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Daily current Affairs for Aug 1-3 , 2017 ( English )

1.       The Border Security Force (BSF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The MoU will enable NSDC to provide skill training to retired and retiring BSF personnel, as well as to the population residing in the border areas.
2.       The new bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan came into force from July 2017. The new agreement aims to further strengthen the bilateral trade relations between both countries. It also provides for duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.
3.       The 19th round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meetings and other related meetings were held in Hyderabad, Telangana. All RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) agreed that RCEP agreement has immense potential to deliver on new economic opportunities including job creation. RPCs also expressed shared commitment to work collectively and in cooperative manner to progress the negotiations in an accelerated way and achieve a comprehensive, modern, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement that balances and addresses sensitivities and aspirations of participating countries.
4.       Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar (78), Dhrupad tradition of Hindustani classical music passed away in a Pune. Dhrupad is a genre in Hindustani classical music. It is one of oldest forms of compositions in classical Indian music. Dhrupad is a Sanskrit name, derived from words dhruva (permanent) and pad (verse) and in combination it means “pillar”.
5.       The Supreme Court has imposed ban on use of five harmful heavy metals like lithium, antimony, mercury, arsenic and lead in the manufacturing of firecrackers as they cause air pollution. Lithium is a metal used to impart red colour to fireworks. Antimony is used to create glitter effects. Lead oxide provides a special crackling effect which, if inhaled, in high concentration can cause damage to the nervous system. The  SC also asked CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) and PESO(Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization) to make collaborative efforts for setting up of standards with regard to air pollution caused by the bursting of fire-crackers. 
6.       Arvind Panagariya (64) has resigned as Vice Chairman of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and announced to return to academics in US. He resigned after his public service leave for two years from the Columbia University, where he is professor of Indian Political Economy did not receive extension. He was appointed as the as Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog in January 2015 and held cabinet minister rank.
7.       Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected the 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan by the National Assembly. Abbasi, nominee of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N) secured 221 votes in the House of 342. He will be interim PM of Pakistan. Abbasi succeeds Nawaz Sharif who was disqualified by the Supreme Court over the Panama Papers scandal. He will vacate the position for Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister gets elected to the National Assembly.
8.       Scientists from United States have found that curcumin, the bioactive component of turmeric that is widely used in Indian cuisine can treat cancer in children. They have found that nanoparticles loaded with curcumin can target and destroy neuroblastoma tumour cells, which commonly affects children aged five or less.
9.       India and Somalia have signed an agreement for transfer of sentenced prisoners in each other’s country. The agreement was signed in New Delhi during the ongoing visit of the Somalia’s Foreign Minister to India.
10.   Parliament has passed the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with Rajya Sabha approving it. Lok Sabha had passed it earlier. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 by extending the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment. The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years.
11.   India and China are home to 39% of the 830 million young people worldwide who use the Internet ,according to recently released report-ICT Facts and Figures 2017, The report was released by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
12.   The Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY) has constituted an expert Committee headed by Supreme Court Judge (retired) Justice B N Srikrishna to study and identify key data protection issues and recommend methods for addressing them. The ten-member committee will be comprise of members from government, academia and Industry.
13.   World Bank has allowed India to construct Kishanganga, Ratle hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). It was signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan in Karachi on September 19, 1960. It is most successful water treaty in world. Even, it has survived India-Pakistan wars of 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Kargil standoff besides Kashmir insurgency since 1990.
14.   The Indian Army has developed Humraaz mobile application through which serving soldiers can track details like postings and promotions. The app will also enable soldiers to view their monthly salary slips, Form 16 and also download them.
15.   The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reduced short-term lending rate, or repo rate, by 25 basis points to 6%.  It was RBI’s third bimonthly policy review for the financial year 2017-18.
16.   The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on India-Spain Cooperation in renewable energy. The MoU was signed in May 2017 at Spain.
17.   The Lok Sabha has passed the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Bill, 2017. The two bills will replace the ordinances promulgated earlier in this regard to complete rolling out GST regime the Himalayan State. The first bill provides for the extension of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 to J&K and the other also provides for the extension of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Act, 2017 to J&K.
18.   The Union Cabinet has approved for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among India and various BRICs countries for establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP) The BRICS-ARP will promote sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation through strategic cooperation in agriculture to provide food security in the BRICS member countries.
19.   Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a committee on ‘fair market conduct’. It will be headed by  former law secretary T K Viswanathan. The committee will suggest measures for improving surveillance of the markets and strengthen rules for algorithm trades, among other norms.
20.   The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and overseas Indians. Currently, only service personnel are permitted to vote through proxy. To make proxy voting for NRIs a reality, government is going to introduce bill to amend the Representation of People act.
21.    India and other four other members of the BRICS grouping members (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) have pledged to fight protectionism. Decision in this regard was taken at the two-day meeting of the trade ministers from BRICS nations held at Shanghai, China. They released joint statement highlighting various issues and need to address them collectively.

22.The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. It will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks. Stressed assets (NPAs) are loans defaulted by borrower in repayment or the loan which has been restructured by changing the repayment schedule.

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