02 August 2017 - Current Affairs

Monetary Policy: RBI cuts policy rate by 25 basis points to 6%

  • Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Urjit Patel, decided to reduce the Policy Repo Rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.25 per cent to 6.0 per cent with immediate effect.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.25 per cent.
KeyPoints -
  • Dr. Urjit Patel is the 24th Governor of RBI.
  • RBI is headquartered in Mumbai.

Airtel Payment Bank ties up with HPCL for ATM services

  • Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first payments bank has announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to give further boost to digital payments in the country and to add to customer convenience.
  • All 14,000 HPCL fuel stations will act as banking points for Airtel Payments Bank. All Airtel Payments Bank customers would be able to access a range of convenient banking services at these fuel stations like opening new accounts, make cash deposits and withdrawals facility, and transfer money.
KeyPoints -
  • Shashi Arora is the present MD and CEO of Airtel Payment Bank.
  • First Airtel Payment Bank was opened in Rajasthan.

World breastfeeding week – August 1-7, 2017

  • World breastfeeding week 2017 is being celebrated from 1st to 7th August 2017 with the theme “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”.
  • It was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding  World Breastfeeding WeekAction (WABA) and is now observed in over 120 countries by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.
KeyPoints -Headquarter of UNICEF is in New York, United States.

China opens its first overseas Military base in Djibouti

  • China formally opened its first overseas military base with a flag raising ceremony in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, the same day as the People's Liberation Army marks its 90th birthday.
  • Djibouti's position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fueled worry in India that it would become another of China's "string of pearls" military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
KeyPoints -Djiboutian franc is the currency of Djibouti.

PM Modi announces Rs2,350-crore flood relief for North-East

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a package of Rs2,350 crore for all North-East states for mitigating the impact of floods on short- and long-term basis.
  • In addition to that, the Prime Minister has announced a Rs100 crore corpus for setting up a research project to study the Brahmaputra and its role in creating devastating flood. Out of the Rs 2350 crore announced by the PM, Rs 1200 crore will be given by the Union.
KeyPoints -The Seven Sister States are the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura in northeastern India.

Supreme Court bans use of Five Metals in Firecrackers

  • The Supreme Court of India imposed a ban on the use of five harmful metals viz lithium, mercury, arsenic, antimony, and lead in firecrackers. The bench was headed by Justice Madan B Lokur.
  • The Supreme Court maintained that it is the responsibility of the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to ensure compliance of ban particularly in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu where there are a large number of firecracker manufacturers.
  • The court asked CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) and PESO to make collaborative efforts for setting up standards with regards to air pollution caused by the bursting of fire crackers.
KeyPoints - PESO is a department that controls and administers manufacture, storage, transport and handling of explosives, petroleum, compressed gasses and other hazardous substances in India. It is headquartered at Nagpur, Maharashtra.

SBI debit cards now on Samsung Pay app

  • Smartphone-maker Samsung, which recently launched its digital wallet app Samsung Pay in India, has tied up with State Bank of India to store higher variants of SBI debit cards on the app.
  • This collaboration turns the Samsung smartphones into electronic card-holders and users can pay at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals with just a tap on the cards stored in Samsung Pay. 
  • Samsung Pay works on 2.5 million PoS card machines across the country through its magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology.
KeyPoints - Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is Headquartered in South Korea. /Lee Kun-hee is the Chairman of the Samsung Group.

Dhrupad maestro Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar passes away

  • Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, a classical vocalist and one of the leading exponents of Dhrupad tradition, passed away following a brief illness in Pune. He was 78.
  • Dhrupad is a Sanskrit blend of Dhruva (immovable) and Pad (verse). 
  • It has its roots in ancient times, it was first mentioned in 3rd Century B.C. in the Natyashastra.

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