Current Affairs – January 03, 2018

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Pankaj Jain takes charge as MD of IIFCL     

Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS), has assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS. IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development. IIFCL is a wholly-owned Government of India company set up in 2006. IIFCL has been registered as an NBFC-ND-IFC with RBI since September 2013.



Saudi Arabia and UAE introduce VAT for the first time      

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced value-added tax (VAT). These are the first two countries in the Gulf which have introduced the VAT system. The 5% levy is being applied to the majority of goods and services. The UAE estimates that in the first year, VAT income will be around 12 billion dirhams. Petrol and diesel, food, clothes, utility bills and hotel rooms all now have VAT applied. But some outgoings have been made exempt from the tax, or given a zero-tax rating, including medical treatment, financial services and public transport.



Assamese and Manipuri versions of PM’s official website launched    

The Assamese and Manipuri language versions of Prime Minister’s Official website- were launched. Now the PM INDIA website is available in 11 regional languages namely Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi.




1st Draft of National Register of Citizens in Assam released        

The citizens of Assam witnessed the release of the first draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) containing the first batch of 19 million names of genuine Indian citizens in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders. Registrar General of India Sailesh released the document. The first draft has listed 19 million people out of the 32.9 million applicants from within the state as legal Indian citizens.
The NRC was last updated in Assam way back in 1951.
Assam is the only state in the country that has a NRC.


Women and Child Development inaugurates online portal NARI for women   

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi for the empowerment of women. The portal will provide women with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. The portal summarises over 350 government schemes and other important information. It provides links to the Ministries, Departments and autonomous bodies offering these schemes as well as easy access to online applications and grievance redressal.
NARI stands for National Repository of Information for Women.




Shiv Kapur wins Royal Open Golf Tournament in Pattaya

Indian golfer Shiv Kapur won the Royal Cup at Pattaya, which is his third Asian Tour title of 2017. The 35-year-old, who had just one win in almost 11 years till April 2017, has now won three times in last eight months. This latest win marks Kapur’s fourth Asian Tour win and sixth international title as he won twice on European Challenge Tour also.




Prominent Urdu Poet Anwar Jalapuri passes away

Prominent Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who translated Bhagwad Geeta into Urdu, passed away in Lucknow on 2nd January 2018. The 71-year-old poet was admitted to the King George Medical College hospital following brain haemorrhage last Thursday. Jalalpuri wrote ‘Rahraw se Rahnuma tak’, ‘Urdu Shayri Mein Geetanjali’ and ‘Urdu Shayri mein Geeta’. He was the recipient of Uttar Pradesh’s Yash Bharti award.




No charges on debit card transactions up to Rs 2000        

Customers will not have to pay any transaction charges for payments through debit card, BHIM app and other payment made for up to Rs 2,000. Last month, Union Cabinet approved a proposal that government will bear the merchant discount rate (MDR) charges on transactions up to Rs 2,000 made through debit cards, BHIM UPI or Aadhaar-enabled payment systems to promote digital transactions.



Sathiyan becomes highest ranked Indian player in the ITTF rankings    

G Sathiyan has become India’s highest- ranked player in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings. He surpasses his compatriot the legendary Sharath Kamal. Sathiyan, who was nowhere near the top-100 bracket until a few months ago, is the leader today at world No. 49, pushing Kamal to the second spot at 51. They are followed by Soumyajit Ghosh ranked 58th, Harmeet Desai ranked 60th, Sanil Shetty ranked 68th and Anthony Amalraj ranked 87th. As for the women, Manika Batra is topping the world chart among Indians at 62, while Mouma Das is ranked 74th and Madhurika Patkar is ranked 81st.



Parliament passes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill 2017          

The Rajya Sabha on 2nd Jan 2018 passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which bars unscrupulous persons from misusing the provisions of the Code. The Bill, which replaces an ordinance promulgated last November, was cleared by the Lok Sabha last week.




Rajinder Khanna appointed Deputy National Security Advisor

Rajinder Khanna, a former chief of the country’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was on January 2 appointed the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA), according to an official order. He headed RAW from December 2014 for a fixed two-year period. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of Mr. Khanna as the Deputy NSA on re-employment and on a contractual basis, according to the order issued by the Ministry of Personnel.
Mr. Khanna is at present Officer on Special Duty (Neighbourhood Studies) in the National Security Council Secretariat. Neighbourhood Studies prepares policy papers of neighbouring countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
The National Security Council, headed by the Prime Minister, is the apex body on all internal and external security-related matters. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is its secretary.

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