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Current affairs : January 4, 2017 for all competitive exams

Government finds scientific way to implement social welfare programmes, combat poverty
The government is embracing a more scientific way to implement social welfare programmes in a move to better combat poverty by weeding out underserving beneficiaries.
  • The government is planning to adopt the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) instead of the poverty line-based method to identify recipients for its pro-poor schemes.

Finally, after a decade of RTI roll out 94% ministries declared statistics in last fiscal
Over a decade after the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the government has finally fallen in line. After refusing to divulge statistics on RTI applications for years, a record 94% of central ministries and departments have followed the rulebook in 2015-16, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has revealed.

  • According to statistics collated by the CIC, 94% of the public authorities have reported in 2015-16 on how they have been implementing the RTI Act. This is the first time that the number of public authorities following the rulebook has crossed the 90% mark.

West Bengal’s longest free WiFi-enabled road:
West Bengal”s longest free WiFi-enabled road has become operational.
  • Free WiFi will be available over the entire stretch on Biswa Bangla Sarani covering a distance of 13.5km.
  • The step has been taken to facilitate IT professionals who travel along the road to their workplaces.

EPFO launches a campaign to enroll more workers, sets Re 1 fine for late registration
Encouraging firms to enroll their workers under schemes run by retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), a three-month campaign has been launched beginning 1 January  2017.
  • Employers will get amnesty and pay just Re 1 as damages for not registering their employees earlier to be called 'Enrollment and Establishment coverage campaign 2017'.

Finland First Country to introduces basic income for unemployed

Finland has become the first country in the world to pay a basic income to randomly picked citizens on a national level in an aiming at dismissing poverty, motivate people to join work force and decrease unemployment.

  • The experiment is conducted with 2,000 randomly picked unemployed participants between the ages of 25 and 58.
  • For two years, participants from different parts of the country will receive an unconditional monthly tax-free basic income of 560 euros ($586).
  • Finland had an unemployment level of 9.4 in 2015, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

British art critic, revolutionary, author John Berger dead
Influential British art critic and prize-winning author John Berger, a self-declared revolutionary who controversially backed the far-Left Black Panthers, has died aged 90.
  • Mr. Berger was best known for his art criticism essay “Ways of seeing”, written to accompany a BBC television series, which is credited with changing the way people viewed art.
  • He also won the 1972 Booker Prize for Fiction for his experimental novel G. , set in pre-World War I Europe.

Paytm Payments Bank gets final RBI approval
Paytm Payments Bank on Tuesday received the final approval from the Reserve Bank of India to commence operations.
  • The payments bank is expected to start operations next month with its first branch in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. 

Divan appointed as Nariman recuses himself from BCCI assignment
Wary of conflict of interest, senior advocate Fali Nariman asked the Supreme Court to excuse him from the responsibility of finding suitable persons for the Committee of Administrators to run the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • The apex court had commissioned Nariman and senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam to provide it “objective assistance” in selecting persons of experience and integrity for the committee.
  • In a formal order, SC Bench  accepted Nariman’s recusal and appointed senior advocate Anil Divan in his place.

Arthur Morris inducted into ICC hall of fame
Arthur Morris, the late Australia batsman, has been inducted as the 82nd player into the ICC hall of fame.
  • He played 46 Tests and was the highest scorer among Don Bradman's "Invincibles" in the 1948 Ashes. 

Balaji is KKR’s bowling coach
Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday announced that former India pacer L. Balaji would work with the team as its bowling coach.
  • Balaji, who was part of KKR’s bowling line-up from 2011 to 2013 and contributed in the team’s victorious campaign in 2012, would replace Wasim Akram.

Britain Ambassador to the Europe Union Quits
The U.K.’s ambassador to the European Union Ivan Rogers resigned from his post.
Sir Mark Ivan Rogers KCMG (born 1960) is a senior British civil servant, who was the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union from 4 November 2013 until his resignation on 3 January 2017

Rs. 5 discount for online payment of LPG cylinder
State-owned fuel retailers, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will offer an upfront discount of Rs 5 on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for it online.
  • To provide cashless transactions, the government had asked oil companies to pay consumers 0.75 per cent discount on cashless fuelling of petrol and diesel at petrol pumps.
  • This has now been extended to cooking gas (LPG).

Mithali Raj to lead India in Women's World Cup Qualifier
Seasoned player Mithali Raj will skipper the Indian women’s cricket team for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifiers to be played from February 3 to 21 in Colombo.
  • The team comprises of most of the prominent names in the squad which guided India to clinch the women’s T20 Asia Cup 2016 title in December last year by beating arch-rivals Pakistan.

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