Daily Current Affairs - 30th Nov 2017

Asian archery championships: Gold for Abhishek

  • India’s compound archer Abhishek Verma won the individual gold, defeating Korea’s Kim Jon Gho in the final, and prevented a clean sweep by Korea at the 20th Asian archery championships at Dhaka. In the women’s compound segment, V. Jyothi Surekha won the individual bronze defeating Wu Ting Ting of Chinese Taipei 146-142.

Badri Narain Sharma named GST anti-profiteering body Chairman

  • Badri Narain Sharma, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer of 1985 batch, has been appointed the first chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), the body set up under the goods and services tax (GST) to ensure that the benefits of lower taxes under the new regime are shared with consumers. Sharma,at present an additional secretary in the department of revenue in the finance ministry, will have rank and pay of secretary at the Centre.
  • BN Sharma is expected to give a direction to the Authority in boosting the confidence of consumers that GST is a ‘Good and Simple Tax’ in the overall national interest. He will be assisted by four senior officials of the rank of joint secretary and above who have been appointed as technical members in the authority The Union cabinet last week cleared the setting up of the NAA, which will have a two-year tenure that can be extended by the GST Council.

Centre sanctioned Rs 275 cr for Global Centre for Security and Counter Terrorism

  • The Central government has sanctioned Rs 275 crore for establishing a Global Centre for Security and Counter Terrorism in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Centre will give Rs 165 crore and the state government will bear Rs 110 crore for setting-up the centre.

Commercial operations of Hyderabad Metro train started

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28th November inaugurated the first leg of the Hyderabad Metro rail project from the Miyapur rail station. The 30 km-long first phase of the project between Miyapur and Nagole has 24 stations. Its commercial operations has started.
  • Each train would initially have three coaches and 330 people can travel in each coach. The number of coaches can be increased to six depending on the traffic.
  • L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, has fixed a minimum fare of Rs 10 for a distance of up to two km and the maximum fare is Rs 60 for a distance of more than 26 km.

Egyptian journalist Khaled el-Balshy wins Nelson Mandela Innovation Award

  • Khaled el-Balshy, an Egyptian rights campaigner has won the Nelson Mandela award for individual activism for 2017. Khaled el-Balshy, a former board member of Egypt’s Journalists’ Union, will receive the Individual Activist award of the Nelson Mandela - Graca Machel Innovation Awards on Dec. 7 in Fiji’s capital Suva.
  • Journalists have been regularly detained, jailed, and prosecuted in Egypt under the rule of general -turned-president Abdel Fatah el-Sissi.
  • The award is given for those who have demonstrated remarkable courage and commitment in the pursuit of social change.

India unlikely to cut malaria burden by half in 2020: WHO

  • According to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), India accounted for 6% of global malaria cases and 7% of deaths caused by it in 2016. The WHO figures also suggest that India is unlikely to reduce its case burden beyond 40% by 2020.
  • There were an estimated 4,45,000 deaths from malaria globally in 2016, compared with 4,46,000 estimated deaths in 2015.
  • About 80% of the deaths were accounted for by 15 countries, namely India and 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.India and Nigeria, two major contributors to the global burden of malaria, were able to detect only 8% and 16% of cases respectively via the system.
  • India due to low funding per person at risk and resistance to certain frontline insecticides — is only expected to achieve a 20%-40% reduction.
  • In 2016, an estimated Rs. 13,000 crore was invested in malaria control and elimination efforts globally by governments of malaria endemic countries and their international partners.
  • Maldives, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan achieved malaria-free status in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

India, UK to ink pact in urban transport sector

  • India and the UK will sign a pact soon for cooperation in policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation in the urban transport sector. The draft MoU seeks to facilitate cooperation in the transport sector and enable the sharing of expertise and latest technology to promote efficient mobility solutions.
  • It is also expected to usher in policy reforms that can transform the transport sector through improved customer service/data analysis and better use of IT systems.
  • The pact will also help in promoting digital transactions and induction of high capacity diesel/electric vehicles in India, it said adding, this MOU will also establish the terms on which such assistance can be provided.

IOA formally recognizes Boxing Federation of India

  • The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) was recognized as a national body by the Indian Olympic Association, which removed the terminated Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) as its affiliate after months of indecision. The BFI is already recognised by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Sports Ministry.
  • The body, which was first suspended and then terminated by AIBA for manipulation in elections,has been trying to keep itself afloat by organising a couple of meetings with its former members in the past few months.

IRFC to raise $500 million via bond sale

  • The Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) has hit the international debt market with a $500 million bond sale as part of its fund raising plans. The IRFC is in the dollar bond market with a benchmark issue, planning to raise about $500 million and an investment banker working on the issue.
  • Meanwhile, rating agency Moody’s has assigned a Baa2 rating to the proposed standalone dollar-denominated senior unsecured green bonds with stable outlook.

Logo & mascot of Hockey World Cup 2018 unveiled

  • Logo and mascot of Hockey World Cup 2018 have been unveiled at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The state had earlier successfully hosted the Asian Athletics Championships.
  • As many as 16 countries, including hosts India, will participate in the 14th edition of the Hockey World Cup.

Paytm Payments Bank Formally Inaugrated

  • Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley formally launched ‘Paytm Payments Bank’ in New Delhi. Paytm Payments Bank is being termed as India’s only mobile first bank providing zero balance accounts.
  • It also provides free personalised RuPay digital debit cards and every online transaction (such as IMPS, NEFT, RTGS, UPI) will be free of charge.
  • Besides, Paytm Payments Bank, three other entities – Airtel Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank and Fino Payments Bank – have started operations as payments bank.
  • Payments Bank:
  • In Payments Banks, customer can open a savings bank account and have deposits of up to Rs. 1 lakh. However, Payments Banks cannot lend money to their customers.
  • CEO of Paytm: Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Punjab to get world-class football academy

  • UK’s Southall Football Club will jointly set up an international level football academy with Cordia Institutes at its campus at Sanghol in Punjab. The academy is proposed to be set up at Sanghol in Fatehgarh Sahib district. The club will be spread over 10 acres, and will offer sports facilities of high standards.
  • The academy would recruit the best talent from across India at under 11 years level to build a core group of the most talented players for the future of the India national team.
  • A former footballer who played for East London Club, Tommy Taylorwould head the academy.

Singapore offers India logistical base

  • India and Singapore agreed on greater cooperation and activity in the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea even as the two countries concluded a wide ranging naval agreement for maritime cooperation including logistical support.
  • The two countries concluded a bilateral agreement for naval cooperation, which includes maritime security, joint exercises and temporary deployments from the naval facilities of each other and mutual logistical support.
  • Early this year, the Indian Navy permanently deployed a frontline warship at the mouth of the strait to keep an eye on the increasing Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean as part of its mission-based deployment.
  • The two countries also agreed to explore joint projects in research and development.

Skill India partners with Airbnb to Upskill Hospitality Entrepreneurs

  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s implementation arm National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbnb to provide hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India.
  • Parties to the MoU will work together to create an accredited skill development module for hospitality entrepreneurs offering homestay facilities, unique accommodations and local experience.
  • They also offer other unique accommodations and local experiences for travellers, create standards for certification and accreditation as per the requirements and global benchmarks of the tourism and hospitality industry for hospitality entrepreneurs.
  • Minister for skill development and entrepreneurship: Dharmendra Pradhan

Snehlata Shrivastava appointed first woman Secretary General of Lok Sabha

  • Snehlata Shrivastava, a 1982-batch retired IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, was appointed the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha. Shrivastava will replace Anoop Mishra, who is retiring on November 30.
  • Shrivastava, a senior civil servant with 35 years of rich and varied administrative experience, will have the rank and status of Cabinet Secretary with effect from December.

Victoria becomes first Australian state to legalise euthanasia

  • Victoria state became the first in the country to legalize assisted dying, or euthanasia, with lawmakers voting to allow terminally ill patients the right to request a lethal drug to end their lives from June 2019.
  • The scheme will be accessible only to terminally ill patients over 18 living in Victoria with less than six months to live, down from an originally proposed 12 months.
  • If they are able, the patient will administer the lethal substance themselves, but if they are not, a doctor will help.