Current Affairs December 21, 2017


Financial Inclusion Project DARPAN in Rural Population

The Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN – “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India”. It will offer core banking services in rural areas.

The aim of the Project is to improve the quality of service, add value to services and achieve “financial inclusion” of unbanked rural population.

The goal of the IT modernization project with an outlay of Rs. 1400 Crore is to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM). 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states.

Punjab CM launches PUDA-UCIC app to check illegal construction

Punjab Chief Minister ‘Amarinder Singh’ has launched a mobile app “PUDA-UCIC ,Unauthorised constructions and illegal colonies” to check unauthorized construction. He also unveiled a new web portal of the housing department for online issuance of change of land use.It is opened for public use in Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) region.

The app will enable quick action to stop any ongoing illegal construction, the web portal will facilitate easy land use change and help citizens track any such change.The satellite and geotagging based app will also provide the unique details of the location, enabling the officials to take quick action to stop the ongoing illegal construction and illegal colonies on the land.


Capital: Chandigarh

Chief Minister: Amarinder Singh

Governor: V P Singh Badnore

Indian Science Communication Congress held at IIMC

The 17th Indian Science Communication Congress (ISCC-2017) held at Indian Institute of Mass Communication. It aims at promoting communication of India’s scientific wisdom.

It was hosted by the IIMC and CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR).

A book, ‘Disasters-Short Stories, Essays & Anecdotes’, was also released on this occasion.

Kerala government establishes Petrochemical park in Kochi

An MoU was inked by the Kerala government and fertiliser major FACT for setting up a ₹ 1,800-crore petrochemical park in Kochi.

It will come up in 481 acres of land owned by the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by FACT Chairman and Managing Director S K Lohani and Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Power) Paul Antony on behalf of the Kerala government.

The Kerala government will facilitate funds for the project through KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board).


Capital: Thiruvananthapuram

Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan

Governor: P. Sathasivam


India ties up with Cuba on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine

India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector.

Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Dr Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda, Public Health Minister of Cuba signed the agreement. They exchange the health sector and develop institutional framework for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries.


Capital: Havana

President: Raul Castro

Currency: Cuban peso

Indian Navy conducts naval exercise with Oman Navy

Indian Naval Ships Trikand and Teg are deployed to Oman for bilateral exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ or ‘Sea Breeze’.

The 11th edition of the exercise, ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ or ‘Sea Breeze’, was held on the coast of Oman.

The Indian Navy ships along with four Royal Navy of Oman ships Al Rasikh, Khassab, Al Mubashir and Al Bushra sailed for the sea phase of the exercise.


Capital: Muscat

Prime Minister: Qaboos bin Said al Said

Currency: Rial

UK Tops the Forbes’ List of Best Countries for Business in 2018

The United Kingdom has topped Forbes’ rankings of best countries in the world for business in 2018.It is followed by New Zealand, the Netherlands,Sweden and Canada.

The list ranks 153 countries on 15 factors including property rights, innovation, taxes and red tape. India was ranked 62nd on the list.

The world’s second (China) and third (Japan) biggest economies rank 66th and 21st, respectively. Chad ranks last for the third time.

India, Switzerland inks agreement on tax information exchange

India entered into an agreement with Switzerland for automatic exchange of tax-related financial information between the two countries. It will be implemented from January 1 2018.

India will receive information on accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland automatically.The agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss Ambassador to India Andreas Baum.


Capital: Bern

President: Johann Schneider-Amman

Currency: Swiss franc

France to ban all oil and gas production from 2040

France’s parliament has approved a law banning all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within the country and its overseas territories.

The French government claims the ban is a world first.

France has also committed to ending the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040.


Capital: Paris

President: Emmanuel Macron

Currency: Euro, CFP franc


Salman Khan tops Forbes India Celebrity 100 list

Salman Khan has once again got the top spot in Forbes India Celebrity 100 list for the second consecutive year. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli took the second and third spot respectively with actor Priyanka Chopra named as only female celebrity in top 10 list.

The 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List rankings are based on estimates of entertainment-related earnings of celebrities.


SEBI Hikes FPI Investment Limit

The Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has raised the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPI) in central government securities to over 1.91 lakh crore from January 2018.

The move is part of Sebi’s effort to enhance inflow from overseas investors into the country’s capital markets.

Currently, investment limit for foreign portfolio investors is 1.89 lakh crore rupees. The move is part of an effort by SEBI to push inflow from overseas investors in the country’s capital markets.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.


Chairman: Ajay Tyagi

Headquarters: Mumbai


Justice UD Salvi Appointed Officiating Chief of National Green Tribunal

The union government appointed Justice U D Salvi as officiating chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) following the superannuation of Justice Swatanter Kumar.

He will remain in the saddle until his retirement on February 13, 2018.

The selection panel is headed by the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, with other members recommended by or from the Environment Ministry.

The National Green Tribunal has been established in the year 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests.


Birmingham to host Commonwealth Games of 2022

Birmingham, London has been named host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games were originally given to Durban in 2015, but the South African city was stripped of the event this year because of financial difficulties.

Gold Coast, Australia, will host the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.


National mathematics day – Dec 22

In India, the day ‘December 22 has been declared as the National Mathematics Day to to mark the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.


Current Affairs December 21, 2017

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