Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 6, 2017

SAUNI Yojana – Link IV

Why in news –

  • President Ramnath Kovind laid foundation stone for link-4 of Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation Scheme (SAUNI) Yojana in Rajkot district, Gujarat.

What it is –

  • SAUNI Yojana is multipurpose project that aims to solve water problems of parched Saurashtra region of Gujarat
  • Three phase of SAUNI yojana already have been dedicated to people following completion of work.

Enlighten about SAUNI project –

  • SAUNI project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  • It aims to fill up 115 major dams in Saurashtra by diverting overflow of water from Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River
  • It is an out-and-out irrigation and drinking water project designed solely for Saurashtra peninsula. Its unique feature involves making pipe canals instead of conventional open canals which has led to no acquisition of land and involve less loss of water
  • It has network of canals will comprise 1,125-km network of pipelines that will help to channel water into Frames


9TH BRICS summit – Xiamen, China


The 9th BRICS summit was held in Xiamen, China.


“Stronger Partnership for brighter Future”

Hosted in -

Xiamen China (second time the summit was hosted in China after 2011 summit)

Enlighten about Xiamen declaration –

  • BRICS leaders adopted Xiamen declaration at the end of the summit.
  • Four documents were signed in presence of BRICS Leaders.
  • They are Strategic Framework of BRICS Customs Cooperation BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation(2017-2020)

BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Cooperation

  • MoU between BRICS Business Council and New Development Bank on Strategic Cooperation Features of Xiamen declaration

Strive towards broad partnerships -

  • BRICS countries agreed to strive towards broad partnerships with emerging markets and developing countries and pursue equal footed and flexible practices and initiatives for dialogue and cooperation with non BRICS countries, including through BRICS Plus cooperation


  • It includes Thailand, Tajikistan, Egypt, Kenya and Mexico

BRICS local currency bond markets-

  • Member countries resolved to promote development of BRICS local currency bond markets and agreed to jointly establish a BRICS local currency bond fund and facilitate financial market integration.
  • They will also encourage explorations toward the establishment of the BRICS Institute of Future Networks.

R&D and innovation in ITC-

  • They agreed to enhance joint research, development and innovation in information and communications technology (ICT), including internet of things (IoT), big data, data analytics, cloud computing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, 5G and their innovative applications.

Cooperation on energy-

  • They agreed to strengthen BRICS cooperation on energy and work to foster open, flexible and transparent markets for energy commodities and technologies.

Promote effective use of fossil fuels-

  • They also agreed to work together to promote most effective use of fossil fuels and wider use of gas, hydro and nuclear power to move towards low emission economy, better energy access and sustainable development.

BRICS Agriculture Research Platform-

  • It is proposed to be established in India which will serve as virtual network facilitating cooperation in priority areas.

Broad counterterrorism coalition-

  • They called upon international community to establish genuinely broad counterterrorism coalition and support UN’s central coordinating role in this regard.

People-to-People exchanges-

  • It should be promoted for development and enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation among BRICS countries.

Enlighten about BRICS

  • It was established in 2009
  • BRICS is acronym for an association of ive major emerging national economies -
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Originally it was known as BRIC before inclusion of South Africa in 2011.
  • The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009.
  • BRICS countries are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs.


Formation of task force for the speedy implementation of NAMAMI GANGA PROGRAMME

Implementing body –

  • The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

More details -

  • The task force is expected to have ministers and offcials from water resources, urban development, drinking water and sanitation and rural development among others onboard.

The BRICS interbank cooperation mechanism -

  • Namami Gange programme is an ambitious flagship programme of Union Government aiming at integrating various efforts to clean and protect River Ganga in comprehensive manner.
  • It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015.
  • The programme aims at Ganga rejuvenation by combining the existing ongoing efforts and planning under it to create a concrete action plan for future.
  • It has budgetary outlay of Rs.20,000 crore to accomplish twin objectives –
  • 1. Effective abatement of pollution,
    2. Conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga.

  • It will cover 8 states, 47 towns and 12 rivers under project.

The main pillars of programme are -

  • Sewerage treatment infrastructure,
  • River-front development,
  • River-surface cleaning,
  • Bio-diversity,
  • Afforestation,
  • Public awareness
  • Industrial effluent monitoring and
  • Ganga gram.
  • It also seeks to benefit vast population dependent on River Ganaga in terms of job creation, improved livelihoods and health benefits.
  • Its implementation has been divided into entry-level activities for immediate visible impact, medium-term activities to be implemented within 5 years of time frame and Long-Term Activities to be implemented within 10 years.
  • It also endeavours to deploy best available knowledge and resources international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation such as Australia, UK, Germany, Finland, Israel etc


SURYA – KIRAN – 12th edition


  • India- Nepal joint military exercise


  • 12TH edition


  • Nepal Army Battle School (NABS) in Saljhandi, Nepal


  • from 3 to 16 September 2017

Focused on skills required counter-terrorism and counter-terror, forest fighting and natural disaster management operations.

Enlighten about the exercise

  • Indian Army was represented by troops of Kumaon Scouts and Narayan Dal Battalion participated on behalf of Nepal Army.
  • Both troops focused on the various counter insurgency operations.
  • They also focused on important aspects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations and environmental conservation.
  • The exercise mutually benefited both armies by gaining varied experiences and also strengthened friendly relation between India and Nepal.

Enlighten about Surya Kiran –

  • The Surya Kiran series of bilateral military exercises are conducted bi-annually, alternatively in India and Nepal.
  • It is largest exercise in terms of troop’s participation in series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries.
  • It aims at promoting military relations and increasing interoperability armies of neighbouring countries.
  • The 11 edition of the exercise was held in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand in March 2017.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog launches the National Nutrition Strategy

  • Leader of the Green Revolution Dr. M.S Swaminathan and Padma Shri Dr. H Sudarshan launched the National Nutrition Strategy, along with Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Member Dr. Vinod Paul.


  • The recently published NFHS-4 results reflect some progress, with a decline in the overall levels of under nutrition in both women and children.
  • To address this and to bring nutrition to the centre-stage ofthe National DevelopmentAgenda, NITI Aayog has drafted the National Nutrition Strategy.


  • Formulated through an extensive consultative process, the Strategy lays down a roadmap for effective action, among both implementers and practitioners, in achieving our nutrition objectives.
  • The nutrition strategy envisages a framework wherein the four proximate determinants of nutrition –
  • Uptake of health services, food, drinking water & sanitation and income & livelihoods
  • work together to accelerate decline of under nutrition in India.
  • Currently, there is also a lack of real time measurement of these determinants, which reduces our capacity for targeted action among the most vulnerable mothers and children.
  • Supply side challenges often overshadow the need to address behavioural change efforts to generate demand for nutrition services.
  • This strategy, therefore, gives prominence to demand and community mobilisation as a key determinant to address India's nutritional needs.


  • The Nutrition Strategy framework envisages a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat - linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat.
  • The aim is ensure that States create customized State/ District Action Plans to address local needs and challenges.
  • This is especially relevant in view of enhanced resources available with the States, to prioritise focussed interventions with a greater role for panchayats and urban local bodies.
  • The strategy enables states to make strategic choices, through decentralized planning and local innovation, with accountability for nutrition outcomes.


North East Calling

To be organized by –

  • The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER

When –

  • 09-10th September

Purpose –

  • Purpose of the event is to promote the art, culture, heritage, cuisine, handicrafts, business and tourism of North East India
  • The event will showcase all activities and products of North-East and it coincides with the 16th Anniversary of Ministry of DoNER.


Systematically Important Banks (D- SIBs) -

RBI’s too big to fail list includes – HDFC BANK


  • RBI has included – 1. SBI & 2. ICICI


  • The Reserve Bank of India has listed HDFC to systemically important banks list.

What does the addition means -

  • The addition means that HDFC has now being considered as too big to fail bank.
  • Since 2015, the central bank has been identifying banks whose failure would impact the whole financial system. These banks are subject to more rigorous regulation and capital requirement.

Enlighten about Systematically Important Banks (D- SIBs) -

  • A few banks assume systemic importance due to their size, cross-jurisdictional activities, complexity, lack of substitutability and interconnectedness.
  • The disorderly failure of these banks has the propensity to cause significant disruption to the essential services provided by the banking system, and in turn, to the overall economic activity.
  • These banks are considered Systemically Important Banks (SIBs) as their continued functioning is critical for the uninterrupted availability of essential banking services to the real economy.
  • SIBs are perceived as ones that are ‘Too Big To Fail (TBTF)’. This perception of TBTF creates an expectation of government support for these banks at the time of distress. Due to this perception, these banks enjoy certain advantages in the funding markets.
  • The indicators the RBI uses for identifying Domestic-SIBs are: size, interconnectedness, substitutability and complexity. Based on the sample of banks chosen for computation of their systemic importance, a relative composite systemic importance score of the banks is computed.
  • The RBI will determine a cut-off score beyond which banks will be considered as D-SIBs.
  • D-SIBs are subjected to differentiated supervisory requirements and higher intensity of supervision based on the risks they pose to the financial system.