Current Affairs in Short: 27 November 2018

NPCC conferred with the status of ‘Miniratna’

• The National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) was conferred with the status of Miniratna : Category –I by the Union Government.
• The empowerment of Miniratna Status to NPCC will help the company in taking speedy decisions by enhancing the delegation of powers to the Board.
• NPCC, a schedule ‘B’ CPSE under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Water Resources RD & GR, has also been awarded ISO 9001:2015 Certification.
• The Corporation, incorporated in 1957, is a premier construction company having mandate with creation of infrastructure to provide impetus for economic development of the country.
• The Corporation is making continuous profit since 2009-10,  having positive networth for the last six years.

Nepal launches Social Security Scheme

• Nepal government launched a Social Security Scheme for formal sector workers of the country. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli unveiled the scheme in Kathmandu.
• The scheme aims to strengthen the system in which the government is accountable to its people. People of all ages and categories would be included in the scheme.
• The new social security scheme is contribution based and it will cover health and medical facilities, safe motherhood, accident and physical incapacity security, security to dependent family members and security at old age.
• The scheme will be compulsorily applicable to formal sector workers. The scheme will soon be extended to informal sector workers as well.

India, China sign protocol to amend Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

• India and China signed protocol to amend Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion.
• Under Section 90 of Income-tax Act, 1961, India can enter into agreement with foreign country or specified territory for the avoidance of double taxation of income.
• The Protocol to amend DTAA with China updates existing provisions for exchange of information to latest international standards.
• It incorporates changes required to implement treaty related minimum standards under the Action reports of Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands home to 10% of India’s fauna species: ZSI

• Andaman & Nicobar Islands are to home to tenth of India’s fauna species and hosts 1067 endemic faunal species found nowhere else, as per the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) publication titled ‘Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Islands of India’.
• The publication has come up with database of all faunal species found on the island. It has database of species found in particular category of animals and also highlights most vulnerable among them.
• The Andaman & Nicobar Islands comprises only 0.25 percent of India’s geographical area but is home to more than 10 percent of country’s fauna species.
• Tourism, illegal construction and mining are posing threat to the islands’ biodiversity, which is already vulnerable to volatile climatic factors.

ISRO to launch new imaging satellite ‘HysIS’

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon launch ‘HysIS’, the country's first hyperspectral imaging satellite for advanced Earth observation.
• About 30 small satellites of foreign customers will be its co-passengers on the PSLV launcher, numbered C-43.
• PSLV-C43 mission will launch 31 satellites in two orbits. It will be ISRO's third longest mission.
• Main payload HysIS, all of 380 kg, is built to work for five years. It will aid detailed, high-definition study of Earth surface.
• It will be placed in a polar orbit 636 km away at an inclination of 97.957 degrees.
• 30 co-passengers include a micro satellite (100-kg class) and 29 nano satellites (under 10 kg). These are from eight countries and together weigh around 261 kg.

Health Ministry launches modern Information Platform to monitor public health surveillance

• The Union Health Ministry launched the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) in seven states.
• The path-breaking initiative will provide near-real-time data to policy makers for detecting outbreaks, reducing the morbidity and mortality and lessening disease burden in the populations and better health systems.
• The first one-of-its-kind initiative by India, IHIP uses the latest technologies and digital health initiatives.
• For effective implementation of the platform, 32000 people at the block level, 13000 at the district level and 900 at the state level have been trained.

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