Current Affairs Updates - 30 Nov and 1 Dec 2017
New Appointments: National
Badri Narain Sharma has been appointed the first chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), the body set up under the goods and services tax (GST) to ensure that the benefits of lower taxes under the new regime are shared with consumers.
- The Union cabinet last week cleared the setting up of the NAA, which will have a two-year tenure that can be extended by the GST Council.
- The tenure of the authority will begin the day Sharma assumes charge. Prior to the revenue department, Sharma was additional secretary in the power ministry and before that in the Commercial Taxes Department in Rajasthan.
The Ministry of Finance on Monday appointed former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das as India’s G20 Sherpa till December 31, 2018 for the Development Track of the grouping.
A new Payments Bank 'Paytm Payments Bank' was formally launched at the hands of the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
- Speaking at the launch event, Jaitley said that a new chapter in history has been written with the launch of this new Payments Bank. "This expands the horizon of financial inclusion in the country", Jaitley said. Almost everyday some such initiative is being undertaken and leading to greater normalisation of the economy, Jaitley said.
The West Bengal government has negotiated with the World Bank to avail subsidy to buy 130 electric buses for plying in Kolkata, Asansol and Durgapur.
- The World Bank has agreed to provide a subsidy of Rs seven lakh per bus, Adhikari said during the question hour. While 100 buses would ply in Kolkata, the remaining 30 have been earmarked for industrial towns of Durgapur and Asansol.
Karnataka Bank has partnered with the Boston Consulting Group (India) Pvt Ltd and the transformation project -- ‘KBL Vikaas’ -- was launched in Mangaluru.
- A press release said here that the project is aimed at total transformation of the bank by re-positioning it as a ‘relevant and significant bank’ by focusing on technology and by keeping intact its core values and identity.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) was recognised as a national body by the Indian Olympic Association, which removed the terminated Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) as its affiliate.
- "The Olympic Charter clearly says that the sporting federation must be recognised by the international body. So they just followed that. the BFI has been recognised by the AIBA. Therefore the IOA has ratified the Olympic charter. It was a unanimous decision," BFI president Ajay Singh said on the sidelines of an IOA meeting.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled the logo and mascot for the Hockey Men's World Cup 2018 at Kalinga Stadium .
- Stating that Odisha is fast becoming a sporting destination of India, Patnaik said the state had successfully hosted the Asian Athletics Championships a few months ago. The Chief Minister also launched the countdown timer for the international event scheduled to be held here from November 28 to December 16, 2018.
Amazon India, in collaboration with hardware accelerator HAX and crowd-funding community Kickstarter, has announced a startup challenge 'Startup C-Cube'.
- The multi-level challenge to be held in Bengaluru on December 5 gives entrepreneurs a chance to turn their ideas into 'real business opportunities'. The challenge will mark the first anniversary of Amazon India's startup initiative 'Launchpad'.
- The challenge is aimed at attracting the best Indian startups to propose disruptive solutions to tackle complex challenges in the areas of autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IOT and automation, analytics, AI and machine learning (ML), a Boeing said in a statement here.
Victoria becomes the first Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying or Euthanasia.
- After more than 100 hours of debate across both houses of Parliament and two demanding all-night sittings, Lower House MPs ratified the Andrews Government's amended bill. The bill will now go to the Governor for royal assent.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been stripped of the "Freedom of Oxford" award by the city's council, over her failure to speak out on abuses against Myanmar's Rohingya.
- In a unanimous decision on Monday evening, Oxford City Council voted to strip the Burmese State Counsellor of the award she received in 1997 and collected personally in 2012, after 15 years under house arrest.
Defence & Railway
The Defence Ministry approved procurement of 260 naval communication sets at a cost of Rs 490 crore to ramp up surveillance on the high seas.
- It will be the first batch of indigenously designed and developed "software defined" radio sets, they said, adding the gadgets will improve information sharing through secure voice communications and data transfer on board the naval ships.
Application / Portal
Madhya Pradesh becomes first state in the country to adopt 'Panch Parmeshwar' portal and app system for making panchayat’s functioning more transparent easy and reliable.
- Inaugurating the Panch Parmeshwar portal and Panch Parmeshwar App, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargav said that Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country to adopt this system in which all acts and dealings of the gram panchayats will be displayed on public domain.
Schemes / Programme
Manipur welcomes ‘SAUBHAGYA’ scheme with an aim to transform the lives, especially poorest of the poor by providing power supply to every household of the country.
- Saubhagya scheme would provide power supply to the remaining un-electrified household to achieve universal household electrification in the country.
- Launching the scheme, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh revealed that Manipur has been doing well in terms of power generation because of new initiatives taken by the government.
A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) with Airbnb to Upskill Hospitality Entrepreneurs.
- The MoU will provide hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said, “We believe that this partnership will help to augment Skill India Mission by bringing in global best practices for the training of small hospitality entrepreneurs."
India and Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector.
- The objective of this MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two countries in the field of health by pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources with the ultimate goal of upgrading the quality and reach of human, material and infrastructural resources involved in health care, medical education & training, and research in both countries.
India and United Kingdom will soon sign an MoU in the urban transport sector for cooperation in policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation.
- The draft MoU seeks to facilitate cooperation in the transport sector and enable the sharing of expertize and latest technology to promote efficient mobility solutions. It is also expected to usher in policy reforms that can transform the transport sector through improved customer service/data analysis and better use of IT systems.
Russia will assist India to set up a national crisis management centre in the country to handle disaster and other emergency situations.
- Both sides agreed that EMERCOM of Russia would cooperate with India in the establishment of the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) in India, an official statement said.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
Mumbai is going to host the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for Documentary, Short and Animation films from 28th January to 3rd February 2018 at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai.
- The Organizing Committee of MIFF is headed by the Secretary, I&B and consists of eminent film personalities, documentary makers and film critics.
- The Award money for the Lifetime Achievement award has also been doubled to Rs 1 million. All together cash awards of Rs 5.8 million will be given away during MIFF 2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 15th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Theme: ‘The Irreversible Rise of India’,
- The highlight of the event will be the presence of former US President Barack Obama, who will share his views on India’s ascent in the global sphere.
- Afghanistan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, who is also attending the event appreciated India’s support to Afghanistan.
The High-Level Inter-Governmental Mid-Point review meeting organised by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in cooperation with China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF) of Asia and Pacific Decade for Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022 was held in Beijing, China.
- A number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region had participated in it while the Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Thawaarchand Gehlot.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had launched India Hypertension Management Initiative (IHMI) aimed to reduce disability and death related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death in India.
- It also aims to strengthen CVD component of Health Ministry’s National Program for Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).
The first edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was kicked off in Jaipur .
- INSPIRE 2017 is an International Conference that brings together various stakeholders such as policy makers, innovators, financiers, influencers to showcase best practices in the sector. It provides a platform for energy efficiency community to discuss energy efficiency policies, market transformation strategies, emerging technologies, delivery and business-model driven transformations.
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, conferred the 3rd ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award on Professor Hiroshi Marui of Japan at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- The President said that Indian culture and its many attributes have evolved over centuries. The depth of time has given it a unique strength and character. It is integral and holistic, synthetic and accommodating. That is why it could survive the onslaughts of time and transcend the limits of space.
Awards & Honours
Robin Campillo's French film '120 Beats Per Minute', which deals with the subject of AIDS, won the Golden Peacock Award for best film at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
- The film's actor Nahuel Perez Biscayart won the Silver Peacock in the Best Actor (male) category. Meanwhile, Malayalam film 'Take Off' won two Silver Peacocks at the event.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Mirabai Chanu became only the second Indian (after Karnam Malleswari) to win the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, USA.
- Since last year’s mediocre performance at the Rio Olympics, the 23-year-old from Imphal put in a lot of effort to improve her overall strength and is deservedly reaping the benefits.
Abhishek Verma won a gold medal and Jyothi Surekha Vennam a bronze medal at the Asian Archery Championship.
- The duo, on Tuesday, had clinched a silver medal in the compound mixed team event. It defeated Iran 157-151 in the quarterfinals. The compound women’s team of Jyothi Surekha, Parveena and Trsiha scored 2089/2160 and stood second in the ranking round.