Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 24, 2017


Home Minister Rajnath Singh Attends SCO Meet

A two-day Meeting of Heads of Governments of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States began at Choplon Ata in Kyrgyz Republic.

  • The meeting will focus on prevention and elimination of emergency situations. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is leading the Indian delegation which includes senior officers from Home and External Affairs Ministries and National Disaster Management Authority.
  • India had joined the SCO in June in Kazakhstan capital Astana. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the summit.
  • The participation of India as SCO Member will open additional opportunities for giving new impetus to the development of international cooperation in the field of protecting the population and territories from emergency situations within the framework of the Organisation.
  • The meeting will consider and approve the draft action plan for 2018-2019 for the implementation of the agreement between the governments of the SCO member states on cooperation in providing assistance in the elimination of emergency situations.


Cabinet Approves New Central Sector Scheme - "PMKSY"

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)” for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.

  • The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.
  • Impact:-

  • The implementation of PMKSY will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
  • It will provide a big boost to the growth of food processing sector in the country.
  • It will help in providing better prices to farmers and is a big step towards doubling of farmers’ income.
  • It will create huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.


Cabinet Gives Approval for PSU Banks to Merge Through an Alternative Mechanism (Am)

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM). The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks.

  • In May 2016 effective action to consolidate public sector banks began to be taken by announcing amalgamation of six banks into the State bank of India.
  • There are now 20 PSBs other than SBI.
  • The decision is expected to facilitate the creation of strong and competitive banks in public sector space to meet the credit needs of a growing economy, absorb shocks and have the capacity to raise resources without depending unduly on the state exchequer.

17th Meeting of FSDC Held in New Delhi

The seventeenth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley.

  • Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) made a presentation on the state of economy. The Council noted that India has macro-economic stability today on the back of improvements in its macro-economic fundamentals, structural reforms with the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), action being taken to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge, extraordinary financial market confidence, reflected in high and rising bond and especially stock valuations and long-term positive consequences of demonetization.
  • The Council discussed on the Central KYC Registry (CKYCR) system, took note of the initiatives taken in this regard by the members and discussed the issues / suggestions in respect of operationalization of CKYCR.
  • The Council also deliberated on strengthening the regulation of the Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs).


Coast Guard Ship 'Varuna' Decommissioned

Indian Coast Guard ship 'Varuna' decommissioned with full armed forces honours after an illustrious service spanning about 30 years, in a traditional military ceremony held at the naval base,Kochi.

  • The ceremony was presided over by Inspector General K R Nautiyal, Commander, Coast Guard Region (West).
  • ICGS Varuna was fourth of its series, known as Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) and built by Mazagaon Dock, Mumbai.

Enlighten about ISRO:-

  • Established:-15 August 1969(1962 as INCOSPAR)
  • Headquarters:-Bangalore Founder: Vikram Sarabhai Director: A. S. Kiran Kumar ISRO built India's first satellite, Aryabhata, which was launched by the Soviet Union on 19 April 1975.


Prannoy jumps to world no 15 in badminton ranking

Indian shuttler HS Prannoy improved two places to reach the 15th spot in the latest BWF rankings. Prannoy clinched the US Open title last month, had reached the quarterfinals at New Zealand Grand Prix Gold at Auckland last week.

  • Kidambi Srikanth, who clinched successive titles at Indonesia and Australia, remained at the eighth spot.
  • In women's singles, Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu and London Games bronze winner Saina Nehwal continue in their same places. Sindhu is in the 5th spot while Saina remains at the16th spot.
  • About BWF:-

  • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the international governing body for the sport of badminton recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
  • Formation: - 1934.
  • Headquarters:-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Membership:-176 member associations
  • President:-Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen


Biju Patnaik Award for Scientific Excellence

Odisha C.M – Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conferred the Biju Patnaik Award for Scientific Excellence for the year 2016 to Prof Digambar Behera.

  • Behera is senior professor and Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh.
  • Instituted by Odisha Bigyan Academy (OBA), the award is given to an Odia Scientist working anywhere in India or abroad each year for his/her lifetime research contributions in the field of science and technology.


Ashwani Lohani: New Railway Board Chairman

Ashwani Lohani will be the new Chairman of Railway Board following the resignation of the incumbent A K Mittal owning moral responsibility for Muzzafarnagar train accident.

  • The appointment of Mr Lohani was cleared by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. He was serving as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India.
  • Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor in Petroleum Ministry, Rajiv Bansal has been given additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director Air India.