Current Affairs Updates - 24 November 2017
New Appointments: InternationalEmmerson Mnangagwa set to be sworn in as new Zimbabwe president
- Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa was set to be sworn in as president on Friday, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover.
Banking/Economic AffairsThe Shanghai-based Brics New Development Bank (NDB) has approved two infrastructure and sustainable development projects in India and Russia with loans of 400 million dollar.
- The loans will be used to rehabilitate the Indira Gandhi canal system in India and to build a toll transport corridor connecting Ufa city centre to the M-5 federal highway in Russia.
- The Ordinance aims to put safeguards in place by prohibiting wilful defaulters, those associated with non-performing assets (NPAs), and the habitually non-compliant, from regaining control of the defaulting company/stressed assets through the backdoor in the garb of a ‘resolution applicant.’
National AffairsThe Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) for another three financial years (FYs 2017-18 to 2019-20) and providing Grants-in-aid of Rs.18 crore to the Institute. It will make the Institute self-sustainable by the end of FY 2019-20.
- The National Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (NFCSR) at IICA is responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The Foundation has been designed around the new provisions of Companies Act, 2013. The NFCSR conducts various activities in partnership with Corporates in the field of CSR, oriented towards social inclusion.
- The minimum initial investment towards the membership of EBRD will be approximately (one) million. However, this assumption is based on India deciding to buy the minimum number of shares (100) required for obtaining the membership. If India were to buy a higher number of Bank shares, the financial implications could be higher. In-principle approval of the Cabinet at this stage is being obtained for joining the Bank.
- Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission will be notified in due course. “The next step will be to finalize the members and chairperson of the finance commission after which it will start functioning,” he added.
- Though the taxable amount may go up due to removal of all or most of the exemptions, the reduced tax rates are expected to actually bring down the total amount paid as income tax.
Defence & RailwayShubhangi Swaroop becomes Indian Navy’s first woman pilot. She will be flying flying Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft.
- Though Shubhangi Swaroop is the first Naval woman pilot, the Navy's Aviation branch has had women officers operating as air traffic control officers and as 'observers' in the aircraft who are responsible for communication and weapons, Southern Naval spokesperson Commander Sreedhar Warrier said.
- The successful maiden test firing of BrahMos air launched cruise missile (ALCM) from Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF’s air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges,” a statement by the defence ministry said.
Application / PortalPrime Minister Narendra Modi formally launched UMANG, a state and central government services app for any kind of government and payment services.
- A user can sign up on the app for services from the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the Central Board of Secondary Education, Bharat Bill Pay and others. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) along with the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) have developed the app, the name of which expands to Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance.
- The app features interactive quizzes with questions related to mathematics, general knowledge, current affairs, computers, reasoning, and economics.
- The app will also provide latest updates and job alerts. Maheshwari said the app would be of great benefit to the students who cannot fork out massive sums of money to join coaching centers.
Schemes / ProgrammeSocial networking giant Facebook said it expects to train about five lakh people in India on digital skills by 2020 and has unveiled two programmes - Facebook Digital Training and Facebook Startup Training Hubs - designed for individuals and start-ups.
- India is poised to have a digital economy worth 1 trillion dollar by 2022. We believe the best way to prepare India for this digital economy is by providing tools, knowledge, and skills people need to succeed,” Facebook Head of Programmes, India and South Asia Ritesh Mehta told PTI.
- He added that these tools will help people learn digital skills as well as enable entrepreneurs and SMB (small and medium businesses) in digitising their business.
Agreements (MoU)The government approved signing of an agreement between India and the Philippines on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.
- The agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for prevention and investigation of customs offences, an official statement said.
- It added that the pact is expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
- The agreement is proposed to be signed during the upcoming visit of the Indian delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to Russia from November 27-29, 2017.
- India and Russia have a long history of close cooperation at the international fora on matters of mutual interest.
Summit /Conference / Events / HostDuring the International Fraud Awareness week, Axis Bank in association with Mumbai Police has launched its latest campaign #MuhPeTaala to promote safe banking to raise awareness about how to keep oneself safe from falling prey to fraudulent calls asking information such as pin code, CVV, OTP etc.
- Talking more about the campaign, Asha Kharga, chief marketing officer, Axis Bank, said, “We are delighted to be associated with the Mumbai Police for this initiative on ‘Safe Banking’ and launch the #MuhPeTaala campaign during the International Fraud Awareness week. The insight behind the campaign was that we have a peculiar obsession with keeping things under lock and key.
- President Ram Nath Kovind Tuesday said that besides being a frontier, the Northeast has been at the heart of the Indian imagination. Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the two-day North East Development Summit at Imphal, the President said he hoped the summit will result in “actionable decisions” on Northeast’s development.
- The exercise will be simultaneously conducted in 31 coastal districts across four States namely West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Union Territory Puducherry along the entire East Coast.
- The disaster scenario will simulate tsunami waves originating due to a high-intensity earthquake near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which will lead to a massive tsunami along the East Coast, the ministry of home affairs said.