Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 14, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 14, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

Union Government discussing with States to bring Water into Concurrent list

The Union Government is discussing the issue of bringing water into concurrent list of VII schedule of Constitution with States.  It was announced by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti after inaugurating the Jal Manthan-III in New Delhi. The Ashok Chawla Committee also had recommended inter alia the shifting of water to the Concurrent List to provide uniform national framework to manage water in a better and efficient way

1st edition of ABU International Television Dance Festival held in Hyderabad

The first edition of Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) International Television Dance Festival was held in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana. It was hosted by the Prasar Bharati, India’s public service broadcaster. It showcased the traditional and contemporary dance performances by artistes from over 10 counties across the Asia-Pacific region. The countries participated in the event include Maldives, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji and Indonesia. The ABU was established in 1964 as a non-profit, non-government, professional association to assist the development of broadcasting in the region.

Expert Group on SECC submits report to Rural Development Ministry

The Expert Group set up to prepare Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) has submitted its report to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). The expert group was headed by former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose. The objective of the expert group was to study criteria for allocation of resources to States and identification and prioritization of beneficiaries under various programmes using SECC data. Read more

India, US ink MoU for collaboration in third world countries

India and the United States has signed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate in the fields of developmental activities and aid in third world countries. The MoU was signed between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Union Ministry of External Affairs’ Development Partnership Administration (DPA). Read more

India ink MoU with Sri Lanka to construct 3,000 rain water harvesting systems

India has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sri Lanka to construct 3000 rain water harvesting systems in Rin Jaffna District at a cost of 300 million Rupees (Sri Lankan). The rain water project envisages construction of 3000 rainwater harvesting systems for 3000 households in selected divisions of Jaffna District. Read more

Science and Technology Current Affairs

India’s first solar-powered boat launched in Kerala

India’s first ever solar powered boat called ‘Aditya’ was launched at Kochi’s Vembanad lake in Kerala. The 75-seater boat is fitted with 78 rooftop solar panels. It is 20 metre long and 7 metre wide. It will offer ferry service along a 2.5-kilometre route between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu, 22 times a day. The boat can travel at a maximum speed of about 14 kmph and cruises without noise and minimal vibration, unlike the diesel ferries. The boat was manufactured at ship technology department of Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).

Indian pepper may fight cancer

According to a new study, Indian long pepper, widely used for spicing up food, contains a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL) which has anti-cancer properties. PL converts to hPL, an active drug that silences a gene called GSTP1 which produces a detoxification enzyme that is often overly abundant in tumours. Thus, it can stop human body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumours in large numbers and can be used as a potential cancer treatment drug. It has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, lung, breast, colon, leukaemia, lymphoma, primary brain tumours and gastric cancer.

Banking, Business & Economy

Airtel launches India’s first Payments Bank

Bharti Enterprises’ Airtel Payments Bank (APB) became the first payments bank in the county to start its nationwide operations. It is 80:20 joint venture between Bharti Airtel Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. It is offering 7.25% interest on savings accounts, which makes it the highest interest rate on offer. Earlier in November 2016, Airtel had launched the first pilot payments bank program in Rajasthan. Now, the ABP is officially functioning across all 29 states. Airtel’s over 250,000 retail stores will be functioning as banking points around the country.

Unemployment in India to increase marginally in 2017-18: ILO

According to recently released World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017, the number of unemployed people in India is expected to rise by 1 lakh in 2017 and another 2 lakh in 2018. The report was released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with projections based on econometric modelling carried out in November 2016.  Read more

CBDT inks Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (BAPA) on the with Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company. Earlier, CBDT also had modified an existing Bilateral APA with another Indian subsidiary of a Japanese company to include rollback provisions. Read more

International Current Affairs

US lifts 20-year economic embargo on Sudan

The United States of America (US) has announced the end of a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan by lifting trade and financial sanctions. The announcement made by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration in an effort to foster ties with the Sudanese government to improve security in the region. This will be for the first time in two decades Sudan will be able to receive imported goods and services from US. The lift will also release frozen Sudanese property and assets held in the US and allow US companies to trade with the oil and gas industry in Sudan.

Australia, Japan agree to boost defence ties

Leaders of Australia and Japan have agreed to boost cooperation between their militaries. In this regard, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull signed an upgraded defence agreement after talks in Sydney on trade and regional security issues. The agreement will allow their militaries to provide each other with logistical support during exercises, and are working toward an agreement that would make it easier to participate in joint military exercises. Both countries also agreed to enhance their coordination on activity in the disputed South China Sea and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Recently, Japan is trying to shore up its security ties with countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region amid concern over China’s growing military might.

Ecuador takes chair of UN group of G77 countries

Ecuador has taken over from Thailand as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) countries of the United Nations for the year 2017. The group promote collective economic interests of the 134 developing countries at the United Nations, including India. The group was founded in June 1964 by the Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries at the UNCTAD. There were initially 77 founding members of the organization, but by November 2013 the organization expanded to 134 member countries.

Persons in news

Former Maharashtra Minister Chandrakant Chhajed passes away

Senior Congress leader and former Tourism Minister of Maharashtra Chandrakant Chhajed passed away in Pune today due to prolonged illness. He was 67. Chhajed had joined the Congress at young age and worked on various posts of the party. He had served as mayor of Pune city in 1987. He was elected as the Member of Legislative Assembly in 1999. He had served Tourism Minister in Sushilkumar Shinde government in the state.

Sports Current Affairs

3 Chinese women’s weightlifting gold medallists stripped of 2008 Olympics titles

International Olympic Committee (IOC) has disqualified three Chinese women’s weightlifting gold medallists at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for doping. Three weightlifters Cao Lei (75kg category gold medallist), Chen Xiexia (48kg gold medallist) and Liu Chunhong (69kg gold medallist) were stripped of their 2008 titles. The Chinese trio, all aged between 31 and 34 tested positive for the banned GHRP-2, a human growth hormone following a reanalysis of their drug tests. With this China faces one year ban from international weightlifting competitions. In all, eight athletes were disqualified from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics as part of the ongoing series of retests from 2008 and 2012.

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