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Current affairs : December 30, 2016 for all competitive exams

Govt meets PMUY target of 1.5 crore LPG connection additions this financial year
The government has met the 1.5 crore target for LPG connections to be added in this financial year under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). With this, LPG coverage across the country has been increased to 70% as of December 1.
  • The top five states with the highest number of connections are Uttar Pradesh (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh).
  • The households belonging to SC/ST constitute large chunk of beneficiaries with 35% of the connections being released to them.

Financial data management body mooted
The Committee, headed by Ajay Tyagi, has submitted its report and a draft bill titled ‘The financial data management centre bill 2016’.

  • The panel has suggested setting up a financial data management centre (FDMC) for managing the repository of financial regulatory data to ensure stability in the economy.
  • The powers of the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) will include the establishment, operation and maintenance of the financial system database along with collecting financial regulatory data and providing access to it.
  • The body will also provide analytical support to the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on issues relating to financial stability.

Wage payment through banks ordinance gets President’s nod
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, to enable industries to pay wages through cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts of workers earning up to Rs. 18,000 a month without their permission.
  • The ordinance empowers the Centre or State governments to specify industries or establishments where wage payment can be made mandatory through the banking system.
  • The government introduced the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha on December 15, but it couldn’t be cleared, owing to the impasse in Parliament.

Railways to offer discount on vacant seats booked after chart preparation
Beginning January 1, last-minute rail passengers will get 10 per cent discount on vacant seats booked after the preparation of reservation charts.
  • The Indian Railways began this experiment on Shatabdi, Duronto and Rajdhani trains earlier this month, and the trial will now be extended to all trains for six months.
  • The discount will be applicable on the base fare of the last ticket sold for a particular class before the preparation of the first chart.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba to chair committee of Chiefs
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, is all set to assume chairmanship of the committee on December 31.
  • Admiral Lanba received the Chairman’s baton from the outgoing Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. He will assume charge once Mr. Raha steps down on December 31.
  • At present, the Chairman’s post is held on rotation basis by the senior-most of the three service Chiefs. Admiral Lanba assumed command of the Navy on May 31, 2016, and will be the senior-most by the end of the year.

Centre forms panel on arbitration hub
The Centre has constituted a high-level committee, led by the former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, to draw a road map to make India a global arbitration hub.
  • The committee would comprise another former SC judge, R.V. Raveendran, Delhi High Court judge S. Ravindra Bhat, senior advocates K.K. Venugopal and Indu Malhotra, Additional Solicitor-General P.S. Narasimha, Director of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy Araghya Sengupta, representatives of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Indian Industry.

Haryana signs MoU with Andhra to prepare citizen database
Haryana government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Andhra Pradesh to assist it compile a centralised database of its population to ensure efficient and effective implementation of welfare programmes. 
  • The MoU for State Resident Data Base (SRDB) was signed by Haryana Principal Secretary, Information Technology Devender Singh and Secretary Andhra Pradesh, Information Technology, Vijayen.

World Bhojpuri Conference begins in Varanasi
Mauritius High Commissioner to India Jagdishwar Goburdhun has stated that a ‘World Bhojpuri Conference’ will be held  from 29 December 2016 till January 1 2017, in which participants from over 18 countries are likely to be present.
  • The conference will deliberate on culture, religion, language and business among other issues.
  • A large number of Bhojpuri speakers from different parts of the world will participate in the conference at a private school in Badalalpur.

Digital payments: MeitY teams up with CAIT to train retail merchants
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided to team-up with Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to further promote digital payments among the retail community.
  • As many as 1 crore shopkeepers in about 1,000 towns of the country will be trained on digital payments under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between MeitY and CAIT.

Colombia passes FARC amnesty law
Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday passed a law granting amnesty to Marxist FARC rebels as part of the country’s peace deal, a development the government hailed as “historic”.
  • The measure grants special legal treatment, amnesty and pardons to members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) accused of political and related crimes. 
  • The Senate passed the bill 69-0, after the House of Representatives approved it 121-0.

FIPB clears 6 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,200 crore
Inter-ministerial body Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved six investment proposals envisaging foreign investment of Rs 1,200 crore.
  • India allows FDI in most sectors through the automatic route, but in certain segments considered sensitive for the economy and security, the proposals have to be first cleared by FIPB.

China's Alibaba to open first India office in Mumbai
Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, which has made investments in India's Snapdeal and Paytm, is setting up its first office in India in Mumbai. 
  • The office will be located at the commercial Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. 
  • It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. 

RBI extends loan repayment window to 90 days
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked lenders to provide borrowers 90 days for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans worth up to 1 crore rupees, stated that the dispensation will apply to dues payable between 1st November and 31st December.
  • RBI has  decided to provide another 30 days over and above the existing 60 days. 

BoB signs MoU with HFL to provide dairy loans to farmers
State-run Bank of Baroda and Heritage Foods Ltd (HFL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide dairy loans to farmers through the lender's branches across the country.
  • Heritage Foods is in the business of procurement, processing and sale of milk and milk products.
  • BoB and HFL will work jointly to provide dairy loans to the farmers which will benefit them in increasing their productivity and earnings under allied activities

Ranveer Singh becomes new ambassador of Thumps Up
Coca-Cola India has signed Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador for its Thums Up brand. 
  • The company launched new thematic campaign starring Ranveer Singh in its 'Toofani' series, nearly four months after ending association with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan. 

Amul's 'India 3.0' book launched
Amul has launched the updated edition of 'Amul's India 3.0'.
  • The book was unveiled by social commentator Santosh Desai, Amul's Managing Director R.S. Sodhi, and journalists Indrajit Hazra, Rahul Da Cunha and Jai Arjun Singh. 
  • They shared many insights and observations shared about the iconic 'Amul Girl'

Rishi Kapoor's autobiography to release on 15 January  2017
Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor's autobiography titled Khullam Khulla will hit the stands on January 15 next year. 
  • The book's title has been borrowed from the 64-year-old actor's famous song Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge Hum Dono.

Suresh Kalmadi declines post of IOA Life President
Suresh Kalmadi chose to back off but Abhay Singh Chautala remained defiant even as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
  • Suresh Kalmadi has refused to accept the post of life president with the Indian Olympic Association following a notice from the Sports Ministry to the IOA.
  • On 27 December 2016 , former IOA presidents Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala were appointed life presidents of the apex sports body in the country.However, Chautala has decided not to step down.

Debbie Reynolds, mother of Carrie Fisher, passes away
Actress Debbie Reynolds, the star of the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain,” has died.
  • Reynolds and Fisher were featured together in the HBO documentary “Bright Lights,” scheduled for release in 2017.

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