26 September 2017 - Current Affairs

Shashi Shanker Appointed CMD of ONGC

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Shashi Shanker (56-year) as Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation), till 31st March 2021.
  • He will take charge from 1st October when the incumbent Dinesh K Sarraf retires.
  • Currently, Mr. Shanker is the Director (Technical and Field Services) at ONGC
  • ONGC board has seven full-time directors including the Chairman and Managing Director.
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) is a Public-Sector Undertaking (PSU) of the Government of India, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • It produces around 77% of India's crude oil (equivalent to around 30% of the country's total demand) and around 62% of its natural gas.

Bibek Debroy to head PM Modi's Economic Advisory Council

  • The noted economist from Meghalaya ‘Bibek Debroy’ has been appointed as the first Chairman of the five-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC- PM), which was re-constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Other members of the Economic Advisory Council are Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal, who will be working as part-time members of the council.
  • The council serves to highlight key economic issues facing the country to the government of India from a neutral viewpoint.
  • The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) is a non-constitutional, non-permanent and independent body constituted to give economic advice to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister.

The Ship 'TARASA' commissioned into Indian Navy

  • The Ship 'TARASA' has been Commissioned into the Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
  • INS Tarasa (T94) is a patrol vessel of the Car Nicobar-class of Indian Navy and the last ship in the series of four Water Jet Fast Attack Craft.
  • An improved variant of the Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), INS Tarasa is fitted out at the GRSE's Raja Bagan Dockyard.
  • The ship is designed for a maximum speed of 35 knots, with an endurance of nearly 2,000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots.
  • The ship is fitted with CRN-91 indigenous 30mm gun with optronic pedestal and powered by the latest 4,000-series MTU engines with advanced machinery control system.

ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission completes three years in orbit

  • According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) MOM second-year science data, its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) which has completed three years in its Martian orbit is in good health and continues to work as expected.
  • The 450-crore rupees MOM mission aims at studying the Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scan its atmosphere for methane which is an indicator of life on Mars.
  • The scientific analysis of the data received from the spacecraft is in progress.
  • The Mars Orbiter Mission probe lifted-off from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Andhra Pradesh, using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket C25 on 5 November 2013.

India raises market access, barriers issue with Indonesia

  • India has raised the issue of market access and regulatory barriers that its companies are facing in Indonesia in sectors like pharma, dairy, and bovine meat.
  • The issues were discussed during a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister ‘Suresh Prabhu’ and his Indonesian counterpart ‘Enggartiasto Lukita’ in New Delhi.
  • The Indonesia has agreed to conduct inspection visits for registering dairy products, fresh food of plant origin and meat processing facilities.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrives in New Delhi on a two-day visit

  • Today, the US Defence Secretary ‘Jim Mattis’ arrived in New Delhi on a two-day visit to India.
  • He will discuss the joint efforts to advance common goals through a broader strategic exchange of views.
  • Mattis is the first Cabinet Minister of the Trump Administration to visit India.

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe calls snap election

  • Japanese Prime Minister ‘Shinzo Abe’ has called an election a year early and will dissolve parliament on 28th of this month.
  • He seeks a fresh term at the helm of the world's third-largest economy as tensions with nearby North Korea reach fever-pitch.
  • The Prime Minister did not give a date for the election (expected 22nd Oct).
  • Shinzo Abe is the current Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
  • He is the third longest serving Prime Minister in post-war Japan.

HM Rajnath Singh launches PENCIL Portal

  • The Union Home Minister Mr Rajnath Singh has launched a web portal called 'PENCIL' (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) for effective implementation of National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
  • PENCIL portal has five components (Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project, and Convergence) and developed by the Labour Ministry.
  • It was felt that an online portal which connects the Centre to the state government, district and to all project societies would provide a mechanism for implementation.

Odisha Govt. launches ‘Sampurna Yojana’

  • Odisha state Govt. has launched ‘Sampurna Yojna’ scheme for pregnant women, in Odisha.
  • Under this Sishu Abond Matru Mrityuhara Purna Nirakaran Abhijan(Sampurna) scheme, Rs 1,000 will be provided as transportation cost particularly to expectant mothers to facilitate institutional delivery in remote and inaccessible areas in the state.
  • The main objective of this scheme is to reduce the death ration of the newborn child and mother mortality rate.
  • Around 7853 villages will be covered from 30 districts of Odisha.

SBI launches chatbot to help customers in banking activities

  • Artificial intelligence banking platform ‘Payjo’ has launched an AI-powered chat assistant for State Bank of India (SBI) to addresses customer enquiries.
  • The chat assistant, ‘SBI Intelligent Assistant (SIA)’ will help customers with everyday banking tasks just like a bank representative
  • SIA has been set up to handle nearly 10,000 enquiries per second, which is nearly 25% of the queries processed by Google every day.
  • SIA will simplify the customer's lives on multiple customer interaction platforms in partnership with Payjo.

ADB lowers India growth outlook to 7% for 2017-18

  • According to Asian Development Bank has downgraded India's growth projection to 7% for the current fiscal while lowering its forecast for the next financial year as well.
  • India's GDP growth is downgraded to 7% in the financial year 2017-18, a 0.4% point drop from the April forecast.
  • In the financial year 2018-19, the forecast is adjusted down to 7.4%, from 7.6%.

SBI lowers min balance to Rs 3,000

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has lowered the minimum average monthly balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to Rs. 3,000 from Rs. 5,000 & remain 1000 for rural branches and revised downwards penalties for non-adherence.
  • The revised MAB requirement and charges will become applicable from next month.
  • The bank also decided to exempt pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from government and minors from the requirement of minimum balance in savings account and treat the metro & urban centers in the same category.
  • The bank also revised downwards the penalty for non-maintenance of MAB.
  • Now, the charges at semi-urban and rural centers range from 20 to 40 rupees and at urban and metro centres from 30 to 50 rupees.
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