Daily Current Affairs, 20th February 2018 - VISION

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Daily Current Affairs, 20th February 2018







1)  India To Host World Environment Day 2018
•The government of India and the UN jointly announced that India will host the global World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June 2018.

•World Environment Day is celebrated globally on June 5. The theme for World Environment 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

2)  Union Cabinet Approves Creation Of National Urban Housing Fund
•The Union Cabinet has given approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) for Rs.60,000 crores. This fund will be situated in Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

•NUHF will facilitate raising requisite funds in next four years so that flow of Central Assistance under different verticals i.e. Beneficiary Linked Construction (BLC), Affordable Housing in Partnership(AHP), In-Situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR) and Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).

3)  India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-II Missile
•India successfully test-fired Agni II medium-range nuclear-capable missile from APJ Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired Agni-II from a mobile launcher at launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range.

•Agni-II, which has a length of 20 metres, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1000 kgs over a distance of 2000 kms. It is a part of the Agni series of missiles developed by the DRDO.

4)  PM Flags Off Palace Queen Hamsafar Express In Karnataka
•Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Palace Queen Humsafar Express between Mysuru and Udaipur in Mysuru Railway Station. Both the Mysuru Palace and Udaipur palace are iconic tourist attractions and this special train will create a new tourist circuit connecting North India and the South.

•The train between Mysuru and Udaipur will act as a backbone of tourism, an employment generating industry. He also dedicated to the nation, the electrified Mysuru-Bengaluru Railway Line and announced two more infrastructure projects for the region.

5)  Cabinet Approves New Bill To Ban Unregulated Deposit Schemes And Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill
•In a major policy initiative to protect the savings of the investors, the Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the following bills in the Parliament:-

1. Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 in parliament &
2. Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

1. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018

•The bill is aimed at tackling the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities in the country. Companies/ institutions running such schemes exploit existing regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.

2. The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018

•The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in Parliament. In order to facilitate orderly growth of the Chit Funds sector and remove bottlenecks being faced by the Chit Funds industry, thereby enabling greater financial access of people to other financial products, the following amendments to the Chit Funds Act, 1982 have been proposed:

i. Use of the words "Fraternity Fund" for chit business under Sections 2(b) and 11(1) of the Chit Funds Act, 1982, to signify its inherent nature, and distinguish its working from "Prize Chits" which are banned under a separate legislation;
ii. Increasing the ceiling of foreman's commission from a maximum of 5% to 7%, as the rate has remained static since the commencement of the Act while overheads and other costs have increased manifold;
iii. Allowing the foreman a right to lien for the dues from subscribers, so that set-off is allowed by the Chit company for subscribers who have already drawn funds, so as to discourage default by them; and
iv. Amending Section 85 (b) of the Chit Funds Act, 1982 to remove the ceiling of one hundred rupees set in 1982 at the time of framing the Chit Funds Act, which has lost its relevance.

6)  Aga Khan’s 11-Day Visit To India Begins
•Spiritual leader Aga Khan is on the 11-day visit to India. Sunder Nursery, a 90-acre park near Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, will be inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of the Aga Khan.

•In addition to these engagements, he will be visiting the cities of Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Mumbai, where Aga Khan Development Network is involved in various development projects. During his previous visit in 2015, the Aga Khan was conferred Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to social development in India.

7)  UK, India Launched Joint Research Projects On Clean Water & Energy
•The UK- India Joint research projects on Water Quality Research and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment were launched in New Delhi.

•The Water Quality Research programme has eight projects and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment programme has four projects, with a total joint investment of up to 15 million British Pound.

8)  Singapore To Impose Carbon Tax From 2019
•Singapore will impose a 'carbon tax' from 2019 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect.

•Finance minister Heng Swee Keat stated that the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023.




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