9th March 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

‘Pratibimba” to project achievements

  • A comprehensive web-based platform Pratibimba to showcase the government’s performance and achievements to the citizens.
  • This dash board will serve as a tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to track government’s progress. It is available both in English and
  • After Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka has such dash board  which will help to report, track and measure departmental performance on programs, projects and promises made.

Mobile World Congress to be held in India on September 27, 2017

  • India to host its  first mobile congress with a special focus on reaching out to the South East Asian markets
  • All Indian mobile operators, Facebook, Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco etc are likely to participate in the mobile congress.

Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej & Extradosed Bridge Across River Narmada at Bharuch in Gujarat 

  • 4-lane 1.4-kilometre ‘Extradosed’ Cable-Stayed Bridge over the river Narmada in Bharuch. It is considered as the longest bridge of India.
  • The bridge has been built by Larsen and Turbo at a cost of  379 crore in the time span of two years.

ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPAL) Petrochemicals Complex at Dahej (Bharuch, Gujarat)

  • OPAL is a Joint Venture Company promoted by ONGC, GAIL and GSPC for an integrated petrochemical complex in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) at Dahej, Gujarat.
  • The petrochemical plant has been set up an investment of Rs 30,000 croreand will produce 14 lakh metric tons of polymers such as linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and 5 lakh metric tons of chemicals such as benzene, butadiene, and pyrolysis gasoline.

Destination North East 2017 Festival Held in Chandigarh

  • Chandigarh was selected to host the festival to expose the people of Chandigarh and other parts of North India to know about North East and investment opportunities in the region.
  • The ‘Destination North East-2017’ was organized to showcase North East as a potential destination for investment and highlight the rich traditions and customs of the region.
  • The main focus of the event was the ‘3 H Mission’that is Horticulture, Handicraft and Handlooms with the objective to use appropriate technologies in all sectors of development for North Eastern Region

Delhi Government Presents Rs. 48,000 crore Budget for 2017-18

  • Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government of Delhi presented Rs 48,000 crore tax-free budget for 2017-18 with main focus on improving education, transport, health and water distribution.
  • Highlights of the Budget
    • 2017-18 budget is Rs. 1,400 crore more than 2016-17 budget which was Rs. 46,600 crore
    • Delhi’s contribution to the country’s GDP has increased from 3.94 per cent in 2011-12 to 4.08 per cent in 2016-17.
    • Major share of the budget allocation has been made to the education sector.
    • The number of beds in Government hospitals will be increased from 10,000 to 25,000 targets in upcoming financial year.
    • VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel will be brought down from 25 per cent to 1 per cent for flights to remote areas such as North Eastern states to compliment Centre’s regional connectivity scheme.
    • Propose to set up 150 mohalla clinics by 2017 and 150 polyclinics by the end of 2018
    • Increase in old age pension by Rs. 1,000 per month
    • Increased the minimum wages of the unskilled workers from Rs 9,724 to Rs 13,350 per month.
    • Increased the minimum wages by 37 per cent
    • Number of pollution monitoring centres to be increased from 6 to 26
  • Important Allocations
    i. Education: Rs 11,300 crore (24 percent of total budget)
    ii. Health Sector: Rs 5,736 crore
    iii. Water sector: Rs 2,107.9 crore
    iv. Yamuna Cleaning and sanitation: Rs. 2,108 crore
    v. Urban Development: Rs 3,100 crore
    vi. Power Sector: Rs 2,194 crore with focus on solar energy and waste-to-energy plants.
    vii. Delhi Metro: Rs 1,156 crore for phase four. Government also proposes to buy 582 new coaches for Delhi Metro.
    viii. Developing bus terminals and depots: Rs 100 crore
    ix. Civic bodies: Rs 7,571 crore (15 percent of the total allocation)
    x. Housing and slums: Rs 3,113 crore
    xi. Tourism and culture: Rs 119 crore
    xii. Computers in Delhi government schools & Tablets for teachers: Rs 182 crore
    xiii. Environment department: Rs 57 crore
    xiv. Delhi Commission for Women (DCW): Rs 120 crore.
    xv. Forests’ and environment welfare: Rs.106 crore

International Current Affairs

India Has Highest Bribery Rate Among 16 Asia-Pacific Nations

  • According to the Global Corruption Barometer for the Asia Pacific Region released by Transparency International for 16 Asia Pacific countries, India tops the list for being the most corrupt nation.
  • According to the survey, about 69 percent of the population in India paid bribe to get their work done.
  • India was followed by Vietnam (65%),Thailand (41%), Cambodia, Pakistan and Myanmar, each with 40%.China (26%) was one of the least corrupt nations and it was the lowest in Japan (0.2%).

IORA Summit in Jakarta

  • Theme: ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’
  • Emphasis on connectivity, open maritime trade and rights of navigation as well as cooperation among the think tanks of the member countries for strategies to meet the conventional and non-conventional threats.
  • The member nations also stressed on the need to work together in order to eliminate the growth and spread of terrorism and violent extremism in society.

Business & Economy

ESAF Microfinance Issues Commercial Paper Worth Rs 330 crore

  • ESAF Microfinance Company has issued Commercial Papers (CP) worth 330 crore. Private Sector Banks and NBFCs can subscribe for the CP.
  • The papers are rated A1 by CARE ratings. The proceeds from CP will be used for short term funding needs of the organization.
  • Commercial Paper (CP) is an unsecured money market instrument issued in the form of a promissory note with maturity period spanning usually 7 days to 365 days.
  • Corporate, primary dealers (PDs) and the All-India Financial Institutions (FIs) are eligible to issue CP.

IDFC Launches Biometric Based Payment System Aadhaar Pay

  • The Aadhaar Pay app has been developed by IDFC Bank under the guidance of the Ministry of IT, NITI Aayog, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • The android app will use the fingerprint of the customer as digital identity. Customers simply need to select their bank’s name and enter their Aadhaar number in the merchant’s phone.
  • The customer’s fingerprint is then used to authenticate the transaction. Customers themselves do not need a Smartphone to complete the transaction.
  • The bank has targeted to cover about 50,000-75,000 merchant to the Aadhaar pay module by 2019 and touching 1,00,000 merchants over the next 36 months.

Karur Vysya Bank launches 3 technology services

  • FASTag
    • TheFASTag service has been launched in association with the Indian Highways Management Company, a subsidiary of National Highways Authority of India
    • The preloaded tags affixed on vehicles are valid at all toll plazas throughout the country.
  • UPI app
    • United Payments Interface (UPI) is a mobile app that enables inter-bank transfer of funds. The transfer is effected through the IMPS(Immediate Payment Service) platform of NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).
  • BBPS
    • BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System) will make utility bill payments such as electricity bills, water charges and gas cylinders, among others, at a single site instead of accessing multiple sites.

SBI launches ‘Work from Home’ facility for employees

  • Aim:To enable its employees to work while at home using mobile devices to address any urgent requirement they may have, that prevents their travelling to work.
  • The lender will be using mobile computing technologies and shall have continuous control over all the enabled devices centrally to manage and secure the data and applications on the mobile devices.

CBDT signs another APA with subsidiary of a Japanese Company

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement(APA) with rollback provision with a Japanese subsidiary
  • The bilateral signing of APAs in this sector provides tax certainty up to nine years in each of these cases.
  • With this the total number of APAs has increased to141 and the total number of bilateral APAs with Japanese subsidiaries has reached five.

Science & Technology

Web Portal for obtaining CRZ Clearances

  • The interactive Portal is for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry under the “Coastal Regulation Zone” (CRZ) by the Project proponents and  the portal is a good example of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.
  • The portal will enable the Project proponents and the concerned State/Union Territory bodies like the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs) and Municipal/Town Planning agencies in tracking the status of their proposals.

CBSE introduces Exam Locator app to help students

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education has come up with a mobile application named Exam Locator, which will help students locate their examination centre on the basis of their roll number.
  • Using this App student can easily find the address, images and geolocation of the designated exam centre on the map and get to know how to reach there.

The Fifth Satellite Of Sentinel Series Launched By Europe

  • Sentinel-2B satellite developed by European Space Agency (ESA) was launched as a part of European Union Copernicus environmental monitoring system.
  • Copernicus is an earth observation program that will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information about the earth and its climate. The Copernicus program was earlier known by the name Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program, previously known as GMES.
  • Sentinels is a family of satellites developed by  European Space Agency (ESA). Sentinel-2B is the fifth in the series of Sentinel satellite that has been launched till date. Sentinel-1A was launched on 3 April 2014 and Sentinel-1B on 25 April 2016.
  • This Sentinel -2 mission will help in improving agricultural practices by mapping changes in land cover. It will also monitor world′s forest and detect pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Apart from this it will also contribute to disaster management by providing images of floods, volcanic eruptions and landslides.
  • A funding of more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) until 2020 has been committed to the mission by The European Union and the ESA

Sports Current Affairs 

OPPO wins Indian team sponsorship rights till 2022

  • Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO Mobiles has bagged the Indian team sponsorship rights for a five-year period starts on 1st April 2017 and continues until 31st March 2022,
  • The Mobiles major will cough out INR 1079 crore for the duration of their contract having beaten the only other bid of INR 768 crore (approx USD 115 million) from Vivo, another smartphone manufacturer.
  • The minimum reserve price was set by the Indian Cricket administrator BCCI at INR 538 crore. The existing team sponsor, Star India's contract expires on March 31.
  • OPPO will release INR 4.61 crore per match for bilateral series and INR 1.51 crore per match for ICC sponsored tournaments.
  • The sponsorship rights bring with them the opportunity to display a commercial logo on the men’s, women’s, Under-19 and A teams’ kits.

Ashwin, Jadeja jointly ranked number one in ICC Test rankings

  • Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin jointly claimed at No.1 in the ICC rankings for Test bowlers in what is the first time of two spinners the top spot.
  • After Jadeja’s heroics show seven wickets, including a first-innings six,in the second Test against Australia helped him occupy the top rank and assured India the No.1 spot.
  • Virat Kohli lost his second spot to Joe Root after managing only 40 in his last two Tests. Steven Smith maintained his reign at the top for the 77th Test.
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