Current Affairs Daily Digest: February 9-10, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for February 9-10, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

India to host the first meeting of national security advisers of BIMSTEC countries

India will host the first meeting of national security advisers (NSAs) of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries to coordinate action against terrorism, extremism and radicalization. It was offered by India at the BIMSTEC senior officials meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal. India’s offer comes as concerns about the growth of radicalization of ethic Rohingyas of Myanmar by Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in recent months. This issue was part of the conversation between Indian leadership and NSA Ajit Doval and the Myanmar NSA U Thaung Tun, who visited India recently.

Parliament passes Payment of Wages Bill

Parliament has passed the Payment of Wages Amendment Bill, 2017 to enable employers to pay wages to workers through cheque or directly crediting to their accounts. The bill will replace the Ordinance promulgated by the President in December 2016 to amend the Payment of Wages Act, 1936.  It will also benefit workers by ensuring fair payment of wages through bank accounts, enhance social security and bring more workers into formal employment. Read more

Government decides to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras

The Government has decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) at different locations in various states for delivering passport related services to the people. The states include Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi (UT), Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and West Bengal. Earlier, the Union External Affairs Ministry and the Department of Posts had announced to utilize the Head Post Offices in the various States as POPSK. The objective of this partnership is to extend passport services on a larger scale and ensure wider area coverage. Earlier, the first project was started on a pilot basis at Mysuru in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat.

Aadhaar mandatory for receiving subsidised foodgrains from PDS shops: Government

The Union Government has made Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving subsidised foodgrains under National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 from all Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) shops. This condition will also applicable for all new beneficiaries. Those who do not have Aadhaar number or not have enrolled for Aadhaar can make application Aadhaar enrollment by 30 June 2017. Till the allocation of Aadhaar number to the beneficiaries, the entitlements will be given on production of Ration Card and either Aadhaar Enrollment ID slip.

Government appoints 3 directors to RBI Central Board

The Cabinet Committee of Appointments (CCA) has appointed three part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) Central Board for a four-year term. They are Prasanna Kumar Mohanty (Southern Local Board), Sunil Mitra (Eastern Local Board) and Vallabh Roopchand Bhanshali (Western Local Board).

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Senegal in Health and Medicine

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine. Both countries will set up a Working Group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

Union Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France in S&T and Innovation

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation. The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.  Read more

Union Cabinet apprised of India-Vietnam space agreement

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The Framework Agreement was signed in September 2016.  Read more

Union Government not in favour of new law for CBI

The Union Government has turned down the recommendation of Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee to come up with a new law for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The parliamentary committee has recommended replacing Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 which governs CBI.  Read more

India and UK sign MoU to ease restrictions on number of scheduled flights

India and United Kingdom (UK) have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries. The MoU was formally signed by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju on behalf of India and Lord Tariq Ahmad of UK during his visit to India. Read more

HRD ministry constitute sub-committee of CABE on issues of girl’s education

The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has constituted a sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) to look into issues of girl’s education. It will be headed by Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari. It will submit its report to the Union government within one year. Read more

Union Commerce Ministry approves Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched pilot Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Crops (RISPC) for protecting the growers from the risks such as pest attacks, yield loss and income decline caused by fall in prices. It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Read more

World’s first Braille Atlas for visually impaired persons released in New Delhi

The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the Special Edition of “Atlas for Visually Impaired (India)” in English Braille in New Delhi. This Braille Atlas has been prepared by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) under Department of S&T. It is world’s first braille atlas for the visually impaired Read more

Government unveils first phase of Station Redevelopment Programme

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled the first phase of the ambitious Station Redevelopment Programme. It is the world’s largest transit-oriented development programme ever executed. As part this programme, tenders are being floated for 23 of a total of the total 400 A1 and A category stations selected re-developing in the first phase. Read more

States Current Affairs

Jharkhand Government launches UJALA scheme

Jharkhand Government has launched Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All (UJALA) scheme in the state. Under this scheme, 25 lakh LED tube lights and 1 lakh energy efficient fans will be distributed to people on upfront payment. It is estimated that over 5.5 lakh consumers will benefit from the scheme in the state. The schemes will help the state government manage peak demand and reduce power outage. It will also help the environment by mitigating climate change through the adoption of energy efficient appliances. About UJALA

Gujarat becomes first state for establishing Cashless System for distribution of foodgrains

Gujarat became the first state in the country for establishing Cashless System for distribution of foodgrains. To achieve this feat, state government has installed Aadhaar enabled payment system in more than 17 thousand 200 Fair Price Shops, before the targeted date of 31st March 2017. Under this system, beneficiaries under National Food Security Act will need to carry only Aadhaar cards for getting foodgrains. This will help in establishing the correct identity of beneficiaries, stopping the leakages of grains and eradicate corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

India to pitch Trade Facilitation in Services at WTO

India will make a presentation on the proposed Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo and India Inc. The global pact proposed by India to boost services trade at the WTO-level aims to ease norms including those relating to movement of foreign skilled workers and professionals across borders for short-term work. Read more

RBI to set up separate Enforcement Department

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up separate Enforcement Department to effectively monitor banks in case they violate regulations and speed up regulatory compliance. The department will be operational from April 1, 2017 i.e. the next financial year (2017-18). It will mainly deal with the penalties imposed on banks for violation of norms. Read more

RBI to set up committee on strengthening cyber security

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on cyber security to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it. The committee will suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience in a bid to strengthen cyber security system. Read more

International Current Affairs

Saudi Arabia deports 39000 Pakistanis in 4 months

Saudi Arabia has deported more than 39,000 Pakistanis in the past four months over the concerns of security issues. The deportations were made due to involvement of several Pakistani nationals in some terrorist actions orchestrated by Islamic State (IS), crimes of thefts, forgery, drug trafficking and for that violating the rules of residence and work. Currently, 82 Pakistanis suspects are held in Saudi intelligence prisons over charges of terror and other security related issues. Taliban extremist movement was born in Pakistan and it is plagued with terrorism due to its close proximity with Afghanistan.

Environment, Science & Technology Current Affairs

ISRO develops Telemetry and Telecommand Processor

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has indigenously developed Telemetry & Telecommand Processor (TTCP) and its productionisation will be initiated with the help of Indian industry. The processor development was undertaken up by ISRO as part of ‘Make in India’ campaign to replace the expensive imported equipment necessary for uplinking and downlinking to satellites. Read more

Kerala’s Nilambur teak to get GI tag

Kerala’s Nilambur teak known internationally for its superior timber quality and elegant appearance will be added to the list of Kerala produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. In this regard, IPR Cell of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) with the support of the Nilambur Teak Heritage Society, the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and the Department of Forests have applied for GI tag. Read more

Persons in News

MRI pioneer and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passes away

English physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield who had developed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) passed away. He was 83. He was born in 1933. He was a Professor at the University of Nottingham from 1964 to 1994, when he retired. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2003, along with late US chemist Paul Lauterbur, for discovering MRI, a technique used by medical specialists to generate images of the human body’s anatomy. MRI uses magnetic fields, field gradients and radio waves to detect damage, such as cancer, in various parts of the body.

Jeff Sessions sworn in as Attorney General of US

Jeff Sessions (70) was sworn in as Attorney General of United States. US senate had confirmed his appointment by vote of 52 to 47. Prior to this appointment, he was the Senator from Alabama since 1997. Attorney General is powerful law enforcement officer in the US.

Surgeon Raghu Ram awarded 2016 B C Roy Award

Dr P Raghu Ram, President of Association of Breast Surgeons of India was awarded prestigious Dr B C Roy national award for outstanding service in the field of socio-medical relief for 2016. Read more

Indian-origin neurosurgeon Shawna Pandya shortlisted for NASA 2018 space mission

An Indian-origin neurosurgeon Dr Shawna Pandya (32) has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme. She was shortlisted after securing top score in the CSA programme. If everything goes as per plan, she may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.  Read more

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