30th June 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Recent Approvals by Central government

  • Cabinet approves 7th Pay Commission recommendations with 34 changes, to benefit 48 lakh employees
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Israel on National Campaign for Water Conservation in India
  • Cabinet approves signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between India and the United States of America on Homeland Security
  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for development of six laning of Chakeri-Allahabad section of National Highway (NH) – 2 in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Union Cabinet has given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries based on the recommendations of Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment (CGD)

New training program ‘COMMIT’ for State Government officials

  • The objective of this training program is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact on a day to day basis.
  • COMMIT is cost effective and has the potential to cover about 3.3 lakh officials annually, compared to 10,000 officials under existing 12-Day Induction Training Program (ITP).
  • COMMIT will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal initially on pilot basis during the current financial year 2017-18 and within next year it is expected to cover all India level.

Aadhaar-PAN linking mandatory from 1 July

  • Government has issued notification to all those who have Permanent Account Number(PAN) should link to  their existing Aadhar card from July 1 in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 139AA.
  • Under the Finance Act for 2017-18 both Aadhar card and PAN became mandatory  for filing tax returns, opening of Bank accounts and financial transactions over Rs.50000.n
  • The 12-digit identification number or Aadhaar enrolment ID is compulsory for those who are applying for new PAN.
  • After verification of details from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the linking will be confirmed.

International Current Affairs

US issues new visa criteria for six Muslim nations

  • Trump administration set new criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim nations and all refugees that require a close family or business tie to the United States.
  • The move came after the US Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.
  • Instructions issued by the US State Department say that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible.
  • The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations who are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.
  • Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationship.
  • As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department has insisted on a legitimate relationship that is formal and documented.

Business & Economy

Government issues notification, countdown begins for GST Rollout

  • Union Government has notified roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, 2017. GST will replace 16 current levies (7 central taxes and 9 state taxes), consequentially creating India as one market with one tax rate.
  • Finance ministry has set up a war room where government officials can find solutions to urgent queries related to problems on GST.
  • The GST feedback and war room is equipped with multiple phone lines and computer systems. It will be operative from 8 am to 10 pm.
  • GST war room will act as a quick resource centre for central and state government officials to address their queries.

India becomes 1st country to give to UN Tax Fund with $100000 contribution

  • India has contributed $100,000 to UN Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UN Tax Fund)and has thereby become the first country to make the contribution.
  • The UN Tax Trust Fund aims to support the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (the UN Tax Committee).
  • Voluntary contributions for the fund have been called for by the UN and the committee since its establishment in 2006.
  • The contribution to UN Tax Fund is dedicated towards ensuring greater support for developing countries’ participation in the sub-committee meetings of the UN Tax Committee, which are currently unfunded.
  • UN Tax Committee, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC), has provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services.

MSME Corporation with Rs 100 cr launched in Andhra Pradesh

  • Around 15 acres would be allotted for MSME bhavan in Amaravati for research, development and training programs.
  • MSME bhavans would be constructed in all the 175 Assembly constituencies and Industrial Promotion Councils are being set up, headed by a Minister, in all the districts.
  • MSME parks would be developed in 100 to 150 acres of land at various districts. Chief Minister asked Small and Medium entrepreneurs to extend a helping hand to SC,ST, BC and minorities to grow as entrepreneurs.

Govt. unveils new hydrocarbon policy

  • The new policy is expected to open up 8 million square kilometres of sedimentary basins to exploration and production activities.
  • OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government.
  • Initially the applications and related bids for the blocks would be held twice a year —in January and July — thereafter it would become more frequent as the industry becomes used to the new model.

BHEL signs pact with Japanese firm for manufacturing coaches for metro trains

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL)has made an agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (KHI) of Japan for manufacturing of stainless steel coaches and bogies for metros.
  • This technology collaboration agreement will be helpful to establishing design, engineering and manufacturing facilities at BHEL.
  • BHEL used to supply diesel locomotives, EMUS, electric and propulsion system for Indian Railways.
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries manufactures heavy equipment/products and its Rolling Stock Company has supplied EMU (Metro/Commuter) train sets to various countries like US, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong etc.

People in News

Trump picks Indian American Krishna R. Urs to be ambassador to Peru

  • Donald Trump has nominated Indian American Krishna R. Urs to be the ambassador to Peru after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama`
  • Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs can speak Spanish, Hindi and Telugu.
  • Urs has specialized in economic issues and has developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.

Awards

Adi Godrej, Andrew Liveris bag USIBC Global Leadership Awards

  • Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej and Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveries bag Global Leadership Awards of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) for their role in integrating India in the global supply chain.
  • Both were honored for creating inclusive business environments and their advancing skills in manufacturing, innovation and scale in tough market conditions.

Science & Technology

ISRO’s GSAT-17 successfully launched from French Guiana

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s latest communication satellite GSAT-17 was successfully launched on board Ariane space rocket from Kourou in French Guiana
  • GSAT-17 with a lift-off mass of about 3477 kg carried payloads in normal C-band, extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services.
  • It also carried equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites.
  • GSAT -17 was approved in May 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 1013 crore, including its launch fee and insurance.

China commissions biggest new generation destroyer ship for its navy

  • Chinese Navy’s new destroyer, a domestically designed and produced vessel, was launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group), Shanghai.
  • The vessel is the first of China’s new generation of destroyers.
  • It is equipped with new air defence, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.
  • The biggest naval destroyer was an addition to two aircraft carriers which China is in the process of deploying to compete with other naval powers liked the US and India, especially in the India Ocean

Petya ransomware attack hits India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port

  • A new cyber attack similar to WannaCry has hit a terminal operated by AP Moller-Maersk at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
  • Owing to the attack, Gateway Terminal India, can’t identify which shipment belongs to whom.
  • The attack is being carried out by the Petya virus, with users being told to pay $300 in crypto currency per infected computer to unlock their systems.

NASA completes milestone toward quieter Supersonic X-Plane

  • NASA has achieved a significant milestone in its effort to make supersonic passenger jet travel over land a real possibility by completing the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design.
  • QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD)experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.
  • Recently senior experts and engineers from NASA and the Lockheed Martin Corporation concluded that the QueSST design is capable of fulfilling the LBFD aircraft’s mission objective to fly at supersonic speeds, but create a soft thump instead of the disruptive sonic boom associated with supersonic flight.

Sports Current Affairs

 Kidambi Srikanth climbs up three spots to re-enter top-10 of badminton rankings

  • India’s top badminton player Kidambi Srikanth broke back into the top-10 at eighth in the latest World Badminton Rankings.
  • By winning successive titles at Indonesian Open and Australian Open, Kidambi Srikanth now has 58,583 points in his kitty.
  • Among other Indian male shuttlers, B Sai Praneeth has moved up a position to be 15th, while Ajay Jayaram lost a spot to be 16th.
  • In women’s singles, PV Sindhu dropped to be world no. 5, while Sania Nehwal has gained a spot to be at 15th.
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