Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 DECEMBER 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 December 2018

::NATIONAL::

Central groundwater authority to impose fees for groundwater extraction

  •  In a bid to promote conservation of groundwater, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.
  •  As per the notification, industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. Individual households that draw groundwater using a delivery pipe of a greater than 1” diameter, too, would need to pay a WCF.
  •  The rates, according to a notification by the CGA on Wednesday, would be levied depending on the location of the groundwater extraction point and the amount of water being extracted. The government has a list of groundwater blocks, called assessment blocks. These are classified as ‘safe,’ ‘semi-critical,’ ‘critical’ and ‘over-exploited’ depending on the groundwater draft.
  •  Defence establishments and users who don’t use electricity to extract water have also been granted exemption from the requirement of obtaining NOCs and having to pay the WCF.
  •  In India, extracted groundwater is mainly used for irrigation and accounts for about 228 BCM (billion cubic metre) — or about 90% of the annual groundwater extraction. The rest, 25 BCM, is drawn for drinking, domestic and industrial uses.

::ECONOMY::

Apparel industry demands hike in duty drawback rates

  •  Apparel exporters have appealed to the government to review the duty drawback rates announced recently for ready-made garments.
  •  Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) chairman (acting) A. Sakthivel said the new rates announced by the government were 2.20-2.52 percentage points short of what the council had sought.
  •  For instance, the rates announced for cotton ready-made garments are 1.8% to 2.2% whereas the council had sought 4.32%. Since the introduction of GST, the policy support received for apparel exports had reduced significantly.
  •  “The duty drawback rates for apparel industry has decreased for most of the important product categories of garments like cotton garments, MMF garments, blend garments, etc.

India China to promote tea globally

  •  Two apex industry organisations, Indian Tea Association (ITA) and China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA), have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets in Europe , the U.S., Russia and West Asia, besides India and China. The pact could also involve organisation of joint events.
  •  China imported 30 million kg of black tea annually amid its rising popularity in the country where green tea had earlier held sway. Indian exports stood at about 8.7 million kg in 2017 with the market being dominated by Sri Lanka and Kenya. An export of 15 million kg was being targeted next year.
  •  It may be mentioned that Tea Board and ITA had organised a tea delegation to China in October to boost trade between the two countries To a question, Mr. Qing said that China would not look to India as a major market as prices were more attractive in their domestic market. China was the world’s third largest exporter (mainly of green tea).

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India Russia to go for joint defence production

  •  India and Russia have agreed on ways to simplify export clearances to take forward joint manufacturing in defence. This was among the various issues discussed during the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) chaired by Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman and her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu.
  •  India is keen on moving from licence manufacturing of defence equipment to joint production under Make in India. This includes allowing Indian companies, both Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) and private sector, to manufacture spares for Russian systems in India. “We have worked out some formats for end-use clearances,” the official stated.
  •  Eventually India is keen that its companies supply components and spares to export to third world countries. “There is a larger shift to that,” the official said.
  •  The two sides also agreed to take forward inter-governmental arrangements for facilitating joint manufacturing of spares for Russian origin equipment in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

Government & ADB sign agreement to reduce river erosion in Assam

  •  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $60 Million Loan Agreement here today in New Delhi to continue financing riverbank protection works, renovation of flood embankments, and community-based flood risk management activities in critically flood-prone areas along the Brahmaputra River in Assam.

  •  The Tranche 2 loan is part of the $120 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Assam Integrated Flood and Riverbank Erosion Risk Management Investment Program approved by the ADB Board in October 2010.

  •  Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Yokoyamasaid that the Project 2 under the Program will fund a combination of structural and nonstructural measures in the three subproject areas of Palasbari-Gumi, Kaziranga, and Dibrugarh along the Brahmaputra river which include 20 km of riverbank protection works and upgrading of 13 km of flood embankments.

  •  The non-structural measures will cover community involvement and community-based flood risk management activities through establishing and training disaster management committees for strengthening local disaster preparedness and emergency response.

  •  The Project will continue to support the institutional capacity development of the autonomous body anchored to the Assam Water Resources Department, named Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam (FREMAA), and Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), as the executing and implementing agencies for this Project.

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