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Important Current Affairs 10th October 2017

Important Current Affairs 10th October 2017

Current Affairs 10th October 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

President of India inaugurates India water Week-2017 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated India Water Week-2017 today (October 10, 2017) in New Delhi.
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President said that water is essential to life. 
●    It is fundamental to the economy and to ecology – and to human equity. 
●    The issue of water is becoming still more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns. 
●    Better and more efficient use of water is a challenge for Indian agriculture and industry alike. 
●    It requires us to set new benchmarks in both our villages and in the cities we build.
●    The President said that currently, 80 per cent of water in India is used by agriculture and only 15 per cent by industry. 
●    In the coming years, this ratio will change. The total demand for water will also rise. 
●    Efficiency of water use and reuse, therefore, has to be built into the blueprint of industrial projects. 
●    Business and industry need to be a part of the solution.

Historic wage agreement by Coal India Limited 

The 10th Wage Agreement of Coal Workers was finalised on the 10th meeting on 10th day of 10th month of this year. 
●    Wage Agreement of the employees has been due from 1 July 2016. 
●    The negotiation for wage agreement that has been on the negotiation table for more than one year has been concluded today. 
●    Trade Union representatives were insistent for 50% of wage increase. 
●    Their demand was there should be 50% wage increase for the employees. 
●    But considering the country’s position, CIL’s benefit and financial position, a new record has been created by agreeing 20% increase on wages. 
●    The special accomplishment of this agreement is that every employee shall get one day’s rest in a week, as per rule, so that the employee shall have relaxation and shall get an opportunity to spend time with their family paving way for improvement in quality of life through Work-Life-Balance. 
●    The representatives of Trade Union and CIL Management have taken a decision to work together in the spirit of team work and increase productivity to unprecedented level.

Health Ministry discontinues Paper Greetings, switches to eGreetings 

With the aim to reduce use of paper and give a boost to digital initiatives of the Government and to promote a contemporary and eco-friendly method of sending greetings, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to go forward with eGreetings instead of paper-based greetings starting this festive season. 
●    In a circular issued today, the Health Ministry has advised its staff to send festival greetings in the form of eGreetings. 
●    Further, the Ministry has also said that it will not entertain any request for printing of season’s greeting card. 
●    The eGreetings can be sent through the eGreetings portal of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology developed as part of the “Digital India” initiative.
●    The eGreeting portal created by DeitY and NIC allows users to select and send greetings from multiple occasion-specific templates. 
●    Government Departments can also customize the greetings by adding tag-lines and messages related to their programmes and schemes. 
●    The portal includes greetings for various occasions, including days of national importance. 

Union Home Minister inaugurates NIA Hqrs new Office Complex 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has played a key role in making the country a safer place and shielded India from the onslaught of global terrorism. 
●    Inaugurating the new Headquarters Office Complex of the NIA here today, Shri Rajnath Singh said the NIA is on course to check the threat posed by terrorism.
●    The Union Home Minister said the NIA recently launched a crackdown on terrorism funding in the Kashmir Valley sponsored from a hostile neighbouring country and their accomplices in third countries abroad. 
●    He commended the NIA, other Security Agencies, the Army, CAPFs and ATS of State Police Forces for coordinated efforts resulting in the elimination of a good number of terrorists.
●    Shri Rajnath Singh said the Government initiated steps to grant full autonomy to the NIA in investigations. 
●    Earlier the NIA sought the MHA’s nod to proceed for action, but I’ve directed that there is no need for MHA’s approval and NIA is free to act discreetly. 

Indian Railways and German Railways sign Joint Declaration of intent 

A Joint Declaration of Intent was signed between Ministry of Railways and Germany on 10th October,2017 in Rail Bhavan in the presence of Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways by German Railways for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph on 50.50 percent cost sharing basis.
●    The current Joint Declaration of Intent is intended to deepen the cooperation, more specifically towards the achievement in the priority area of Semi High Speed Rail: the upgrading of current passenger services to SHS (Semi High Speed) upto 200 kmph on the Chennai-Kazipet corridor (643 km).
●    The Project is envisaged to consist of three phases to be carried out over a 22 month period with the objectives to provide .
●    Phase 1: Definition of three demand-based Upgrade scenarios for the corridor
●    Phase 2: Selection of the preferred Upgrade scenario for SHS on the corridor, based on analysis of respective operations and economic-financial impact.
●    Phase 3: For preferred scenario, Reference design and technical Tender document:
●    Development of Reference design for technical solution on preferred  Upgrade scenario.
●    Procurement concept for Construction works and Railway Systems.
●    Concept and Requirements for construction Phasing under railway  Operations.
●    Preparation of technical tender documents for preferred Scenario usable for Design & Build tendering.

Conference on NPS for Central Public Sector Enterprises organised in the national capital by PFRDA 

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) organised a conference on National Pension System (NPS) for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi with the objective of informing CPSEs benefits and features of NPS and of addressing their queries on NPS. 
●    Based on the recommendation of the 3rd Pay Revision Committee, the Department of PSE notified dispensing with the condition of minimum 15 years of service and superannuation from CPSEs to avail the pension benefit implemented by CPSEs.
●    Separately, the Government has also amended the Income Tax Act providing for tax free migration of superannuation funds to NPS. 
●    This provision will facilitate the CPSEs to implement NPS for their employees. 
●    The total employee strength in CPSEs stood at 12.91 lakh (excluding contract workers) in 2014-15. 
●    The Conference saw an active participation of more than 55 CPSEs with around 150 participants.
●    In his Inaugural Address, Dr. Badri S. Bhandari, Whole Time Member, PFRDA welcomed the participants and expressed the endeavor of PFRDA to expand NPS across all the sectors in the country in affordable and sustainable manner. 
●    He explained the benefits of NPS and communicated the returns generated by Pension Funds since inception, which has been over 10% since inception. 

Reconstituting National Panel of Experts to resolve technical issues regarding use of new technology/ materials/equipment 

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has decided to implement a “Value Engineering Program” to promote the use of new technologies, materials, and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode. 
●    The objective of the programme is to use innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly, while simultaneously ensuring that the roads or bridges and other assets get constructed much faster, are structurally stronger and more durable.  
●    The Ministry had constituted a National Panel of Experts (NPE) last year, for approving  proposals pertaining to deployment of (a) new/innovative/alternative materials, (b) new/innovative/alternative technologies and (c) new/innovative/alternative equipment in the highway sector. 
●    The NPE will examine all technical matters involving the new technologies, materials and equipment referred to it by the concerned Engineers or concessionaires/ contractors. 
●    The NPE will also resolve the technical issues which arise as a result of difference in view between engineers and concessionaires/contractors regarding implementation of the new and innovative technologies, materials and equipment. 
●    In addition, it  will also decide about the need for field trials of any new or innovative technology/materials/ equipment before its adoption, and  finalize associated design approaches, construction methodologies/sequences as well as the relevant specifications/codes/ guidelines so that the contractor may use the proposed new/alternative materials/technologies/ equipment in project highway.

$11 billion deal to sell Indus Towers to Bharti Infratel

A consortium led by US buyout fund KKR and comprising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Singapore is in discussions to acquire Indus Towers, the world’s largest wireless infrastructure company, and telecom tower company Bharti Infratel for $11billion, multiple people in the know told ET. 
●    Once completed, this will arguably be the largest such transaction globally. 
●    As the first step, Bharti Infratel will buy out either all or almost the entire 58% shareholding of other partners — Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Providence Equity Partners — in Indus Towers. 
●    Bharti Infratel currently owns 42% in Indus Towers, which has a portfolio of 1,23,000 towers. 
●    Vodafone is likely to retain 8-10% stake to enjoy any future upside. Infratel has the right of first refusal on Vodafone and Idea’s stakes in Indus Towers. 
●    “Bharti Infratel is likely to buy 45-50% stake for $5.5-6.5 billion as a leveraged buyout that will largely be funded out of the reserves and cash flow of Indus Towers,” said one of the sources mentioned above. 
●    Investment banking sources put the enterprise value of privately held Indus at around $11billion, inclusive of $1-billion debt. 
●    Spokespersons for Bharti, Vodafone Plc, KKR, Aditya Birla Group, CPPIB and ADIA declined to comment. GIC had not responded to ET’s questionnaire till press time. 

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