Daily Current affairs News Updates about the National and International events were listed here. Candidates those who are preparing for IBPS/SBI/PO/Clerk exam and all other competitive exams can use this.
World Aids Day: 1st December
World AIDS Day is observed across the world on 1 December annually. The theme for 2016 World Aids Day is ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’. The day is observed to raise awareness to the Aids pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection. The day is celebrated by the government organizations, NGOs, civil society and other health officials by organizing the speeches or forums discussion related to the AIDS.
Centre proposes to release Rs 48,000 cr to develop 100 Smart Cities
i. The Centre proposes to release 48,000 crore rupees in the next five years to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country under Smart Cities Mission. Presently, 20 Smart Cities are progressing.
ii. Stating this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said, 612 projects have been identified amounting to a little over 34,200 crore rupees out of which some projects have been completed and work on 28 projects started.
Govt launches campaign to educate people about digital payments
Government has launched a massive campaign to educate people about digital payments. The campaign comes in the wake of government’s demonetisation move and resulted cash crunch. Sources said, organizations like Nehru Yuva Kendra are being roped in to spread the awareness on digital payments and it’s advantages over cash payments. Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javdekar will talk to student community about it today.
Meanwhile, Aadhaar enrolments have jumped to 7 lakh a day from 4 to 5 lakh per day after Government’s decision to demonetize high value currency notes. Yesterday, NITI Aayog had constituted a committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to adopt global best practices on digital payment and making India a cashless soceity. The Aayog is also in touch with Chief Secretary and Finance Secetaries of states and union teritories and also with all District Magistrates regarding the issue.
Raj Bhawan of Himachal Pradesh has adopted the cashless system for all kind of payments.
i. As per the reports, the payments of Raj Bhawan would be made online, through cheques or another mode of e-payments. Governor Acharya Devvrat has directed Raj Bhawan’s official in Shimla to use a cashless system or cheque in all kind of payments.The direction was issued after the Prime Minister’s appeal in this regard.
ii. Himachal Rajbhawan is the first in the country to adopt these cashless techniques so promptly. Governor Devvrat has also appealed students, teachers and NGO are to make common people aware about the cashless system.
iii. Besides, Andhra Pradesh is also planning to launch a mobile wallet with the name ‘AP Purse’ to help the public in the adoption of cashless payments. The plan was announced by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. He said that his government would be the first state in India to switch to digital transactions.
PM Modi greets Nagaland on 53rd statehood day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today greeted Nagaland on its 53rd statehood day. He in a tweet, said Nagaland is known for its scenic beauty and talented citizens. He wished people of the state will take it to new heights of progress.
It was on this day in 1963 that the Nagaland attained statehood as the 16th state of the Indian Union and second in North East after being bifurcated from Assam.
The United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS) has launched a new strategy to maximize its peace operations’ efficiency in the use of natural resources.
i. The step was taken to highlight the significance of environmental protection and management in the work of peacekeeping missions.The strategy’s aim is to reduce overall demand through increased efficiency, increase the proportion of energy from renewable sources such as solar arrays and reduce the level of pollution.Also, the scheme aims at conserving water and reducing the level of risk to personnel, local communities and ecosystems from wastewater management practices.
ii. The first phase of the strategy will be implemented through July 2020. It will focus on improving environmental analytics to effectively monitor progress. The five pillars of the strategy will then be reviewed. Thereafter, specific targets will be set for the second phase of strategy implementation to conclude in June 2023.
iii. The United Nations Department of Field Support is dedicated to the support of peacekeeping field missions and political field missions. The aim of the DFS is “Protecting and nurturing a fragile peace is a critical role of the United Nations”.
iv. It identifies challenges and objectives based on five pillars. These pillars are energy, water and wastewater, solid waste, wider impact and environmental management systems. It also includes key performance indicators for these areas.
The Union Cabinet has given approval to the India negotiating position at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) in Kigali, Rwanda.
i. The Union Cabinet has approved baseline and freeze years proposal of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest (MoEFCC) over the issue of phasing down the climate-damaging refrigerants hydro fluoro carbons (HFCs) as negotiated in Kigali meet.The negotiations at Kigali meet held in October 2016 were aimed at including HFCs in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol.
ii. In the Kigali meet, India had successfully negotiated the baseline years within a range of 2024 to 2030 and freeze year in subsequent years for phasing down the use of HFCs. It had two set of baselines years were agreed for developing countries. India along with nine other countries will have baseline years of 2024, 2025, 2026.
iii. The freeze year for India will be 2028 and it will be with a condition that there will be a technology review in 2024/2025. India’s position was mainly aimed at allowing sufficient room for growth of its domestic sectors using refrigerants.India will completely phase down of HFCs in 4 steps from 2032 onwards with cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042 and 85% in 2047 It also gives additional HCFC allowance of 65% that will be added to the Indian baseline consumption and production.
iv. At Kigali, it was decide to include HFCs in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol in order to regulate their production, consumption and phasing them out with time. It also added mechanism to provide financial assistance from the Multilateral Fund created under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are not ODS but potent global warming substances and controlling them can contribute substantially to limit global temperature and advance actions for addressing climate change.
The Union Cabinet has approved the rehabilitation package of Rs 2000 crore for around 36384 displaced families from Pakistan occupied Jammu& Kashmir (POJK).
i. Under the package of Rs 2000 crore, Rs 5.5 lakh cash benefit will be disbursed to each displaced families to enable them to earn an income and subsist their livelihood. The amount will be initially released to the State Government of Jammu& Kashmir to be disbursed to eligible families through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
ii. The refugees from West Pakistan, mostly from PoK, are settled in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu& Kashmir constitution.
iii. In January 2015, the Modi government approved certain concessions for the refugees from West Pakistan settled in Jammu& Kashmir after considering the problems being faced by them. The concessions included special recruitment drives for induction into paramilitary forces, equal employment opportunities in the state, admission for the children of refugees in Kendriya Vidyalayas, among others.
The Union Cabinet has approved the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) Phase-III.
i. The project is expected to be completed in the next 5 years during 13th Plan period. The estimated cost of project is Rs 8679 crore with completion cost of Rs 10947 crore.Western Railway is running suburban services on the existing busy double line between Virar-Dahanu Road which is a part of main line Mumbai–Ahmedabad or Mumbai–Delhi route.
ii. Construction of additional double line between Virar-Dahanu Road will address the demand of commuters in this region. This will provide extension of suburban services from Churchgate to Dahanu Road. Presently, passengers commuting from Kalyan to Panvel or in reverse direction, have to get down at Thane and take Trans Harbour link. This results in congestion at Thane.
iii. Airoli-Kalwa corridor will reduce congestion at Thane station and will also save time as these passengers can travel bypassing Thane.The areas covered by this project are Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Mumbai districts of Maharashtra. The Mumbai suburban railway network on Central and Western Railways has 376 route Kms. There are five corridors, two on Western Railway, two on Central Railway and one on Harbour Line of Central Railway.
iv. To meet the demands of commuter traffic, new suburban corridor between Panvel-Karjat (28 Route km), new elevated corridor between Airoli-Kalwa (3 Route km), quadrupling of Virar-Dahanu Road (63 Route km), procurement of 565 new coaches have been included in Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)- Phase III.
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India.
i. It has approved incremental changes in the visa policy as decided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs with approval of Home Minister and in consultation with various stakeholders.This is expected to increase earnings from export of services like tourism, travel on account of business, medical value travel.
ii. It will also help to make ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’ and other such flagship initiatives of the Government successful.The approval will stimulate economic growth and ease travel for foreigners. It will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes.
UK scientists give green light to three-parent babies
i. British scientists have approved the use of so-called three-parent baby fertility treatments, paving the way for the country to become the first in the world to officially introduce the procedures. An independent panel of experts tasked with reviewing the safety of mitochondrial gene therapy said the practice should be cautiously adopted to prevent certain genetic diseases from being passed on to future generations.
ii. British MPs voted in February to allow the creation of In-Vitro Fertilisation babies with DNA from three people. Doctors want to make babies from three people to prevent diseases that starve the body of energy, leading to brain damage, muscle wasting and heart failure. It is worth recalling that a baby has been born from the technique in Mexico.
India to continue talks with China on trans-border rivers
India will continue to be in talks with China on the issue of trans-border rivers to safeguard national interests. China has assured India that its hydro-power projects do not involve diversion of the waters of the Brahmaputra river.
Minister of State for External Affairs M.J.Akbar informed the Rajya Sabha today that India has considerable user rights to the waters of the river as a lower riparian state. He said, India has urged China to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed in any way.
The Competition Commission (CCI) has approved the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank Ltd (BMBL) with the State Bank of India (SBI).
i. The combination is in the form of amalgamation whereby the business of BMBL, including its assets and liabilities, will be acquired by SBI. While SBI has global presence, including offices in 37 countries, BMBL is a nascent bank set up in November 2013.
ii. Post merger of the six entities, including BMBL, the consolidated entity will add Rs. 8 lakh crore to SBI’s assets. In the case of BMBL, 44231510 shares of SBI would be swapped for every 100 crore shares of face value of Rs. 10 each.
SBI first merged associate State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, State Bank of Indore was merged. The board of SBI had cleared the merger of BMBL and that of five associate lenders with itself in August 2016.
On 17 May 2016, the SBI had informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it is seeking in-principle sanction of the Union Government to enter into negotiation with its 5 subsidiaries and BharatiyaMahila Bank for acquisition.
Mahindra Group, IBM to develop blockchain solution for supply chain finance
i. The Mahindra Group and IBM joined together to develop blockchain solution. It is the Mahindra& IBM first projects of its kind in India outside of banking industryTheblockchain solution is cloud-based application which is designed to transform supplier-to-manufacturer trade finance transactions through a permissioned distributed ledger.
ii. This solution will enable all parties involved in the transaction to act on the same shared ledger, with each party updating only their part of the process, ensuring efficiency, consistency, trust and transparency, while safeguarding sensitive information.
RBL Bank launches Aadhaar-based disbursement of micro loans
Private sector RBL Bank has launched Aadhaar Payment Bridge System (APBS) for small ticket micro-finance loan disbursements. According to bank Head Rajeev Ahuja, it is the first bank to launch the APBS on its platform and the intent is to meet the government’s target on digital banking.
Aadhaar-based disbursement is the distribution of electronic Benefit transfer(EBT) and Providing basic financial services (cash deposit, balance enquiry, cash withdrawal and remittance) at low-cost access devices called Micro ATMs maintained at Business correspondents in an inter-operable way called Aadhaar Enabled Payment Service
NITI Aayog, under the banner of the Union Government has constituted a 13-member committee to promote cashless economy.
The committee will be formed by Chief Ministers of various states representing different political parties to examine and promote the use of digital payment systems across the country. It will be headed by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.
The Committee will identify the best global practices for implementing an economy primarily based on digital payment.It will also identify and outline measures for rapid expansion and adoption of the system of digital payments like cards (Debit, Credit and pre-paid), Digital-wallets, internet banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), banking apps, etc.
It will examine and address any other associated issues which are not specifically mentioned and will devise its own procedures for conducting business, meetings or even constitution of sub-groups.It will develop an action plan to reach out to the public at large with the objective to create awareness and help them understand the benefits of switching over to digital economy. It will prepare a roadmap for the administrative machineries in the States to facilitate adoption of digital modes of financial transactions.
NGOs need to register with NITI Aayog for grant-in-aid: Govt
i. The Government has said, it is now mandatory for all Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs and voluntary outfits to register with the NITI Aayog to receive grant-in-aid from Ministries and Departments of the Central government.
ii. Minister of State for Planning RaoInderjit Singh said this in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha yesterday. He said, all NGOs and voluntary organisations have to sign up on NGO-DARPAN portal to obtain a system-generated unique ID before applying for grant under any scheme of the Central government. Mr Singh also said that as on 24th of November, nearly 81 thousand NGOs had signed up with the portal.
Facebook pumps $40,000 into Indian fashion start-up Cout Loot
CoutLoot, an end-to-end fashion re-commerce platform, has been selected for Facebook’s developer-focused “FbStart” programme, receiving access to $40,000 worth of credits and services from the social networking giant.
Launched last year, “FbStart” helps developers grow their startups by leveraging valuable tools and services, worldwide events and opportunities to engage with the Facebook team. Under the programme, CoutLoot would also receive mentoring from Menlo Park-headquartered tech giant’s engineering teams.
GDP growth recorded at 7.3% in second quarter of current fiscal
The Indian economy grew 7(point)3 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal, up from 7(point)1 per cent growth posted in the first quarter. The improvement was mainly on improved performance of the manufacturing, services and trade sectors.
GDP had grown by 7.6 per cent in the second quarter of the previous fiscal. According to official data, the sectors which registered growth of over 7 per cent in the July to September quarter are public administration,defense and other services, financial, insurance, real estate and professional services, manufacturing and trade, hotels, transport and communication, and services related to broadcasting.
India has singed deal with the United States (US) to buy 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth $750 million.
This is the first defence deal signed by India for purchasing artillery guns since the Bofors scandal in 1980s. It was recently cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was signed at the two-day meeting of the 15th India-US Military Cooperation Group (MCG) held in New Delhi.
M777 howitzers manufacturer BAE Systems will conclude an offset agreement estimated at about $200 million. 25 guns will come to India in a fly-away condition. Remaining 120 guns will be assembled at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system in India.
It is a bilateral forum established to progress Defence Cooperation between HQ Integrated Defence Staff (India) and US Pacific Command at strategic and operational levels. M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers artillery guns induction will give Indian defence forces a much needed operational advantage and an access to state of art technology. These guns will be deployed in high-altitude areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, bordering China.
Coal India arm signs pact with SBI Capital markets
Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI) the consultancy arm of Coal India Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with Mumbai based SBI Capital Markets to increase their market share in the rapidly growing consultancy area.The agreement was signed by Sashi Kant, General Manager, business development, CMPDI and Supriyo Gupta vice-president SBI Capital Markets Ltd on November 30, 2016
The MoU covers areas like providing help for due diligence for the overseas coal and mineral properties for clients, advising bidders in mineral sector and also advising governments for managing mineral sector.
Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand signs MoU to promote cooperation and collaboration.
Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on November 29, 2016 for promoting cooperation and collaboration between the states. The MoU was signed between SurindraRajabhat University Regional Development Strategies (SRRURDS) Foundation of Surin Province, North East of Thailand and Mahabodhi Lord Buddha College (MLBC) in Arunachal Pradesh.
The MoU aimed at the development of friendly international cooperation with mutual interests in developing programmes of academic exchange and for establishing a long-term mutually beneficial association between the two institutes for fostering cordial relations between the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Thailand.
The MoU was signed by Associate Professor Achara Phanurat, Ex-President of Surindra SRRURDS Foundation and Ven Bhikkhu Panyaloka, Director of MLBC in presence of the Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Tharadol Thongruang, Minister Councillor, Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi.
Dr. SeemaVerma, Second Indian-American to be Nominated to top Administration post by President-Elect Trump
US President-elect Donald Trump nominated a second Indian-American woman, Dr. Seema Verma to a top administration position on November 29, 2016, as in charge of a federal agency within the health department. Dr Seema Verma, Second Indian-American to be Nominated to top Administration post by President-Elect Trump
Dr Seema Verma, a leading expert in the country on Medicare and Medicaid, will serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Trump has also nominated Congressman Tom Price as his Health and Human Services Secretary.
Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography “Playing it my way” named Book of the Year
The autobiography of India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar “Playing it my way” has won the prestigious Crossword Book of the Year Award in the Autobiography category. The book is penned by renowned cricket historian and Tendulkar’s close friend Boria Majumdar. Earlier, it also had entered the Limca Book of World Records for being the best-selling adult hardback across both fiction and non-fiction.
Four India-born CEOs on Fortune Businessperson of the Year list 2016
Four leading India-born CEOs have been named in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year list that is topped by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The list includes:
1.Microsoft’s Satya Nadella ranked 5th among 50 global corporate heads.
2.CEO of Milwaukee-based maker of water heaters A O Smith AjitaRajendra on the 34th spot
3.HDFC Bank’s Managing Director Aditya Puri on the 36th position
4.Mastercard’s Ajay Banga on 40th spot.
National anthem must be played in theatres before movies, orders Supreme Court
The Supreme Court (SC) on November 30, 2016, made it mandatory for cinema halls to play the National anthem before the screening of a film in theatres across the country. A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said that “People must show respect to the national anthem and the national flag and pay respect to the anthem.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates the 55,000-tonne per annum (TPA) Odishaferro-chrome plant set up by Tata Steel at a cost of Rs 542 crore in its Gopalpur Industrial Park in Ganjam district.
The plant is a unique environment-friendly unit with state-of-the-art pollution control equipment and technology such as ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) and STP (Sewage Treatment Plant). It is the first plant in India to use briquetting method of chrome ore fine agglomeration.
Magnus Carlsen wins 2016 World Chess Championship
Magnus Carlsen won the 2016 World Chess Championship on 30 November 2016 in New York City, USA. Carlsen defeated Sergey Karjakin to retain the World Chess Champion title. It’s the third time that Carlsen has won the championship. He has reigned as world champion since 2013.
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