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CURRENT AFFAIRS 17 JUNE 2017

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

NITI Aayog shortlists States for transformative change in health & education
NITI Aayog has shortlisted five states under ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ (SATH) program for developing role model states in health and education.
i. For Health Sector, the shortlisted states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Karnataka and Gujarat.
ii. For Education Sector, the shortlisted states are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

Lok Sabha Speaker inaugurates 16th NERCPA Conference at Imphal
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will inaugurate the 16th North East Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA) Conference at Imphal on 15th of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. The conference will planned on themes like ‘North East and Look East Policy’, ‘Special plan for development of railways and airways for speedy economic development of North East region’, and ‘Setting up of a chapter of Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI) in the region’.
ii. It helps in recognising the importance of north-east region in the holistic development of India.
iii. The SRI was institutionalised on July 23, 2015.
iv. It is used to generate high-quality research inputs on strategic and topical issues.
v. It is also used to compose appropriate mechanism for interaction with members of both Houses of Parliament for information dissemination and capacity building.
vi. The SRI has conducted several meetings and workshops with stakeholders in democracy and eminent domain experts for members of Parliament during sessions, specifically on subjects listed before Parliament.

Shipping Corporation of India, Shipping Ministry organise “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sammelan” in Mumbai
On June 15, 2017, Shipping Corporation of India, in collaboration with Union Shipping Ministry organised  ”Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sammelan” in Mumbai.
i. The seminar was held to showcase the Government’s and Shipping Corporation of India’s achievements in last three years.
ii. Ashish Shelar – MLA and Mumbai BJP President was the chief guest at the occasion.
iii. Malini Shankar – Director General of Shipping and Vinod Tawade – Maharashtra Cabinet Minister of Higher & Technical Education were the special guests at the occasion.
Quick Facts about Shipping Corporation of India (SCI):
♦ Formation Year: 1950
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Current Chairman & Managing Director: Anoop Kumar Sharma

Punjab govt inks MoU with Centre, AAI
Under the country’s flagship programme UDAN in the presence of Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh the Punjab government has signed a tripartite agreement with the Centre and Airports Authority of India(AAI)
Key Notes:
i. The tripartite agreement was signed by Usha Padhee (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation on behalf of GoI), Tejveer Singh (Secretary Civil Aviation for Punjab Government) and G K Chaukiyal (Executive Director for AAI).
ii. The four airports of Bathinda, Ludhiana, Pathankot and Adampur have been connected under the scheme through five proposals.
iii. While Delhi-Bathinda-Delhi by Alliance Air is already operational, Delhi-Pathankot-Delhi and Delhi-Ludhiana-Delhi routes will be serviced by Alliance Air from July 2017.
iv. Under the scheme all regions have been connected (Northern region 17, Southern 11, North Eastern 6, Western 24 and Eastern 12).
v. Under the scheme one lakh seats will be made available to passengers, wherein 50 per cent – 50,000 seats will be under fare cap.
vi. Requirement of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) will be shared by central government and the state government in 80:20 ratio.
vii. The VGF for the state share will be around Rs three crore per annum.
About UDAN Scheme
♦ UDAN, a regional connectivity scheme, is an innovative programme of the Centre in collaboration with the states.
♦ It enables air operations on un-served routes connecting regional areas and promotes balanced growth, besides making flying affordable for masses.

Govt makes Aadhaar card mandatory for opening bank account
The government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for opening of bank accounts as well as for any financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above. 
Key Points:
i. The government in Budget 2017 has already mandated link of Aadhaar number with Permanent Account Number to avoid individuals using multiple PANs to evade taxes.
ii. Existing bank account holders have been asked to furnish the Aadhaar number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by December 31, 2017.





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ranks 75th in environmental impact survey says Report
India has ranked 75th in environmental impact survey conducted by UK-based Money Super Market. The survey highlights the individual contribution to the world’s climate and also outlines areas for improvement for each country.
More information about Environmental Impact Survey:
The survey has been topped by Southern African country Mozambique as almost all its energy use comes from green sources.
i. India ranked dismal 75th, with renewable energy making up only 15.2% of all energy used; only 2.2% of waste water being recycled, and municipal waste of 0.34 kg per person being generated daily.
ii. Although Mozambique has topped the survey, its neighbouring country South Africa has fared poorly ranking at 95th However South Africa has performed better than developed economies such as US, Canada and Australia.

UN approves creation of new office on counter-terrorism
On June 15, 2017, United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved the establishment of a new office to help Member States implement the organization’s global counter-terrorism strategy. The new Office would he headed by an Under-Secretary-General.
i. Existing Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) and the UN Counter- Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), currently in the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) will be transferred to the new office, together with their existing staff and all associated regular and extra-budgetary resources.
ii. On June 15, 2017, India won re-election To UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).India has been re-elected for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2018.


BANKING & FINANCE

GST Bill: ClearTax launches free GST billbook software
ClearTax, India’s largest income tax returns e-filing and enterprise compliance service provider has launched billbook software.
Key Notes:
i. It is used to assist small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the country get GST-ready.
ii. The GST Billbook is a free of cost software platform.
iii. It works both online and offline and can be used to prepare GST-compliant invoices.
iv. With this Billbook, ClearTax plans to reach out to 1 lakh SMEs in the next 90 days and to 10 lakh SMEs across the country over the next 12 months.
v. It will be available on the company’s Web site, mobile site and a soon to be launched app.
vi. The GST billbook supports key features needed for SMEs such as, creating a sales invoice, recording of discount, freight, insurance and package handling charges.
vii. It will support other documents mandated by GST such as delivery challan, e-way bill, advance payment receipts etc.
viii.The GST billbook will automatically identify Integrated GSTvs State GST in the invoice.
ix. It helps in curbing the tedious task of uploading to GST Network every month.
x. The Bill book for SMEs is completely electronic solution to help these businesses do GST compliance in the simplest manner with minimum interventions.
xi. Founder and CEO of ClearTax.com is Archit Gupta.

China, ADB launch green financing platform to fight pollution
China and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) have launched a green financing platform to cut pollution in the smog-hit Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region on 16th of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. The financing platform was launched by the ADB and the China National Investment and Guaranty Corporation (I&G), the State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC), as well as China’s finance ministry and National Development and Reform Commission.
iiChina selected five regions this week to take part in pilot government green financing schemes.
iii. It would explore new green credit mechanisms, including the granting of loans that accept emission trading earnings as collateral.
iv. The bank late last year approved a loan of 458 million euros ($510.58 million) for the platform.
v.The government is only expected to provide around 10-15 percent of the 3-4 trillion yuan of green investment China needs every year over the next five years.
ADB :
♦ Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
♦ Founded: 19 December 1966
♦ President: Takehiko Nakao

DCB bank launches Aadhaar based iris eye scan customer verification service
DCB Bank, a private sector bank has launched new services – India’s first Aadhaar based iris eye scan customer verification and fingerprint operated ATM in Telangana on 16th of June.
Key Points:
i. These services will include a customer’s Aadhaar number, eye scan and fingerprint impression.
ii. It has been inaugurated in 3 new branches in Mancherial, Mothe and Narsapur in the state.
iii. The Bank provides a range of banking products for farmers, agri-business, micro business, small business and individuals.
iv. The Bank also provides loans for tractors, dairy, crop, land development, agri processing activities as well as for high-tech farming such as greenhouses.
v. It also offers warehouse construction loan, finance against warehouse receipts, loan against gold, loan to MSMEs, foreign exchange service and cash management service for individuals, farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses.
vi. Currently, the Bank has 262 branches across 18 States and 2 Union Territories.
About DCB Bank
HQ: Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Founded : 1930
Chairman: Nasser Munjee
MD& CEO: Murali M. Natrajan

World Bank approves $500 million grant package for Afghanistan projects
On June 13, 2017, World Bank approved financing worth more than $500 million for Afghanistan to support a various projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan.
More Details about World Bank’s Grant Package for Afghanistan:
i. The largest chunk of the package, some $205.4 million, will go towards supporting communities affected by refugees returning from Pakistan. Some 800,000 Afghans have been sent back from Pakistan and Iran.
ii. In addition, $100 million will support reforms and business development for the poor.
iii. $20 million will go to improving services in five provincial capital cities.
iv. $29.4 million will help establish wheat reserves and improve grain storage.
v. $60 million will boost electricity in the western Herat province.
Quick Facts about Afghanistan:
♦ Capital: Kabul
♦ Currency: Afghan afghani
♦ Current President: Ashraf Ghani





BUSINESS

20 Indian firms in top 100 companies in Asia300 ranking
As many as 20 Indian firms have been named in the top 100 of Nikkei Asian Review’s Asia300 companies list
i. Nikkei Asian Review annual Asia 300 Power Performers Ranking is a compilation of the most powerful and valuable listed companies in Asia.
ii. As many as three Indian companies have made it to the top 10 list. Indian IT service provider HCL Technologies came in at the second place, followed by Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Tata Consultancy Services at the third and fourth place respectively.
iii. The list was topped by Taiwan’s Largan Precision, the world’s leading maker of lenses for smart phone cameras.
iv. Other Indian companies named among top 100 include Sun Pharmaceutical Industries at the 11th place, Infosys (15), ITC (16), Maruti Suzuki India (17), Lupin (18), Dabur India (24), Asian Paints (28), Power Grid Corporation of India (40), Godrej Consumer Products (41), Bajaj Auto (43), Wipro (48), Hero MotoCorp (57), Hindustan Unilever (62), Housing Development Finance Corp (71), Motherson Sumi Systems (72) and Vedanta at 93rd place.


AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Mira Nair wins directors award at women in film awards
Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair won the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, USA.
Key Points:
i. Mira Nair won for the film Queen of Katwe at this year’s Women in Film Crystal and Lucy Awards.
ii. Queen of Katwe’s lead actress LupitaNyong’o presented the award.
iii. Elizabeth Banks won the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
iv. Tracee Ellis Ross won the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television.

Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi conferred with Bhupen Hazarika Award
The Fifth Bhupen Hazarika National Award 2017 is awarded to an eminent writer from Arunachal Pradesh Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi.
Key points:
i. This award is presented to those person whose literary work is outstanding at National and International level.
ii. The award has been instituted by Sarhad, a Maharashtra-based organisation.
iii. His famous novel includes Mauna Onth Mukhar Hriday (Silent lips, murmuring hearts) which won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2005.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

EazyDiner Appoints Yuvraj Singh As Brand Ambassador
EazyDiner has appointed cricketer Yuvraj Singh as global brand ambassador.
key Points:
i. EazyDiner is an online restaurant reservation platform.
ii. EazyDiner is currently live in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai,
Ahmedabad and Goa in India and Dubai.


SPORTS

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 8000 ODI runs &Yuvraj Singh fifth Indian to play 300 ODIs
India captain Virat Kohli has become the quickest batsman to 8000 runs in one-day international cricket.Yuvraj Singh will become the fifth Indian player to play 300 ODIs at Edgbaston.
Key Points:
i. Kohli has beated AB de Villiers’ mark in seven fewer innings.
ii. He has crossed the 8000-run mark in his 175th innings, during the course of his unbeaten 96 off 78 deliveries against Bangladesh in ICC Champions Trophy semi-final in Birmingham.
iii. This was Kohli’s 42nd ODI half-century.
iv. Earlier this year, South Africa opener Hashim Amla had broken Kohli’s record of being the quickest to 7000 runs in ODIs, getting there in his 150th innings.
v. Amla is also the fastest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 runs. Amla is currently at 7186 runs in 153 ODI innings.


NECROLOGY

Punjabi playwright Ajmer Singh Aulakh passes away
Eminent playwright Ajmer Singh Aulakh passed away passed away on June 15, 2017, at his residence at Mansa town of Punjab. He was 75.
About Ajmer Singh Aulakh:
i. All through his life, Ajmer Aulakh had been working to uplift the rural theatre with his wife Manjit Kaur and two daughters by his side.
ii. He focused mainly on small and marginal farmers and showcased the complexities of the rural life in his plays.
iii. Ajmer Aulakh was given Sahiyta Akademi award in 2006 for his play ‘Ishq bajho namaz da haz nahi’.

Former CJI, PIL pioneer Bhagwati passes away at 95
Former Chief Justice of India P N Bhagwati has passed away in New Delhi on 15th of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. He has introduced the concept of Public Interest litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system.
ii. He was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973.
iii. One of the important judgements pronounced by him was in the Maneka Gandhi passport impounding case in 1978.
iv. Under this case he elaborated the concept of right to life, and ruled that aperson’s movement cannot be restricted.
v.  He had ruled that a person had full right to hold a passport.





IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Family Remittances – June 16 2017
The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) has celebrated on 16 June.
Key Points:
i. It is aimed at encouraging the public and private sectors, as well as the civil society, to do more and collaborate to maximize the impact of the financial contribution in the developing world.
ii. It also helps in recognizing the significant financial contribution migrant workers make to the wellbeing of their families back home and to the sustainable development of their countries of origin.
iii. International Day of Family Remittances represents an invaluable opportunity to recognize the efforts of migrant workers globally.
iv. It strengthens current partnerships and creates new synergies among sectors to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide.
v. The first IDFR was celebrated on 16 June 2015 by more than 400 policy-makers, private sector representatives and civil society leaders at the opening of the Fifth Global Forum on Remittances and Development in Milan.
vi. The IDFR was proclaimed by all 176 member states of IFAD’s Governing Council at its 38th session in February 2015.
vii. It was noted in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution on International Migration and Development A/RES/71/237.
viii. In 2017 the Day is supported by 22 UN organizations withinthe Global Migration Group (GMG), as well as by IOM, IAMTN, GSMA, Vodafone, WSBI, and EPA.