Current Affairs 3rd April 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Karnataka Tourism will host its first-ever surfing festival between May 27-29. The festival will be held at the Sasithithlu Beach in Mangalore. Along with this, the state's tourism ministry is also planning to introduce a set of recreational activities which will include skydiving and motorcycle tourism. In 2016, this festival was held in Ramchandi Beach, Odisha. Karnataka Tourism minister: Priyank M. Kharge

Srinagar’s Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden (Formerly known as Siraj Bagh), Asia’s largest tulip garden, was opened to the public, marking the beginning of the new tourism season in the valley. The opening of the garden also marked the beginning of a mega 15-day tulip festival, part of the Bahaar-e-Kashmir event in Srinagar. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, located in the foothills of the Zabarwan hill in Srinagar, overlooks the famous Dal Lake. Reportedly, over two million tulips of 46 varieties have been planted in the garden spread over an area of 15 hectares. The average life span of the tulip flower is three to four weeks.

Indian financial services conglomerate, Kotak Mahindra Bank announced the launch of 811, a full-service digital banking ecosystem on mobile. 811 offers a completely digital and paperless account opening experience across nearly 700 locations in India. It can be opened anywhere, anytime, within five minutes, using Kotak's mobile banking app - the top rated banking app (as per Google Play Store) in India. The new digitally operated account will offer a 'zero balance savings account with zero charges for all digital transactions, where customers can earn up to 6% p.a. on their savings account. One only needed an Aadhar card and a PAN card to open and operate the account. Kotak Bank will become the first bank to integrate Aadhaar offering OTP-based financial services. About Kotak Mahindra Bank:- private sector bank Headquarters: Mumbai Founded: 2003 Chairman: Uday Kotak

Union Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu released the book titled “Indian Railway- The weaving of a National Tapestry” jointly authored by Shri Bibek Debroy (Member, NITI Aayog) Shri Sanjay Chadha (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce) & Ms. Vidya Krishnamurthi. In addition, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu also launched Hi-speed free Wi-Fi services for the visitors at National Rail Museum. About the book "Indian Railway- The weaving of a National Tapestry":- This book by Shri Bibek Debroy is a great contribution for Indian Railways. We can shape the future of Indian Railways by linking the past through this book. This book traverses the timeline from 1830-1947. The book is written in a storytelling manner. The book narrates some anecdotes of Indian Railways History. About WiFi Services in National Rail Museum:- The National Rail Museum, New Delhi, became a high speed RailWire Wi-fi zone. The Wi-Fi facility has been commissioned by RailTel in association with Google for providing high speed state of the art world class internet experience to the hundreds of people visiting the National Rail Museum every day. RailTel  is also in process of providing fast Wi-Fi at 5 more tourists sites of Delhi namely Red Fort, Humayun Tomb, Safdarjung Tomb, QutubMinar and Rajpath Lawns being maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. 

The Government has launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for powerloom sector development, simultaneously at over 45 locations in the country. Launching the scheme in Bhiwandi, Thane district, Maharashtra, the Union Textiles Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani said that Bhiwandi will be known for resurgence in Powerloom sector. Recalling that the powerloom sector alone employs over 44 lakh people, the Minister said that the scheme will especially benefit small powerloom weavers. Components of the 'PowerTex India' scheme:-  1) In-situ Upgradation of Plain Powerlooms 2) Group Workshed Scheme (GWS) 3) Yarn Bank Scheme 4) Common Facility Centre (CFC) 5) Pradhan Mantri Credit Scheme for Powerloom Weavers 6) Solar Energy Scheme for Powerlooms 7) Facilitation, IT, Awareness, Market Development and Publicity for Powerloom Schemes 8) Tex Venture Capital Fund 9) Grant-in-Aid and Modernisation & Upgradation of Powerloom Service Centres (PSCs)

Diplomat Vipul, a 1998 batch Indian Foreign Service officer took up the charge as the new Consul General of Dubai. Mr. Vipul has succeeded Anurag Bhushan. Before joining the Consulate at Dubai, he was working in the office of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He had earlier served at India’s diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka and Egypt. United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital: Dubai Crown Prince of the UAE: Sheikh Zayed

The three day Annual Meeting of NDB will be held from 31st March to 2nd April, 2017 in Delhi. Main Events:- The Opening Ceremony of the NDB Second Annual Meeting will be held at Taj Palace Hotel on 1 April 2017. It will be followed by the Singing Ceremony, the Second Annual Meeting of the NDB Board of Governors and Press Conference. The Finance Minister of India and NDB Governor for India, Mr. Arun Jaitley will deliver the Key Note Address. MOUs were signed between NDB and European Investment Bank (EIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and International Investment Bank (IIB). India has sought USD 2 billion loans for various projects from the NDB. India has also signed a 350 million dollar loan agreement with NDB for financing Development and Upgradation of Major District Roads in Madhya Pradesh. This is the First Loan Agreement for NDB assisted project in India. In the event, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that India has successfully implemented a number of reforms and Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.2 percent in 2017 and at the rate of 7.7 percent in 2018. About New Development Bank (NDB):- The New Development Bank, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states. Headquarters: Shanghai, China President: K. V. Kamath Founder: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Founded: 15 July 2014

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on a six day visit to India was given the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi visited Malaysia in November 2015. IMPORTANT NOTES:-  1) India, Malaysia to discuss $5 billion investments during Najib Razak’s visit. 2) Greater cooperation to fight the extremism of the IS followed the exchange of six bilateral agreements. 3) Both sides signed agreements on air services, sports, human resources, palm oil production and research, and technological development. An agreement that will allow India to build a fertilizer plant in Malaysia was also signed. 4) Both sides also highlighted that Malaysia would allow Indian Ayurveda and Siddha practitioners to serve in that country. As part of the move to popularise courses in Ayurveda, the government of Malaysia and the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman would provide courses in Ayurveda. About Malaysia:- Capital : Kuala Lumpur Currency: Malaysian ringgit Prime minister: Najib Razak

US President Donald Trump proclaimed April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, following in the footsteps of his presidential predecessor President Barack Obama. First Lady Melania Trump also gave a speech calling for “the international community to stand up against violence toward women and children and declared the need for promoting women’s empowerment” at the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award ceremony. According to the Department of Justice, on average there are more than 300,000 instances of rape or other sexual assault that afflict our neighbors and loved ones every year. The United States has recognized April as National Sexual Assault and Prevention Month since 2001, and in 2009 Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to formally proclaim it as such.

Indian Women’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been given Sydney Thunder’s Women’s Player of the Year award for the second season of the Women’s Big Bash League. Harmanpreet earlier had become the first Indian cricketer to play in Australia’s Big Bash League, when she was picked by the team last year. The heart of the matter:- During her time with the Thunder, Kaur played in 13 matches and scored 296 runs at a very, very impressive average of 59 and a strike-rate 116. She, in fact, made an impression right at the very start of her stint, when she played a lofted shot over the cover region and it went for a six, much to the surprise of the commentators watching the game. She also slammed the joint-second most number of sixes in the competition and also hit 17 fours during her stint.

A Japanese man has become the first recipient of donated, reprogrammed stem cells as a treatment for macular degeneration.  A Japanese man in his 60s became the first person to receive cells derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that had been donated by another person. Yamanaka is establishing an iPS cell bank, which depends on matching donors to recipients via three genes that code for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) — proteins on the cell surface that are involved in triggering immune reactions.  

Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei has broken the world half marathon record as well as the 10km and 15km marks at the Prague Half Marathon on the way to winning the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in one hour, four minutes and 52 seconds. The 23-year-old, who was competing in just her fifth half marathon to date, also smashed the world records for 10km and 15km en route to her victory. Having covered the opening five kilometres in 14:53, Jepkosgei had defending champion Violah Jepchumba for company in the first half of the race as they passed through 10km in 30:05 and 30:06 respectively, both well inside the previous world record of 30:21 set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003. Jepchumba couldn't quite keep up with Jepkosgei's relentless pace, though, and the gap between the pair grew to three seconds at 15km. Once again their respective splits of 45:37 and 45:40 surpassed the world record of 46:14 set by Florence Kiplagat in 2015. Jepkosgei continued to pull away from her compatriot over the course of the final few kilometres and she went on to cross the finish line in 1:04:52, taking 14 seconds off the world record set earlier this year by Peres Jepchirchir.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will be honored at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFILM) on April 14 at the Castro Theater. “King” Khan as he is known to his millions of fans will participate in a conversation onstage with Brett Ratner following a screening of his 2010 hit “My Name Is Khan.” On the film front, he is known for movies like "Darr", "Baazigar", "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Devdas", "Kal Ho Naa Ho", "Chak De! India" and "Chennai Express". His latest film was "Raees".  At SFILM, Shah Rukh will get a tribute along with John Ridley, Gordon Gund, Ethan Hawke and James Ivory.  SFILM runs April 5-19.

Germany is the first NATO state to launch a “self-contained” cyber command unit designed to shield IT and weapons systems from growing attacks. The Bundeswehr’s Cyber and Information Space (CIR) boasts a status equal to that of the army, navy, and air force. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced the creation of the cyber command two years ago in a bid to protect the military from mounting online attacks. About Germany:- Western European country Capital: Berlin Currency: Euro President: Frank-Walter Steinmeier Chancellor: Angela Merkel

Russian scientists are developing first ever civilian nuclear-powered submarine to conduct seismological surveys and search for natural resources under ice in the Arctic, the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects (RFARP) said. About civilian nuclear-powered submarine:- 1) It will be equipped with robotic complexes, autonomous unmanned submersibles which will secure seismic reconnaissance as well. 2) There are no such submarines in the world. These are unique perspective technological solutions, which would allow the next generation to be ready for settlement of serious tasks on exploration of the shelf. 3) Length of the vessel will make up 135.5m, width - 14.4m. The speed will be of 12.6 knots, while maximum submersion depth - 400m. The submarine will be able to operate autonomously for as long as 90 days. The size of crew is 40 people. The Arctic region is considered to be a major source of hydrocarbons, minerals, fresh water and fish. The region's resources are a matter of interest for states bordering the area. The icebreaker fleet is needed to escort vessels in the area breaking ice, covering the ocean. About Russia:- World’s largest nation Capital: Moscow Currency: Russian ruble President: Vladimir Putin Population: 143.5 million (2013) World Bank Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev

A new Japanese law that defines digital currencies as a legal payment method goes into effect on April 1, 2017. That law applies the country’s know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering regulations to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, requires exchanges to meet capital and cybersecurity requirements, and will subject those exchanges to annual audits. Virtual currencies are enjoying growing population in Japan, where domestic circulation of bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin and others amounted to 185 billion yen ($1.67 billion) in the 2015 – 2016 fiscal year. By 2020, the amount of bitcoin in circulation in Japan is expected to reach 1 trillion yen ($9 billion), the Nikkei Asian Review reports. About Bitcoin:- a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Japan:- Capital: Tokyo Currency: Japanese yen Prime minister: Shinzo Abe Population: 127.3 million

Roger Federer (Swiss professional tennis player) clinched his 91st career title when he beat rival Rafa Nadal (Spanish professional tennis player) 6-3 6-4 in the Miami Open final. Federer, now a three-time Miami winner, leads 10-9 on hardcourt. The Swiss champion Roger Federer pocketed $1,175,505 in prize money while Nadal received $573,680.

Olympic silver-medallist P.V. Sindhu defeated Carolina Marin in straight sets 21-19, 21-16 in 47 minutes at the India Open badminton championship in New Delhi.  21-year-old Ace Indian Shuttler PV Sindhu will take on Olympic champion Carolina Marin at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. About India Open badminton championship:- The India Open (officially titled as the Yonex-Sunrise India Open) is an annual badminton event which has been held in India since 2008. Winners of  India Open badminton championship 2017:-  Women's singles:  P. V. Sindhu (India) Women's doubles: Shiho Tanaka, Koharu Yonemoto (Both from Japan) Men's singles: Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) Men's doubles: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Both from Indonesia) Mixed doubles: China Lu Kai, China Huang Yaqiong

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