23 June 2017 Current Affairs

World Bank sanctions 44 million dollars for ASPIRe Project

World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan assistance of 44 million dollars for the Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms (ASPIRe) Project. The loan was sanctioned by World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in its meeting held at Washington DC, USA. The project aims at improving predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam.

Mypetrolpump’ of Bengaluru becomes 1st in India to deliver diesel at home

Bengaluru has become the country’s first city where one can have fuel delivered at one’s doorstep, just like milk and newspapers, only weeks after oil ministry announced that the Centre was thinking of rolling out such a system. Mypetrolpump, a one-year-old startup launched this home delivery system with three vehicles, each with the capacity of 950 liters. Diesel is delivered at home at the price declared for that day. The startup is charging Rs. 99 as one-time delivery charges for up to 100 litres whereas for additional one liter of fuel, the customer has to pay Re. 1 each as delivery charge. The order for the supply of fuel can be placed online, through app or through a phone call.

Rajiv Gauba is new Home Secretary after Major reshuffle in central bureaucracy

Urban development secretary Rajiv Gauba will be the new home secretary after the completion of the tenure of Rajiv Mehrishi on August 30. The 1982-batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre will join immediately as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the home ministry. The government also has transferred 17 IAS officers. In another significant change, N.K. Sinha has been appointed as Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Ajay Mittal who has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training. Sinha is currently serving as Culture Secretary.

Union Govt launches VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) scheme in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India. The web portal of VAJRA was launched by Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan. The motive behind the launching of VAJRA scheme is to bring the best of the world to India and conduct research in the country itself. It aims to convert brain-drain into brain-gain.

US approves sale of Predator Guardian drones to India

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India. This deal has been termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2 to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department. The sale of 22 predator drones being manufactured by General Atomics is “a game changer” for US-India relations as it operationalises the status of “major defense partner.” The Indian Navy had made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year.

Uttarakhand 4th & Haryana 5th ODF States in the country

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India, respectively. The two states joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF. Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats – all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.

Odisha Govt approves 53 projects under AMRUT scheme

The state government approved 53 urban projects with a total investment of Rs 538 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). The scheme, launched in nine urban places in the state since 2015-16 fiscal, has aimed at strengthening drinking water distribution network, development of sewerage system, storm water management, up-gradation of city transport system and development of amusement parks. The scheme will be implemented with fund sharing patter of 50:50 between the Centre and state government.

Cabinet aprroves agreements & MoUs on different fields

“The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields. Those includes:

  • Amendment of the Bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the ‘Country of Residence’ Principle into the said SSA.
  • MoU between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for bilateral cooperation in the field of water resources management.
  • Constitution of Indian Naval Material Management Service (INMMS) as an Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service.
  • MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia.
  • MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia.
  • MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka.”

RBI expands oversight committee with three more members for faster bad loan resolution

The Reserve Bank of India reconstituted the Oversight Committee by appointing three more members and empowered the panel to approve stressed asset cases where lenders have more than Rs 500 crore exposure. The high-level panel was formed to examine the process to resolve mounting bad loans in the banking sector. According to the RBI former chief vigilance commissioner, Pradeep Kumar will head the now reconstituted 5-member panel. Besides Kumar, the other members of the committee are former SBI Chairman Janki Ballabh, former Canara Bank Chairman and MD MBN Rao, former Chairman of L&T Finance YM Deosthalee and S Raman, member SEBI. Raman would be inducted into the panel from September 7, 2017 after he completes the term at SEBI. The expansion follows promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 last month.

ISRO’s PSLV-C38 Lifts Off From Sriharikota With 31 Satellites

Adding another feather in its cap, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse rocket PSLV C-38 blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite – a dedicated satellite for the defense forces – along with 30 co-passenger satellites. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is about 955 kg. The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nano satellite from India.

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