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Current Affairs Updates - 14 October 2017

Current Affairs Updates - 14 October 2017

Current Affairs Updates - 14 October 2017

New Appointments: International
HSBC appoints retail banking head John Flint as next CEO
  • HSBC Holdings has appointed head of retail banking and wealth management, John Flint as the new CEO. Flint will start his new role on February 21, 2018, taking over the position from current CEO Stuart Gulliver. The appointment marks the first major decision taken by HSBC's new Chairman Mark Tucker, became HSBC's first externally-appointed chairman on October 1
Banking/Economic Affairs
SBI launches 'SME Assist' for enterprises hurting from GST transition
  • To ease down pain for Micro, Small & Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) arising from GST transition, the largest lender State Bank of India has launched its first-of-its-kind product called as 'SME Assist' for this sector. 
  • Under SME Assist, SBI will provide a short term working capital demand loan (WCDL) to MSMEs on their input credit claims under GST at a concessional rate of interest for a period of nine months. 
NBFC bad loans rise to 5% in 5 years: RBI
  • Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), key players in the financial spectrum, have witnessed a steady deterioration in asset quality in the past five years. Gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio for NBFCs increased to five per cent at end-March 2017 from 2.9 per cent at end-March 2012, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
Safe Cities Index 2017: Tokyo safest in world; Mumbai - at the 45th spot and Delhi on the 43rd position! 
  • The Safe Cities Index 2017 has come out with its report on the safest cities across the world - 60 names figure on it. The report is from The Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by NEC. It is based on the second iteration of the index, which ranks 60 cities across 49 indicators covering digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security. 
  • The results of the 2017 Safe Cities Index shows a sharp divide in overall levels of safety in fast developing as well as the stagnant developed world. Metro cities Delhi and Mumbai too feature on the list. Check the top 10 cities on the index here:
  • Tokyo is on the top spot and shows the strongest performance in the digital security category. Singapore has secured the second spot on the top ten position in the Safe Cities Index 2017 Osaka is one of the top performing cities in this category. The city has grabbed the third spot.
Gurmehar Kaur features in Time magazine's Next Gen leaders
  • Time magazine has included the 20-year-old Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur in its list of Next Generation Leaders for 2017, hailing her as a "free-speech warrior". Kaur had protested against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad for triggering violence at Ramjas College in February 2017. She had received rape and death threats for her campaign, which she later dropped out of.
First negative emissions plant starts operations in Iceland that turns carbon dioxide into carbonate rocks 
  • The world's first "negative emissions" plant that turns carbon dioxide into carbonate rocks has begun operations in Iceland. The engineering experiment by Swiss firm Climeworks aims to capture 50 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 over a year, equalling a US household's greenhouse emission. Currently 500 dollar per tonne, conversion costs are expected to drop to 50 dollar in the future, said Climeworks' Director.

National Affairs
Gujarat apparel policy focusses on job creation by setting up of 16 new GIDC estates
  • In poll mode, the BJP-led Gujarat government on Wednesday made two important announcements to encourage investments in the small businesses aimed at employment generation.
  • Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced setting up of 16 new GIDC estates (industrial estates) across the State with the potential to generate one lakh new jobs.
  • He also announced the new Garments & Apparel Policy 2017 aiming to use the cotton crop of the State to achieve the complete value-chain of farm-to-fibre, fibre-to-fabric, fabric-to-fashion and fashion to foreign markets.
Tata Teleservices to sell its wireless mobile business to Bharti Airtel 
  • The Tata Group has agreed to sell its mobile business to Bharti Airtel BSE 7.89 % for free, ending the salt-to-software conglomerate's long-standing attempts to rid itself of this loss-making venture while bolstering the market share and 4G airwaves capacity of the Sunil Mittal-led company. 
UP CM Adityanath flags off 50 'Sankalp Seva' buses in Lucknow
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath on Wednesday flagged off 50 buses under the 'Sankalp Seva' service in Lucknow.
  • State Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh was also present at the event. These buses will connect as many as 6,000 villages.
International Affairs
MasterCard launches India innovation centre to solve "India-specific" problems in the areas of technology and financial enablement
  • MasterCard today announced the launch of its innovation centre to focus on solving "India-specific" problems in the areas of technology and financial enablement. This would be their second innovation centre, after Singapore, in Asia and ninth globally.
Israel joins US in quitting UNESCO
  • Following US' withdrawal from UNESCO citing "anti-Israel bias", Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced that his country would also quit the UN heritage organisation. Calling the US' move "courageous and ethical", Netanyahu said, "UNESCO has become a theatre of absurd. Instead of preserving history, it distorts it." Both the US and Israel have opposed Palestine's inclusion in UNESCO.
Science & Technologies
SpaceX completes successful launch of recycled rocket Falcon 9
  • SpaceX on Thursday launched a rocket that had already flown to space and landed it successfully on an ocean platform, as part of its ongoing effort to recycle costly rocket components.
Defence & Railway
INS Satpura, Kadmatt to participate in PASSEX with Japan
  • Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmatt will participate in Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Japanese Marine Self Defence Force, the navy said in a statement on Friday.
  • Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmatt will participate in Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Japanese Marine Self Defence Force, the navy said in a statement on Friday.
  • INS Satpura and Kadmatt are visiting Sasebo, Japan, from October 12 to 15. After completion of the harbour phase, the ships will take part in Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Murusame Class destroyer, JS Kirisame.
Joint Field Training Exercise (FTX) on Flood Rescue conducted as part of BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise at the Yamuna Barrage, Wazirabad
  • As a part of the first “Bay of Bengal Initiative For Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Disaster Management Exercise - 2017, a Joint Field Training Exercise on Flood Rescue was conducted here today at the Yamuna Barrage, Wazirabad, in which the delegates & rescue teams of all the seven member nations of BIMSTEC group participated with great enthusiasm.
  • The River Yamuna flood situation was presumed to be critical in Delhi and nearby areas due to heavy incessant rains. A large number of people were presumed to be stranded in the flood affected areas. Considering the huge impact of the flood disaster, BIMSTEC member countries offered assistance to the Government of India for the flood relief and evacuation of the needy.
To counter China’, India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti 2017 will be conducted at the Aundh Military Camp in Pune from Oct 13
  • The series — Mitra Shakti — had started in 2012, mainly as a response to China’s efforts to increase its influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. The armies of India and Sri Lanka also serve together in the United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • Mitra Shakti 2017, a joint exercise between India and Sri Lanka for military co-operation and interoperability, will be conducted at the Aundh Military Camp in Pune between October 13 and 25. The training exercise is considered an important effort in India’s response to China’s growing influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.
Application / Portal 
Google launches domain registrar service 'Google Domains' in India
  • Google has launched its web domain registrar service called Google Domains in India. The service which is currently available in beta version, assists users in purchasing a domain name and setting it up, and also gives an option to hide the details they are submitting. Google Domains has priced the '.com' domain at 860 and '.co.in' at 790 a year.
Schemes / Programme
Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojna launched, PLI initiative expanded
  • Communications Minister Manoj Sinha here on Friday launched the Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana and an initiative for expansion of clientele base of Postal Life Insurance. Talking to media after launching the schemes, the minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to provide banking services through the postal network needs to be taken forward to provide affordable life insurance services to people living in rural areas of the country.
Agreements (MoU)
Amazon, Microsoft launch deep learning platform 'Gluon'
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft have teamed up to launch an open-source and deep learning interface 'Gluon' that will help developers to deploy machine learning models across several platforms.
  • According to a report, the interface would give developers a place where they can prototype, build, train and deploy machine learning models.
India may operate airport in Sri Lanka near Chinese port
  • India has proposed to operate a Sri Lankan airport near the Hambantota seaport leased by China, Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala said. The port, which has been leased for 99 years, is a key part of China's One Belt One Road initiative. However, Sri Lanka's Opposition has been protesting against selling state assets to foreign entities.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
The Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley participates in the G-20 Meeting in Washington D.C.
  • The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley today participated in the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting in Washington D.C. The discussion focused on the agenda items pertaining to Global Economy and Framework for Growth, Compact with Africa and International Financial Architecture. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley is presently on a one week visit to USA mainly to participate in Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF among others.
Suresh Prabhu kick-starts Make in India: Sweden 2017
  • Several run-up events and high level meetings took place a day before the commencement of Make in India: Sweden 2017.The Indian delegation led by the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Stefan Lofven. 
  • The meeting reiterated the dedication to further strengthening of the Indo-Swedish economic relationship and exploring new avenues of collaboration.Shri Prabhu said, 
Awards & Honours
Prakash Raj receives Karanth award amid protests
  • Prakash Raj, actor and film-maker, said on Tuesday that it is essential to have a society free of fear where people can express their views without feeling afraid.
  • He received the Kota Shivaram Karanth Huttura Prashasti amid protests by members of mostly right-wing groups, including the BJP Yuva Morcha, close to the venue of the function. However, these protests took place before the award presentation. The police arrested around 100 protesters at Kota and Brahmavar. There was tight police security at the venue.
Sports: Awards & Honours
India thrash Bangladesh 7-0 in Asia Cup at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Friday, will face Pakistan next
  • India defeated neighbours Bangladesh 7-0 in their second match of the Asia Cup on Friday, to jump to the top spot in Pool A with six points. Harmanpreet Singh registered his second brace of the tournament, helping India take their goal tally to 12. India will next face Pakistan, who had also defeated Bangladesh with the same scoreline on Wednesday.

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