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Vanaja N. Sarna new Chairperson of CBEC

  • Vanaja N. Sarna (Internal Revenue Service:1980) has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
  • She has replaced Najib Shah.
  • Sarna has served Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in several capacities over the last 36 years.
Note:
  • The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India
  • CBIC is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India headed by Chairperson and consist of six Members.

Mega-conference of world parliamentarians begins in Dhaka

  • Today, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the 4-day mega Conference of world parliamentarians in Dhaka.
  • She has also released a commemorative stamp and launch the IPU web television.
  • Around 687 members of 131 national parliaments around the world are participating in the conference.
  • The conference promising to focus on ways and means to end political & economic inequality and uphold democracy and human rights.
  • The Conference will also adopt a resolution to guarantee the financial inclusion of women as drivers of development.

Govt decides to liberalize e-visa regime from existing 30 days to 4 months

  • Today, India has decided to liberalize e-visa regime by increasing the time limit for seeking the entry permit from existing 30 days to a maximum of four months.
  • The duration of stay for foreigners, coming into the country through select categories of e-visa, has also been extended to two months. 
  • The liberalization of the visa regime will considerably facilitate entry of foreigners into India for tourism, business, and medical purposes.
  • Under the new simplified visa regime, three new sub-categories (e-tourist visa, e-business visa, and e-medical visa) for grant of e-visa.

Radhamohan Singh to inaugurate International center for Foot and Mouth Disease

  • Today, the Union Agriculture Minister 'Radha Mohan Singh' has inaugurated an International research centre for Foot and Mouth disease of cattle and buffalos at Argul,(Khurda district) Odisha.
  • The research center has been constructed in joint collaboration of UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation & Indian Council of Agricultural Research to conduct research on the viral disease of cattle and buffaloes.
  • The research center has the facility for safe handling and storage of live Foot and Mouth disease virus that essentially is required for control of the disease.
  • This center will also serve as a regional resource laboratory for countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

N. Chandrababu Naidu selected for US-India Business Council Award

  • The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh ‘N.Chandrababu Naidu’ has been selected for the US-India Business Council Award (US IBC).
  • The USIBC has selected Mr. Naidu for the award of ‘Transformative Chief Minister’.
  • The Electronics and IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan would also receive Transformative Leadership Award at the Summit.

'Barmer-Munawab' & 'Pipad Road-Bilara' rail routes declared as Green Corridors

  • The North-Western Railway has declared the ‘Barmer-Munawab (119 km)’ and ‘Pipad Road-Bilara (41 km)’ in Rajasthan, rail routes as Green Corridors.
  • The trains in the section have been equipped with bio-toilets to ensure zero discharge of human waste on the rail tracks under the ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ initiative.
  • Now, the total number of green corridors has increased to three.
Note: The ‘Manamadurai– Rameswaram stretch’ (114- km) of Southern Railway was the first ‘Green corridor’ of India.

RBI to set up separate Enforcement department

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will set up a separate enforcement department to monitor banks in case they violate regulations.
  • The Enforcement Department will start operations from 1st April, 2017.
  • The department will develop a broad policy for enforcement and initiate action against the regulated entities for violation consistent with such policy.

Withdrawal of service charge on e-tickets of train extended till 30th June

  • According to Railway ministry, the withdrawal of service charge on online booking of train tickets has been extended upto 30th June 2017 to promote the use of digital modes of payment.
  • Earlier, the union government had decided to give incentive to the passengers for booking tickets online by withdrawing service charge on them from 23rd November, 2016 to 31st March, 2017.
Note: Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ticketing site ranges from Rs. 20 to Rs. 40 per ticket.

India signs First Loan Agreement with New Development Bank

  • India has signed a loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB) for USD 350 million funding for a project involving development and up gradation of major district roads (approx 1,500 km) in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The objective of the project is to up gradation of major district roads in the state to improve connectivity with the national and state highway networks.
  • This is the first loan agreement for the New Development Bank assisted project in India.

Karnataka Bank & SBI Card launch co-branded credit card

  • The Karnataka Bank Limited and SBI Card have launched co-branded credit cards ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ and ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’ for the customers of Karnataka Bank.
  • ‘Karnataka Bank Platinum SBI Card’ has been designed keeping in mind the premium customers, offers features in line with their lifestyle and spending patterns.
  • ‘Karnataka Bank SimplySAVE SBI Card’ is aimed at value-conscious consumers and offers rewards and features that enable customers to maximise their savings on their regular spends.
Note:
  • The Karnataka Bank Limited is a major banking institution based in the coastal city of Mangalore in Karnataka, India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has designated Karnataka Bank as an A1+-class scheduled commercial bank.
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