Current Affairs Update - 21 July 2017
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Ram Nath Kovind Will Take Oath As 14th President Of India On July 25
- Ram Nath Kovind has won the presidential election after securing over two-thirds of the total electoral college votes. Mr Kovind will be sworn-in as the 14th President of India on July 25.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind for winning the presidential election. PM Modi tweeted: "Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure."
- Flowers and extra security had arrived at the former Bihar governor's home in Delhi long before the official announcement and sweets were passed around at his hometown in Uttar Pradesh. The counting of votes for the presidential election began at 11 am today.
- The contest, between the ruling NDA's Ram Nath Kovind and the Opposition's Meira Kumar, both Dalits, had seen nearly 99 per cent lawmakers and legislators cast their vote - the highest ever. Voting had taken place on July 17.
India on track to grow at 7.4% in 2017 according to Asian Development Bank (ADB) report
- India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4% in 2017 and further up 7.6% next year on strong consumption demand, with South Asia leading the growth chart in Asia and the Pacific, an ADB supplement report said today.
- “India, the sub-region’s largest economy, is expected to achieve previous growth projections of 7.4% in 2017 and 7.6% in 2018, primarily from strong consumption,” the supplement of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Outlook 2017 said.
- According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub—regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7% in 2017 and 7.2% in 2018.
- The growth prospects in developing Asia for 2017 have improved on the back of stronger than expected export demand in the first quarter of this year, it said.
- In the supplement, ADB has upgraded its growth outlook in the Asian region to 5.9% in 2017 from 5.7% and to 5.8% for 2018 from 5.7%. The smaller uptick for the next year reflects a cautious view on this sustainability of this export push, it added.
ICICI Bank offers up to Rs 15 lakh instant personal loan via ATMs
- Largest private sector lender ICICI BankBSE 0.15 % will be selling personal loans of up to Rs 15 lakh through its ATMs that can be availed of by select salaried customers even if they haven't previously applied for one.
- Using data from credit information companies, the lender will pre-qualify select customers for personal loans.
- Such customers will get a message on the ATM screen after completing a transaction, informing about their eligibility for personal loans.
- If a customer chooses to go in for one, she can avail of a five-year personal loan of up to Rs 15 lakh and the amount will be credited instantly into her account, the bank said in a statement today. The service is already available.
- A customer is given multiple amounts to choose from and will be informed about other crucial details like the interest rate, processing fee and monthly instalments, before the transaction is completed by crediting the loan amount into her account.
- ICICI Bank executive director Anup Bagchi said this will help customers receive money conveniently once they opt for a personal loan.
Karnataka govt forms panel to design separate flag for state
- If the flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state to have its official flag after J&K.
- The Karnataka government has formed a nine-member committee to submit a report on designing a separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defending the move saying there is no constitutional provision against it.
- If the flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state to have its official flag after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
- The committee, headed by the principal secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, was set up last month after a representation from noted Kannada writer and journalist Patil Puttappa, and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada.
- Puttappa and Gadada in their representation had requested the government to design a separate flag for 'Kannada Naadu' and accord it legal standing.
Defence & Railway
Israel to partner DRDO for developing missile defence system for India
- In a major upgrade to its defences, the Indian Army has signed a MoU with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to raise one regiment of the advanced Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAM). The army plans to have a total of five regiments of this air defence system, which will be deployed opposite to China and Pakistan.
- The MRSAM marks a paradigm shift in the capabilities of the Indian Army. The system can shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helic
India-Japan civil nuclear deal finally comes into force
- India completed the process of its civil nuclear agreements, as the landmark India-Japan civil nuclear agreement entered into force on Thursday.
- Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and Japanese ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes, marking operationalisation of the pact, the external affairs ministry said.
- The civil nuclear cooperation agreement was signed last November during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Tokyo after over six years of negotiations.
Application / Portal
Google Introduces Recruiting App 'Hire' For Businesses
- In an apparent move to compete with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, Google has launched 'Hire', a recruiting app for small- and medium-sized businesses that also integrates seamlessly with G Suite.
- "Hire makes it easy for you to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end," Berit Johnson, Senior Product Manager at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog on Tuesday.
- 'Hire' integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calendar that are being used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts. "With the introduction of 'Hire', customers now have a hiring app alongside G Suite's familiar, easy-to-use tools that can help them run an efficient recruiting process," Johnson added. With 'Hire', businesses can communicate with candidates in Gmail or 'Hire' and emails will be synced automatically in both.
Schemes / Programme
Arun Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan and said the WTO-TFA coming into force on February 22, 2017, was a major milestone for the global trading system.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan and said the WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) coming into force on February 22, 2017 was a major milestone for the global trading system. Jaitley further said India looks forward to ensuring compliance with the TFA, according to a Finance Ministry statement. “This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA,” the statement quoted the finance minister as saying. Jaitley was speaking after releasing the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) here.
- According to the statement, the national action plan aims to transform cross border clearance ecosystem through efficient, transparent, risk based, coordinated, digital, seamless and technology driven procedures which are supported by state-of-the-art sea ports, airports and land borders. Noting that the action plan lists out specific activities which would be carried out by all regulatory agencies like Customs, FSSAI, Drug Controller,
- Plant Quarantine and DGFT in a time-bound manner, the statement said “the co-ordination among all the stakeholders is the key to achieve the objective of trade facilitation”. The action plan not only covers the activities coming under the TFA but they go beyond the ambit of TFA per se, which have been defined as TFA Plus category, the statement pointed out.
Janahitha grievance redressal system launched in Telangana
- Now, complainants in the district need not travel long, or go from pillar to post to meet officials to submit their grievances. A short text from your WhatsApp or a phone call to the redressal centre could save you time and money.
- Developed by the State Information Technology, E&C department, ‘Janahitha’, an integrated grievance redressal management system aims at expediting complaint resolution through continuous monitoring at a centralised cell. The portal also serves information on the various schemes the users could avail.
- A call centre set up for the purpose will act as the support station and receives grievances from complainants in simpler forms – an SMS, e-mail or a call after the user completes a one-time registration.
- The users also have an option to send photos through WhatsApp supporting their grievances, and their complaints can be tracked using a Grievance Unique Number (GUN) till its resolution. Both, the officer concerned and the complainant would receive message alerts on the complaint lodged.
- "The system will ease filing of complaints and also make the officers accountable," Minister for Energy and SC Development G. Jagadish Reddy said, who was formally launching Janahitha at the Collectorate complex here.
Sports/Awards & Honours
Chennai Open renamed Maharashtra Open, to be held in Pune
- India's lone ATP tournament will now be held in Pune next year and would be henceforth called "Maharashtra Open"
- "We welcome the world class ATP tournament to our state," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said
- The Chennai Open became an important fixture on India's international sporting calendar, drawing top players from across
Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Is Dead at 41
- Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 41.
- Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death, in Palos Verdes Estates, and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide after law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m.
- Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The most recent, “One More Light,” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was scheduled to start a tour with a concert on July 27 in Mansfield, Mass.
- Mike Shinoda, one of Linkin Park’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band would issue a statement.
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