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Daily Current Affairs for 20th Dec 2017 ( English)

1.       The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Parliament to strengthen corporate governance standards, initiate strict action against defaulting companies and help improve ease of doing business in the country. It will help in simplifying procedures, make compliance easy and take stringent action against defaulting companies. The bill provides for more than 40 amendments to Companies Act, 2013.
2.       The environmental clearance for Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) in Telangana has been accorded by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It is redesigned version of Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme, proposed in 2007 by the undivided Andhra Pradesh Government.The KLIP envisages construction of barrage across Godavari River after the confluence by its tributary Pranahita near Madigadda village in Telangana’s Karimnagar district. The KLIP aims to divert 180 TMC of water for providing irrigation facility in 7.38 lakh hectares covering seven districts of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Warangal, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts.
3.       Methanol Economy Fund worth Rs 4,000-5,000 crore is planned to set up by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog to promote production and use of the clean fuel. The Niti Aayog has planned has planned to set up production plants. It expects that two plants can be commissioned in the next 3-4 years. The first coal-based methanol plant will be set up in West Bengal by world’s largest coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL). The fund will be utilized for generation of cheaper, safer and pollution free methanol fuel by converting high ash content coal and stranded gas assets into methanol. NITI Aayog is also working on converting certain diesel-powered rail engines to work on methanol. It also has planned to ensure that boats and ships used in inland waterways initiative are also run on methanol.
4.       ‘Hamesha Vijayee’ – a major army exercise was conducted in deserts of Rajasthan from December 16 to 22, 2017 by the Southern Command of Indian Army. The Southern Command (head quarters Pune) undertakes such exercises at regular intervals to ensure high degree of battle readiness as well as validation of operational plans using modern weapons and equipment. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate capability of armed forces to strike deep into enemy territory in an integrated air-land battle.
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5.       An eco-friendly measure to reduce power consumption, has been planned by the Union ministry of Railways to make all stations 100% LED lit by March 2018. This is huge initiative. to reduce consumption by about 10% of total energy being utilized for its non-traction uses. Under this initiative, the national transporter will provide 100% LED lighting for energy needs in railway staff colonies, stations and platforms.
6.       The Lok Sabha passed the Central Road Fund (Amendment Bill ) 2017. The Bill seeks to amend the Central Road Fund Act,2000. The bill was introduced  by the Lok Sabha  on 24th July 2017.This bill seeks to allocate two and a half percent of the funds collected to accelerate the development of national water ways by reducing the equal percentage from the share of national highways.
7.       The foundation stone for 32 projects costing about Rs 905 Cr was laid down in Uttarakhand under Namami Ganga Programme in the presence of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Satyapal Singh and Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. 20 projects worth Rs 871.74 Cr pertain to sewage treatment and different parts of Uttarakhand. Two Sewerage Treatment Projects (STP) worth about 12.83 Cr were inaugurated in Gangotri and Badrinath during the event.
8.       The Haryana government planned to distribute sanitary napkins free of cost to all women belonging to BPL (Below Poverty Line) category in the state. Earlier on 1st Dec , the Govt of Haryana  announced that it would make plans for free supply of sanitary napkins to girls in the schools across the state.
9.       20 Dec – International Human Solidarity Day is  observed every year to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity and encourages debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the sustainable development goals including poverty eradication.
10.   India signed a financing agreement worth US $125 million with the World Bank for Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Operation (Strive) Project. The main objective of this  operation is to improve access to quality and market driven vocational training and apprenticeship.
11.   The Indian Navy in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Navy successfully completed the 2nd phase of joint oceanographic survey conducted off the South Western Coast of Sri Lanka. The survey was initiated on 26th Oct 2017 with the arrival of Indian Naval Ship Sutlej in Sri Lanka. It aims to bolster co-operation between the two countries in the field of hydrography. The first phase of survey was conducted from  30th March to 11 May 2017.The first survey was undertake by the Indian Naval Ship INS Darshak. The third phase is expected to be undertaken in 2018

12.   The Requisitioning and Acquisition of immovable property ( Amendment Bill ) 2017 was passed by the lower house of the Parliament . The bill was moved by newly appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri. The bill would amend regulations governing compensation amount payable for acquisition of immovable property by the central government for defence and security purposes.
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