Current Affairs Today for UPSC IAS Preparation: 27 October 2017

Tamil Nadu CM lays foundation stone for Rs 198 cr aerospace park

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edapaddi K Palanswami, has laid the foundation stone for an aerospace park at Kanchipuram district to be set up by the State Government in 245 acres and at an estimated cost of Rs. 198 crore.

When fully ready, the park will attract a total investment of nearly Rs. 1,000 crore and create job opportunities for nearly 30,000.

The aerospace park at Vallam-Vadakkal Sipcot Industrial Park premises in Sriperumbudur will be jointly implemented by State Industries Promotion Corporation Ltd and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation.

Palaniswami handed over the land allotment order to nine companies, including Tidel Park, Minerva Aviation, Bala Works, Unicorn Pvt Ltd and Wintech Precision Engineering. Nearly 50 companies are expected to have operations at the park. .

A computing and designing centre will be built in 10 lakh sq ft at a cost of Rs. 350 crore with avionics manufacturing facility, and skill development components designing unit. In the first phase, Rs. 180 crore will be invested to set up the centre in 5 lakh sq ft.


Odisha govt starts work to prepare 2nd phase of SCCAP

The Odisha government has started the process to prepare the second phase of the State Climate Change Action Plan (SCCAP) with an outlay of about Rs 31,667 crore for the next five years.

Making a programme-wise review of the activities taken up so far, officials of the forest and environment departments have been directed to make an assessment of the benefits derived from the first phase of the SCCAP implemented from 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Based on the experience of the first phase action plan, the meeting identified 102 action points in 12 major sectors.  These sectors are – agriculture, coastal and disaster management, energy, fisheries and animal resource development, forestry, health, Industrial arena, mining, transport, urban development, water resource management and waste management.

The action points also included livelihood focused people-centric integrated watershed development programmes, capacity building of farmers, documentation of the indigenous eco-friendly practices, scaling up water use efficient micro irrigation projects.

Second phase of the State Climate Change Action Plan (SCCAP) will also focus on phasing out of old vehicles for reducing emission, promotion of electric vehicles, strengthening enforcement and emission check up system, augmentation of integrated sewerage projects in major urban areas and municipal solid waste management.


SBI Slashed IMPS Service Charges up to 80%

The State Bank of India has slashed Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) charges up to 80 pct. This latest development by the State Bank of India comes as a huge relief for the SBI customers. If the users are doing an online transaction of money after selecting IMPS option, then they will have to pay 80 pct less charge than what they used to pay earlier.

After the implementation of the revised charges, online transactions will certainly become cheaper. After the revision, no IMPS service charge will be imposed on online transactions under Rs 1000. For the transactions between Rs 1000 and Rs 10,000, the users will have to pay Re 1 while for an amount between Rs 10,001 and Rs 1,00,000, the users will be charged Rs 2. For the transactions between Rs 1,00,0001 and Rs 2,00,000, the IMPS service charge is Rs 3. All these rates are effective from 15th October, 2017.

Government retains General Provident Fund interest rate at 7.8% for Oct-Dec

The government has retained the rate of interest for General Provident Fund (GPF) and other related schemes at 7.8 per cent for the October-December quarter.

The rate is in line with that for Public Provident Fund (PPF). In July-September quarter too, the interest rate was 7.8 per cent.

This will apply to Provident Funds of central government employees, railways and defence forces. Last month, the government had kept the interest rate on PPF unchanged at 7.8 per cent for October-December, in line with the rates for small savings schemes.


Navy to deploy mission-ready ships in Indian Ocean region

With an eye on increasing Chinese naval presence in the region, the Indian Navy has approved a plan for deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications and choke points in the Indian Ocean Region. This was discussed in the ongoing naval commanders’ conference. A total of 14-15 ships will be deployed year-round in the region.

The Indian Navy has been deploying its warships in the Indian Ocean region for carrying out anti-piracy patrol and providing humanitarian assistance. The areas where these ships and corvettes and surveillance aircraft are being deployed include the Malacca Strait, Andaman Sea, North Andaman Sea, including Bangladesh and Myanmar, Lakshadweep islands and the Maldives, besides Madagascar and the Persian Gulf. These vessels are being used to monitor increased Chinese presence in these areas.

The ongoing naval commanders’ conference also reiterated the navy’s focus on efforts on capacity and capability development of navies in the region.