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Daily Current affairs - September 23rd, 2017 for all competitive exams

Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana launched
The government has launched “Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana” which will experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
  • Under the scheme, the department of science and technology has conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in a time bound manner through the tools of Science and Technology (S&T).
  • The key deliverable in this approach is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and convert them in a manner using science and technology, that substantial value addition takes place in their local produce and services which can sustain the rural population locally.

Govt to strengthen ‘Korea Plus’ cell to strengthen FDI from S.Korea
The government is planning to facilitate greater investments from South Korea and would strengthen the ‘Korea Plus” cell in this regard.
  • “Korea Plus” is a strategic initiative between the Governments of India and South Korea “to promote, facilitate and retain Korean investments in India.”
  • The mandate of Korea Plus covers the entire investment spectrum including supporting Korean enterprises entering the Indian market for the first time, looking into issues faced by Korean companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the Indian government on their behalf.

Deendayal Hastkala Sankul inaugurated at Varanasi
Deendayal Hastkala Sankul – a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts – was recently inaugurated at Varanasi.
  • The Sankul will facilitate the weavers/artisans/exporters in promotion of handlooms/handicrafts in both domestic and international markets. 
  • The Crafts Museum in the Sankul will preserve the traditional handloom/handicrafts products of Varanasi and showcase the handloom & handicraft products, which will be an inspiration for the new generation, scholars, designers and tourists.

SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital launched in Assam
SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, a joint initiative of Government of Assam and NITI Aayog, has been launched.
  • The programme aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.
  • The SATH program embodies the philosophy of co-operative federalism. NITI Aayog selected the three states through a three stage challenge-process – expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to health sector reforms. Finally, three states: Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka were chosen based on objective assessment criteria affecting the potential for impact and likelihood of success.
  • The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors.

Odisha CM inaugurates Kalam planetarium in Sambalpur
Odisha’s first planetarium outside the State capital was thrown open to the public at Sambalpur.
  • The state-of-the-art planetarium named after former President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his one-day visit to the western Odisha city.
  • The planetarium and science park developed on around five acres are expected to draw large crowds from the neighbouring districts.

1st Woman minister joins Mizoram Cabinet since 1987
Lalawmpuii Chawngthu became the second woman in Mizoram to be inducted into the State’s Council of Ministers after a gap of 30 years.
  • Governor Lt. Gen. (retd) Nirbhay Sharma administered the oath of office to Ms. Chawngthu at a function at Raj Bhavan.
  • The 1st woman in Mizoram to hold ministerial post is Lalhlimpuii Hmar, who was made a minister in 1987.

Arunachal CM among disqualified directors
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and a Minister in the Assam government, Naba Kumar Doley, figure among the 1.06 lakh disqualified directors associated with ‘shell companies’ that have been “named and shamed” by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MoCA).
  • Mr. Khandu’s name appears as one of the three directors of Rigsel Hotels and Resorts, whose registered address with the Registrar of Companies (Shillong) is the same as the one mentioned in his election affidavit.

SPOs to be paid through Aadhaar-linked accounts
The Home Ministry has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to make payments to Special Police Officers (SPOs) through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. 
  • The decision was taken after several complaints of financial irregularities surfaced. 
  • The Home Ministry reimburses the salary of SPOs after the payment has been done by the State.
  • To create employment opportunities in the State, the Centre has sanctioned 10,000 additional posts of SPOs in 2016.

SC lets States frame rules for PCBs
The Supreme Court directed State governments to frame guidelines or recruitment rules within six months for appointment of suitable professionals in State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).
  • It set aside an August 24, 2016 order of the National Green Tribunal laying down guidelines for SPCB appointments, saying it exceeded its jurisdiction.

India plans to train Afghan police officers
 India is planning to train Afghan police officers, says Afghanistan’s envoy to India.
  • The MoU for the proposal, which will be supported by the United Nations Development Programme, is a first, and was discussed as part of enhancing the security partnership between India and Afghanistan during the meeting of the Strategic Partnership Council in Delhi this month.
  • The External Affairs Ministry did not respond to requests for a comment on the plan to train police officers.

Hasina floats five-point peace plan
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has floated a five-point proposal at the United Nations to find a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. She also called for immediate steps to end the ‘cleansing’ of the ethnic Rohingya minority.
1.     Myanmar must stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State unconditionally, immediately and forever.
2.     The UN Secretary General should immediately send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar.
3.     All civilians, irrespective of religion and ethnicity, must be protected in Myanmar. For this, ‘safe zones’ could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
4.     Sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar must be ensured.
5.     The recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission Report must be implemented immediately, unconditionally and entirely.

19 Neolithic tombs discovered in China
Archaeologists have discovered 19 Neolithic tombs and unearthed over 400 cultural relics in China’s Heilongjiang province.
  • Most of the relics, consisting of jadeware, stoneware and pottery, go back around 9,000 years.

Moscow unveils a new Stalin sculpture
A bronze bust of Joseph Stalin was unveiled in Moscow amid increasing concerns in Russia that the authorities are seeking to whitewash the Soviet dictator’s crimes.
  • Stalin’s sculpture — along with those of other major Soviet leaders like Vladimir Lenin and Nikita Khrushchev — was unveiled outside a museum in central Moscow. 
  • The seven sculptures are the latest addition to the recently opened “Alley of Rulers” composition that already features 33 Russian rulers.

500 kg WWII bomb unearthed in Vienna
An unexploded bomb from the Second World War weighing 500 kg was discovered in the Austrian capital, prompting officials to carry out extensive evacuations.
  • Bomb squad experts as well as the fire brigade were called in to assess the device and any risk it may pose.

Infosys, ToneTag in pact for payment solutions
Infosys Finacle, a unit of EdgeVerve Systems, a fullyowned subsidiary of Infosys, announced a partnership with ToneTag, a provider of near-field communications, payments and locationbased services using sound waves. 
  • Finacle and ToneTag will offer joint solutions to leverage the latter’s sound wave technology to enable proximity payments and interactions.

Transition credit forms deadline extended to Oct. 31
The government has set October 31 as the new deadline for the filing of the transitional credit forms under the Goods and Services Tax regime, and has sought to downplay the size of the claims so far received, saying they were commensurate to the claims seen in the pre-GST system.
  • The government also clarified that the figure of transition credit claimed so far was not ‘incredibly high’ as compared with the closing balance of Rs. 1.27 lakh crore of credit of Central Excise and Service Tax as of June 30.

SBI unveils bond index at LSE
SBI has introduced FTSE SBI Bond index at London Stock Exchange on September 22.
  • FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with the global index provider FTSE 100, which the bank hopes would give investors from India, U.K. and globally, tools to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market.

Uber loses licence to ply in London
Taxi-hailing app Uber suffered a major blow as Transport for London (TfL) — the body responsible for issuing licences to cab companies — said that by the end of this month it would lose its licence to operate in the city.
  • According to the TFL, Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license regarding the transport app’s private hire operator licence that expires on September 30.

Newton is India’s official entry to Oscars 2018
According to a Film Federation of India official, Newton will be India’s official entry to the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars next year.
  • The Amit Masurkar directed movie, starring Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav and Anjali Patil, tells the story of polling officer Newton Kumar, who is bent on conducting free and fair elections in the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.

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