Current Affairs – January 02, 2018


Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Arunachal Pradesh declared open defecation free 

Arunachal Pradesh has been declared open defecation free ahead of the national deadline of October 2, 2019. The milestone was achieved after the state announced an incentive of Rs 8,000 in addition to the Rs 12,000-grant provided by the Centre for building toilets. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Haryana were declared open defecation free states in October 2017.



Vidarbha wins maiden Ranji Trophy Title beating Delhi

Vidarbha has created history by winning the Ranji Trophy for the first time in history with a thumping nine-wicket win over Delhi at the Holkar stadium in Indore. Rajneesh Gurbani’s 6/59, including a hat-trick and a century from Akshay Wadkar, were the key moments in Vidarbha scripting a fairytale run. For Delhi, Dhruv Shorey was the star with a century and a fifty but Rishabh Pant’s side came up short on the given day.



Israel withdraws from UNESCO

Israel has filed notice to withdraw from the UNESCO alongside the United States. Israel has blasted UNESCO in recent years over the organisation’s criticism of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and its decision to grant full membership to Palestine in 2011. Israel was the member of UNESCO since 1949. Both Israel and the US have filed its own withdrawal notice in October 2017.



Nepal bans solo climbers on Mount Everest 

Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents. The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak without a valid medical certificate. The law had been revised to make mountaineering safer and to decrease deaths.



GAIL Commissions country’s second-largest rooftop solar power plant      

State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd today said it has commissioned the country’s second-largest rooftop solar power plant. A company statement says that firm has installed a 5.76 MWp (Mega Watt peak) solar plant at its petrochemical complex at Pata in Uttar Pradesh. The plant over the roofs of warehouses covers a total area of 65,000 square meters. With an expected PLF of around 15 percent annually, over 79 lakh KWh of electricity is targeted to be generated for captive use of India’s largest gas-based petrochemicals plant.
Tata Power Solar had in December 2015 commissioned a 12 MW solar rooftop project in Amritsar, which produces more than 150 lakh units of power annually and offset over 19,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.


Vijay Keshav Gokhale appointed new Foreign Secretary of India       

Vijay Keshav Gokhale will be the new Foreign Secretary. He will replace the incumbent. Dr S. Jaishankar, who is completing his tenure on the 28th of this month. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Gokhale’s appointment. A 1981-batch IFS officer, Mr Gokhale is currently holding the charge of Secretary Economic Relations in the External Affairs Ministry.




State Bank of India reduces base rate by 30 bps     

On the 1st Jan 2018, the State Bank of India reduced the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates by 30 basis points each, which will benefit nearly 80 lakh customers on the old pricing regime. State Bank of India revised down the base rate to 8.65 percent for existing customers from 8.95 percent, while the benchmark prime lending rates are down from 13.7 percent, to 13.4 percent. The new rates will be effective from 1st Jan 2018.
The bank, however, did not change the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate, MCLR, which would have brought down the cost for all borrowers. The one-year MCLR of the bank stands unchanged at 7.95 percent.


Sumita Misra appointed as Joint Secretary to the PM’s Economic Council      

IAS Officer Sumita Misra has been appointed as Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. She is a 1990 batch IAS officer cadre. PMEAC is a non-constitutional and non-statutory, non-permanent and independent body, constituted with the prime and sole aim to analyse all critical issues economically or otherwise referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon.

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