Friday, 10 March 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update: 10th March 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 10th march 2017
1. India-Belgium signs Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Protocol:
  • India and Belgium have signed an agreement to amending the existing Agreement and Protocol between the two countries for avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income in New Delhi.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of Sushil Chandra, Chairman CBDT and Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India.  
  • During the financial year 2016-17, India has signed a protocol with Switzerland, Mauritius, Cyprus, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Austria during the financial year 2016-17.
2. Himachal launches Mobile App Mera Hunar HP for job-seekers:
  • Virbhadra Singh led Himachal Pradesh government has launched mobile app and website titled ‘MeraHunar HP’ or ‘My Talent’  to help skilled and semi-skilled workers find jobs.
  • The mobile app will connect prospective employers with job aspirants as the latter’s resume will contain addresses and contact numbers.
  • This initiative will foster the skill development scheme and be of great help to pass-outs of industrial training institutes also make available real time employment data of the state.
3. Konkani Writer Mahabaleshwar Sail Receives Saraswati Samman 2016:
  • Noted Konkani author Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honored with the 2016 Saraswati Samman for his novel ‘Hawthan’
  • The 74-year-old Sail’s novel Hawthan was published in 2009 and was shortlisted from 22 books written in various languages.
  • The selection for the award was made by a jury presided by former chief justice A S Anand.
  • Mahabaleshwar Sail received a cash prize of 15 lakh and a citation as a part of the honor.
4. Tamil Nadu launches Rs 1,580 crore housing scheme:
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched a housing scheme estimated at Rs 1,580 crore.
  • The scheme was being implemented by the state government with Central assistance for the economically poor. In the year 2016-17, concrete houses will be constructed for 50,170 beneficiaries in town panchayat limits.
5. Parliament passes bill to raise maternity leave to 26 weeks:
  • Parliament approved a bill granting women working in the organized sector paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks now, a decision which will benefit around 1.8 million women.
  • The law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for the first two children. For the third child, the entitlement will be 12 weeks. 
  • With this, India becomes the country with the third highest maternity leave. Canada and Norway grant 50 weeks and 44 weeks respectively as paid maternity leave. 
  • The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha had passed it in August 2016.
6. Odisha govt launches 181 helpline for distressed women:
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched 24*7  helpline number 181 to assist women in distress on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March 2017).
  • A woman from any part of the Odisha can dial 181 to get immediate assistance. The helpline will extend prompt response to women affected by violence, provide information about women-related government schemes and programs and a range of other services.
7. Google acquires Canadian Cloud specialist firm AppBridge:
  • Alphabet's Google on Friday announced the acquisition of Canadian technology firm AppBridge.
  • AppBridge helps companies transfer data to the technology giant's Cloud platform
8. Google acquires Kaggle for undisclosed amount to boost data play:
  • Technology giant Google has announced to acquire a start-up Kaggle which hosts a number of data scientists for an undisclosed amount at the Cloud Next 2017 conference.
  • Kaggle and Google Cloud will continue to support machine learning training and deployment services while offering the community the ability to store and query large datasets.
9. RBI Will Soon Introduce New Rs 10 Notes with More Security Features:
  • The Reserve Bank of India on March 9, 2017 notified that it is soon going to issue Rs. 10 denomination notes with enhanced security features for circulation.
  • Besides, RBI also notified that all the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 10 issued in the past will also continue to be legal tender.
  • The note will be in the Mahatma Gandhi series-2005 and carry inset letter ‘L’ on both number panels.
  • Rs.10 Numerals on both the panels will be in ascending size from left to right.
  • The first three alpha-numeric characters (prefix) will remain constant in size.
10. Minimum balance penalty needed to offset Jan Dhan account costs: SBI
  • SBI recently announced that penalty for non-maintenance of Minimum Average Balance (MAB) from April 1, 2017 as government asked SBI to reconsider charges.
  • Arundhati Bhattacharya, SBI chief clarify that the condition of maintaining minimum balance will not be applicable to the Jan Dhan accounts. 
  • The SBI has made it mandatory for savings accounts in metropolitan areas to maintain a minimum balance of Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 in urban areas, Rs 2,000 in semi-urban areas and Rs 1,000 in rural areas
  • These charges will be based on the difference between the minimum balance required and the shortfall. For metropolitan areas, if the shortfall is greater than 75% then the charges would be Rs 100 plus service tax.

11. New canyon system found near Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh:
  • Scientists for the first time have discovered three new canyons close to Kovvada in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. 
  • This discovery was made by team of scientists from CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Visakhapatnam. These three canyons together form a major canyon system in the depths of the Bay of Bengal.
12. Pakistan adopts Hindu marriage law:
  • The Pakistani parliament has adopted the landmark Hindu Marriage Law to regulate the community's marriages in the country
  • According to the bill, the minimum age of 18 has been prescribed for marriage.
  • The law will be applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.
13. Iran successfully tests ballistic missile:
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guard has successfully tested a ballistic missile named Hormuz 2.
  • Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the Guard's aerospace division said the missile destroyed a target from a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles). The sea-launched ballistic missile dubbed Hormuz 2 was tested last week.
  • The Hormuz 2 is capable of hitting floating targets with high accuracy within a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles). It provided no additional details.
14. 10th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV):
  • The 10th edition of the International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV 2017) was held in New Delhi on March 7-9, 2017 with the theme 'Building Knowledge Societies-From Digital Government to Digital Empowerment'
  • The Objective of ICEGOV 2017 is focused on the use of technology to transform relationships between government and citizens, businesses & civil society
  • It was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad. 

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