industries. ii.The key objective of the Policy is to maintain the lead share of Karnataka as a preferred destination for attracting investments in manufacture of Electric Vehicle and to attract investments of Rs 31,000 crore and create 55,000 jobs. iii.Amendments will be made to building by-laws for providing mandatory charging infrastructure in all high-rise buildings. iv.A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be created to set up charging centres across the Bengaluru city. v.‘Karnataka Electric Mobility Research & Innovation Centre’ will be set up to extend the necessary support. About Karnataka Bandipur National Park Nagarhole National Park Bannerghatta National Park Kali Tiger Reserve USTDA signs MoU with AAI to develop Kolkata, Lucknow airports The US Trade and Development Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Airports Authority of India announced on 13th of Sept. 2017. Key Points: i.The MoU has been signed to support a 20-year master plan aimed at expansion of operational capacities of the Kolkata and Lucknow international airports. ii.Airports Authority of India (AAI) has selected Cincinnati-based Landrum & Brown (L&B) company to conduct the master planning. iii.It will help in incorporating sustainable and environment-friendly ways to accommodate the anticipated increase in demand at two of the fastest growing airports in AAI’s network. iv.Under the US-India Aviation Cooperation Programme, USTDA has supported a number of similar activities aimed at helping the India’s growing aviation market. v.This project will advance India’s priorities of expanding capacity at two of the busiest airports in the country. vi.India’s civil aviation sector is expected to be the third largest national market by 2020 and, potentially, the largest by 2030. About USTDA USTDA is a Virginia-based company and is an independent agency of the US government. It was established in 1961, the agency promotes economic development and US commercial interests in developing and middle income countries. Banking & Finance World Bank allocates $8 billion for China’s Silk Road project On 12th September 2017, World Bank President Mr.Jim Yong Kim announced that World Bank has allocated $8 billion for infrastructure projects under China’s Silk Road initiative, Beijing. Silk Road Project: i. Mr.Jim Yong Kim announced this fund allotment in a round table conference in Beijing. ii. In 2013, Chinese President Mr.Xi Jinping formulated this Silk Road initiative. iii. The purpose of Silk Road initiative is to create an economic corridor connecting China with Asia, Europe and the rest of the world. iv. The Silk Road project has two components – Silk Road Economic Belt (land-based connectivity) and Maritime Silk Road (ocean based connectivity). v. The Silk Road Economic Belt consists of 6 corridors which connect to five central Asian countries, Iran, Persian Gulf, Transcaucasia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. About World Bank: i. Motto – Working for a World Free of Poverty ii. Headquarters – Washington D.C. iii. President – Mr. Jim Yong Kim India’s GDP growth for Fiscal Year 2018 is likely at 7.1%: Nomura On 13th September 2017, a report by Japanese financial services company Nomura said that India’s GDP growth is expected to be around 7.1 % this fiscal year (2017 – 2018). Details of the report: i. India is predicted to have a 7.1 % GDP growth this fiscal year (2017 – 2018) and that would be followed by a pickup in industrial production. ii. This has been predicted since firms would start restocking after GST (Goods & Services Tax) and festive season is also ahead. iii. Before GST the demand for consumer products reduced heavily since people postponed purchases. iv. Now, the situation has turned normal and people would go for bulk purchases as the festive season is arriving. Merchants would start restocking now. v. Also, remonetisation would have a positive impact on the country’s industrial growth. vi. It has also said that inflation would be higher owing to GST effect prices like food items, other consumer products etc. About Nomura: i. Type – financial services company ii. Headquarters – Japan iii. Group CEO – Koji Nagai iv. Chairman – Nobuyuki Koga Business India ranked 103 on Global Human Capital Index 2017, Norway on top by WEF India has been ranked 103 on Global Human Capital Index 2017 released by World Economic Forum (WEF). India has scored the least among the BRICS countries. Global Human Capital Index i.The Global Human Capital Index is prepared by WEF (World Economic Forum) for 130 countries based on the knowledge and skills people possess that would find value in the global economic system. ii.The rankings are based on four criteria – capacity, deployment, development, and know-how. iii.The rankings are classified under five age groups namely – 0-14 years, 15-24 years, 25-54 years, 55-64 years, and 65 years and above. vi.In the overall ranking, India is in rank 103, which is the least among BRICS countries. v.Ranks obtained by India in the four categories are as follows: – Capacity – 101 – Deployment – 118 – Development – 65 – Know – how – 79 The list was topped by Norway with 1st rank in the overall ranking.It was followed by Finland in the 2nd position and Switzerland ranked 3rd. About World Economic Forum (WEF): Motto – Committed to improving the state of the world Headquarters – Cologny, Switzerland Executive Chairman – Mr.Klaus Schwab…………Click here for more detail London retains top in 2017 Global Financial Centres Index;Mumbai ranked at 60th position On 11th September 2017, Global Financial Centres Index 2017 was released, in which London has retained its 1 rank despite major issues regarding Brexit. Mumbai has managed to get 60th rank in the list. Global Financial Centres Index 2017: This is the 22nd edition of Global Financial Centres Index. The Global Financial Centres Index provides ranking of competitiveness for the major financial centres around the world. The Global Financial Centres Index is compiled by China Development Institute (CDI) in Shenzhen and Z/Yen Partners in London. The first GFCI was released in March 2007. GFCI is updated twice a year in March and September. London has retained its 1st position this year also in spite of Brexit (exit of United Kindom from European Union). London is followed by New York in the second position and Hong Kong in the third….………Click here for more detail Mindtree opens first global Digital Pumpkin innovation hub in U.S. On 12th September 2017, Mindtree, a Bengaluru based muitinational company inaugurated its first international Digital Pumpkin innovation hub at Warren, New Jersey, in US. First global Digital Pumpkin innovation hub: i. After the success of Digital Pumpkin in Bengaluru Mindtree has set up its first global Digital Pumpkin in US. ii. The Digital Pumpkin provides solutions for Internet of Things, artificial Intelligence, cognitive solutions, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, conversational cloud and big data. iii. The Digital pumpkin at US would provide an interactive space where various teams can co-ordinate, design and create digital experiences to its US clients. iv. It has been established in an area of 16,000 square feet, a relativity smaller space. Yet this offers a wide range of solutions, accelerators and tools for clients. About Mindtree: i. Type – Indian Multinational Information Technology & Outsourcing Company ii. Headquarters – Bengaluru iii. Non-executive director – Subroto Bagchi iv. Chairman – Krishnakumar Natarajan Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Hyundai to join hands in ship building Hindustan Shipyard Ltd will ink a partnership with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd of South Korea for construction of fleet support ships (FSS) for the Navy in both the countries. Key Points: i.An MoU is likely to be signed next year on this. At present, talks are in progress between the Ministry of Defence and South Korea. ii.The first ship was expected to roll out in October, 2022, from the Hyundai facility in South Korea. iii.The issue of mutual cooperation was discussed as early as in May 2015 during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Hyundai. iv.The construction of another FSS would start at HSL with the guidance of Hyundai. The cost of five FSS would be around Rs.9,500 crore. v.The HSL was planning to roll out one FSS every 10 months after the delivery of the first vessel from Hyundai. Appointments & Resigns WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton Leaves Company to start a non-profit venture Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp has announced to resign from the company to start a non-profit venture of his own. Key Points: i.Acton spent eight years with WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion in cash and stock. ii.A Stanford alumnus, Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Ukrainian immigrant Jan Koum in 2009. They both worked at Yahoo before starting WhatsApp. iii.He has decided to start a non-profit venture and focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications Mahendra Pratap Mall appointed as CMD of IRCTC Mahendra Pratap Mall has appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) announced on 12th Sept. 2017. Key Points: i.He is currently Director (Finance) in the same organisation. ii.He will serve for a period of 5 years an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Nagaraja Sharma appointed new CMD of United India Insurance The Union Government has appointed M Nagaraja Sharma as the Chairman and Managing director of United India Insurance (UII) announced on 13th of Sept. 2017. Key Points: i.Sharma is currently the director and general manager of UII. ii.The post of chairman and MD was vacant after the retirement of Milind Kharat a few months ago. Important facts:- United India Insurance Company Limited is headquartered in Chennai. United India Insurance Company Limited was incorporated on 18 February 1938 as a company. In 1972 General Insurance Business was nationalized in India. Acquisitions & Mergers Zomato acquires Runnr On 13th September 2017, restaurant discovery and food delivery firm Zomato acquired logistics startup Runnr. About the acquisition: i. The deal for acquisition was signed between Zomato CEO, Mr.Deepinder Goyal and Runnr CEO Mr.Mohit Kumar. ii. The amount for which Runnr was acquired has not been disclosed. iii. Zomato currently delivers 30 lakh orders per month. Out of which only 10 % (3 lakh) is fulfilled by Runnr. iv. This acquisition would enable Zomato fulfill around 50 % of the orders through its own logistics. v. Apart from this Zomato would continue to utilise the restaurant’s own logistics. Which it considers to be a cost effective method. vi. This acquisition would help Zomato compete stronger with its rival Swiggy, a food delivery service provider. About Zomato: i. Type – Restaurant discovery & food delivery service provider ii. Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana iii. CEO – Mr.Deepinder Goyal Sports Goa to host 36th National Games On 13th September 2017, Goa’s Sports Minister Mr.Manohar Ajgaonkar said that Goa would host the 36th National Games, in Goa. 36th National Games: i. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has given the official rights to Goa to host the 36th National Games. ii. The event would be held in November, 2017. iii. Mr. Manohar Ajgaonkar said that improvement in infrastructure and other facilities would be done to provide a great experience in the National Games. iv. The responsibility of arranging protocol, ceremonies, accommodation, games village, hospitality and co-ordination, transportation etc. are given to the host city. v. Budget to setup infrastructure for the National Games has been estimated as Rs.400 crore by Goa Chief Minister Mr.Manohar Parrrikar. it might be further reduced to Rs.350 crore. vi. The location for setting up sports infrastructure has not yet been decided. About Goa: i. Capital – Panaji ii. Official language – Konkani iii. Governor – Ms.Mridula Sinha iv. Chief Minister – Mr.Manohar Parrikar Maharashtra wins Chief Minister’s cup at National kickboxing championship Maharashtra has won the Chief Minister’s cup at National kickboxing championship. It has 45 gold medals. Key Points: i.The National kickboxing championship is being held in Raipur. ii.Chhattisgarh secured second position with 27 gold and Haryana secured third position with 15 gold medals. iii.About two thousand players from 27 states participated in the four-day event. About Maharashtra National Park: Navegaon NP Nagzira Chandoli NP Important Days Hindi Diwas (Day) – September 14 On 14th September every year Hindi Diwas (Day) is celebrated in India. Hindi Diwas: i. After India got Independence in 1947, the selection of official language was of great concern. ii. English was in official use regarding Government matters during the British rule. iii. The Constituent Assembly decided to make Hindi as official language along with English which had already gained that status. iv. Hindi was made the official language on September 14, 1949. v. The resolution was adopted under the Constitution of India in 1950. vi. In order to promote the use of Hindi Indian Prime Minister Mr.Jawaharlal Nehru declared 14th September as the Hindi Diwas. vii. The first Hindi Diwas was celebrated in 1953. About Hindi: i. Status – One of the official languages of India ii. Script – Devanagari Obituary Constitutional law expert and Senior Advocate PP Rao passed away On September 13,2017, Senior Supreme Court Lawyer and Constitutional expert PP Rao passed away at New Delhi due to cardiac arrest. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan. In 2014, President of India Pranab Mukherjee approved Rao’s selection as jurist member of the selection committee of the Lokpal. He was enrolled as an Advocate with Bar Council of Delhi in 1967 and shifted his practice to the Supreme Court. He was designated as a Senior Advocate in 1976. He was elected the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 1991, and in 2006. The famous cases that involves him: – i. He represented the State of Andhra Pradesh as Advocate on Record in ‘Kesavananda Bharati’ ii. Assisted Attorney-General Nirin De in ‘ADM Jabalpur’. iii. A.R. Antulay v R.S. Naik, iv. S.R. Bommai v Union of India, v. P.V. Narasimha Rao v State vi. Ashok Kumar Thakur v Union of India vii. M.S. Gill v Chief Election Commissioner.