National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs January 1st week 2016
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Hyderabad to host international film festival 

  • Come August 2016, Hyderabad is set to host the second edition of All Lights India International Film Festival (ALIFF) & Indywood Film Market (IFM), one-of-its-kind of event to happen in the twin cities in recent times.
  • Touted to be South Asia’s biggest event to be held at Ramoji Film City, 105 films from different Indian languages are to be screened with an expected attendance of more than 10,000 people. The inaugural one was held at Kochi in November last.
  • During the festival proposed to be held between August 17-21, active participation from global film and media fraternity including producers, directors, exhibitors, buyers, sales agents, stuntmen and global film equipment manufacturers among others have been anticipated. In terms of numbers, the organisers expect the event to attract participants from more than 70 countries and expect 1,500 film submissions to be selected for screening.
2) New textile scheme to generate 30 lakh jobs, Rs. 1-lakh cr investment
  • The Centre has stitched together an Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) that will give a boost to ‘Make in India’ in the textiles sector by attracting investments of Rs. 1-lakh crore and creating over 30 lakh jobs.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 30th December approved the scheme to replace the existing Revised Restructured TUFS. According to an official statement, a budget provision of Rs.17,822 crore has been approved, of which Rs. 12,671 crore is for committed liabilities under the ongoing scheme [RR-TUFS], and Rs. 5,151 crore is for new cases under ATUFS.
  • The statement said with the amount provided for new investment in 2012-17 exhausted, the Finance Ministry was approached for enhancing the allocation. Under the new scheme, there will be two broad categories:
  1.     One for apparel, garment and technical textiles, wherein 15 per cent subsidy will be provided over five years on capital investment not exceeding Rs. 30 crore.
  2.     The second category, comprising all the other sub-sectors, will get 10 per cent subsidy, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 20 crore.
  • The new scheme targets employment generation and export by encouraging the apparel and garment industry. It will encourage better quality in processing industry and check the need for import of fabrics by the garment sector. Eligible cases now pending with the Office of Textile Commissioner (TXC) will be provided assistance under the ongoing scheme and the new scheme given prospective effect.
  • The TXC is also being reorganised and its offices shall be set up in each State. TXC officers will be closely associated with entrepreneurs for setting up units under the new scheme, verifying assets created jointly with the bankers and maintaining close liaison with State government agencies.
3) Railway joint ventures with States approved
  • The Union Cabinet has approved a model agreement, which can serve as the base format for the Railways to enter into joint ventures with States. The Railway Ministry has already entered into an agreement with Odisha for implementing railway connectivity projects.
  • Additionally, Maharashtra has also committed Rs. 10,000 crore to develop rail infrastructure, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had earlier stated. These joint ventures will help the Railways mobilise resources from States for undertaking infrastructure projects. The agreement will align both the Centre and States in implementing Railway projects in terms of financial participation as well as decision-making. This will also facilitate in faster statutory approvals and land acquisition.
  • As per the Cabinet nod, the initial paid-up capital of the Railway Ministry would be limited to Rs. 50 crore for each State. The joint venture companies would be formed with equity participation of the Railway Ministry and the State government concerned. Each joint venture would have an initial paid-up capital of Rs. 100 crore.
  • These joint ventures can also form project-specific special purpose vehicles with equity holding by other stakeholders, such as banks, ports, public sector undertakings and mining companies. Further infusion of funds or equity for projects shall be done after approval and funding at the level of appropriate competent authority.


4) Telangana MLC results: TRS bags four seats, Cong wins two

  • In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) has bagged four MLC constituencies while opposition Congress won two seats. TRS candidates secured two seats from Ranga Reddy district and one each from Khammam and Mahabubnagar districts.
  • The Congress emerged victorious from one seat in Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda seats. Despite Congress and TDP-BJP support, the left parties’ candidate Nageswar Rao has been defeated by 31 votes. Out of total 12 seats where elections were held, TRS candidates have earlier won unopposed from six seats.
5) Chhattisgarh govt to make roof-top solar plants mandatory for new buildings
  • In Chhattisgarh, the state government has decided to make roof-top solar plants mandatory for new buildings of government, semi-government establishments and institutional bodies from next year onwards. The decision will come to effect from January 1, 2016.
  • The decision was taken at a state Cabinet meeting. Solar power plants with the capacity of 10 to 50 KW would be installed in various buildings of the state. With this decision, there is a possibility of installing a total of 200 MW solar capacity power plants in the entire state.
6) No interviews for Class-III, IV govt jobs: PM
  • The decision to abolish interviews for Class-III and IV government jobs comes into effect on 1st January 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described it as a New Year Gift which will free the youth from corruption. The decision will impact over 29 lakh central government posts.
  • The Prime Minister said, interviews are seen as a means to get a job by using somebody`s influence and those deserving are deprived in the process. He said, it is a major step in the fight against corruption and the government`s effort to save the youth from problems they encounter while seeking jobs.
7) Govt sets up panel to revamp Censor Board
  • The government has constituted a committee headed by noted film-maker Shyam Benegal to look into revamp of Censor Board. The recommendations of this committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework.
  • During their deliberations, the committee would be expected to take note of the best practices in various parts of the world, especially where the film industry is given sufficient and adequate space for creative and aesthetic expression.
  • The Committee would recommend broad guidelines under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act for the benefit of the chairperson and other members of the Screening Committee.
  • The other Members of the Committee include Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Piyush Pandey, Bhawana Somaaya , Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) as Member Convenor. The Committee has been requested to submit its recommendations within two months.


8) Govt constitutes panel for holistic interpretation of Cinematograph Act

  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 1st January constituted a committee headed by noted film personality Shyam Benegal for holistic interpretation of the Cinematographic Act. The panel, which would submit its report in two months, includes filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey and film critic Bhawana Somaaya.
  • Apart from these, National Film Development Council MD Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy would also be part of committee.
  • The recommendations of this Committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework.
9) Govt forms panel to study wage structure of gramin dak sevaks
  • The government has constituted a one-man committee to examine the wage structure and service conditions of gramin dak sevaks. This is a one man committee. The Department of Posts has 2.6 lakh gramin dak sevaks. Kamlesh Chandra, a retired member of the postal services board, will constitute the committee, which will be assisted by T Q Mohammad, a senior administrative grade officer, who will act as secretary.
  • It further said terms of reference of the committee include examining the system of branch post offices, engagement conditions and the existing structure of wage and emoluments paid to gramin sevaks and recommend necessary changes.
  • The committee will review the existing facilities, the service discharge benefit scheme and other social security benefits of gramin dak sevaks.
  • It also has a mandate to examine and suggest any change in the method of engagement, minimum qualification for engagement for gramin dak sevaks and their conduct and disciplinary rules, particularly keeping in view the proposed induction of technology in rural post offices.
10) Centre to build 50k anganwadi centres every year
  • According to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, the Union Government will construct 50,000 anganwadi centres (AWCs) every year so that in the next four years two lakh anganwadis have their own buildings and can provide health care in villages in a better way
  • The scheme is being funded partly from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) and partly from the ICDS budget.
  • Starting with this financial year, 50,000 anagwadi centres are being set up in 11 states which have high burden of malnutrition. These include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.
  • Also, the 25 per cent reserved posts in which anganwadi workers, who have completed ten years of service and are graduate can apply and get promoted as a supervisor, has been increased to 50 per cent to motivate them, said Gandhi.