Daily Current Affairs 4th May, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 4th May, 2017


Urea manufacturing Plant in Malaysia:

  • The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia on development of a Urea and Ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia with off take to India and/or off take of existing surplus Urea from Malaysia to India.
  • The project is expected to cost US$ 2.1 billion with capacity to produce 2.4 million tonnes of Urea and 1.35 million tonnes of Ammonia per annum and dedicated supplying to Indian market.
  • The signing of MoU will ensure consistent supply of Urea and Ammonia to cater the need of the country at a lower price, if agreed to by both the participants.


Swachh Survekshan 2017: Indore is the cleanest city

  • The ‘Swachh Survekshan 2017’ survey results were recently announced by Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The total 434 cities of India were surveyed. Indore in Madhya Pradesh is India’s cleanest city while Gonda in Uttar Pradesh is the dirtiest.
  • Gujarat has the maximum of 12 cities among the top 50 clean cities, closely followed by Madhya Pradesh with 11 and Andhra Pradesh with eight. Uttar Pradesh accounted for half of the bottom 50 cities in the cleanliness ranking.

Top 10 clean cities of India in 2017 are:

  1. Indore (MP)
  2. Bhopal (MP)
  3. Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
  4. Surat (Gujarat)
  5. Mysuru (Karnataka)
  6. Tiruchirapally (Tamil Nadu)
  7. New Delhi Municipal Council (New Delhi)
  8. Navi Mumbai (Mumbai)
  9. Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
  10. Vadodara (Gujarat).

Top 5 Dirtiest cities of India (with Rank) in 2017 are:

  1. Gonda (UP)- 434,
  2. Bhusawal (Maharashtra)- 433,
  3. Bagaha (Bihar)- 432,
  4. Hardoi (UP)- 431,
  5. Katihar (Bihar)- 430.

Banganapalle Mango of Andhra Pradesh gets GI Tag

  • The Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, has accorded GI Tag for the much famed Banganapalle Mango of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Henceforth, Andhra Pradesh government will be the registered proprietor of the GI tag for Banganapalle mangoes.
  • GI Tag A GI tag specifies that the product comes from a specific region. Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refers to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.
  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness. Under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs.
  • They are also covered under Articles 22 to 24 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
  • A Geographical Indications Registry with all India jurisdiction operates in Chennai, as per the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.
  • Banganapalle Mango Banganapalle mango is known for its sweetness and is known as “the King of fruits.”
  • Banganapalle mangoes can retain their quality under cold storage even up to three months and have been growing in Andhra Pradesh for over 100 years.
  • The primary centre of origin of the fruit is Kurnool district. Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra are the secondary centres of origin. Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak and Adilabad districts in Telangana also form as secondary centres of origin.
  • India exports around 5,500 tonnes of Banganappalle variety of mangoes to countries like the US and UK.


Union Cabinet clears Ordinance to tackle Bad Loans

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared an ordinance that seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act to give more powers to Reserve Bank of India to deal with non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector.
  • The ordinance has been sent to the President for assent.
  • Amendments will empower RBI to act against loan defaulters and defaulting companies under the bankruptcy code.
  • Amendments will enable RBI to set up multiple oversight committees to deal with NPAs. Amendments will be made to make sure that bankers opting for resolution of bad debts are ring-fenced from any regulatory backlash.

Nifty at New Peak, BSE Sensex ends Above 30,000

  • The 50-share NSE Nifty spurted 47.95 points to end at a lifetime high of 9,359.90. Its previous record closing was 9,351.85 achieved on April 26.
  • Similarly, the BSE Sensex has ended above the 30,000-mark.
  • The upbeat performance of market benchmark Nifty and BSE Sensex is to be seen at the backdrop of reform steps taken by the government in banking and infra space.
  • With government’s decision to bring an ordinance in the banking sector to empower RBI, banking stocks surged up to 9{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}.
  • Sentiments also remained upbeat following government’s decision to boost steel output and consumption as well as following strong earnings by the biggest private lender ICICI Bank.
  • The positive sentiments were also due to the decision of US Federal Reserve to keep its policy rate unchanged.
  • The BSE Sensex closed at 30,126.21 which is its highest level since April 26 when it closed at a record high of 30,133.35.
  • Also, the Bank Nifty closed at an all-time high of 22,720.10 after registering an intra-day record peak of 22,743.70.
  • On the macro front, as per the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), services sector registered growth for the third straight month in April.
  • However, the pace of growth got slowed down due to slower rise in new business and employment.

AIIB grants $160 mn for Andhra Pradesh power project

  • China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has recently approved USD 160 million loan for a power project in Andhra Pradesh, the first credit from the bank for an Indian project.
  • The AIIB, in which India is the second largest shareholder after China, has approved the project with the objective to strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in Andhra Pradesh.

Union Cabinet Clears New National Steel Policy

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017 to give impetus to the steel sector.
  • The policy aims to enhance domestic steel consumption and transform Indian steel industry into a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry. The new policy favours the domestic manufacturers.
  • Policy aims to create self-sufficiency in steel production by providing policy support and guidance to private manufacturers, MSME steel producers, CPSEs Encourages adequate capacity additions and promote the development of globally competitive steel manufacturing capabilities. Facilitates foreign investment and aims to enhance the domestic steel demand.
  • Promote cost-efficient production. Aims to ensure the domestic availability of iron ore, coking coal & natural gas and other raw materials at competitive prices.
  • The policy envisages the achievement of crude steel capacity of 300 million tonnes (MT), production of 255 million tonnes (MT) and a robust finished steel per capita consumption of 158 Kgs by 2030 – 31.
  • At present the current consumption is 61kgs. The policy aims to meet the entire demand of high-grade automotive steel, electrical steel, special steels and alloys for strategic applications through adequate local production.
  • It aims to increase domestic availability of washed coking coal in order to reduce import dependence on coking coal from about 85{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} to around 65{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} by 2030-31.
  • All the government tenders would give preference to domestically manufactured iron and steel products.
  • The domestic manufacturers who import raw materials or intermediate products will be able to claim the benefits of the domestic procurement provision if they add a minimum of 15{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} value to the product. R&D in the steel sector would be carried out through the establishment of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI).

Chhattisgarh auctions India’s most expensive limestone block

  • Chhattisgarh successfully auctioned its third limestone block, Kesla-II to Dalmia Cement with the highest bid received 96.15{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of IBM (Indian Bureau of Mines) prices which are 20 times more than the reserve price.
  • Kesla-II block is situated in the Tilda Tehsil of Raipur district of Chhattisgarh and covers over 357 hectares of area with an average grade of 43{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} CaO.
  • In terms of percent of IBM prices, this deal has broken the national record held by Rajasthan at 67.94 percent of IBM prices for its limestone block of Nagaur District.


New Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for re-structuring the schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) under new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) for the period 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.


Agni-II Ballistic Missile Test Fired Successfully

  • India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-II ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni-II Ballistic Missile Agni-II missile is a nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface missile which forms a part of India’s strategic forces arsenal for nuclear deterrence with a range of over 2000 km.
  • It can carry a payload of 1000kg.
  • It is equipped with an advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by a novel state-of-the-art command and control system.
  • It is powered by a solid rocket propellant system and already been inducted into the army. Agni-II weighs 17 tonnes and the range of the missile can be increased to 3000 km by reducing the payload.
  • It can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers and it takes only 15 minutes for the missile to be readied for firing.
  • The Agni-II missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is one of the sophisticated weapons that can act as a deterrent against nuclear-armed neighbours.


World Press Freedom Day:

  • The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.
  • This was also to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.
  • World Press Freedom Day was first organized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 in an effort to reflect upon press freedom in the world.
  • This day acts as a reminder of the importance of a free press in a functioning and safe society and serves to commemorate the journalists who have lost their lives in support of free press.
  • UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organisation or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
  • Theme 2017: “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.


Braj Bihari Kumar appointed as the chairman of ICSSR

  • Braj Bihari Kumar, the editor of quarterly journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan, has been appointed as the chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).
  • He has succeeded famous economist S K Thorat.
  • The HRD Ministry took the decision finalizing his name for the top post for a period of three years.


Cabinet approves Vijayawada Airport as International Airport

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the declaration of Vijayawada Airport as International Airport, as per the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
  • Declaration of an airport as International Airport depends upon traffic potential and demand from airlines for operation of international flights.


India Ranked 100th in FIFA Rankings

  • As per the updated FIFA world football rankings, the Indian national football has managed to secure a 100th spot and entered into the top 100 of FIFA rankings.
  • This is the first time in 21 years that India has been ranked into top 100. India has been placed 100th alongside Nicaragua, Lithuania and Estonia with a total of 331 points. India had ranked 101st in the FIFA rankings for April.
  • The team climbed one spot up owing to the recent wins over Cambodia and Myanmar. The current ranking is a 72-place jump from being 173rd in March 2015. In 1996, India managed to secure the 94th spot. Till date, it remains the country’s best ever FIFA ranking







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