Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 4th October 2017
1. Rajnish Kumar named new SBI Chairman:
- Rajnish Kumar has been named Chairman of India’s largest state-run lender State Bank of India for a period of three years. Currently, Mr. Kumar holds the post of Managing Director at SBI.
- Last year, the govt had extended Arundhati Bhattacharya’s tenure for a year, with effect from October 7, 2016.
- State Bank of India (SBI) is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company, headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- On 1st April 2017, State Bank of India, which is India’s largest Bank merged with five of its Associate Banks (State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore) and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself.
2. India’s First ITI for Divyangans in Assam:
- Foundation stone for the first ever Industrial Training Institute for the Divyangans exclusively was laid at Dibrugarh ITI Complex at Borboruah, Dibrugarh by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
- As per the guidelines of National Council for Vocational Training, the ITI will have sixty seats for three different trades with 20 seats per trade. The three different trades included in the curriculum are Computer Operator and Programming Assistant, Cutting and Sewing Technology and Hair & Skin Care.
3. Karnataka Launches mid-day Meals Scheme for Pregnant Women:
- The Karnataka government launched the Rs. 302-crore Mathru Poorna scheme, aimed at providing free mid-day meals to pregnant and lactating women in rural areas.
- The meals, which will be provided in Anganwadi centres, will include an egg, rice, pulses, vegetables, and milk. This is aimed at reducing child malnutrition and in turn curb infant mortality.
4. Soumya Swaminathan appointed as Deputy DG of WHO:
- Dr Soumya Swaminathan, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been appointed the deputy director general for programmes (DDP) of World Health Organisation (WHO).
- This is first time such second-highest position created within WHO and highest post held by Indian in WHO.
- Dr Swaminathan will replace Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah from Ghana, who joined WHO as senior policy adviser to director-general.
Dr. Swaminathan is currently Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
5. Sri Lankan President inaugurates 8th meeting of Association of SAARC Speakers & Parliamentarians:
- Sri Lankan President ‘Maithripala Sirisena’ has inaugurated the three-day 8th meeting of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians in Colombo to discuss several issues with particular emphasis on sustainable development goals.
- Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, accompanied by a parliamentary delegation is participating in the conference.
- It will hold discussions on “Promoting Parliamentary Diplomacy and Open Parliament in the age of digitalization” and “SAARC Parliamentarians’ role in preserving cultural and archaeological heritage in South Asia region”. This year’s conference will also have the first ever meeting of the Young Parliamentarians’ Committee.
6. Turtle Sanctuary to be set up in Allahabad:
- The Union Ministry of Water Resources has approved project to set up Turtle sanctuary in Allahabad along with River Biodiversity Park at Sangam in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh under Namami Gange programme.
- The purpose of the Turtle sanctuary is to protect the rich aquatic biodiversity of river Ganga from escalating anthropogenic pressures.
7. Russia Launches ‘World’s Biggest & Most Powerful’ Nuclear Icebreaker:
- Russia has launched the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ship in a bid to expand its strategic presence in the resource-rich, terrain of the Arctic.
- The massive vessel, named Sibir (Siberia), was developed as part of a huge push by the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to open up crucial shipping lanes in the icy Northern Sea Route.
8. Bangladesh Signs $4.5-bn Loan Deal With India:
- Bangladesh signed a $4.5 billion third line of credit (LoC) agreement with India for its infrastructure and social sector development. The agreement was signed in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his Bangladeshi counterpart A M A Muhith.
- Economic Relations Division Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam signed the deal on behalf of Bangladesh while Managing Director of the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim) David Rasquinha signed for India.
9. US Senate confirms Ajit Pai’s nomination for the second term at FCC:
- The US Senate has confirmed the nomination of Indian-American ‘Ajit Varadaraj Pai’ to serve as the chairman of the powerful Federal Communications Commission for his second five-year term. Since 2012, he has served as a commissioner at the FCC.
- The FCC is an independent agency created by Congressional statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and US territories.
10. 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Announced:
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution”.
- The 2017 Nobel medicine prize went to three Americans- Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young.
- The 2017 Nobel Physics Prize has been awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observator
11. Women’s health scheme ‘Sanitease’ launched:
- The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched ‘Sanitease’ under its social development activity, Swachhagraha, to promote women’s health and hygiene, especially in rural areas.
- The objective of ‘Sanitease’ is to create awareness and provide logistics for women specially in the rural parts of the state.
- The state and the Centre have decided to initiate the process at urban and rural schools.
Under the project ‘Sanitease’, Swachhagraha would reach out to both urban and rural schools at the secondary level and compile the data on female students and sanitary napkins required per month.
12. Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released by RBI:
- On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 percent.
- Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the LAF remains at 5.75 percent, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 percent.
- The projection of real Gross Value Added (GVA) growth for 2017-18 has been revised down to 6.7 percent from the August 2017 projection of 7.3 percent, with risks evenly balanced.
13. Online rail ticket will not take service charge until March 2018:
- Railway passengers will not be subjected to a service fee when booking tickets online till March 2018.
- Earlier, the union govt. had given this relief in November 2016 to promote digital payments in ticket booking after the ban on bondage.
- IRCTC levies a service charge of Rs.20 plus service Tax/- (Second /Sleeper) and Rs.40 plus service Tax/-per e-ticket in case of all other classes (1AC,2AC,3AC, CC,3E,FC) irrespective of the number of passengers booked on an e-ticket.
14. First US Crude Oil Shipment Arrives in Paradip:
- The first US crude oil cargo of 1(point)6 million barrels bought by Indian Oil Corporation from the US reached Paradip Port, Odisha. Indian Oil will process the crude at its East-Coast base refineries, located at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni and Bongaigaon.
- Indian Oil, which became the first Indian public sector refiner to source US crude has placed a cumulative order 3.9 million barrel from the US.
15. Chairman NHAI Launches New Website and PMIS Mobile App:
- The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India Shri Deepak Kumar launched a world-class, new multilingual website of the organization. He also launched a Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) Moblie App that will facilitate close, in-house monitoring of NHAI projects on a mobile phone.
- To ensure timely delivery of its projects, the NHAI is now digitally monitoring them through a state-of-the-art Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS).
16. Airtel Gets Approval for Tigo Merger:
- Bharti Airtel has received Ghana’s National Communications Authority’s approval for the merger between Bharti Ghana (Airtel) and Millicom Ghana (Tigo), subject to certain conditions.
- This merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operations in the country.