Current Affairs Daily – 11th October 2017

Daily Relevant Current Affairs for All COMPETITIVE EXAMS: October 11, 2017

Cabinet approves MoC between India and Japan on the “Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)” 

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of “Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)” between India and Japan on the “Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)”.
  • The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) is an ambitious program to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. It is expected that the MoC will pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development.
  • This MoC is expected to be signed during the forthcoming visit of Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship during October, 16-18, 2017 at Tokyo.

Cabinet approves signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Japan on establishing a Liquid, Flexible and Global LNG Market

  • The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector. It will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. This will strengthen our energy security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers.
  • The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of Destination Restriction Clause and also explore possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply.

Cabinet approves MoU between SEBI and FSC for mutual co operation and technical assistance

  • The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.
  • It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two signatories. It is expected to add value to overseas mutual cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and FSC, Gibraltar.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Belarus for Cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training 

  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Belarus for cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET).
  • The MoU was signed on 12th September, 2017 during the State visit of H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus to India.
  • This is for the first time MoU for cooperation in area of vocational education, training and skill development has been signed with Eurasian country.
  • Cooperation between two countries in identified areas would be implemented through establishing institutional partnerships between Republican Institute for Vocational Education” (RIPO) , an apex institution for development of Belarusian vocational education system and Directorate General of Training for transfer of technology in VET delivery & its sustainability. Cooperation with Sectoral VET/ Centres of Excellence of Belarus is proposed for Research and Development in the skilling ecosystem.

Major impact:

  • The MoU would bring in Belarus experience and expertise for overall improvement in skill eco system of the country.
  • Implementation of proposal includes innovation and improvement in the existing vocational education and skill development through Research and Development in the field.

Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait

  • The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators, and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.
  • It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two. It is expected to add value to overseas mutual cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and CMA, Kuwait.

Cabinet approves IALA to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization to Inter-Governmental Organization

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO).
  • The move will facilitate “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels”. It will bring IALA at par with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of water resources

The MoU intends to enhance cooperation in the field of water resources development and management within the framework of their expertise and their respective legislations. The domains of bilateral cooperation under this MoU include

  1. conception, realisation and maintenance of the hydraulic infrastructure, notably big dams and water transfer projects;
  2. integrated water resources management, i.e., conjunctive use of surface and ground water resources, enhancement of water use efficiency, resilience and adaptation to climate change, artificial recharge of aquifers, organisational, institutional and regulation aspects;
  3. flood and drought management;
  4. sustainable development and management of ground water resources including recharge augmentation; and
  5. harvesting and valuation of rainfall water and resilience and adaptation to climate

The cooperation also includes

  1. exchange of visits and missions of experts;
  2. exchange of information on programs, publications, expertise and results of research in the field of water resources;
  3. develop projects in domains mentioned above, in Morocco and India: develop partnership mechanism with the socio-economic actors in the two countries;
  4. ensure reciprocal participation of experts to the water related events and projects;
  5. and promote cooperation between Hydraulic Basin Agencies of the two countries with an aim to share the expertise on the implementation of the principles of integrated water resource management in the Hydraulic Basins.

The MoU also provides for setting up of a Joint Working Group(JWG) consisting of equal members from both the sides to monitor the activities to be carried out in fulfilment of the MoU. The Working Group shall hold its annual meeting alternatively in India and Morocco.

Cabinet approves SANKALP & STRIVE Schemes to boost Skill India Mission

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired has approved two new World Bank supported schemes of Rs. 6,655 crore – Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE).
  • Both the schemes are aimed at institutional reforms and improving quality & market relevance of skill development training programs in long and short term VET.
  • The schemes aim to develop a robust mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening institutions such as State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), ITIs and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) etc. The schemes shall support universalization of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) across the skill development schemes of central and state governments thus ensuring standardization in skill delivery, content and training output.
  • The schemes are aligned to flagship Government of India programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan and aim at developing globally competitive workforce for domestic and overseas requirements.

Vice President inaugurates the third International Conference on Yoga for Wellness

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 3rd International Conference on Yoga in New Delhi today. The theme of this year’s conference is “Yoga for Wellness”.
  • The conference is being organized by the Ministry of AYUSH as a part of year long events being organized to celebrate 21st June as International Day of Yoga.

Hyderabad to host AquaEx International Expo in March 2018

  • Hyderabad will host the first ever global scale International Trade and Technology event on Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture AquaEx India 2018 from March 15 to 17 next year.
  • The first edition of `AquaEx-India is being organised by the newly formed Society for Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture (SIFA).

Rajasthan is the first state to incorporate skill development program in higher education

  • Rajasthan has become the first state to incorporate skill development programme in the higher education.
  • The programme was launched by the state’s Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari and Vice Chancellor of IGNOU Prof Ravindra Kumar on 10 October 2017 in Jaipur.
  • The state’s Department of College Education in collaboration with IGNOU has prepared 16 courses for entrepreneurship and skill development for colleges in the state.
  • Under the project, 12 certificates and 4 diploma courses will be run and each college will be required to choose five courses.
  • 94 colleges have already joined the project and 5656 students have registered themselves in it.
  • The practical training of the students pursuing the skill development courses will be done in different government departments.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the state’s Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari expressed hope that more than 10 thousand students will be enrolled in the programmes in the next session.

Uttarakhand Govt. launches ‘solar briefcase’ for remote areas

  • Uttarakhand Govt. and Swan Cultural Center & Foundation (a charitable funding agency) have launched ‘Solar Briefcase’ to provide electricity to far-flung areas in the hill state.
  • 101 families located in remote areas were provided solar briefcases & power packs by the Hans foundation
  • The Hans foundation in collaboration with the State Government has decided to provide off grid power to the deprived families by distributing 15,000 solar briefcases in Uttarakhand
  • Earlier in the day CM Rawat handed over the first Power pack to the temple committee of Kedarnath.

Bihar to provide reservation to persons with disabilities in govt jobs

  • Bihar state cabinet has approved reservations for persons with disabilities in govt. jobs and educational institutions.
  • The provision has been brought in accordance with the Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016.
  • The cabinet also approved the establishment of a state advisory board for the empowerment of ‘Divyangjan’ as envisaged in the Act.
  • Secretaries of various departments will serve as members of the board and it will also comprise representatives from districts.

President presents Lal Bahadur Shastri National award to Bindeshwar Pathak

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has presented 18th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award to ‘Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak’ for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics, and Management.
  • Bindeshwar Pathak has contributed immensely in the direction of getting rid of the practice of manual scavenging.

Govt okays Rs 2,000 crore to set up Aadhaar units in post offices

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2,000 crore specifically for setting up Aadhaar centres in post offices, a move that will see private contractors phased out from the data collection process.
  • Aadhaar enrolment and updation facilities will be available in around 15,000 post offices by March 31 next year and this will complement the earlier decision that bank branches will have similar centres by October 31. Around 5,000 post offices will have the facility by December this year.

Maharashtra launches web portal with information on new government schemes

  • Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has launched ‘MahaLabharthi‘, web portal that will help people get information about all the government schemes that they are eligible for. The government is now working to connect the web portal with other websites, to allow people to apply for the welfare schemes.
  • The web portal,, works on the basis of personal, educational and professional information provided by a person while registering on it. Once the registration process is completed, it will provide the option of welfare schemes and the benefits for which he or she scan apply. However, the person has also to fulfil eligibility criteria to ensure he or she is eligible for it.

Govt rolls out DBT for fertiliser subsidy in 7 states/UTs

  • The Centre has introduced the direct benefit transfer (DBT) for fertiliser subsidies from this month in seven small states and union territories including Delhi.
  • Another 12 big states including Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are ready for the phase II launch next month and the target is to cover the entire country by January 2018.
  • The government bears about Rs. 70,000 crore annually as fertiliser subsidy to provide cheaper nutrients to farmers.
  • The DBT being implemented in the case of fertiliser subsidy payment is slightly different from the normal DBT implemented in cooking gas subsidy.

Telangana launches IoT, e-waste management policy

  • The Telangana govt announced two new policies focussing on Internet of things and e-waste, which are part of the 10 major focus areas of the state’s IT policy launched last year.
  • The IoT policy is designed to attract Rs 10,000 crore worth of investments and the creation of five clusters each in three districts.  The govt aims to provide employment for 50,000 people in five years.

IMF cuts India’s growth forecast to 6.7 per cent

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.7 per cent for 2017 from 7.2 per cent predicted earlier due to “still lingering disruptions associated with the currency exchange initiative introduced in November 2016, as well as transition costs related to the launch of GST.”
  • The World Economic Outlook report also lowered India’s growth for 2018 to 7.4 per cent, 0.3 percentage points less than its previous two projections in July and April. India’s growth rate in 2016 was 7.1 per cent, which saw an upward revision of 0.3 percentage points from its April report.

Microsoft, GE sign pact on new wind project in Ireland

  • Microsoft has signed a 15-year wind energy agreement with GE in Ireland, becoming one of the first global technology firms to support a new wind project in the country.
  • Microsoft will purchase 100 per cent of the wind energy from its new, 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry, Ireland.
  • The agreement will help support the growing demand for Microsoft Cloud services from Ireland.
  • As part of the deal, Microsoft also signed an agreement with Dublin-based energy trading company ElectroRoute that will provide energy trading services to Microsoft.

SEBI fixes penalty for non-compliance of shareholding norms

  • SEBI has tightened the noose on listed companies not adhering to norms regarding minimum public shareholding (MPS). Those that are non-compliant will have to pay a fine of 5,000 a day. In addition, the entire promoter holding, except for compliance to MPS, will be frozen by depositories, and the promoter group and directors of the company will not be allowed to hold any position in other companies.

Govt okays Rs 2,000 crore to set up Aadhaar units in post offices

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2,000 crore specifically for setting up Aadhaar centres in post offices, a move that will see private contractors phased out from the data collection process.
  • Aadhaar enrolment and updation facilities will be available in around 15,000 post offices by March 31 next year and this will complement the earlier decision that bank branches will have similar centres by October 31. Around 5,000 post offices will have the facility by December this year.

ICICI Bank Supports Armed Forces With Rs. 10 Crore

  •  To commemorate the sacrifices of these brave soldiers and improve the living conditions of their families, ICICI Bank has committed a financial assistance of Rs.10 crore to the Indian Armed Forces.
  •  The first half of the contribution, which will be made in two equal tranches, one this year and the other in 2018, was made by Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank with a cheque worth Rs.5 crore offered to the Honourable Minister of Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • This financial aid will be utilised for the welfare and betterment of the families of ex-servicemen, who laid down their lives to safeguard the nation.

Visa, Andhra Pradesh Ties up for Digital Dhan Sankalp Project

  • Visa has tied up with the Andhra Pradesh government for Digital Dhan Sankalp project. It is an initiative to develop Visakhapatnam into India’s first ‘less cash’ city.
  • The e-transformation of large state-owned service providers of the state into digital payments mode under the Vizag Digital Dhan Sankalp (VDDS) project is now accessible to over 90 percent of the city’s two million-strong population.

NABARD Buys Additional 7% stake in SIDBI from IDBI Bank

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has bought an additional 7% stake in Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) for Rs900 crore from troubled public sector lender IDBI Bank Ltd, according to two people familiar with the matter, including Sidbi chairman Mohammad Mustafa.
  • This is the largest investment made by the apex rural financial institution so far, and raises its total shareholding in Sidbi to 10%.

Economic Advisory Council held it’s first meeting

  • The recently constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) held its first meeting on Oct 11 to deliberate upon and lay out a roadmap to give a leg up to the Indian economy in the short term after GDP growth for the first quarter fell to a three-year low of 5.7%.
  • The council, headed by Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy and has economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as members, was set up in September. Ratan Watal, principal advisor to Niti Aayog, is the member-secretary of the panel.  Key issues expected to come up for discussion include ways to boost consumer demand, attract private investments and measures to incentivise job creation in the country.
  • The EAC is an independent body and is expected to provide advice on economic and related issues to the prime minister.

Axis Bank acquires Freecharge, appoints Sangram Singh as CEO

  • The country’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has acquired payments wallet Freecharge for Rs 373 crore in an all-cash deal and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO. He has been appointed as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Private Ltd.  The acquisition will double the customer base of the Axis bank and leapfrog its digital journey by multiple years.

Anupam Kher appointed as FTII chairman

  • Veteran actor Anupam Kher is appointed as new Chairperson of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. He replaces Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment in 2015 caused widespread protests.
  • Earlier he had held post of chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and the National School of Drama in India. He is currently the chairman at Actor Prepares.

Nisha Biswal appointed as President of USIBC

  • Nisha Desai Biswal, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, has been appointed president of the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), a forum of U.S. businesses under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • US-India Business Council is premier business advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening the economic and commercial relationship between US and India.

V M Kwatra Appointed Ambassador to Principality of Monaco

  • Vinay Mohan Kwatra, (IFS: 1988) has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Principality of Monaco, with residence in Paris.
  • He is presently Ambassador of India to France.

Iceland become smallest country to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup

  • Iceland became the smallest country ever to qualify for the World Cup when they beat Kosovo 2-0 to book a place at their first finals in Russia next year as winners of Group I.
  • The previous smallest country to have reached the finals was Trinidad & Tobago, in 2006, with 1.3 million people.

Indian pair win gold at World Archery Youth Championship

  • Mixed pair of Jemson Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat clinched the recurve team gold medal as India returned with three medals from the World Archery Youth Championship in Rosario.
  • This is India’s first world title at the youth championships since Deepika Kumari’s victories in 2009 and 2011. India also bagged one silver and one bronze in a promising show by the youngsters.
  • India also took a bronze medal in the compound cadet women’s event when Khushbu Dhayal, Sanchita Tiwari and Divya Dhawal defeated their opponents from Great Britain 212-206 in the play-off.

FIFA suspends the Pakistan Football Federation

  • FIFA has decided to suspend the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) with immediate effect in accordance with the decision of the Bureau of the FIFA Council dated 10 October 2017 on account of undue third-party interference.
  • The Bureau [of the Fifa Council] took this decision as a result of the fact that the PFF offices and its accounts remain in control of a court-appointed administrator, which constitutes a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third parties in accordance with the FIFA Statutes.
  • The suspension will be lifted once the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts are returned to the PFF.

Facebook India MD Umang Bedi quits

  • Facebook India managing director Umang Bedi has stepped down from his position, according to a statement by the social networking giant.
  • Sandeep Bhushan has been appointed as the interim managing director.

Boxing coach Gurbax gets National Award

  • Long-serving Indian boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu has been honoured with the National Awards for senior citizens by President Ramnath Kovind.

Stanislav Petrov obituary

  • Stanislav Petrov, who has died aged 77, was a largely unsung hero of the cold war, whose calm common sense saved the world from nuclear war.
  • In 1983, he was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet air defence forces and duty officer at Serpukhov-15, a secret command centre outside Moscow that monitored Soviet early warning satellites orbiting over the US.


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