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Important Current Affairs 19th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 19th August 2017

Current Affairs 19th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet approves closure of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Forest and Plantation Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL), Port Blair


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the closure of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Forest and Plantation Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL), Port Blair, a Central Government Undertaking and discharging the liabilities of all the employees.
●    The closure will help to stop unproductive loans to ANIFPDCL from Gol and would enable a more productive utilization of assets.
●    This would be achieved by offering Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) / Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) package to willing employees and by retrenchment under Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 of those not opting for VRS/VSS including settlement of other liabilities, if any.
●    At present, there are 836 employees on the rolls of the Corporation.


Second Bullet Train to be started in Punjab, Amritsar to Delhi


A Second Bullet train will be started in Punjab. 
●    An Indian Railways bullet train will take you from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh in the coming years. 
●    The speed of this bullet train is 300km/hour. 
●    The bullet train would complete the 458-km long train journey in 2 hours. Presently, the Delhi to Amritsar Shatabdi Express train takes around 6 hours. 
●    The train travel time from Delhi to the Golden Temple town would come down to one-third. second bullet train
●    The bullet train will also stop at Panipat, Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. 
●    The 258 kms distance between Delhi to Chandigarh will be covered in 1 hour and 12 minutes. 
●    The official said that a base fare of Rs 4.5 per kilometer has been recommended at the 2015 price level. 
●    This means that you will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 2061 for the Delhi-Amritsar trip. 
●    second bullet train Rajya Sabha MP Malik said that the Union Government and the Ministry of Railways have approved the project to start the bullet train. 
●    The project is likely to cost around Rs 1 lakh crore. 
●    This project will be completed in 2024. He also said that the fare of this bullet train will be equivalent to Shatabdi.

Cabinet approves raising Extra Budgetary Resources upto Rs. 9020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund during the year 2017-18 


●    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) of upto Rs. 9020 crore as per the requirement during 2017-18 by NABARD through issuance of Bonds for ensuring lending rate of 6% per annum (pa) in respect of borrowings for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works of 99 ongoing prioritized irrigation projects along with their command area development (CAD) works under PMKSY. 
●    A large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) were languishing mainly due to inadequate provision of funds. 
●    During 2016-17, 99 ongoing projects under PMKSY- AIBP were identified for completion in phases by December-2019.
●    To cater to the large fund requirement and ensure completion of these projects, the Union Finance Minister, during his Budget speech 2016-17, announced creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore for funding of Central and State share for the identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD).

Govt extends tax exemption for industry in North East, hilly states


As many as 4,284 industrial units in the North East and Himalayan States will get GST relief in the form of refund of Central share of CGST and iGST.
●    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday gave its nod for a new scheme to refund the Central share of Central GST (CGST) and integrated GST (iGST) to these units in lieu of the excise exemption lost due to the onset of goods and services tax (GST) and scrapping of excise laws from July 1 this year.
●    A budgetary support of ₹27,413 crore for this scheme has been approved for the period from July 1, 2017 till March 31, 2027, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting. 
●    He said the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) will notify the scheme, including detailed operational guidelines for implementation within six weeks.


RBI makes Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 16 August 2017 made Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers who wish to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18.
●    In its, notification RBI has said, “To ensure hassle-free benefits to farmers under Interest Subvention Scheme, the banks are advised to make Aadhar linkage mandatory for availing short-term crop loans in 2017-18.
●    RBI has clarified that farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at the subsidised interest rate of 7 per cent that could go down to 4 per cent on prompt repayment.
●    Highlights of RBI’s notification related to Interest Subvention Scheme for Short Term Crop Loans during the year 2017-18.
●    An interest subvention of 2 per cent per annum will be offered to lending institutions viz. Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Commercial Banks (in respect of loans given by their rural and semi-urban branches only) on the use of their own resources. 
●    This subvention will be provided on the short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh to farmers at an interest rate of 7 per cent per annum during the year 2017-18.

Current Affairs 19th August 2017: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Putin appoints Nikolay Kudashev as Russia’s new envoy to India


Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed career diplomat Nikolay Kudashev as Russia’s new ambassador to India, the country’s embassy here said on Saturday.
●    Kudashev, a specialist in South East Asia, is currently the Deputy Director General Secretariat of the ministry of foreign affairs of Russia.
●    “President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin by the executive order appointed Nikolay Kudashev as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India,” the Russian Embassy here said in a statement.
●    The appoint of Kudashev comes nearly seven months after the death of Russia’s previous ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.
●    Kadakin, a fluent Hindi-speaking career diplomat considered a great friend of India, passed away on January 26 at a hospital in New Delhi after a brief illness. He was 67.
●    Kudashev was the Russian Ambassador to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in 2014-2015.


Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs 


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).
●    The MoU establishes a wide ranging and flexible mechanism through which both countries can exchange best practices and work together on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness on IPRs and better protect intellectual property rights.
●    The MoU will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides. 
●    The exchange of best practices between the two countries will lead to improved protection and awareness about India's range of Intellectual creations which are as diverse as its-people. 
●    It will be a landmark step forward in India's journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation and will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016.

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