11 January 2018 Current Affairs

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11 Jan, 2018

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1) The UIDAI on 10 January 2018 announced introduction of Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders with a view to Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders. According to the announcement by UIDAI, the system based on virtual ID will be pressed into service from which date? –1 June 2018

Explanation: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced introduction of Virtual ID and limited know-your-customer (KYC) for Aadhaar number holders. The virtual ID for an Aadhaar holder can be used in lieu of his/her Aadhaar number to avoid the need for sharing the Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The move came just days after a newspaper report in ‘The Tribune’ claimed a major breach in the Aadhaar database through a sting operation.

Virtual ID will be a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. It will not be possible to derive the Aadhaar number from the virtual ID.

UIDAI will be releasing necessary APIs (Application Programming Interface) by 1 March 2018 and all agencies have been directed to make the necessary changes for the use of virtual ID, UID token and limited KYC to start using the new system by 1 June 2018.

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2) The Union Government from 10 January 2018 opened for subscription which new bond scheme that replaced the immensely popular 8% Savings Bonds Scheme? – 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018

Explanation: The subscription for 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018 opened from 10 January 2018. These bonds will have a maturity of seven years and have been introduced to replace the popular 8% Savings Bonds Scheme (also known as RBI Bonds Scheme) that was earlier closed from 2 January 2018.

Even though the bond will fetch a lower interest rate now, financial planners expect the new 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds to get a good response from investors.

There is no maximum limit for investment in 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds and the bonds have been issued for a minimum amount of Rs. 1,000 (face value) and in multiples thereof. The scheme is open to investment by individuals (including Joint Holdings) and Hindu Undivided Families. NRIs are not eligible for making investments in these bonds.

Like bank fixed deposits, the interest income earned from 7.75% Government Savings Bonds is added to one’s income and taxed according to the respective slabs.

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3) The Union Government divested how much of its stake in NMDC Limited through a 2-day offer for sale (OFS) on 9 and 10 January 2018? – 1.5%

Explanation: The two-day offer for sale (OFS) of government’s 1.5% stake in NMDC was conducted on 9 and 10 January 2018. While the OFS was meant for the institutional investors on 9 January, the retail investors were given chance to invest on 10 January.

The 1.5% stake sale fetched Rs. 750 crore to the Union Government, the floor price for the OFS being Rs. 153.50 per share.

The NMDC Limited (earlier known as National Mineral Development Corporation) is a state-controlled mineral producer of the Government of India. It is owned by the Government of India and is under administrative control of the Ministry of Steel.

The government has already raised over Rs. 52,500 crore in current fiscal through stake sale in public sector units (PSUs), including listing of insurance PSUs and exchange traded fund. It has set an ambitious target of raising Rs. 72,500 crore for disinvestment in the current fiscal.

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4) What is the name of the woman skier who created history by becoming the first Indian to register an international medal in skiing on 9 January 2018? – Aanchal Thakur

Explanation: 21-year old Aanchal Thakur from Manali (Himachal Pradesh) created history on 9 January 2018 as she became first-ever Indian to win a medal in an international skiing event.

She won a bronze medal in the slalom race category at Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup organised by Skiing’s international governing body, Federation International de Ski (FIS) at the Palandoken Ski Centre, in Erzurum in Turkey.

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5) Which state became the first state in India to launch High Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal, as was disclosed during January 2018? – Haryana

Explanation: Haryana achieved the distinction of becoming the first state in the country to launch High Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal. This was disclosed by Anil Vij, Haryana’s Health Minister on 6 January 2018.

The HRP portal not only helps in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to the grass-roots level but also ensures their timely referral to the civil hospitals for further management and delivery by specialists. Haryana state government has implemented the High Risk Pregnancy Policy across the state since November, 2017, for identifying 100 per cent name-based high-risk pregnancy cases, and ensuring their delivery by specialists at civil hospitals.

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6) Union Government on 9 January 2018 disclosed that it has completed the first phase of the BharatNet project under which it has laid optical fibre in more than 1 lakh gram panchayats. What is the primary aim of the BharatNet project? – To bring high speed broadband to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre

Explanation: BharatNet project, earlier called the National Optical Fibre Network (NOGN), is an ambitious project that forms the backbone for the Digital India initiative. It aims to bring high speed broadband to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre.

The project had obtained Cabinet approval in 2011 and the deadline was fixed for the end of 2013. It was later deferred to September 2015 by the UPA government. The NDA government re-examined the project status and set a target to complete the roll-out by the end of 2016. This was later delayed to December 2018. Now, the deadline is set for March 2019.

The first phase of BharatNet project has been completed and now the government is ready to roll-in the second phase.

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7) Who is heading the 12-member Inter-Ministerial Committee appointed by the Union Home Ministry, which will take a call on the playing of the national anthem in cinema halls and public places? – B.R. Sharma (Additional Secretary)

Explanation: The 12-member Inter-Ministerial Committee led by Additional Secretary B.R. Sharma, was constituted during December 2017. It will make recommendations on the regulations for playing/singing of the national anthem and suggest changes in the Acts and orders relating to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

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