Current Affairs Daily Updates: 03 January 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 03 January 2017
1. India to purchase 240 bombs,131 Barak Missiles to strengthen its Defence
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi led central government right from the day one of its rules taken various initiatives, decisions that have anonymously strengthened our country’s defense sector.
  • Notably, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared two procurement proposals in a bid to strengthen armed forces.
  • The first proposal was related to procurement of 240 bombs, at a cost of Rs. 1254 cr. from M/s JSC Rosonboron Exports, Russia.
  • These bombs fall under the category of Precision Guided Munitions, are used by Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • This procurement will address the deficiency of Precision Guided Munitions in the IAF arsenal, besides enhancing the offensive capabilities of the IAF.
2. Eastern Railway arranges special trains for Ganga Sagar Mela
  • The Hindus from all over the world reach the confluence of the Ganges at Sagar Sangam situated in southern part of West Bengal in India during Gangasagar Mela.
  • It is often said that one visit to Gangasagar is worth lifetime.
  • To control the rush of pilgrimages to Gangasagar, Eastern Railway announced 13 special trains.
  • The island of Gangasagar is among the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places in the country.
  • Each year on Makar Sankranti (mid-January), the large number of devotees from all over the nation, congregate at Gangasagar for a sacred dip at the convergence of the river Ganga and the Bay of Bengal.
  • After the sacred dip, the pilgrims offer 'Puja' at the Kapil Muni Temple or Ashram.
3. India exempts biometric enrolment for cruise tourists arriving with e-visa aims to boost tourism
  • India an attractive cruise tourist destination the central government has exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for a period of three years i.e. till 31.12.2020.
  • The decision was taken by Ministry of Home Affairs on request of the Ministry of Shipping.
  • This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.
  • This is also an important factor that helps cruise lines decide whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary.
4. Former RAW chief Rajinder Khanna appointed deputy NSA
  • Former chief of the country's external intelligence agency RAW, Rajinder Khanna (1978- batch Research and Analysis Wing Service (RAS) officer) has been appointed as the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
  • Mr. Khanna is at present Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat.
  • Rajinder Khanna has supervised several counter-terrorism operations and is considered an expert on Pakistan and Islamic terrorism.
5. Pakistan State Bank Allows use of Chinese Currency Yuan for Bilateral Trade & Investment Activities
  • Pakistan allowed Chinese currency Yuan for exports and financing transactions.
  • According to Pakistan, external affairs ministry, both public and private sector enterprises of Pakistan and China are free to choose Yuan for bilateral trade and investment activities.
  • As per current foreign exchange regulations, Chinese Yuan is an approved foreign currency for denominating foreign currency transactions in Pakistan.
6. JNPT wins “Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year” award
  • India’s Premier Container Port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has won the “Samudra Manthan - Caring Organisation of the Year” award.
  • The port is fully committed to the welfare of its employees and their families.
  • JNPT provides excellent facilities to their staff like medical insurance, a residential township with school, transport service, canteens, restrooms, recreation, sports activities and regular training programs on various key topics.
  • The award instituted by Bhandarkar Shipping aims to fuel healthy competition in the maritime sector.
7. G Sathiyan Becomes Indias Highest-Ranked Player in Latest ITTF Rankings
  • G Sathiyan becomes India’s highest-ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.
  • He surpasses his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal.
  • The current ranking of Sathiyan is 49, pushing Kamal to the second spot at 51.
  • As for the women, Manika Batra is topping the world chart among Indians at 62th.

8. Parliament passes NABARD (Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • Parliament has passed the (NABARD)National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with the Rajya Sabha approving it.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
  • The Bill allows the union govt. to increase the authorized capital of the Bank from Rs. 5,000 crores to Rs. 30,000 crores.
  • The capital can be increased further by the government in consultation with the RBI.
9. Finance Ministry to close subscription of 8% Govt Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003
  • The finance ministry has closed subscription of 8% Government Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003.
  • In 2003, the government came out with bonds for a fixed tenure of 6 years offering 8% interest to encourage retail investors to invest.
  • The decision to discontinue the bond comes in the backdrop of declining interest rate in other saving instruments, especially the Post Office small saving schemes.
  • Earlier, the finance ministry had reduced interest rate on various small saving schemes by 0.2%.
10. One Hundred Seventy First Araadhanai Music Festival Begins in Tamil Nadu
  • The 171st Aradhana Music Festival of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music Saint Thyagaraja begins in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu.
  • The festival was inaugurated by Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
  • The main function of the festival is the choral singing of Thyagaraja’s five kritis in Ghana ragas.
  • Over 1,000 musicians from all over the world are expected to pay homage to Saint Thyagaraja during the course of the five-day festival.
11. Reserve Bank of India Bonds Scheme Being Replaced by 7.75% Savings Bonds Scheme
  • According to the Finance Ministry, RBI Bonds Scheme closed but the interest rate on such papers lowered to 7.75 percent.
  • The 8 percent Savings Bonds Scheme, also known as RBI Bonds Scheme, is not being closed but is being replaced by 7.75 percent Savings Bonds Scheme.
  • These taxable bonds are meant for individual other than Non-Resident Indians with no maximum limit for investment.
12. Karnataka to Hold Largest B2B Travel Event in the Country
  • The Karnataka government announced that 'Karnataka International Travel Expo' (KITE) will be held from February 28, billing it as the "largest" B2B travel event in the country.
  • The three-day event will see close to 400 delegates from 25 countries take part.
  • The main aim is to project Karnataka globally and attract tourist footfall with emphasis on promoting the state's wildlife, luxury and adventure destinations, historical monuments and UNESCO world heritage sites.
13. Health Secretary launches the Allied Health Professionals Database Portal
  • Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare launched the Allied and Healthcare Professionals’ database portal. The ministry aims to ensure better systems and frameworks for the healthcare workforce of the country
  • The link to the website portal is More than 3000 professionals have already registered on the portal during the testing phase.
  • The portal will help the Government in tracking down the number of professionals and streams of allied and healthcare professions in the country.
14. India’s GDP growth at 6.5% in FY18: HSBC
  • India’s growth rate is expected to accelerate in 2018 and it will improve further to 7.6 per cent by 2019-20 as key sectors would regain from disruptions related to the implementation of GST and demonetisation.
  • HSBC expects India’s’ growth at around 6.5 percent in 2017-18, 7.0 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.6 in 2019-20, respectively.
  • HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational banking and financial services holding company.
15. Centre Unveiled Contours of ‘Electoral Bonds’ Scheme
  • The Centre unveiled the contours of the ‘Electoral Bonds’ scheme, which seeks to ensure the flow of clean money to political parties, without revealing the donors’ names.
  • As per the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the electoral bonds will be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument. A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond from specified branches of the State Bank of India.
  • The bonds can be purchased for any value in multiples of Rs1,000; Rs10,000; Rs1 lakh; Rs10 lakh; and Rs1 crore.