Current Affairs : 17 August 2016

China successfully launches world’s first quantum satellite

  • China has successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite which boasts of establishing hack-proof communications between space and the ground . 
  • It is equipped with security features to prevent wiretapping and intercepts. 
  • The satellite nicknamed “Micius” was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. 
  • Quantum communication boasts of ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated. 
  • It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.

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Odisha govt. makes Aadhaar Card mandatory for paddy procurement

  • The Odisha government has decided to make Aadhaar card mandatory for procurement of paddy in the state. 
  • The government has also decided to link Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries for availing ration under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and work under MGNREGA. 
  • Now, the payments will be directly credited to the bank account of farmers from Odisha State Cooperative Bank. 
  • Point of Sale (POS) machines would be installed at all retailer points from October.

PM Modi announces 20% hike in freedom fighters’ pension

  • PM Narendra Modi has announced 20% hike in pension of freedom fighters and museums would be established in different states from Red Fort on 70th Independence Day. 
  • Those who are receiving Rs.25,000 will now get Rs.30,000. 
  • The government will built museums in several states to glorify the role of unknown tribal freedom fighters among future generations.

Scientist P Shanmugam bags A P J Abdul Kalam award

  • Principal Scientist of Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) P Shanmugam has bagged the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Award for meritorious services in the Higher Education Department of Tamil Nadu.
  • Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa has presented the award comprising a certificate, Rs. 5 lakh cheque and 8-gram Gold medal.

Retail segment of NPS grows by over 100%

  • The retail segment of National Pension Scheme (NPS) has grown by over 100% over the past one year. 
  • The new provision to provide tax benefits up to 40% of maturity of investment has drawn a lot of retail investors to the NPS schemes. 
  • Assets under management of NPS has reached 1.38 trillion rupees out of which Rs. 3 thousand crore are of retail assets. 
  • Total subscribers number including those who had subscribed for NPS/Swavalamban are more than the number of government employees who have subscribed for NPS.

Bihar Assembly unanimously passes GST bill

  • The Bihar state assembly has unanimously passed the crucial Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST Bill). 
  •  With this, it has become the first non-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state to ratify the GST, Last week, Assam became the first state to ratify the Bill. 
  •  The GST Bill needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council, which will then decide the new tax rate and other issues.

Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa announces hike in pension to freedom fighters

  • Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa has announced Rs 1,000 increase in the freedom fighters pension from Rs 11,000. 
  • The announcement came during her address after unfurling national flag at Fort St. George on the occasion of Independence Day.

Odia becomes Official Language in Odisha

  • Odia language will be used as the official language in all government offices in Odisha from today onwards. 
  • According to the amendment of the Orissa Official Language Act 1954, all government letters, files will be carried in Odia language.

India extends $ 1 million grant to Zimbabwe

  • India has provided One million US Dollars grant to Zimbabwe in the wake of El Nino induced drought disaster. Accepting the grant, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr. Misheck Sibanda thanked for the quick response by India to an international appeal made by his country

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