Current Affairs Update – 31 December, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 31 December, 2016. These are important for the upcoming IPPB PO Mains, NIACL AO Mains and RBI Assistant Mains 2016-17.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 31 December, 2016

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
    30 December 2016 launched an Aadhaar-based mobile app, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM).
    The app is named after the main architect of Constitution of India, Dr Bhim Rao
    Ambedkar.
  2. The tiny Union Territory along
    the Arabian Sea coast, Daman and Diu, has become the first cashless region of the country.
  3. The Cabinet headed by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi also approved
    closure of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Rajasthan Drugs and
    Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL)
    . The strategic sale approval is just the second
    in over 12 years. In September, the Cabinet had cleared the strategic sale of
    Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd.
  4. Value investor Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. won
    regulatory approval to buy 51 per cent of Catholic
    Syrian Bank Ltd.,
    marking the first time India’s central bank is
    allowing a foreign investor to purchase a majority stake in a domestic lender.
  5. Private sector lender DCB Bank on Friday launched its own mobile and
    tab based digital wallet Cippy Wallet app

    to encourage consumers to experience cash free purchases from the mobile phone for
    day-to-day needs.
  6. The trial run of India’s first 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor
    (PHWR) coming up at Kakrapar is expected to take place in mid-2017
    , said a
    senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
  7. India’s first AYUSH university will be set
    up in Kurukshetra’s Fattupur village
    as
    the local panchayat has donated 100 acres for the purpose. AYUSH is the acronym
    for alternative medicine streams ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha
    and homeopathy.
  8. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani dedicated India’s
    first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO check-post at Shamlaji of
    Aravalli district
    on Friday.
  9. India’s
    first transgender school opened in Kochi on Friday
    . The school,
    named Sahaj International, was inaugurated by transgender activist, writer and
    actor Kalki Subramaniam at Thrikkakara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.
  10. Social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu
    was on 30 December 2016 named as the Prime Minister of Romania.
    Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu
    as the new Prime Minister.

Finance/Banking –
PM Modi launches Mobile App-BHIM for Aadhaar-based digital payment

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
    30 December 2016 launched an Aadhaar-based mobile app, Bharat Interface for
    Money (BHIM). The app is named after the main architect of Constitution of
    India, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.
  • The app BHIM will facilitate
    digital cash transactions with a thumbprint after the bank account is linked
    with Aadhaar gateway. It was launched at Digi Dhan Mela at Talkatora stadium in
    New Delhi.
  • While addressing Digi Dhan Mela
    PM Modi said, the power of technology will help in empowering and uplifting the
    poor, which was the mantra of Dr Ambedkar. He also said that once an illiterate
    was associated with the thumb but with the launch of this app the thumb has
    turned up to be an identity of people as well as the bank.
  • The Prime Minister also said that
    the government is working to empower BHIM and its security is being worked on.
  • Apart from this, the Prime
    Minister who on this occasion also felicitated winners of Lucky Grahak Yojana
    had urged citizens to adopt digital currency from the New Year that is January
    2017.
Also Read:  IBPS may draw up reserve list but not fill vacancies, says Bombay High Court

Daman & Diu becomes India’s 1st cashless region

  • The tiny Union Territory along
    the Arabian Sea coast, Daman and Diu, has become the first cashless region of
    the country.
  • Minister of State for Home
    Hansraj Gangaram Ahir has commended the UT administration for taking the
    initiative to make Daman and Diu as the first cashless region of the country.
  • During a recent visit to the
    Union Territory, Ahir lauded the painstaking efforts of the UT administration
    in successfully making Daman and Diu a cashless region.
  • At least 190 teams of trained
    volunteers visited over 25,000 households spread across the UT to educate their
    members about the benefits of cashless transactions, an official statement
    said.
  • The administration has introduced
    free Wi-fi services in the Union Territory recently and 3,500 GB Data was used
    by over 32,000 tourists and local people during the last 45 days.

Union Cabinet approves sale of India’s first pharmaceutical firm

  • The Cabinet headed by Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi also approved closure of Indian Drugs and
    Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL).
  • The strategic sale approval is
    just the second in over 12 years. In September, the Cabinet had cleared the
    strategic sale of Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd.
  • These will be the first
    privatisation since the sale of Jessop and Co in 2003-04 under the NDA
    government headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • BCPL and HAL are among the public
    sector units that NITI Aayog has identified for sale of government’s majority
    stake to private companies in order to bring in greater efficiency and professionalism
    in their functioning.
  • At today’s meeting, Cabinet
    “approved the sale of surplus land of HAL, IDPL, RDPL and BCPL, as would be
    required, to meet their outstanding liabilities,” an official statement said.

Fairfax Financial first to win approval to buy majority stake in an
Indian bank

  • Value investor Prem Watsa’s
    Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. won regulatory approval to buy 51 per cent of
    Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd., marking the first time India’s central bank is
    allowing a foreign investor to purchase a majority stake in a domestic lender.
  • Catholic Syrian, based in
    Thrissur in south India’s Kerala state, received notification of the approval
    Thursday from the Reserve Bank of India, director T.S. Anantharaman said in a
    phone interview. The 96-year-old Indian lender must now send a list of
    valuation companies, which can produce an estimate of Catholic Syrian’s worth,
    to the central bank for their selection before proceeding with discussions, he
    said Friday.
  • The lender’s board can then
    negotiate a deal price with the Canadian investment firm based on the valuation
    report, Catholic Syrian Director S. Santhanakrishnan said by phone. The parties
    will need to reach a final agreement within three months of the valuation
    company being chosen, according to Anantharaman.
Also Read:  IBPS may draw up reserve list but not fill vacancies, says Bombay High Court

DCB Bank launches its own mobile wallet Cippy

  • Private sector lender DCB Bank on
    Friday launched its own mobile and tab based digital wallet Cippy Wallet app to
    encourage consumers to experience cash free purchases from the mobile phone for
    day-to-day needs.
  • The app offers a ‘Split-Bill’
    feature which allows any payment that is either paid using Cippy Wallet app or
    other modes such as card or cash can be easily split between groups with a single
    click on the mobile phone!
  • Cippy enables cash free payments
    by using the mobile phone camera to scan the mVisa QR code at the retailer or
    service provider The Cippy Wallet user can scan, select the amount to be paid
    and use their Cippy password to authorize payment. The digital payment is made
    to the bank account selected by the shop keeper or service provider while
    applying for mVisa QR code from their respective bank.

Trial run of India’s first 700 MW reactor in 2017
  • The trial run of India’s first
    700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) coming up at Kakrapar is expected
    to take place in mid-2017, said a senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation
    of India Ltd (NPCIL).
  • India’s atomic power plant
    operator NPCIL is building four 700 MW PHWRs—two each at Kakrapar Atomic Power
    Station (KAPS) in Gujarat and Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in
    Rajasthan.
  • The project cost for the two 700
    MW units is around Rs 11,500 crore, Kumar said.
  • For NPCIL that has been building
    220 MW and 540 MW pressurised heavy water reactors, it is a major jump to go in
    for 700 MW PHWRs.
  • Concrete was first poured in
    November 2010 for the 3rd unit at KAPS and in March 2011 for the fourth unit.
  • According to Pathak work at the
    7th and 8th units (700 MW) at RAPS are also progressing well with the erection
    of major components.

India –
India’s first AYUSH university to be set up in Kurukshetra village

  • India’s first AYUSH university
    will be set up in Kurukshetra’s Fattupur village as the local panchayat has
    donated 100 acres for the purpose. AYUSH is the acronym for alternative
    medicine streams ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy.
  • Thanesar MLA Subhash Sudha said a
    proposal has been sent to the government and the process to start the
    university just awaits President’s signed notification. He further said the
    proposal of land has already been accepted by chief minister Manohar Lal
    Khattar and health minister Anil Vij and the work was expected to start in a
    few weeks.
  • Shri Krishna Government Ayurvedic
    College (SKGAC) is already operational in Sector 8, Kurukshetra, and would continue
    at the same place. AYUSH University will be established in Fattupur, which is
    about 5km from SKGAC.
  • The Union government had released
    grant-in-aid of Rs 3 crore under the centrally sponsored scheme for quality
    control of ayurvedic drugs for establishment of the laboratory and state
    ayurvedic pharmacy on SKGAC campus. Though the construction of both buildings
    was completed in 2008-09 and machinery and equipment were also purchased, these
    were not put to use.
Also Read:  IBPS may draw up reserve list but not fill vacancies, says Bombay High Court

Gujarat CM dedicates India’s first laser technology-based check-post
  • Gujarat chief minister Vijay
    Rupani dedicated India’s first laser technology-based advanced AVMS RTO
    check-post at Shamlaji of Aravalli district on Friday.
  • The check-post is equipped with
    advanced ray technology with a cost of Rs 4.72 crore.
  • Along with this programme, Rupani
    also laid foundation stones of various developmental works worth Rs 30 crore in
    tribal area of Aravalli district.
  • On the occasion Transportation
    Minister Vallabhbhai Kakadiya said that state government has made 125 people
    oriented decisions within just 100 days of ruling. We can witness the
    experience from Shamlaji check-post itself to fulfill the goal of our Chief
    Minister to make government transparent and corruption-free, he added.
  • Principal Secretary to
    Transportation Department Vipul Mitra briefed people about the would-be
    benefits to vehicle owners as initiations of AVMS RTO check-post. While,
    Commissioner of Transportation Department and Secretary In-charge to Aravalli
    District RM Jadav gave welcome speech.

India’s first transgender school opens in Kerala

  • India’s first transgender school
    opened in Kochi on Friday. The school, named Sahaj International, was
    inaugurated by transgender activist, writer and actor Kalki Subramaniam at
    Thrikkakara in Kerala’s Ernakulam district.
  • This alternative learning centre
    works in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
  • The school, the first of its kind
    in the country, is expected to go a long way in ensuring equal opportunities
    for transgenders who have dropped out from school. The new learning centre will
    help them continue their education and appear for Class X and XII examinations.

World –
Sorin Grindeanu appointed as Prime Minister of Romania
  • Social-democrat Sorin Grindeanu
    was on 30 December 2016 named as the Prime Minister of Romania. Romania’s President
    Klaus Iohannis signed the official decree naming Grindeanu as the new Prime
    Minister.
  • By doing so, Iohannis turned down
    the appointment of Sevil Shhaideh, an economist who could have become the first
    female Muslim PM of Romania.
  • He will now face a confidence
    vote in the Romanian Parliament on his programme and cabinet nominees. Once his
    appointment is approved, he will be given 10 days to name the government
    ministers.

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Team ExamPundit