National Current Affairs January 2017

Culture Ministry Released Coins to Mark 500th Anniversary of Hindu Saint

  • The Union Culture Ministry released a commemorative non-circulation Rs 500 coin and a Rs 10 circulation coin as part of the year long celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Hindu saint and social reformer Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on November 24, 2016.
  • Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, a famous Hindi Saint and social reformer were a distinguished promoter for the Vaishnava School of Bhakti Yoga.
  • The Bhakti movement initiated by him strove to eradicate the evils of caste and feudal systems of medieval India.
  • Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu propagated the worship of Shri Krishna and popularised the chanting of ‘Hare Krishna Mantra’ to all without any discrimination.

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Government Constituted Committee to Check Implementation Status of Demonetisation Move

  • The Union government constituted Committee to check implementation status of demonetisation move. The Central government has formed a Committee on November 22, 2016.
  • The objective of the Committee to check the currency availability across the State in bank branches, ATMs and post offices.
  • To look at the facilities at bank branches and post offices regarding deposit, withdrawal and exchange of currency.
  • To check the impact of the decision on various segments including households, agriculturists, wage earners, traders, transportation, industries, informal sectors and small business.

Bill to Ban Commercial Surrogacy Introduced in Lok Sabha

  • The government on November 21, 2016 introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to ban commercial surrogacy. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, seeks to limit the ambit of surrogacy through strict rules.
  • In the absence of regulatory teeth, India had emerged as a surrogacy hub for childless couples from across the world with more than 2000 assisted reproductive clinics, creating a market worth an estimated $ 2 billion.
  • The only regulation so far had been the Indian Council of Medical Research’s non-enforceable National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of Artificial Reproductive Technology Clinics in India issued in 2015.

Affordable Housing Scheme for Poor Launched

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his flagship housing scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana’ (PMGAY) at Agra (Uttar Pradesh) on November 20, 2016.
  • It is designed entirely for the rural masses and aims to provide affordable houses to all those living below the poverty line by the year 2022.
  • In addition, the Prime Minister distributed allotment letters to 50 beneficiaries of the scheme, which aims to provide about 3 crore new housing units countrywide.
  • PMAY-G is part Union government’s flagship ‘Housing for All’ scheme, and has replaced previous rural housing scheme ‘Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY)’.
  • The beneficiaries for this scheme will be selected through a completely transparent process using the Socio Economic Census 2011 data and validating it through the Gram Sabha.
  • It uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and space technology to further confirm correct selection of beneficiaries and progress of work.
  • Under it, financial assistance will be provided for construction of dwelling units and upgradations of existing unserviceable kutcha houses.
  • The entire payments will be done through transparent IT/DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer ) mode with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts with consent, to ensure complete transparency and accountability.
  • The unit cost for houses has been increased with convergence of a minimum support of nearly Rs 1.5 lakh to t 1.6 lakh to a household. If the beneficiary desires, then there is also a provision of bank loan upto Rs 70000.
Updated: January 12, 2017 — 1:00 pm

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