Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - January 11, 2018

India to be fastest growing economy again in 2018: World Bank
India’s growth rate in 2018 is projected to hit 7.3% and 7.5% in the next two years, according to the World Bank
World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects

  • India is likely to regain the position in 2018 with growth expected to accelerate to 7.3% in the year, according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects released
  • The World Bank report projected China’s economy to further slow down to grow at 6.4% in 2018 from 6.8% in 2017.
  • Earlier WB has downward India’s growth estimate for 2017 to 6.7% from 7% projected in October last year, blaming “short-term disruptions from the newly introduced GST”.

World bank statement/ observations -

  • Private investment is expected to revive as the corporate sector adjusts to the GST; infrastructure spending increases, partly to improve public services and internet connectivity; and private sector balance sheet weaknesses are mitigated with the help of the efforts of the government and the Reserve Bank of India
  • It said over the medium term, the GST is expected to benefit economic activity and fiscal sustainability by reducing the cost of complying with multiple state tax systems, drawing informal activity into the formal sector, and expanding the tax base.
  • The recent recapitalization package for public sector banks announced by the Government of India is expected to help resolve banking sector balance sheets, support credit to the private sector, and lift investment.

Source - Livemint

Appointments

Dr. Sivan K appointed as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman Space Commission

BY -

  • The appointments Committee of the Cabinet
  • Rocket scientist K. Sivan, currently Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will be the next Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission and the Indian Space Research Organisation, with a three-year term.
  • Dr. Sivan will take over from A.S. Kiran Kumar as the ninth head of the country’s Space establishment. Mr. Kiran Kumar ends his term on January 14.

Source – the hindu

National

President of India to inaugurate 4th International Conference on Dharma-Dhamma at Rajgir

What -

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Bihar tomorrow (January 11, 2018) to inaugurate the 4th International Conference on Dharma-Dhamma at Rajgir.

Implementing Body -

  • The Conference is being organised by Nalanda University in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Religion and Society, India Foundation, and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India,

Why -

  • Aim to provide an opportunity to academics and policy makers from India and abroad to share ideas and build collaboration for a better world.

Source – PIB

Bilateral Relations

Nitin Gadkari holds bilateral talks with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development
Indo-Iran Joint Business Seminar - for exploring business opportunities in the two countries

Chabahar Port -

  • Port was very important for both India and Iran, and offered a win-win situation to both countries.
  • The port would be a growth engine for India as it opened up an alternate route for exports to Afghanistan and Russia.
  • It would also open up business opportunities for investors of both India and Iran to invest in each other’s country, he said.
  • The Indo-Iran Joint Business Seminar held earlier during the day The Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Chemicals & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya spoke about the initiatives taken by the Government of India to enhance bilateral cooperation in the maritime sector.

Source – PIB

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways signs MoU with Transport for London to revamp public transport system in the country

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways signed an MoU with Transport for London
  • The MoU is aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in the country.

Enlighten about TFL -

  • TFL is the agency that manages the transport system for Greater London, and has demonstrated its capability by creating a strong and dependable public transport system in the city.
  • TFL has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand.
  • A salient feature has been their double decker buses which provide for high capacity with low road space requirement.
  • They have also been operating large number of electric and hybrid buses.
  • The common mobility card is another successful product launched by TFL which has made travel easy for the commuters and accounting easier for the operators.
  • As a result of creation of a successful public transport system in London, the city has not seen any increase in number of their private cars.

Enlighten about the MoU -

  • The proposed MoU will help to revamp the public transport and augment passenger capacity by way of creating a sustainable public transport system.
  • It will help us adopt best practices for policy reforms in the transport sector.
  • It will also enable improved customer services, harness from scientific data analysis and implement effective IT systems in the transport sector.
  • The MoU can see an increase the use of electric vehicles in public transport and promote digital transaction for ticketing.

Reforms

Two-tier shield for Aadhaar data Due to breach of the Aadhaar database New UIDAI process from June 1

  • Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rolled out a two-tier security process that will come into effect from June 1.
  • Eliminating the need to share and store Aadhaar numbers
  • The UIDAI has introduced the concept of a virtual ID, which an Aadhaar holder can use in lieu of his/her Aadhaar number at the time of authentication

Why the concept of virtual ID

  • The collection and storage of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies has heightened privacy concerns,” a circular from the Ministry of Electronics and IT said.
  • The move follows a report in The Tribune newspaper that allegedly exposed a data breach in Aadhaar records.

Enlighten about Virtual ID -

  • A Virtual ID (VID) will be a temporary 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number.
  • There can only be one active and valid VID for an Aadhaar number at any given time and it will not be possible to derive the Aadhaar number from VID, the circular said.
  • The VID authentication will be similar to using Aadhaar numbers.
  • However, since a VID is temporary, agencies will not be able to use it for de-duplication.

Source – the hindu

Reforms

FDI Relaxation Eased several direct investment norms by the Union Cabinet

FDI Relaxation includes –

  • Allowing overseas airlines to own up to 49% of Air India and permitting 100% FDI in single brand retail and construction development under the automatic route.
  • The Union Cabinet allowed foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under the approval route in Air India, “subject to the conditions that: (i) foreign investment(s) in Air India, including that of foreign airline(s), shall not exceed 49% either directly or indirectly and (ii) substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in an Indian national.”
  • The move comes close on the heels of Singapore Airlines and Tata Group evincing interest in bidding for the debt-laden national carrier.
  • As per the present policy, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under the government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49% of their paid-up capital.
  • However, this provision was not applicable to Air India. The government, therefore, decided to do away with this restriction.

Source – the hindu

Space Developments

PSLV all set to ferry 31 satellites Cartosat-2F aimed at surveillance will be main payload PSLV-C40

  • The world’s favourite and reliable commercial launchers for small satellites, the upcoming 42nd PSLV will carry a total of 31 satellites including 28 paid riders.
  • The main payload, the 710-kg Cartosat-2F, is the seventh in the Cartosat-2 series and is built to work for five years. Said to have a high, sub-metre resolution, it is unofficially said to serve military surveillance purposes.

Small satellites

  • ISRO is putting up two of its own small satellites — a 100 kg micro satellite and the 11-kg nano satellite INS-1C. There are also 28 smaller customers.
  • The commercial satellites include three 100-kg class micro satellites and 25 nanosats (1-10 kg) from Canada, Finland, France, Korea the U.K. and the U.S.
  • The PSLV has so far launched 209 small and medium satellites for foreign countries and earned revenue for the commercial arm, Antrix Corporation Ltd.