Daily Current Affairs 17th December, 2016

Daily Current Affairs 17th December, 2016


Asia Pacific nations adopt New Delhi Declaration for Urban Plus approach

  • The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) held in New Delhi has adopted New Delhi declaration to adopt Urban Plus approach.
  • The next biennial APMCHUD will be hosted by Iran.

About Delhi Declaration

  • The theme of the conference was Emerging Urban Forms – Policy Reforms and Governance Structures in the Context of New Urban Agenda.
  • In the Implementation Plan, that was also adopted, the member countries have strongly recommended formulation of National Human Settlement Policies to promote inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city with human settlements.
  • New Delhi Declaration has strongly advocated planning for urban and adjoining rural areas in an integrated manner instead of independent entities.
  • The Declaration also called for a thorough review of existing policies and formulation of new ones to promote New Urban Agenda adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development in Quito (Eucador) in October this year.
  • The key to sustainable development in urban areas was the effective governance.
  • The Implementation Plan recommended land regulation policy mechanisms such as land pooling, enforcement and incentivisation of timely execution of infrastructure projects, formulation of comprehensive urban parking policies and community participation in urban planning, among others.
  • In view of the vulnerability of most of the Asia Pacific countries to natural disasters and other risks, the Implementation Plan has recommended urban resilience as a criteria for investment.

Union Government issues Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the draft notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016 to regulate pet shops
  • The objective of these proposed new rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops.
  • The objective of these rules is to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in such pet shops.
  • Pet shops will be registered only after inspection by the representatives of state animal welfare board, a veterinary practitioner and a representative of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
  • The rules define space requirement for birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pig, hamster, rats and mice in the pet shops.
  • Non-compliance of the proposed rules will lead to cancellation of registration of pet shop and pet animals so confiscated, shall be handed over to an animal welfare organisation, or a rescue centre recognised by the board.
  • Every pet shop owner will be required to submit yearly report to the state Animal Welfare Board regarding animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during the previous year.

Majuli to be India’s first ever carbon neutral district

  • Assam government has initiated a project to make river island Majuli the country’s first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020.
  • The project titled ‘Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli’ (SACReD, Majuli) has been initiated by Assam’s department of Environment.
  • The project, SACReD, Majuli has been initiated to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mitigation through forestry activities and biodiversity conservation will be the starting points for the carbon neutral agenda followed by other interventions over the next three years.


India’s foreign exchange reserves down by USD 887.2 mn to USD 362.987 bn

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 887.2 million dollars to 362.987 billion dollars in the week ended 9th December.

Award for regional rural bank

  • The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank has bagged two awards for inclusive insurance from Skoch Group for 2016.

About Regional Rural Bank

  • Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) were set up as government-sponsored, regional based rural lending institutions under the Regional Rural Banks Act, 1976.
  • RRBs were configured as hybrid micro banking institutions, combining the local orientation and small scale lending culture of the cooperatives and the business culture of commercial banks.
  • Their mission was to fulfill the credit needs of the relatively unserved sections in the rural areas-small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and socio-economically weaker sections.
  • Shareholding pattern ofRRBs among the three sponsoring entities is 50:35:15 among central government, sponsoring bank and state government respectively.

RBI opposes proposal to set up separate payments regulator

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opposed a move to establish a separate entity to regulate payments and settlements as recommended by Ratan Watal Committee for Digital Payments.


Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana comes into effect

  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) notified along with other provisions of Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016 came into effect from 17 December 2016.
  • It will remain open until March 31, 2017.
  • PMGKY is Union Government’s second income disclosure scheme (IDS) to allow tax evaders to come clean with unaccounted wealth.
  • It provides for 50 per cent tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks.

Features of the Act

  • Those who declare cash deposits under this will be levied a charge of 50{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}, which breaks down into 30{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} tax, 33{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} surcharge and 10{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} penalty.
  • In addition to this, 25{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the amount declared will go into the noninterest-bearing Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016, for four years.
  • Declarations under PMGKY will be confidential and those taking advantage of it will escape prosecution.


City corporation to receive Digital India Silver Award

  • The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation in Tamil Nadu has been selected for Digital India Award instituted by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • The corporation will receive the Digital India Silver Award in the category of “Most Innovative Citizen Engagement” and also installing and implementing free WiFi Scheme in its various offices.





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