Today Current Affairs 18th December 2017

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18 December 2017

Frenchman Francois Gabart smashed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the globe, completing the mammoth feat in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. The 34-year-old sailor crossed a virtual finish line drawn between the island of Ushant off France's northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England at 0145 GMT, comfortably beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours.  

18 December 2017

West Bengal government is also gearing up efforts to win the hearts of rural people. The state government has decided to provide Rs 2,700 crore to widen and renovate 3,000km of rural roads. Rural connectivity is not at all impressive in various parts of West Bengal. Zilla Parishad maintained roads which are in not so good condition have been taken over by the state public works department recently at the instruction of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The majority work is expected to be started in next March. The width of all the roads initially will be extended to 5m from 3m or less. Rs 90 lakh will be required to develop each kilometre of roads. There was a risk of managing funds as the project did not have any budgetary allocation for it.

18 December 2017

Maharashtra government in a circular directed not to spend government funds on religious and social functions organized by private institutions. According to the circular, the local bodies will not spend money on Ganeshotsav, Navratri, Ramzan, Eid, Chhath Puja, Gudi Padva, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Mahavir Jayanti and Dr BR Ambdedkar Jayanti.  The judgment further reads that the Municipal Corporation must also bear in mind that secularism is part of the basic structure of the Constitution and the municipal funds are primarily required to be spent on civic amenities.

18 December 2017

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh research and development projects in horticulture crops have yielded encouraging results, as a result, the production of horticulture crops have been more than food grains irrespective of adverse climatic conditions. After China, India is the second largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits. The Agriculture Minister said more than 9 crore metric ton of fruits on 63 lakhs hectare land were produced during 2015-16. According to an estimate, a production of 30 crore metric ton horticulture crops on 2.5 crore hectare land is expected during 2016-17 in which contribution of fruit is significant. The record achievement includes 42 million ton of fruit production on 65 lakh hectare land. In terms of area in India, the citrus fruits hold second position (10.37 lakh hectare) and third (12 million tonnes) in production.

18 December 2017

The GST Goods and Service Council decided to implement the e-way bill mechanism throughout the country by June 1st after reviewing the readiness of the IT network. Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the waybill is replaced by an e-way bill. It aims at mitigating the problems caused by waybill compliance. E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN portal. The decision was taken in 24th meeting of the GST Council via Video-Conferencing.

18 December 2017

Double Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in South Africa.  In Johannesburg, Sushil defeated New Zealand's Akash Khullar via a pinfall in the final of the 74kg freestyle category to clinch the medal. Parveen Rana also won a bronze medal in the same category. Another Olympic medalist, Sakshi Malik also clinched a gold medal in the championships. Sakshi defeated New Zealand’s Tayla Tuahine Ford in the final of the 62kg women’s freestyle category.

18 December 2017

Sebastian Pinera, won Chile's presidential election run-off.  With nearly all votes counted, Mr Pinera has polled more than 54%. Left-winger Alejandro Guillier was his closest opponent. Sebastian Pinera has replaced Michelle Bachelet.

18 December 2017

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated eastern India’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) stations for scooters in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Pradhan inaugurated two CNG stations for scooters and three-wheelers at Chandrasekharpur and Patia area in Bhubaneswar. The minister also launched CNG-run scooters. The CNG stations were part of GAIL’s Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga and City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.

18 December 2017

Top Indian shuttler P V Sindhu won the Silver medal in women’s singles summit clash of the Dubai World Super Series Final in Dubai. She went down fighting against World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. In the prestigious season-ending tournament finale, Sindhu lost in three games, 21-15 12-21 19-21, to Yamaguchi in the final.

18 December 2017

The World Health Organisation declared Gabon a "polio-free country", given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country. According to a WHO statement obtained, the UN health agency nonetheless recommended taking the necessary steps to continue monitoring for possible signs of the disease.  The Cases of polio have decreased by 99 per cent since 1988, when polio was endemic in 125 countries and 350,000 cases were recorded worldwide.

18 December 2017

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for continuation of centrally sponsored scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) from April 2017 to March 2020. The NAM was launched in September 2014. It is being implemented by Ministry of AYUSH with the objective of providing cost-effective universal access to AYUSH Services. The main aims to address gaps in health services through supporting efforts of State/UTs for providing AYUSH health services and education in country.

18 December 2017

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC process.  The action follows allegations of Bharti Airtel using the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their informed consent. More than 23 lakh customers have reportedly received as many as Rs. 47 crore in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened.