- ADB and India Sign $ 84 Million Loan for Bihar
- The Government of India and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar.
- The tranche 2 loan is part of the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012 to provide sustainable urban infrastructure and services in four towns in Bihar – Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.
- The loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), and a commitment charge of 0.15% per year.
· Tokyo Unveils Mascots for 2020 Olympics And Paralympics
- Tokyo unveiled its long-awaited mascot for the2020 Olympic Games: a futuristic blue-checked, doe-eyed character with pointy ears and “special powers” that was picked by schoolchildren across mascot-mad Japan.
- One has an athletic figure and a strong sense of justice.
- The other is a cherry blossom-inspired superhero.
- Dr Harsh Vardhan Launches Mobile App
- In an effort to transform environment protection into a peoples’ movement, a digital mobile application was launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Earth Sciences and Science & Technology in New Delhi.
- The App, named “Dr Harsh Vardhan”, focuses on his social & public activities and involvement of citizens in “Green Good Deeds” movement, which urges people to perform at least one Green Good Deed every day.
- Some of the 500 Green Good Deeds listed in the Mobile App include – planting trees, saving energy, conserving water, use of public transport and promoting carpool.
- India’s first Aviation multi-skill development centre opens in Chandigarh
- An aviation multi-skill development centre (MSDC) was opened in Chandigarh by aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
- A CSR initiative of Airports Authority of India (AAI), this first-of-its-kind centre has been set up in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and is supported by the Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council (AASSC) of India.
- The Rs 5.2 crore project is housed at Chandigarh’s old airport terminal building.
· Union Cabinet approves Action Plan for Champion Sectors in Services
- The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce and Industry to give focused attention to 12 identified Champion Services Sectors Sectors (CSS)for promoting their development and realizing their potential. 12 identified CSS are Information Technology & Information Technology.
- The Information Technology & Information Technology Enabled Services (IT & ITeS), Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Tourism and Hospitals.
- The respective Ministries/Departments will finalize Action Plans and implementation timelines along with monitoring mechanism to monitor implementation of Scheme.
It will enhance the competitiveness of country’s service sectors through implementation of focused and monitored Action Plans.
· Union Cabinet Approves Anti-Trafficking Bill Draft
- The apex anti-terror body National Investigation Agency (NIA)will be the nodal authority for probing cases of human trafficking after the government approved a proposal in this regard.
- The Union Cabinet okayed the draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, which also proposes a punishment of life imprisonment for repeat offenders.
- The draft Bill divides various offenses into “trafficking” and “aggravated trafficking”.
GK bit – NIA
- National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.
- It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
- The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
Functioning of NIA:
- To curb various aspects of terrorist financing, a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has been created in the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
- The Cell maintains data base of terror financing and cases of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).
- It also conducts part investigation into terror financing aspects of regular cases investigated by the NIA. For terror financing aspects of Naxalite groups operating in various parts of India, the TFFC Cell has conducted a number of verifications of bank accounts suspected to be linked with naxalite groups.
- Various Special Courts have been established under Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008 for trail of the cases registered at various police stations of National Investigation Agency.
- As per the NIA Act, 2008, the NIA Special Courts have all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
· DAC approves Rs. 9,435-crore procurement proposals for three services
- The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved various procurement proposals for three services estimated at about Rs. 9,435 crore.
- The proposals include the purchase of 41,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and over 3.5 lakh close quarter battle (CQB).
- LMGs and CQB carbines: The carbines will be procured at cost of Rs. 4,607 crore and LMGs Rs. 3,000 crore.
- 1,28,509 Affordable Houses Sanctioned for Urban Poor under PMAY(urban)
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 1,28,509 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs. 9,364 cr with central assistance of Rs. 1,928 cr.
- The approval was given in the 31st meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee in its meeting.
- The projects where sanctioned across 184 cities in the states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry(UT).
- Roger Federer named World Sportsman of the Year 2017
- Twenty-time tennis grand slam champion Roger Federer has won the 2017 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year awards.
- The 36-year-old Swiss won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in 2017 after nearly five years without a major.
- Serena Williams took the World Sportswoman of the Year award after winning her 23rd grand slam in 2017.
- Formula 1 constructors’ champions Mercedes picked up the Team of the Year accolade, and wheelchair athlete Marcel Hug won Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.
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