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Daily Current Affairs 31st of December 2019 - Daily GK Updates

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Daily Current Affairs 31st of December 2019 – Daily GK Updates

1. CACS & e-BCAS launched to enhance security & ease of doing at airports

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation launched the Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System (CACS) and ‘e-BCAS Project Training Module’. The two projects aims to enhance security and ease of doing business at airports.
  • The CACS project is aimed to digitize the employee movement process at the airports. This multi-layered security system encompasses the uniqueness of the Airport Entry Permit (AEP) users, biometric authentication in addition to PIN-based identity verification through contactless smart card technology.
  • The ‘e-BCAS’ project envisaged to achieve a “paperless office” under e-Governance initiative of Government of India. The ‘e-BCAS Project: Training Module’ aims to switch from manual process of training to digital platform.
  • The objective of the e-BCAS project is to make all the activities in the BCAS transparent, user-friendly, and efficient. It also intends to provide an ease of doing business with the stakeholders.

Important Daily GK Update For SBI PO Exam

  • Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation: Hardeep Singh Puri.

2. 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’ begins in Odisha

  • The 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’ begins at Bargarh in western Odisha. Dhanu Jatra is considered as the largest open-air theatre of the world.
  • It is based on the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his demon uncle King Kansa. It is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle King Kansa.
  • Dhanu Jatra is the annual drama-based open-air theatrical performance celebrated in and around Bargarh city. The annual festival came into being in 1947-48 to celebrate Indian’s Independence and to symbolize the victory of good over evil.

3. No extra charge on digital payments via RuPay & UPI from 1st Jan 2020

  • The Union Finance Minister has announced that the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges for businesses with over Rs 50 crore annual revenues will be waived off from January 1, 2020.
  • Also, the digital transactions made using RuPay credit cards, or UPI QR codes will not face any additional charges for merchants or customers from January 1, 2020.
  • All shops, business establishments and companies with an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore or more have been mandated to offer these modes of payment to customers.
  • The Department of Revenue will also notify RuPay and UPI as the prescribed mode of payment for digital transactions without any Merchant Discount Rate (MDR).
  • The Merchant Discount Rate is the percentage of the digital transaction that a merchant pays to banks. This cost is often passed on to the customer. The decision aims to promote the home-grown digital payment pathways like RuPay and UPI, over those promoted by foreign companies, including VISA and MasterCard.

Important Daily GK Update For SBI PO Exam

  • Union Finance Minister: Nirmala Sitharaman.

4. CBIC paid Rs 1,12,000 crore as IGST refunds to exporters

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has announced that it has paid Rs 1,12,000 crore as Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) refunds to exporters.
  • According to CBIC, over 83,000 exporters have been benefited by these refunds. The numbers indicated the government’s efforts to fast track refunds under GST especially to exporters. Also, as of now, refunds of only 3,604 crores are pending with Customs.
  • CBIC is using data analytics to identify risky exporter entities that “take input tax credit fraudulently and monetize it by paying IGST and taking refund”. Such exporters are being subject to KYC and verification process before the grant of refund.

Important Daily GK Update For IBPS CLERK

  • Chairman of CBIC: Pranab Kumar Das.

5. GoM constituted to expedite revival plan of BSNL & MTNL

  • A Group of Ministers (GoM) has been constituted to to expedite revival plan of BSNL & MTNL. The GoM will fast-track and oversee the implementation of the Rs 69,000 crore revival plan for state-owned telecom corporations BSNL and MTNL.
  • The GoM includes Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • The government had approved a Rs 69,000 crore revival package for BSNL and MTNL which includes merger of the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and giving VRS to employees. The GoM will expedite the smooth implementation of decisions taken on revival of BSNL and MTNL.

6. “India State of Forest Report 2019” released

  • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the biennial “India State of Forest Report (ISFR)”, in New Delhi.
  • The report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock inside and outside the forest areas, carbon stock in India’s forests, Forest Types and Biodiversity, Forest Fire monitoring and forest cover in different slopes & altitudes.
  • The report is published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). The FSI has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country including wall-to-wall forest cover mapping in a biennial cycle.
  • This is the 16th edition of India State of Forest Report. In comparison to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.

Some key highlights of the report:

  • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare. It is 24.56% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • The forest and tree cover has increased by more than 130 million hectares in the last 4 years.
  • Area-wise, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country.
  • In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%).
  • In comparison with ISFR 2017, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km.
  • The top 3 states showing increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq. km) followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km).
  • Mangrove cover has been separately reported in the ISFR 2019 and the total mangrove cover in the country is 4,975 sq km which showed an increase of 54 sq Km as comapre to that of 2017. Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Gujarat (37 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (16 sq km) and Odisha (8 sq km).
  • The extent of bamboo bearing area of the country has been estimated 16 million hectare showing an increase of 0.32 million hectare.
  • The total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated 7,124.6 million tonnes and there an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2017.
  • There are 62,466 wetlands covering 3.8% of the area within the Recorded Forest Area (RFA)/Green Wash (GW) of the country.

Important Daily GK Update For Online SSC Classes

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change: Prakash Javadekar.

7. Sarbananda Sonowal launches torch relay of Khelo India Youth Games

  • Assam Chief Minister has launched the torch relay of the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati, Assam. The 3rd edition of the tournament will be held in January 2020.
  • Athletes from all over the country will be coming to Guwahati for the Khelo India Youth Games. The officials of the competition are preparing a total of eight venues for the tournament to make the Games one of the largest sporting spectacles of the country.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.

8. IOA ends boycott call for 2022 Commonwealth Games

  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has withdrawn its boycott call for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham. The decision was taken during its Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi.
  • The cause of the boycott call was exclusion of shooting. IOA also announced that the country will bid to host either the 2026 or the 2030 edition.

Important Daily GK Update For Online Coaching For SSC

  • President of Commonwealth Games Federation: Dame Louise Martin.
  • Chief of Indian Olympic Association: Narinder Batra.

9. S S Deswal given additional charge of DG of CRPF

  • S S Deswal has been given the “additional” charge to head Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The Union home ministry took the decision as CRPF’s serving Director General (DG) R R Bhatnagar retired on 31st December, 2019.
  • S S Deswal is presently serving as the Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CRPF is India’s as well as the world’s largest paramilitary force with over 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks.
  • It was raised as the Crown Representatives Police (CRP) in 1939 under the British and post Independence, named as CRPF in 1949.

10. General Mukund Naravane becomes new Indian Army chief

  • General Manoj Mukund Naravane took charge as the 28th Chief of Army Staff. He succeeded General Bipin Rawat who retired on 31st December, 2019. Earlier, General Naravane was serving as vice chief of the Indian Army.
  • In his 37 years of service, he has also headed the Army’s Eastern Command that takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.
  • General Mukund Naravane is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He was commissioned into the 7th battalion, the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.

11. Indian Railways introduces a new Passenger Information System

  • Indian Railways introduced a new “Passenger Information System” at Anakapalle Railway Station of Vijayawada Division in South Central Railway.
  • The comprises “At a Glance Display Board” which gives a glance of the status of various train timings at the Station and “Coach Guidance Display Board” which provides the Coach Composition position of a train.
  • The application aims to provide better features and easy guidance to the passengers and hence providing satisfactory user experience.
  • The system provides automated display information about the trains expected at the station in the next two hours in Trilingual form i.e. in three languages: Telugu, English and Hindi.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Railways: Piyush Goyal.

 
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