Current Affairs Updates - 3rd January 2018
Today we have provided all the important headlines of current affairs for 3rd january 2018. The rest of the news have been given in bullet points for national, international, appointments and economic affairs. Aspirants please keep following the updates regularly along with practising daily quizzes. You should also go through the onle liner notes provided at the end of the day.
New Appointments: National
Senior diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale was appointed foreign secretary for a two-year fixed term, succeeding S Jaishankar who completes his tenure on January 28
National vice-president of the BJP, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is also member of Rajya Sabha has been appointed the President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations.
- He will replace Lokesh Chandra, who was a scholar and thinker, and had been appointed by the NDA government in October 2014 and has completed his three-year-term.
Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS), has assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL).
- He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS. IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development.
State Bank of India announced a 30-basis-point cut in old lending rate benchmarks — Base Rate and Benchmark Prime Lending Rate — in a bid to bring new year cheer to customers whose loans are still linked to these benchmarks.
- In terms of regulatory requirements, all rupee loans sanctioned by banks with effect from April 1, 2016 are priced with reference to the marginal cost of funds based lending rates (MCLRs). Existing borrowers have an option to switch over to interest rates linked to MCLR (other than fixed rate loans).
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 from today onwards.
- Last month, Union Cabinet approved a proposal that government will bear the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges on transactions up to Rs 2,000 made through debit cards, BHIM UPI or Aadhaar-enabled payment systems to promote digital transactions.
Arunachal Pradesh emerged as the second State in the Northeast, after Sikkim, to be declared Open Defecation Free.
- The three remaining districts - Upper Subansiri, Siang and Changlang -- were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) officially on Sunday, an official release said.
- Arunachal has 21 districts and the State attained the feat much before the national deadline of October 2, 2019.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das launched "Saubhagya Yojana", a programme that would provide electricity to all the states.
- Launching the "Saubhagya Yojana" here, Das said only 38 lakh households out of 68 lakh households in the state could get electricity in 67 years.
- By December 2018, the target is to provide electricity to the rest 17.64 lakh households, Das said adding people would get electricity 24x7, which would not only change the life of the people in the villages but also there would be a change in their thought, economic condition, education of their children and lift irrigation for the farmers.
The visually impaired in Odisha will get this year’s Odia calendar and almanac in the Braille format, printed and published by Computerised Braille Press in Berhampur.
- Printing of the calendar, Braille Dinapanjhika 2018, has been sponsored by the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities Department of Odisha government.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu declared 2018 as Telugu promotion year.
- He made this announcement at 29th edition of Annual Book Exhibition of Vijayawada.
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Chief Minister inaugurated the fest, which will remain open till January 11 at Swaraj Maidan.
The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha's Kendrapara district will be out of bounds for tourists for a week in view of for the annual census of estuarine crocodiles.
- The forest department has imposed a seven-day ban, starting January 3, to prevent noise pollution during the headcount operation of the reptiles, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) division, BP Acharya, said.
The Haryana tourism department disclosed that Uttar Pradesh would be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which would be organized at Surajkund, Faridabad from February 2 to 15.
- Apart from all other states, about 24 countries would also participate in it. State tourism minister Ram Bilas Sharma said while the international crafts fair had made special contribution in furthering and preserving Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage, it also provided a world-class platform for handicrafts from around the world to showcase their skills
Value Added Tax (VAT) has been introduced in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the first time.
- The 5% levy is being applied to the majority of goods and services.
- Gulf states have long attracted foreign workers with the promise of tax-free living.
- But governments want to increase revenue in the face of lower oil prices.
China has developed a new underwater surveillance network to help its submarines get a stronger lock on targets while protecting the nation’s interests along the maritime Silk Road, which includes the Indian Ocean.
- The system, which has already been launched, works by gathering information about the underwater environment, particularly water temperature and salinity, which the navy can then use to more accurately track target vessels as well as improve navigation and positioning.
California has become the largest state in the US to legalise recreational cannabis use.
- As of 1 January 2018, adults aged over 21 can possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of the drug and can grow up to six marijuana plants at home.
- Opponents say the law will lead to more driving under the influence of the drug and introduce young people to drug use.
Application / Portal
The Assamese and Manipuri language versions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Official website, www.pmindia.gov.in, was launched.
- The website can now be accessed in Assamese and Manipuri in keeping with the requests from the citizens of the two states.
- With the launch, the PMINDIA website is now available in 11 regional languages namely Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi will inaugurate an online portal "NARI" and "e-Samvad" in New Delhi.
- Developed by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, the portal will provide women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. Further to provide a platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with the Ministry of Women & Child Development, e-Samvad portal has also been developed which will be inaugurated by the WCD Minister.
India and Pakistan exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities under a three-decade old bilateral pact.
- The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, provides that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the pact on the first of January of every calendar year.
- This is the twenty seventh consecutive exchange of such a list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.
Sports: Awards & Honours
Golfer Shiv Kapur wins third Asian Tour title in Thailand.
- Delhi golfer Shiv Kapur waited almost 12 years before winning a second Asian Tour title in April, but has won two more since then, becoming the only player to win thrice on the continental tour.