Daily GK Updates 26th & 27th December 2016, Important Current Affairs

 Daily GK Updates 23rd December 2016, Important Current Affairs

Lucky Grahak Yojana, Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana launched
i.Government of India has launched Lucky Grahak Yojana for Consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for Merchants to promote digital transaction.
ii.The schemes are aimed at encouraging people to move towards significantly higher usage of digital transactions through the offer of incentives.
iii.The first Lucky Grahak Yojana draw was held in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and name of 15 thousand lucky winners were announced.

PM Modi lays foundation stone of Pune Metro Rail
i.PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Pune Metro project's Phase-I.
ii.PM Modi said the government is actively working on the Rurban Mission, which caters to the places that are urbanising quickly.
iii.The government needs to improve the quality of life in villages as well as mitigate the challenges that the  urban areas are facing.

Assam CM launches Atal-Amrit Abhiyan across the State
i.Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has launched 'Atal-Amrit Abhiyan' Scheme across the State .
ii.The initiative is a health assurance scheme which will give comprehensive coverage for six diseases and cover all individuals in eligible families with annual income below Rs 5 lakh. 
iii.437 diseases are covered under this scheme.

‘Kuchipudi’ performers dance their way into Guinness World Records
i.Andhra Pradesh’s own classical dance ‘Kuchipudi’ found a place in the Guinness World Records yet again when a record 6,117 dancers came together to present a show at the IGMC Stadium in Vijaywada.
ii.Guinness adjudicator Rishinath declared that "Jayamu Jayamu" item presented in unison by the participants created a new record and handed over a certificate to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery set up in Punjab
i.The foundation stone for India's first second generation ethanol bio-refinery to be set up by Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) at Bathinda in Punjab at a cost of Rs 600 crore .
ii.The foundation stone laying ceremony will be held at village Tarkhanwala, in Bathinda district of Punjab.

UP CM inaugurates power projects worth Rs52,000 crore
i.Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav has inaugurated power projects worth over Rs52,000 crore across the state. 
ii.Along with projects covering transmission and distribution of electricity, three thermal power plants with the total capacity of 33,000 MW were also inaugurated.
iii.This is a major thrust to provide 24-hour electricity to all in the state.

India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Agni-V
i.India tested its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its final operational configuration from Wheeler Island off Odisha , paving the way for its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) after user-trials.
ii.The nuclear-capable Agni-V, which can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000-km, test-fired from its canister on a launcher truck 

SBI adopts village of Maharashtra for Aadhaar-based payments
i.The State Bank of India (SBI) has adopted Shirki village in Pen taluka in Maharashtra for driving the Aadhaar-based merchant payment initiative. 
ii.Under the initiative, the merchants in the village have been provided with simple android phones with a USB-based fingerprint capture device.
iii.The merchant is required to have a bank account with an Aadhaar number needed.

Five global reinsurers, including RGA, Swiss Re, get final licence from Irda
i.The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda) has approved the R3 application and granted certificate of registration to five global reinsurers to opens shops.
ii.The R3 is the final approval from the regulator to begin branch operations.
iii.The five global reinsurers that were granted final approval by the regulator are the US-based reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), Munich Re and Hannover from Germany, Swiss Re from Switzerland and French reinsurance major Scor.

Scientists find world's most heat resistant material
i.Scientists have identified materials that can withstand temperatures of nearly 4,000 degrees Celsius, an advance that may pave the way for improved heat resistant shielding for the faster-than-ever hypersonic space vehicles.
ii.Researchers from Imperial College London in the UK discovered that the melting point of hafnium carbide is the highest ever recorded for a material.
iii.Tantalum carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC) are refractory ceramics, meaning they are extraordinarily resistant to heat.

Co-Artist of national emblem Dinanath Bhargava died at 89
Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the national emblem ‘Lion Capital of Ashoka’ and decorated the pages of the Constitution’s manuscript, died at the age of 89 in Indore.

British singer George Michael dies at 53
i.British singer George Michael who launched his career with Wham in the 1980s and continued his success as a solo performer.
ii.He has died on 25 December 2016 at the age of 53 and cause of death was heart failure.

Pankaj Advani won National title in 6-red Snooker
i.Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani ended the year on a high by bagging the National title in 6-red snooker, the shorter format of the game.
ii.Starting off as the favourite, Advani lived up to the expectations and reclaimed the title, which he had won during the inaugural 
edition in Bengaluru in 2010.
iii. In the final, Advani prevailed over local youngster Ishpreet Chadha 7-4 to clinch the title. 

Karnataka govt launches 25 bio-diesel buses in the state
i.In an effort to reduce pollution caused by diesel buses, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has launched 25 bio-diesel buses in the state. 
ii.These eco-friendly buses will ply on four routes, including Tirupati and Chennai. 
iii.Costing around Rs90 lakh each, bio-diesel buses eject 60-70% less emissions than diesel buses and would reportedly save the Corporation Rs80 lakh each year.

Central Government of India releases Rs 1,982 crore for Andhra Pradesh's Polavaram project 
i.The Centre has released Rs 1,982 crore for the multipurpose Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), which sanctioned the long term irrigation fund under Prime Minister Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. 
ii.Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded national project status by the central government. 
iii.This dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha States also.

Central Government of India releases special stamp on freedom fighters &  Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library
Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications has brought out a Special Cover on freedom fighter 'Shri Gaya Prasad Katiyar' and a set of eight Commemorative Postage Stamps on 'Personalities Series: Bihar' & a stamp on 'Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library'.

Farmers get additional 60 days to repay crop loans: RBI
i.In a relief to farmers hit by demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given an additional 60 days to repay their crop loans due in November-December, 2016 and prompt repayment would be eligible for the extra 3% interest subsidy. 
ii.The government has been implementing the Interest Subvention Scheme since 2006-07. As per the scheme for the year 2016-17 besides subvention of 2 per cent per annum, an additional interest subvention of 3 per cent is also provided to prompt payee farmers from the date of disbursement of the crop loan.

Registration of Pakistani Hindus as Indian Citizen reduced from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 100
The registration fees for Hindus and other minority community people from three neighboring countries comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, to register as Indian citizens have been reduced drastically to Rs 100 from Rs 15,000.

Odisha Governemnt Launches Malaria control programme DAMAN
i.The Odisha government has decided to intensify state sponsored malaria elimination scheme 'Daman' (Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran) in eight remote districts of the state.
ii.The state government has approved the scheme to be implemented in 8,000 villages of these districts and adding the programme is an innovative and integrated approach for control and prevention of malaria.

Maharashtra CM launched 'Transform Maharashtra' initiative
i.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis launched an initiative 'Transform Maharashtra' at IIT Bombay's 'Mood Indigo' festival.
ii.Under it, the chief minister will address issues related to youth in governance.

Odisha Names Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme after the freedom fighter Parbati Giri
i.The State Cabinet of Odisha on December 24 named the Mega Lift Irrigation Scheme worth Rs. 7,600 crore, after the noted freedom fighter and social reformer Parbati Giri as a mark of respect for her immense contribution to the freedom movement and service to the poor and needy.
ii.The scheme was named after Parbati Giri by the Chief Minister of state, Naveen Patnaik at a cabinet meeting.
iii.The State Cabinet has approved tender for 13 mega lift irrigation schemes with a total command area of 19,400 hectares in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.

Actor Mithun Chakraborty resigns from Rajya Sabha
i.Actor Mithun Chakraborty ha resigned from the Rajya Sabha citing health issues. 
ii.The 66-year-old actor was nominated to the Upper House by West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC). 
iii.He still had nearly two years of tenure remaining in the Rajya Sabha.

IDFC Bank rolls out Aadhaar Pay for cashless payments to merchants
i.IDFC Bank has announced the nationwide launch of IDFC Aadhaar Pay, the country’s first Aadhaar-linked cashless merchant solution that uses a retailer’s own Android smartphone to enable cashless payments.
 ii.Developed by IDFC Bank in association with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

KVGB launches ‘Bank Sakhi’ scheme
i.The Karnataka Vikas Grameen Banks (KVGB) has come up with ‘Bank Sakhi‘ innovative scheme for employing women in villages to promote and improve the cashless transactions in rural areas.
ii.The Bank Chairman S.Ravindran revealed that the bank would appoint women business correspondents called 'Bank Sakhi' in select villages where this scheme would be implemented.  
iii.In order to start this, the bank had hired 11 'Bank Sakhi' and had plans to appoint a minimum of 50 such women in different districts.
iv.The 'Bank Sakhi' will provide a range of financial services on behalf of the bank to her community.

Salman Khan launches his app 'BeingInTouch' on 51st birthday
i.Actor Salman Khan on Twitter has announced the launch of his app, 'BeingInTouch', on his 51st birthday 27 December 2016. 
ii.The app will provide access to Salman's social media accounts, along with his unseen pictures and videos. 
iii.The app users can also avail discounts from various brands on the app. 
iv.It is currently available for download on Google Play store.

China Passes Environment Tax Law to Curb Pollution
i.China has passed a new law to levy environment tax on polluters, especially on heavy industries. 
ii.The environment tax law was adopted by the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee at a meeting in Beijing. 
iii.The law will be implemented on January 1, 2018.
iv.Battling recurring pollution enveloping its cities,The Environment Tax Law was adopted by the legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee 

Dr Barbara Jatta becomes first ever female director of Vatican Museums 
i.Dr Barbara Jatta(54) has appointed as the first female director of Vatican Museums by Pope Francis. 
ii.It will be effective from January 2017 Jatta is currently working as the Deputy Director of the museums Since June 2016 
iii.With this appointments she will become the highest-ranking female administrator in the Vatican.

Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake passes away
i.Former Sri Lankan prime minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake died  at the age of 83.
ii.He was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital last week. Wickremanayake had served as prime minister during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term as president from 2005 to 2010.

Yuki Bhambri wins $10,000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures
i.Yuki Bhambri has captured the title of the $10,000 ITF Hong Kong F4 Futures.  
ii.It was his 11th title on the ITF Pro Circuit. 
iii.He defeated Shintaro Imai of Japan who has been placed at second position.
iv.Bhambri won 75% of his first service points and broke serve three times to lock victory in one hour and 54 minutes.