03 January 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

03 January 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

03 January 2017 - Daily Current Affairs

Former RAW chief Rajinder Khanna appointed deputy NSA

  • Former chief of the country's external intelligence agency RAW, Rajinder Khanna (1978- batch Research and Analysis Wing Service (RAS) officer) has been appointed as the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
  • Mr. Khanna is at present Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat.
  • Rajinder Khanna has supervised several counter-terrorism operations and is considered an expert on Pakistan and Islamic terrorism.
Note: The National Security Advisor (NSA) is the chief executive of the National Security Council (NSC), and the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India on national and international security.

B Mathur appointed interlocutor for talks with ULFA

  • The union govt. has appointed AB Mathur (1975-batch IPS officer) as the interlocutor on their behalf to hold talks with the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
  • Mathur served as the former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
  • ULFA is a separatist outfit operating in Assam for the indigenous Assamese and seeks to establish a sovereign Assam with an armed struggle in the Assam conflict.
  • In 1990, the government banned it calling it a terrorist organisation.

JNPT wins “Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year” award

  • India’s Premier Container Port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has won the “Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year” award.
  • The port is fully committed to the welfare of its employees and their families.
  • JNPT provides excellent facilities to their staff like medical insurance, a residential township with school, transport service, canteens, restrooms, recreation, sports activities and regular training programs on various key topics.
  • The award instituted by Bhandarkar Shipping aims to fuel healthy competition in the maritime sector.

Legendary Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri passes away

  • Noted Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri passed away (71-year) due to cardiac arrest at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow.
  • Anwar Jalalpuri is best known for his translation of shaloks of Bhagvad Gita into Urdu in Shayari format.

Maneka Gandhi launches online portal ‘NARI’ for women empowerment

  • The Union Minister of Women & Child Development ‘Maneka Gandhi’ has inaugurated the online portal 'NARI' (National Repository of Information for Women) for women empowerment in New Delhi.
  • The 'NARI' portal contains information about schemes being run by both Central as well as the States Governments.
  • The NARI portal summarizes over 350 government schemes and other important information.

Haryana to implement Integrated Solar Based Micro Irrigation scheme

  • The Haryana state govt. has announced to implement the integrated solar based micro irrigation scheme (ISBMI) in all districts of the State.
  • The state govt also formed a Committee under the Chairman of Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) to chalk out a plan in this regard.
  • Currently, this scheme is being implemented on pilot basis in commands of 14 different canal outlets spread over 13 districts of the State.
  • Solar based micro irrigation system would not only save electricity and water considerably but also prove to be economical for the farmers.

Govt exempts cruise tourists with e-visa from biometric enrolment till 2020

  • According to the Shipping Ministry, the Home Affairs has exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years to promote cruise tourism in the country.
  • This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.
  • E-Visa has been in place in the five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai.
  • Earlier, biometrics of passengers were required at port of first arrival for immigration clearance.
  • The standard operating procedures to handle cruise was revised earlier and is being implemented uniformly at all ports.

Parliament passes NABARD (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  • Parliament has passed the (NABARD)National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with the Rajya Sabha approving it.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
  • The Bill allows the union govt. to increase the authorized capital of the Bank from Rs. 5,000 crores to Rs. 30,000 crores.
  • The capital can be increased further by the government in consultation with the RBI.
  • NABARD is responsible for providing and regulating facilities like credit for agricultural and industrial development in the rural areas.
  • Currently, the union government is holding 99.6% share of the bank and the rest is with RBI.

SBI cuts base rate by 30 basis points

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each.
  • State Bank of India revised down the base rate to 8.65%  for existing customers from 8.95 percent, while
  • The benchmark prime lending rates is down from 13.7% , to 13.4%.
  • The bank also extended its ongoing waiver on home loan processing fees till the end of this March for new home loan customers and other customers looking to switch their existing loans to SBI.

Finance Ministry to close subscription of 8% Govt Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003

  • The finance ministry has closed subscription of 8% Government Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003.
  • In 2003, the government came out with bonds for a fixed tenure of 6 years offering 8% interest to encourage retail investors to invest.
  • The decision to discontinue the bond comes in the backdrop of declining interest rate in other saving instruments, especially the Post Office small saving schemes.
  • Earlier, the finance ministry had reduced interest rate on various small saving schemes by 0.2%.

No charges on debit card transactions up to Rs. 2,000

  • Now, the Customers will not have to pay any transaction charges for payments through debit card, BHIM app and other payment made for up to Rs 2,000 to promote digital transactions.
  • The merchant discount rate (MDR) will be borne by the government for two years with effect from 1st January,2018 by reimbursing the same to banks.
  • According to the Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar, in December Quarter BHIM transaction rises 86% to 145.6 million with value of Rs. 13,174 crores.

Indian Golfer Shiv Kapur wins Royal Cup at Pattaya

  • India’s golfer Shiv Kapur (35-year) has won the Royal Cup trophy at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya.
  • This win marks Kapur’s fourth Asian Tour win and sixth international title as he won twice on European Challenge Tour.

Upcoming India-South Africa Test series named as “Freedom Series”

  • According to the Cricket South Africa media release, the upcoming three-Test series between India & hosts South Africa has been named as “Freedom Series”.
  • The Freedom Series was felt by both nations to be a more fitting name in recognition of shared history of South Africa and India who both won freedom through non-violence.
  • A specially designed Freedom Series Trophy Podium will also commemorate the landmark series and will be unveiled in a special ceremony ahead of the first Test, in Cape Town.

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