11 August 2016 - Current Affairs

PM dedicated 1st Unit of Kundankulam Nuclear Plant to the nation
The first unit of Kundankulam Nuclear Plant was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin via video conferencing in Chennai. The Kudankulam project will help meet power needs in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
The 1,000 MW unit plant was built with Russian technology,has been functional since 2014 and is connected to the Southern grid. India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is setting up two 1,000 Mw Russian reactors at Kudankulam village in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.

NPA of commercial banks increased by around 4%
The Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of commercial banks has increased by around four percent in the last one year”, minister of State for Finance, Santosh Gangwar announce in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
In March 2015, the NPA of banks was 5.43% which was risen to 9.32 percent in March this year.
The NPA amounts are related to 417 stalled infrastructure projects where public sector banks have invested over Rs 66478 crore.

Arun Jaitley inaugurates data bank portal of MSMEs
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today launched a data bank Portal of micro, small and medium enterprises, MSME in New Delhi.
The portal aims to gather information about micro, small and medium enterprises. Micro, Small and Medium enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra said, a census of MSMEs online will be carried out for the first time through the data bank.

Extension of maternity leaves increases from 12 weeks to 26 weeks
The government has approved the amendments made to the Maternity Benefits Act which aims to raise maternity leave for women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. The cabinet committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill 2016.

  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, protects the employment of women during the time of maternity and entitles them of a full paid absence from work to take care for the child. The amendment bill seeks to increase maternity leave to 26 weeks in all establishments, including private sector. The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.
  • The bill also provides 12 weeks leave for commissioning and adopting mothers and makes it mandatory to provide creche facility for establishment where the number of workers is 50 and above.
  • At present, the Maternity Benefit Act does not provide any maternity leave for commissioning or adopting mothers.

Amitabh Kant committee set up to review FDI, e-commerce rules
The government has decided to set up a committee to look into all issues including foreign direct investment norms pertaining to the fast-growing e-commerce industry in the country. The committee will be headed by the NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has allowed 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in the marketplace format of e-commerce retailing in March.

Balvinder Kumar inaugurates Hind Copper’s Nickel plant at Ghatsila
Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) has launched the country’s first facility to produce nickel. The nickel is a kind of metal for which the country is completely dependent on imports. This is the first facility in India to produce Nickel metal of LME grade from primary resource. The facility was inaugurated by Balvinder Kumar, secretary, ministry of mines at the Indian Copper Complex (ICC) at Ghatshila in Jharkhand.
London Metal Exchange (LME) grade is the only unit in India to produce nickel metal. The annual demand for pure Nickel in India is around 45,000 MT and its market in the country is totally dependent on import.

Bill Gates tops Forbes richest tech tycoons list
With an estimated fortune of USD 78 billion Microsoft founder Bill Gates has topped “The ‘100 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World 2016′. Only two Indian’s Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar has been featured in the Forbes riches list.
With a networth of USD 16 billion Azim Premji ranks 13th on the list, Nadar comes in on the 17th spot with USD 11.6 billion of net worth.

Mumbai most expensive city in India: TripAdvisor
Mumbai has been ranked the most expensive city in India and the second least expensive destination in the world to visit after Hanoi. The report was released by the TripAdvisor’s sixth edition of annual TripIndex Cities.
  • New York has been ranked the most expensive city in the world.
  • Capetown in South Africa has been ranked third globally least expensive city to visit followed by Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Moscow (Russia). 
  • In India, Pune in Maharashtra is the lowest cost destination followed by Jaipur, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore, the report revealed.
M S Subbulakshmi to be honoured at UN on Independence Day
Legendary Carnatic vocalist M. S. Subbulakshmi will be honoured at the United Nations on 15 August 2016, India’s 70th Independence Day.
A.R. Rahman will pay homage to Subbulakshmi at the United Nations General Assembly. With this, Rahman will become only the second Indian artist after Subbulakshmi to perform at the UN after she was invited for a performance 50 years ago. 
Subbulakshmi was invited by the then UN Secretary General U Thant to perform at the UN headquarters in 1966. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. She passed away on 11 December 2004 at the age of 88.

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