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C K Khanna likely to replace Anurag Thakur

The Board of Control for Cricket in India is considering to appoint C.K. Khanna as its new president.
●    However, if the decision is taken forward, it would ignore the fact that Khanna is ineligible because he has served more than nine cumulative years in state cricket association.
●    Anurag Thakur and BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke were removed from their respective posts for their failure to bring transparency and accountability to the Indian cricket board and their non-compliance of the court`s July 18 last year order.
●    On December 15, the top court had observed that Thakur prima facie appears to have committed matter of perjury in relation to demanding an intervention via a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to sidestep the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations.
●    In a landmark judgment on July 18, the apex court accepted major recommendations of Justice Lodha-led panel on structural reforms in the BCCI and had given six months deadline to the board to implement the recommendations.

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GST Council deadlock continues, to meet again in Jan 16

The deadlock over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) continued with the Centre and states refusing to budge from their respective positions on issues like control of taxpayers and taxing high sea trade, a stalemate that threatens to delay the rollout till September.
●    The two-day meeting of the all-powerful GST Council, the 8th in a row, made little headway in brokering a solution even as non-BJP ruled states saw September as more likely deadline for the rollout of the indirect tax regime.
●    The next meeting of the GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state representatives, on January 16 would discuss the issue of jurisdiction over assessees as well as try to reach a finality on taxation of territorial waters.
●    Highest bracket is 28 per cent and of this how much will be the Centre and state’s share, nowhere in the law it defines and it seems to be taken for granted it is 50:50. 
●    Ever since the Independence in the Centre-state financial relation the imbalance has been growing wider and states’ rights have been curtailed.
●    That can be corrected by ensuring that state’s share in GST will be 60 per cent. Many states also supported this.

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Google launches new tools for SMEs in India

Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced the ‘Digital Unlocked’ initiative in India.Launched in collaboration with the IT Ministry of India and FICCI, the initiative is aimed at bringing the small businesses of the country online. 
●    With the Indian government pushing the economy to everything-digital, the Digital Unlocked program is essentially an initiative to help small businesses and startups to grow their businesses digitally. 
●    The initiative aims to offer opportunities for SMEs in India to attend courses, which are being offered by FICCI and will be certified from Google and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
●    Talking about the training program, both offline and online programs will be personalized. 
●    Which means, under various topics offered in the Digital Unlocked program, a user can set their goals according to what’s right for them.
●    course content of Digital Unlocked contains basic and beyond, to help its students build a foundation of digital skills to grow their businesses.

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RBI finally approves the formal launch of PayTM Payments Bank

Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, an entity majority owned by One97 Communication founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has received the final approval from the Reserve Bank of India, the company confirmed on Tuesday.
●    Paytm is expecting to roll out its payments bank in the next 30-60 days.
●    Paytm, which is likely to launch with a pilot in parts of Uttar Pradesh, has already received investments of Rs220 crore from Sharma and One97.
●    The initial investment in the bank could be as high as Rs400 crore.
●    One97 Communications Ltd’s founder Sharma was one of the 11 recipients of RBI’s in-principle payments bank licences. 
●    Bharti Airtel became the first payment bank to start operations in November.

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All play schools to be brought under NCPCR

Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that the government is planning to come out with a set of guidelines to regulate pre-schools that are part of Anganwadi centres as also those run by private agencies in the wake of complaints about violation of child rights.
●    she also said that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended regulatory guidelines which will decide on various issues such as teacher-student ratio, curriculum, infrastructure and the age of admission apart from the safety and security aspects.
●    NCPCR member Priyanka Kanoongo said that the guidelines have been developed to regulate the private play schools for children in the age group of 3-6 years to bring inclusiveness and uniformity in all private educational institutions imparting pre-school education and prevent violation of child rights.
●    So children below 3 years won’t be enrolled to any playschools. All the institutions have to face consequences as per as law.
●    The crucial role of quality pre-school education was recognized through 86th Constitutional Amendment, which introduced Article 45 that states.

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Govt proposes a short 10 days budget session

The previous NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee had ended a British era practice, by changing the timing of presentation of the Union Budget from 5 pm to 11am in 2001. 
●    Sixteen years later, another NDA government under Narendra Modi is following the suit, by proposing a short 10-day budget session of Parliament from January 31. 
●    As per the practice inherited from the Colonial Era, the annual Budget was presented each year on the last working day of February by the Finance Minister in Parliament.
●    The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) headed by home minister Rajnath Singh which met here on Tuesday recommended the dates to President Pranab Mukherjee. 
●    Only the first part of part session from January 31 to February 10 has been proposed. 
●    The second half of session will be decided only after the dates for the Assembly elections in five states, including the most crucial Uttar Pradesh are announced by the Election Commission. 
 

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Service Charge in Restaurants made Voluntary for customers

The next time you dine out, you will be at liberty to not pay service charge if you are not happy with the service.
●    Consumers have the “discretion to pay service charge or not”, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) said on Monday, adding that the billing of service charge by restaurants in addition to taxes is optional.
●    A number of complaints from consumers have been received that hotels and restaurants are following the practice of charging ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20%, in lieu of tips, which a consumer is forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to him.
●    The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), an industry lobby group, is considering its options in response to the government’s statement.

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Ministry Of Minority Affairs celebrates ‘Swachchhata Pakhwada’ 

The Ministry of Minority Affairs celebrated ‘Swachchhata Pakhwada’ beginning from 16th December, 2017. Five teams each led by a Joint Secretary/ Dy Director General level officer were formed to spearhead the efforts. In coordination with New Delhi municipal Corporation and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the teams undertook activities for cleanliness drive wherever required.
●    A team of 30 officials and staff of the Ministry of Minority Affairs led by Sh. Mukat Singh, Deputy Director General conducted Cleanliness Drive at Hanuman Mandir at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi on 21st December 2016. 
●    The team reached at Mandir premises early in the morning at 7.45 AM and in about two hours completely cleaned the Mandir premises removing all the dust and other rubbish.   A team from New Delhi Municipal Corporation has also rendered necessary help in this endeavour.
●    26  persons  took part in the Slogan writing competition organised by the Ministry held on 22nd December, 2016, and 26  competitors  participated in the poster drawing completion organized by the Ministry held on 23rd December, 2016.
●    A team of 24 officials and staff of the Ministry of Minority Affairs conducted Cleanliness Drive at Shri K.C. Samria, Joint Secretary at Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Chandni Chowk, Opposite Red, Fort, New Delhi on 26th December 2016. The team reached at Mandir premises early in the morning at and in about two hours completely cleaned the Mandir premises in coordination with a team from Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
●    A team of 28 officials and staff of the Ministry of Minority Affairs led by Sh. Jaan-e-Alam, Joint Secretary conducted Cleanliness Drive at Monastery Buddha temple (Ladakh Buddhist Vihara), Bela Road, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Railway Colony, Civil Lines, New Delhi on 26th December 2016.

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Union Home Minister lays the foundation stone of the Demonstration Housing Project by BMTPC for Lucknow 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone of the Demonstration Housing Project by BMTPC (Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council) for Lucknow through video conferencing here today. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh said this BMPTC project is a model housing project which will use eco friendly materials and innovative technology to build houses for the poor.
●    Coming up at Aurangabad Jagir at Sarojini Nagar Tehsil in Lucknow on 0.38 hectare land provided by the State Urban Development Authority (SUDA) of the Uttar Pradesh state government, the BMTPC, an autonomous organization under Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, has undertaken construction of 40 dwelling units (Ground Floor+1). 
●    Each Unit having built up area of 380 sq. feet, will consist of one living room, one bedroom, kitchen, one separate bath and WC. 
●    The Demonstration Housing Project will include onsite infrastructure facilities like water supply, tube well, sewerage system, drainage, concrete roads, interlocking tiles, boundary wall and external electrification, etc. Aiming to popularize new and emerging disaster resistant sustainable technologies in the construction sector, the Demonstration Housing Project is expected to cost around Rs.3.6 crores.

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LPG customers to now get a discount for on-line payment of LPG refill 

Oil Marketing Companies, viz IndianOil, BPCL & HPCL are now offering an upfront discount of Rs 5/- on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for their LPG cylinders online. 
●    Customers can make payment through existing online modes i.e net banking, credit & debit cards at the time of web-booking their refills.
●    Customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens – i.e. net amount i.e refill RSP minus (-) incentive amount of Rs.5/- which they need to pay for their refill transactions. 
●    The net discounted amount will also be shown on the cash memo accompanying the home-delivery of the LPG cylinder.
●    Under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, it the endeavour of all Oil Marketing Companies aim to encourage consumers to increasingly shift to such payment modes through digital platforms to achieve the objective of no-cash or less-cash based transactions. 
●    The incentive will encourage more and more LPG consumers to go for cashless mode transactions.

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