Daily GK Update: 29th September 2017 - Important Current Affairs

1. Madhya Pradesh Bags ‘Best Tourism State’ Award
i. Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the award, named as ‘Hall of Fame Award’, to Minister of State for Tourism Surendra Patwa at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
ii. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day (27 September). Madhya Pradesh also received a national award for Film Promotion Policy in the category of Best Film Promotion Friendly State/Union Territory. 

Daily GK Update: 29th September 2017 - Important Current Affairs

2. In a First, Saudi Arabia Issues Decree Allowing Women to Drive
i. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a decree allowing women to drive for the first time. The order will be implemented by June 2018.
ii. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to forbid women from driving. Saudi women remain largely under the whim of male relatives due to guardianship laws.

3. India Jumps to 14th Rank as Best Country for Expats: HSBC Survey
i. India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in, according to the HSBC survey. The list has been topped by Singapore.
ii. The list is part of HSBC's latest 'expat explorer survey' that covered 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories in March and April 2017. According to the survey, about 71 percent expats in India reported high levels of confidence in the local economy, while 58 percent exuded optimism on political stability.

4. India, Norway Extends Bilateral Cooperation
i. India and Norway have extended bilateral cooperation in the health sector through the Norway-India Partnership Initiative for a period of three years starting 2018. A letter of Intent was signed to this effect in New Delhi between the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
ii. The Partnership Initiative now extends to Jammu and Kashmir and four other States- Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are already covered under it.

5. $80-Million ADB loan to Himachal Pradesh
i. Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $80 million (about Rs 524 crore) for the modernization of Himachal Pradesh’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.
ii. The total cost of the project is $100 million, with the Centre contributing $20 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

6. VNL Signs Pact with BSNL for Disaster Management
i. Telecom equipment and solutions provider VNL has signed an MoU with BSNL to provide solutions for disaster management. The 'Relief 123' service will restore connectivity at disaster sites, help locate the affected and integrate information across platforms to enable informed decision-making for quick relief.
ii. The service is an integrated disaster response solution for first responders and public safety agencies. The solution is designed and manufactured by VNL and the backhaul connectivity will be provided by BSNL.

7. Air India Ties up with PNB, IndusInd
i. Air India has tied up with public sector lender PNB and private lender IndusInd Bank to secure loans to the tune of over Rs 3,000 crore for meeting working capital requirements.
ii. Recently, the disinvestment-bound Air India had floated tenders for availing Govt. guarantee backed INR short-term loans totalling up to Rs 3,250 crore in the first phase to meet its urgent working capital.    
8. MoU Signed Between BSNL and ZTE
i. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese gear maker ZTE.
ii. Both the parties will work together and prove key technologies like Pre5G and 5G wireless systems to make a virtual network architecture of a 5G ecosystem for research and commercialization in India. 

9. Rajiv Sabharwal to Take Charge as Tata Capital CEO
i. Tata Capital announced the appointment of Rajiv Sabharwal as Managing Director & CEO designate of the company. Sabharwal will be joining Tata Capital in January 2018 and would be taking over from the company's current Managing Director & CEO Praveen P Kadle.
ii. Mr Kandle will be assuming other responsibilities in the Tata Group effective April 1, 2018. Sabharwal is currently a partner at True North Managers LLP, formerly India Value Fund Advisors.

10. International Day for Universal Access to Information Observed Globally
i. The International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) was observed globally on 28 September 2017. The celebrations and events for the Day are organised by UNESCO.
ii. The year 2017 marks the second year observation of 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information. From 27 to 30 September 2017, UNESCO hosted a Conference under the theme “Overcoming Divides and Achieving the SDGs in Africa” in Balaclava, Mauritius.

11. For the First Time, Five Indian Shuttlers in Top-20 of BWF Men’s Rankings
i. For the first time, Five Indians are in the top-20 of the BWF men’s singles rankings with H S Prannoy being the biggest gainer after his quarterfinal showing at the Japan Open. Prannoy has jumped four places to be world no.15.
ii. The 5 Indian Shuttlers in the top 20 BWF men’s singles rankings are-
  1. Kidambi Srikanth (8th)
  2. HS Prannoy (15th)
  3. B Sai Praneeth (17th)
  4. Sameer Verma (19th)
  5. Ajay Jayaram (20th)

12. Etihad Airways appoints Tony Douglas as Group CEO
i. Gulf carrier Etihad Airways has appointed former Abu Dhabi airport chief Tony Douglas as its Group Chief Executive Officer following the exit of James Hogan.
ii. Douglas will take over the charge of the new position in January 2018.
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