Daily GK Update 24th August 2017, Important Current Affairs

1. Important Cabinet Approvals- 23rd August
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The full list of Cabinet Approvals is given as follows-
ii. Cabinet has approved-
1. Setting up of a Commission to examine the Sub-Categorization within OBCs.
2. MoU between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement for construction of a Closure of loss making Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company.
3. MoU between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.
4. Cabinet gives in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM). The salient features of the approval Framework for Consolidation of Public Sector Banks are as follows:
  • The decision regarding creating strong and competitive banks would be solely based on commercial considerations.
  • The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.
  • The proposals received from Banks for in-principle approval to formulate schemes of amalgamation shall be placed before the Alternative Mechanism (AM).
  • After in-principle approval, the Banks will take steps in accordance with law and SEBI’s requirements.
  • The final scheme will be notified by Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India.
Daily GK Update 24th August 2017, Important Current Affairs

2. Alibaba's Jack Ma is Asia's Richest Man: Forbes
i. Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma is back on top as Asia’s richest man following gains in the company's earnings and share price. Jack Ma is worth $37.4 billion, according to the Forbes real-time billionaires list.
ii. In the latest rankings, Chinese Internet billionaire- Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng, the latter has slipped to No. 2, with a fortune worth $36.7 billion. Jack Ma currently ranks as the world’s No. 18 richest man and is No. 1 in Asia.

3. Creamy Layer Ceiling Raised to Rs 8 LPA
i. The government has hiked the ceiling for the creamy layer from Rs. 6 lakh per annum to Rs. 8 lakh per annum for central government jobs, according to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. In the OBC category, those earning up to Rs. 8 lakh per annum will get reservation benefits.
ii. The Cabinet also approved a commission to examine sub-categorization of OBCs. The better-educated member of Other Backward Classes who cannot avail government-sponsored educational and job benefits are called the creamy layer.

4. Supreme Court Declares Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right
i. The Supreme Court of India pronounced that individual privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar ruled that the right to privacy is intrinsic to life and liberty, thus coming under Article 21, and comes under the various fundamental freedoms in PART III of the Indian Constitution.
ii. All the nine judges arrive at the same conclusion, though through different but concurring judgments, that right to privacy is intrinsic to right to life and liberty. With this now India has total seven fundamental rights.

5. Cabinet Renames SAMPADA Scheme as PMKSY
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs 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.
ii. The new Central Sector Scheme- SAMPADA was approved in May 2017 with same allocation and period. The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.

6. TRAI Signs Deal with Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission
i. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) signed a letter of intent (LoI) with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to jointly conduct capacity building exercises in the fields of broadcasting and telecommunications regulation.
ii. The agreement would help both regulators to work closely in enhancing mutual cooperation and bilateral relations.

7. Sushma Swaraj to Inaugurate First Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate the country's first Videsh Bhavan, assimilating all Regional Passport Offices under one roof, at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
ii. As a first pilot project, four offices of MEA - Regional Passport Office (RPO), Protector of Emigrants (PoE) office, Branch Secretariat and Regional Office of ICCR - have been assimilated and brought under one roof at the state-of-art office.

8. 8 MOUs signed between India and Nepal
i. Nepalese PM Sher Bahadur Deuba accompanied by his spouse Dr. Arzu Deuba is on a State Visit to India at the invitation of PM of India, Shri Narendra Modi. On the Second Day of his visit following MoUs/Agreements were signed between the two countries-
  1. MoU on Modalities for Utilization of India’s Housing Grant Component to support Reconstruction of 50,000 Houses.
  2. MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Education Sector in Nepal.
  3. MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Cultural Heritage Sector in Nepal.
  4. MoU on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Health Sector in Nepal.
  5. MoU for Implementation Arrangement on Cost Sharing, Schedules and Safeguard Issues for Construction of Mechi Bridge under ADB's SASEC Road Connectivity Program.
  6. MoU on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemical and Related Matters.
  7. Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Standardization and Conformity Assessment.
  8. MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal.
9. Rajnath Attends SCO Meet in Kyrgyz Republic
i. A two-day Meeting of Heads of Governments of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States begun at Choplon Ata in Kyrgyz Republic. The meeting focused on prevention and elimination of emergency situations.
ii. Home Minister Rajnath Singh lead 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 2017 in Kazakhstan capital Astana.

10. Microsoft Launches 'Project Brainwave' for Real-Time AI
i. Software giant Microsoft has announced its 'Project Brainwave' deep learning acceleration platform for real-time artificial intelligence (AI). With the help of ultra-low latency, the system processes requests as fast as it receives them.
ii. The 'Project Brainwave' uses the massive field-programmable gate array (FPGA) infrastructure that Microsoft has been deploying over the past few years.

11. Andhra Pradesh First to Implement Bharat QR Digital Payments
i. Andhra Pradesh’s Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (EPDCL) and the Southern Power Distribution Corporation of AP Ltd. (SPDCL) have become the first state-owned distribution companies in India to accept payments through Bharat QR.
ii. As part of the ‘Vizag less–cash city’ initiative underway between Visa and the Andhra Pradesh government, the state has witnessed a slew of initiatives aimed at increasing the rate of digital payment adoption across the masses. 

12. Two RRBs Record Over Rs 150-cr Profit in FY17: RBI
i. Of the 56 regional rural banks (RRBs), Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank and Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank recorded net profit of more than Rs 150 crore during 2016-17. These are among the 49 RRBs that recorded a profit in 2016-17.
ii. According to the Reserve Bank of India’s ‘Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India’, 45 of the 56 RRBs earned profits without carrying any accumulated losses during 2015-16.

13. Government Announces Rajiv Bansal as New Air India CMD
i. Rajiv Bansal, additional secretary in the petroleum ministry, has been named the interim CMD of Air India.
ii. Bansal is an Indian Administrative Services officer from the 1988 batch. The government has appointed current Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani chairman of the Railway Board. Lohani's appointment came a day after AK Mital resigned from the post of railways chairman.

14. Ajay Vipin Nanavati is New Syndicate Bank Chairman
i. Ajay Vipin Nanavati was appointed as the chairman of Syndicate Bank. The appointments committee of the cabinet has approved his appointment as non-official director/non-executive chairman of Syndicate Bank for three years.
ii. In 2015, the government had bifurcated the posts of chairman and managing directors in public sector banks.  While the chairman became responsible for overall policy directions, the managing director and chief executive officer became the executive head, accountable for day-to-day functioning of the bank.

15. Wayne Rooney, England's Record Goalscorer, Retires
i. Wayne Rooney, hailed from England retired from international football to prioritize ending his career on a high with boyhood club Everton.
ii. The 31-year-old was England captain and is the all-time record goalscorer. Rooney’s England career spanned 14 years.


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