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Important Current Affairs 27th August 2017

Important Current Affairs 27th August 2017

Current Affairs 27th August 2017: NATIONAL NEWS

Niti Aayog suggests waste to energy plants to clean up solid waste

The Aayog made the recommendations in its ‘Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20’, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently. 

●    The NITI Aayog has suggested setting up an authority which will take up installation of ‘waste to energy’ plants in public-private partnership (PPP) mode to clean up municipal solid waste, which, it said, has become a “serious threat” to public health. 
●    Noting that rapidly rising prosperity has resulted in generation of vast volumes of solid waste in the cities, the Aayog underlined that cities have been “slow to develop effective ways” to dispose municipal waste and called for accelerated action to combat the problem. 
●    “The mountains of waste, which can now be seen in nearly all cities, have become a serious public health threat,” it said.
●    The Aayog made the recommendations in its ‘Three Year Action Agenda, 2017-18 to 2019-20’, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently. 
●    “To speed up the process of cleaning up municipal solid waste, it may be worth exploring the possibility of an authority at the Centre to spread the use of ‘waste to energy’ plants,” it said.

Government Planning to Give 2% Relief on GST For Digital Payments

To give a major push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's digitisation initiative, the government is now planning to offer 2% incentive over the applicable GST tax rate in case of digital payments on bills up to Rs 2,000. 
●    This means an individual will have to shell out less if the payment is digitally done. As per reports by TOI, the proposal is being discussed between the finance ministry, RBI, cabinet secretariat and ministry of electronics and Information Technology.
●    The Prime Minister, while addressing the nation on the 71st Independence Day had asked people to use less cash and had encouraged individuals to shift to digital payments. 
●    The IT ministry has also launched a slew of initiatives to promote digitization across the nation and is leading the efforts to further popularise electronic payments.Small transactions and are mostly preferred through the cash mode. 
●    Relief is being mooted for smaller transactions because they are large in numbers. Meanwhile, if an incentive can be given for big transactions of up to Rs 2,000 which are very high in volumes, it will provide an impetus to digital payments.

Centre to invite global expertise to build houses for poor

The Centre will invite companies from across the world to showcase their construction techniques, and adopt the selected ones to build affordable houses for poor families in the country.
●    The move is in line with the government's push under the 'Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana' (PMAY) (Urban) project, which aims at providing 'pucca' houses to every poor family in the country by 2022.
●    "We will conduct a challenge for the construction sector. 
●    Global firms will come to India and demonstrate construction of houses at a minimum cost in minimum duration, keeping our requirements in mind," Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra said.
●    He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a round-table meeting here on the 'India Housing Construction Technology Challenge (IHCTC)', organised by the ministry of housing and urban affairs.
●    Mishra said the techniques of the selected demonstrators will be adopted in the upcoming housing projects of the government.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurates first ‘Videsh Bhavan’ in Mumbai

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday inaugurated the country’s first ‘Videsh Bhavan’ at Mumbai. 
●    The bhavan, which integrates all offices of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Maharashtra, is located in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), a business district in suburban Mumbai. Four offices of the ministry in Mumbai – Passport Office, Office of the Protector of Emigrants, Office of the Regional Director of ICCR (the Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and Branch Secretariat of MEA – will be functioning under one roof in the newly constructed building.
●    The facility will help in effective management of the MEA’s engagement with the Maharashtra government, the ministry said on its website.
●    The ‘Videsh Bhavan’ in the city is the first integrated office complex of the MEA established in any state of the country, it said.

Two cases of sedation filed against people of Dera head

A day after 32 people died and hundreds injured in violence following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Haryana government claimed today that peace had been restored throughout the state. 
●    Two cases of sedition have been registered against the Dera chief’s followers, Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi said and added that one child and three women were among the 28 persons who died in Panchkula yesterday.
●    “Peace is prevailing throughout the state and no incident has occurred anywhere after 6.30 pm yesterday,” Dhesi told a press conference here. 
●    Dhesi also said that proper security arrangements had been made for Monday, when the quantum of Singh’s sentence will be announced by the CBI court. 
●    Addressing a joint press conference with the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, and Director General of Police, B S Sandhu, Dhesi disclosed that two cases of sedition had been registered against Dera followers.
●    The police have recovered an AK-47 rifle and one Mauser from the vehicle of a Dera chief’s follower, and two rifles and five pistols from another vehicle, he said. 
●    As many as 524 persons have been arrested under eight different FIRs registered against the Dera followers, he said. 
●    “The law-and-order situation is being constantly monitored. 
●    As many as 101 companies of paramilitary have been deployed in the state. 

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