Daily Current Affairs 9th March, 2017
Vice President Hamid Ansari Attends IORA Summit in Jakarta
- Vice President Hamid Ansari was on a two-day visit to Indonesia to attend the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia from March 6-7, 2017.
- The theme of Summit is ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
- IORA has 21 member states, including Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, and Yemen.
Electoral bonds to flag elections: FM
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the electoral bonds will be made available ahead of the elections and would remain valid for a few days
About Electoral Bonds:
- The concept of electoral bonds was introduced by Mr. Jaitley during his Budget 2017 speech in order to bring some transparency to the electoral funding process.
- These bonds have to be authorised under a scheme under the Income Tax Act.
- It will open for a limited period of time during the elections, or maybe a little before the elections.
- A bond can be purchased by any donor only by cheque or electronic payment, only at authorised banks.
- These bonds can be donated only to a political party.
- These are redeemable in only one account of that party, registered with the Election Commission.
Advantages of Electoral Bonds
- The advantage of the electoral bond system over donations through cheques is that many donors expressed reluctance to use cheques because it becomes transparent and leads to political vendetta by rivals.
- The other reason that donors did not want their names to be known was that, following the donation, if they legitimately win a contract, then they open themselves up to suspicion of benefiting from a quid pro quo arrangement with the party in power.
IDFC Aadhaar Pay launched
- IDFC Bank has launched India’s first biometric-based payment system ‘Aadhaar Pay’ in New Delhi.
- 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 a digital identity. Customers simply need to select their bank’s name and enter their Aadhaar number in the merchant’s phone.
About Aadhar Payment App
- Aadhar Pay is the merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment system. The Aadhaar Pay app lets consumers pay without any physical payment instrument. It runs on the Android platform and has to be installed by merchants.
- To use it, merchants need to first download the Aadhaar Pay app and then register to start using it. After registration, the merchant’s mobile phone needs to be linked to an Aadhaar biometric reader.
- Once the merchant has this infrastructure in place, the consumers can start transacting. To make a payment, the consumer has to just enter her Aadhaar number. The fingerprint is the password for the transaction.
- To use this service, the customer has to first link her bank account to her Aadhaar.
- Aadhaar Pay will be specifically beneficial for those who do not have debit cards, mobile wallets and mobile phones.
- However, the consumer needs to have a bank account and Aadhaar number.
Government launches Web Portal for obtaining CRZ Clearances; to facilitate Ease of Doing Business
- The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances.
- The portal is a web-based system for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry under the (CRZ) by the Project proponents for ease of doing business.
Karur Vysya Bank launches 3 technology services
- Karur-based Karur Vysya Bank’ s Chief Executive K. Venkataraman has rolled-out of three technology services FASTag, UPI and BBPS.
- FASTag : The FASTag 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.
Odisha govt launches 181 helpline for distressed women
- Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched 24*7 helpline number 181 to assist women in distress on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017.
- A woman from any part of the Odisha can dial 181 to get immediate assistance.
Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami Launches Rs 1580 cr Housing Scheme
- The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched a Housing Scheme on March 9, 2017 for construction of concrete houses for the economically poor section of the society.
- The project is estimated at Rs 1,580 crore and will be implemented by the state government with financial assistance from the Center.
- For the current fiscal 2016-17, concrete houses will be constructed for 50,170 beneficiaries in town panchayat limits.
INS Tillanchang commissioned by Indian Navy ;To be based in Karwar
- India Navy has commissioned INS Tillanchang at Karwar, Karnataka.
- It is a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) It is the third ship of four follow-on WJFAC built by the Kolkata based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
- The first two ships INS Tarmugli and INS Tihayu which were commissioned in 2016. These ships will play a vital role in light of India’s security environment. They are designed to take on both conventional and asymmetric threats.
- NS Tillanchang has been indigenously designed and built and is an upgrade from the Chetlat class of Fast Attack Craft (FCA). It is about 50 m long and powered by three waterjet propulsion system, which give it speeds of over 35 knots.
- It is armed with a 30 mm main gun and a number of light, medium and heavy machine guns to undertake operations at sea.
- It will be used for missions like Coastal and Off-shore Surveillance, Law Enforcement, EEZ Control as well as non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
- INS Tillanchang will be based at Karwar under the operational control of the Flag Officer Commanding, Karnataka Naval Area. It is manned by 50 personnel.
10th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance Held in New Delhi
- The 10th edition of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV 2017) was held in New Delhi from March 7-9, 2017.
- Theme of this year`s Conference was to “ Building Knowledge Societies: From Digital Government to Digital Empowerment”.
- The objective of ICEGOV 2017 is to focus on the use of technology to transform relationships between government and citizens, businesses & civil society.
- The ICEGOV 2017 was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.
- The ICEGOV 2018 will be held in Galway, Ireland.
5th Edition of ‘India by Nile’ fest to begin in Egypt
- India has organized the fifth edition of the mega cultural festival ‘India by the Nile’ in Egypt on 8th March to showcase the diversity of the country’s culture, arts and cuisine for building enduring partnership between the two ancient civilizations.
- For the first time, the Indian flag will be projected onto the Giza Pyramids as part of the celebration. The festival, to be held in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said and Ismaila governorates from March 8 to April 27, 2017.
- It is the largest cultural foreign festival in Egypt and has been a great success in the country.
ENVIRONMENT ,SCIENCE AND TECH
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Stage II of HCFCs Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) for the 2017-23 period.
- It aims to phase out use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), harmful ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by switching over to non-ozone depleting and low global warming potential technologies.
- India has secured $44.1 million from Multilateral Fund for implementation of Montreal Protocol for phasing out 8,190 MT of HCFC consumption between 2017 to 2023 to meet targets under the protocol for 2020.
- More than 400 enterprises, including MSMEs in foam manufacturing sector and 6 large air-conditioning manufacturing enterprises will be supported for conversion to non-HCFC technologies from HCFCs.
- Energy efficiency, development building codes, cold chain development with non-HCFC alternatives and development of standards for new non-ODS and low GWP alternatives will be promoted.
- Adequate attention to synergize the Refrigeration and Servicing (RAC) servicing sector trainings will be given with the Skill India Mission, in order to multiply the impact of skilling and training.
- Nearly, 16, 000 service technicians will be trained under HPMP-II.
- It will result in net direct CO2-equivalent emission reductions of about 8.5 million metric tonne annually from 2023.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
PM Modi releases postage stamp on 100 years of Yogoda Satsang Math
- A commemorative postage stamp was recently released by the PM on 100 years of Yogoda Satsang Math.
- This year marks the 100th anniversary of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), founded in 1917 by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose Autobiography of a Yogi has introduced millions of truth seekers all over the world to yoga and meditation, and whose universal Kriya Yoga teachings provide methods for achieving spiritually harmonious lives.
- Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) is a non-profit religious organization. In countries outside the Indian subcontinent it is known as the Self-Realization Fellowship.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhya National Awards
- The Government has announced ‘Kamaladevi Chattopadhya National Awards’, a new category of awards specially for women handloom weavers and women handicraft artisans.
- The awards are being instituted from this year, so that women weavers and artisans receive due recognition and economic benefits associated with the Awards.
About Kamladevi Chattopadhya
- Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (3 April 1903 – 29 October 1988) was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter.
- She is most remembered for her contribution to the Indian independence movement; for being the driving force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India; and for upliftment of the socio-economic standard of Indian women by pioneering the co-operative movement.
- Several cultural institutions in India today exist because of her vision, including the National School of Drama, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, and the Crafts Council of India.
- She stressed the significance which handicrafts and cooperative grass root movements play in the social and economic upliftment of the Indian people. To this end she withstood great opposition both before and after independence from the power centres.
- In 1974, she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama.
Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan dies
- Veteran journalist Arvind Padmanabhan, an Executive Editor at IANS, died of cardiac arrest.Padmanabhan, who would have turned 50 next month, breathed his last .
- Arvind Padmanabhan had a long inning at IANS, joining the India Abroad newspaper that was then part of the wire service in 1999 as in-charge of its Business Section.He was earlier with the PTI, The Times of India and TV18.
Bala Venkatesh Varma concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to Andorra
- IFS officer, D. Bala Venkatesh Varma has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of lndia to the Principality of Andorra, with residence in Madrid (Spain). Venkatesh was presently working as the ambassador of lndia to the Kingdom of Spain.
List of Winners of BCCI Annual Award 2017
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the ‘BCCI Annual Awards for 2015-16’. The awards were given away at a ceremony held in Bangaluru March 8, 2017 which also marks the International Women’s Day.
- Indian Skipper Virat Kohli was honored with the Polly Umrigar Award for third time.
- R Ashwin was awarded the Dilip Sardesia Award for the second time for his brilliant performance in test cricket in 2016. He is also the only one to be awarded twice.
- Vaman Viswanath Kumar and late Ramakant Desai were given the BCCI Special Award in recognition of their yeoman services to Indian Cricket.