Daily Current Affairs - 11th Oct 2017

Centre imposes anti-dumping duty on imports of steel wire rods from China

  • The Centre has imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of certain steel wire rods from China for five years, with a view to guard the interest of domestic players from cheap in-bound shipments.
  • The duty was imposed after the Commerce Ministry's Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied
  • Duties (DGAD) recommended duty on such imports.
  • The non-alloy steel has been exported to India at below the normal value due to which domestic industry has suffered material injury.
  • India has already slapped anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations, including China and South Korea.
  • Anti-dumping measures are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry.

Centre to set up think tank for oil sector soon

  • The government will soon get the Cabinet approval for the setting up of a high-powered think tank under the Ministry of Petroleum to look into key issues such as the setting up of a gas network across the country.
  • The think tank will be providing inputs and advice on technology, setting up a gas network, attracting more FDI in the sector, reducing India’s oil imports by 10%, and developing innovative new models of financing projects.
  • The members of this think tank will include ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kocchar, New Development Bank chief K.V. Kamath, former Chairman of the 13th Finance Commission Vijay Kelkar, top officials from oil and gas majors from across the world and officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • Union Petroleum Minister: Dharmendra Pradhan

Coal India signs wage pact with workers’ unions

  • State-owned Coal India had signed a wage agreement with workers’ unions for a period of five years from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2021 which would have an estimated impact of Rs. 5,667 crore annually to the miner.
  • The central trade unions at the coal PSU had been demanding a 25% increase in gross wages as on June 30, 2016, plus 4% as perquisites. The unions had settled for a 20% minimum guaranteed benefit with the Management.
  • This agreement will impact 2.98 lakh coal workers and the total estimated average annual impact would be Rs. 5,667 crore.

First Annual BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise begins in New Delhi

  • India is hosting the First Annual BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise from 10-13 October 2017 in Delhi. The main focus of the Exercise will be to create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation and inter-governmental coordination efforts on disaster response among Member States.
  • The Exercise will have simulated scenarios in the areas of flood management and building collapse search and rescue including Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and an After Action Review (AAR).
  • About 135 delegates from all BIMSTEC Member States including senior level officials dealing with related policy and operational aspects will participate in the Exercise.
  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. These are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

Football:Iceland makes history

  • Iceland qualified for the World Cup for the first time after beating Kosovo 2-0, while Serbia clinched a spot at next year’s finals with a 1-0 win over Georgia.
  • Iceland's midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and Johann Gudmundsson scored each a goal and thereby became the smallest country to advance to the World Cup finals.

GIFT City bourses to offer oil contracts

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has allowed exchanges established in GIFT City to introduce crude oil futures contracts, trading in which is set to commence later this month.
  • The inclusion of crude oil contracts at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) was one of the main demands by market participants who had wanted to be able to trade in the global commodity in dollar terms, with the added advantage of lower trading costs and also longer trading hours on Indian shores.
  • Currently, BSE’s India INX and the NSE IFSC are the two operational bourses in the special financial zone in Gujarat.
  • Currently, bourses based in GIFT City offer trading in derivatives based on indices, single stocks — both domestic and overseas — currency and bullion. All contracts are settled in dollars in IFSC.
  • Managing director and CEO, India INX: V. Balasubramaniam,

IMF lowers forecasts for India

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered India's growth forecast by 0.5 percentage points for 2017 to 6.7% from its earlier estimate of 7.2%, citing lingering impact of demonetization and transition cost to the Goods & Services Tax (GST). Earlier, in April, the IMF had pegged India’s GDP growth at 7.2 per cent for 2017.
  • It has also lowered the growth projection for 2018 to 7.4 per cent from its earlier estimate in April and June of 7.7 per cent. It has pegged retail inflation at 3.8 per cent in 2017, which is well within the monetary policy committee’s target of 4 per cent.
  • The IMF was more optimistic about medium-term growth prospects for India through gains from the new indirect tax levy.

India, U.K. to firm up defence links

  • India and Britain plans to agree on concrete measures to take forward their defence partnership by next year, ahead of the next meeting of the two Prime Ministers. The meeting of the two leaders is widely expected to take place at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London in April 2018.
  • India has targeted the defence sector as one of the major areas where the bilateral partnership could be expanded around the “Make in India” campaign.
  • During Mr. Modi’s visit in 2015, the two sides agreed to move towards a new Defence and International Security Partnership that would intensify cooperation on defence and security, including cybersecurity, and maritime security pushing for joint working in key strategic areas.

Nisha Desai Biswal appointed as president of USIBC

  • Nisha Desai Biswal, former Indian-American assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia has been appointed as the new president of US India Business Council (USIBC). As assistant secretary, she spearheaded the India and South Asia policy of the previous Obama Administration.
  • She previously served as Assistant Administrator for Asia at the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Biswal was awarded the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the President in January 2017.

President inaugurates India water Week-2017

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 5th edition of India Water Week-2017 from October 10, 2017 in New Delhi with theme “Water and Energy for Inclusive Growth”. About 1500 delegates from India and 13 other countries will attend five day international event.
  • The President also urged for a localized water management approach which should empower village and neighborhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources.

Rajasthan becomes first state to incorporate skill development program in higher education

  • Rajasthan became the first state in the country to incorporate skill development programme in higher education. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with state’s Department of College Education prepared 16 courses for entrepreneurship and skill development for colleges in the state.
  • Under the project, 12 certificates and 4 diploma courses will be run and each college will be required to choose five courses.

Reliance Infra in pact with Adani

  • Reliance Infrastructure has entered into a period of exclusivity with Adani Transmission for proposed sale of its integrated business of generation, transmission and distribution of power. The deal is valued at Rs.10,000-13,000 crore.
  • RInfra has been operating its distribution business in Mumbai for the last nine years and has a licence valid till August 2036. It serves around three million customers and is considered to be one of India’s largest private sector integrated power utilities.

SEBI moves contempt plea against Sahara in SC

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India approached the Supreme Court with a plea to initiate contempt proceedings against the Sahara Group for allegedly obstructing the process of auctioning its Aamby Valley property as per the directions of the court.
  • SEBI Chief: Ajay Thyagi

Sri Lanka sweeps series

  • Sri Lankan off-spinner Dilruwan Perera finished with five wickets to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 68 runs in the second Test in Dubai and take the series 2-0. Chasing a tough 317 to win, was bowled out for 248 in the second hour of the fifth and final day at Dubai stadium.
  • Sri Lanka, having already won the first Test by 21 runs in Abu Dhabi.

T20 Cricket: Australia defeats India by 8 wickets

  • Australia won the second T20 played at Guwahati as Jason Behrendorff tormented India's batting order with a spell of 4 for 21. Australia won by 8 wickets leveling the 3 match series 1-1.
  • Earlier, sent to bat, the visitors restricted India at 118. Chasing the target, Australia made 122 for 2 in just 15.3 overs.
  • The series decider will be played in Hyderabad on Friday.

Today is International Day of the Girl Child

  • October 11 is celebrated as International Day of the Girl Child. On December 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution to declare 11th October as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
  • In view of the Day, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is celebrating the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week from 09th to 14th of this month.
  • Women and Child Development Minister: Maneka Sanjay Gandhi