Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 21st September 2017
1. International Day of Peace observed today:
- The International Day of Peace is observed around the world annually on 21st September. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All.”
- It is dedicated to world peace and specifically the absence of war & violence such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.
- In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated 21st September as the International Day of Peace.
2. Govt. to introduce ‘Food Street’ at global food fair in New Delhi:
- The Union Govt. will introduce a curated food experience zone ‘Food Street’ at the global food fair (November) in New Delhi.
- It will provide a platform to investors to taste the foods and then take a call on investing in India under the ‘make in India’ programme.
- This will bring together culinary practices, flavors, fragrances form cuisines across the world. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be the brand ambassador of the event.
- Last year union govt. has allowed 100% FDI for marketing through e-commerce of food products, manufactured and produced in India.
3. India, Russia to collaborate on Bangladesh nuclear plant:
- India is collaborating with Russia to build Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It will be first initiative under an India-Russia nuclear deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.
- Rooppur Nuclear project (capacity of 2*1200 MWs) is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project.
- It is being built with Russia’s help near Dhaka. After commissioning of two units, each with capacity of 1200 MWs, Bangladesh will be third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose.
4. World Trade to Grow at Higher 3.6% in 2017: WTO
- World trade in goods is estimated to grow at a higher 3.6 percent in 2017 compared to 1.6 percent increase in 2016, according to revised estimates circulated by the World Trade Organisation.
- Growth in global trade was earlier projected at 2.4 percent in 2017 by the WTO, which attributed the improved outlook to a resurgence of Asian trade flows.
- This was mainly due to intra-regional shipments picking up and a recovery in import demand in North America.
5. Centre to start Helicopter & smaller aircraft services to hilly areas:
- The Union govt. is planning to start helicopter and smaller aircraft services to hilly areas north-east, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, under UDAN scheme (in the second phase).
Under the first round, the government able to add around 30 new airports.
- Last month, the government had announced increasing viability gap funding for helicopter operators and allowing smaller planes, among other concessions, under the regional air connectivity scheme.
- The second phase of UDAN seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports as well as make flying more affordable with fares capped at Rs. 2,500 (one-hour flights).
6. World’s Fastest Commercial Bullet Train in China:
- China restored the maximum speed of bullet trains on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line to 350 kilometres per hour, making it the fastest commercially run train, six years after it reduced the speed due to a fatal accident.
- The speed was reduced to 300 kilometres per hour following the deadly accident in July 2011 that killed 40 people.
- China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometers, about 60 percent of the world’s total.
7. WHO Grants $175,000 for ‘Vulnerable Population’ of Bangladesh:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its first tranche of emergency funding of $175,000 to provide life-saving healthcare to the “vulnerable population” in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
- The WHO South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF) grant will support 20 mobile medical teams to provide essential services for at least two months. The grant is also being used to procure essential medicines and medical supplies to be distributed to pre-existing health facilities in Cox’s Bazar area.
8. B Sambamurthy Appointed as NPCI Interim Chairman:
- National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed B Sambamurthy as interim Chairman of the board. He will replace M Balachandran, who was Non-Executive Chairman of NPCI.
- Sambamurthy was formerly Director and CEO of the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) and Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank prior to that.
- NPCI is the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems in the country
9. 50 Nations Ink UN Nuclear Ban Treaty:
- Fifty countries have signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world’s nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless.
- More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July 2017 over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. Among 50, Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban yesterday, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela.
10. Zannah Mustapha wins UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award:
- A Nigerian lawyer teacher & peacemaker ‘Zannah Mustapha’ has won the 2017 UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for his work opening school amid conflict in north-eastern Nigeria.
- Mustapha founded a school 10 years ago in Maiduguri (the capital of Borno State) which is the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
- The school has stayed open throughout violence, persecution, and abductions which have left over 20,000 killed and millions more displaced.
- UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award is an annual prize which recognizes individuals, groups or organizations with outstanding dedication and service to the displacement cause.
11. ONGC discovers oil in Arabian sea near Mumbai High:
- State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has made oil discovery in WO-24-3 well located west of Mumbai High fields in the Arabian Sea.
- The well is estimated to hold in-place reserve of about 20 million tonnes.
The new discovery comes almost 50 years after ONGC began production in Mumbai High, which is India’s biggest oil field. It currently produces 205,000 barrels of oil per day (just over 10 million tonnes per annum).
12. Haryana constitutes screening committee on anti-profiteering:
- The Haryana state govt. has constituted a Screening Committee on anti-profiteering to ascertain whether reductions in tax rates post rollout of GST have been passed on to consumers.
- It is mandatory (under section 171 of GST Act.) to pass on the benefit to the customer.
If a person is not getting the benefit of reduction in tax, he/she can send the grievance to the steering committee.
- The Steering Committee would send the consumer complaints to the Standing Committee which will examine the prima facie evidence within two months.
13. Fino Payments Bank Launches Mobile Banking App:
- Fino Payments Bank has launched its mobile banking app called BPay. Fino aims to make banking easy for millions of underbanked people in India. The upgraded BPay app is available on Android at present.
- The mobile banking app enables simple, paperless and convenient banking that allows customers to make bill payments, recharges, fund transfers and buy insurance.
- An interesting feature of the mobile app is that it allows customers to seamlessly access wallet as well as savings account, with a single login and interface.
13. Peer-to-peer Lending Platforms to be Treated as NBFCs:
- After a year or more of due-diligence, the RBI has notified that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms need to be regulated and treated on par with non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
- The final regulatory framework for P2P lenders is still awaited. Few important P2P lending platforms in India are LenDen Club, Faircent, Qbera, Lendbox, Rupaiya Exchange and Monexo.
14. India replaces China as Top Retail Destination in 2017:
- India has replaced China as the top retail destination in 2017 as part of the global retail development index.
- The change in ranking was an outcome of four factors including increased consumer spending beyond essentials, rising mobile and internet penetration, favorable foreign investment climate and bold action on cashless transaction and GST.
- In addition to the bigger retailers and brands, the mid-size brands from across the world are also looking to cash on the relaxed retail policy in India.
15. India wins one gold, two bronze medals in Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games:
- India added one gold and two bronze medals to their kitty on the 5th day of the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games at Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.
- Ajay Kumar Saroj has won the gold in men’s 1500m race, clocking 3 minute and 48.67 seconds.
- Neha Solanki and Jyoti picked a bronze in +87kg category and -87kg category respectively of the women’s kurash event.
- India are being represented by more than 200 athletes in 15 sports disciplines in the Games, touted as the second biggest multi-sporting event of the continent after the Asiad.
16. Official Slogan and Emblem of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 launched:
- The official emblem and slogan for FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 were unveiled in Paris, France.
- The emblem features the competition trophy wrapped in blue and white, with eight shards of light around football at the top of the trophy symbolizing the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- The slogan of the tournament “Dare To Shine” reflects the development of football, especially women’s football. FIFA President Gianni Infantino and French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel le Graet attended the unveiling event.