Daily Current Affairs - 11th Nov 2017

Alphons Kannanthanam was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan

  • Union Minister of State for Tourism and BJP leader Alphons Kannanthanam was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
  • Alphons, previously a civil servant who was made a union minister two months ago
  • Alphones Kannanthanam a civil servant from the 1979 batch of the Indian Administrative Services from Kerala cadre is currently a Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Culture, and Tourism.

Committee to monitor air pollution

  • The Centre set up a seven-member committee headed by Environment Secretary C.K Mishra to monitor the short-term and long-term solutions to air pollution.
  • The committee will meet at regular intervals to draw up a plan and ensure enforcement.
  • Secretaries of Science and Technology and Biotechnology Department will be the members of the panel.

Composition scheme

  • The advisory group set up to suggest changes to the GST Act deliberated on how to expand the scope of the composition scheme as well as rationalise the reverse charge mechanism process.
  • The composition scheme is an alternative method of levy of tax designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh in the case of eight north-eastern states and the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The objective behind it is to bring simplicity and reduce the compliance cost for small taxpayers.

Exhibition of Islamic Calligraphy opens in Brunei Darussalam

  • An exhibition of photographs of valuable collection of Islamic Calligraphy from the Rampur Raza Library of Ministry of Culture, Government of India was inaugurated as the inaugural event of Festival of India in Brunei Darussalam
  • he Exhibition is being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Government of Brunei Darussalam and the High Commission of India in Brunei Darussalam

Federal Bank to open offices in Kuwait, Singapore

  • Federal Bank has obtained RBI approval to open representative offices in Kuwait and Singapore.
  • The bank handled around 15 per cent of the total personal inward remittances to India in the last fiscal.
  • The bank already has representative offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and has tied up with over 110 overseas banks/remittance partners. Also, it has received RBI approval to open a branch in DIFC, Dubai, and a representative office in Bahrain.

Former Test cricketer Milkha Singh passes away

  • Former India cricketer A G Milkha Singh passed away Milkha Singh played four Test matches in the early 60s.
  • He had a fruitful career for Madras (now Tamil Nadu) in the Ranji Trophy. He scored over 4,000 runs in first-class cricket inclusive of eight centuries.
  • Milkha Singh was employed with the State Bank of India.

Girija Devi will be honoured with the Sumitra Charat Ram Award

  • Eminent classical singer late Girija Devi will be honoured with the prestigious Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement in New Delhi.
  • The award will be presented by Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri

Government doubles import duty on wheat to 20%

  • The government has doubled the import duty on wheat to 20 per cent from 10 per cent to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers in the ongoing Rabi season.
  • It also imposed import duty of 50 per cent on peas to check cheaper shipments from countries like Canada.
  • Recently, the government had also imposed quantitative restrictions on import of other pulses like tur.

India Disaster Response Summit

  • The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju has inaugurated the ‘India Disaster Response Summit’, organised jointly by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Facebook, on how best to leverage social media platforms to 'prepare, respond and recover' for, during and after a disaster.
  • And also introduced the Disaster Information Volunteers (DIV) programme, wherein a network of trained volunteers would provide supplementary information on disasters in their local communities to assist Government relief efforts through the Facebook Workplace platform

India slips to 7th position in business optimism ranking

  • India has slipped in 'business optimism' index to the 7th position in the September quarter, from the 2nd slot in the previous three months, showing clear signs of lag in the economy
  • Indonesia is at the top, followed by Finland (2nd), the Netherlands (3rd), Philippines (4th), Austria (5th) and Nigeria (6th), as per Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR).
  • The index was released as part of Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR). The IBR provides insight into the views and expectations of more than 10,000 businesses per year across 36 economies.

Meghalaya High Court has quashed a 2005 Act for appointment of parliamentary secretaries

  • Meghalaya High Court has quashed a 2005 Act for appointment of parliamentary secretaries in the state. The court, however, left it to the Governor to take a decision on the disqualification of parliamentary secretaries as members of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
  • The verdict by a division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Ved Prakash Vaish came on a PIL challenging the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries in the state.
  • Meghalaya Chief Minister----- Mukul Sangma

Modi inaugurates Bandhan Express

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates direct train-service Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna in Bangladesh.
  • Mr Modi also inaugurated two railway bridges that were built at a cost of around 100 million dollar and it will help strengthening Bangladesh's rail network.
  • With the flagging off of the Bandhan Express train service between Kolkata and Khulna, India and Bangladesh have unveiled yet another facet of their rich and mutually satisfying bilateral relationship.

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017

  • Embarking on an ambitious mission to empower Indian youth with skill training and employability, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) hosted the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017 marking the completion of three glorious years of its inception.
  • Dr. Renu Swarup, Senior Adviser in the Department of Bio-technology, Ministry of Science & Technology has been awarded with National Entrepreneurship Award, 2017 under Mentor (Government) category in the Recognition Track.
  • The National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA) was instituted by MSDE in 2016 to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country.

President of India launched Bihar Krishi road map 2017-2022

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, launched the Bihar Krishi Road Map 2017-2022 in Patna.
  • Bihar had launched the first ‘Agricultural Road Map’ in 2008 after consulting farmers, agricultural scientists and other stakeholders.
  • The 2017 road map is the third. It provides comprehensive and coordinated plans for the development of agriculture.
  • 3rd Agricultural Road Map will further energise the agricultural sector's performance in Bihar and empower the farming community.

Shahzar Rizvi has won a gold medal in Pistol at Commonwealth Shooting Championship

  • Sergeant Shahzar Rizvi has won a gold medal in 10 mtrs Pistol for India at Commonwealth Shooting Championship held at Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Sergeant Deepak Kumar won Bronze medal in 10 mtrs Air Rifle at the same event.
  • Sergeant Rizvi had also won Gold and Silver medal in 2014 & 2015 in the Senior National Shooting Championship respectively.

Stabilization Fund Management Committee has decided to import onions

  • Consumer Affairs Ministry led-Price Stabilization Fund Management Committee has decided to import onions through government agency to augment the availability of onions in the market and moderate prices.
  • The decision was taken at a meeting in New Delhi headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary, Avinash Srivastava.
  • National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will procure 10 thousand tonnes and the Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) two thousand tonne of onions from producing areas and supply it to consuming areas to enhance its availability.