Current Affairs: Daily GK Update 4th July 2017

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i. The Centre and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a 220 million dollar loan for improving connectivity as well as transport efficiency and safety on State Highways of Rajasthan. 

ii. The loan is the first tranche of the 500 million dollar Rajasthan State Highways Investment Program, approved by ADB Board in May this year. An official release said the first tranche loan will improve about one thousand kilometres of State Highways and major district roads. 

Important Takeaways from the above News:
  • The Asian Development Bank was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
  • Takehiko Nakao is present president of the Asian Development Bank.
  • Manila, Philippines is headquarters of ADB.
i. The indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air (QRSAM) short-range missile, which has a capability of engaging multiple targets was successfully test-fired from a test range along the Odisha coast. 

ii. The missile has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km. Designed to be a quick reaction missile, it involves an all- weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing. The missile was test-fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

i. Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani and Helion Venture’s Sanjeev Aggarwal have launched an investment fund called Fundamentum with a corpus of $100 million to back startups looking for growth capital. 

ii. The corpus may be extended to $200 million if the fund sees more opportunities, the two founders said. The fund, which has so far closed $50 million, will see one-third of the corpus coming from Nilekani and Aggarwal. Fundamentum has already brought on board six entrepreneurs who will also invest in the fund. 

i. The Financial StabilityBoard (FSB), an international body for the global financial system, has placed India in the league of countries that are 'compliant or largely compliant’ on the implementation of priority area reforms. Ahead of the G20 Summit in Germany to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other world leaders, the FSB has submitted its status report on progress in financial regulatory reforms in various jurisdictions, including India.

ii. The report listed India as a ‘compliant’ jurisdiction with regard to Basel III reforms in risk-based capital and as ’largely compliant’ on liquidity coverage ratio. Other countries that have been found to be ‘compliant or largely compliant’ on these metrics include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and the US. At the same time, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK have been found to be ’materially non-compliant’ on at least one parameter.

Important Takeaways from the above News:
  • The FSB was established in April 2009 as the successor to the Financial Stability Forum (FSF).
  • Financial Stability Board (FSB) Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland.
i. Entire Nagaland has been declared as “disturbed area” for six more months under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere without any prior notice. In a gazette notification, the home ministry stated it is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a “disturbed and dangerous condition” that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.

ii. Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, the central government hereby declares that whole of the said state to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from 30th June 2017 for the purpose of that Act.
Important Takeaways from the above News-
  • Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu is Chief Minister of Nagaland.
  • Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya is governor of Nagaland.
  • AFSPA which was enacted in 1958 amid the nascent Naga insurgency, gives powers to the army and state and central police forces to shoot to kill, search houses and destroy any property that is “likely” to be used by insurgents in areas declared as “disturbed” by the home ministry.
i. The President gave his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race 'Kambala'. In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of 'The Prevention of cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017' by the Governor of Karnataka.

ii. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race 'Kambala' and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February with all parties backing the move. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended in its application to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu.

Important Takeaways from the above News-
  • Kambala is an annual Buffalo Race held traditionally under the sponsorship of local landlords and households, in coastal Karnataka, India.
  • Vajubhai Vala is Governor of Karnataka.
i. Achal Kumar Joti has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry informed. Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi is demitting office later this week. Mr Joti, the former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, assumed the role of Election Commissioner in May 2015.Born on January 23, 1953, Mr Joti will have a tenure of less than 10 months as ECs demit office at the age of 65.

ii. Mr Joti is a 1975-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who retired as Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013. He served in the top bureaucratic post of the State when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Minister. Mr. Joti (62) has also served as the State Vigilance Commissioner and worked in various capacities in his cadre including as Chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and Managing Director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).

Important Takeaways from the above News-
  • Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. 
  • The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. 
  • The National Voters’ Day is celebrated every year on 25th January.

i. In pursuance of the proposed sale of a part of its shareholding in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) via an initial public offering, ICICI Bank said its joint venture agreement with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings has been terminated.

ii. In 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings had increased its stake in the Indian insurance firm to 35 percent by picking up an additional 9 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard for about Rs. 1,600 crore. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.


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