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Gk and Current Affairs - February 4 2017

Dear Readers,

We bring you the Latest GK and Current Affairs news, Events, General awareness Today  4th February 2017 Section in FREE PDF (English & Hindi), a section which outlines the latest news, Events headlines which are hardly covered elsewhere. This will help you with the Latest General Knowledge and Current Affairs today asked in various competitive examinations of Banking & Government Sector examination.


Sanjeev Sanyal Appointed Principal Economic Adviser in Finance Ministry

Government on Friday appointed noted economist Sanjeev Sanyal as Principal Economic Adviser in the Ministry of Finance.

●    He has been appointed in a pay scale of Rs 67,000-79,000 for a period of three years.
●    In 2007, Sanyal was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban issues and was also honoured by the Singapore government at the World Cities Summit 2014.
●    He attended Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi and St. John's College, Oxford, where he was Rhodes Scholar.
●    Sanjeev Sanyal is an Indian economist, bestselling writer, environmentalist, and urban theorist. 
●    He is widely regarded as one of Asia's leading economists and was Deutsche Bank's Global Strategist and a Managing Director till 2015.


RBI Allows Use of Statutory Reserves

In a step aimed at preventing loss-making banks from defaulting on coupon payments on bonds, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to allow them to use their statutory reserves to pay coupons on Basel-III Additional Tier-I (AT1) instruments. 
●    Analysts said there was a possibility of defaults by some banks on interest payment if they are not allowed to use statutory reserves to pay interest on AT1 bonds. 
●    While AT1 bond is a combination of debt and equity, interest on these bonds — raised to boost their capital adequacy ratio — is paid provided banks have adequate profit to service them.
●    Indian banks were previously required to make coupon payments on AT1 instruments from either their profits or from revenue reserves. 
●    But the RBI’s push for banks to recognise problem loans has led to a deterioration in profitability and depletion of distributable reserves over the last two years.
●    By allowing banks to also make AT1 payments from statutory reserves, into which Indian banks place 25 per cent of their profits, the RBI has reduced a potential trigger for skipped payments. 
●    Crisil said public sector banks have issued Rs 31,000 crore of AT1 bonds, of which Rs 21,500 crore worth of bonds were issued in the current fiscal.


 NITI Ayog Launches India Innovation Index

To make India an innovation-driven economy, NITI Aayog, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) together launched a mega initiative “India Innovation Index” that will rank states on Innovations through country’s first online innovation index portal that will capture data on innovation from all Indian states on innovation and regularly update it in real time.
●    The India Innovation Index Framework will be structured based on the best practices followed in Global Innovation Index (GII) indicators and additionally by adding India-centric parameters those truly reflect the Indian innovation ecosystem. 
●    This initiative will be the point of reference for all international agencies to collect India’s up to date data points for global indices and analytic.
●    Inaugurating the portal, Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog said, “This portal will be a first-of-its-kind online platform where Global Innovation Index indicators and India–centric data from various states will be coalesced and disseminated and updated periodically. 
●    This will be a one-stop data warehouse and will track progress on each indicator at the National level and the State level on real-time basis. 


Rare Leaf Nosed Bat Sighted After 37 Years

With an extinction record of 37 years, an specie of the bats aboriginal to the Thar desert, has been re-sighted by a group of zoological researchers.Identified as Hipposideros Fulvus, the bat has been found roosting in ancient caves at Daijar near Jodhpur.
●    The colony was found during a routine sighting survey in these caves in October, 2015 at the onset of winter and its 
presence was reconfirmed in three successive surveys, the last being on in March 2016.
●    Dookia said that there are 25 species of bats are reported in Rajasthan, of which 17 are found in the Thar desert. 
●    Of these 17 species, five species - Greater False Vampire Bat (Megaderma lyra), Fulvous Leaf-nosed Bat (Hipposideros fulvus), Indian Leaf-nosed Bat (Hipposideros lankadiva), Dormer's Pipistrelle Bat (Scotozous dormer) and Egyptian Free-tailed Bat (Tadiarida aegyptiaca) - were not reported since 1979 in the Thar.


 Swachh Dhan Abhiyaan Started

Launching the “Swachh dhan abhiyan” on Tuesday, the government said it had identified 18 lakh persons who deposited amounts of Rs 5 lakh or more between November 9 and December 30 but whose income profiles did not match the amounts deposited.
●    Following up on their efforts to unearth unaccounted money, the IT authorities are scrutinising these accounts and have asked taxpayers to revert to their queries in 10 days.
●    In a demonetisation exercise, the government had on November 8 announced that currency notes with denominations of R1,000 and R500 would no longer be legal tender and had asked people to deposit these notes in their bank accounts, allowing for some portion to be exchanged across the counter.
●    The tax department has compared cash deposits made during the demonetisation period with taxpayers’ income profiles to cull out suspicious cases.
●    Chandra said more than 1 crore accounts had seen deposits of more than R2 lakh in the last 50 days in 2016. Of these, the accounts of 70 lakh individuals were linked to their permanent account numbers (PAN).


China Successfully Tests DF-5C Missiles

China has tested a new version of a missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, signalling a major shift in its nuclear capability as Beijing gears up for a possible military showdown with the US under Donald Trump Presidency. 
●    The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out last month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. 
●    The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by US intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.
●    The Dongfeng-5C missile, carrying 10 dummy warheads, was launched from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province, and flew to a desert in western China. 
●    The missile is a new variant of the DF-5, an intercontinental ballistic missile that first went into service in the early 1980’s.


India and Norway Jointly to Accelerate Research for Epidemics

India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.
●    In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said the WHO had published a document 'An R&D blueprint for action to prevent epidemics- funding and coordination models for preparedness and response' and asked member countries, including India, to develop a research and development blueprint during epidemics
●    With an objective to tackle disease outbreaks due to epidemic-prone diseases, the government has launched Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme which is implemented in all states and UTs
●    Besides a network of viral research and diagnostic laboratories has been set up across the country to deal with epidemic of diseases of viral origin.


19th Edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav Commences

The 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav will pay special attention on the different genres of Indian theatre.
The performances will be held at Abhimanch, Open Air Theatre, Bahumukh and Sammukh at the National School of Drama Campus. 
●    The performances will also be held at LTG Auditorium, Kamani Auditorium and Shri Centre for Performing Arts at Mandi House.
●    The festival will see performances from artists belonging to 12 foreign countries including England, Russia, Israel, Turkey, Italy, Tajikistan, Romania, Afghanistan and others.
●    The theatre festival will see 94 theatre performances and 15 foreign productions. It will also include 10 traditional folk theatre performances.
●    Bharat Rang Mahotsav is the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi.
●    The festival was established in 1999.
●    The festival was originally founded to showcase works of Indian theatre practitioners. Gradually, the festival grew over the years to attract international performers as well.

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