Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 18 and 19 2017


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1. Yogi Adityanath to take oath as UP CM

Yogi Adityanath has been sworn-in as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in Lucknow. The loan waiver scheme for farmers as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during the poll campaigns for the seven-phased Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, is likely to dominate the first Cabinet meeting of Yogi Adityanath.

  1. Punjab to provide 33 percent reservation for women in govt jobs

The new Congress government in Punjab led by Amarinder Singh has opened a basket full of decisions in the first meeting of the state cabinet. The government has taken several important decision in the interest of the people of the state.

  • The state government has decided to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in all government jobs.
  • The representation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and urban local bodies would go up from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
  • The government has also decided to do away with the ‘VIP culture’ by removing red, amber and blue beacons from official vehicles of all state ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats and political appointees.
  • The state has also decided to scrap the practice of laying of foundation stones while inaugurating public projects.
  • The Cabinet decided to constitute a sub-committee to assess the quantum of agriculture debt on farmers and suggest ways and means to waive off the loan.
  • The Cabinet decided to provide one house to every freedom fighter and allocate 300 units of free electricity every month.
  1. Amitabh Bachchan launches world’s first app for breast health

Amitabh Bachchan launched the World’s first mobile App on ‘ABC of Breast Health’ at an event organized by the Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation at Mumbai. The App aims to empower the nation about every aspect of breast cancer and benign non-cancer breast health issues in 12 languages (English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Assamese).

  1. President of India inaugurates international conference on “Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility”

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an international conference on the theme of “Universities of the Future: Knowledge, Innovation and Responsibility” at O. P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Sonipat, Haryana on  March 18, 2017.  The three-day Conference seeks to examine the future of Indian universities in the 21st century. the O.P. Jindal Global University for emphasising on research, development, and innovation as its basic objective from the very beginning.

  1. Uttar Pradesh now has two Deputy CM

For Dinesh Sharma, the affable mayor of Lucknow, it was a slow and steady rise to the post of the deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The 53-year-old professor in Lucknow University’s Commerce department has been a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party since long, but he emerged on the central stage of the party politics with his appointment as its National Vice President in August 2014 after the party’s landslide victory in the parliamentary polls.

  1. Arunachal boy Anang Tadar invents ‘Goggles For Blind’ to locate objects

Moving around for the visually impaired could become a lot easier if an innovative technology developed by Anang Tadar, a class 11 student from Arunchal Pradesh, is mass produced.The technology, which is based on echo location—similar to what bats use for navigation—was adjudged the most innovative at the regional level science festival, which concluded in Guwahati recently.

  1. First fully India-made train flagged off at Dadar station

Medha, the made-in-India rake was flagged off for the maiden run of the 12-coach train from Dadar to Borivali, at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.  Medha has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, which has installed LED lighting to reduce energy consumption.The rake has a capacity of 6,050 passengers and the number of seats is 1,168.

  1. GST Council Approves SGST & UTGST Draft Bills

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has cleared a proposal to cap the cess on luxury cars and aerated drinks at 15 per cent over the peak rate of 28 per cent. The ceiling for the cess on “sin” goods would be much higher. The cap would be 135 per cent. On tobacco and cigarettes, the cap would be 290 per cent, or Rs 4,170 per 1,000 cigarette sticks. A call is yet to be taken on whether or not a cess would be imposed on bidis. The cess on coal and lignite (environment cess) would have an upper limit at Rs 400 per tonne.

  1. Kerala gets first private bank: ESAF Small Finance Bank

ESAF Small Finance Bank, Kerala’s first private sector bank, was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The bank, promoted by ESAF Microfinance and Investments (P) Ltd, has announced that in its first year it will open 85 branches. As per RBI guidelines, the bank is required to open 25 per cent of its branches in unbanked rural centres besides in cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad in the first year.

  1. Ministry gives approval for RBI to print Rs.10 plastic notes

The government has said the RBI has been authorised to conduct field trials of plastic notes of Rs10 that have a longer life span. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said “it has been decided” to conduct a field trial with plastic banknotes at five locations of the country. Approval for procurement of plastic substrate and printing of bank notes of Rs 10 denomination on plastic banknote substrates has been conveyed to the RBI.

  1. World Bank approves funding for India’s ambitious National Hydrology Project

The World Bank has approved a $175 million loan to India for the National Hydrology Project to improve India’s ability to forecast floods and reduce the recurring chances of floods and droughts. The loan would be disbursed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The loan has a six-year grace period in which no interest payments will be due and will mature in 23 years.

  1. India, Russia sign long-term support pact on Sukhoi Su-30MKI

India and Russia have signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Pacts were also signed for maintenance and life-cycle support for other Russian-origin platforms, such as Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks. The agreements were signed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation.

  1. Indian-American ranked fourth among overpaid CEOs in US

Indian-American CEO of a Chicago-based property firm has been ranked fourth on a list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in the United States of America. Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of General Growth Properties, has been listed fourth on the list of top 25 overpaid CEOs in America, according to the report from the nonprofit ‘As You Sow.’ The non-profit organisation promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility and takes a close look at CEO pay.

  1. Social Security Agreement between India and Brazil

India and Brazil has signed a social security agreement which will exempt detached workers from making social security contributions in either countries if they are contributing in their respective countries. Detached workers are send by their employers to work in the office of their company or an affiliate located in a different country. The agreement has been signed in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.

  1. Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry passes away

Chuck Berry, who duck-walked his way into the pantheon of rock’n’roll, has died at the age of 90.Although Elvis Presley was called the king of rock’n’roll, that crown would have fit just as well on the carefully sculpted pompadour of Charles Edward Anderson Berry. He was present in rock’s infancy in the 1950s and emerged as its first star guitarist and lyricist.

  1. Former racing champion Ashwin Sundar dies in mishap

Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Nivedhitha died after their BMW hit a tree and caught fire in Chennai. The accident occurred at the city’s MRC Nagar area and a preliminary inquiry revealed that Sundar was behind the wheels of the luxury vehicle.Sundar had won the national title in car racing and two-wheeler events on several occasions. His wife Nivedhitha was a doctor in a private hospital in Chennai.


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