25 October 2017 Current Affairs

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25 Oct, 2017

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1) Union Government on 24 October 2017 announced how much outlay for road construction which is the largest ever single outlay for road construction in India till date? – Rs. 6.92 trillion (Rs. 6,92,000 crore)

Explanation: Union Government announced an outlay of 6.92 trillion for building an 83,677 km road network over the next five years on 24 October 2017. The outlay includes the Bharatmala Pariyojana with a Rs. 5.35 trillion outlay for 34,800km while the state-run National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will spend Rs.1.57 trillion for 48,877 km of roads.

The almost Rs. 7 trillion investment in road construction is the largest ever single outlay for road construction in India till date. This is expected to generate 142 million man-days of jobs.

This huge road construction outlay came in the backdrop of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government implementing the goods and services tax (GST) which aims to create a common market by dismantling inter-state tariff barriers. A robust road infrastructure will help in that direction.

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2) The Finance Ministry on 24 October 2017 announced how much funds for recapitalization of state-owned banks that have been weighed down by bad loans? – Rs. 2.11 trillion

Explanation: The Union Finance Ministry announced a Rs. 2.11 trillion bank recapitalization plan for state-owned banks.  With this the government seeks to help banks that have been weighed down by bad loans and to stimulate the flow of credit to spur private investment.

Of the total bank recapitalization outlay, Rs1.35 trillion will come from the sale of recapitalization bonds and the rest through the Indradhanush plan and fundraising from the markets. The bank recapitalization would ensure genuine borrowers get adequate funding.

The government is seeking to kick-start the private sector investment cycle to boost the Indian economy that grew 5.7% in the quarter ended June, the slowest pace in three years.

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3) Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Girija Devi passed away at the age of 88 at a hospital in Kolkata on 24 October 2017. Associated with the Seniya and Banaras gharanas, Girijia Devi was the leading exponent of which nuance of Hindustani music? – Thumri

Explanation: Girija Devi was often known as ‘Thumri Queen” as she helped elevate the status of the typical ‘Thumri’ style of singing. She was known for her melodious renditions of classical and light classical compositions.

Girija Devi was born in Varanasi in 1929 but had settled in Kolkata. She took lessons in singing khayal and tappa from vocalist Sarju Prasad Misra in early childhood. She worked as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata in the 1980s and of the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s.

She had received Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest public award, in 2016.

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4) Mayors of 12 cities on 23 October 2017 signed an ambitious declaration vowing to buy only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and to make major areas free of fossil fuel emissions by 2030. Which are these cities? – London, Paris, Los Angeles, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle and Auckland

Explanation: Meeting during two days in Paris as part of the C40 cities network, the mayors of London (UK), Paris (France), Los Angeles (UK), Cape Town (South Africa), Copenhagen (Denmark), Barcelona (Spain), Quito (Ecuador), Vancouver (Canada), Mexico City (Mexico), Milan (Spain), Seattle (US) and Auckland (New Zealand) on 23 October 2017 signed a historic declaration with the vow to buy only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and to make major areas free of fossil fuel emissions by 2030.

C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to tackling climate change.

The ultimate goal of this declaration is not only to limit air pollution and counter global warming, but implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

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5) The Union Government on 24 October 2017 raised the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat by how much, which is the highest in six years for the crop? – Rs. 110 per quintal

Explanation: The Union Government raised the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat, the main winter crop, by Rs. 110 per quintal to Rs. 1,735 per quintal on 24 October 2017. This is the highest MSP increase for wheat in last 6 years.

Alongside wheat, the MSP for gram or chickpeas, a major winter pulse, was raised by 10% to Rs. 4,400 per quintal, while the support price for mustard, a winter oilseed, was raised by 8% from Rs. 3,700 to Rs. 4,000 per quintal.

The increase in MSP came after months of protests by farmers across several states with demands for remunerative crop prices, and after the estimated production of summer (kharif) crops fell 2.8% year-on-year in 2017-18, following an uneven south-west monsoon.

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