Current Affairs 24, June – 2017 –  Thiruvananthapuram tops with core city plan

NATIONAL

Punjab amends law for liquor sale near highways:

    Punjab has become the first State to take the amendment route to make way for liquor sale near highways as the Assembly passed a legislation enabling hotels, restaurants and clubs to serve alcohol within 500 metres of highways.

The Punjab Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was tabled by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Brahm Mohindra and was passed by the Assembly during the budget session.

Punjab

  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Governor: V. P. Singh Badnore
  • Chief Minister: Captain Amarinder Singh

Thiruvananthapuram tops with core city plan:

    Kerala’s capital, which topped in the second round of the Smart City Challenge, will attempt to solve its core city problems using the special funding under the scheme. The area to be covered has heritage locations and business centres, including the famed Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

Top 5 Cities

  1. Thiruvananthapuram
  2. Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh
  3.  Rajkot
  4. Amravati in Andhra Pradesh
  5. Patna

Kerala

  • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
  • Governor: P. Sathasivam

Centre launches Liveability Index to measure quality of life in 116 cities:

The central government launched the “City Liveability Index” – a first of its kind initiative introduced by the Urban Development Ministry venkaiah  Naidu – to measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including capital cities and those with a population over one million.

Top 5 states

1) Andhra Pradesh (96.06 per cent)

2) Odisha (95.38 per cent)

3) Jharkhand (91.98 per cent)

4) Chhattisgarh (91.37 per cent)

5) Madhya Pradesh (90.20 per cent)


Maharashtra government to launch ‘My Plant’ mobile app on tree plantation:

Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar announced that a mobile app named ‘My Plant’, which would help in recording data about tree plantations in the state, would be launched on July 1.

Using this app, people and organisations can feed the data about the saplings they have planted with the forest department, which would help it in creating a database of trees.

Maharashtra

  • Capital: Mumbai
  • Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis
  • Governor: Vidyasagar Rao

AAI sweetens offer for operating two airports:

The Airports Authority of India has amended the bidding documents for the right to operate and manage terminal buildings at Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports to allow global private players to run the airports for 15 years.


Government launched VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad:

Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched a scheme named ‘Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty’ (VAJRA) in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India.

Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan launched the Web portal of VAJRA in New Delhi.


EDMC starts online trade licence portal:

    State BJP chief Manoj Tiwari inaugurated the online facility for issuance of general trade licence and veterinary trade licence introduced by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

Online issuance of trade licences would help reduce the scope of corruption and save time of the applicants.


Passport fees slashed for those under 8 years, above 60:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced a 10% reduction in fee for passport applicants less than 8 years of age and over 60 years at an event held on the completion of 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967.

The Minister also announced that passports would now be bilingual, that is in both Hindi and English languages. Alongside the Minister for Communication Manoj Sinha, Sushma Swaraj also unveiled a commemorative postage stamp released on completion of 50 years of Passport Act. 

Also, Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts (DOP) have agreed to utilise head post offices in the country as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for delivering passport-related services to the citizens of our country.


Piyush Goyal launched POSOCO IMD weather portal for power sector & web Portal MERIT:

    Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines launched Weather Portal for Power Sector in association with POSOCO & IMD and also launched another portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency). This has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.

  • POSOCO- Power System Operation Corporation Limited
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

CCMB to set up Atal incubator for biotech start-ups:

An incubation centre to support biotech start-ups will be set up at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. To be supported by the NITI Aayog, it will create facilities and bring in stakeholders to implement innovative ideas.

The CCMB is one of the 10 organisations identified to host Atal Incubation Centres according to Rakesh Mishra, its director. The government will release Rs.10 crore under the programme in the coming five years.


Uttarakhand HC bans state govt from buying cars, cell phones:

The Uttarakhand High Court put a ban on purchase of cars, mobile phones and other luxury items by the government citing the state government’s failure to provide basic minimum amenities to children in the state-run schools. The mandatory directions were given by the High Court on a plea by Deepak Rana.


Maharashtra: Gorewada zoo project gets final nod from govt

In Maharashtra, the Gorewada Zoo and Animal Rescue Centre Project near Nagpur city worth 540 crore rupees has got final nod from the Union Government.

The Forest Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted the final clearance for handing over the 564 hectare forest land for this purpose.


Maharashtra govt enters into agreement with Ola for skill development:

The Maharashtra government entered into an agreement with Ola, under which the cab aggregator will train 20,000 youth to become micro-entrepreneurs in the field of passenger transport in the next five years.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed the concerned departments to extend all possible help towards the initiative and present an interim report in the next 3-months.


Election Commission disqualifies Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra in paid news case:

Highly placed sources have said that the Election Commission has disqualified Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Narottam Mishra over paid news allegations.

Narottam Mishra is considered number two in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet in Madhya Pradesh. He is also the Minister for Public Relation in the Madhya Pradesh government.

Madhya Pradesh

  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Governor: Om Prakash Kohli

INTERNATIONAL

Cabinet approved the amendment of SSA between India & Netherlands:

The Cabinet approved amendment of the bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the “Country of Residence” principle into it. The decision comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Netherlands.

Netherlands

  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Currency: Euro
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte

Cabinet approved MoU between India, Portugal on governance reforms:

The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Portugal on cooperation in the field of public administration and governance reforms.

The MoU was signed between Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), and Ministry of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernisation, Government of Portuguese Republic.

Portugal

  • Prime Minister: Antonio Costa
  • Capital & Currency: Lisbon & Euro

Cabinet approved MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia:

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between the Ministry of Textiles, India and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.

Australia

    • Currency & Capital: Australian dollar & Canberra
    • Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull

Cabinet approved MoU between India & Armenia for peaceful use of outer space

The Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia.

The MoU was signed in April 2017 during Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to Armenia. The MoU would also lead to setting up of a Joint Working Group, drawing members from ISRO and the State Committee of Sciences of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.

Armenia

  • Capital & Currency: Yerevan & Armenian dram
  • Prime Minister: Karen Karapetyan

Cabinet approved MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka:

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Srilanka.

It was signed by Ministry of AYUSH of the Government of Republic of India and the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine of the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka

    • Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
    • Currency: Srilankan rupee
    • President: Maithripala Sirisena
    • Prime Minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe

NASA launches world’s smallest satellite designed by 18-year old Tamil Nadu student:

India created history after NASA launched the world’s smallest satellite, built by 18-year old Tamil Nadu student Rifath Sharook and his team.

Named as Kalamsat, after former President APJ Abdul Kalam, the tiny satellite weighs around 64 grams was flown into the space in a NASA sounding rocket from a NASA facility in Wallops Island.


India, Russia agree to roadmap for development of defence co-operation:

    India and Russia have agreed to a roadmap for the development of bilateral defence cooperation. The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training of military personnel.

The agreement was reached at the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation held in Moscow. The meeting took place was held under the Co-Chairmanship of the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the Defence Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu.

Russia

  • Russian President: Vladimir Putin.
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • Capital: Moscow

Banking & Business

World Bank, AIIB to grant $380 million to Andhra Pradesh power project:

The World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have together agreed to extend $380 million of loan to Andhra Pradesh towards helping the southern state build a reliable, quality and affordable power supply to citizens.

Out of $380 Million, World Bank signed a agreement of $240 million loan and Asian Infrastructure Investment bank signed a agreement of $140 million loan to Andhra Pradesh. The World Bank and AIIB will provide loans in a 60:40 ratio for all the components of the project that is aimed at providing 24X7 power for all.

  • AIIB Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • AIIB President: Jin Linqun (China)
  • World bank: Washington D.C, United States
  • World bank CEO: Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgarian)

M-banking now under ombudsman’s view:

    Reserve Bank of India has widened the scope of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006 by enabling a customer to lodge a complaint against the bank for non-adherance to instructions related to mobile banking and electronic banking services.
    Following the amendment, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.


To initiate Insolvency proceedings: Banks to move NCLT against Bhushan Power & Steel:

Lenders, led by Punjab National Bank, decided to initiate proceedings against Bhushan Power & Steel under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Banks will move the National Company Law Tribunal to recover their money within a month.

Bhushan Power which has a debt of over Rs 37,000 crore is controlled by Sanjay Singal, brother of Neeraj Singal who is the MD of Bhushan Steel.

Punjab National Bank

Headquarters: New Delhi

MD & CEO: Sunil Mehta


Amazon ties up with ClearTax to make e-sellers to ready for GST:

E-commerce giant Amazon has tied up with ClearTax to help sellers on their platform make a seamless transition to the GST regime and help them file their tax returns with ease.

ClearTax Biz and Cleartax Biz+ are two softwares launched by ClearTax will be available to the sellers free of cost for the first two months after sign-up. Subsequently, the software will be provided at a 30% discount for sellers registered with Amazon India.


Appointments & Resigns

Palbinder Kaur Shergill to be appointed as SC judge in Canada:

    Palbinder Kaur Shergill is the first turbaned (amritdhari) Sikh woman to be appointed judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster.

    The appointment was made with immediate effect as Justice Shergill replaces Justice EA Arnold-Bailey, who retired on May 31.

Canada

  • Currency: Canadian dollar
  • Capital: Ottawa

Bimal Gurung resigns from GTA:

    Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung appeared before the media and announced that all 43 elected members of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) tendered their resignation.


Russia bans Alexei Navalny from contesting elections Russian Opposition leader:

    Alexei Navalny, who is gearing up to run for the presidency, is ineligible to stand for office, the country’s central electoral commission announced.

A firebrand speaker and anti-corruption campaigner with a savvy grasp of social networks, Mr. Navalny declared his intention last December to stand for President. He is already mounting a campaign to gain public support for a bid.


AWARDS

Premji to get Carnegie Medal for philanthropy:


    Wipro Chairman Azim Premji is among the recipient of this year’s Carnegie Medal, considered the most prestigious prize in philanthropy, for his efforts to reform India’s public school system.

He is among the nine recipients recognised “for their outstanding and innovative leadership in philanthropy”. Carnegie Corporation said in a statement that after transforming Wipro into a leading international corporation.


Lalit Mohan Das gets Biju Patnaik Award for Scientific:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conferred the prestigious Biju Patnaik Award for Scientific Excellence to “Lalit Mohan Das” for his outstanding contribution to science and research.

The chief minister also felicitated Pradeep Kumar Chand, Swati Mohanty and Ajay Parida with Samanta Chandra Sekhar award.

In the young scientist category, Biswaranjan Paital, Samanta Mohapatra, Milan Kumar Biswal and Swarup Kumar Parida were awarded with cash prize of Rs 25,000 for their contribution in the field of science.


Intellecap CEO Nisha Dutt gets social entrepreneur of year award

Nisha Dutt, Chief Executive Officer of Hyderabad-based Intellecap has been honoured with the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award at The 7th Asian Awards in London. She is the first Indian woman leader to have been conferred with this recognition.


SPORTS

Ireland and Afghanistan become the first new Test nations in 17 years:

Afghanistan and Ireland have been approved as Full Members by the ICC, meaning they have become cricket’s 11th and 12th Test-playing nations. This was signed off on by the ICC Board in London.

Afghanistan

    • Currency: Afghan afghani
    • Capital: Kabul

Ireland

  • Currency: Euro
  • Capital: Dublin

Maria Sharapova to return in July for World Team Tennis matches:

    Maria Sharapova will return to competitive tennis in July for two World Team Tennis matches.

Sharapova recently returned to the WTA Tour after a 15-month doping ban. She is skipping Wimbledon because of an injured left thigh that prevented her from competing in qualifiers.


Balaji and Vishnu bag doubles honours:

    Balaji and Vishnu bag doubles honours. Eighth seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost his way from a commanding position and was beaten Edan Leshem in the quarterfinals of the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Fergana.


Wrestler Kavita Devi becomes first Indian woman wrestler to compete in WWE:

Former Indian Power lifter and South Asian Games gold medal winner, Kavita Devi will be making history as she becomes the first Indian woman to appear in WWE.

Kavita has been selected to compete in the Mae Young Classic which is the first-ever WWE tournament for women.


Kuldeep 1st male Chinaman bowler to represent India in ODIs:

Kuldeep Yadav became the first male Chinaman bowler to represent India in ODIs, making his debut in the first ODI against West Indies.

Yadav, who made his Test debut against Australia in March this year, is the 217th ODI cricketer to represent India.


OBITUARY

Sri Lankan economist Saman Kelegama dies:


    Leading Sri Lankan economist Saman Kelegama, who was highly regarded in South Asian policy circles, passed away in Thailand. He was 58.