Daily Current Affairs 31 December 2019 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Indian Railways introduces New Passenger friendly Information System
Indian Railways introduced a new Passenger Information System at Anakapalle Railway Station of Vijayawada Division in South Central Railway. The Passenger Information system comprises both “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 objective of this application is to provide better features and easy guidance to the passengers and thereby providing satisfactory user experience.
Prakash Javadekar releases India State of Forest Report
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar released the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) in New Delhi.
- “In the present assessment, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectares which is 24.56 per cent of the geographical area of the country,” said Javadekar.
- The Union Minister further added that the Mangrove cover has been separately reported in ISFR 2019 as 4,975 sq km. An increase of 54 sq Km has been observed as compared to 2017. Top three states showing an increase are Gujarat (37 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (16 sq km) and Odisha (8 sq km).
Date of linking Aadhaar and PAN extended till March 2020
The date of linking Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar has been extended from December 31, 2019, to March 31, 2020.
- Earlier the deadline for the Aadhaar-PAN linkage was September 30 which was extended to December 31.
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.
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.
Netherlands to drop ‘Holland’ as nickname
The Netherlands is gearing up to drop the moniker “Holland” as it rebrands itself in 2020. Holland is a region of the Netherlands, but the two names are often used interchangeably to describe the northern European country.
- From January, the Netherlands will officially drop “Holland” from all literature and marketing materials, so the country will only be referred to be its official name.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
NITI Aayog releases SDG India Index and dashboard 2019
NITI Aayog on Monday released the second edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index which comprehensively documents the progress made by states and union territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.
- The SDG India Index has been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), United Nations in India and Global Green Growth Institute.
- According to the SDG India Index, India’s composite score has improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019. India is the first country in the world with a government-led, sub-national measure of progress on Sustainable Development Goals.
No MDR charge on payment via RuPay debit card, UPI, UPI QR code from Jan 1
Users will no more be required to pay merchant discount rates (MDR) when they make a digital payment using RuPay debit card, UPI, or UPI QR code from January 1, 2020
- In a gazette notification, the revenue department of the Finance Ministry announced to amend Income-tax Rules, 1962, and prescribed use of the RuPay card and UPI for digital transactions to avoid MDR charges.
- Companies with an annual turnover of Rs 50 crore or more will have to provide the facility of payment through RuPay debit card, UPI and UPI QR code to their customers.
- The companies will be penalised with Rs 5,000 per day if they fail to install and operationalise to accept payment through the prescribed payment facilities until January 31, 2020.
Cristiano Ronaldo wins best men’s player for the sixth time
Juventus player Cristiano Ronaldo won best men’s player at Dubai Globe Awards. Ronaldo has won the award for the sixth time out of nine times.
Noted writers Nemade, Gynanranjan get Akashdeep Sanman awards
Noted Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade and Hindi writer Gynanranjan were conferred the ‘Akashdeep Sanman’ awards.
- The award, instituted by media house Amar Ujala and comprising a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, was given to Nemade and Gynanranjan by noted lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar.