Daily Current Affairs: December 24, 2016

Passport norms eased for single parent, orphans and sadhus

The government said that rules for obtaining passports have been eased for various categories, including single mothers, orphans, sadhus and adopted children.

  • According to the new norms, a single parent will not have to disclose the name of his or her partner; the passport need only have the name of one of the parents or the legal guardian. Even those separated or divorced do not have to disclose their spouse’s name or furnish the divorce decree

Obama signs USD 618 bn defence bill; boosts security cooperation with India

US President Barack Obama has signed into law the USD 618 billion defence budget for 2017, which enhances security cooperation with India and conditions nearly half of the funding to Pakistan on a certification that it is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani Network.

Cashless ‘Digi Dhan’ mela in Gurugram on December 26

In order to promote cashless transaction, the first ‘Digi Dhan’ mela will be organised in Gurugram on December 26 where customers will be able to purchase items only by making digital payment.

  • This is the first such fair in the country since demonetisation for educating masses on how to use mobile phones for making purchases.

Google India, Consumer Affairs Ministry join hands for online consumer protection

Aiming to raise awareness about online safety, Google India in collaboration with Ministry of Consumer Affairs announced a nationwide Digitally Safe Consumer campaign, as part of a larger effort to help better protect consumer interest online.

Aadhaar payment app set to simplify digital transactions

The government is coming up with an ‘Aadhaar Payment App’ that could silence digital payments critics. The new app would do away with plastic cards and the point of sale machines once believed to be essential for a less cash society.

  • The app, will also eliminate the fee payments for service providers like card companies such as Mastercard or Visa, which has been a stumbling block in merchants switching to digital payments making it affordable to even merchants in remote villages, said people familiar with the development.
  • All that it needs is an Android phone with the merchant.

Govt launch mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ & OCMC to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances

The government today launched a host of online initiatives including a mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances.

  • The initiatives were unveiled by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan at a function in New Delhi on the occasion of National Consumer Day . A helpline 14404 was also launched for conusmer related grievances.

Madhya Pradesh govt plans cash van facility at vegetable mandis

The Madhya Pradesh government has planned to make cash van facility available at all retail vegetable mandis in the state, following reports of price crash of agri commodities like potatoes, onion, tomatoes.

Kerala CM inaugurates Indian school in UAE

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated an Indian school Sharjah Indian School in the UAE’s third largest city of Sharjah

BHU students launch drive to make campus go cashless

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) students have launched a new campaign ‘Mera Mobile Mera Batua’ to encourage people to adopt digital payment methods inside the campus, with the varsity administration installing PoS machines at its hospitals in Varanasi.

Uber now at 20 Indian airports, aims to make travel better

Uber has partnered with Ministry of Defence to facilitate interested personnel join the Uber platform as driver entrepreneurs.

SBI adopts a village to make it cashless

India’s largest lender State Bank of India has stepped on the gas towards a cashless economy as the banking behemoth has adopted a village in Maharashtra where it will drive all residents to transact digitally.

  • Shirki, a village in Pen Taluka in Maharashtra is now the epicentre for SBI, which will promote Aadhaar number-based merchant payments in the light of demonetisation, the government’s pet scheme to weed out the evil of black money.

RBI opens banking ombudsman office in Dehradun

Reserve Bank has opened a banking ombudsman office in Dehradun, taking the total number of such offices to seventeen in the country, following a significant increase in banking network. Besides, the Dehradun office will also help the existing Kanpur office to ease its work burden.

  • Dehradun office is the third in North India after Kanpur and Chandigarh.

‘Dakshin Prahar’ exercise held in all stations of Southern Air Command

A six-day ‘Dakshin Prahar’ exercise was conducted at all stations under Southern Air Command (Headquarters at Trivandrum) from December 19 to put to test and practise all the contingency plans of the Command.

DRDO successfully tests Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon, capable of engaging targets up to 100 km

The Defence and Research Development Organization (DRDO) on Friday successfully flight tested the Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft. SAAW, an indigenously designed and developed 120 kg. class smart weapon, developed by DRDO, is capable of engaging ground targets with high precision up to a range of 100 kms. The light-weight high precision guided bomb is one of the world class weapons systems.

India lifts Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup title beating Sri Lanka

India ranks 135 in FIFA rankings, best in 6 years

India jumped two places to finish 2016 at 135, their best in the last six years, in the latest FIFA rankings.

APIS India ropes in badminton sensation PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador

APIS India, a leading producer, distributor and exporter of honey under APIS Himalaya brand, has roped in Indian badminton champion and Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador.

France first country to use drones for national mail service

The French postal service has announced a drone delivery program to deliver parcels on a 14-kilometre route once a week, becoming the world’s first national postal service to use drones regularly.

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