Current Affairs – November 2016

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Akodara becomes India’s first Digital Village

Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the coveted tag of becoming India’s first digital village.

The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses a various cashless system for payments of goods and services. All transactions in the village are carried out through digital modes like SMS, net-banking or debit cards.

Key Facts

  • The village was adopted by ICICI Bank under its Digital Village Project in 2015 and made cashless by adopting digital technology.
  • The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence.
  • All households in village have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch. The bank has provided training to villagers to embrace digital technology to reduce dependence on cash.
  • The village has almost 100% financial rate and all mobile banking is done in Hindi, English and Gujarati languages. It also has its own official website.
  • The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless.
  • It has primary, secondary and higher secondary schools equipped with smart boards, computers and tablets.
  • It can be said that this village has become prime example of how e-banking can be practically implemented in Indian villages without much difficulty to make India cashless economy.

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Iranian film Daughter wins Golden Peacock award at 47 IFFI

Iranian film “Daughter” has won the coveted Golden Peacock award at the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

It has been directed by Reza Mirkarimi. It is a family drama set in southern Iran. It brings out intergenerational conflict between a strict father and a young daughter.

Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore conferred these awards during the concluding ceremony of IFFI held in Goa.

Other Category Awards

  • Special jury award: The Throne (South Korea) directed by Lee Joon-Ik.
  • Best Actor Female award: Elina Vaska (Latvia) for Mellow Mud.
  • Best Actor Male award: Farhad Aslani (Iran) for Daughter.
  • Best Director award: Jointly-shared by Soner Caner and Baris Kaya for Turkish film “Rauf”.
  • ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal Prize: Turkish director Mustafa Kara for his film “Cold of Kalandar”.
  • Special Jury mention award: Tiffany Hsuig for the Korean movie “The Apology”.
  • Centenary Award for the Best Debut Feature of the director: Pepa San Martin for the film “Ra Ra”.

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Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu to head CMs Committee on Demonetisation

The Union Government has decided to constitute a sub-committee of Chief Ministers of five states in the wake of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.

The committee will be headed by Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu. It will  suggest measures to normalise the situation.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has called up Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Karnataka CM Siddharamaiah, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to be part of the committee.

Since demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes was announced by the Union Government, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu government has been effectively tackling the cash crisis in the state.

He has come up with several alternatives to encourage mobile and online transactions besides distributing small change at vegetable markets as an immediate relief to the people.

As a long-term measure, Andhra Pradesh government has roped over 90 lakh members from co-operative sector in villages and towns to undertake statewide campaigns on online transactions.  Under it, as many as 5,000 women are being trained as master trainers to train 90 lakh women.

The state government is also designing a mechanism that makes ordinary phones do money transactions. The government will distribute such phones to families which do not have one.

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