Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 14th September 2017
1. Modi & Japanese PM Shinzo Abe jointly lay foundation stone for bullet train:
- Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe jointly laid the foundation stone for the high-speed bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
- The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project will be built at cost of Rs 1.10 lakh crore. It is expected to be completed by 2022 (It was recently advanced by year from earlier deadline of 2023).
- They also talk part in the 12th Indo-Japan annual Summit meeting at Gandhinagar.
- MAHSR project is joint venture between Indian Railways and Japan’s Shinkansen Technology.
- The train will cover distance of over 508 km from Sabarmati (Gujarat) to Bandra (Mumbai, Maharashtra) in around 2.58 hours at high speed of 320 kph from the existing 7-8 hours. In case of rapid high-speed, it will cover the distance in 2.07 hours.
- Of the total project cost of Rs.1,10,000-crore, 80% cost of Rs 88,000 crore will be provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as soft loan at interest of 0.1% per annum. This loan will be repaid to Japan in 50 years, with 15 years grace period.
2. Hindi day being celebrated across the country today:
- The National Hindi Divas is being observed on 14th September every year across the country.
- Today, On the occasion Hindi Divas, President ‘Ram Nath Kovind’ gave away Rajbhasha awards for the Year 2016-17 at a function in New Delhi.
- The Rajbhasha awards were instituted by the Department of Official Language of Home Ministry to recognize the excellent contribution of Ministries, Departments, and Nationalized Banks in the field of Hindi.
- In 1949, on this day the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the country.
3. Global Human Capital Index: India at 103, Norway Tops:
- India has been placed at a low 103 rank, the lowest among BRICS economies, on the World Economic Forum’s Global Human Capital Index. The list has been topped by Norway.
- The list takes into account “the knowledge and skills people possess that enable them to create value in the global economic system” to measure the ‘human capital’ rank of a country.
- India is ranked lower than its BRICS peers, with Russian Federation placed as high as 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place. The report measures total 130 countries.
- Top 5 countries in the list are Norway, Finland, Switzerland, United States & Denmark.
- India was ranked 105th on this list last year (2016).
4. Government launches Operation Insaniyat to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh:
- The Ministry of External Affairs has started ‘Operation Insaniyat’ to provided assistance to Bangladesh in response to humanitarian crisis being faced by it due to large influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.
- Rohingya are stateless ethnic minority (mostly Muslim) from Rakhine province of Buddhist-majority Myanmar, who are forced leave their country due to communal violence and repeated military operations.
5. Karnataka, 1st Indian State to Approve e-vehicle Policy:
- Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of Electrical Vehicles but also setting up charging infrastructure and special manufacturing zones.
- Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking at R&D and manufacturing of electric vehicles in the state.
6. India-Russian to conduct first tri-services military exercise: INDRA 2017
- India and Russia have begun discussions to work out modalities for conducting their first tri-service military exercise INDRA 2017 in October 2017 in Russia.
- It will be India’s first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services.
- The Final Planning Conference (FPC) of exercise will be held from September 2017 in Russia to finalise all logistical issues and modalities.
- The 2017 Indra exercise will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of two countries in tri- services integrated theatre command scenario.
7. Mahendra Pratap Mall appointed IRCTC CMD:
- The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has appointed ‘Mahendra Pratap Mall’ as the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. for five years.
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism, and online ticketing operations of the Indian railways.
8. M Nagaraja Sarma appointed CMD of United India Insurance:
- Nagaraja Sarma has been appointed as the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of the United India Insurance Co. Ltd. for five years.
- Currently, Sarma is the general manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
9. All 1.55 lakh post offices to offer payments bank service:
- India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) is gearing up to provide its financial services through all of 1.55 lakh post offices and 3 lakh employees by the end of 2018. It will create India’s second-largest payments bank in terms of reach.
- The new model of banking allows mobile firms, supermarket chains, and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses.
- IPPB has launched on 30th January 2017 in Ranchi and Raipur with the objective of being present in all corners of India by the end of the year.
10. Vijaya Bank Bags Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar:
- Vijaya Bank has bagged the first prize under the Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar (Region C) for the year 2016-17.
- President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the award to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, R. A. Sankara Narayanan.
11. Telecom subscriber base dips marginally to 121 crores:
- According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report, India’s telecom subscriber base dipped marginally by 1.3 lakh to 121.07 crores in July this year.
- Only three operators (Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and BSNL) reported subscriber additions in the month, while eight other operators saw a decline.
- The landline or fixed line customer base declined to 2.39 crore from 2.4 crores.
12. Force Motors, Rolls-Royce Power Tie up:
- Pune-based auto firm Force Motors Ltd has entered into a non-binding joint venture agreement with Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG to produce engines for power generation and rail application and complete power generation systems.
- The joint venture with Rolls-Royce will be the company’s first step towards diversifying into the non-auto segment.
- In the joint venture, Force Motors will hold a 51% stake and Rolls-Royce the rest.
13. Sachin Tendulkar Launches Mission 24:
- Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched “Mission 24” for Mumbai’s M east ward which is known to have one of highest slum population’s in the city.
- The project by NGO Apnalaya and Mumbai first plans to work along with the BMC as the principal stakeholder over the next 24 months to improve the quality of lives of people living in M east ward of Mumbai.
14. India, Japan ink 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral co-operation:
India and Japan have signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in several key areas including investment promotion, civil aviation, and science and technology.
Here is the complete list of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Japan to India.
- MOC between the Ministry of Home Affairs of India and the Cabinet Office of Japan.
- MoC in the field of Japanese Language Education in India between MEA and MOFA, Japan.
- MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related Activities.
- India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METI.
- India Japan Act East Forum.
- Arrangement between India Post and Japan Post on Administrative Instruction for the Implementation of Cool EMS service.
- MOC between METI and the State of Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special program for Make In India’ in Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj in Gujarat.
- Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky).
- Agreement for International joint exchange program between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences program (iTHEMS), RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences (Simons-NCBS).
- Joint Research Contract between National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Japan and Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
- MOU Between DBT and National Institute of Advanced Science & Technology (AIST).
- MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU).
- MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU).
- LETTER OF INTENT between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and University of Tsukuba, Japan.
- LETTER OF INTENT between Sports Authority of India and University of Tsukuba, Japan.