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National Current Affairs December 4th Week 2018

 1. Funds Released under PMKSY & Rs.1400 crore for Polavaram Project

The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) comprises of various components. It includes Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), PMKSY –Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP) like Command Area Development (CAD), Surface-Minor Irrigation (SMI) and Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies, PMKSY - Per Drop More Crop (PDMC) and PMKSY - Watershed Development (WD).  
The funds are released to the State Governments under PMKSY as and when eligible proposals are received from them.  
According to the information given by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Interestingly, during the current year (2018-2019) Rs.1400 crore has also been released to Andhra Pradesh for Polavaram Project. 
 
2. National Register of Citizens (NRC)
 
The Centre has given an extension of six months to complete the ongoing exercise for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by June 30.
The decision was taken as the exercise to enumerate citizens in the NRC, a list of Assam’s residents, could not be completed within the specified date of December 31, 2018.
On December 6, 2013, the government issued the first notification setting a deadline of three years for completion of the entire NRC process. 
Since then, five extensions have been given by the government. 
The draft NRC was published on July 30 and included the names of 2.9 crore people of the total 3.29 crore applicants.
Officially, the NRC process will address the issue of illegal migrants, specifically from Bangladesh. 
The National Register of Citizens was first published in 1951 to record citizens, their houses and holdings. 
Updating the NRC to root out foreigners was a demand during the Assam Agitation (1979-1985).
There have been several waves of migration to Assam from Bangladesh, but the biggest was in March 1971 when the Pakistan army crackdown forced many to flee to India. 
The Assam Accord of 1985 that ended the six-year anti-foreigners’ agitation decided upon the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.
The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended after the Assam Accord  for all Indian-origin people who came from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966 to be deemed as citizens. Those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 were eligible for citizenship after registering and living in the State for 10 years while those entering after March 25, 1971, were to be deported.
 
 
3. 26th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) 
 
 
26th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) is being held in Odisha.
Theme: “Science, Technology and Innovation for a Clean, Green and Healthy Nation.”
National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) is a nationwide Science Communication programme started in the year 1993. It is a programme of National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi.
It is a forum children of the age-group of 10-17 years, both from formal school system as well as from out of school, to exhibit their creativity and innovativeness and more particularly their ability to solve a societal problem experienced locally using by method of science.
NCSTC encourages research in areas of S & T communication, training of communicators, development of books, manuals, posters, exhibitions, films, radio programmes, and television programmes on different facets of science & technology and recognizing outstanding efforts through awards and incentives all over the country.
 
4. National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs)
 
National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are one of the important instruments of National Manufacturing Policy, 2011.
NIMZs are envisaged as large areas of developed land with the requisite eco-system for promoting world class manufacturing activity.
To promote exports, while NIMZs are based on the principle of industrial growth in partnership with States and focuses on manufacturing growth and employment generation.
NIMZs are different from SEZs in terms of size, level of infrastructure planning, governance structures related to regulatory procedures, and exit policies.
For the Financial Year 2016 – 2017, Rs. 3.35 crores has been earmarked under the ‘Scheme for Implementation of National Manufacturing Policy’for ‘Master Planning of NIMZs’ and Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF).
 
5. Public Enterprises Survey 2017-18
 
Public Enterprises Survey 2017-18 has been tabled in the Parliament. The survey mapped the performance of central public sector units.
Indian Oil Corporation, ONGC and NTPC emerged as the top three most profitable PSUs in 2017-18, while BSNL, Air India and MTNL incurred the highest losses for the second consecutive year.
 
 
6. Assam: 3rd Dwijing Festival begins on bank of Aye river at Chirang district
 
In Assam, the third Dwijing Festival has begun on the bank of Aye river  at Chirang district.  
Around 15 lakh tourists are expected to participate in the festival.  
Assam PHE minister Rihon Daimary inaugurated the festival in presence of several dignitaries. 
Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal to attend the event on 29th of December.  Adventure sports, food mart, cultural events, traditional games are being organized  in the 12 day long event. 
Participants from Thailand, Bhutan and Bangladesh are also taken part in the festival.
 
7. Andhra Pradesh gets new HC to start functioning from Jan 1
 
The separate High Court for Andhra Pradesh will start functioning from January 1.
Ministry of Law and Justice on Wednesday notified the constitution of the High Court in Amaravati. 
President Ram Nath Kovind signed a notification in this regard.
Andhra Pradesh High Court will be the 25th High Court in the country. 
The Hyderabad High Court has been functioning as common high court till now after bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh. 
Telangana was carved out of the state in 2014, with Hyderabad as its capital. 
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014 provided for a separate high court for the state after division. 
 
8. President Ramnath Kovind to visit Mumbai to launch `Sadbhaav Utsav`
 
President Ramnath Kovind will visit Mumbai today to launch `Sadbhaav Utsav`. 
He will participate in the Wellness festival organised on the occasion of 100 year anniversary of the Yoga Institute. 
The programme will be organised at Bandra Kurla Complex`s MMRDA ground.
Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and Yoga Institute Director Dr Hansaji Jaidev will be present at the event.   
 
9. New Delhi summons Pakistan High Commission official to protest against cross LoC terrorist infiltration by Pakistan 
 
India has lodged strong protest with Pakistan on incidents of cross LoC terrorist infiltration and targeting of Indian civilians and security forces, leading to loss of lives on the Indian side recently.
The Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan High Commission official and expressed grave concern at Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorist infiltration into India, including supporting cover fire provided by Pakistan forces. 
This year, despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquillity, Pakistan forces have carried out over 1962 incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations in which 50 Indians have lost their lives.
 
10. PM Modi to hold talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Dr. Lotay Tshering in New Delhi.
Dr Tshering arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day visit to India. His visit takes place during the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. 
The visiting dignitary will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and Power Minister R K Singh are scheduled to call on the visiting dignitary.
 
 
11. Lok Sabha passes Triple Talaq bill
 
The Lok Sabha has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill by negating the amendments moved by some opposition members. 
Two hundred forty-five members voted in favour of the bill while 11 voted against. 
The Bill makes all declarations of instant triple talaq void and illegal. It seeks to make the practice a punishable offence with imprisonment of up to three years.
The Bill will replace the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance-2018. Replying to a debate on the Bill, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said, it has not been brought to target any religion but to give justice to women. 
The National Commission for Women has also welcomed the passage of the Bill. 
 
12. Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of 11 projects for Yamuna rejuvenation
 
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday laid the foundation stone of 11 projects for Yamuna Rejuvenation under Namami Gange Programme in New Delhi.
The water quality in Ganga has improved substantially. 
Ministry is taking the initiative to increase the flow of the Yamuna river. 
The air pollution and water pollution that affects Delhi will soon be gotten rid of. 
A survey of India has helped to map the 2,525 km long Ganga Basin. 
A total of 11 projects have been taken up under Namami Gange Programme by National Mission for Clean Ganga to conserve river Yamuna in Delhi. 
These projects under Yamuna Action Plan III are located in three drainage zones namely Kondli, Rithala and Okhla in Delhi.
 
13. Punjab SEC allows candidates to undertake videography outside polling booths
 
In Punjab, the State Election Commission has allowed the forthcoming Panchayat poll candidates or any other person to undertake videography outside the polling booths during voting.
A spokesperson of the poll body said in Chandigarh that there is no need to take permission from any official for it. To maintain secrecy of the voting, the Commission, however, made it clear that the videography will not be allowed inside the polling booths.
The State Election Commission has established 17268 polling booths and 86340 personnel will be deputed on election duty.
 
14. Tamil Nadu CM says efforts are being made for establishing new medical college at Karur
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswam has said, efforts are being made for establishing a new medical college at Karur.
Addressing the national conference of surgeons in Chennai, he said a new dental college in Virudhunagar would also be established very soon. 
He pointed out the Centre’s approval for the new AIIMS in Madurai at a cost of nearly 1500 crore rupees.
Mr Palaniswamy remarked that Chennai is emerging as a major hub for medical tourism. 
He said, surgeons at Government hospitals have made several organ transplant operations successfully.
 
15. 26th National Childres`s Science Congress inaugurated by CM Naveen Patnaik
 
 
The 26th National Childres`s Science Congress has been inaugurated by the  Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar. 
Inaugurating the  Congress session, Shri Patnaik has said that the progress of science is essential for the National growth and healthy Nation.  
Odisha government is organizing various programmes for the development of scientific temper among students. 
He further said that Bhubaneswar is going to be the Knowledge Hub of east India with IIT,  NISER, AIIMS, Institute of Physics like scientific institutions in the  state. 
The minister of science and technology, Badri Narayan Patra,  Chief Secretary  Aditya Prasad Padhi principal Secretary to department of science and technology, Nikunja Bihari Dhal,  Prof. Amit Banerjee,  and others also spoke on the occasion. 
 
16. Amendments to the Information Technology (IT) Act
 
In its bid to crack down on spread of fake news and rumours circulated on online platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and other online platforms, the central government has proposed stringent changes under the draft of Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) that govern online content.
The proposed amendments in the draft of the Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018, Rule 3(9) is bound to force social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter to remain vigil and keep users on their toes before posting or sharing anything that is deemed as “unlawful information or content”.
The changes proposed by the central government is aimed at curbing fake news or rumours being spread on social media and check mob violence ahead.
 
 
17. Aadhaar Verdict
 
A review petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking re-examination of its verdict by which the centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme was held as constitutionally valid.
The review petition has been filed against the September 26 verdict of the five-judge constitution bench which had said there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violated right to privacy of an individual. The court had also upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha.
The petition claimed that the Aadhaar program, which had been in existence prior to the enactment of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, had itself become an “instrument of transfer of sensitive personal data”belonging to citizens to foreign entities acting as biometric service providers at a time when the UIDAI in 2010 had no cyber or technical infrastructure to store such information.
This, the petition claimed, poses a massive national security risk, more so when, according to a Press Information Bureau notification, 100 crore enrolments had already taken place before April 4, 2016.
 
18. Government rejects separate time zone for NE States
 
Government rejects demand for different time zone for northeastern states for ‘strategic reasons’.
The debate for a separate time zone for the northeast has been in existence for as long as the history of modern India goes. Amidst the pros and cons of having two time zones for the country, no implementable solution has been proposed so far.
Back in October this year, the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) and the National Measurement Institute (NMI) of India explored the possibility and also proposed an implementable solution.
The custodian of Indian Standard Time (IST) proposed two time zones IST-I and IST-II for the country as follows:
1. IST-I would be same as current IST, that is, UTC +5:30.
2. IST-II would be UTC +6:30 owing to the difference of one hour between eastern and western part of the country.
The borderline between two time zones would have been 89°52’E, the narrow border between Assam and West Bengal. States west of this line would have followed IST-I (UTC +5:30) while states east of this line (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Andaman & Nicobar Islands) would have followed IST-II (UTC +6:30).
India extends from 68°7’E to 97°25’E, with the spread of 29 degrees, which amounts to almost two-hours from the geographical perspective. For decades, legislators, activists, industrialists and ordinary citizens from India’s northeast have complained about the effect of IST on their lives.
 
19. Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu
 
Recently, Chairman of India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), Rajnish Kumar, said that loan waivers are not a permanent solution; instead, he argued for an investment scheme to increase the income of farmers on similar lines of Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu.
In August this year, Telangana government launched ‘Rythu Bandhu’ investment support scheme for farmers.
The Rythu Bandhu (Agriculture Investment Support Scheme) takes care of initial investment needs of every farmer.
Aimed at relieving farmers of debt burden and cease them from falling into the debt trap again, the scheme provides a grant of Rs 4,000 per acre per farmer each season for the purchase of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labour and other investments in the field operations of farmer’s choice for the crop season.
Former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, who floated the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI) for farmers in the Economic Survey, has said that Rythu Bandhu is a quasi UBI scheme, which had manifold benefits.
If Rythu Bandhu could be fiscally unsustainable but if it replaces some and all of the schemes such as schemes for bad harvests (monsoon failures), crop insurance and loan waivers, it could be advantageous. However, he also said that a scheme like Rythu Bandhu will take some time for implementation.
 
20. Buddhist site museum
 
Buddhist site museum has been inaugurated at Lalitgiri in Odisha. Excavations at Lalitgiri have yielded ancient seals and inscriptions.
Located in Cuttack district, it will be the third site museum of the Bhubaneswar circle of the Archaeological Survey of India after Ratnagiri and Konrak.
It is a major Buddhist complex in the Indian state of Odisha comprising major stupas, ‘esoteric’ Buddha images, and monasteries (viharas), one of the oldest sites in the region.
Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites, Lalitagiri is part of Puspagiri University located on top of hills of the same names. The three complexes are known as the “Diamond Triangle”. Tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.
Excavations at Lalitgiri have yielded the remains of four monasteries, showing cultural continuity from the post-Mauryan period till the 13th century CE.
The centre of attraction is a relic casket containing corporal remains found inside the Mahastupta.
 
21. Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project 
 
The latest information obtained by an activist under the Right to Information (RTI) has revealed that Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project may turn out to be a loss-making proposition and burden Maharashtra’s already dwindling finances.
Several objections have been raised by various departments over the economic viability of the Shinkansen train, which could result in losses in the form of wasted Floor Space Index (FSI) and delayed loan repayment in the absence of proper frameworks.
Some part of the FSI at the station proposed at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai could “remain unutilised because of the height restrictions, leading to revenue losses”.
The government is being criticised for clearing a project which has no practical benefit for the State and would add financial stress.
Moreover, the ministerial committee headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has not met to discuss the project since being incorporated in February 2017. 
The committee was tasked with carrying out an in-depth study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency report and the project’s feasibility.
The train, with a capacity of 750 passengers, will travel at speeds between 320 km/hr and 350km/hr and is expected to reduce travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai to three-and-a-half hours or less from the present eight. The project is expected to be completed in seven years.
 
22. Polavaram project
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Andhra Pradesh government has launched works for erection of the first radial gate – the 41st one – at the Polavaram project site. 
The state hopes that the project works would be completed by May 2019 and water would be released to canals under gravity by December 2019.
The Polavaram project was accorded national status in 2014 in the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act and its design was changed.
The dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.
The project is multipurpose major terminal reservoir project on river Godavari for development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The project is likely to displace over 1.88 lakh people across 222 villages and so far, 1,730 persons in six villages have been rehabilitated by the government.
 
23. President, Vice President, PM pay tribute to Vajpayee on his birth anniversary
 
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have paid tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary. 
Remembering the former Prime Minister, Mr Kovind said, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a true Indian statesman. He said, Vajpayee ji will always live on in the hearts and minds of the people of the country. 
The Nation is ever grateful for the invaluable contributions made by him. 
The Vice President said, Vajpayee Ji was an astute parliamentarian, an administrator par excellence, a visionary statesman, an erudite scholar, a gifted orator, a most beloved leader and above all a great human being who believed in the core Indian values of harmony and synthesis. 
Vajpayee ji brought connectivity revolution and paved way for development and growth and he epitomized politics of grace.
Upholding the values in the public life is the real tributes to the great son of the Soil, Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary. Mr Modi reiterated the commitment towards creating the India Mr Vajpayee dreamt of.
Later, the Samadhi of Bharat Ratna and Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee - Sadaiv Atal was dedicated to the Nation.
The Samadhi has been completed by CPWD at a cost of over ten crore rupees and the entire cost of construction has been borne by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society. 
 
 
24. New Ministers take oath in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath expanded his council of ministers on Tuesday by inducting 28 MLAs, including two women legislators and an Independent.
Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal. 
Chief Minister Kamal Nath was camping in Delhi from last many days and he received a green signal from the party high command for the cabinet formation. 
In Chhattisgarh, the Bhupesh Baghel Cabinet has been expanded with the induction of nine ministers. 
Governor Anandiben Patel administrated the oath of office to the ministers at the ceremony held at Police Parade Ground in Raipur.
The strength of the Chhattisgarh cabinet has gone up to 12.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and senior ministers TS Singhdeo and Tamradwaj Sahu were sworn in on December 17.
State Cabinet can have a maximum of 13 ministers, including the chief minister. 
In the new cabinet of Chhattisgarh, three members belong to the scheduled tribe, while two are from schedule caste. The cabinet also includes one woman legislator.
 
25. Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day
 
Kisan Diwas or National Farmers Day will be observed across the country on 23rd December to celebrate the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was the 5th Prime Minister of India.
On this day, seminars and programmes for the farmers are being organized at divisional, district and block levels.
? Political leaders will pay tribute to the 5th PM of India on his birth anniversary.
Leaders will also visit the former PM’s Samadhi at Kisan Ghat in New Delhi. Government in 2001 had decided to observe 23rd December every year as Kisan Diwas.
Chaudhary Charan Singh (23 Dec 1902 - 29 May 1987) was the 5th Prime Minister of India. He served as the Prime Minister from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980. During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Singh introduced many policies to improve the life of farmers in India.
 
26. Kumbh Mela:2019
 
It is a mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred or holy river. 
Traditionally, four fairs are widely recognized as the Kumbh Melas: the Prayag Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Kumbh Mela, the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha, and Ujjain Simhastha.
These four fairs are held periodically at one of the following places by rotation: Prayagraj(Allahabad), Haridwar, Nashik district (Nashik and Trimbak), and Ujjain.
The main festival site is located on the banks of a river: the Ganges (Ganga) at Haridwar; the confluence (Sangam) of the Ganges and the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati at Prayag; the Godavari at Nashik; and the Shipra at Ujjain.
Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse a person of all their sins.
 
27. Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme
 
Odisha cabinet has approved the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, worth over Rs. 10,000 crore, for the development of farmers in the state.
As per the scheme, an amount of Rs. 10,000 per family at the rate of Rs. 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation.
The assistance will be provided to take care of sustenance of farmers not able to take up cultivation due to old age, disability, disease or other reasons.
The scheme also has a component for livelihood support for landless households. The landless households will have the option of selecting any of the units. The scheme, among others, will particularly benefit scheduled caste and scheduled tribe households.
Deserving families will be identified and selected by gram panchayats. About 10 lakh households will be covered over two years under this scheme at a cost of Rs. 100 crore.
The scheme also include life insurance cover of Rs. 2 lakh and additional personal accident cover of Rs. 2 lakh will be provided to both cultivators and landless agriculture labourers covering about 74 lakh households.
The KALIA is historic and it will further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and reduce poverty. It is a progressive and inclusive scheme and will make a direct attack on poverty by way of massive investment in this sector and making benefits reach the most needy through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
 
28. National Mathematics Day 
 
National Mathematics Day is celebrated every year on December 22.
It is observed to honor the birth anniversary of the famous mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan who greatly contributed towards mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions.
In 2011, on the 125th anniversary of his birth, the Indian Government declared that 22 December will be celebrated every year as National Mathematics Day.
Highlights of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life:
In 1911, Ramanujan published the first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.
Ramanujan traveled to England in 1914, where Hardy tutored him and collaborated with him in some research.
He worked out the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hypergeometric series, the functional equations of the zeta function, and his own theory of divergent series.
The number 1729 is known as the Hardy-Ramanujan number after a famous visit by Hardy to see Ramanujan at a hospital.
Hardy observed Ramanujan’s work primarily involved fields less known even amongst other pure mathematicians.
Ramanujan’s home state of Tamil Nadu celebrates 22 December as ‘State IT Day’, memorialising both the man and his achievements, as a native of Tamil Nadu.
 

 

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National Current Affairs December 4th Week 2018

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