Current Affairs – January 04, 2018

Here’s your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Centre approves MOU between India and London Transport Authority to improve Indian roads 

The Centre approved a MoU between India and London’s transportation authority to improve public transport in the country. The MoU is aimed at improving the overall public transport system, improve passenger services and promote the use of high capacity buses in India. The Cabinet has approved the signing and implementation of the MoU between Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and ‘Transport for London’.



Centre unveils contours of Electoral Bond scheme           

The Centre unveiled the contours of the ‘Electoral Bonds’ scheme, which seeks to ensure the flow of clean money to political parties, without revealing the donors’ names. As per the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the electoral bonds will be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument. A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond from specified branches of the State Bank of India.
The bonds can be purchased for any value in multiples of Rs1,000; Rs10,000; Rs1 lakh; Rs10 lakh; and Rs1 crore. The bonds will not carry the name of the payee and will be valid only for 15 days during which it can be used to make a donation only to certain political parties.


Six countries enter UN Security Council      

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to make a difference. The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. The six countries who left the UN Security Council recently are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.




SBI, NABARD tie up to promote Joint liability groups in Bengal

State Bank of India and NABARD have signed an agreement with five NGOs in Bengal for the promotion of 2,500 joint liability groups (JLGs) in select districts of the State. JLGs are informal groups of 4-10 members engaged in similar economic activities and willing to jointly undertake the responsibility to repay loans taken by the group from a bank.




Karnataka to hold largest B2B Travel Event in the country     

The Karnataka government announced that ‘Karnataka International Travel Expo’ (KITE) will be held from February 28, billing it as the “largest” B2B travel event in the country. The three-day event will see close to 400 delegates from 25 countries take part. The aim is to project Karnataka globally and attract tourist footfall, with emphasis on promoting the state’s wildlife, luxury and adventure destinations, historical monuments and UNESCO world heritage sites.




UNESCO includes Turkey’s “bird language” in Invisible Cultural Heritage List     

The unusual and very efficient whistle language commonly called “bird language” used as a means of communication by villagers in remote northern Turkey entered the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. UNESCO has accepted the “bird language” of Black Sea villagers as an endangered part of world heritage in need of urgent protection.





HDFC Bank announces tie-up with Rajasthan Govt to promote startup culture

HDFC Bank has announced a partnership with Rajasthan Government to promote and nurture startups in the state. Under this partnership, HDFC Bank will team up with the state government to provide end-to-end solutions like current accounts, credit cards and other solutions to startups under its SmartUp programme.




Reliance Industries commissions world’s largest Gas Cracker Complex

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has commissioned the world’s largest Refinery Off-Gas Cracker (ROGC) complex of 1.5 mtpa capacity along with downstream plants and utilities. The ROGC complex is a core component of RIL’s J3 project at its integrated refinery-petrochemicals complex at Jamnagar. This is one of the largest capital expenditure programme globally in the sector in recent times. The ROGC complex has a unique configuration as it uses off-gases from RIL’s two refineries at Jamnagar as feedstock. This approach of integration with refineries provides a sustainable cost advantage, making ROGC competitive with respect to the crackers in West Asia and North America which have feedstock cost advantage.

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