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Current Affairs 17 Dec.2016
Accent Institute Hisar

  • Union Government is going to deploy 600 young professionals as Zila Swachh Bharat Preraks (ZSBPs), one in each district across the country to boost Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for a period of one year.
  • These professionals will be geared to strengthen cleanliness capacities at district level, and provide them technical and management support to make them Open Defecation Free.
  • ZSBPs will be to support the Collector/CEO/DDO to implement Swachh Bharat Mission by coordinating the various sanitation-related activities in the district.
  • The cadre will be funded and recruited by the Tata Trusts, at no extra cost to the State government or the Union Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation awarded Digital India Silver Award The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation in Tamil Nadu has been selected for Digital India Silver Award instituted by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • It will receive award in the category of “Most Innovative Citizen Engagement” and also for installing and implementing free WiFi Scheme in its various offices.
  • The award was instituted for leveraging use of Information and Communication Technology to solicit active engagement of public in the process of governance.
  • State Governments can levy property tax on mobile towers: SC
  • Supreme Court has ruled that state governments can impose property tax on mobile towers as the levy was on the land and building and not on the use of the plant and machinery.
    With this ruling, the apex court set aside the 2013 verdict of the Gujarat High Court holding that the levy of property tax on mobile towers by state government was beyond its competence.
    Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana comes into effect
  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) notified along with other provisions of Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016 came into effect from 17 December 2016.
  • It will remain open until March 31, 2016.

    Union Government issues Notification of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the draft notification for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016 to regulate pet shops.
    China seizes US underwater drone in South China Sea Chinese
  • Navy warship has seized an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) deployed by American oceanographic vessel in Subic Bay off Philippines coast in South China Sea (SCS).
  • The UUV was deployed by USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship to test water salinity and temperatures to help in the mapping of underwater channels.
  • Its seizure has triggered formal diplomatic protest from the US and a demand for its return.
  • US has clearly mentioned that the UUV was in international waters in the SCS.
  • It also adds to concerns about China’s increased military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.
    Costa Rica scraps entry for EU Schengen, Japan visa holders
  • Tropical Central American country Costa Rica has changed its migration policy to stop visitors using visas for the European Union’s Schengen zone or for Japan from entering the country. These changes were based on international accords. Earlier, citizens from these countries did not required visa at all to enter Costa Rica. But now they may be required to seek a visa from a Costa Rican embassy or consulate.  The EU’s Schengen zone encompasses 26 countries, including some non-EU countries. Persons can cross internal borders within this zone without being subjected to border checks or visa.

Parliament clears Disabilities Bill

  • The Parliament has passed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016 after it was passed by the Lok Sabha.
  • The bill aims at securing and enhancing the rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities (PwDs).
  • It also gives effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and related matters signed by India in 2007.
  • The bill defines disability based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from existing seven to 21. It includes mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions
  • . It also empowers Union Government to add more types of disabilities to list
  • The chances of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill (2014) being discussed by the Upper House were looking slim.
  • The Bill was passed without discussion with 119 amendments. The Bill will protect approximately 2.68 crore people with disabilities in the country.
  • The Bill has been praised for bringing in a more nuanced and expansive understanding of disability, as it now recognizes 19 conditions, including autism, Parkinson’s Disease and the impact of acid attack – far more than the seven that were in the first version of the Persons with Disabilities Act (1995).

Bharatanatyam guru receives Nadhabrahmam title

  • Bharatanatyam guru K. Kalyana Sundaram, director, Sri Rajarajeswari Bharathi Natya Kala Mandir, Mumbai, was conferred the title of Nadhabrahmam at the inauguration of Narada Gana Sabha’s Isai Natya Nataka Vizha.
  • The sabha also presented Senior Musician award to renowned vocalist Suguna Varadachari and Tirunelveli P. Subramania Iyer Award to Thavil vidwan Thirupungur T.G. Muthukumarasamy.

V K Sharma appointed LIC chief for 5 years

  • Government Wednesday appointed V K Sharma as the chairman of state-owned behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for five years.
  • Managing Director at LIC, Sharma was already acting as chairman since September 16when the then chairman S K Roy was relieved of his duties.

Saurabh Varma appointed as Publicis Communications’ India CEO

  • Publicis Communications announces the appointment of Saurabh Varma as CEO of Publicis Communications India.
  • Varma’s appointment comes on top of his existing responsibilities as CEO of Leo Burnett’s South Asia operations, and he will be based in Mumbai.
  • Varma was appointed CEO of Leo Burnett India in 2013 and a year later was elevated to a South Asia role.
  • He has about 20 years of industry experience, seven of which were spent as Chief Strategy Officer for South Asia, in Singapore.

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak appointed as NALSA member

  • Noted social reformer and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, has been nominated as a Member of the Central Authority of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA).
  • Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court, Justice Virendra Singh, was also nominated as a member along with Pathak, by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.