Current Affairs Current Affairs - 28 September 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 28 September 2017

General Affairs 

Gorkha Body Suspends 104-Day Darjeeling Strike After Rajnath Singh Appeal
  • The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha suspended for an "indefinite period" the 104-day long shutdown from 6 am today after over three months of agitations that cost 11 lives in the hills of Darjeeling. In an audio clip from an undisclosed location reported by news agencies, Morcha chief Bimal Gurung urged hill residents to resume transport services, reopen shops and schools and colleges.

    The announcement from the GJM came late on Tuesday night, hours after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh "appealed to the GJM and its leader Bimal Gurung to withdraw the ongoing bandh and to help create a conductive atmosphere for allowing normalcy to return to the area".

    The GJM had launched the agitation to protest a West Bengal government rule to make teaching Bengali mandatory in the hill station's schools but later scaled up the demand to call for carving a separate state to be called Gorkhaland. Mr Singh also announced that Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba had been told to convene an official-level meeting to discuss all related issues, apparently before talks can start.

    One reason for why the preparatory meeting will be required is due to the multiple cases that the West Bengal police has slapped against the GJM leaders. Besides, the governments in West Bengal and Delhi will also have to decide who would represent the protesting hill parties.

    Bimal Gurung, who was recognised as the leader of the hill parties in the Home Minister's statement, has been charged under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or UAPA and has been in hiding.

    The Morcha's announcement to suspend the agitation is important because a rival faction of the GJM led by Benoy Tamang, seen to have the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had already suspended the agitation in the north Bengal hills.

    Not surprisingly, West Bengal Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Gautam Deb called Home Minister Rajnath Singh's appeal a "face saver" to GJM's Bimal Gurung. "My question is what took the central government so long and that too when the situation in the hills has already normalised," he said, according to news agency Indo -sian News Service, insisting that over 80 per cent of shops and markets had already opened up in defiance of Gurung's diktat. 
    A founder member of GJM and member of the central committee, Benoy Tamang had represented the party at the last bipartite talks in Kolkata on August 29 and declared soon after that the indefinite bandh would be temporarily lifted. He was promptly expelled from the party.

    Benoy Tamang was later appointed to head the nine-member board of administrators to run the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, a partially autonomous body agreed upon by the Centre, the Morcha and Mamata Banerjee to bring peace to the hills where the Morcha had renewed the demand of the 1980s for Gorkhaland, a separate state.

    Before the centre's appeal came, Bimal Gurung had lashed out at Mr Tamang for playing into the hands of the state government. "He (Benoy Tamang) has compromised with the cause of Gorkhaland," he had said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

Pakistan Violates Ceasefire, Targets Forward Posts
  • The Pakistan Army today targeted forward posts along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district with mortars and small arms fire.

    "The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively," a Defence Spokesman said. "Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic and mortars from 0815 hours in Poonch and Bhimbher Gali sectors along the Line of Control (LoC)", the spokesman said. The firing is still on. On September 24, two soldiers were injured as Pakistan opened fire at forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balakote sector of Poonch district. 

    On September 23, Pakistan troops targeted BoPs in Arnia, RS Pura and Ramgarh and Poonch sectors along the IB and LoC in Jammu, Samba and Poonch districts resulting in injuries to seven persons. Over 20,000 people have fled their hamlets along the Imternational Border in Arnia and RS Pura sectors due to firing and shelling from across the border.

Rahul Gandhi Taunts Government, P Chidamabaram Pats Yashwant Sinha On The Back
  • As Congress leaders gleefully weighed in today with I-told-you-so over BJP senior Yashwant Sinha's lacerating criticism of the government's handling of the economy, the opposition party's vice president Rahul Gandhi has tweeted a taunt from Gujarat, where he is wrapping up a three-day election campaign tour.

    "Ladies & Gentlemen, this is your copilot & FM speaking. Plz fasten your seat belts & take brace position. The wings have fallen off our plane," Mr Gandhi tweeted as he shared Yashwant Sinha's critique in the Indian Express newspaper. Mr Sinha has squarely blamed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for what he has says is the "mess" the economy is in.

    Rahul Gandhi has built his recent attacks against the government around the economic slowdown, accusing it yesterday of taking important decisions like demonetisation and the GST roll-out "without listening to anybody," decisions which, he said, "affected the backbone" of the country's economy. His party colleague P Chidambaram, like Yashwant Sinha a former Finance Minister, applauded the BJP leader for his plainspeak, saying he has written about the same "weaknesses in the economy" that the Congress has been pointing for the past 18 months. The opposition party, Mr Chidamabaram said, was told to shut up. 

    "We are happy Yashwant Sinha has spoken the truth, echoed our views about economy...he has spoken truth to the power," Mr Chidambaram said. 
    "I shall be failing in my national duty if I did not speak up even now against the mess the Finance Minister has made of the economy. I am also convinced that what I am going to say reflects the sentiments of a large number of people in the BJP and elsewhere who are not speaking up out of fear," Yashwant Sinha has written in his article titled "I need to speak now," alleging that Mr Jaitley's many key roles in the government have not allowed him to focus on the economy as required. Yashwant Sinha, who was Finance Minister in the BJP-led government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has expressed concern at growth slowing, private investment shrinking, and has, much like Rahul Gandhi's party, assessed last year's notes ban "to be an unmitigated economic disaster" and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as "badly conceived and poorly implemented," pointing out that "sector after sector of the economy is in distress."

    The BJP leader, one of the veterans in the party sidelined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has predicted that an economic revival by the next Lok Sabha election in 2019 "appears highly unlikely" and warns that "a hard landing is inevitable".

    Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it is a "very hard-hitting article".

    The government has defended its handling of the economy. "India's record is well known across the world. It is one of the fastest growing economies," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while Railways minister Piyush Goel said, "Under the decisive leadership of PM Modi, India has become the world's fastest-growing economy for three years in a row."

India Calls For Building Trust, Confidence Among Nuclear Weapon States
  • India has called for a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of atomic weapons in international affairs.

    "India remains committed to the goal of a nuclear weapons free world and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons consistent with the highest priority accorded to nuclear disarmament," India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said in his remarks at the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Tuesday. 

    He said that this goal can be achieved through a step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed global and non-discriminatory multilateral framework.

    "There is need for a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines," the Indian diplomat said.

    India, he said, considers the Conference on Disarmament -- the world's single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum -- as the appropriate forum for the commencement of negotiations on nuclear disarmament.

    Mr Akbaruddin regretted that the conference has been prevented from adopting a programme of work that reflects the international community's desire for progress on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in all its aspects.

    "For its part, India stands ready to commence negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention on the lines of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the only comprehensive and internationally verifiable treaty so far banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and providing for their elimination," the top Indian diplomat said.

    Further, India supports the commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, he said.

    "We believe that increasing restraints on the use of nuclear weapons would reduce the probability of their use whether deliberate, unintentional or accidental, and this process could contribute to the progressive de-legitimisation of nuclear weapons, an essential step for their eventual elimination, as has been the experience for chemical and biological weapons," Mr Akbaruddin said.

    Earlier in his remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the only world that is safe from the use of nuclear weapons is a world that is completely free of the nuclear weapons themselves.

     "The goal of such a world is universally held, but of late it has been subject to numerous challenges," he said.

    Condemning a series of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, the UN chief said Pyongyang's "provocative" actions have heightened tensions and highlighted the dangers of proliferation.

Anti-Social Elements Posed As Students: Yogi Adityanath On Varanasi University (BHU) Violence
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today said recent incidents in the Banaras Hindu University smacked of a "conspiracy" as prima facie reports suggest the role of anti-social elements in vitiating the atmosphere.

    The administration, he said, has been asked to get to the bottom of the issue and clearly told not to harass any student.

    A number of students, including women, and two journalists were injured in a baton-charge by the police in BHU where a protest on Saturday night against an alleged eve-teasing incident turned violent. An inquiry has been ordered into the violence on the campus.

    "The report (on BHU incidents) has been received and administration has been clearly told not to harass any student but get to the bottom of this issue and find details of anti- social elements who vitiated the atmosphere (in the university) in the garb of students," he told reporters in Gorakhpur. Those involved in spreading anarchy on the campus will not be spared at any cost, he warned, adding that "prima facie investigation suggests it is a conspiracy by anti-social elements".
    The Chief Minister said the proctorial board of the university should have taken timely measures to ensure that the trouble did not escalate and nip the problem in the bud.

    "Those indulging in arson and disorder should be dealt with sternly...all universities in the state have been told to hold dialogue with students (to prevent any such situation elsewhere)," he said.
    The Chief Minister suggested better communication between students and vice chancellors of central universities to prevent such incidents.

    On alleged baton-charge on journalists, he said action will be taken immediately after getting the final report.

    Hitting back at opposition parties, he said the law and order situation in the state has improved even though his political opponents were spreading canard against the government. 
    As opposition parties targeted the BJP over the police action on the campus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had spoken to Yogi Adityanath and asked him to address the issue at the earliest.

    UP government spokesperson and senior minister Shrikant Sharma yesterday said the chief minister had taken the matter "very seriously".

    He accused the opposition parties of trying to vitiate the academic atmosphere.

    Mr Sharma said the government had asked the local administration to strengthen security on the campus.

    The violence had erupted on the campus around last weekend after some students, protesting against the incident on Thursday, wanted to meet the varsity's vice-chancellor at his residence.

Business Affairs

No free power for poor under Saubhagya; demand to rise by 28GW
  • The government today said power will not be provided free of cost to any category of consumer under the recently launched Saubhagya scheme, which aims to provide electricity to all.
    The scheme is expected to increase the energy requirement by 28,000 MW per year.
    However, under the scheme the poor families will be provided electricity connections free of cost, said the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the scheme released today by the power ministry.
    According to the document, other families will pay Rs 500 only, which shall be recovered by the DISCOMs (Distribution Companies) /Power Departments in 10 instalments along with electricity bills.
    The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday with an ambition of providing electricity connections to all 4 crore left-out families by December 2018.
    The FAQ further said connecting 4 crore left-out families under Saubhagya will increase the electricity requirement by 28,000 MW or 80,000 million units in a year.
    As per back-of-the-envelope calculation, at an average rate of electricity of Rs 3 per unit, the discoms can garner Rs 24,000 crore additional revenues.
    "There is no provision in the scheme to provide free power to any category of consumers. The cost of electricity consumption shall have to be paid by the respective consumers as per prevailing tariff of the DISCOM/Power Department," the FAQ said.
    The document also explained that with the inclusion of 4 crore households in the electricity network, there will be requirement of additional power of about 28,000 MW, considering an average load of 1 KW per household and average uses of load for 8 hours in a day.
    It further explained that there would be an additional energy requirement of about 80,000 million units per annum.
    The FAQ also said this is a dynamic figure. With the enhancement of income and habit of using electricity, the demand of electricity is bound to vary. This figure will also vary if the assumptions are changed.
    Under Saubhagya the electricity connection to households include release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point.
    In case, the electricity pole is not available nearby from household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme.
    It was also told that the cost of Saubhagya scheme i.e.
    Rs 16,320 crore is over and above the investment being made under DDUGJY (Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana).
    On the need for having another scheme when DDIGY and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) are operational, the FAQ explained that there is also lack of awareness as to how to get connection or taking connection is not an easy task for illiterate people.
    It said that there may not be electricity pole nearby and the cost of erection of additional pole, conductor is also chargeable from the households for obtaining a connection.
    It explained that Similarly in urban areas, the IPDS provides for creation of necessary infrastructure to provide electricity access but some households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges.
    Therefore, it said that Soubhagya has been launched to plug such gaps and comprehensively address the issues of entry barrier, last mile connectivity and release of electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural and urban areas.
    Under the scheme, application for electricity connections will also be registered electronically and requisite documentation, including photograph of applicant, copy of identity card and /or details such as mobile number/Aadhar number/bank account number etc will be completed on spot at the camps, so that connections are released at the earliest.
    The Gram Panchayat / public institutions in rural areas will also be authorised to collect application form, complete documentation and also for distribution of bills, collection of revenue and other activities, as applicable.
    For households located in remote and inaccessible areas, solar power packs of 200 to 300 Watt and battery back with 5 LED light, 1 DC Fan, 1 DC power plug along with repair and maintenance for 5 years will be provided, it added.
    It also said that the projects under the scheme will be sanctioned based on the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) to be submitted by the states. There is no upfront allocation of fund under the scheme.

Data is the new oil and India doesn't need to import it, says Mukesh Ambani at India Mobile Congress
  • Speaking at the India Mobile Congress which is being held for the first time, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said, "data is the new oil and India does not need to import it. We have it in super abundance and we have to ensure every Indian has access to it."
    Data is the oxygen of a digital economy, we cannot deprive Indians of this vital life-sustaining resource. We have to provide Indians the ubiquitous access to high speed internet, Ambani said. 
    The Indian economy will grow from $2.5 trillion to over $7 trillion to rank among top 3 economies in next 10 years. The fourth industrial revolution, fuelled by connectivity, data and Artificial Intelligence has begun, Ambani said at India Mobile Congress.
    Growth in India's mobile data market is unparallelled in world. India's 4G coverage will be larger than 2G coverage in next 12 months, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani added.
    The RIL chairman made the point that it has to be ensured every Indian has access to an affordable smartphone that connects him to limitless knowledge and the power of the Internet.
    Reliance Jio, his telecom upstart that has captured more than 128 million users within a year of launch, will this week rollout a basic 4G phone that will be available to its users on making a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500.
    Indian mobile market, Ambani said, is now overflowing with data and a robust digital circulatory system has to be created to carry data to the 1.3 billion Indians.
    "4G coverage in India will become larger than the 2G coverage within the next 12 months," he asserted.
    India, Ambani said, has leapfrogged from a lowly 155th in mobile broadband penetration to being the world's largest mobile data consuming nation in just one year.
    He put down this jump largely to launch of Reliance Jio which during the promotional phase offered unlimited free data and after that at dirt cheap price, saying the pace at which the Indian mobile industry has grown is unparallelled in the world.
    Stating that Indian telecom and IT industry has to play a foundational role in creating the digital infrastructure, the RIL chief said the country had missed out on the first three global industrial revolutions of mechanisation, mass production and automation, but has the opportunity to lead in the fourth industrial revolution fuelled by connectivity, data and artificial intelligence.
    "Mobile Internet and cloud computing are the foundational technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution," he said.
    "Data is the new oil. India does not need to import it. We have it in super-abundance. It will be a new source of value and will create opportunities and prosperity for India and millions of Indians."
    The country's richest man pressed for using new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, Big Data analytics, 3-D printing, blockchain and nanotechnology to create jobs and a new wave of wealth.
    Digital technologies, he said, can be a boon for achieving national priorities of energy, water and resource security.
    "New sources of energy and new modes of transportation with unparallelled efficiencies have become possible, thanks to convergence of several technologies. India must embark on the task of connecting everything and everyone via the Super- Internet of Things. This will enable 130 crore Indians to collaborate directly with one another, democratising economic life like never before," he said.
    Digitisation of education, training and human resource development in a comprehensive manner must be regarded as a pre-condition for the success of Digital India, he suggested.
    "To accomplish all these tasks, the telecom and IT industry will have to partner with every sector of the economy and the government, every business and every institution, from the biggest to the smallest," Ambani added.
    To realise the Digital India dream, investments have to be made in building next-generation technology assets, and inefficiencies across the digital ecosystem must be rooted out, he pointed out.
    "We must break silos and forge partnerships. No corporate, nor the government, can do it alone. Together, we can achieve the unimaginable," he said.
    Since its launch, Jio has been locked in a bitter market place battle with older telecom players led by Bharti Airtel.
    The older firms have accused it of using deep pockets to disrupt the market to create monopoly.
    "Let's not forget India provides a big enough opportunity for all of us to grow and prosper together.
    The opportunity to pave the path for our nation's progress and create a better quality of life for every Indian beckons us," Ambani said.

7th Pay Commission: Central government employees looking at yet another hike in minimum basic pay
  • Central government employees might be looking at one more salary hike by the beginning of next year. As per reports, National Anomaly Committee (NAC) is likely to convene for yet another meeting next month to take a final call on increasing the minimum basic pay for the central government staff.
    Union government had increased the minimum basic salary for central government employees from Rs 7,000 to Rs 18,000 earlier this year in June based on recommendations of Seventh Central Pay Commission. The maximum basic pay was increased from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh on suggestions from the pay panel.
    The staff members, however, were not very happy with this increase and wanted their minimum salaries to be increased to Rs 26,000. The 7th Pay Commission had suggested a fitment factor of 2.57 for minimum basic pay of central government employees, which employee unions thought was inadequate.
    As per earlier details, the National Anomaly Committee is expected to increase the fitment factor for minimum basic pay from existing 2.57 to 3. Following the revision of fitment factor, the minimum basic pay for the central government employees will climb to Rs 21,000, as opposed to Rs 18,000 on recommendations from the 7th Pay Commission.
    This might fall short of what the employee unions are gunning for, but will still benefit them greatly. Coupled with the recent increase in dearness allowance for the central government employees, their resultant paycheck will be a lot bigger than it is now.
    The Union Cabinet had approved to increase dearness allowance (DA) to central government employees and dearness relief (DR) to pensioners by one per cent. Now they receive dearness allowance at four per cent of their basic pay or basic pension. This hike in allowance will be effective from July 1, 2017.
    The hike in allowances will put an additional burden of Rs 3068.26 crore every year on the nation's treasury. Even during the course of the current financial year, the exchequer will have to shell out Rs 2045.50 crore for implementing the increase in dearness allowance and relief between July 2017 and February 2018.
    Reports suggest that the changes in minimum basic pay are expected to come into effect sometime around January 2018. This increase will benefit more than 50 lakh central government employees.

    Sensex, Nifty head for seventh straight losing session; rupee sinks
    • Shares fell nearly 1 percent on Wednesday, heading for a seventh straight session of losses which could be their longest losing streak in over nine months, as the rupee sunk to a more than six-month low on foreign fund outflows. Expectations of a rate hike by the U.S Federal Reserve and lingering North Korean worries also dented risk appetite.
      A lower close on Wednesday would mark the longest losing streak for the indexes after a seven-day fall that ended on December 22, 2016.
      Foreign investors have net sold $777 million worth of Indian shares so far this month. They sold nearly $2 billion worth of equities in August as stretched valuations and simmering North Korea tensions saw foreign investors pulling out. The U.S. Federal Reserve last week reiterated it would continue gradually raising interest rates, including once more this year.
      Foreign fund outflows have taken a toll on the rupee which on Wednesday fell to as low as 65.77 per dollar, its weakest since March 15.
      "One reason why the markets were being buoyant in the recent months was because the dollar was weakening and (on expectation) that the Fed would tone down its normalization process, but that seems to be reversing" said Dhananjay Sinha, Head of Research, Economy and Strategy at Emkay Global Financial Services.
      The Nifty was down 0.86 percent at 9,786.20 as of 0713 GMT, while the benchmark Sensex was trading 0.88 percent lower at 31,320.23. Blue chips were among the biggest losers, with Reliance Industries Ltd and Hindustan Unilever Ltd set for a second straight session of decline.
      Banking stocks continued to slide with Axis Bank Ltd and ICICI Bank Ltd falling as much as 2.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. The Nifty Bank index, down 0.78 percent, was headed for its sixth straight session of losses.
      Private sector non-life insurer ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd fell as much as 3.4 percent in its market debut, after its initial public offering last week raised $871 million, amid worries about valuations. DEN Networks Ltd surged as much as 12.7 percent, following a local media report that Reliance Industries Ltd was looking to buy the cable television company.

      Sensex falls 447 points, Nifty closes below 10,000 level over North Korea hydrogen bomb scare
      • The Sensex and Nifty tumbled on Friday following nervousness in global markets as investors turned cautious following new US sanctions targeting North Korea which threatened to test a nuclear weapon in the Pacific.
        North Korea's foreign minister reportedly warned Thursday Pyongyang could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump's threats of military action.
        The Sensex closed 447 points or 1.38 percent lower to 31,922  level. The Nifty was down 1.56 percent or 157.50 points at 9964.40 level.
        IPCA Laboratories (8.78 percent), IndiaBulls Real Estate (8.23 percent) and Jindal Steel (8.17 percent) were the top losers on the BSE.
        On the 30-stock Sensex, Tata Steel (4.70 percent), L&T (3.49 percent) and Reliance (2.83 percent) were the top losers.
        Market breadth was negative with 519 stocks closing higher against 519 falling on the BSE.
        Meanwhile, the rupee fell below the 65 mark for the first time in over five-and-a-half months on Friday on concern that fiscal deficit will widen after the government said it was considering measures to boost growth.
        The Indian currency closed 54 paise lower to 64.81 per dollar on Thursday.
        The first-quarter GDP growth slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent this fiscal year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the government is considering additional measures to bolster the economy.
        Global markets
        Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4 percent to 20,273.26 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7 percent to 2,389.83. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.8 percent to 27,877.19 and the Shanghai Composite fell 0.5 percent to 3,341.72. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.4 percent to 5,675.70. Taiwan's benchmark fell and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly lower.
        Major US benchmarks ended lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 0.3 percent to 2,500.60. The Dow Jones industrials fell 0.2 percent to 22,359.23. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.5 percent to 6,422.69.

      General Awareness

      72nd session of United Nations General Assembly

      • On 12th to 25th September 2017, the 72nd Regular Session of UN (United Nations) General Assembly (UNGA 72) was held at UN Headquarters, in New York.

        72nd session of UN General Assembly:
        i.The President of the 72nd session of the UNGA is Mr.Miroslav Lajcak.
        ii.On 19th September 2017, a general debate on the theme ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’ was conducted.
        iii.On 23rd September 2017, External Affairs Minister of India Ms.Sushma Swaraj addressed the 72nd session of United Nations General Assembly.
        50 nations signed UN Nuclear Ban Treaty:
        i.On 20th September 2017, 50 countries signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Brazil was the first country to sign the treaty.
        ii.The countries that have signed the treaty would be banned from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons ‘under any circumstances.’
        iii.More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty.Whereas, the U.S., Britain and France said that the ban wouldn’t work and would end up disarming their nations while the nations that did not sign the treaty would strengthen up.
        Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs for International Relations in New York:
        i.On 21st September 2017, BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs for International Relations held their annual meeting.
        ii.The meeting was led by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.The Ministers appreciated China for having successfully conducted the 9th BRICS Summit from 4th – 5th September 2017 in Xiamen, China.
        iii.They confirmed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
        iv.They strong condemned terrorism in all forms.They also discussed about the 10th BRICS Summit.
        About UN (United Nations):
        Headquarters – New York
        Secretary‑General – Mr.Antonio Guterres
        General Assembly President – Mr.Miroslav Lajcak

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