Current Affairs – October, 2017

Latest Current Affairs October, 2017 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of October, 2017 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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October 12: World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an awareness – raising campaign organized by CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of wild animals) and AEWA (Agreement on the Conservation of African – Eurasian Migratory water birds) that highlights

  • the conservation of migratory birds,
  • threats faced by them,
  • their ecological importance
  • the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Different Countries organize different activities based on the theme to mark the WMBD all around the world. This year theme is as follow

Theme: Protect birds – Be the solution to plastic pollution.

Significance of the theme

With an annual production of more than 300 million tons of plastic, 8 million tons enter the world’s ocean every year. These plastics are broken down into smaller particles by water, sunlight and wind that often leads to ingestion and entanglement.

These broken pieces floating on the surface of water covered in algae are easily mistaken for prey by these migrating birds. Ingestion and Entanglement are the two main problems faced by the migrating birds.

Ingestion of Plastics

Ingestion of sharp plastic particles cause immediate death by piercing their internal organs. Plastic consumption predominantly leads to chronic feeling of hunger and starvation without nutritional value affecting the migrating process. The birds lose their strength to fly 1000s of km. This affects the survival of the species as birds migrate mainly to breed, hatch eggs, nurture them and return homeland with their young ones.


Layers of plastic in the wetlands lead to entanglement, trapping and eventually death. These caught birds are either injured, pick up infections and end up drowning. They easily become prey to other animals.


The WMBD was started in 2006 by the AEWA – Agreement on the Conservation of African – Eurasian Migratory Water birds. The first World Migratory Birds Day was launched in April 8 – 9, 2006.

The idea began in 1993 when the US Fish and Wild life Services, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology began the celebrations of International Migratory Bird Day. However, the celebrations were restricted to the western hemisphere alone. So, in 2005, in its 10th anniversary function AEWA initiated Migratory Water bird Days that were to be held in Europe, Asia and Africa as well.

In 2017, at COP12 in Manila, the other leading environmental organization, the EFTA – Environment for the Americas joined the campaign. This partnership united the world’s two largest education campaigns International Migratory Bird Day and World Migratory Bird Day.

In 2018, it was decided to be celebrated twice a year, on second Saturday of May and October.

Government constitutes Alternative Mechanism Panel for PSBs consolidation

The Union Government has constituted Alternative Mechanism Panel headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to oversee merger proposals of public sector banks (PSBs). The other members of the panel include Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Key Facts

This alternative mechanism has been set up by the government to fast-track consolidation among public sector banks to create strong lenders. The mechanism will oversee the proposals coming from boards of PSBs for consolidation.

The decision comes after government had announced Rs. 2.11 trillion bank recapitalisation plan for public sector banks weighed down by bad loans, seeking to stimulate flow of credit to spur private investment. It was also announced that recapitalisation plan will be accompanied by series of banking reforms over next few months. The constitution of an Alternative Mechanism is move in that direction.

The Union cabinet in August 2017 had decided to set up Alternative Mechanism to fast-track PSU bank consolidation. More about alternative mechanism (fig)

Purpose of PSBs consolidation

The move to create large banks through consolidating PSBs aims at meeting credit needs of growing Indian economy and building capacity in PSB space to raise resources without dependence on the state exchequer. The banking entities formed after merging PSU banks will be able to absorb shocks.


The idea of bank mergers was around since 1991, when former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor M. Narasimham had recommended the government merge banks into three-tiered structure, with three large banks with an international presence at top. In 2014, PJ Nayak Committee also had suggested that government either merge or privatize state-owned banks.

Significance of PSBs consolidation

  • Reduce their dependence on government for capital.
  • Open up more capital generation avenues, both internally and from market, for the merged entity.
  • From a government point of view, it will increase stream of dividends which forms part of their non-tax revenue.
  • Increase the role of internal and market resources and thus reduce dependence of merged bank on government for the future capital infusion
  • It will lead to greater concentration of payment and settlement flows as there will be fewer parties in the financial sector.
  • Operational risks could increase post-merger as size of operations grows and distance between management and operational personnel is greater as the administrative systems become more complex.
  • It will help to deal better with their credit portfolio, including stressed assets. Consolidation will also prevent multiplicity of resources being spent in t same area and strengthens banks to deal with shocks,