Today Current Affairs 7th December 2017

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Current affairsTo boost Digitisation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken a crucial step revising merchant discount rates (MDR) charges on Merchants. Now even small businesses will start accepting payments from your Debit card through Scan and Pay. DR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services. As per the new rules, merchants with revenue of less than Rs 20 lakh, the MDR would be 0.4% for Rs 200 and 0.9% for Rs 1,000. These charges will come into effect from 1 January 2018. For accepting payments via QR (quick response) code based transactions, the charge will be 0.30 percent subject to a cap of Rs 200 per transaction.

Retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation, EPFO opened a new facility for its over 4.5 crore members that will allow consolidation or merger of their multiple PF accounts with the current Universal Account Number, UAN.  Under this facility, subscribers of the EPFO can merge as many as 10 previous accounts with their UAN at one go. The EPFO has made it easy with this facility with an objective of having one employee, one EPF account.

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry. The House of Representatives passed a cross-party bill after an unprecedented national postal survey gave unstoppable momentum to legislate the historic social reform. Australia, which changed the law in 2004 to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman, now becomes the 25th country to recognize same-sex marriage.

Caltech scientists have made the world's smallest recreation of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the size of a bacterium, out of DNA. The technique, dubbed DNA origami, enabled scientists to fold DNA into desired self-assembling structures using 64 tiles, which were 100 nanometers wide. The team also created a life-sized portrait of a bacterium and a bacterium-sized portrait of a rooster.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BR Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. The prime minister also unveiled two statues of the Dalit icon at the centre in Janpath.  Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Vijay Goel was also present at the event. The centre was a fusion of Buddhist and modern architecture. He had laid the foundation stone of the center in 2015.

The Border Security Force (BSF) engaged doctors to conduct a psychological analysis of its 2.5 lakh members amid concerns over rising cases of suicide by security personnel. The Wellness Quotient Assessment Test will question personnel to detect issues such as anxiety, depression, phobia, and insomnia among others. The Troubled personnel will be offered help under the buddy support system.

India won the first-ever South Asian Regional Badminton Team Championship. In the title clash played in Guwahati, India defeated Nepal, 3-0. In the boys’ singles competition Aryaman Tandon defeated Dipesh Dhami 21-9, 21-15 while Ashmita Chaliha defeated Rashila Maharjan 21-9, 21-6  in the Girls’ singles event. In Boys’ Doubles, the pair of Arintap Dasgupta and Krishna Prasad came back from a game behind to beat the duo of Dipesh Dhami and Nabin Shrestha 19-21, 21-14, 21-11.

Online food delivery start-up Swiggy (Bundle Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has appointed Vishal Bhatia as a chief executive officer for its new supply business. Bhatia comes with 19 years of experience in consumer goods firms like Reckitt Benckiser Group, PepsiCo and Britannia.

The United States of America recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It's a move that upends decades of U.S. policy, was the announcement made by the U.S President Donald Trump which invited lots of criticism but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed this as ‘historic day’ for Israel.  The Israeli leader says his country "will continue to work with the president and his team to make that dream of peace come true. Donald Trump is pledging to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu is urging other countries to follow suit. The Members of Israel's cabinet have praised the move as "destined" and "overdue."

India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector. The objective of this MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two countries in the field of health by pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources in both countries.

Uttar Pradesh becomes the first state to endorse the Centre's draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence. As per the draft law, its three years' imprisonment and a fine to a Muslim man trying to divorce his wife by uttering "talaq" three times. The bill is all set to be introduced in the coming winter session of parliament.

India and Italy signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues. It was signed between Indian Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Italian Minister for Agriculture H.E Maurizio Martina that will provide a good framework for cooperation in this field.

State of Andhra Pradesh rolled out red carpets for South Korean Investors. The State government and Make in India Korea Center (MIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up Korea Industrial Complex in the State. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s three-day Korea tour where he wooed industrialists to come and invest in Andhra Pradesh. As per the MoU, the Andhra Pradesh Centre will be established at Busan in South Korea. The MIC will also conduct outreach programmes in Korea for the promotion of investment and business in AP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi. There are three auditoriums and an extensive library with a rich digital repository. He will also launch Dr Ambedkar International Centre For Socio-Economic Transformation.  The institution will show the way and further discussions on vital issues as well as encourage research, original thinking among the youth.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 12th Annual convention of central information commission at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The Vice President stressed on maintaining transparency and accountability in public life. As per the Minister of State in PMO Dr. Jitender Singh, the government has filled all vacant posts in the commission. He accused the earlier government of being negligent on the matter.