17-18 September 2017 Current Affairs

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18 Sep, 2017

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1) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam – the world’s second biggest dam in Gujarat on 17 September 2017. The foundation stone of this massive dam was laid in which year? – 1961

Explanation: The foundation stone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada River was laid by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru nearly six decades ago, on 5 April 1961. But, the construction began only in 1987. Still it took three decades to be completed. It is the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States. This dam project is also the biggest in terms of volume of concrete used in it.

Sardar Sarovar Dam is built on the Narmada River and is situated near Navagam in Gujarat.  It is the largest of the 30 dams planned on Narmada and is part of the Narmada Valley Project.  The total installed capacity of the power facilities of the dam is 1,450 MW. The height of the dam is 138.68 m. The initial height was just 88 m but was raised numerous times. It is 1.2 km in length and has a depth of 163 m. Its final storage capacity was raised to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the existing 1.27 million cubic metres.

The dam was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 September 2017 on the occasion of his 67th birthday. The power generated from the dam would be shared among three states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat while in addition to these 3 states Rajasthan will also get water from it. About 57% of the electricity produced from the dam goes to Maharashtra, while Madhya Pradesh gets 27% and Gujarat gets 16%.

The project has been mired in several controversies ever since its foundation stone was laid. The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by social activist Medha Patkar has been protesting against the project raising several environmental concerns. In 1996, the construction work was suspended following a stay by the Supreme Court.

Read more about western flowing rivers

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2) Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, who was the only officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to be promoted to five-star rank, passed away on 16 September 2017 at the age of 98. Apart from being the only five-star ranked officer of the IAF he also had which unique distinction? – He was the first IAF Chief to be designated the rank of Air Chief Marshal

Explanation: Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award, for his leadership during the 1965. Air Chief’s rank was upgraded to that of Air Chief Marshal from Air Marshal during his tenure and thus became first Indian to hold the rank.

Arjan Singh was commissioned into the then Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) in 1939. He took part in the Second World War. He led the first fly-past of RIAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi on India’s Independence on 15 August 1947. He was Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), from 1 August 1964 to 15 July 1969. He led the IAF in giving a commendable contribution in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. He has been the only Chief of the Air Staff to have headed the IAF for five years as opposed to the regular tenure of two and a half to three years. He retired at the age of 50.

In recognition of his extraordinary contribution, the government conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force onto Arjan Singh in January 2002. He was the only 5 star-ranked officer to survive since the death of the hero of 1971 Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in 2008. Field Marshal Cariappa was the only other 5 star-ranked officer of Indian defence forces.

Active for years after he retired in July 1969, Arjan Singh served as Ambassador to Switzerland and High Commissioner to Kenya. Many years later, between 1989 and 1990, he was Delhi’s Lt Governor.

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3) India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed which milestone figure for the first time during September 2017, as was disclosed by the RBI on 15 September 2017? – $400 billion

Explanation: During September 2017, India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed the $400 billion mark for the first time ever. According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI’s) press release on 15 September 2017, India’s forex reserves surged by $2.604 billion to reach an all-time high of $400.726 billion in the week ended 8 September 2017.

The surge in India’s forex reserves is mainly on account of foreign portfolio flows. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have pumped in more than Rs. 1 lakh crore in to Indian debt and equity market in last 12 months.

The surge in India’s forex reserves is likely to help rupee withstand any volatility that may be seen on exodus of foreign funds from India’s debt and equity markets.

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4) Which state became the third BJP-run state to waive farm loans on 14 September 2017? – Rajasthan

Explanation: Rajasthan announced Rs. 20,000 crore farm-loan waiver on 14 September 2017, making it the fourth Indian state and the third with a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, to waive agricultural loans in 2017.

Uttar Pradesh had waived Rs. 36,359 crore in April 2017, Maharashtra had waived Rs. 30,000 crore in June 2017, while Congress-ruled Punjab announced a waiver amounting to Rs. 20,500 crore in June 2017.

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5) P.V. Sindhu defeated world champion Nozomi Okuhara to win the women’s singles title of which Super Series badminton tournament on 17 September 2017? – Korea Open Super Series

Explanation: Indian badminton ace P.V. Sindhu bagged her super series title on 17 September 2017 as she defeated world champion Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling summit clash at the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul. She defeated Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 20-18 in a contest that lasted an hour and 23 minutes.

With this win Sindhu exacted sweet revenge of her heart-wrenching World Championship final loss to Okuhara at Glasgow during August 2017. This was her second Super Series title of 2017 after the India Open Super Series.

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