Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 29 - APRIL - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 29 - APRIL - 2016
Friday, 29 April 2016 02:40

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

29 - APRIL - 2016

 

RBL BANK BECAME FIRST PRIVATE SECTOR BANK TO OPEN DEDICATED BRANCH FOR START-UPS IN INDIA

The RBL Bank became the first private sector bank in India to open dedicated branch for start-ups. The dedicated branch was inaugurated at Koramangala, Bengaluru by Nandan Nilekani, noted entrepreneur and former chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

The move came following the launch of first branch dedicated of the State Bank of India in January 2016 to serve the needs of start-ups in Bengaluru. 
Highlights of the Bank

• The first exclusive bank branch for start-ups will offer a bouquet of banking products to service the end-to-end needs of the emerging entrepreneurial eco-system.

• The branch will assist entrepreneurs in setting up new enterprises or companies.

• It will offer them host of banking products including, foreign exchange services, remittances and cash management.

• It will also provide a range of value added services including legal and tax formalities, registration etc. through its affiliates and partners.

About RBL Bank

The RBL Bank is a scheduled commercial bank headquartered in the Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Founded in August 1943, RBL is one of the oldest private sector banks in India.

The Bank currently services approximately 1 million customers and has a total business size of over 20000 Crore rupees.

UN, IMF, WORLD BANK AND OECD FORMED PLATFORM FOR COLLABORATION ON TAX

Four international organization joined hands to form the Platform for collaboration in Tax Matters. The Platform has been created as their step to boost global cooperation in tax matters.

The announcement regarding this was made just within two weeks after the release of the "Panama Papers" that stirred outrage at the widespread use of tax haven countries and shell companies by wealthy global elites and corporations to hide assets and avoid paying taxes.

International Organisations involved

The institute/organisations that joined their hands to intensify their cooperation on tax issues include

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

• The United Nations (UN)

• The World Bank Group (WBG)

Aim of the Platform

Amid the growing importance of taxation in the debate to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the aim of the Platform is to better frame technical advice to developing countries as they seek both more capacity support and greater influence in designing international rules.

Tasks of Platform

• It will deliver a number of ‘toolkits’ designed to help developing countries implement the measures developed under the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project and on other international tax issues.

• The first of these toolkits, focusing on tax incentives, was delivered in November 2016.

• There will be an important link to the new Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) implementation framework.

• Platform members will hold regular meetings with representatives of developing countries, regional tax organizations, banks and donors. Consultations with business and civil society will be organized as needed.

• The Platform will not only formalize regular discussions between the four international organizations on the design and implementation of standards for international tax matters, but will strengthen their capacity-building support, deliver jointly developed guidance, and information-sharing on operational and knowledge activities.

• It will especially focus on building effective tax systems in developing countries and avoid tax base erosion.

UNION GOVERNMENT MERGED RAJIV GANDHI KHEL ABHIYAAN WITH KHELO INDIA

The Union Government has merged Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), launched by the UPA government, with the Khelo India programme for development of sports.

Two other sport projects, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (USIS)and National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS), launched by the Congress-led UPA regime have also been absorbed under Khelo India.

Khelo India is based on Gujarat's model of Khel Mahakumbh, in which schools and colleges from different parts of the country participate in about 27 disciplines. Similarly, the Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG) organises summer camps under this project every year.

About Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan was a centrally sponsored scheme launched on 21 February 2014 in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).

PYKKA is a rural sports initiative introduced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India to promote youth and social development through sports.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan aimed at constructing sports complexes in each block and exclusively both for outdoor and indoor sports discipline for 5 years.

EUROPE BECAME WORLD’S FIRST REGION TO END MALARIA: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the European Region became the first in the world to have achieved interruption of indigenous malaria transmission. The number of indigenous malaria cases in the region dropped from 90712 in 1995 to zero cases in 2015.

WHO released the figures in World Malaria Report 2015.

Also Read: Union Health Minister launched National Framework for Elimination of Malaria 2016-2030

Besides, WHO announced that the European Region hit its 2015 target to wipe out malaria, thus contributing to the global goal to End malaria for good.

Key highlights of the World Malaria Report 2015

The number of malaria cases globally fell from an estimated 262 million in 2000 to 214 million in 2015, a decline of 18%.

The number of malaria deaths globally fell from an estimated 839000 in 2000 to 438 000 in 2015, a decline of 48%.

The number of malaria deaths in children aged under 5 years is estimated to have decreased from 723000 globally in 2000.

The proportion of children infected with malaria parasites has halved in endemic areas of Africa since 2000. Infection prevalence among children aged 2–10 years is estimated to have declined from 33% in 2000 to 16% in 2015, with three quarters of this change occurring after 2005.

It is estimated that a cumulative 1.2 billion fewer malaria cases and 6.2 million fewer malaria deaths occurred globally between 2001 and 2015 than would have been the case had incidence and mortality rates remained unchanged since 2000.

The WHO European Region reported zero indigenous cases for the first time in 2015, in line with the goal of the Tashkent Declaration to eliminate malaria from the region by 2015.

Report with respect to India

• Funding for malaria control is lowest in countries with the largest populations at risk, including India and Indonesia.

In 2014, all countries, except India, Indonesia and Nepal, reported delivering sufficient quantities of antimalarial medicines (including ACT) to treat all reported cases in public health facilities.

In India, there is widespread resistance to DDT and pyrethroids, and areas with carbamate and organophosphate (malathion) resistance.

The number of confirmed malaria cases reported in the South-East Asia region decreased from 2.9 million to 1.6 million between 2000 and 2014. Just three countries accounted for 96% of cases in 2014: India (70%), Indonesia (16%) and Myanmar (10%).

The years 2011 and 2012 saw renewed malaria transmission in Georgia (isolated cases) and in Greece and Turkey (localized outbreaks), as a result of malaria importation from other endemic countries including India.

National Malaria Control Programmes reported that about 116 million people worldwide were protected by Indoor Residual Spray (IRS) in 2014. This comprises 50 million people in the WHO African Region, and 49 million people in the WHO South-East Asia Region, of whom over 44 million were in India.

19TH ROUND OF TALKS HELD BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA ON BOUNDARY ISSUE HELD IN BEIJING

The 19th Round of talks between India and China on the Boundary Issue was held in Beijing. The Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question was represented by National Security Adviser of India, Ajit Doval and State Councillor of China, Mr. Yang Jiechi.

They discussed the way forward to resolve the dispute was bedeviled the relations between the two Nations.

Main highlights of the 19th Round of Boundary Talks

• They agreed to abide for peaceful negotiations to settle the problematic border issue and reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.

• Both the leaders had an extensive, deep and candid discussion on the 3488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). It remains undemarcated resulting in tensions between the two sides.

• Besides the border issue, Doval and Yang, also discussed all contentious bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual concern.

• Both sides shared the view that China-India relations have broad prospects and Beijing and New Delhi have far more common interests than differences.

Agreements signed between India and China to resolve the Boundary Issue

1993: On 7 September 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.

1996: On 29 November 1996, Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.

2003: On 23 June 2003, Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China was signed. The Declaration laid down the basis for Special Representative talks on Boundary Issue.

2013: On 23 October 2013, Border Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed.

Bilateral ties entered a new era of comprehensive and rapid development since Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a visit to India in 2014 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China in 2015.

ISRO SCIENTISTS MADE WORLD’S LIGHTEST MATERIAL ‘SILICA AEROGEL’ TO KEEP SOLDIERS WARM IN SIACHEN

Scientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram indigenously manufactured the world's lightest synthetic material called ‘silica aerogel’ or ‘blue air’ or ‘frozen smoke’.

Silica Aerogel is the lightest synthetic material ever made by man.

Key characteristics of Silica Aerogel

• The material is so light weight that it can be delicately placed on a flower head.

• It has an excellent thermal resistance and if it is used as filler in soldiers' uniforms it can save many lives at the Siachen glacier.

• The material can be used both in space and on Earth. Scientists also hope it can be used to insulate rocket engines.

• Frozen smoke can be also used to make light weight clothing, if painted on windows it can keep buildings cool or warm.

• The matrix of aerogel is made up of 99 per cent air. The material is likely to be used on moon rover in Chandryaan-2 mission of India.

The material is still very fragile and brittle and scientists at the space centre are still finding ways to make it tough and resilient.

MOBILE PHONES WILL HAVE BUTTON FOR DISTRESS FROM NEXT YEAR

  • Starting next year, all mobile phones sold in India will come with a dedicated ‘panic button’ that can be used to send out a signal in case of distress.
  • The Panic button and Global Positioning System facility in all mobile phone handsets Rules, 2016 are aimed at improving the safety of women and ensuring a quick response from security agencies.
  • The notification says that no handset shall be sold in India from January 1, 2017, without a panic button and all handsets must also have GPS from January 1, 2018.
  • “Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
  • Once the panic button is pressed, a signal/call will be made to the nearest security agency. However, the details of how the system will work are yet to be finalised.

AFTER RECOMMENDATION FROM PAY COMMISSION GOVT LOOKING TO MAKE ALLOWANCES STRUCTURED

  • Secret allowance, family planning allowance, desk allowance, cash handling allowance, metropolitan allowance and headquarters allowance are among 52 of the nearly 200 allowances which the government could scrap soon.
  • The Seventh Pay Commission found inadequate the justifications offered by the Ministries for these allowances.
  • The government was asked to suggest rationalisation of a variety of allowances. A committee is examining the Commission’s recommendations.
  • The Commission found the entire system of nearly 200 allowances “haphazard”.
  • There are 13 for travel, 14 for additional duty, 51 for risk and hardship, nine for uniform, 4 for good services, 5 sumptuary allowances, 2 for training and 3 for knowledge update.
  • Many were meagre cash payments and lost significance.
  • The CommissionRejected the demand for doubling the family planning allowance ranging from Rs. 210 to Rs.1,000 a month depending on grade pay, for those who adopt family planning norms after one child.

UNION GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING TO MAKE PRESCRIPTION OF GENERIC DRUGS MANDATORY

  • The Central government is considering the introduction of a law to make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe generic drugs so that patients can access affordable medicines provided through state-run Jan Aushadhi stores.
  • The legal route to counter doctors’ preference for branded medicines is expected to be discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an upcoming meeting to assess the progress made in the plan to set up 3,000 Jan Aushadhi stores across the country this year, a promise made in the Union Budget.\
  • A major hurdle is that doctors don’t prescribe generic medicines supplied through Jan Aushadi stores, so patients find it tough to ask for the correct generic equivalents.
  • The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the agency under the Department of Pharmaceuticals entrusted with implementing the Jan Aushadhi programme which was launched in 2008.
  • BPPI’s main focus is accessibility, affordability and availability. But if generic equivalents are not prescribed by doctors, sales won’t take place. Pharmacists should have the option to give the generic substitute.

SC SLAMMED M.H. GOVT FOR DELAY IN THE GRANT OF LICENCES TO CONDUCT DANCE PERFORMANCES

  • The Supreme Court slammed the Maharashtra government for delaying the grant of licences to hotels and bars in the State to conduct dance performances.
  • Apex court said that it is better for women to dance professionally on a platform rather than beg on the streets or get into other “undesirable means of livelihood”.
  • A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said the State should not adopt a prohibitory mindset when the apex court has only asked it to regulate the activities of dance bars.
  • “As the State, your job is to protect the dignity of these women in their workplace. Your attitude should not go into the extremes of prohibition when you are only supposed to regulate. This is 2016.”
  • “We are talking about dance as a profession, as art. In case the performances slip into obscenity, it naturally stops having legal permissibility and the Indian Penal Code will take care of the rest,” Justice Misra explained
  • The court, however, acknowledged the plea of Additional Solicitor-General Pinky Anand, appearing for Maharashtra, that the State has to ensure that there is no “obscenity” in dance bars and the dignity of women is protected there.
  • The court directed all dance bars applicants to co-operate with providing information on any criminal antecedents of their employees to the police, besides installing CCTV cameras.
  • Ms. Anand submitted that over 150 applications for dance bar licences were received, of which only 39 bars had offered themselves for inspection.

UNITED STATES WILL SEND SPECIAL FORCES TO HELP REBEL FIGHT IS

  • President Barack Obama said the U.S. would send up to 250 more military personnel including special forces to Syria to help rebels fight Islamic State group jihadists.
  • Mr. Obama was in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. In a speech on transatlantic unity, Mr. Obama hailed NATO partners’ progress so far in pushing back IS, which he called “the most urgent threat to our nations”.
  • Mr. Obama had pressed for all parties to the Syrian conflict, including Russia, to return to the negotiating table and “reinstate” the ceasefire.

HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHIEF SAYS RELATIONS WITH INDIA IS HER PRIORITY

  • If elected President of the U.S., Hillary Clinton will take relations with India to a new level and better economic and strategic ties with New Delhi will anchor the U.S. in the region, her campaign chief has said.
  • Chairman of Ms. Clinton’s campaign committee, said a future Democratic administration under Ms. Clinton will have a significant presence of Indian Americans.
  • Mr. Podesta, who served as chief of staff to president Bill Clinton and as adviser to President Barack Obama, said successive Presidents have been in agreement on strengthening relations with India, and Ms. Clinton would “follow in that tradition”.
  • Mr. Podesta said Ms. Clinton has built strong relations with India when she was the First Lady and later as Secretary of State.
  • Mr. Podesta said Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign was dangerous for the country, referring to him mocking Indian call centre workers at an election rally.

IRAN DOES NOT WANT FROZEN FUNDS TO BE DIVERTED TO COMPENSATE VICTIMS OF ATTACKS

  • Iran threatened to take legal action in the International Court of Justice against the United States if $2 billion in frozen funds are “diverted” to compensate victims of attacks.
  • Tehran said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deduct $2 billion from its frozen assets to compensate American victims of “terror” attacks amounted to theft.
  • “We hold the U.S. administration responsible for preservation of Iranian funds and if they are plundered, we will lodge a complaint with the ICJ for reparation,” said Foreign Minister.

FOREIGN SECRETARY OF PAK AND INDIA TO MEET AT THE ‘HEART OF ASIA’ CONFERENCE

  • Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry will meet Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar for bilateral talks with their delegations on the sidelines of the Afghan donor ‘Heart of Asia’ conference.
  • Officials of both countries confirmed that the initiative for the meeting came from the Indian side.
  • In a statement issued in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mr. Chaudhry would hold “bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the [‘Heart of Asia’] meeting.”
  • The bilateral meeting might include discussions on the Pathankot airbase attack and a possible visit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Pakistan to probe the plot behind the attack.

INDIA CANCELLED VISA FOR DOLKUM ISA

  • In an about-turn, India cancelled the visa issued to the exiled Uighur-Chinese leader Dolkun Isa, even as the Citizen Power for China, the Washington DC-based organisers of the Dharmshalaevent told that the event may not take place in the way planned.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the glitches of the electronic visa system of the Ministry of Home Affairs is the reason for cancellation of visa.
  • China criticised the Indian move to grant him a visa to attend the conference, despite an Interpol Red Corner notice against him, Isa said that he believed “India had bowed to Chinese pressure.”
  • Mr Isa, heading the World Uighur Congress, was designated a “terrorist” by Beijing and has faced travel curbs under Chinese pressure.

INDIA REGISTERS RECORD FDI INFLOW

  • India received $51 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), the highest-ever FDI inflow in a fiscal, during April-February FY16.
  • The increased FDI inflow was the result of the government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business and initiatives such as ‘Make In India.’
  • According to data from the DIPP,the previous highest FDI inflow was in FY12 when the country received $46.55 billion, which was a 34 per cent increase over $34.8 billion it got in FY11.
  • However, India recorded its largest-ever percentage increase in FDI when it received $22.8 billion in FY07, representing a 155 per cent increase over the $8.9 billion in FY06. This includes equity, re-invested earnings and other capital.
  • Computer software and hardware sectors received $5.3 billion while services sector accounted for $4.2 billion. \
  • Automobile and telecom sectors received $1.7 billion and $1.07 billion respectively. Region-wise, the National Capital Territory (comprising Delhi, part of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana) received $10.6 billion while Mumbai got $5.2 billion.
  • In order to boost the investment environment and bring in foreign investments, the government had brought in FDI-related reforms and liberalisation touching upon 15 major sectors of the economy by putting more FDI proposals in the automatic route.

CENTRAL BANK TO SIMPLIFY REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR NBFC’S

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will simplify the registration process for non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), Deputy Governor R. Gandhi said.
  • The new application forms will be simpler and the number of documents required to be submitted will be reduced. The entire process could be made online for ease, speed and transparency. RBI resumed issuing licences to NBFCs last year.
  • Totally exempting small NBFCs from regulations may not be feasible from the customer service point of view, he said.
  • ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start Up’ businesses could offer fresh opportunities to NBFCs for growth.
  • The deputy governor also said the central bank would come out with a discussion paper on peer-to-peer lending (P2P).
  • P2P is where consumers lend and borrow from each other with the help of an intermediary.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had come up with a discussion paper exploring the securities aspect of the business.
  • However, RBI is yet to come up with its own discussion paper from the lending and borrowing side.The banking regulator will consult SEBI before finalising the norms.

LPG SUBSIDY FOR HIGH INCOME CONSUMERS GOES

  • Oil and Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Parliament that his Ministry is “excluding” people earning more than Rs.10 lakh a year from LPG subsidies.
  • The government has decided to rationalise the subsidy outgo by excluding such LPG consumers from the purview of subsidy, whose or whose spouse have taxable income of Rs.10 lakh above during the previous financial year computed as per the Income Tax Act, 1961 with effect from January 1, 2016.
  • Joint Secretary Ashutosh Jindal said theMinistry had identified about 3 lakh people earning more than Rs.10 lakh a year.

 

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www.rosemaryinstitute.com

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 April 2016 02:53
 

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