Current Affairs 23rd December 2017

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Indian Affairs With an aim to bring the foreign policy to the masses the External Affairs Ministry has come up with an initiative called SAMEEP - 'Students and MEA Engagement Programme'. Under this MEA official will talk to students to help them better understand foreign policy. The main objective of SAMEEP is to take Indian foreign policy and its global engagements to students across the country. Under this programme, all the ministry officers - under-secretary and above - will be asked to go to their hometowns, particularly their alma maters.

Kisan Diwas (Farmer's Day) is observed every year on 23 December to celebrate the birth anniversary of the fifth prime minister. He was the PM of India for a very short tenure starting from 28th of July 1979 until 14th January 1980.   A Kisan leader, Late Chaudhary Charan Singh belonged to a peasant family. This was the reason he could relate himself to the issues of the farmers and therefore, he did the best to support them. When he became the Prime Minister of India in July 1979 he made many changes to improve the lives of the farmers. This is also an interesting fact that as the Prime Minister of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh never visited the Lok Sabha. He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister during the reign of Morarji Desai. He introduced Budget 1979 which was designed to accomplish the needs of the farmers in all respects. It had several policies in favour of Indian farmers.

The Union government had formally launched the ‘Ganga Gram’ project at the Ganga Gram Swachata Sammelan in New Delhi. As part of its clean Ganga mission – Namami Gange, the Ganga Gram project is an integrated approach for the holistic development of villages situated on the banks of the holy river with the active participation of villagers.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin arrived in New Delhi. He will co-chair the meeting of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will host Mr. Rogozin and lead the Indian side. The meeting will enable the two sides to review the progress achieved by various working groups and sub-groups under the IRIGC-TEC.

AYUSH Ministry hands with Commerce and Industry Ministry; Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Pharmexcil to organize the International AROGYA 2017 – First Edition of International Exhibition and Conference on AYUSH and Wellness with the theme ‘Enhancing the export potential of AYUSH’. This event was attended by many dignitaries and manufacturers. During the conference important topics relating to Standardization and Quality Control in AYUSH Sector, Enhancing the export potential of AYUSH and Business opportunities, Integrative Healthcare.

The UN Security Council approved tough new sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest launch of a ballistic missile that Pyongyang says is capable of reaching anywhere on the US mainland.  The resolution adopted by the council includes sharply lower limits on North Korea’s refined oil imports, the return home of all North Koreans working overseas within 24 months and a crackdown on ships smuggling banned items including coal and oil to and from the country. The resolution, adopted in response to North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3, banned North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

Made-In-India’ Surface-to-Air Missile QRSAM was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation from a defense base off Odisha coast. The homegrown canister-based high-speed weapon system can deceive enemy radars making it difficult to be detected, is capable of destroying aerial targets, tanks, bunkers and short-range missiles. The short-range weapon system was fired from a canister mounted on a rotatable truck-based launch platform at the Launching Complex-I (LC-I) of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea. It is a highly mobile air defence system which can destroy multiple targets at a distance of 25 km in less than one minute. Considered to be a unique system in its class, the missile is expected to supplement medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash.

The Union cabinet approved an auction of 683 private FM radio frequencies in 236 cities across the country under Phase III of FM radio privatization. The sale of these channels in Phase III is likely to generate direct and indirect employment to more than 10,000 persons on a pan-India basis. The third batch of FM auctions will cover cities with no private FM radio presence, including cities in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and north-east states where the population is less than 100,000. With the completion of FM Phase III auctions, the government is planning to cover all the 29 states.

Vijay Rupani will continue as chief minister of Gujarat and Nitin Patel as his deputy chief minister, the Bhartiya Janata Party has made the announcement after a meeting of the party's newly-elected legislators in the state's capital Gandhinagar. The BJP had won 99 seats, only seven more than it needed for a majority to form government and 16 less than it had won last time.

The Uttar Pradesh government has legalised death penalty and life imprisonment for those involved in the trade of illegitimate liquor if it leads to the death of the consumers. The Excise (Amendment) Bill 2017, passed in the state Assembly, also imposes a fine of Rs 10 lakh. Further, the bill imposes imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakhs if consumption of spurious liquor causes disability. It also provides for rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and not less than six years in case of disability caused by consumption of spurious liquor and fine to the tune of Rs five lakh and not less than Rs three lakh.