Monday, 3 April 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - April 2, 2017

current affairs
Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

India Becomes Associate Member Of IEA

India, world’s 3rd largest energy consumer has joined International Energy Association (IAE) as an associate member. India will also now have a greater say in global energy issues. With India as an associate member, IEA now formally covers 70% of the world’s energy consumption, thus increasing its relevance.

Key Facts: India’s participation will enrich the energy efficiency and renewable sectors of IEA members and other countries. India will gain from IEA’s data gathering processes, survey methodologies and range of energy data, which will enable India in the near future to set up its own robust integrated database agency. It also gives an opportunity to India to be the voice of the developing world and represent the interests of the emerging markets. It will enable India to be involved in the key committees and dialogues of the IEA.

About International Energy Association (IEA)
IEA is an intergovernmental organization established in 1974 as per the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices. Members: Presently it has 29 member countries. India is the lone associate member of IAE. Headquarters (Secretariat): Paris, France. 
Mandate: Its prime focus is on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection. It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation. It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China, India, and Russia. 
Publications: World Energy Outlook report. 
Relevance: Today, IEA is an important part of the global dialogue on energy, providing research, statistics/data, analysis and recommendations on the global energy sector. Over 70% of world’s energy consumption is now under the IEA umbrella which increases its relevance in global energy governance manifold.

Barmer-Munawab, Pipad Road-Bilara Rail Routes Declared As Green Corridors

The North Western Railway has declared the Barmer-Munawab and Pipad Road-Bilara rail routes in Rajasthan as Green Corridors. With this total number of green corridors has increased to five. The 114-km-long Manamadurai– Rameswaram stretch of Southern Railway was India’s first ‘Green corridor’. Okha-Kanalus and Porbandar-Wasjaliya railway sections of Gujarat also have been declared green corridors.

What is green corridor: The Green Corridor ensures zero toilet discharge on rail tracks as part of its commitment to clean environment under the ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ initiative. Trains in the section have been equipped with bio-toilets to ensure zero discharge of human waste on the rail tracks and preventing corrosion of the tracks.

India And Malaysia Sign Seven Agreements To Expand Cooperation In Areas Like Air Services And Sports

India and Malaysia today signed seven agreements to expand cooperation in areas like air services and sports. The other areas in which MoUs were signed are Mutual Recognition of Educational Qualifications and expanding cooperation in development of Urea and Ammonia manufacturing plants. The pacts were signed after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Mohammed Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on April 1, 2017. In a joint statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated continuing cooperation of the two governments in the joint anti-terrorism efforts in view of emerging security threats.

Five Associates And Bharatiya Mahila Bank Merge With SBI

Five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank became part of the State Bank of India today, catapulting the country's largest lender to among the top 50 banks in the world. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore, besides Bharatiya Mahila Bank merged with the SBI. The total customer base of the bank will reach 75 crores with a branch network of around 24,000 and nearly 59,000 ATMs across the country. The merged entity will have a deposit base of more than 26 lakh crore rupees and advance level of 18.50 lakh crore rupees. Welcoming all the stakeholders of merged entities, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank will strive to conclude the transition process within a quarter.

Indian Economy Expected To Grow At 7.2 Percent In 2017-18, Says, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.2% in 2017-18 and 7.7% in 2018-19 according to IMF estimates. Mr. Jaitley said this while delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the second New Development Bank Annual Board of Governors' meeting in New Delhi. As per IMF's assessment in January 2017, India’s growth in 2016 was 6.6% and is projected to grow at 7.2% and 7.7% in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

"We have successfully implemented a slew of reform measures, including one of the largest currency reform initiatives ever implemented, which will move the Indian economy to a less cash trajectory, increase tax compliance and reduce the threats from counterfeit currency." Mr. Jaitley also said, despite the stagnant demand in developed economies, emerging economies like BRICS continue to grow. He also said India requires 646 billion dollars over next few years to finance infrastructure development.

Enforcement Directorate Launches Offensive Against Shell Companies

The Enforcement Directorate (ED)  launched one of its biggest crackdowns on shell companies across the country. It conducted searches at 100 locations in sixteen states as part of its country-wide operation against shell companies. Officials said, multiple teams of the agency today raided the premises of about 300 shell firms in prominent places like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Patna, Ranchi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Bengaluru among others. They said, the action is being carried out under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act to check instances of money laundering and illegal foreign exchange transactions. The action is part of the mandate given to the ED under a Special Task Force that was recently created by the government on the directions of the Prime Minister's Office.

Scientists Develop New Way To Fight Drug-Resistant Superbugs

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University in the UK have a new way of removing antibodies from the bloodstream. This method has potential to reduce chronic infections that may help humans in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs.

Key Facts: Scientists had used a process known as plasmapheresis that is somewhat like kidney dialysis. It involved the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation. It was done five times in a week in order to remove antibody from two patients with bronchiectasis who had suffered from chronic Pseudomonas aeruginous infections resistant to many antibiotics. Using this process, scientists replaced antibodies in these patients with those from blood donations. This treatment restored the ability for the patients' blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas aeruginous infections.

American Singer And Songwriter Bob Dylan Accepts His Nobel Literature Award At A Private Event With Swedish Academy

American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan has accepted his Nobel Prize for literature, more than three months after the awards ceremony. Swedish media reported that he received his medal at a private event in Stockholm before a scheduled concert in the city. Swedish Academy officials previously said the Dylan would not deliver his Nobel lecture, a traditional condition of receiving 9 lakh dollar prize money, at the event. He is expected to deliver a taped version of the lecture later. If he does not deliver a lecture by June, he will have to forfeit the prize money.
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