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21 October 2017 - Current Affairs

Jacinda Ardern to be next New Zealand PM

  • Jacinda Ardern (37-year) is set to become the next prime minister of New Zealand just months after taking control of the opposition Labour party in the middle of an election campaign.
  • She will become one of her country’s youngest prime ministers and the third woman to lead a government after winning the support of the nationalist New Zealand First party.
  • The Labour-NZ First coalition controls 55 of the 120 seats in the country's parliament and the Green Party supporting it with eight lawmakers cross the 61-mark to pass policies.
Note: The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand.

UAE names country's first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence

  • The UAE has named Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama (27-years) as the country's first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • His appointment is part of the UAE's ambition to be at the forefront of the global technological revolution.
  • Other new positions created in the reshuffle include a Minister for Advanced Sciences and another for Food Security.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is apparently intelligent behavior by machines, rather than the natural intelligence (NI) of humans and other animals.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigns

  • Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar has resigned due to personal reasons.
  • In June 2014, he was appointed solicitor general after the Modi government came to power.
Note: The Solicitor General of India is below the Attorney General for India and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.

Police Commemoration Day being observed today

  • Today, the Police Commemoration Day is being observed across the country.
  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh laid the wreath and paid homage to the police martyrs at Police Memorial Ground in New Delhi.
  • The day commemorates the sacrifices of ten policemen while defending the borders with China in 1959.
Note:
  • In January 1960, it was decided that 21st October will be observed as Commemoration Day in all Police Lines throughout India to mark the memory of these gallant personnel and all other Police personnel who have laid down their lives on duty.
  • Indian Police personnel was responsible for manning the 2,500 miles long border of India with Tibet until the autumn of 1959.

Centre gives clearance to greenfield airport project at Hirasar near Rajkot in Gujarat

  • The Centre has given clearance for a greenfield airport project at Hirasar, near Rajkot in Gujarat.
  • The Environment Ministry has given the environment clearance to the Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd (GSAICL) for development of a greenfield airport at Rajkot at a cost of over 1,400 crore rupees.
  • The proposed project will aid the development of trade and tourism besides improving regional connectivity in Gujarat.

Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates 1st phase of PNG supply system in Bhubaneswar

  • The Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has inaugurated first phase of Piped Natural Gas supply system in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • In the first phase, 255 houses in Nalco Nagar in Chandrasekharpur of Bhubaneswar were supplied with environment-friendly PNG.
  • Around 25 thousand households in twin-city Bhubaneswar and Cuttack would get PNG connection by end of next year.
  • The overall capital expenditure for the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack gas distribution projects will cost around Rs. 1700 crore.
Note: Piped Natural gas (PNG) is used for Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Consumption. PNG has several distinctions to its credit of being a pollution-free fuel, economical and safer fuel being few of them.

500 long distance trains to run quicker from next month

  • The Indian Railways will soon cut short the running time of over 500 long distance trains by up to two hours.
  • The new timings will be updated in the November timetable of the railways.
  • The railways has also started the exercise of an internal audit through which 50 mail and express trains will be upgraded to super-fast services.
  • This is part of an overhaul of the rail system of increasing the average speed of existing trains.

International conference on consumer protection to be held on 26th Oct

  • A two-day international conference on consumer protection will be held in New Delhi on 26th of oct 2017.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference.
  • The conference will discuss how the UN guidelines on consumer protections can be implemented.
  • The Consumer Affairs Ministers and representatives of 24 South East Asian countries will attend the conference on the theme of empowering consumers in the age of new markets.

Former CPI-M MP Amal Datta passes away

  • Former CPI-M Lok Sabha member Amal Datta (84-year) passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata yesterday following a cardiac arrest.
  • Datta represented Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal for 14 years.
  • He was a nephew of veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu.

GSTN launches excel-based offline tool to file initial GSTR-3B returns

  • Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has launched an Excel-based offline tool for businesses to file initial GSTR- 3B returns.
  • Now, taxpayers can download the offline utility from the GSTN portal and after filling in the data the file can be uploaded on GST portal.
  • After uploading of the return to the GST Portal, the taxpayer has to preview the form, complete formalities like submit, offset the liability and file their GSTR-3B Return using digital signature or electronic verification code.
  • This facility will provide an opportunity to the taxpayer to verify details of GSTR 3B before filing and minimise chances of error.

Govt permits banks to sell more small savings schemes

  • The government has authorized all public-sector banks and three private banks (ICICI, HDFC, and Axis) to accept deposits under various small savings schemes like National Savings Certificate (NSC), recurring deposits and monthly income plan.
  • So far, public sector banks were allowed to receive subscription under Public Provident Fund (7.8%), Kisan Vikas Patra-2014 (7.5%-mature in 115 months), Sukanya Samriddhi Account (one for girl child savings-8.3%), Senior Citizen Savings Scheme-2004 (8.3 per%- quarterly).
  • Increased outlets for selling small savings scheme would result in higher mobilization under the scheme.
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