Today Current Affairs 9th January 2018

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The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, is going to roll out National Programme for Control of Viral Hepatitis, a new scheme free treatment of Hepatitis C from the 2018-19 financial year. Under the new scheme, the focus will be on anti-viral treatment of Hepatitis C which will be provided free at all government health set-ups.

The Union Defence Ministry sanctioned raising of Territorial Army (TA) battalion comprising ex-servicemen of Indian Army as part of its mission to clean the Ganga by 2020. It has been named as Composite Ecological Task Force (CETF) battalion of TA for National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the nodal agency for cleaning Ganga. The CETF battalion will be raised in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh as a pilot project. For this government has allocated Rs 167 crore under NMCG. It will be responsible for monitoring ecological and environmental projects related to Ganga River, and also raise public awareness through campaigns. It will also patrol sensitive river areas for the protection of biodiversity, keep a tab on the river pollution levels, plant trees and check soil erosion.

The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2% higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. The net Direct Tax collections represent 67% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for Financial Year 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore). Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 12.6% to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore from April to December 2017. An amount of Rs. 3.18 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017 reflecting a growth of 12.7% over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year. The growth in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Advance Tax is 10.9% and that in Personal Income Tax (PIT) Advance Tax is 21.6%.

Gujarat topped the logistics index chart, according to a Report released by Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi. The chart is an indicator of the efficiency of logistical services necessary for promoting exports in particular and economic growth in general. Among 22 states, Gujarat is followed by Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra on the index. The ranking is based on the analysis of perception with regard to eight parameters, including infrastructure, services, regulatory process and safety of cargo.

The goal to cut the carbon emission by 2020 may be missed by Germany as the chancellor Angela Merkel and her party has denied achieving the goal in next two years. To achieve the target of lowering the emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels by about five percentage points is on low chances. Despite a booming renewable sector, Germany still gets 39% of its power from coal. A cross-party commission has been established to create a phase-out plan for the dirty fuel, but it remains a politically charged subject, with utilities and mining unions playing for more time to transition. Germany likes to champion itself as a climate leader.

World’s largest Ice Festival 'International Ice and Snow Festival' was held in Harbin, China. This is one of China’s coldest cities in the winter. It is the 34th annual Ice Festival in Harbin, north-east China. It features sculptures of Moscow’s Red Square and Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal launched a common card for rides on public buses and the metro. Delhi is the first city in the country to have a common mobility card, which can at present be used on 200 DTC and 50 cluster buses plying on different routes, apart from metro trains. The card, which will function like a debit card, will be operational in all DTC and cluster buses from April 2018.

Union Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops supercomputer named ‘Pratyush’ to the nation in Pune. It is established at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. It will be a national facility for improving weather and climate forecasts and services under the umbrella of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the first Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Parliamentary Conference in Delhi on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The day is celebrated every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India. It also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Mumbai on 9 January 1915. In the Conference, the biggest delegation was from Guyana with 20 members of parliament and three mayors. Established in 2003, and sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is held from 7-9 January every year.

Iran banned the teaching of English in primary schools after Islamic leaders warned that learning the language opened the way to a Western 'cultural invasion'. Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei teachers that it does not mean opposition to learning a foreign language, but a promotion of a foreign culture in the country and among children, young adults, and youths. The Western thinkers have time and again said that instead of colonialist expansionism the best and the least costly way would have been the inculcation of thought and culture to the younger generation of countries. The head of the state-run High Education Council, Mehdi Navid-Adham state that teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum are against laws and regulations.  Interestingly, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is often criticized by Iran's Islamic leaders and was warned about the dangers of a cultural invasion. The teaching of English in Iran usually starts between the ages of 12 to 14 but some primary schools below that age also hold language classes.

Team Liverpool sold Brazilian football player Philippe Coutinho to Team Barcelona for 160 million Euros ($192 million). With this, transfer of Philippe Coutinho has become the 2nd Most Expensive transfer in World Soccer History. World’s most expensive transfer is Brazilian football player Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain team in 200 million pounds in 2017.

According to the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Saudi Arabia given the green signal for India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route also. The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped in 1995. For the first time, Muslim women from India will go to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion). Separate accommodation and transport have been arranged for these women Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and women “Haj Assistant” will be deployed for their assistance.

Haryana becomes the first state in the country to launch High-Risk Pregnancy (HRP) Portal. This portal not only helps in early identification of high-risk pregnant cases up to the grass-roots level but also ensures their timely referral to the civil hospitals for further management and delivery by specialists. This innovative web application has been designed to track every high-risk pregnant woman till 42 days after delivery so that she receives adequate treatment during the ante-natal period for the healthy outcome of pregnancy.