Current Affairs Updates - 5th January 2018
With a new day we have brought to you some new articles to read on. We know aspirants eagerly wait for our daily articles to go through and so today we have brought up some of the best top headlines for you all. Those of you who are going to appear for the upcoming examination of SSC should go through all the news in details while others may only go through the headlines. Here we have updated all the important current affairs updates of 4th january 2018. The important points have been marked in red and the rest have been given in bullet points.
New Appointments: National
Former Director of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been appointed as the next Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajinder Khanna, former Secretary and currently OSD (Neighbourhood Studies) (National Security Council Secretariat) as Deputy NSA,” a notification said on Tuesday.
- The position has been vacant since Arvind Gupta had stepped down after completion of his contractual term in August.
The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank signed an agreement for the training of employees of the latter in the area of payment banking.
- "After green and white revolution, a financial revolution in India is all set to transform the rural economy," Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said.
- "Under the agreement, IICA has been entrusted with the key responsibility of capacity building of IPPB through training of its officials/employees besides providing research support by instituting Research Chairs in the emerging area of payment banking," an official statement said.
A bill to increase authorised capital of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) by six times to Rs30,000 crore and enable exit of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was passed by Parliament after the government assured that there is no plan to have private holding in it.
- The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017, was passed on Tuesday by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in August, 2017.
New notes of the denomination of Rs 10 will soon be rolled out in India, and they will have chocolate brown colour as the base! The notes will also bear an image of the Konark Sun Temple.
- This design was approved by the government last week, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already printed around 1 billion pieces of this new note.
State Bank of India has joined hands with National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (Nabard) to grow its priority lending book as the country's largest lender plans to raise its stake with small and medium farmers, a majority of whom do not enjoy the access of bank loans.
- The loans under this agreement will be given to small homogeneous groups of farmers carrying joint liability to repay. Lending to joint liability groups (JLGs), pioneered by Nobel winner Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh and implemented in India by microfinance companies such as Bharat Financial Inclusion.
The NABARD has sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore loan assistance under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) to Odisha towards irrigation and rural bridge projects for the last quarter of this fiscal.
- A total number of 17,322 lift irrigation projects including bore wells, shallow tube wells, digging wells, micro river lifts shall be taken up with Rs 130.17 crore from the assistance.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Surendra Patwa said that the state government would introduce a scheme worth Rs. 100 crore to ensure better facilities for the tourists visiting the state.
- "Religious tourism is increasing in the state and the chief minister has said that we will make a scheme worth almost Rs. 100 crore to ensure better facilities for visitors. In the coming time, we will be providing more and more facility to the pilgrims coming to Madhya Pradesh," Patwa told ANI.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will embark on a five-day visit to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore on Thursday to boost India's ties with the three key Southeast Asian nations in the strategic domain as well as in the areas of trade and investment.
- It said ways to enhance India's engagement with ASEAN countries will also be another aspect of the visit.
- Thailand will assume the role of coordinator country for India-ASEAN relations in the middle of 2018.
Arun Jaitley notifies electoral bonds for political donations.
- Electoral bonds will allow donors to remain anonymous and pay political parties using banks as intermediaries.
- Electoral bonds would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a promissory note and an interest-free banking instrument,” the Minister said in the Lok Sabha. “A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond.”
Haryana makes solar power plants mandatory for new buildings
- All new residential buildings built on a plot size of 500 square yards and above falling within limit of municipalities, including Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) sectors, would have to install Solar Photovoltaic Power plant with a capacity of minimum 1 kilo watt in the houses which have sanctioned load up to 20 KW.
The Union Cabinet approved the construction of Asia's longest bi-directional Zojila Pass tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,089 crore, which will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours.
- Zojila tunnel will be the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. (Its) construction period (will be) seven years because of a very difficult terrain where in some areas temperature dips to minus 45 degree celsius. The tunnel shall be a engineering marvel as first of its kind in such a geographical area.
Cabinet approves revised Model Concession Agreement for PPP Projects in Major Ports.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved amendments in the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) to make the Port Projects more investor-friendly and make investment climate in the Sector more attractive.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today launched a free CT Scan service under the 'Chief Minister Free Diagnostic Services' programme at the Shri Shri Pitambar Dev Goswami Civil Hospital in Majuli island.
- Majuli is world's largest river island. It is also the home constituency of Sarbananda Sonowal.
- Stating that the state government has taken up several new schemes to ensure quality health care service in the government health institutions, Mr Sonowal urged the people to take the benefit of schemes like Atal Amrit Yojana, CM Free Diagnostic Scheme, etc.
Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
- One after the other, ambassadors representing the council’s six new member countries - five men and a woman, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka - placed their flag among those of the body’s nine other members. The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Schemes / Programme
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has given its approval for establishment of new AIIMS in Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
- The cost of the project is Rs.1351 crore. The new AIIMS will be completed in a period of 48 months with a pre-construction phase of 12 months, construction phase of 30 months and stabilization / commissioning phase of 6 months.
The Union Cabinet approved an agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing which the government said would enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries.
- The agreement will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries, a statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have vowed to strengthen Indo-Russia strategic ties.
- During a telephone conversation yesterday, the two leaders discussed the intensification of the bilateral relations between India and Russia and their cooperation in the international forums.
- A release from the Indian Embassy in Moscow said, both leaders agreed to further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on cooperation in the oil and gas sector.
- The signing of the MoU assumes importance as it comes close on the heels of Israel's announcement of granting oil exploration license to a consortium led by ONGC Videsh (OVL) with Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil and Oil India as other partners.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Belgium on Cooperation in the field of Information Communication Technology and Electronics (ICT&E)
- The MoU was signed during the State Visit of King Philippe of the Belgium to India on November 7 last year.
- The MoU intends cooperation between India and Belgium, including sharing of best practices in the area of ICT&E policy;
- Digital agenda technology and research with special emphasis on developing ICT&E manufacturing and services; e-Governance and e-Public Service Delivery, participation in conferences, study visits and exchange of experts, cyber security and to resolve issues of data adequacy, market access, trade and services.
India and Myanmar today signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to further strengthen their multifaceted partnership.
- The MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
- India and Myanmar signed an MoU to strengthen maritime security cooperation. The two sides also signed an agreement for sharing white shipping information to improve data sharing on non-classified merchant navy ships or cargo ships.