Current Affairs: Daily GK Update 21st December 2017

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1. Cabinet Approves Establishing India's 1st National Rail and Transportation University

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved the Ministry of Railways' transformative initiative to set up India's first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara, Gujarat to skill its human resources and build capability.
ii. Government is planning to launch the first academic program in July 2018. The funding of the new University/Institute is to entirely come from Ministry of Railways.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • Present Railway Minister of India- Piyush Goyal.
  • 1st Railway Minister of Independent India- John Mathai.

2. Cabinet Approves "Scheme for Capacity Building in Textiles Sector"

i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for a new skill development scheme covering the entire value chain of the textile sector excluding Spinning & Weaving in organized Sector, titled "Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)" from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 1300 crore.
ii. The scheme will have National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliant training courses. The objectives of the scheme are to provide demand-driven, placement oriented skilling program to incentivize the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the organized textile and related sectors.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • Present Textile Minister of India- Smriti Zubin Irani.

3. UK Tops Forbes' List of Best Countries for Business in 2018

i. The United Kingdom has topped Forbes' rankings of best countries in the world for business in 2018 for the first time, up from fifth last year. The list ranks 153 countries on 15 factors including property rights, innovation, taxes and red tape.
ii. The UK is followed by New Zealand and the Netherlands, while India was ranked 62nd on the list. The UK's $2.6 trillion economy is the fifth largest in the world.  The world’s second (China) and third (Japan) biggest economies rank 66th and 21st, respectively. Chad ranks last for the third straight year.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • Forbes- American Business Magazine, Founded in- 1917.
  • Headquarters- New York City, USA.

4. DARPAN Project Launched For Financial Inclusion of Rural Population


i. The Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN- “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” Project to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve 'financial inclusion' of the unbanked rural population.
ii. The goal of the IT modernization project with an outlay of Rs. 1400 Crore is to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM) which will enable each of approximately 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states.

5. 'Hamesha Vijayee' Exercise Held in Rajasthan

i. The Indian Army's Southern Command had conducted exercise 'Hamesha Vijayee' in the deserts of Rajasthan to evaluate the capability of the armed forces to strike deep into the enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle.
ii. The military exercise is aimed at fine-tuning surveillance and destruction mechanisms to support precision strikes and maneuvers by network-enabled forces.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • 27th Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army- Bipin Rawat.

6. India, Sri Lanka Completes 2nd phase of Joint Oceanographic Survey

i. Indian Navy in collaboration with its Sri Lankan counterpart has successfully completed the second phase of the joint oceanographic survey conducted off the South Western Coast of Sri Lanka. The survey commenced with the arrival of Indian Naval Ship Sutlej in Sri Lanka.
ii. The aim of the joint survey was to update all the navigational charts covering the southern Sri Lankan waters with the latest hydrographic data.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • Present Chief of Naval Staff- Admiral Sunil Lanba.

7. RBI Puts United Bank of India Under PCA

i. The Reserve Bank of India has put Kolkata-based United Bank of India under the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework. The additional action points were in the view of high net non-performing assets, low leverage ratio and need to raise capital.
ii. UBI was among the first state-owned lenders against which RBI implemented prompt corrective action, back in February 2014. The restrictions were lifted in 2015.
iii. Since the framework was revised in April, nine banks have seen PCA initiated against them. These include Bank of India, Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Corporation Bank.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • MD and CEO of United Bank of India- Pawan Kumar Bajaj, Headquarters- Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • Including UBI, Total 10 Banks have now come under PCA.

8. SEBI Hikes FPI Investment Limit

i. The Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has raised the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in central government securities to over 1.91 lakh crore from January 2018. 
ii. Currently, investment limit for foreign portfolio investors is 1.89 lakh crore rupees. The move is part of an effort by SEBI to push inflow from overseas investors in the country’s capital markets.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • SEBI Chairman- Ajay Tyagi, Headquarters- Mumbai.

9. Justice UD Salvi Appointed Officiating Chief of National Green Tribunal

i. The government has appointed Justice U D Salvi as officiating chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) following the superannuation of Justice Swatanter Kumar.
ii. Mr. Salvi will remain in the saddle until his retirement on February 13, 2018.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • The first chairperson of the tribunal was Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta, who was appointed on October 18, 2010.
  • The tribunal’s principal bench is located in New Delhi. 
  • The NGT was established on October 18, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.

10. Birmingham to Host Commonwealth Games in 2022

i. The central English city of Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The 2022 Commonwealth Games were originally given to Durban in 2015, but the South African city was stripped of the event this year because of financial difficulties.
ii. The multisports event was last in Britain in 2014 when it was held in Glasgow. Before that, Manchester hosted in 2002.

Static/Current Takeaways Important for RBI Assistant Mains 2017 Exam-
  • Gold Coast, Australia, will host the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.

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