January 1 and 2 Current Affairs

1. SMILE Scheme : 

A scheme “SMILE – Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise” formulated which includes sub scheme – ‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of Begging’.

Focus of the scheme is on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counseling, basic documentation, education, skill development, economic linkages etc.

2. FCRA licences of NGOs extended by three months 

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday extended the validity of FCRA registered NGOs whose licenses were not renewed by December 31 by another three months in “public interest.”

The extension will however bring no relief to Missionaries of Charities (MoC), founded by Mother Teresa, as the ministry asserted that NGOs whose request for renewal was turned down will not be eligible to either receive or utilise the foreign contribution in their designated bank accounts.

3. GST Council decides to defer rate hike on textiles from 5% to 12% 

In its 46th meeting on Friday GST council decided to defer the proposed hike in tax rate for the textiles sector to 12 per cent from 5 per cent, which was to be implemented from January 1. Status quo will be maintained for the GST rate for textiles as of now and a ministerial panel will review the rate structure by February

4.Sri Lanka to ink three new lease agreements to develop Trincomalee oil tank farm with India 

The Trincomalee oil tank farm project, pertains to some 100 oil storage tanks — built by the British during World War II — in Sri Lanka’s eastern Trincomalee district.

As per the new deal, 14 tanks currently operated by Indian Oil Corporation subsidiary Lanka IOC will be leased to the company for 50 years .

5. Russia’s new hypersonic Tsirkon missile was fired from frigate, submarine 

Russia test-fired around 10 new Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic cruise missiles from a frigate and two more from a submarine

6. Cricket: India beat Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to win U-19 Asia Cup title in Dubai 

7. LIC Digi Zone 

To enhance its digital footprint, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) of India has launched ‘Digi Zone’ to enhance its digital operations in areas of sales and customer services.

Customers can use LIC’s Digi Zone to buy policies online, pay premium and avail other services as well.

Ahead of assembly elections in five states, the government on Friday approved issuance of the 19th tranche of electoral bonds which will be open for sale from January 1 to 10.

Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

Assembly elections for 5 states– Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Goa– are expected to be announced next month.



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