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CURRENT AFFAIRS 08 JUNE 2017

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Recent Approvals by Central government – June 7 2017
Union Cabinet has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 billion.
i. Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement between India and Cyprus on Merchant Shipping. This agreement was signed in April 2017.
ii. Union Cabinet has approved the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO), Iran in relation to mutual cooperation on matters pertaining to securities markets.
iii. Union cabinet has given its approval for signing and subsequent ratification of the Agreement on Transfer of sentenced persons between India and Somalia.
iv. Cabinet approves Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Securities and Exchange Board of India and European Securities and Markets Authority
v. Cabinet has approved the initial public offer of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, enabling it to mobilise funds for the clean energy sector.
vi. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Mali for standardization and conformity assessment

Kerala govt implements ‘green protocol’ for weddings
The Government of Kerala has implemented a green protocol for weddings more nature-friendly.
Key Notes:
i. With the implementation of the green protocol, the use of plastic and other non-degradable articles including disposable glasses, plates and thermocol decorations would be prohibited at marriage functions.
ii. People would be encouraged to use tumblers, plates and utensils made from glass and other environment-friendly metals.
iii. The main objective behind the initiative is to reduce the use of plastic in daily life.
iv. To ensure proper implementation of the green protocol, inspections will be held at marriage halls, convention centres, hotels and other venues of the wedding ceremony.
v. Strict action would be taken in case of any violation based on the nature of utensils and articles found.
vi. Special squads, comprising officials of Suchitwa Mission and revenue department, have been formed to carry out inspections in wedding halls and record the ceremony.
vii. The green-protocol was launched as a part of the government’s anti-plastic drive and Green-Kerala Mission.
viii. The Mission has joined hands with district administration, panchayat authorities and socio-cultural and religious outfit for the green-protocol initiative

Rajnath to inaugurate conference on disaster management
Rajnath Singh has inaugurated a two-day national level conference on “Capacity Building of SDRF-2017” on 6th of June, 2017
Key Notes:
i. The conference was organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
ii. The meeting would hold discussions to develop a synergy and to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF).
iii. During the conference, various agenda points like streamlining the training process of SDRFs and conducting it in a planned and coordinated manner would be discussed.
iv. Some more points would also be discussed in the meetings like integrations of operational efforts between NDRF and SDRF, requirement and creation of training infrastructure in each state, creation of a pool of instructors, sharing of best practices, improving response time by SDRF’s .

Shri J P Nadda launches Skill for Life Save a Life
Union Government has launchedSkill for Life, Save a Life Initiative on 6th of June.
Key Notes:
i. Its aim is to promote skill development in the health sector.
ii. Under this initiative, various courses will be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for general public.
iii. Its objective is to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system.
iv. It will also empower every single citizen of the country to provide first aid and initial care in case of an emergency.
v.The Ministry  has initiated the initiative by launching First Responder course for professionals as well as general public that will be conducted in Central and State government training institutes





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India signs Multilateral Agreements at Paris, now common tax agreement for all investors
On June 7, 2017, more than 100 countries including India, signed the OECD multilateral convention in Paris that aims to curb cross border tax evasion by multinational companies.  This multilateral instrument (MI) is an outcome of the OECD/G20 BEPS project. 
i. Adoption of common tax agreement by Indian Government will lead to uniform tax regulations for all investors, irrespective of which destination they come from.
ii. From Indian perspective, this multilateral agreement under the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) framework could solve a lot of confusion around tax treaties and tax arbitrage issues.

India, Lanka sign pact for $318 million line of credit
India has signed an agreement with Srilanka to provide fresh assistance of USD 318 million line of credit for the development of the railway sector in the country on 7th of June, 2017
Key Points:
i.The agreement was signed in Colombo, the capital city of the island nation.
ii. India, Sri Lanka exchanged four agreements to ensure peace and stability in the region.
iii. These credit facilities have been utilised to improve the Southern and Northern railway lines and for the procurement of rolling stocks for the Sri Lanka Railways.
iv. The Sri Lanka Railways will implement the projects under the supervision of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.
v. The Indian development assistance to Sri Lanka has mainly focused on improvement of infrastructure, education, healthcare, livelihood development and capacity building.
About Srilanka
♦ 
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
♦ President: Maithripala Sirisena
♦ Prime Minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe


BANKING & FINANCE

RBI announces second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy
On 7th June, 2017, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement for financial year 2017-18. This is the fourth straight meeting wherein the Policy Repo Rate has been kept unchanged.
♦ The RBI has lowered the economic growth projection to 7.3% for the current financial year from 7.4% earlier.
Post the Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement announcement, the policy rates and reserve ratios are as follows:

Policy Repo Rate6.25%Unchanged – since 4th October 2016
Reverse Repo Rate6.00%Unchanged – since 6th April 217
Marginal Standing Facility Rate6.50%Unchanged – since 6th April 217
Bank Rate6.50%Unchanged – since 6th April 217
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)4.00%Unchanged – since 9th February 2013
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)20.00%Cut by 0.50%. Earlier it was 20.50%

Axis Bank to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards
Axis Bank has become the first bank to introduce biodegradable gift cards in the country.
Key Points:
i. The card has the look and feel of regular plastic cards and can be used in PoS terminals and ATMs.
ii.Biodegradable cards can also be recycled.
iii. These cards have a greater positive impact on the environment because of their ability to break down, safely and relatively quickly into the raw materials of nature and disappear into the environment.
iv. The card is made up of Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG).
v. PETG is derived from polyester but does not release harmful gases.
vi. These cards are engineered to break down more quickly require less energy to produce and are not toxic.
vii. The bank has decided to introduce the card in in the gift card segment because these cards have limited validity.
Axis Bank :
♦ CEO: Shikha Sharma
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai


BUSINESS

Ministries to decide on FDI proposals within 60 days – Finance Ministry
Union Finance Ministry has said that the ministries tasked with clearing foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals in the 12 sectors that need government approval would have to take a decision within 60 days.
i. A memorandum by Finance Ministry has stated that Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), in consultation with the administrative ministries, would frame standard operating procedures to process FDI
ii. All pending applications with the FIPB will be transferred to administrative ministries within four weeks time.





APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Super dad’ Tendulkar joins UN campaign on fathers
The UNICEF initiative Super Dad highlights the critical role played by fathers in children’s early development.
Key Points:.
i. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar will be joining the likes of Noval Djokovic and David Beckham for a United Nations campaign initiative titled Super Dads.

ii. The initiative was launched on 6 June 2017 and will celebrate fatherhood by highlighting the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of young children’s brains.
iii. Super Dads campaign that will have stars from entertainment to sports as its participant is a part of a larger campaign called #EarlyMomentsMatter.
iv. The campaign aims to bring awareness to the significance of early childhood experiences on a child’s future.
v. Other participants of the Super Dads campaign include Mahershala Ali, the All Blacks, Daniel Cormier, Lewis Hamilton, Hugh Jackman, Thalía and Chris Weidman.
vi. The campaign/initiative invites families to post photos and videos of what it takes to be ‘super dads,’ using the hash tag #EarlyMomentsMatter on their Instagram and Twitter accounts.
vii. All photo and video submissions to the Super Dads initiative will feature on the #EarlyMomentsMatter gallery.

K G Karmakar, Gauri Shankar appointed as Directors of IPPB
K G Karmakar and Gauri Shankar are appointed as Independent Directors of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) on 7th of June, 2017
Key Notes:
i. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved their appointment to the post on the board of directors of the bank for a period of three year.
ii. The order is issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
iii. The IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100 per cent equity of the government of India.

Hoshiar Singh appointed as Chief of Copyrights office
Hoshiar Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights.
Key Points:
i. Hoshiar is appointed for a period of five years.
ii. The order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
iii. The Office of Copyrights works under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
iv. The Office of Copyrights is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others.
v. The Registrar of Copyrights will be appointed by the Central Government.
vi. It functions under the superintendence and directions of the Central GovernmentSher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal’s prime minister for fourth time
Sher Bahadur Deuba has elected PM of the Nepal. This will be Deuba’s fourth stint as PM of the Himalayan country.
Key Points:
i. He secured 388 votes in his favour and 170 votes against him.
ii. A total of 558 were cast during the voting. He needed 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority. iii. The Nepali Congress leader has become the 40th Prime Minister of Nepal.
iv. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 200
Nepal :
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

World’s first hybrid ‘aeroboat’ made by Indo-Russian JV unveiled
The world’s first hybrid “aeroboat” has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture was unveiled in Moscow on 6th of June. 
i. It is capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand.It is a start-ups event organised by Russia’s state-run Skolkovo Foundation.
ii. It has been designed by IIAAT Holding. It is a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics.





ENVIRONMENT

New species of flying squirrel, a ‘surprising’ discovery
Scientists have discovered a new species of flying squirrel in North America that had been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years.
Key Notes:
i. It is known as Humboldt’s flying squirrel, or Glaucomysoregonensis.
ii. The new flying squirrel species inhabits the Pacific Coast region of North America. 
iii. According to Kenagy a co-author of the study published in the Journal of Mammalogy said it was a surprising discovery.
iv. This new discovery of the Humboldt’s flying squirrel is the 45th known species of flying squirrel in the world.
v. These creatures glide from tree to tree by extending furred membranes of skin that stretch from the wrist of the forearm to the ankle on the hind leg.
vi. Their feather-like tail provides extra lift and also aids in steering.


IMPORTANT DAYS

First World Pest Day launched in Beijing
The first World Pest Day was launched here in China on 6th of June, 2017. It aims at reduction and elimination of pest-borne diseases.
Key Notes:
i. The inaugural of World Pest Day is initiated by the Chinese Pest Control Association (CPCA).
ii. Its objective is to increase awareness of pest-borne diseases and safeguard public health through scientific and professional pest control methods.
iii. More than 30 national and international organisations signed to support the initiative.
iv. The severity of diseases like Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue fever has increased due to a rapidly warming planet, accelerating urbanisation and booming trade and tourism.
v. The costs of these diseases amount to more than 17% of the total costs of infectious diseases.
vi. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that more than one billion people worldwide were exposed to vector-borne diseases, and every year one million people lose their lives as a result.