Daily Update On Current Affairs – August 17, 2017

Current affairs

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Cabinet approves raising of over ₹9000 cr through NABARD for completing irrigation projects under PMKSY

The Union Cabinet has approved raising extra budgetary resources up to 9,020 crore rupees for Long Term Irrigation Fund in 2017-18. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the amount will be raised by NABARD through Bonds. The Fund seeks to make loans from NABARD attractive for states by ensuring
the lending rate of 6 percent per annum. The loans are for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme, works of 99 ongoing prioritised irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.
Govt caps prices of orthopedic knee implants

In a major relief to patients suffering from knee problems, the government today capped the prices of orthopedic knee implants. It has declared the capped prices of different knee implant surgeries. Now, the most widely used Cobalt chromium knee implant will cost around 55 thousand rupees instead of the current average price of over 1.58 lakh rupees. Titanium Oxidized Zirconium surgery implant has been capped at 76,600 rupees against the current average prices of 2.5 to 4.50 lakh rupees. The High flexibility implant costing from 1.80 to 4.5 lakh rupees has been capped at 56,490 rupees. The revision implants for second surgery has been capped at over 1.13 lakh rupees. Besides, the specialized implants for cancer and tumour will be charged at over 1.13 lakh.
Parsi New Year, Navroz being celebrated on the 17th August 2017

Parsi New Year, Navroz is being celebrated on the 17th August 2017, across the world. The festival is celebrated by followers of Zoroastrianism in Middle-East, USA and South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. The vibrant festival began 3,000 years back by the mighty emperor Jamshed, who introduced the new calendar in Persia. Hence, it is also known as Jamshedi Navroz or Navroz. The day is celebrated to gain health, wealth, prosperity, and productivity. Four ‘Fs’ Fire, Fragrance, Food, and Friendship play an important role in the celebration. Besides celebration, Navroz is also the day of repentance.
New metro rail policy approved to expand metro network across various cities in the country           

The Union Cabinet approved a new metro rail policy for expanding the metro network across various cities in the country. Briefing reporters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, the policy was prepared in consultation with states and is intended to end ad hoc arrangement for expansion of metro rail network in the country. 370 kilometer of metro is operational in 7 cities, 537 are under construction in 12 cities. 600 kilometers proposal are under consideration and also the 381 kilometers of Regional Rapid Rail for NCR region. The policy seeks to enable realisation of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities in a responsible manner. It will open a big window for private investments across a range of metro operations. It makes Public Private Partnership component mandatory for availing central assistance for new metro projects. It seeks to provide necessary last mile connectivity through feeder services, and Non-Motorised Transport infrastructure.
India home to 27, 312 elephants: Census

Preliminary results from the first ever synchronised All India Elephant Population Estimation pegs India’s Asian elephant population at 27,312. The estimate, derived from the sighting-based direct count method alone, will be confirmed with estimates from the indirect dung count method in three months. According to the report, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on August 12, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054). The numbers are lower than the last census estimated in 2012 (between 29,391 and 30,711). But experts say parallels cannot be drawn because in the 2012 count, various states used different methodologies and the effort was not synchronised across the country; errors and duplication could have led to overestimation.
Saudi Arabia’s King orders Qatar border to reopen for hajj pilgrims  
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has ordered that the border with Qatar be reopened and allow pilgrims to carry out their annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Official state media said the decision represents the first step forward since a diplomatic crisis began when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5. According to a statement from the Saudi News Agency, the border decision came after the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received an envoy from Doha. It said, “the king has ordered that Qatari pilgrims be allowed to enter Saudi Arabia through the border crossing to do the pilgrimage. He even ordered that private jets belonging to Saudi airlines be sent to Doha airport to bring all Qatari pilgrims at his expense.”
The US designates Pakistan based terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as Terrorist     Organisation

The United States has named Pakistan based Kashmiri terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. The US decision comes nearly two months after adding the group’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin to its list of designated global terrorists. Slapping a series of sanctions on the outfit, the US state department said in a statement that adding such designations expose and isolate terrorist groups and individuals, and assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments.
Melbourne named Most Livable City in the world for the 7th year in a row

For the 7th year in a row, Melbourne (in Australia) has been named as the Most Livable city in the world by the Economic Intelligence Unit. The city scored 97.5 out of 100 points in the Global Livability Index for this year. In the ranking process, each city is ranked according to a rating of relative comfort across five categories stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The least livable city according to the survey was the Syrian Capital of Damascus, at the 140th place.
Govt revises up 2016-17 grain output to record 275.68 million tons
The government has revised upward the country’s overall food grain production by 2.3 million tons to a record 275.68 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year that ended in June. Releasing the 4th Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2016-17, the Agriculture Ministry said, record production has been achieved in rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses due to the good rainfall and various initiatives taken by the government. The previous record of 265.04 million tons was achieved in 2013-14 crop year while the production had declined to 251.57 million tons in 2015-16.
Government imposes fine of $264 million on Reliance and BP   

The Central Govt has imposed a huge fine of $264 million on Reliance Industries and its partners for failing to produce the targeted amount of Natural Gas in the east off shore KG-D6 fields in 2015-16. Reliance Industries holds 60% stake in the KG- D6 fields in the Bay of Bengal, while its partners British Petroleum (BP) holds 30% and the remaining 10% is held by the Canadian firm of Niko Resources.
SBI adopts 50 villages

The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced that it is adopting 50 villages under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, called SBI Gram Seva. Under the initiative, SBI will adopt 5 villages each from 10 village panchayats. Each village will get a financial assistance of Rs. 2.40 Cr over a period of the next three years. The SBI foundation will identify and partner with NGOs for carrying out CSR activities.
Rcom’s Merger with Aircel gets approval

The National Company Law Tribunal has approved the merger of Reliance Communications Ltd with Aircel w.e.f 15th August 2017. Following the merger, a new company called Aircom will be formed, in which both the partners will have an equal stake of 50% each. Based on current trends, the new entity is expected to have an EBIT of about Rs 15000 cr.
TAL Manufacturing launches “Robo Whiz” educational cell in robotics

TAL Manufacturing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, has launched “RoboWhiz”. It is a cell designed for the use in universities and polytechnics. Robo Whiz will provide the student’s hands on experience in Robotics and Automation Technology. Robo Whiz includes an open architecture, access to the controller and provides an open platform for robotics learning and development practices.
Western Railway’s new initiative for cleanliness 
The Western Railway (WR) has provided its housekeeping staff with tablets to receive passenger feedback on cleanliness in trains. The issue has been an area of concern in recent times and officials have been working on reducing complaints of unclean trains for several months. Under the On Board Housekeeping Services, which was launched a decade ago, an official is placed in-charge of maintaining cleanliness in three coaches. The official has to ensure the coaches are free of pests, the washrooms are regularly cleaned, the liquid hand soap dispensers are refilled and room fresheners are sprayed in the coaches. Interestingly, the amount paid to the cleaning contractors are based on the ratings given by the passengers in feedback forms. However, senior WR officials got a false impression of cleanliness on trains as the forms were being filled by the contractors themselves. They allegedly filled the forms using the names and mobile numbers of passengers without their consent.
New MD and CEO for Industrial Finance Corporation of India

Mr. Shankar Rao has been appointed as the MD and CEO of Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) w.e.f 14th August 2017. His appointment will be valid for a period of three years. He is currently the Managing Director of IIFCL Asset Management Ltd.

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