National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs January 4th week 2016
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) Government inks MoU to implement Action Plan for skill development in Telecom.

  • The Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has signed MoU with Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for Skill Development in Telecom Sector.
  • The MoU has signed to implement National Action Plan for Skill Development in Telecom Sector.
Key Factors:
  • Both signatories will make concerted joint efforts towards skill development by facilitating mobilization of financial support for various activities.
  • The financial mobilization will be under the National Ecosystem for Development of Telecom.
  • National Institute for Policy Research Innovation and Training (NTIPRT) will be also developed for training and skill upgradation in Telecom.
2) Haryana signs 8 MoUs in China on smart-cities etc
  • Haryana is expecting a spike in foreign investments from China after eight MoUs were signed with top companies to set up a USD 10 billion industrial park and smart cities in the state during Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s trip to woo investors.
  • These MoUs were signed with top Chinese companies like Wanda Group, China Land Development Company Private Limited, and ZTE Corporation.
Signed MoUs:
  • The chief minister met Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin and a MoU was signed for development of a World Class Comprehensive Industrial Park at Kharkhoda district in Sonipat.
  • Wanda Group will invest a total of USD 10 billion to develop “Wanda Industrial New City” over an area of approximately 13 square kilometers.
  • The government also signed a MoU with ZTE Corporation for the development of smart cities in Haryana.
  • Another MoU was signed with China Fortune Land Development Company Private Limited (CFLD) for development of large format Industrial Parks in Haryana.
  • CFLD would set up Industrial Park(s) in the state either at Madina in Rohtak district or at Bidhal Lath Gohana in Sonipat district over an area of more than 300 acres.
  • An MoU was also signed with Inspur Group, which plans to invest USD 100 million in IDC, CDN and cable-box manufacture plant.
3) Finance Ministry approves buying 14 lakh new EVMs.
  • The Finance Ministry gave in-principle approval for buying nearly 14 lakh new electronic voting Machines(EVMs).
  • The Election Commission has moved a step forward towards procuring new devices which are required ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
  • In its meeting, the Expenditure Finance Committee headed by Secretary Expenditure in the Finance Ministry, gave in-principle approval for the purchase of 13,95,648 new balloting units and 9,30,432 control units at an estimated cost of Rs 5,511.48 crore between financial years 2015-16 and 2018-19.

4) Maharashtra’s first Solar Power operated Mini-Water Supply Plant commissioned.

  • The first Solar Power operated Mini-Water Supply Plant of Maharashtra was commissioned in Hingna village of Mouda Taluka in Nagpur district.
  • It will facilitate villagers to get pure water supply for a very low cost which can easily be borne by the Gram Panchayat.
Advantages of Plant:
  • The system delivers 10,000 Litres of purified water every day and runs completely on solar power for which 1800 Watt panels.
  • It purifies the water by removing nitrate content in order to prevent the ill effects on the health of villagers.
  • It can help to curb the menace of nitrate in the ground water which is becoming a major challenge in most parts of the country due of excessive use of fertilizers in agriculture.
  • It has economic considerations as it alleviates the difficulties faced by the local bodies in payment of hefty water supply bills.
5) Union Cabinet clears President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recommended imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Union Government took this decision after state assembly failed to comply with the provisions of Article 174 (sessions of the state legislature, prorogation and dissolution) of the Constitution.
Back Ground:
  • The political crisis in the north eastern hill state began in December 2015 after 21 out of 47 ruling Congress legislators in the 60-member house rebelled along with 11 BJP and 2 independent legislators and extended support to Kalikho Pul to form new government.
  • Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa also had advanced the date of the convening of the assembly session in order check the majority of ruling government in the assembly.
6) International Solar Alliance headquartered in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the President of France François Hollande, laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon.
  • India dedicated 5 acre land at NISE to ISA for hosting its Secretariat and also contributed 175 crore rupees for ISA corpus fund for an initial period of five years.
About International Solar Alliance:
  • It was jointly launched in Paris by India and France on 30 November 2015 during the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).
  • It is the India’s first international and inter-governmental organization of 121 Countries to have headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner
  • It’s governance structure consists of an Assembly, a Council and a Secretariat.
  • The Assembly will provide guidance, direction and advice to the Secretariat for undertaking the activities.

7) Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force.

  • The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 came into force.
  • The amended Act has more stringent provisions for prevention of atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs).
  • The amended law include new offences like tonsuring of head or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of SCs and STs.
  • It also includes garlanding with chappals, abusing in caste name, using or permitting manual scavenging, imposing social or economic boycott.
  • It also has provisions for establishment of Exclusive Special Courts for the expeditious disposal of cases.
8) Union Government launches Sahaj Scheme for online booking of LPG cylinders.
  • Union Government has launched Sahaj Scheme for online booking of LPG cylinders.
  • Union Government has launched Sahaj Scheme for online booking of LPG cylinders. It was launched by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) Dharmendra Pradhan as part of Government’s 2016-Year of the Consumers initiative.
  • Union government has decided to target of adding 10 crore new LPG connections by December 2018 to present 16.5 crore connections.
About Sahaj Scheme:
  • Consumers can book LPG cylinders online through the unified web portal which is available in 13 languages.
  • People can apply online for new LPG connection and they need not visit to the LPG distributors for it.
  • This facility is available around the clock and with online or offline payment options. LPG cylinders will be delivered at home even in their absence.
9) India donated ambulances and buses to Nepal.
  • India has donated ambulances and eight buses to various hospitals, non-profit charitable organizations and educational institutions in Nepal to strengthen the education and health services in the Himalayan nation.
  • Since 1994, the Government of India has gifted 542 ambulances to various organizations across 73 districts in Nepal. This has helped in bringing healthcare services to the doorstep of thousands of people who do not have access to healthcare services.
  • India has so far gifted 106 buses to various educational and welfare institutions across 25 districts in Nepal, making access to education easier for thousands of students.