Current Affairs: 7 February 2017

SC asks Centre to link all mobile numbers to Aadhaar within one year

  • The Supreme Court on Monday directed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to register details of identity of every mobile user within a year.
  • The apex court said that there are over 100 crore mobile subscribers while making it mandatory for all mobile subscribers, including those having pre-paid SIM cards, to have their phone number linked to Aadhaar without fail within one year.
  • The court also directed the Centre to device a way so that each person with a pre-paid sim would have to fill and deposit a form whenever he or she recharges.
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Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) Launched in Assam

  • Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) launched in Assam
  • The Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched this scheme for the development of villages of the state Assam.
  • Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana is a mega mission with a financial outlay of Rs. 30,000 crore will be implemented in all the villages in Assam in the next five years culminating in 2021-22.
  • Through Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) it has been aimed at bringing in revolutionary changes by doubling the farm income in the State. 
  • This scheme is launched in a move to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages in Assam.
  • Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) will be implemented through ‘saturation model’ by covering each revenue village through focused interventions in direct economic activities, logistic support including market linkages, and community support.
  • Under the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) five teams will be constituted in each block to work as a catalyst to implement different missions of the programme. These teams will prepare development plans for them to be implemented in each village.
  • Under this scheme village knowledge centre will be set up in each village and by bringing in synergy between the scheme and MGNREGA play ground will be built in each village of Assam

Bank of Maharashtra ties up with Cigna TTK 

  • Public sector lender Bank of MaharashtraBSE 0.86 % has partnered with insurance company Cigna TTK Health to market the insurer’s products in the bank’s branches across the entire country. 
  • Under the agreement, the bank will offer the all of Cigna TTK’s superior health insurance products to its 2 crore customers through its network of over 1,896 branches, its 14,000 bank employees across the country as well as through its digital platforms. 
  • Bank of Maharashtra’s tie-up with Cigna TTK will bolster penetration of health insurance in the country, which is currently between 5-7%. 
  • Additionally, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Sustainable Development Goals 2030 include ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, with a specific focus on India. The bancassurance tie-up will be a positive step towards this end 

National Testing Agency to Conduct Tests For Higher Education

  • Union Human Resource Development Ministry will set up a department – National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct examinations for higher and secondary education. 
  • The decision has been taken keeping in view that the Central Board of Secondary Education has been conducting examinations in which around one million students appear every month which is a very large number.
  • its main purpose is to bring reforms in the education system. 
  • Mr Javadekar said initially examinations like IIT, NIT and even university exams will be conducted by the NTA. Later on the secondary school exams will also be handed over to NTA. Initially, the CBSE staff will be deployed in this department and but later on the specialised people will be hired in the NTA.

Andhra Pradesh gets its first smart police station

  • Andhra Pradesh's first Smart Police Station, having look and feel of a corporate-style office, equipped with a "custody" room and under watch of CCTV network, is set to start functioning.
  • Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the State's first Smart Police Station at Nagarampalem in Guntur city in the capital region Amaravati. 
  • The facility, in fact, doesn't look like a typical police station, thanks to plush exterior and interiors that leave one with a feeling of having walked into a corporate- style office.
  • There are no boundary walls to the Smart Police Station but the exterior has been beautifully landscaped while the facade is of glass. 
  • The fully air-conditioned station has a staff room, dormitory, mini control room, a reception chamber and individual enclosures for the Station House Officer and three Sub-Inspectors. Staff manning the station will not wear the usual khaki uniform and instead sport a navy blue trouser and a light blue shirt. While women Constables have a light blue sari for uniform, the lady receptionist will additionally sport a navy blue blazer. Interestingly, the station does not have a "lock-up" for detainees. Instead, a "custody" room with a double bed has been readied. 
  • The facility, built in two months at a cost of Rs 91 lakh, is one of the two model Smart Police Stations constructed in Guntur as a pilot project. Andhra Police administration has drawn up plans to build another 100 Smart Police Stations across the state.

Railways to show green signal to a train in Andaman and Nicobar

  • A 240-KM broad-gauge railway line connecting two major islands, with bridges and stations along the coast, will be part of an ambitious rail link connecting Port Blair with Diglipur on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands — a first in the country that will bring the archipelago on the rail map.
  • The Railway Ministry is set to approve the project, which will connect the Union Territory’s capital city in the south with the largest town on the north Andaman island currently linked by a 350-km bus service that takes over 14 hours and a ship that takes around 24 hours.
  •  There is no air connectivity.
  • The cost of the line will be Rs 2,413.68 crore with a negative rate of return on investment of -9.64 per cent. 
  • The Railways considers a line to be commercially viable if this figure is at least a positive of 12 per cent. 
  • But the ministry is set to approve this project owing to its “uniqueness and strategic importance

J&K tourism gets a push; Tripartite MoU signed between M/o of Tourism, M/s NPCC & NBCC and Govt of J&K

  • A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of Tourism projects in Jammu and Kashmir was signed among Ministry of Tourism, NPCC & NBCC and Government of J&K.
  • The Ministry of Tourism under the new initiative - Development of Tourism in the State– New Projects has sanctioned two projects to NPCC and NBCC in the State of J&K for implementation in September 2017.
  • The two projects sanctioned are - Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Gulmarg – Baramulla – Kupwara – Leh to M/s NBCC for Rs. 96.92 Crore; Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai – Sudhmahadev – Patnitop in Jammu & Kashmir to M/s NPCC for Rs. 97.82 Crore.
  • Major components sanctioned under the projects are Yoga centre, wellness SPA, Log Huts, heliports, Open air theatre, walking trail, landscaping, solar lighting, solid waste management & public amenities etc.
  • Tourism sector employs thousands of micro and small entrepreneurs especially from the hospitality sector. 
  • A boost in tourism promotes small entrepreneurs associated with sectors such as – hotels, lodges, handicraft, tourist guides etc.

Axis Bank ties up with Earthport 

  • India's third largest private bank, Axis BankBSE 0.20 %, has tied up with Earthport Plc, a cross-border payment network, to enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers through Earthport’s state-of-the-art global payments network. 
  • Axis Bank has become the first bank in India to connect with Earthport’s global payments network, which spans over 60 countries. 
  • The Bank joins a growing number of major banks across the globe that can, through a single connection with Earthport, send payments seamlessly to almost any bank account in the world on behalf of their clients, while delivering a faster, more efficient and cost-effective service. 
  • This agreement also marks Earthport’s entry into India, the world’s fastest growing major economy in line with its strategy to become the preferred provider of cross-border payment services to major banks, financial institutions, ecommerce companies and other payment aggregators globally. 

Ujjivan begins operations as small finance bank; opens five pilot branches in Bengaluru

  • Ujjivan Financial Services commenced operations as a small finance bank (SFB) with launch of five pilot branches of in Bengaluru.
  • These five branches will provide full service offerings.
  • In the next one month, the bank will comprehensively test its technology, channels, people and processes as part of its rollout
  • It plans to extend these services across 457 branches in 24 states in a phased manner over the next few months.
  • Ujjivan SFB would offer a no-minimum balance savings bank account with the full range of banking services and benefits using the latest technology to unserved and under-served customers.
  • Customers of Ujjivan SFB will have unlimited access to ATM transactions on Ujjivan’s ATM network and a total of six free transactions on other bank’s ATM networks. It will also offer remittance services, enabling customers to transfer money within Ujjivan and other bank accounts in a very reasonable and affordable manner.

Uber launches taxi hiring service UberHIRE

  • Global taxi-hailing platform Uber announced it has launched a new category UberHIRE that allows customers to hire a taxi for the day, to cover several destinations, and is targetting senior citizens, business travellers and tourists. 
  • Presently, UberHIRE works only on cash payments, a statement from Uber said. 
  • After a pilot run in Kochi, starting today, UberHIRE will go live in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vizag and Nagpur, with more cities slated for launch in the weeks to come, it added. 

Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor wins USD 1 million Israeli prize

  • Well known Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor was named on Monday the winner of a prestigious USD 1 million Genesis prize by Israel for his commitment to Jewish values.
  • The prize committee, headed by Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky, acknowledged Kapoor as “one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation”.
  • Kapoor joins Itzhak Perlman, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actor-director Michael Douglas as recipients.
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