16th March 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Andhra Pradesh Presents Around 1.57 Lakh Crore Budget for 2017-18

  • The proposed budget for 2017-18 is about 70 percent more than the budget for 2016-17.
  • The objective of the gender budget is to save women and girls from discrimination and neglect in matters of development, progress, security and human rights.
  • Important Highlights of the Budget
    1.Revenue expenditure: Rs 1.25 lakh crore
    2.Capital expenditure: Rs 31,087 crore
    3.State’s revenue deficit in 2017-18: Rs 416 crore (0.05 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product)
    4.Fiscal deficit: Rs 23,054 crore (3.0 percent of GSDP)
    5.Under Vision 2029, the state is targeting a growth rate of 12 percent every year.

Centre Launches New Scheme TIES for Developing Export Linked Infrastructure

  • Aim: TIES aims to bridge the infrastructure gap in India to ensure smoother movement of export cargo and also ensure quality standards and certification measures to promote outbound shipment.
  • The scheme will have a total budgetary allocation of Rs 600 crore for three years with an annual outlay of Rs 200 crore.

Annual Krishi Unnati Mela Begins in New Delhi

  • Aim: To provide information on new farm schemes and technologies and other welfare scheme that will help to double the farmer’s incomes by 2022.
  • More than thousands of farmers, workers, students, scientists are expected to take part in Agriculture Fair at New Delhi.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Presents Rs 1236 crore Deficit Budget

  • Salient Features of the Budget
    i. Fiscal deficit is pegged at Rs 1236 crore which is around 3.8 percent of the GSDP.
    ii. Total receipts is estimated at Rs 12,510 crore out of which the revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 11,280 crore and capital receipts at Rs 1230 crore.
    iii. The total expenditure is estimated at Rs 12873 crore of which the revenue expenditure is estimated to be at Rs 10,648 crore while Rs 2225 crore as capital expenditure.
    iv. The advance estimates for Gross State Domestic Product for 2017-18 is Rs 29,566 crore. This is 10.55% more over this year’s current market price of Rs 26,745 crore.
    v. The per capita income of the state at current price for the year 2016-17 stands at Rs 88,497 which is 8.26 percent increase over last year’s estimates of Rs 81,498.

Centre Approves 20 Ganga Cleaning Projects Worth Over Rs 1,900 Crore

  • Out of the 20 projects, 13 are in Uttarakhand, and rest in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
  • All these projects will be fully funded by the Central Government, including even the expenditure on operation and maintenance of these projects.
  • Besides, two projects for laying new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages have also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 100 crore in Delhi.
  • Sewage related works in Karmalichak in Patna and Rajmahal in Jharkhand have also been given green signal for a cost of over Rs 335 crore.
  • A project under Hybrid-Annuity PPP model worth almost Rs 151 crore has also been approved to address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi.

International Vision Zero Conference on Occupational, Safety and Health Begins In New Delhi

  • Aim: To focus on the Occupational Safety and Health issues and challenges in the Manufacturing, Construction and Mining sector and provide a forum for promoting safety and health at work by exchanging knowledge, practices and experience.
  • The three day conference has been jointly organized by the Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI),Government of India, Ministry of Labour and Employment and German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), Germany in association with International Social Security Association (ISSA).

International Current Affairs

Saudi Arabia Inaugurates Girls’ Council Without Any Girls

  • In a bid to encourage women participation in workforce, Saudi Arabia has for the first time decided to launch a Girl’s Council.
  • The meeting in the al-Qassim province was attended by 13 male members while the women were present too but they were in another room, linked via video due to strict Saudi laws on gender segregation between unrelated men and women.
  • Saudi Arabia is taking steps to move toward loosening some of its rules and increasing women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30% as part of its Vision 2030 program.

Business & Economy

SBI Announces One Time Settlement Scheme Worth Rs 6,000 cr for Tractor Loan

  • The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India announced a One-Time Settlement (OTS) scheme worth Rs 6,000 crore for tractor and farm mechanization loans to improve the loan recovery.
  • Under the scheme, the loans disbursed before 2011 and falling in the doubtful or loss assets category as of September 30, 2016 would be considered.
  • Proposals submitted till March 31, 2017 will be considered under the scheme.
  • The bank is willing to write off 40 percent of the outstanding principal amount of the loan under the scheme.
  • As per the data, SBI’s total farm loan portfolio is 1.25 Lakh Crore rupees and tractor loan book is about 6,000 crore rupees.

Chennai Port Trust signs MoU with the Government of Puducherry for handling EXIM cargo

  • Aim : To promote industrial growth in the region, generate substantial employment and attract investment by major industries.
  • The cargo originating from Puducherry Port hinterland will be transported through sea mode to Chennai Port for shipping to overseas destinations through mainline and feeder vessels and vice-versa.
  • Around 5 Lakh to 10 Lakh tonnes of cargo is expected to be handled between this two ports.

BHEL’s first 800 MW supercritical plant operational

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited owned by the Government of India partnered with Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) has commenced commercial operations of its first highest-rating coal-based supercritical thermal power plant 800 MW unit
  • BHEL has supplied all the critical equipment, key packages of Balance of Plant, and has also carried out the associated civil works. The major equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Trichy, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi, Thirumayam and Bengaluru plants, while the construction of the plant was undertaken by the company’s Power Sector- Southern Region.
  • BHEL is also executing KPCL’s first gas-based combined cycle power project of 370-MW capacity involving a fuel-efficient advanced-class gas turbine at Yelahanka, Bengaluru

Tata Steel & Wipro Named Among World’s Most Ethical Companies

  • Wipro is one among the two Information technology category firm named in the list. The other firm in that category is US based Xerox Corporation.
  • Tata Steel is also one of the two companies named in the metals, minerals and mining category. US-based Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc is the other company in this segment.
  • US based Ford Motor Company has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the 8th straight year.

IndusInd Bank acquires brokerage firm IL&FS Securities Services

  • Mumbai based IndusInd Bank announced to acquire 100 per cent stake in brokerage firm IL&FS Securities Services to regulatory approvals.
  • ISSL was incorporated in 2007 as a subsidiary of IL&FS, is a capital market intermediary for professional clearing, depository and custodial Services. It has 1,000 brokers, FPI’s and FII’s as clients.
  • This will brings scale to this business, complements our current product offerings and fits nicely into our strategy of creating differentiated businesses with domain expertise.

People in News 

BJP Leader N Biren Singh Sworn in as Chief Minister of Manipur

  • Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP), leader Nongthombam Biren Singh was sworn in as the Manipur’s Chief Minister
  • This is the first time the BJP has come to power in Manipur, ending 15 years of Congress rule.
  • Governor Najma Haptullah has asked Biren Singh to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly as soon as possible or by March 22-23.

US Senate confirms Seema Verma for health care post 

  • Indian-American Seema Verma is appointed for a top healthcare position in the Trump administration. Her appointment was confirmed by the US Senate after 43 votes out of 55 has secured by Verma.
  • Verma is expected to play a key role in the government’s bid to “repeal and replace”.
  • She would head the US $1 trillion Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services that provides health services to 130 million people.
  • She is known as the architect of healthcare reforms in several states, including Indiana.

Shashank Manohar resigns as ICC chairman

  • First independent chairman of ICC, Shashank Manohar(59) has resigned from the post with an immediate effect
  • He was appointed as ICC Chairman in May 2016 for a two-year term and he stepped down as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Environment and Ecology

World’s Oldest Plant-Like Fossils Found In India

  • Scientists have found two kinds of fossils resembling red algae in uniquely well-preserved sedimentary in Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh.
  • This algae is 6 billion years old. It will be the oldest evidence of plant-like life found on the Earth.
  • The Indian fossils are 400 million years older and by far the oldest plant-like fossils ever found.
  • The earliest traces of life on Earth are at least 5 billion years old. These single-celled organisms, unlike eukaryotes, lack nuclei and other organelles.

Sports Current Affairs

Joanna Rowsell Shand Announces Retirement from International Cycling

  • Two times Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shandannounced her retirement from international cycling
  • The 28-year-old track cyclist won gold in the women’s team pursuit at London Olympics 2012 and Rio Olympics 2016.
  • Rowsell Shand was a five-time world Champion and four-time European champion. She has also won gold in individual pursuit at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
  • Rowsell-Shand is in the process of setting up her own coaching company named Rowsell Shand Coaching. She will continue cycling and take part in the 180km L’Etape du Tourin France in July 2017.
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