Current Affairs 10th January 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for the construction of National Disaster Response Force’s (NDRF) new campus at Kondapavuluru village of Gannavaram mandal in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.  The campus will be built on 50 acres of land and will accomodate the NDRF’s 10th battalion which is presently stationed at Mangalagiri in Guntur district. It will have world class training centre, administrative block, residential area, helipad, play-ground, swimming pool, quarters for officials, vehicle depot, training centre, school and other facilities.  The 10th Battalion NDRF is responsible for providing rescue operation during natural calamities, accidents, cyclones and floods in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Every year, the aviation insights company FlightStats puts together a list of the international airlines with the best on-time performance records.  Air India ranked third-worst performing airline in the world Icelandair – 41.05% El Al – 56% are on first and second position respectively. The Worst 10 International Airlines of 2016  10. Hainan Airlines – 30.3%  9. Korean Air – 31.74%  8. Air China – 32.73%  7. Hong Kong Airlines – 33.42%  6. China Eastern Airlines – 35.8%  5. Asiana Airlines – 37.46%  4. Philippine Airlines – 38.33%  3. Air India – 38.71%  2. Icelandair – 41.05%  1. El Al – 56%  The Best 10 International Airlines of 2016  10. Qantas – 15.7%  9. TAM Linhas Aéreas – 14.93%  8. Delta Air Lines – 14.83%  7. Singapore Airlines – 14.55%  6. ANA – 14.46%  5. Austrian – 14.26%  4. Qatar Airways – 13.66%  3. JAL – 12.2%  2. Iberia – 11.82%  1. KLM – 11.47%   

The 12th World Hindi Day was celebrated on 10 January 2017 across the world. To mark the occasion, special events were organised by non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) to spread the greatness of Hindi language. World Hindi Day was first observed on 10 January 2006. The day is celebrated alongside the National Hindi Diwas that is being celebrated on 14 September. The National Hindi Diwas is celebrated annually to mark the day, 14 September 1949, on which the Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union. The World Hindi Day seeks to promote Hindi at the global stage, while the National Hindi Diwas is celebrated across the country. Hindi Language : Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world. In India, Hindi is spoken as a mother tongue by more than 250 million people. Hindi is a native language for most people living in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Fiji adopted Hindi as an official language. The dialect of Hindi spoken in Fiji is known as Fiji Baat.

In Haryana, the State level Prarambh School for Teachers Education would be set up at village Silani in district Jhajjar over an area of 10 acres.  Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal who presided over the first meeting of the Governing Body of Prarambh School for Teachers Education, at Chandigarh stated that it would have all basic facilities.  At present, it is being run in a school building and providing education to students of 15 states.

The child sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana for the first time has touched 900-mark in two decades. SRB in December 2016 in Haryana was 914. From January to December 2016 out of 5,25,278 children were born in Haryana, 2,76,414 were boys and 2,48,864 were girl. In 2011, India’s child sex ratio stood at 914 girls to 1000 boys, the lowest since Independence and Haryana had a child sex ratio 834 girls to 1000 boys, far worse than the national average.  The recent improvement SRB in Haryana was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex determination and female foeticide.  Besides, Union Government also had launched the ambitious “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (B3P) campaign against female foeticide in Panipat in January 2015. Strong political will coupled with convergence of all departments at the district-level and co-ordinated efforts by all districts in the State played important role to achieve this goal.  State Government also had initiated an aggressive drive against female foeticide by ensuring stringent implementation of Medical Terminal of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.  Regular awareness was created through regular meetings, street plays and rallies in urban and rural areas as part of the programme. Moreover, Haryana girls including Sakshi Malik, Geeta and Babita Phogat, and Deepa Malik, winning laurels for the country in sports also helped the cause “tremendously”.

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best player for the year 2016 at the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards held in Zurich, Switzerland. To win this title he received 34.54% of total votes. He defeated Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (26.42%), Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann (7.53%) to win the coveted prize. Best FIFA Women’s Player: Carli Lloydll (US).  Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Claudio Ranieri (Italy).  Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Silvia Neid (Germany).  FIFA Puskas Award: Mohd Faiz Subri (Malaysia).  FIFA Fair Play Award: Atletico Nacional  FIFA Award for an Outstanding Career: Falcao (Brazil).  FIFA Fan Award: Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters. FIFA Football Awards  : The Best FIFA Football Awards are an association football awards presented annually by the FIFA. They are awared in by FIFA to several individuals across different categories. The selection criteria for the (men’s and women’s) players of the year are: sporting performance, general conduct on and off the pitch from 20 November 2015 to 22 November 2016. The selected will be voted by media representatives, national team coaches, and national team captains.

China successfully launched first commercial mission using an updated version of the low-cost Kuaizhou-1A rocket. As part of the mission three satellites JL-1, CubeSats XY-S1 and Caton-1 were launched into space.  The rocket was launched form northwestern China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province. Rocket technology company under the state owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (ACSIC) was responsible for the successful launch mission.  The success of the mission marks the Chinese company’s capability of providing flexible, convenient, quick and economical launch services for domestic and overseas clients. KZ-1A rocket: It is improvised and advance version of erstwhile Kuaizhou-1 rocket. It is a low-cost solid- fuelled carrier rocket with high reliability and short preparation period. It has been designed to launch low-orbit satellites weighing less than 300 kg. JL-1 Satellite: It is a multifunctional remote-sensing satellite providing high-definition video images. It is expected to be used for environmental protection, land resource and forestry surveying, transport and disaster prevention and relief purposes. XY-S1 and Caton-1 Satellites: They are experimental satellites to test technologies of low-orbit narrow-band communication and VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) respectively.

IIT Kharagpur alumnus Parag Havaldar  won the prestigious Technical Achievement Award, popularly called the Technical Oscar which is awarded by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. He was awarded for the development of expression-based facial performance-capture technology at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He will be awarded a certificate from the Academy at Beverly Hills on 11 February 2017. Parag Havaldar : Parag Havaldar graduated from IIT-Kharagpur in 1991 with a degree in computer science and engineering.  Presently, he is a software supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks leading the team in the area of performance capture.  The technology developed by him and his team is being used to create stylized character animations. This has led to large-scale use of animation rig-based facial performance-capture providing solutions for tracking, stabilization, solving and animator controllable curve editing. His popular works include Watchmen, Green Lantern, The Amazing Spider-Man, Beowulf and Hancock. He is also a part-time teacher of Multimedia at the University of Southern California, from where he pursued his PhD as well in the field of computer vision and graphics. The Technical Achievement Award or Scientific & Technical Award was first presented at the 4th Academy Awards ceremony in November 1931.

Pakistan has successfully test-fired the first submarine-launched Cruise Missile Babur-3 from an undisclosed location in Indian Ocean.  The missile was fired from an underwater mobile platform. Babur-3 : It is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of up to 450km. It is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2+. The missile is capable of delivering nuclear strikes from land, air and underwater as well.  It encompasses state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion, advanced guidance and navigation features which are duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems. It features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defences. It also features certain stealth technologies which can deal with regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment. In a land-attack mode, the missile is capable of delivering various types of payloads.  It is expected to provide Pakistan with a credible second-strike capability and an augmented deterrence.

E-commerce giant Flipkart in the first week of January 2017 promoted former Tiger Global Management executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Krishnamurthy will replace Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, who has been elevated to the position of Group CEO. Krishnamurthy had joined Flipkart in June 2017 as the Head of Category Design Organisation. He came over to the e-commerce giant from Tiger Global, a New York-based investment firm, which is also Flipkart’s largest investor. On the other hand, Flipkart also announced that Nitin Seth, the Chief Administrative Officer, will be the Chief Operating Officer for the company. He will report to Krishnamurthy. Flipkart : Flipkart is an electronic commerce company.It is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Both are the alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Sachin and Binny initially worked for They left the company to create their new company incorporated in October 2007 as Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd.Flipkart is registered in Singapore. It launched its own product range under the name "DigiFlip" with products including tablets, USBs, and laptop bags. As per Morgan Stanley, the company’s the current market value is USD 5.54 billion as of November 2016. At present, Flipkart employs more than 33000 people.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and French Space agency (CNES) on 9 January 2017 signed a Partnership Agreement for satellite launch technology. The agreement was signed between ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall. This partnership agreement will enable France to benefit from the Indian model of streamlining the costs of space programmes. ISRO is the second partner of CNES, in terms of volume after NASA. The space programmes of both countries are complementary in terms of comparable size and sharing similar objectives. Agreement between CNES and Axiom Research Lab : Moreover, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall also signed an agreement with Rahul Narayan for equipping Axiom Research Lab's lunar rover with two latest-generation CASPEX micro-cameras which was developed by CNES in partnership with French firm 3DPlus.  Rahul Narayan is the CEO of leading Indian 'NewSpace' start-up Axiom Research Labs. Axiom Research has put forward TeamIndus, an Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE which is a global competition for engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. With this agreement, CNES will be sending French technology for the first time on lunar terrain by joining forces with Team Indus.

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards 2017 to 30 personalities. The awards were presented during the occasion of the 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. In 2016, it was decided that the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas conventions will be held after an interval of two years. Therefore, the number of awards to be conferred for Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017 has been doubled to 30. For the year 2017, the jury also considered the contribution for achievements on philanthropic investments and charitable work in India and for contribution towards India’s development. It is for the first time that an Indian woman living in Saudi Arabia was honoured with the Award. Zeenat Musarrat Jafri, along with her husband, set up the first Indian school in Riyadh in 1982. She was awarded for her contribution to the education of the Indian community. Serial No. Name Country Field 1 Gorur Krishna Harinath Australia Community Service 2 Rajasekharan Pillai Valavoor Kizhakkathil Bahrain Business 3 Antwerp Indian Association Belgium Community Service 4 Nazeer Ahamed Mohamed Zackiriah Brunei Community Service 5 Mukund Bhikhubhai Purohit Canada Business 6 Nalinkumar Sumanlal Kothari Djibouti Community Service 7 Vinod Chandra Patel Fiji Social Service 8 Raghunath Marie Antonin Manet France Arts & Culture 9 Lael Anson E. Best Israel Medical Science 10 Sandip Kumar Tagore Japan Arts & Culture 11 Ariful Islam Libya Community Service 12 Tan Sri Dato Dr. Muniandy Thambirajah Malaysia Education and Community Service 13 Pravind Kumar Jugnauth Mauritius Public Service 14 Antonio Luis Santos da Costa Portugal Public Service 15 Raghavan Seetharaman Qatar Business Management 16 Zeenat Musarrat Jafri Saudi Arabia Education 17 Singapore Indian Association Singapore Community Service 18 Carani Balaraman Sanjeevi Sweden Medicine 19 Susheel Kumar Saraff Thailand Business 20 Winston Chandarbhan Dookeran Trinidad & Tobago Public Service 21 Vasudev Shamdas Shroff United Arab Emirates Community Service 22 India Social and Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Philanthropy and Community Service 23 Priti Patel United Kingdom Public Service 24 Neena Gill United Kingdom Public Service 25 Hari Babu Bindal USA Environmental Engineering 26 Bharat Haridas Barai USA Community Service 27 Nisha Desai Biswal USA Public Affairs 28 Mahesh Mehta USA Community Service 29 Ramesh Shah USA Community Service 30 Sampatkumar Shidramapa Shivangi USA Community Leadership    

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Nobel Prize Exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. While inaugurating the exhibition, he urged the budding scientists to help raise the people from poverty through science and technology. This year, the Nobel Media is holding the first Nobel Prize Series in India. The Nobel Prize Series 2017 of India will feature a five week long Science Exhibition which is being set up by the Nobel Foundation with exhibits from the Nobel Museum at Stockholm, Sweden. The exhibition will be coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology in Delhi. Nine Nobel laureates will be attending the exhibition. These Nobel laureates will interact with students of Indian Universities.  One of these Nobel laureates include India-born and Gujarat-educated scientist Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. He won 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on ribosome structure. He shared the prize with fellow scientists Thomas A Steitz and Ada Yonath. The other eight Nobel laureates are Richard J Roberts (1993, Medicine), Harold Varmus (1989, Medicine), David J Gross (2004, Physics), Serge Haroche (2012, Physics), Randy Schekman (2013, Medicine), W E Moerner (2014, Chemistry), H C Harmut Michel (1988, Chemistry) and Ada Yonath. The Nobel Media and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology in 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for hosting Nobel Prize Series in India for the next five years. Later in the same year, a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Department of Biotechnology, Gujarat Government and the Nobel Media. And accordingly, the first Nobel Prize exhibition is being held as a preface to Vibrant Gujarat. Nobel Prize Series is a unique programme which exhibits various conferences, lectures, roundtables and exhibitions. It brings together Nobel Laureates and other experts and learners with an aim to stimulate innovation and creative thinking.  

Union Home Minister inaugurates the CISF Eastern Sector Headquarter and lays foundation stone of the CISF Residential Complex in Ranchi  Jharkhand government has given the go-ahead to setting up of a CISF central training school in Ranchi  to cater to the training requirement of the large number of units of the force located in the state.  A central training school (CTS) would come up in Ranchi with Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das agreeing to provide a 100 acre land following a request of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide Rs 1 billion to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) after its request that the country was facing a shortage of INR 100 denomination banknotes. The NRB's plan to import Rs 100 denomination notes was delayed due to the Indian government's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8.The RBI had earlier told the Nepali central bank to wait till the situation normalises post demontisation. NRB officials have now said that the central bank is preparing to bring the amount from India within January. After demonetisation in India, the Nepal Rastra Bank had also lowered exchange limit of Indian banknotes in Nepal. Currently, it is providing an exchange facility of up to Rs 2,000 on basis of citizenship identification. Similarly, it is providing Rs 10,000 to those who submit a copy of air or train ticket to travel to India and Rs 25,000 for those travelling to India for medical check-up. The RBI has been extending Rs 6 billion exchange facility to Nepal every year (based on Indian fiscal year calendar) but this year Nepal is unlikely to get this facility due to the demonetisation move. Currently, the NRB has around Rs 3.5 billion in its coffers and after bringing another Rs 1 billion, NRB will be able to provide exchange facility to Nepali and Indian nationals in Nepal for the next eight to nine months.

Delhi Government has approved ‘Good Samaritan Policy to encourage people to help road accident victims in emergency situation.  It was approved by the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi. This policy will give bystanders incentive to help accident victims and more importantly provide them with legal protection. Under this policy, monetary incentive of Rs 2,000 and appreciation certificate will be given to people who help road accident victims in the national capital.  Its main intention is to encourage people to take accident victims in emergency situation to hospitals so that someone’s life could be saved. At present, most of people are unwilling to help mainly because they are scared they will land in trouble or be harassed by police.  This policy seeks to change this attitude of people. Earlier, under the same scheme in April 2016 Delhi Government had decided to provide basic life support training to all auto-rickshaw drivers to provide helping hand in case of a road accident.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu made scientists from the state an offer few would refuse. The TDP chief has announced a reward of Rs 100 crore from the state government to anyone who brings home a Nobel Prize  He is reward is about 17 times more than the prize money given out with the Nobel award, which is about Rs 5.96 crore (Swedish kronor 8 million).  No other state government in India has perhaps made such a grand offer to its scientists. Interestingly, this is the second time that Naidu has made such an announcement -Wednesday's offer, however, supersedes the earlier one for Rs 10 crore.  While addressing the inaugural function of the children's science congress on the sidelines of the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress in Tirupati, the CM also sought Japanese Nobel laureate Professor Takaaki Kajita's advice on how to win the Nobel Prize. 

State-run UCO Bank has launched its ‘UCO Suvidha (e) Prepaid Card’. The card was launched earlier this month by R.K. Takkar, MD & CEO, UCO Bank, and Executive Directors, Charan Singh and G. Subramania Iyer. According to a release by the bank, the prepaid card is “a hassle-free” alternative to cash, which can be used for cash withdrawals, purchase at Points of Sale (POS) or, over the Internet. The bank’s own customers as well as walk-in customers can avail of the card from all branches of the bank. The prepaid card offers the flexibility to load/ reload amount as and when required and is targeted at corporates, government departments, institutions and other organisations.

 A 7 day International Kite Festival is inaugurated by Gujarat Governor, OP Kohli andCM Vijay Rupani at the Sabarmati riverfront, Ahmedabad on January 8, 2017 International Kite festival includes a theme pavilion based on ‘Tourist Destinations of Gujarat’, kite workshop, adventure games for kids, craft stalls to display the local art and food stalls with local delicacies for the visitors. Nearly 186 kite fliers, which includes 51 from 8 different states and more than 100 kite fliers from more than 31 countries, will participate in this festival.

The All India Conference of Chairpersons and Chief Executive Officers of states and union territories’ Waqf Boards has been inaugurated by Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on December 7, 2017 in New Delhi To review of progress under the schemes relating to grant of financial assistance for computerisation of waqf properties To strengthening of waqf boards and development of waqf properties by the National Waqf Development Corporation Ltd. Central Wakf Council is an Indian statutory body established in 1964 by the Government of India under Wakf Act, 1954  for the purpose of advising it on matters pertaining to working of the State Wakf Boards and proper administration of the Wakfs in the country.

Maharashtra government has launched India’s largest public WiFi service called 'MumbaiWifi'.  The facility was inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai. The facility will initially provide 500 wifi hotspots across different locations like Vidhan Bhawan, Bombay High Court, Kalanagar in Bandra and Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office. After inaugurating it, Fadnavis described the service as an important step towards digital empowerment. He informed that during the trial period in last week of December 2016, about 23000 users across the city signed up and downloaded more than 2 TB of data. He also reiterated the government’s commitment to providing 1200 WiFi hotspots by 1 May 2017. Later Fadnavis tweeted that the government is committed to resolving all problems regarding the connectivity and speed and provide a good internet surfing experience. Other decisions taken by the state government in January 2017 include  FIR against Cambata Aviation and Bird Worldwide Flight Service The state government has filed a FIR against Cambata Aviation and Bird Worldwide Flight Service for not cooperating with officials to seize the equipment as directed by the court, to pay dues of employees. Bird Worldwide has leased the Cambata Aviation’s equipment. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier directed Cambata to settle the dues of its employees and warned of stringent action in case of delay. The action was taken after the company ceased operations in Mumbai early in 2016, leaving over 1000 employees in the lurch. As per the FIR, Cambata Aviation was sent a notice on 26 October 2016, by the Mumbai suburban district administration to deposit an amount of Rs 44514633 within a period of 30 days failing which further notices were sent to them. MFDA direction to McDonald's to display caffeine content info on containers Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the restaurant chain McDonald's to display a label mentioning that a particular beverage contains caffeine. State FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble has said that the decision has been taken to prevent susceptible people like pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and patients from certain adverse effects of caffeine. Amendment in Maharashtra Land Revenue Code The state government on 8 January 2017 came up with the amendment in Maharashtra Land Revenue Code. Under the amendment, non-agriculture certification will no longer be required for a land for which development plan is finalised. Unless an agricultural land is converted into non-agricultural, development work cannot be started. With the new amendment in the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966, things would move more swiftly. Earlier, the requirement of non-agriculture certification used to cause a delay in projects, including all types of infrastructure development works.

Chinese smartphone maker Gionee clocked $1.4 billion (`9,500 crore) of revenue in India last year, closing in on rival Micromax Informatics, and expects sales to grow 2.5 times this year.  The company, which entered India in 2012 and competes with Chinese rivals, including Xiaomi and Lenovo, besides market leader Samsung Electronics, has signed on Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli as a brand ambassador after bringing in Alia Bhatt last year.  Gionee plans to make all phones sold in India locally by April, Vohra said. The company makes about 600,000 phones a month in the price band of.`7,000 to .`30,000 through contract manufacturers Foxconn & Dixon.  The company has acquired 50 acres of land for its own manufacturing unit in Faridabad, Haryana, which will take around 18-24 months to come up. The plant will have a capacity of 30 million units with an investment of `500 crore.  Gionee is banking on branding and targeted distribution to increase its share of the smartphone market. Vohra expects the `7,000- 30,000 price segment to grow by 25-30%.  The Shenzhen-headquartered company will increase its marketing spend in the world's fastest growing smartphone market to `500 crore this year, up by 40% from last year.   

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been honoured by the US Embassy to acknowledge his immense contribution to the India-US ties on tuberculosis.  The award was presented on January 8 by US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma to the 74-year-old actor, who himself is a TB survivor and brand ambassador for the cause. Bachchan took to his blog to share the pictures from the event.  Remembering his first encounter with Verma, Bachchan said that they have been associated since 2015, when the latter was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.  The US ambassador also said that the US government has been working with the Indian government for over 20 years on tuberculosis.   

India’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has launched a human shapedrobot named IRA at its Mumbai branch to help the assist the customers in banking activities. Initially the role of the robot will be limited to that of receptionist that will greet the customers entering the bank and display the services and banking facilities like withdrawal, deposit, forex, fixed deposits and demat.  The robot would also be installed with the map of the bank branch with a button “Take me there” to help the customers in easy service. IRA which stands for Intelligent Robotic Assistant aims to provide smoother customer service, marketing, employee assistance and automate the banking process. Depending on customer reaction the Bank would install more such robots across its branches in the country. The bank also launched the second edition of its Digital Innovation Summit on the occasion.

The Tamil Nadu Government signed an MoU with the Ministry of Power on January 9, 2017 to join the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme which aims at reviving the financial turnaround of debt stressed electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMs). With the agreement Tamil Nadu has become the 21st state to join UDAY scheme. Tamil Nadu’s discom TANGEDCO, would save around Rs 11,000 crore by 2019 under UDAY by saving interest cost, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, coal reforms etc. About 90 percent of total utilities’ debt of around Rs 4 lakh crore would be covered. The state will take over 75 per cent of Rs 30,420 crore debt of TANGEDCO. Under the scheme the balance debt is also re-priced or issued as state guaranteed discom bonds, at coupon rates around 3-4 per cent less than the average existing interest rate. Tamil Nadu and TANGEDCO will bring about operational efficiency and reduction in power consumption by way of using energy efficient alternatives. UDAY would improve power infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and lower the cost of power.  

Gujarat government has come up with India's first student startup and innovation policy, which aims to provide Rs 200 crore in the form of grants to ideas developed by them. The policy aims to support over 1,000 innovation per year and create pre-incubation support in all universities of the state.  According to the government statement, the policy will support student-led startups and innovations as well as create an Innovation and Pre-incubation Ecosystem Support (IPIES) across all universities of the state. The Student Startup and Innovation Policy developed under the aegis of Education Department was announced by the Chief Minster of Gujarat Vijaybhai Rupani.Earlier in 2015, Gujarat came out with startup-assistant scheme, a part of Gujarat Industrial Policy, and in 2016 the state came out with startup-assistant scheme, a part of Gujarat Industrial Policy, and in 2016 the state came up with its Information Technology Startup Policy.  Under the pre-incubation support, it would help convert ideas of students from proof of concept (PoC) upto minimum viable proto-type (MVP), besides providing support for patent filing.  Under the policy, Gujarat government would provide Rs 200 crore as State Innovation Fund during the next five years, of which Rs 100 crore will be allocated by the state government and the remaining amount will be created by internal sources, like university funds and CSR funds.  The policy's target is to create a conducive environment enabling 1% of our graduates to become job creators, and the Student Innovation Fund would help develop an innovation and pre-incubation ecosystem across the state," said Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister of Education .

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