26-30 November 2017 Current Affairs

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30 Nov, 2017

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1) Who was appointed as Chairman of 15th Finance Commission by the Union Government on 27 November 2017? – NK Singh

Explanation: The Union Government on 27 November 2017 appointed former Planning Commission Member NK Singh as chairman of 15th Finance Commission. The Commission will make recommendations, by October 2019, for five years commencing 1 April 2020.

Other members of the commission are former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das and former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri, Niti Aayog Member Ramesh Chand and Georgetown University professor Anoop Singh.

As per Article 280 of the Indian Constitution, the Finance Commission is required to make recommendations on the distribution of the net proceeds of taxes between the Centre and the states. It also reviews the current status of the finance, deficit, debt levels, cash balances and fiscal discipline efforts of the Union and the states.

The 14th Finance Commission, headed by YV Reddy, was set up on 2 January 2013. Its recommendations cover the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020.

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2) Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the services of Hyderabad Metro on 29 November 2017. Hyderabad thus became ………..Indian city to have metro train service – Ninth

Explanation: Hyderabad Metro became India’s ninth operational metro service in India as the first phase of this metro service was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29 November 2017. Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) is the company that is operating this metro service.

Eight cities having operational metro services are – Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurugram (Gurgaon), Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai and Kochi.

Hyderabad Metro has been implemented entirely on public-private partnership (PPP) basis, with the Telangana state government holding a minority equity stake. The first phase of this metro comprises of 30 km stretch from Miyapur to Nagole, having 24 stations. No other rapid transit metro service in India opened for public operations on such a long stretch of 30 km. It is estimated to cost Rs. 15,000 crore.

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3) Who was named as the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) by the Union Government on 28 November 2017? – Badri Narain Sharma

Explanation: Badri Narain Sharma, a Rajasthan cadre IAS officer of 1985 batch, has been appointed the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA). NAA is the body set up under the goods and services tax (GST) to ensure that the benefits of lower taxes under the new regime are shared with consumers.

58-year old Sharma is at present an additional secretary in the Department of Revenue in the Finance Ministry. He will have rank and pay of secretary at the Centre. He has been closely associated with the formulation of GST and its implementation.

It is worth mentioning that the Union cabinet had earlier in November 2017 cleared the setting up of the NAA, which will have a two-year tenure that can be extended by the GST Council.

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4) What important milestone was marked by the mundane One Rupee note on 30 November 2017? – It celebrated its 100th anniversary of its release

Explanation: The first note was introduced on 30 November 1917 with the photo of King George V. The paper note was launched due to inability of the then British Government to mint One Rupee coins during the hard times of the First World War. Hence it shifted to printing paper notes.

When introduced, the Re. 1 replaced the silver coin, which was the prevalent way of storing value of the princely Re 1. Unlike other banknotes, this is not signed by the RBI governor, but by the finance secretary.

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5) In its 2nd Meeting held on 29 November 2017, the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) approved projects for Rs. 2,066.73 Cr for six higher education institutions. Which are these 6 institutions? – IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur and NIT Suratkal

Explanation: For providing additional funds for research and related infrastructure in the country, Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) officially started its operations. The HEFA Board approved projects for Rs. 2,066.73 crore for six institutions (IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur and NIT Suratkal) in its 2nd Meeting held on 29 November 2017.

These funds would be used to improve the research infrastructure in these institutions to further improve their standing at the global level. These institutions can avail of these funds as per the progress of the project and complete them. The funding under HEFA would be in addition to the grants being given to these institutions.

HEFA was born out of the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing additional finance for promoting research in the higher educational institutions. The Union Cabinet has approved setting up HEFA on 12 September 2016.

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6) Who was appointed India’s G20 Sherpa for the G20’s Development Track on 27 November 2017? – Shaktikanta Das

Explanation: Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das was on 27 November 2017 appointed India’s Sherpa till 31 December 2018, for the G20’s Development Track.

There are two tracks in G20 – the Finance Track and the Development Track. Finance Track is managed by the Secretary (Economic Affairs), Ministry of Finance, as India’s Deputy to G20 and the Development Track is coordinated by the Sherpa. The Department of Economic Affairs will provide necessary support to the Sherpa.

Sherpas, who are representatives of leaders of G20 member countries, coordinate on the agenda of the summit.

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The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.

 


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