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Indian Polity

Power for All Scheme – It is a joint initiative of the central government and the state governments. It intends to provide 24X7 electricity to all households, industry, commercial business and other electricity consuming entities within the time span of 4 years. Uttar Pradesh has become the last state to sign the “Power for All” agreement with Union Government.
Cashless Townships – PM has launched cashless townships across 12 states. The model township will be developed by Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (GNFC) under NITI Aayog. The chosen 81 townships belonged to that of Central Public Sector Companies such as ONGC, Indian Oil, NTPC, SAIL, BHEL, NMDC etc.
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) – is a self-regulatory, voluntary, non-government body of the advertising industry that was founded in 1985. It intends to enhance Public’s confidence in advertising and ensure that all advertising material is truthful, legal, honest, decent and not objectifying women and fair. Recently, it was in news to bring out guidelines for celebrities and personalities for appearing in advertisements.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana or PMMY – PMMY was recently in news as it crossed its loan targets. The scheme had objective to launch a Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency or MUDRA Bank to support entrepreneurs of SC, ST and OBCs in the MSME sector. The loan can be availed for non-agricultural activities up to 10 lakhs and for activities allied to agriculture such as dairy, poultry, bee keeping etc. There are 3 categories of loans starting from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh. Sishu category for loans up to Rs 50,000. Kishore category for loan between Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh and Tarun category for loan between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.
Operation Durga – It is an operation launched by Haryana Government, similar to ‘Anti-Romeo Squad’ of UP. It intends to ensure women safety. Under this operation, teams formed under the CM’s Flying Squad visited public places such as schools, colleges, bus stands and railway stations and caught people indulging in crime against women like eve-teasing, stalking, harassment and other such activities.
New Taxi Policy Guidelines – The guidelines focus on cab safety measures for women and was released by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Important recommendations included GPS panic devices in Taxis, disallowing of central locking systems in taxis, sharing of seats in taxis exclusively the prerogative of the passenger, photo identification of the drivers.
Number of Centrally Sponsored Schemes has been reduced to 28 by the Union Government. The 28 CSS has been further classified into Core of the Core Schemes, Core Schemes and Optional Schemes with individual number of schemes as 6, 20 and 2 respectively. The core of the core scheme are fully funded by the Union Government and includes examples like MGNREGA, NSAP etc. Core scheme shall have funding sharing between Centre and State as 60:40 respectively for general category states and 90:10 for special category states. The optional schemes will have funding pattern as 50:50 between Centre and State governments for general category states and 80:20 for special category states.
 

International Affairs

Sagarmatha Friendship 2017 – It is the first ever joint military exercise between China and Nepal. It will focus on combating terror and disaster management. Sagarmatha is the name of Mt. Everest in Nepal.
MOAB – Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb is also commonly known as Mother of All Bombs. It is officially recognised as GBU-43 which is one of the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in the battlefield. The bomb has been recently dropped by the US in Afghanistan to destroy the tunnel network that was being operated by ISIS. It is a GPS Guided munition.
Father of All Bombs – It is the largest non-nuclear bomb ever built. It has been developed by Russia and is officially termed as Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power. It is estimated 4 times stronger than Mother of All Bombs.
UN Messenger of Peace – It is coveted title bestowed by the UN upon distinguished individuals, carefully selected from the fields of art, literature, music and sports or other fields of public life. It was initiated in 1997. Malala Yousafzai has become the youngest UN Messenger of Peace.
 

Economic Affairs

Revised Prompt Corrective Action – It is Prompt Corrective Action framework for banks to take care of their NPA issues. The banks will now be monitored on Capital, Asset Quality and profitability. The PCA will depend upon the type of risk threshold that will be breached by the bank, for this matter the RBI has notified three kinds of risk thresholds.
Operation Clean Money II – It is the second phase of Operation Clean Money to investigate over 60,000 individuals with an aim to detect black money generation post demonetisation. It has been initiated by the Income Tax Department. The project intends to widen the tax base and eliminate black money.
Daily Revision of Petroleum and Diesel Prices – On a pilot mode, this project has been rolled out in selected cities of the country where there will be daily revision of petrol and diesel prices against the practice of fortnightly revision which will be continued to be followed everywhere else. At present every month’s 1st and 16th are the dates on which revised rates of petrol and diesel are released.
Bank Boards Bureau – As one of seven principles enshrined in the Mission Indradhanush, BBB has suggested to align pay in PSBs to that in CPSEs. The BBB is the super authority for high level appointments in banks. It has 3 ex-officio membes and 3 expert members in addition to the Chairman. The present chairman is Vinod Rai, former CAG.
 

Environment

Tropical Cyclone Maarutha – It is the first named storm of 2017 Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season. It is a deep depression in Bay of Bengal and has intensified into a tropical cyclone which will make a landfall in Myanmar. It is also worth remembering that Vardah was the strongest of all tropical cyclone in Indian Ocean in the year 2016. Other prominent cyclonic storms of 2016 are Roanu, Kyant and Nada.

Science & Tech

Another Great Spot on Jupiter – After the Great Red Spot, the scientists have confimed existence of second great spot on Jupiter’s surface. It is located in the upper atmosphere of the planet and is cooler than the surrounding areas. It is believed to be formed from magnetic forces which are responsible for Jupiter’s polar auroras.
SREP Robot – SREP stands for Seabed Resident Event Profiler. The robot has been developed by CSIR National Institute of Oceanography or CSIR-NIO. It intends to carry out studies related to the monsoon, global climate and upwelling. CSIR-NIO was established following International Indian Ocean Expedition in the 1960s with its headquarters at Dona Paula, Goa. It had regional centres at Kochi, Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam
 

Person in News

Colson Whitehead – C. Whitehead is the author of novel – The Underground Railroad – which has been awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Awards

Pulitzer Prize – It is an annual award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1017 by provisions in will of American-Hungarian newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The award is administered by the Columbia University in New York City. It is awarded in 21 categories. In 20 of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and US $ 15,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism is awarded a Gold Medal.