Current Affairs December 30, 2017


Nirmala Sitharaman Launches Start-up Incubation Centre in Mangalore

Nirmala Sitharaman has launched a start-up incubation centre called the Centre for Entrepreneurship Opportunities and Learning (CEOL) in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

The centre will help to promote Startup India initiative in the country. This is part of the project ‘Startup Coast’ under which it is proposed to establish innovation centres, incubation set-up, tinkering labs and co-working space for startups on the west coast in Karnataka.

She has allocated Rs. 1.5 crore from her MPLAD (Member of Parliament’s Local Area Development) scheme for the development of CEOL. She represents Karnataka as an MP in the Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha passes triple talaq bill

Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which seeks to ban instant triple talaq. Under the law, instant triple talaq in any form, spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp would be illegal and void. Now, It will lead to imprisonment of up to three years and fine.

The government maintained that 10 Islamic countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia and Malaysia, have banned instant talaq.

Centre approves ₹4,066 crore for internet in all panchayats: Manoj Sinha

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has announced that under BharatNet project, the government has approved ₹4,066 crore for providing internet connectivity to people in all gram panchayats. The government plans to connect all GPs with high-speed broadband by March 2019.

In the Phase-I of the project, 1 lakh GPs are expected to be connected on 100 Mbps (megabit per second) speed.

Bharat Net Project is the new brand name of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN). It was launched in October, 2011 to provide broadband connectivity to all 2.5 Lakh Gram Panchayats.

Indian History Congress begins at Jadavpur University in Kolkata

The 78th session of the Indian History Congress begins at the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata. A lifetime achievement award was conferred to Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and it is handed over by Habib. The Congress have six sections: Ancient India, Medieval India, Modern India, Countries Other than India, Archaeology and Contemporary India.

The aim of conducting Indian History Congress is for promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian History, holding Congresses and publishing of the proceedings, bulletins, memoirs, journals and other works.  

 GAIL awards major contracts for Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga

State-run gas utility GAIL has placed orders for 400-km of pipeline of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline project that will take the fuel to eastern India.

Line pipe orders for about 400-km is from Dobhi in Bihar to Durgapur in West Bengal.

The prestigious 2,655 km long JHBDPL project, also known as the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’ project will originate at Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh will pass through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand,West Bengal and Odisha.

The project will cost Rs 12,940 crore and is targeted to be completed by 2019.

ISRO set to launch 31 satellites in single mission

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced to launch 31 satellites in a single mission. The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.

PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.The mission would be a combination of 28 nanosatellites from foreign countries, including Finland, US and one micro and nanosatellite from India along with one Cartosat satellite.

The mission will be the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H. PSLV-C37 launched the first Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites in a single flight in February 2017.


Headquarters: Bengaluru

Chairman: A. S. Kiran Kumar


Bank of Baroda enters into an MoU with PORTI Agri Services Pvt Ltd

The Bank of Baroda has signed an MoU with POORTI Agri Services Pvt. Ltd to provide end-end solution to farmers. It enables the farmers to purchase agricultural inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, seeds etc. They will work jointly to provide digital platform for farmers to buy agri products online through Payment gateway of the bank.

This is the Platform for Online Ordering & Rural Transformation of India known as “POORTI”.

Mr G.B.Bhuyan, Head- Rural & Agri Banking and CSR exchanged MOU with Mr. N. Balasubramanian, Founder Director, Poorti Agri Services Pvt. Limited.   

Bank of Baroda

Headquarters: Vadodara

CEO: P. S. Jayakumara

Tagline: India’s International Bank

Government Cuts Small Savings Interest rates by 20 bps

The government slashed interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, by 0.2 percentage points for the January-March period.However, the interest rate in the five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been retained at 8.3 percent. The interest on the scheme is paid quarterly.

The schemes include National Savings Certificate, Sukanya Samriddhi Account, Kisan Vikas Patra and Public Provident Fund (PPF). However, the interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4 percent annually.

After the interest rate cut, PPF and NSC will fetch a lower annual rate of 7.6 percent while KVP will yield 7.3 percent and mature in 11 months. The girl child savings scheme Sukanya Samriddhi Account will offer 8.1 percent from existing 8.3 percent annually.

India Ranks 5th in the List of Countries with Highest NPA Levels

India has the highest level of non-performing assets (NPA) among BRICS countries and is ranked fifth on the list of countries, which is provided by CARE Ratings.

The only countries ranked higher than India on the list are Greece, Italy, Portugal, Ireland. These countries including Spain are referred to as PIIGS.

At 9.85 percent, India’s NPA ratio is over 400 basis points higher. Spain is the only PIIGS country ranked lower than India on the list, with an NPA ratio of 5.28 percent.

US KKR Gets RBI Nod to Start India’s 1st Foreign-Owned ARC

US buyout giant KKR & Co has become the first foreign investor to fully own an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India as it received approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

India’s banks are weighed down with $180 billion of stressed assets.KKR co-founder Henry Kravis announced that they plan to set up a separate managed company to put bad loans and bring in expertise to revive the asset.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts(KKR) is a global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, headquartered in New York City.


Cristiano Ronaldo named Globe Soccer’s Best Player  

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Globe Soccer’s Best Player for the second year in a row and the fourth time overall.

He also won his fifth Ballon d’Or, the UEFA Best Player in Europe and FIFA’s The Best Award this year(2017).

Real was named best club of the year and Zinedine Zidane was best coach. The other awards include, Francesco Totti and Carles Puyol received player career awards, China’s Coach Marcello Lippi was handed a coaching career award, Spain’s La Liga was best league of the year, and Jorge Mendes named best agent.

Jitu Rai wins Men’s 50m pistol national title

In Shooting, ace Indian marksman Jitu Rai won the Men’s 50-metre pistol national title at the 61st National Shooting Championships in Thiruvananthapuram. Jitu’s army teammate Jai Singh secured bronze with an effort of 198.4.

Rai’s score of 233 was a new record in the finals of the event. Rai also won the team gold in the event combining with Jai and Omprakash Mitherwal for a total of 1658. Punjab won bronze with 1624 points.

Arjun Singh Cheema of Punjab won the junior men’s 50-metre pistol event.


Mystery writer Sue Grafton passed away

Sue Taylor Grafton, an American author of detective novels passed away. She penned best-selling novels with alphabet-based titles, starting with “A Is for Alibi” and ending with “Y Is for Yesterday.”

“Z Is for Zero” was tentatively scheduled to come out in 2019.