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National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs December 5th Week 2017.
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National Current Affairs December 5th Week 2017.

 1. Uttar Pradesh Government Signs MoU with South Korea.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism, skill development, culture and farming.
 
A delegation from Gimhae city of South Korea met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at Lucknow and discussed ways to improve cooperation between the two countries.
 
On the occasion, an MoU was signed for giving a new dimension to cooperation in the field of tourism, skill development, culture and farming, which will provide more employment opportunities and development, an official release said.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister stressed on the cultural and historical relations between Uttar Pradesh and South Korea and said that the MoU will go a long way in cementing the bond.
 
“There are immense possibilities in tourism in Uttar Pradesh and South Korea…there is also a need to improve cooperation in the field of technology…this will not only bring investment but also create employment opportunities,” Adityanath said.
 
An agreement was signed in 2000 to develop Ayodhya and Gimhae as sister cities, following which a memorial was constructed in Ayodhya which is visited by a large number of tourists from South Korea every year.
 
People in South Korea believe that 2,000 years ago, an Ayodhya princess had married Korean King Kim Suro. At present, their descendants are members of the ‘Crock Clan’.
 
2. Environment Ministry Launches Pilot Project Blue Flag for Beach Clean-up.
 To enhance standards of cleanliness on beaches, the environment ministry has launched a pilot project for its clean-up and development.
Minister of state for environment and forests Mahesh Sharma, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, said that under the project, each state or union territory has been asked to nominate a beach which will be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management 
 
"With the prime objective of enhancing standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches, the ministry has launched a pilot project for beach clean-up and development, also striving for the `Blue Flag` certification for such identified beaches," Sharma said.
 
The `Blue Flag` is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator, meets its stringent standards.
 
"All the coastal states have nominated the pilot beaches in their receptive territories including Goa.
 
"Formal nominations are, however, awaited from the coastal UTs -- Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar," he said.
 
Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with News App. Download The Times of India news app for your device.
 
3. Indian Boxers won 5 Medals at Galym Boxing Tournament.
India`s elite boxers K Shyam Kumar (49-kg), Naman Tanwar (91-kg) and Satish Kumar (+91-kg) starred in the Galym Zharylgapov Boxing Tournament here on Sunday, clinching gold medals in their respective categories.
 
Manish (60-kg) and Mandeep (75-kg) also put up stellar shows to pocket a silver and a bronze medal each to give the country another rich haul of five medals in an international tournament.
 
The team`s first gold came through Shyam Kumar, against the local boy, Turkbay. Kumar punched his way to glory to set the ball rolling for India. Asian Games bronze medallist Satish Kumar (+91-kg) then steamrolled past Baeshev to bring home the team`s second gold.
 
19-year-old Naman (91-kg), however, towered over everybody as he not only won the gold, but also earned himself the accolade of being the `best boxer` of the tournament.
 
Manish Kaushik (60-kg), who beat the highly decorated Shiva Thapa in his final bout to seize the gold, lost to Rahimov of Uzbekistan to settle for silver.
 
In the semifinals of the prestigious tournament, Commonwealth games silver medalist Mandeep Jangra`s gallant fight against Manashev in his maiden international tournament couldn`t help him emerge victorious as he lost out on points and ended his campaign with a bronze.
 
The Indian team finished the competitive tournament, which had 154 boxers in fray including five international teams and 15 local teams, with three gold, silver and a bronze apiece.

4. Amazon Acquires Connected Security Camera Maker `Blink`.

Highlighting its growing ambitions in Internet-connected home devices, Amazon has acquired wireless security camera startup Blink.

The deal, announced on Friday, gives Amazon a rising star in the emerging and highly competitive field of connected home devices that includes Alphabet’s Nest. In addition to a wireless security camera, Blink makes a video doorbell that lets homeowners glance at their smartphones to see a live feed of who is at their door.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Blink’s security cameras, first introduced in 2016, are known for their ease of setup and for not needing a plug because they can operate on batteries. The video doorbell, which costs $99, is also battery powered

Amazon push into connected home devices started in 2014 with the Echo, the smart speaker that relies on voice recognition to answer questions and do things like order Uber rides. The company expanded its connected home lineup earlier this year with the Cloud Cam, a security camera that has since become an integral part of Amazon Key, a connected lock that lets Amazon’s delivery workers enter homes to drop off packages when homeowner are away.

Blink said Thursday it would continue to operate as part of Amazon and sell the same products it already does. The companies provided no other information about their plans.

5. Uttar Pradesh Introduces New Power Scheme.

Uttar Pradesh has launched a free household power connection scheme for the poor in the state to mark former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee`s birth anniversary.

"To begin with Lohban and Gausana, the two villages of Mathura district have been covered for 100 per cent electrification on the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee," said Srikant Sharma, Uttar Pradesh Power Minister.

The government has a target of covering 16 million by 2018-end, driven by Yogi Adityanath government`s motto `Prakash hai to vikas hai` (the barometer of development is light), he stated.

As against the target of 4 crore under Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s Saubhagy scheme, the state so far has provided 25 lakh household connections.

The government has also introduced Kisan Uday Yojana, a novel scheme for farmers, the minister said, adding that existing 5 HP/7.5 HP submersible and coupling sets of farmers will be replaced free of cost.

According to Sharma, the scheme, which would cover 10 lakh farmers by 2022, wold lead to 35 per cent saving on power consumption.

On allegations that the power tariff has been enhanced to benefit private power suppliers, he said the picture in reality is otherwise.

BPL card holders, those without a roof or having less than Rs 35,000 as income a year are eligible. They can get get connection by paying Rs 550 only as against the earlier Rs 10,000.

He said initial payment under the scheme would be only Rs 50 while the rest is payable in 10 instalments of Rs 50 each.

On allegations of former minister Raghuvansh Pratap Singh that Lalu Yadav has been jailed in the fodder scam as per Delhi`s plan, he said it has become a fashion to target Modi.

6. Commercial Flight Nod for Made-in-India Plane Dornier 228.

Flyers flying to smaller cities in the country may soon get the opportunity to fly in a Made in India Dornier 228 aircraft. The 19-seater aircraft, presently used by defence forces, is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Once operationalised for commercial use, HAL`s Dornier 228 will become the first Made in India plane to be used for civilian flights.

According to a report in TOI, the DGCA has given certificate of airworthiness to HAL`s Dornier 228. HAL can sell this plane to airlines in India and it can be used by them for regional flights under the Modi`s government`s ambitious UDAN scheme, the report said.

"Some special incentives may be given to operators using this plane. Apart from airlines in India, HAL may also look at selling this plane for civil use in neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka," the report quoted an official as saying.

HAL describes its Dornier 228 aircraft as a highly `versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft`. It has been developed specifically to meet the manifold requirements of utility and commuter transport, third level services and air-taxi operations, coast guard duties and maritime surveillance.

The plane, which has a wingspan of 16.97 metres, can be used for maritime surveillance, pollution prevention, troop transport, aerial survey, search and rescue, commuter transport, remote sensing applications, causality evacuation, cargo and logistics support.

Last week, GR Gopinath-led Air Deccan made a comeback into aviation by starting operations with flights between Mumbai and Nashik. Air Deccan is one of the five airlines who had bid for the government subsidies under the first phase of the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme in April this year.

Low-cost carrier Spicejet has already conducted test flights for seaplanes to enhance the regional connectivity. The budget airline is planning to put amphiboius aircrafts into operation within the next 12 months.

"Airports are in short supply in India. Lots of the growth in India is happening in small markets, but those small markets have little or no connectivity. The amphibian plane opens up a lot of areas, creates a lot of flexibility," SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh had told Bloomberg earlier in October.

7. India and Afghanistan launch second air cargo route, linking Kabul with Mumbai.

The second India-Afghanistan air cargo route linking Kabul to Mumbai was officially at the launched on Wednesday, with officials saying it is expected to boost the export of fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan.

The second route follows the success of the Kabul-New Delhi air corridor that was inaugurated by President Ashraf Ghani in mid-June.

Afghan officials told the media that 10,640 tons of fresh produce, fresh and dried fruits, medicinal plants and handicrafts worth more than $20 million had been exported to India since the launch of the first corridor.

The second corridor was formally inaugurated by Afghan and Indian officials at the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul.

8. Lok Sabha Passes GST (Compensation to State) Amendment Bill, 2017.

The Opposition on Wednesday virtually paralysed the Lok Sabha proceedings demanding dismissal of Union Minister Anantkumar Hegde for his controversial comments on secularism and the Constitution while the government appeared to distance itself from his comments. The house witnessed repeated adjournments through the day.

A bill to extend the deadline of a law to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the national capital till 2020 was passed by the Lok Sabha. The house also condemned Pakistan’s treatment of the mother and wife of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, after which External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she will make a statement on the issue on Thursday.

In the Rajya Sabha, the week-long impasse over PM Modi’s attack against his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat polls ended with the government making a climbdown saying the prime minister did not question Singh’s commitment to the nation. The Congress also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s criticism of the prime minister after which the House resumed normal business.

 9. President Inaugurated 100th Indian Economic Association Conference.

President Ramnath Kovind today inaugurated the 100th Annual Conference of the Indian Economic Association at Acharya Nagarjuna University in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh. The event will be held for four days.

Indian Economic Association is a registered body of Indian economic professionals, established way back in 1917, with the objective of providing a forum for debate and discussion of policy-oriented issues. The Association currently has 5000 plus members, both individual and institutional.

Addressing the function, President said that without growth, there can be no development, and while growth is necessary, it is not sufficient to tackle inequalities in our society.

10. India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for UP Tourism Project.

India on Thursday signed a loan agreement worth $40 million with the World Bank for “UP Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project” aimed at increasing tourism-related benefits for local communities in Uttar Pradesh.

The total project cost is around $57.14 million, out of which $40 million will be financed by the World Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded out of the state budget, a union Finance Ministry statement said.

The programme duration is five years. “The project objective is to increase tourism-related benefits for local communities in targeted destinations.”

“The project is expected to have far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits by targeting local communities and entrepreneurs near some of the main tourist and pilgrimage attractions in Uttar Pradesh, namely, Agra as well as Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Govardhan in the Braj region,” the statement said.

 11. Bilateral Meeting Between External Affairs Minister of India and Jordan Held in New Delhi.

 India and Jordan on Thursday discussed deepening bilateral ties across multiple sectors during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi here.

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj and FM of Jordan Ayman Safadi discussed steps to set up a robust agenda for deepening and diversifying areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, defence and security and people-to-people contact," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted following the meeting.

"Our relations have been warm and cordial based on commonality of views on regional and international issues," Kumar said.

Earlier in the day, Safadi said that Jordan sought an increased role for India in the Middle East peace process while appreciating New Delhi`s support for a two-state solution to end the Palestinian conflict.

"We also value an increased role for India in our region," he said while delivering the 27th Sapru House Lecture organised by the Indian Council for World Affairs here.

"Your support for our efforts to end regional crisis and bring about stability has had a tremendous impact," Safadi said. "We strongly appreciate your support for the two-state solution."

After US President Donald Trump this month recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution opposing this, India went along with the rest of the world and voted for an Arab resolution against Washington`s decision in the UN General Assembly.

On India-Jordan bilateral ties, Safadi said that Jordan`s King Abdullah II, who would be visiting India next year, wanted to see ties expand in every field, be it in trade, investment, tourism, education, cultural exchanges and intelligence and security cooperation, as both countries were facing the common enemy of terrorism.


 

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