Current Affairs 2017 - March

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Government unveils online vigilance clearance system, e-service book

The Union Government has launched the Online Vigilance Clearance System and e-Service Book in New Delhi. It was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi.

The online system aims to fast track process of cases of vigilance clearance for senior-level appointments in central government.

Key Facts
  • Initially, the system will be made available for board-level appointments done by Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
  • Later it will be extended for senior appointments in banks and in government departments. It will reduce time taken for vigilance clearance from three months to a day or two.
  • All Central Government Ministries have been asked to regularly update database of officers on the system which will act as computerized database and provide the details of officers clearly.
e-Service Book
  • It will electronically maintain service records, including leave, history of work done by employees at various departments, house building allowance and other relevant details.
  • It will help in maintaining the employee’s service related records online that will result in quick processing of cases of salary (in cases of inter-departmental or inter-state transfers) or pension (in case of retirement).
  • It has been started on pilot-project mode for the employees of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and soon it will be extended to other departments as well.

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Government, NDB ink $350 million loan pact

India has signed its first loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB)/BRICS Bank for $350 million to be used in the development and upgradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh.

The objective of the project is the upgrade major district roads in Madhya Pradesh to improve road connectivity of the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks.

The project will include upgradation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lane, all-weather standards. It will also have road safety features and improved road maintenance and management.

About New Development Bank

  • The NDB is a multilateral bank created by BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • The goal of the bank is to fund infrastructure projects in emerging economies for sustainable development.
  • It had started its operations in July 2015 with initial authorized capital of $100 billion. It is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
  • In the NDB, each participant country has been assigned one vote, and none of the countries have veto power. Renowned Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath is the President (first) of NDB.

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IIT Madras, Indian Army ink MoU to strengthen critical technological areas

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces.

The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Key Facts
  • The MoU will facilitate IITM to achieve a better understanding of the critical technology requirements of the Indian Army through seamless interaction between the Army officers and IITM faculty.
  • Under it, Indian Army will sponsor four officers for doctoral programmes besides a five-day Technology Development Programme for 15 officers on a biannual basis.
  • The IITM faculty will work closely with the Indian Army to identify areas where the institute can contribute positively to enhancing the capabilities.

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