Daily Current Affairs: GK Today- 2 November 2017

Cabinet approves trade Agreement between India and Ethiopia for strengthening and promoting trade and economic cooperation

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the trade Agreement between India and Ethiopia for strengthening and promoting trade and economic co-operation. The trade Agreement was signed on 5th October, 2017 during the State visit of the President of India to Ethiopia from 4th to 6th October, 2017.

The trade Agreement will replace the existing trade Agreement signed in 1982. The trade Agreement will provide for all necessary measures to encourage trade, economic cooperation, investment and technical co-operation.

 

Cabinet approves signing an Agreement between India and Armenia on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratifying an Agreement between India and Armenia on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters.

The Agreement will be signed on behalf of the two countries after it is approved by the respective Governments. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the second month after the Contracting Parties notify each other in through diplomatic channels, that the necessary national legal requirements for entry into force of this Agreement have been fulfilled.

The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. It is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.

The Agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade.

 

President of India inaugurates 21st World Congress of mental health, calls for fighting stigma

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 21st World Congress of Mental Health being organised by the World Federation for Mental Health in partnership with Caring Foundation and other institutions in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the World Congress of Mental Health is taking place in India for the first time. And it has come here at an appropriate moment. Mental health issues are acquiring a serious magnitude in our country. Our National Mental Health Survey 2016 found that close to 14 per cent of India’s population required active mental health interventions.

 

SBI cuts benchmark lending rate by 0.05 pc across maturities

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) slashed benchmark lending rate by 0.05 per cent across maturities. The reduction in marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) came after a gap of almost 10 months.

The move by the SBI will trigger rate cut by other lenders. SBI said that the MCLR for one year has come down to 7.95 per cent from 8 per cent. The MCLR on overnight borrowings has been reduced to 7.70 per cent from 7.75 per cent, while the lending rate for three-year tenure has been cut from 8.15 per cent to 8.10 per cent.

Meanwhile, another public sector lender Allahabad Bank also reduced the MCLR rate by 0.15 per cent across all tenor. With the reduction, one year MCLR has come down to 8.30 per cent as against 8.45 per cent.

 

Government tweaks RKVY scheme to make farming remunerative

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) for three years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20.  The financial allocation of the scheme will be Rs. 15,722 crore with the objective of making farming as a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer’s effort, risk mitigation and promoting agri­business entrepreneurship.

RKVY-RAFTAAR funds would be provided to the States as 60:40 grants between Centre and States (90:10 for North Eastern States and Himalayan States). The scheme will incentivize States in enhancing more allocation to Agriculture and Allied Sectors.  This will also strengthen farmer’s efforts through creation of agriculture infrastructure that help in supply of quality inputs, market facilities etc.  This will further promote agri-entrepreneurship and support business models that maximize returns to farmers.