Current Affairs Daily Digest: December 29, 2016

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for December 29, 2016 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

IAF’s Advanced Landing Ground at Arunachal’s Tuting becomes operational

The Indian Air Force (IAF’s) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh become functional. It will facilitate air connectivity with rest of the country and give a fillip to tourism in the state.  It will provide access to the pristine and picturesque landscape of Tuting on the banks of river Siang. It will help to boost tourism in this area in turn it will usher in a new round of the prosperity and happiness for the local population. The strategic location of Tuting ALG will also provide launching pad for IAF operations as well as a facilitator to the Administration in the management of border area. The Tuting ALG will be used to bring in vital supplies from cities in Assam via fixed wing aircraft and helicopters besides meeting challenges during natural calamities.

Government sanctions Rs 200 crore for Tirupur’s Textile industry

The Union Ministry of Textiles has sanctioned 200 crore rupees to Tirupur Dyeing industry in Tamil Nadu which is on the verge of closure due to financial crisis on account of their investments in the Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) projects. The amount was sanctioned to the Tamil Nadu Government for the 18 Common Effluent Plants (CETPs) as an interest free loan by taking cognisance of the problem of the dyeing industry. The move will help these ailing CETPs and 450 dyeing units to recover from the financial crisis and help them to complete the project to achieve full capacity utilisation. More than 450 dyeing units in Tirupur Dyeing Industry had collectively set up 18 ZLD enabled Common Effluent plants (CEPs) with a total cost of over 1,000 crore rupees. Tirupur is a hub of the textile processing and knitting industry. It provides employment to over 5 lakh persons and contributes 22% of the total garment export of the country.

CCEA approves Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism affected areas

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas to improve rural road connectivity in worst LWE affected districts critical from security and communication point of view. Read more

Government launches IVRS platform to tackle call drops

The Union Government has launched Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system in a bid to tackle the call drop menace. The system was launched at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality on the issue of frequent call drops. Read more

Government launches Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative

Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks. The objective of this initiative is to strengthen community health centres in 708 ODF blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene. Read more

Union Cabinet approves ratification of International Solar Alliance

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal of Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) for ratification of International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement by India. The Agreement was opened for signature on the sidelines of 22nd Conference of Parties (CoP) meeting United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Marrakesh, Morocco. Read more

International Current Affairs

Pakistan opens China-backed Chashma-III Nuclear power plant

Power-starved Pakistan inaugurated China-backed 340 MW Chashma-III Nuclear power plant in its Punjab Province. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It is the fourth nuclear plant located about 250 km southwest of capital Islamabad at Chashma in Mianwali district. Another nuclear plant, Chashma-IV is also being built in same area and will become operational before its deadline of mid-2017. Chashma-2 and Chashma-3 power plants are the most efficient nuclear power plants in Pakistan. They provide more than 600 MW of electricity to the national grid. Pakistan’s first nuclear plant was supplied by Canada in 1972.

China operationalises world’s longest bullet train line

China has started operations of one of the world’s longest high-speed railways (bullet train). The 2,252 km Shanghai-Kunming line is also the longest east-west high-speed railway in China. It links the country’s prosperous eastern coast to the less-developed southwestern part of the country. It traverses through five provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan and cuts travel time from Shanghai to Kunming to 11 hours from 34.  The maximum speed is 330 km per hour. It is longer than 2,298-km Beijing-Guangzhou line that stretches north to south and was put into operation in 2012. China has built more than 20,000 km of high-speed rail lines. The launch of the Shanghai-Kunming line indicates China’s high-speed rail grid has taken shape, connecting almost all provinces on the Chinese mainland.

China launches 2 high resolution remote sensing satellites

China has successfully launched pair two high-resolution remote sensing satellites SuperView-1 01 and 02 to get commercial images. These satellites were launched on-board of Long March 2D rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province. They will provide commercial images at 0.5-meter resolution. Read more

States Current Affairs

Union Government approves Rs 266 crore investment for Delhi under AMRUT

The Union Urban Development Ministry has approved investments of 266 crore rupees under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for improving water supply and sewerage networks in Delhi. With the approval, the ministry has now given nod to a total investment of 489 crore rupees for improving urban infrastructure in the national capital. The amount will be provided as assistance to the Delhi government under the 2016-17 action plan in AMRUT guidelines. As per these guidelines, the Union Government will provide a total of 804 crore rupees to Delhi for the five-year mission period.

World Bank approves Rs 1,563.4 crore credit for rural roads projects in Bihar

The World Bank has approved nearly Rs 1,563.4 crore for the Bihar Rural Roads Project to improve and effectively manage rural road network of the state. The project will support the construction of about 2,500 km of rural roads in Bihar under the Mukhiya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojana (MMGSY). It will provide all-weather road access to some 1.2 million people, most of whom belong to the poor and vulnerable sections of society. It will also generate direct employment of about 20 million person days for local labourers through a rural road construction and maintenance programme.

27th meeting of Southern Zonal Council held at Thiruvananthapuram

The 27th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Southern Zonal Council consists of Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry (UT) and Andhra Pradesh. Read more

Anil Baijal appointed as Lt Governor of Delhi

President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed former bureaucrat Anil Baijal (70) as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. He will succeed Najeeb Jung who had resigned before completion of his term and is returning to teaching profession. Read more

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

India second largest arms purchaser in the world after Saudi Arabia: CRS Report

According to the recently released report India has emerged as the second largest purchaser of arms among developing nations after Saudi Arabia. The report titled Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 2008-2015 was released by Congressional Research Service (CRS). Between 2008 and 2015, India purchased defence equipments worth 34 billion dollars, second after Saudi Arabia’s 93.5 billion dollars defence purchases. Indian efforts to diversify its procurement of arms has benefited US and reduced its reliance on Russia on arms purchase. CRS is an independent bipartisan research wing of the US Congress. It prepares reports on a wide range of issues for lawmakers to make informed decisions. CRS reports are not considered official reports of the US Congress.

RuPay card usage at PoS terminals surges 7 times after demonetisation

The National Payments Corporation’s RuPay card usage at merchant terminals has surged seven times since announcement of demonetisation on 8 November 2016. The daily volumes of RuPay card usage has reached to over 2.1 million. The RBI-administered retail umbrella body (NPCI) for all retail payment is targeting a daily volume of 5 million transactions through RuPay cards by December 2017. Rupay is India’s own payment gateway that was launched to compete with payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard. The indigenous network works on ATMs, Point of Sales (PoS) and online sales to bring down cash transactions. The RuPay is a blend of two terms — ‘Rupee’ and ‘Payment’. It is the seventh such payment gateway in the world.

Government invites comments for creating new Financial Redressal Agency

The Union Government has invited public comments on a report for the creation of a Financial Redressal Agency (FRA). The report also calls for a new financial consumer protection and redressal legislation and also recommends an initial budget of Rs. 100 crore for the setting up of the FRA. Read more

Sports Current Affairs

Ana Ivanovic announces retirement from Tennis

Former world No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic of Serbia has announced retirement from tennis at the age of 29. Ivanovic was first Serbian tennis player to held the world No. 1  spot for 12 weeks in 2008, the season when she claimed her sole Grand Slam by winning the French Open. She has won 15 WTA singles titles in her career (along with one doubles title, way back in 2006) and played in three Grand Slam finals. She also had represented Serbia in Fed Cup and at the Olympic Games for large stretches of time. In 2012, alongside Jelena Jankovic, Ivanovic reached the Fed Cup final. Her last outing was a first-round loss at the US Open in September 2016, a result that saw her drop out of the top 50 for the first times since 2010.

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