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CA TODAY (08.01.

18)

Iceland Becomes First Country to Legalize Equal Pay


Iceland becomes the first country in the world to legalize equal pay in the
workplace.

• The law was passed last year but it came into effect on 1st January
2018.
• According to a law passed by its Parliament, all companies both
private and public, need to prove that their wage practices do not
discriminate against women.
• The only difference in wages that may exist should be on the basis of
education, output and skills.

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• The law seeks to eliminate the current pay gap of around 5.7%
between men and women. Iceland aims to eradicate gender pay
inequality by the year 2022.
• Companies with more than 25 employees will be required to get an
equal pay certification which must be renewed every three years.
Those who fail to prove parity will face fines.
• Iceland has always been a leader in gender parity. The World
Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iceland as the top country for
gender equality for the last nine years based on the criteria
involving economics, education, health and politics.
• According to the Global Gender Gap report, Iceland has been one of
the fastest improving countries in the world over a ten year period.
• This new legislation was supported by Iceland’s centre-right
government as well as the opposition, in a Parliament where nearly
50%of all members are women.

Weekly Current Affairs January 2018: Week 1st

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:18 AM PST

Banking and Financial Awareness:

• The IICA (Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs) and the IPPB (Indian
Post Payments Bank) have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding for the training of employees of the IIPB in the field
of payments banking.
• The Reserve Bank of India is ready to issue Rs. 10 denomination

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banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.
• Government launches 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds 2018.
• Paytm Payments Bank, IndusInd Tie up for FD Facility.
• RBI Initiates PCA Against Allahabad Bank.
• NABARD Sanctioned Rs 372.51 crore to Odisha.
• Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank Introduces Desktop ATMs in
Rural India.
• SBI, NABARD Tie up to Promote Joint Liability Groups in Bengal.

Appointments

• Vijay Keshav Gokhale who served as an ambassador to China and


currently serving as the secretary (economic relations) has been
named as India's next foreign secretary.
• Former RAW chief Rajinder Khanna appointed as the new Deputy
National Security Advisor.
• Abhay has taken charge as the new chief of the NCB (Narcotics
Control Bureau).
• Pankaj Jain Assumes Charge as IIFCL Managing Director.

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• Vinay Sahasrabuddhe Named ICCR Chief.

Obituaries

• Veteran Poet Anwar Jalalpuri Passes Away.


• Odia actor, director Ananta Ojha passes away.
• Politician, R Margabandhu passes away.
• Former Maharashtra Minister Madhukarrao Kimmatkar passes away.

Honour and Awards

• MAS Chief Ravi Menon Named Best Central Bank Governor in Asia-
Pacific.

MoUs and Partnerships

• Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK in transport.


• Cabinet approves Indo-Myanmar agreement on the land border
crossing.
• MoU between India and Israel on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector
Approved.
• HDFC Bank Partners with Rajasthan Govt. to Promote Start-up
Culture.

Important News- World

• Nepal bans solo climbers from scaling Mount Everest and its other
mountains to avoid accidents.
•A very unique language called "The Bird Language" or "The Whistle
Language" of a Turkish village has become a part of UNESCO list of

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Intangible Cultural Heritage.
• For the first time ever Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
(UAE) introduced the VAT (Value Added Tax).
• Israel has filed a notice to withdraw from the UNESCO (United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) along
with the United States.
•6 new countries comprise of Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait,
Peru, Poland and the Netherlands Entered to the United Nations
Security Council.
• Egypt's Mohamed Salah has been awarded the Confederation of
African Football Player of the Year Title 2017.
• Saudi Arabia, UAE introduce VAT for the first time.
• China develops underwater surveillance networks in the Indian
Ocean, South China Sea.
• US puts Pakistan on Special Watch List for severe violations of
religious freedom.
• Iceland Becomes 1st Country to Legalise Equal Pay.
• Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 Kicked off at Kathmandu.
• Pakistan State Bank Allows use of Chinese Currency Yuan for
Bilateral Trade & Investment Activities.

Important News- India

• Metro Cards for Public Buses from 31st March 2018.


•A Book Tribute to Pratibha Patil on her completed 50 glorious years
in politics.
• The Cabinet of India approved National Medical Commission Bill

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2017 which led to doctors' strikes for 12 hours.
• The Minister of Women and Child Development inaugurated online
portal NARI in New Delhi to empower women and provide women
citizens with easy access to information on various government
schemes and initiatives for women.
• Govt. Of India announced Customers will not be charged any
transaction charges up to Rs 2000 on making payments through
debit cards, BHIM app and Aaadhar-enabled payment system.
• Income Tax Department launches on-line chat service.
• The Union Finance Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley unveiled the contours
of the Electoral Bonds scheme to clean the political funding system
by ensuring that there is a flow of clean money to the political
parties without revealing the names of the donors.
• The Union Government has approved the Rs 680 crores strategic
Zojila pass tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir.
• Namami Gange projects worth Rs 295 crore approved by NMCG
(National Mission for Clean Ganga).
•A new, highly effective vaccine for typhoid (devoloped by India) has
been approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) for global
use.
• GAIL commissions India’s second largest rooftop solar plant in UP.
• Core sectors’ record 6.8% growth in November 2017.
• Government launches NARI portal and e-Samvad portal.
• The Ministry of Home Affairs exempts cruise tourists with e-visa from
biometric enrolment till 2020.
• Atal Pension Yojana reaches subscriber base of 80 lakhs.
• World's Biggest Cleanliness Survey 'Swachh Sarvekshan 2018'

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Launched.

Business, Science and Technology

• Humanoid Sophia, who got citizenship from Saudi Arabia is on


India’s visit.
• NASA to launch Parker Solar Probe to explore sun’s outer
atmosphere.
• NASA to launch two missions — GOLD and ICON to explore the
ionosphere.
• India GDP Growth Likely at 6.5% in 2017-18: CSO
• India's GDP Growth at 6.5% in FY18, will Accelerate to 7.6% in FY20:
HSBC.

Defence

• India and Pakistan exchange list of nuclear sites for the 27th
consecutive year.
• Defence Ministry gives final nod for Barak missiles, PGM bombs.
• Defence Ministry clears Rs.2420 Crore worth contracts for Navy,
Army.

Important News- States

• Uder Vikas Samiksha Yatra Bihar Chief Minister laid down


foundation stones for more than 100 projects worth Rs 700 Crore in
Nalanda district.
• Arunachal Pradesh became the second state in the North-East after
Assam to become Open Defecation Free. The three remaining

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districts of Upper Subansiri, Siang Changlang were declared ODF.
• Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has given New Year
gift to the farmers of the state by launching a 24-hours power
supply free of cost.
• The Karnataka government announced that Karnataka International
Travel Expo (KITE) which will be the largest B2B event of the
country will be held from 28th February 2018.
• APGVB (Andhra Pradesh Gramin Vikas Bank) introduced desktop
ATMs in rural India.
• Bhanakpur village of Haryana has become the second village in the
country and first in Haryana to sing National Anthem on
loudspeakers daily.
• Goa will be hosting the 3rd Edition of the Science Film Festival of
India from January 16-19.
• Karnataka receives approval for the purchase of electric vehicles
under FAME India scheme.
• CCEA approves construction of bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in J&K.
• NMCG approves five Namami Gange projects in West Bengal, Uttar
Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
• West Bengal CM Unveils Official Emblem of West Bengal
Government.
• Karnataka to Hold 'Largest B2B Travel Event' in the Country.
• 1st Draft of National Register of Citizens in Assam Released.

Sports News

• Vidarbha Claims Maiden Ranji Trophy in the 84-year long history of

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the Indian domestic tournament by Delhi by nine wickets at the
Holkar Stadium in Indore.
• Indian Golfer Shiv Kapur Wins Royal Cup at Pattaya.
• Meghalaya signs host city contract for 39th National Games in 2022.
•G Sathiyan Becomes India’s Highest-Ranked Player in Latest ITTF
Rankings.

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Official Emblem of West Bengal Government Unveiled

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:11 AM PST


The West Bengal government has inaugurated its own State symbol.

• The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamta Banerjee unveiled the


official emblem of the state government which was recently
approved by the centre.

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• The emblem designed by Ms. Banerjee features the Ashoka Pillar on
the top with the theme of “Biswa Bangla” at the centre.
• This symbol will be used on all official documents and
correspondence of the state. Mamta Banerjee has also contributed
to the design of the emblem.

Important Facts about West Bengal

• Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was it formed
in 1862
• The famous “Gangasagar Mela” is held at Sagar Island of West
Bengal.
• Keshari Nath Tripathi is the present Governor of West Bengal?
• Sundarbans National Park from West Bengal is also under UNESCO
World Heritage Site

T S Tirumurti appointed Economics Relations Secretary in MEA

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:03 AM PST


Diplomat T S Tirumurti has been appointed as the Economics Relations
Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry.

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• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved his
appointment in place of Vijay Keshav Gokhale who was recently
named as the Foreign Secretary.
•T S Tirumurti is a 1985 batch IFS (Indian Foreign Service) officer who
has served as the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia since
2013.
• His previous diplomatic assignments include postings in Cairo,
permanent mission of India in Geneva, representative of India on
Gaza, Washington DC and deputy chief of mission in Jakarta.
• He has also served as Under Secretary (Bhutan), Director (Foreign
Secretary’s office), Joint Secretary (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives
and Myanmar) and Joint Secretary (United Nations Economic and
Social).

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also known as the Foreign Ministry is the
government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of

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India. T comes under the Government of India and is responsible for
India’s representation in the United Nations. It advises other Ministries
and state governments in matters related to foreign policies or dealing with
foreign governments.
It was initially the Ministry of External Affairs and Commonwealth
Relations and was renamed as the Ministry of External Affairs in 1948. It
was officially formed on 2nd September 1946 and has its headquarters in
New Delhi. Sushma Swaraj is the Minister of External Affairs at present.

Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 Concluded in Nepal

Posted: 08 Jan 2018 12:00 AM PST


The Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 concluded in Kathmandu, Nepal

• The President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the


exhibition.
• The Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 is jointly organized by the IPPAN
(Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal) the umbrella
association of private sector developers and the Event Management

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services.
• Delegates from various countries including India, China, Austria,
Czech Republic and Norway participated in the Expo.
• The hydropower developers, manufacturers and suppliers of
equipment, investors, banks and construction companies
showcased their products and services through more than 100
stalls.
• Seminars, discussions and competitions for engineering students will
also be organized during this three days event.
• The President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari urged the government
and independent investors to invest in hydropower development of
Nepal.
• She mentioned that even though Nepal was the first nation in the
South Asian region to produce hydroelectricity, Nepal is lagging
behind in hydropower development.
• She said that since hydropower is the backbone for economic
development and prosperity of Nepal, the government and the
private sector should focus on investing in development of
hydroelectricity.

Aim of the Expo


The basic objective is to unleash massive hydropower potential of Nepal
and bring all stakeholders under one roof. According to experts, Nepal has
approximately 40,000 MW of economically feasible hydro power potential
and so far it has developed just around 600 MW.

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All India Survey on Higher Education Released

Posted: 07 Jan 2018 11:57 PM PST


The Union Minister for Human Resource and Development (HRD),
Prakash Javadekar released the AISHE (All India Survey on Higher
Education) for the year 2016-17 in New Delhi.

• It said the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education had


gone up 24.2% in 2016-17 from 24.5% in 2015-16.
• India has set a target of achieving 30%in higher education by 2020.
• According to the survey, the number of universities in India rose to
864 last year as compared to in 2015-16.
• Tamil Nadu emerged as the leader in the country in terms of GER in
higher education. It witnessed a GER of 46.9%. It also did well in
terms of males and females GER figures and the figures for the
scheduled castes.

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• Mr. Javadekar also informed that the Gender Parity Index (GPI) had
improved from 0.86% to 0.94%. GPI is a ratio of proportional
representation of males and females.
• The number of educational institutes on the AISHE portal had also
increased.
• All India Survey on Higher Education has detailed information on
864 universities and 40026 colleges.

Key Features of AISHE

• For the first time, efforts have been made in the AISHE 2016-17 to
collect data of teachers in the portal ‘Gurujan’ which is specially
designed for the teachers.
• Details of 12.68 lakh teachers have been uploaded in the portal.
• Gurujan is useful in ascertaining the quality of faculty in an
institution.
• The first AISHE was initiated in 2011 and has been carried out since
then.
• The MHRD said that the portal based survey has reduced the time lag
between conducting the survey and releasing the result of the
survey.

GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio)


GER for higher education is calculated with reference to the age group 18-

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23. It is the total enrolment in higher education, irrespective of age,
expressed as a percentage to the eligible official population (18-23 years) in
a given school.

AISHE
To portray the status of higher education in India, the Ministry of Human
Resource and Development has endeavoured to conduct an annual web-
based All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) since 2010-11. The
survey covers all institutions of the country engaged in imparting of higher
education. Data is collected on several parameters like teachers, student
enrolment, programmes, examination results infrastructure, etc. Indicators
of educational development such as Institution Density, Gross Enrolment
Ratio, Pupil-teacher Ratio, Gender Parity Index, Per Student expenditure is
also calculated through AISHE.

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