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Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2017

Important Current Affairs 23rd August 2017

Current Affairs 23rd August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Cabinet gives in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given in-principle approval for Public Sector Banks to amalgamate through an Alternative Mechanism (AM). 
●    The decision would facilitate consolidation among the Nationalised Banks to create strong and competitive banks. 
●    The salient features of the approval Framework for Consolidation of Public Sector Banks are as follows:
●    The decision regarding creating strong and competitive banks would be solely based on commercial considerations.
●    The proposal must start from the Boards of Banks.


Cabinet approves setting up of a Commission to examine the Sub-Categorization within OBCs 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a proposal for setting up of a Commission under article 340 of the Constitution to examine the issue of sub-categorization of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
●    The Commission shall submit its report within 12 weeks from the date of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission. 
●    The Commission shall be known as the Commission to examine the sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes.
●    The proposed terms of references of the Commission are as follows:
●    To examine the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among the castes/ communities included in the broad category of OBCs, with reference to the OBCs included in the Central list.
●    To work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters, in a scientific approach, for sub-categorization within such OBCs, and,
●    To take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes/communities/ sub-castes/ synonyms in the Central List of OBCs and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement for construction of a new Bridge over Mechi River at Indo-Nepal border 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement on Cost sharing, Schedules and Safeguard issues for starting construction of a new Bridge over Mechi River at Indo-Nepal border.
●    The estimated cost of construction of the bridge is Rs. 158.65 crore, which would be funded by Government of India through ADB loan. 
●    The new bridge is part of up-gradation of the Kakarvitta (Nepal) to Panitanki Bypass (India) on NH 327B covering a length of 1500 meters including a 6 lane approach road of 825 meters. 
●    Mechi Bridge is the ending point of Asian Highway 02 in India leading to Nepal and provides critical connectivity to Nepal.
●    The construction of the bridge will improve regional connectivity and has potential to strengthen cross border trade between both the countries and cementing ties by strengthening industrial, social and cultural exchanges.


Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme - "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana" 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the renaming of the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) as "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) " for the period of 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. 
●    Earlier, CCEA in its meeting held in May, 2017 approved the new Central Sector Scheme - SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with same allocation and period . 
●    The objective of PMKSY is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste. 
●    PMKSY with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.

Cabinet approves Closure of loss making Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of Ministry of Railways to close the Bharat Wagon and Engineering Company Limited (BWEL) - a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Ministry of Railways. 
●    626 employees of BWEL will be benefitted from the voluntary retirement scheme to be offered at 2007 pay scale. 
●    The Government will have to provide one time grant off 151.18 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities of the company. 
●    This measure will stop flow of financial support from public funds for carrying on the operations of sick/loss making BWEL resulting in savings for the Government. 
●    The implementation will be done as per the timelines prescribed in the guidelines issued by Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on time bound closure of sick/loss making CPSEs.


National Sports Museum to be established in New Delhi 

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is going to establish National Sports Museum, first of its kind, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. 
●    The decision was taken three months back and after a series of meetings and his personal visits to several locations in the capital, the current venue for museum was finalized by the Sports Minister Shri Vijay Goel himself. 
●    Shri Vijay Goel said, the Museum will showcase the India’s achievements in sports and also focus on the traditional sports within the country. 
●    He said, the aim of the Museum is to popularise the sports as a way of life within the country. 
●    Accordingly, the proposed Museum would go beyond the classical approach of a collection of memorabilia to become an interactive venue of interest for all age groups. 
●    In addition, Shri Goel said, it will display achievements of the Indian greats in sports and also act as an educational hub and offer opportunity for the young to delve into some sporting activity.


Tata Power JV synchronises 186MW Georgia Hydro Project

Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, through Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL), its joint venture with Norway's Clean Energy Invest AS Norway (Clean Energy) and IFC InfraVentures (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, today, announced the synchronisation of its 186MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (HPP) in record time. 
●    Furthermore, Tata Power has commenced stabilisation procedures to ensure smooth operations. 
●    The construction of the plant started in the fall of 2013 and has been synchronised on August 1 and 2, 2017, in a record time of less than four years.
●    Shuakhevi HPP is the largest hydropower plant to be built in Georgia over the past 50 years, and its project investment cost exceeded USD420 million. 
●    The completion ceremony was presided by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and the Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze.
●    Around 730 Georgian citizens were employed in the plant construction. The project will significantly contribute to Georgia’s path toward energy independence. 
●    The power generated by the project will be exclusively sold within Georgia throughout the winter, which is a period of energy deficit.

Current Affairs 23rd August 2017: APPOINTMENT

Ashwani Lohani appointed new Chairman of Railway Board


Ashwani Lohani was on Wednesday appointed as the new Chairman of Railway Board after AK Mital tendered his resignation following recent train accidents. 
●    The announcement by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet came hours after Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu indicated that he had offered his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the recent train accidents. 
●    “Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways,” the committee said.
●    Lohani who holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, currently is the Chairman & Managing Director of Air India. 
●    Lohani, an officer of the railway mechanical service, had served earlier as the Divisional Regional Manager of Delhi. 
●    He was also ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum in the capital.
●    Mital, a 1976-batch officer of the Indian Railway Stores, was reappointed to the same post two days before his retirement in 2016. 
●    With the two-year extension, Mital was to remain in office till July 2018.
 

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