Current Affairs Today – January, 6th, 2018 | Latest News and Updates

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

India-Myanmar Land Border Crossing Agreement Approved

India-Myanmar Land Border Crossing Agreement Approved

  1. The Union Cabinet on Thursday has given the approval for the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing which the government said that will give the boost to the economic interaction between people of the two countries.
  2. “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.
  3. There has been the expectation is that there will be the provide of the connectivity and enhance interaction of the people from northeastern states of India with those of Myanmar.
  4. “The agreement will safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border,” the statement read.

 

Sushma Swaraj Embarked on Tour of 3 Southeast Asian Nations

Sushma Swaraj Embarked on Tour of 3 Southeast Asian Nations

  1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday has marked the first visit of the year 2018 to three South East Asian countries – Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
  2. “EAM @SushmaSwaraj embarks on her first visit of 2018 to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. #ActEastPolicy,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
  3. “On the first leg of this visit, EAM Swaraj will be in Thailand on 4-5 January. She will hold an official meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Don Pramudwinai, who will also host a dinner in honour of EAM,” the MEA said in a statement on January 2.
  4. “The Joint Commission meeting and other engagements of the external affairs minister will enable the two countries to chart out the course of partnership during the year 2018,” the MEA said.
  5. “Persons of Indian Origins from all ASEAN countries, including ministers, eminent personalities, business and socio-political leaders are expected to participate in the event,” the MEA said.
  6. “On all three legs of her visit, the external affairs minister will share with her interlocutor’s relevant information about the forthcoming ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit which marks 25 years since the establishment of dialogue partnership between Indian and ASEAN,” the MEA said.

 

MoU between India and Israel on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector Approved

  1. The Union Cabinet that is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday has given the approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on cooperation in the oil and gas sector.
  2. The signing of the MoU has comes at some of the point of the 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.
  3. “The MoU is expected to provide impetus to India – Israel ties in the energy 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,” an official statement said.
  4. The winners in this program would get an exploration license for three years, which can be extended by additional three years if the licensee has implemented the work plan and commits to carry out drilling during the extension period. A license holder has to deposit a guarantee of $2.5 million to $10 million, depending on the work program commitments.

 

Namami Gange Projects worth Rs. 295 crore Approved by NMCG

  1. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has given the approval for the 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, in that there are one of the sewage management in Uttarakhand at an estimated cost of Rs 4.68 crore and one project worth Rs 11.73 crore is related to ghat improvement works in Varanasi.
  2. In these all the approvals, all projects related to sewage management in high pollution load towns along river Ganga have been sanctioned.
  3. In West Bengal, sewage management works in Kamarhati and Baranagar Municipalities (60 MLD STP, de-silting of sewer lines etc.) that has the cost estimated of Rs 172.10 crore under PPP-based Hybrid Annuity mode, pollution abatement works for river Ganga in Berhampore Municipality (3.5 MLD STP and sewer network) at an estimated cost of Rs 52.2 crore and sewage management works in Nabadwip Municipality (9.5 MLD STP and renovation of 10.5 MLD STP) at an estimated cost of Rs 54.3 crore have been approved.
  4. In Uttarakhand, approval was given to one project for laying of sewer lines in some of the uncovered areas in Haridwar at an estimated cost of Rs 4.68 crore.

 

Health Ministry and Tata Memorial Centre Launches India’s First Digital Online Oncology Tutorial

  1. The Union Health Ministry on Thursday has launched the nation’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series, the main aim of this tutorial was to train doctors across the country in early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers.
  2. “This is a visionary step that will leverage advances in IT to strengthen health outreach and health services in the country,” said Preeti Sudan, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (HFW).
  3. “This initiative can save many precious lives and improve quality of life of many more,” Sudan added.
  4. “This will equip them with the skills and knowledge on basics of oncology to detect, diagnose and refer cancer cases early. The online video lectures are also designed to update oncologists with the evidence based guidelines and skill for the management of cancer,” said Sudan.

KEYS:

  1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is an Indian government ministry charged with health policy in India
  2. It is also responsible for all government programs relating to family planning in India
  3. Jurisdiction: India
  4. Headquarters: A Wing, Nirman Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi – 110 011
  5. Cabinet minister: Jagat Prakash Nadda
  6. Minister of state: Anupriya Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste
  7. Programs: Central Government Health Scheme, MORE
  8. Departments: Department of AIDS Control, Department of Health Research

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Iceland becomes first country to legalise equal pay

  1. Iceland has going to introduce the one of the new legislation on New Year’s Day that imposes fines on any company or government agency with more than the 25 staff without a government certificate demonstrating pay equality.
  2. β€œThe legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations…evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally,” Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera. β€œWe have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”
  3. “Iceland is ranked as world’s most gender equal country by (the World Economic Forum) … Clearly Iceland is very serious about gender equality,” former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark wrote on Twitter.
  4. “The new law by Iceland can help change attitudes to women in business as well as in politics, and inspire other countries to do the same. Ample evidence shows that women work as much as men and are still paid less” said Virginie Le Masson, a research fellow at the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
  5. “We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

 

Rajinder Khanna Appointed Deputy National Security Adviser

  1. Former Director of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been appointed for the next Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA).
  2. β€œThe 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.
  3. This position of the Director has been placed null after the Arvind Gupta had stepped down after completion of his contractual term in August.

BANKING AND FINANCE

RBI Initiates PCA against Allahabad Bank

  1. Shares of Allahabad Bank has been get down at the level of the 2.6 per cent on Thursday as the Reserve Bank of India has started the ‘prompt corrective action’ (PCA) against Allahabad Bank over its high bad loans.
  2. High net non-performing assets (NPA) and a negative return on assets (ROA) that is for the two more years in a row have prompted the action, the state-run lender had said in a statement late on Wednesday, although it added the action would help improve its risk management, asset quality and profits.
  3. β€œThis (action) is in view of high net NPA, insufficient CET1 Capital and negative ROA for two consequent years. This action will contribute to the overall improvement in risk management, asset quality, profitability, efficiency, etc of the bank,” BoI had said.
  4. β€œβ€¦ (RBI) vide their letter dated January 2, 2018 received by the bank on date has placed the bank under prompt corrective action (PCA) framework, consequent to the onsite inspection under the risk-based supervision model carried out for the year ended March 2017 and the report issued thereof,” the bank said in a regulatory filing.

KEYS:

  1. Allahabad Bank is a nationalised bank with its headquarters in Kolkata, India
  2. It is the oldest joint stock bank in India
  3. On 24 April 2014, the bank entered into its 150th year of establishment
  4. It was founded in Allahabad in 1865
  5. Headquarters: Kolkata
  6. CEO: Usha Ananthasubramanian (6 May 2017–)
  7. Founded: 24 April 1865
  8. Capital ratio: 11.61%

 

NABARD Sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore to Odisha

  1. The NABARD has given the amount of 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.
  2. “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,” the bank said in a release here today.
  3. “This apart, NABARD has also sanctioned 14 Rural Bridge Projects under Biju Setu Yojana with RIDF loan assistance of Rs 242.34 crore which would add 6222.89 metres of bridge length, benefiting about 4.56 lakh population in 322 villages of the state,” it said.
  4. The NABARD has provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to Odisha by the end of the third quarter of the current financial year. During the previous fiscal, the total assistance was Rs 14,715 crore,” officials said.
  5. “Since inception of RIDF in 1995-96, NABARD has sanctioned cumulative financial assistance of about Rs 19,950 crore to Odisha resulting in implementation of about 2.24 lakh projects,” a bank official said.

KEYS:

  1. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is an apex development financial institution in India, headquartered at Mumbai with branches all over India
  2. Founded: 12 July 1982
  3. Headquarters: Mumbai
  4. Agency executive: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala (Chairman)
  5. Subsidiaries: Nabcons, Nabard Financial Services Limited

 

IICA, IPPB Sign MoU to Provide Training on Payment Banking

  1. The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) and India Post Payments Bank on Thursday has signed an agreement for the training of employees of the latter in the area of payment banking.
  2. “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.
  3. “After green and white revolution, a financial revolution in India is all set to transform the rural economy,” Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said.
  4. “Mobilisation of household savings – a sound pillar giving strength to Indian economy – has been facilitated by Department of Posts since long,” said A N Nanda, Secretary, Department of Posts.
  5. IPPB is a flagship “financial inclusion” initiative of the government to cover major portion of the country’s population that is outside the ambit of formal banking, it said.

Science and Technology

Health Ministry launches first Online Oncology Tutorial Series

  1. The Union Health Ministry on Thursday has launched the nation’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series, the main aim of this tutorial was to train doctors across the country in early detection, prevention, palliation, rehabilitation and treatment of various cancers.
  2. “This is a visionary step that will leverage advances in IT to strengthen health outreach and health services in the country,” said Preeti Sudan, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (HFW).
  3. “This initiative can save many precious lives and improve quality of life of many more,” Sudan added.
  4. “This will equip them with the skills and knowledge on basics of oncology to detect, diagnose and refer cancer cases early. The online video lectures are also designed to update oncologists with the evidence based guidelines and skill for the management of cancer,” said Sudan.

KEYS:

  1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is an Indian government ministry charged with health policy in India
  2. It is also responsible for all government programs relating to family planning in India
  3. Jurisdiction: India
  4. Headquarters: A Wing, Nirman Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi – 110 011
  5. Cabinet minister: Jagat Prakash Nadda
  6. Minister of state: Anupriya Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste
  7. Programs: Central Government Health Scheme, MORE
  8. Departments: Department of AIDS Control, Department of Health Research

 

AWARDS &Β RECOGNITION

PIO named best central bank governor in Asia-Pacific

  1. An Indian-origin banker in Singapore has been given in the name that is the best in the central bank governor in Asia-Pacific for 2018, a media report said on Thursday.
  2. β€œThe Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, stands out for its cutting-edge regulatory approach to fintech while maintaining macroeconomic stability,” the magazine said in an article.
  3. β€œThese are the key reasons for selecting Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, as the Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia-Pacific,” The Straits Times reported, quoting the magazine article.
  4. β€œYou can only encourage technology to the extent that you can also contain and manage its risks. A smart financial centre must be a safe financial centre as well,” Menon was quoted as saying in the article.

OBITUARY

Vocalist Radha Vishwanathan passes away

  1. Carnatic vocalist Radha Vishwanathan, daughter of legendary classical singer M S Subbulakshmi, has died at the age of 83 years at a private hospital here, her family said on Thursday. She was a Bharat Ratna award winner, during her concerts, including overseas events, for decades.
  2. β€œThe voice which sang Amani Manadho Manyo Lokaswami Trilokadruth has now merged with that of her mother (M S Subbulakshmi),” her son V Shrinivasan posted on his Facebook page.
  3. β€œMy world was my MS Amma to me, she guided me not just in music, she was the light to my path of life,” she had one told this reporter during an interview in Bengaluru.
  4. β€œMy grandmother has taught me nearly 700 compositions and has asked me to carry on with the rich MS legacy,” said Ms. Aishwarya.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Three Wise Men Day

  1. The biblical Magi, which is also called as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings, were, in the Gospel of Matthew and Christian tradition, that was the three distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
  2. They are the normal day routine in the public figure with the traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of Christian tradition.
  3. The Gospel of Matthew is the only one of the four canonical gospels that mentions the Magi. Matthew reports that they came “from the east” to worship the “king of the Jews”.

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