Current Affairs Daily Updates: 04 and 05 January 2018

Mentor for Bank Exams
Current Affairs Daily Updates: 04 and 05 January 2018
1. NABARD sanctions Rs. 10,000 Crores loan for Odishas agriculture and rural infrastructural development
  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 10,000 Crores to Odisha.
  • Assistance has also been given by the NABARD for the creation of rural infrastructures such as roads and bridges, lift irrigation projects, rural piped drinking water project, warehousing, and irrigation structures.
  • Under Long-Term Refinance scheme of the NABARD, banks in Odisha have availed credit support of Rs 624 Crores which have facilitated the creation of private sector farm assets.
  • For infrastructure creation, the bank extended financial support to the tune of Rs 2118 Crores.
2. GAIL Commissions India's Second-Largest Rooftop Solar Plant in Uttar Pradesh
  • State-owned gas utility GAIL India Limited commissioned the country's second-largest rooftop solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The firm has installed a 5.76 MWp (Mega Watt peak) solar plant at its petrochemical complex at Pata in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The plant over the roofs of warehouses covers a total area of 65,000 square meters.
3. Six Countries to enter UN Security Council
  • 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 to make a difference.
  • 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.
  • The six countries who left the UN Security Council recently are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.
4. India and Myanmar Land Border Crossing Agreement approved
  • The Union Cabinet approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing.
  • The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people of both countries.
  • It 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.
  • The Agreement is an enabling arrangement for movement of people across India-Myanmar border.
5. Central Government 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.
  • The bonds will not carry the name of the payee and will be valid only for 15 days during which it can be used to make a donation only to certain political parties.
6. Union Cabinet approves establishment of new AIIMS at Bilaspur
  • The Union Cabinet approved the establishment of new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
  • The new AIIMS will be completed in a period of 48 months. It will consist of a hospital with a capacity of 750 beds and trauma center facilities.
  • It will also have a Medical college with an intake of 100 MBBS students per year.
  • Under this scheme, AIIMS have been established in Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Rishikesh and Patna (Bihar) while work of AIIMS Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh) is in progress.
7. India and Israel signed MoU on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector
  • The Union Cabinet approved the signing of MoU between India and Israel on cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector.
  • The cooperation envisaged under the agreement will facilitate promotion of investments in each other’s countries, technology transfer, R&D, conducting joint studies, capacity building of human resources and collaboration in the area of Start-ups.
8. Rajinder Khanna appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser
  • Rajinder Khanna was appointed the deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
  • He was the former chief of the country’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
  • He headed the RAW for a fixed two-year period. Mr Khanna is at present officer on special duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat.
9. IICA, IPPB Sign MoU to Provide Training on Payment Banking
  • The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) signed an agreement for the training of employees of the latter in the area of payment banking.
  • 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.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) operationalized its first desktop ATM in Telangana.

10. Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank Introduces Desktop ATMs in Rural India
  • The mini-ATM within the branch premises will facilitate customers to withdraw small amounts.
  • At the same time, regular bank account holders can withdraw money and do other banking activities. With these ATMs, there will be no need for separate ATM rooms, so there is no security issue.
  • This initiative is the biggest under the SBI and among the best regional rural banks (RRBs).
11. NABARD Sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore to Odisha
  • The NABARD 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.
  • NABARD has also sanctioned 14 Rural Bridge Projects under Biju Setu Yojana with RIDF loan assistance of Rs 242.34 crore.
12. Namami Gange Projects Worth Rs. 295 crore Approved by NMCG
  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) approved five projects worth Rs. 295.01 crore.
  • Three projects pertain to sewage management in West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 278.6 crore, one relates to sewage management in Uttarakhand at an estimated cost of Rs 4.68 crore and one project worth Rs 11.73 crore is related to that improvement works in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
13. Health Ministry and Tata Memorial Centre Launches India's First Digital Online Oncology Tutorial
  • Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) launched the country’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by the Tata Memorial Center in collaboration with the Health Ministry.
  • The oncology tutorial series aims to train the doctors across the country to educate them in early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers.
14. CCEA approves extension of norms for mandatory package in jute Materials
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved an extension of mandatory packaging norms of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for Jute Year 17 - 18.
  • The mandatory extension was approved under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. The approval mandates that 90% of food grains and 20% of sugar.
15. World's Biggest Cleanliness Survey 'Swachh Sarvekshan 2018' Launched
  • The world's biggest cleanliness survey 'Swachh Sarvekshan Survey 2018' was launched in India by PM Narendra Modi.
  • It will be conducted from the 4th of January to 10th of March. The survey will evaluate achievements in cleanliness level of urban areas.
  • The cleanliness survey was launched in 2016 as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The main objective of Swachh Survekshan is to encourage large-scale citizen participation and create awareness towards making towns and cities a cleaner and better place to live in.
16. India Excludes Pakistan from a SAARC Initiative
  • India excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-the-art National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities.
  • The government has kicked off the process of appointing a telecom company that will connect and extend the NKN to research and education networks in six South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation member states — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
17. Defence Ministry clears Rs.2420 Crore worth contracts for Navy, Army
  • The Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved procurement of P-8I Training Solution for Indian Navy and Low-Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for Indian Army at a total cost of Rs 2419.32 crore.
  • These contract proposals were earlier cleared by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and now final approval has now been given by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • This system will be procured from Bharat Electronics Limited for Rs. 470 crore. It will equip Indian Army with upgraded communications infrastructure.
18. Goa to Host 3rd Edition of Science Film Festival
  • Goa will be hosting the third edition of the Science Film Festival of India in January 2018.
  • The festival, titled SCI-FFI Goa, is being organized by the state-based Vidnyan Parishad, Goa Department of Science and Technology.
  • The competition aims to boost the culture of science films, all the films submitted should be related to science and technology.
19. Meghalaya signs host city contract for 39th National Games in 2022
  • Meghalaya signed the Host City Contract with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for hosting the 39th National Games in 2022.
  • The tripartite contract was signed between the IOA, the Meghalaya State Olympic Association, and the state government.
  • Meghalaya had made the bid to host the 39th National Games after successfully co-hosting the South Asian Games in 2017.
20. BSF launches Operation Alert on JK International Border to curb infiltration
  • The Border Security Force (BSF) immediately after destroying 2 Pakistani posts in retaliation to unprovoked firing from Pakistani Rangers, launched "Operation Alert" along the over 200 kilometers long International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to curb the infiltration from across the border.
  • The was followed by automatic weapon fire. After getting intimation the neighboring mounts retaliated back and a solid response was given by the BSF in which Pakistan has suffered large human and property loss.
  • The Indian forces crossed the LoC and entered in Rakhchikri area of Poonch of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and fired heavily upon the Pakistani army posts and killed three troopers of the neighboring country.
21. US lists Pakistan with ten other nations for Religious Freedom Violations
  • The United States of America placed Pakistan along with ten other nations in the list of countries designated as the worst offenders against religious liberty.
  • However, Pakistan was placed on a Special Watch List, which is a new category below that of Countries of Particular Concern.
  • He unveiled its list of countries designated as the worst offenders against religious liberty that includes Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • These countries were labeled as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) in the State Department’s report which has been remained unchanged.