Current Affairs 2nd December 2017 (02/12/2017)

National Current Affairs:

  • The winter session of Parliament will be held from the 15th December to 5th January. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar announced this after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi. He said, parliament session and assembly election date should not overlap. He said, several times earlier too, Parliament session has been scheduled, assembly elections in states.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new mobile app – UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) which will allow citizens to access government services on a single platform. The services live on the app include Aadhaar, DigiLocker, Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) among others.
  • Prime Minister inaugurated the Global Conference on Cyberspace 2017 in New Delhi on November 23, 2017. This was the fifth edition of the Global Conference where international leaders, policy-makers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space. The Theme for this year was Cyber4A11: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development.
  • With a view to foster and reinforce the spirit of Communal Harmony, National Integration and pride in vibrant, composite culture and nationhood, the “Qaumi Ekta Week’ (National Integration Week) was observed all over the country, from the 19th to 25th November, 2017. The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, organised Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the Qaumi Ekta Week and observed the Communal Harmony Flag Day on 25th November.
  • The Government has said, the Centre will soon make it obligatory for all State DISCOMS to ensure 24 hours power supply to all consumers. Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh said this while unveiling a roadmap of bidding of solar and wind energy capacity at a function in New Delhi.
  • The first ever North East Development Summit (NEDS) 2017 was held in Imphal, Manipur from November 21 – November 22, 2017. It was inaugurated by President of India Ram Nath Kovind and was organized by Delhi-based think tank India Foundation in collaboration with Union Government.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs CCEA has given approval to the new scheme called “Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra”, which will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential. It also gave its approval for expansion of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for a Pan India reach covering all the 640 districts.
  • In a first, a woman has been inducted as a pilot in the Indian Navy. Shubhangi Swaroop will soon be flying Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft. Three other women cadets, Astha Segal from New Delhi, Roopa A from Puducherry and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala, also created history by becoming the country’s first women officers at the Naval Armament Inspectorate (NAI) branch A the Navy.
  • India successfully launched the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile – the 290 km range BrahMos missile- from the Indian Airforce frontline fighter, Sukhoi-30 for the first time against a target in the Bay of Bengal.

International Current Affairs:

  • In Egypt, over 250 people were killed and 130 others injured when a bomb exploded near a mosque during Friday prayers in restive North Sinai region. State media reported the bomb, which was planted near al Rowda mosque in AI-Arish city, went off during the Friday prayer. Security sources said, gunmen also opened fire on the people who tried to exit the mosque after the explosion. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
  • Pakistan has freed Hafiz Saeed, the Chief of the banned terrorist outfit Jamaa-ud-Dawah, JuD and the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack from detention. Saeed was freed after the government decided against detaining him further in any case. He was under detention since January this year. India reacted to Sayeed’s release order saying Pakistan has been exposed once again.
  • India’s nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was on Monday re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election. Mr. Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections quarters in New York.
  • World Toilet Day was observed across the globe on 19th November. On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaffirmed his government’s commitment towards improving sanitation facilities across the nation. The theme of the World Toilet Day for this year was “Wastewater”.

Business Current Affairs:

  • Global rating agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has kept India’s sovereign rating unchanged, at ‘BBB minus’ with a stable outlook. S&P said, the ratings reflect the country’s strong GDP growth, sound external profile, and improving monetary credibility. It said, the country, strong democratic institutions and its free press promote policy stability and also underpin the ratings. S&P added that these strengths are balanced against vulnerabilities stemming from the country’s low per capita income and relatively high general government debt stock.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up the 15th Finance Commission which is meant to assess the tax resources of the country and suggest a formula for distributing them among states. As per Article 280(1) of the Constitution, the government is obligated to form the Finance Commission after every five years, or at an earlier time as the President deems necessary. The recommendations by the newly formed 15th Finance Commission are supposed to be in place before April 1, 2020.
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched a new Yono App of State Bank of India which will offer its all financial services and products to the customers. The digital service platform ‘You Only Need One’ (Yono) will offer everything related to financial services and lifestyle.
  • Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has said, going forward, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) may have fewer rates by collapsing 12 and 18 per cent tax slabs into one. Mr. Subramanian also said, the new tax regime, rolled out from the 1st of July, will stabilise in the next six to nine months and become a model for other countries.
  • The government has notified Minimum Export Price of onion at 850 dollars per tonne to ensure its availability in the domestic market. Ina tweet, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said this will discourage cheap export from the country and augment its domestic availability. The Ministry has authorized National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) to procure 12 thousand tonnes onion.
  • Union Cabinet has recommended to the President to issue an ordinance to make certain amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The Code, which became operational last year, provides for a market-determined and time-bound insolvency resolution process.

Sports Current Affairs:

  • Government will restructure Sports Authority of India to streamline it and involve more professionals in the body. Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore has said, fifty percent of its staff will be reduced by 2022 and several services will be out sourced. The Minister said, the word “Authority” will be removed from the name of the body as sports is a service.
  • Ritu Phogat has clinched the silver medal in Under-23 Senior World Wrestling Championship at Poland. The 23-year-old, lost against Turkish Wrestler Demirhan in the gold medal bout of women’s 48 kilogram category.
  • Three Indians – Jyoti Gulia, Shashi Chopra, and Ankushita Boro have entered the finals at the AIBA Youth women’s World Boxing Championships in Guwahati
  • P V Sindhu has advanced to the semifinals of the Hong Kong Open Super I Series Badminton tournament. In the quarter-final, the Indian shuttler upset World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in straight games 21-12, 21-19.

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