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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 16, 2017

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Water Pollution: Read Here

  • National Green Tribunal imposed a ban on plastic items, including plastic bags and cutlery, in Haridwar and Rishikesh. The bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar banned the sale, manufacture and storage of all such plastic items, till Uttarkashi.
  • The green panel specified that the ban would be applicable to towns in Uttarakhand, along river Ganga and its tributaries.The Tribunal said a fine of Rs. 5,000 would be imposed on those violating the order. An action would be taken against erring officials as well.
  • The Tribunal had also prohibited the authorities from throwing municipal waste, construction and demolition waste into Ganga and its tributaries. The decision will help to achieve governments target to keep Ganga clean under Namami Gange Programme.

River Interlinking: Read Here

  • The Ken Betwa river interlinking project may see delays and a price escalation even though the two States involved, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have reportedly resolved differences over the execution of the project.
  • The KBP is a two-part 18,000-crore project and it is the first river interlinking project and perceived by the government as a model plan for similar interstate river transfer missions. The Phase -1 of the KBP project involves the construction of Daudhan Dam. 
  • However, even the construction of this dam is not sufficient to increase the water availability to the expected levels. Both States have agreed to stick to the original water-share plan provided they get additional funds for implementing micro-irrigation projects.

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Education: Read Here

  • The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, ending the era of Medical Council of India (MCI) as the apex medical education regulator conducting annual inspections.
  • The move is based on recommendations of the Ranjit Roychowdhury Committee and a Parliamentary standing committee. The Bill also provides for the introduction of an exit examination within three years of its passage by Parliament.
  • It would make the medical sector the first in the country’s higher education system to have a common entrance test namely National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, counselling and exit examination.
  • The Bill represents a radical shift from the present system in which medical colleges are subject to annual inspections on physical, infrastructural and bed-patient norms. From now on, colleges need permission only once for establishment and recognition.

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Economic Growth: Read Here

  • Reserve Bank of India Governor said the growth picked up in the second quarter of the current financial year and the economic slowdown may have bottomed out.Financial markets have shown resilience, stability amid heightened volatility.
  • The second quarter has recorded an uptick and the slowdown may well be bottoming out.The official data showed gross domestic product (GDP) in the July-September quarter expanded 6.3% year-on-year, snapping a four-quarter slowdown.
  • The structural changes such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax may result in temporary disruptions but they were efficiency augmenting in the medium to long term. He said the current account deficit remains within sustainable levels and other indicators of external viability also reflected a healthy improvement.

Cybersecurity: Read Here

  • Kaspersky Labs founder says the country is one of the most important from a cybersecurity aspect because of its population and economy.India needs to worry about terror groups attacking critical infrastructure such as power plants, telecom and banking systems.
  • Securing critical infrastructure is most important. Kaspersky Labs work regularly with the Indian government and signed a MoU with the CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) last year. They exchange information about the latest threats and were able to share information about the last WannaCry attack in real time.
  • It is not possible to stop innovation, and not possible to stop countries like India from growing and improving lives through Internet, smart cities and other projects. But if these are done in non-secure ways, they will become targets. Cybersecurity must be incorporated in projects here right at the beginning, not at the end, or you will have a weak foundation that is vulnerable to cyber attacks.