Daily Current Affairs - 17th Sep 2017

Current account deficit increases to 2.4% of GDP in first quarter: RBI

  • Current account deficit (CAD) of the first quarter of this fiscal widened to 2.4% of gross domestic product, or 14.3 billion dollars, as imports pushed the trade deficit. It is now at its highest level since the June quarter of 2013. The RBI said that widening of the year-on-year deficit was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit, which was at 41.2 billion dollars, brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports.
  • Balance of payments for the April-June quarter increased to 11.40 billion dollars from 6.969 billion dollars in the year ago period and net foreign direct investment almost doubled from its level at 7.2 billion dollars in the same period last year.

French President Emmanuel Macron urges lifting of embargo against Qatar

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the lifting of a Saudi-led embargo on Qatar in effect since June. Macron expressed his concern over the tensions that threaten regional stability, undermining the political resolution of crises and collective fight against terrorism. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, accusing Qatar of supporting extremism, cut diplomatic ties with it on June 5.
  • He stated that the embargo measures are affecting the people of Qatar, in particular families and students, to be lifted as quickly as possible.

India assured of nine medals at Ahmet Comert Boxing tournament

  • India have been assured of at least nine medals at the Ahmet Comert youth boxing tournament for women in Turkey. Nine of the country's boxers have made to the semifinals with fine performances in their respective quarterfinals in the event being held at Istanbul.
  • Among the boxers who have reached the medal rounds are: Lalita and Ankushita Boro, both in 64kg category, Shashi Chopra (57kg), Manisha (69kg), Tilotama Kshetrimayum Chanu (60kg), Jyoti Gulia (51kg) and Soniya in 48 kg category.

India, China unlikely to be growth poles for global economy: UNCTAD Report

  • According to a report by UNCTAD, the world economy in 2017 is picking up but not lifting off, while growth in China and India remains relatively buoyant, it is still at a slower pace than before the 2008 financial crisis and with serious downside risks. At current levels of growth, both Asian countries are unlikely to serve as “growth poles” for the global economy in near future.
  • The world economy growth is expected to reach 2.6%, slightly higher than in 2016 but well below the pre-financial crisis average of 3.2%.
  • The dependence on debt makes the boom in China and India difficult to sustain and raises the possibility that when the downturn occurs in these countries, deleveraging will accelerate the fall and make recovery difficult.
  • India’s growth performance depends to a large extent on reforms to its banking sector, which is burdened with large volumes of stressed and non-performing assets, and there are already signs of a reduction in the pace of credit creation.

India-Pakistan talks on Indus waters fail to break deadlock

  • The World Bank has said that the latest round of talks between India and Pakistan on the Indus Waters Treaty have ended without any agreement while asserting that it will continue to work with complete impartiality to resolve the issues in an amicable manner.
  • The second round of discussions between India and Pakistan on the Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects, over which Islamabad has raised objections, took place at the World Bank headquarters in Washington on September 14 and 15.
  • The World Bank’s role in relation to the differences and disputes is limited to the designation of people to fulfil certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties.

Korea Open Super Series: P.V. Sindhu enters Korea Open final

  • Rio Olympics and World Championship silver medallist P.V. Sindhu advanced to the finals of the Korea Open Super Series women’s singles event. The 22-year-old Indian defeated sixth seeded Chinese He Bingjiao 21-10, 17-21, 21-16, in the semi-finals that lasted for an hour and six minutes.
  • Sindhu thus set up a mouth-watering clash with Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, her nemesis at the recent World Championship final.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs, CBDT ink MoU for Automatic and Regular Exchange of Information

  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) concluded a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange. The initiative launched by the Government of India to curb the menace of shell companies, money laundering and black money in the country and prevent misuse of corporate structure by shell companies for various illegal purposes.
  • The MoU will enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, Income Tax returns (ITRs) of corporates, financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports and statements of financial transactions (SFT) received from banks relating to corporates.

Provide relief in cases of unnatural jail death, SC tells Centre, States

  • The Supreme Court of India directed the Chief Justices of all High Courts to suo motu register petitions to identify the kin of prisoners who died unnatural deaths from 2012 and order the States to award them compensation.
  • Normally, the National and States Human Rights Commissions decide and award compensations in cases of custodial torture, deaths, etc. However, compliance by State governments is low as these commissions do not exercise any power of contempt.
  • This judgment is significant as the high court will now directly award compensation and ensure compliance by the States.
  • The payment from the year 2012 was chosen because National Crimes Records Bureau has records of unnatural deaths from that year.

Salman Khan honoured at Britain’s House of Commons

  • Bollywood star Salman Khan received a Global Diversity Award at Britain’s House of Commons. The Global Diversity Award is given to people of immense stature in terms of what they have done for diversity in the world.
  • He received the award from Keith Vaz, British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP.

Scientists map lunar water with data from Chandrayaan-1

  • Scientists, using data from an instrument which flew aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, have created the first map of water trapped in the uppermost layer of the moon’s soil.
  • Scientists from Brown University in the U.S. used a new calibration of data taken from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in 2008, to quantify how much water is present on a global scale.
  • The researchers found higher-than-average concentrations of water in lunar volcanic deposits near the moon’s equator, where background water in the soil is scarce.

Shapath Bhardawaj qualifies for ISSF World Cup Finals

  • Indian teenager Shapath Bhardawaj has now qualified for the prestigious ISSF World Cup Finals for shooting. The 15-year-old, who clinched an individual bronze medal in the Junior World Cup in Italy in August, will compete in men’s double trap alongside Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahiya.
  • The World Cup finals, the most prestigious annual tournament of the International Shooting Sport Federation, will be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in October.
  • He became the country’s youngest athlete to figure in the government’s Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme.

South Africa's Duminy calls time on Test career

  • South Africa batsman JP Duminy has decided to quit Test cricket but will continue to feature in the shorter formats of the game. The left-hander, scored 2,103 runs in 46 Tests. Duminy, who also bowls off-spin, made his Test debut in 2008 against Australia in Perth.