Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 08 -FEBRUARY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 08 -FEBRUARY - 2016
Monday, 08 February 2016 03:17

 

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

08 -FEBRUARY - 2016

 

MAJOR GENERAL MENON TO HEAD UNITED NATIONS DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE

Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India was appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). His appointment was announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Menon succeeds Lieutenant General Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal, who will complete his assignment on 7 February 2016.

Menon brings to his new position extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping affairs at the national and international levels.

Earlier between 2012 and 2013, he was General Officer, Commanding of an Infantry Division. He also held a number of other command positions, including Commandant of the Regimental Training Centre, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander.

He had served at international level at different positions like in 1993 as Military Observer in the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) and from 2007 to 2009 at United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

About United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established on 31 May 1974 by Security Council resolution 350 (1974), following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan.

Since then, UNDOF has remained in the area to maintain the ceasefire between the Israeli and Syrian forces and to supervise the implementation of the disengagement agreement.

UNION GOVERNMENT SET UP TWO PANELS TO REFORM TAX POLICIES

The Union Government set up two new committees in order to bring coherence and streamline the direct and indirect tax policy and administration.

The two new panels are:

Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU)

Tax Policy Council (TPC)

Key highlights of Tax Policy Council

The TPC will be headed by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

It will suggest broad policy measures for taxation based on inputs from the TPRU.

The Council will be advisory in nature, which will help the Government in identifying key policy decisions for taxation.

The TPC will have nine members: Minister of State for Finance, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Commerce Minister, Chief Economic Advisor and Finance Secretary. It will also have secretaries from the department of Revenue, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Ministry of Commerce.

Key highlights of Tax Policy Research Unit

The TPRU will be a multi-disciplinary body to examine and analyse any fiscal or tax policy referred by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

It will prepare and disseminate policy papers and background papers on various taxation issues.

TPRU will comprise of officers from CBDT, CBEC as well as economists, statisticians, researchers and legal experts. The new committees are a follow up of Parthasarthy Shome panel recommendations on tax reforms.

KERALA WON 61ST NATIONAL SCHOOL ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP

Kerala won the 61st National School Athletics championship. The national School Athletics championship was held at Olympian Rahman Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala from 29 January 2016 to 2 February 2016.

This is for the 19th consecutive time Kerala becomes the champions in the event. Kerala, the host of the championship got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals.

On the other hand, Tamil Nadu stood at second position with 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals. Maharashtra with 101 points gained the third position.

SC APPOINTED LODHA COMMITTEE TO SELL PACL'S ASSETS

Supreme Court appointed a committee under former Chief Justice RM Lodha to sell assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL) and refund 49 thousand crore rupees to the investors.

The investors invested in the firm’s collective investment scheme (CIS) that was deemed illegal by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

A bench headed by Justice Anil Dave said that the title deeds of various lands belonging to PACL should be handed over by the CBI to the SEBI. The court in its direction said that SEBI will take appropriate steps to ensure their sale.

It also directed the panel to decide on the modalities of sale, but hinted it would be via auction.

It also directed the PACL not to accept any deposit from the public and restrained any court from interfering with sale proceedings. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 2 August 2016.

Earlier, the SEBI passed a refund order against the various group companies of PACL after finding them guilty of illegitimately pooling funds from the public through a collective investment scheme.

The plea was filed by PACL Customers and Employees Association seeking a direction to the SEBI to initiate proceedings against PACL for allegedly swindling around 500 crore rupees from various investors in Kerala.

ALPHABET INC. BECAME WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE COMPANY

Shares of Alphabet Inc. opened nearly 3 percent higher to become the world's most valuable public company, replacing Apple Inc.

The shift occurred in extended trading of 1 February 2016 after Alphabet released a fourth-quarter earnings report that highlighted the robust growth of the digital ad market.

At after-hours levels (which technically reflect an indication, but not the real-world value) of 1 February 2016, Alphabet's market cap hit about 570 billion US dollars, eclipsing Apple's market cap of roughly 535 billion US dollars. Shares of Apple opened down nearly 1 percent on 2 February 2016.

Alphabet Inc. earned 4.9 billion US dollars on revenue of 21.3 billion US dollars in the fourth quarter.

About Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate created in 2015 as the parent company of Google and several other companies previously owned by or tied to Google.

The company is based in California and headed by Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The reorganization of Google into Alphabet was completed on 2 October 2015.

Following the restructuring, Page became CEO of Alphabet while Sundar Pichai took his position as CEO of Google.

Shares of Google's stock have been converted into Alphabet stock, which trade under Google's former ticker symbols of GOOG andGOOGL.

TITLI BECAME FIRST INDIAN FILM TO WIN BEST FIRST FOREIGN FILM AWARD BY FSCC

Indian film-maker Kanu Behl directorial Titli bagged the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC).

Titli has earlier won at various international film festivals at places like Bordeaux, Hawaii, New York, Turkey and Spain.

About Titli

Titli is a 2015 Bollywood drama film written and directed by Kanu Behl, co-produced by Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt. Ltd and Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films.

It features actors Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shashank Arora, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi in the lead roles.

The story of the movie revolves around Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, who plots a desperate bid to escape the family business.

About French Syndicate of Cinema Critics

The French Syndicate of Cinema Critics awards four prestigious prizes each year including Best French Film, Best International Film, Best First Foreign Film and Best Short Film.

It also organizes each year the International Critics' Week, the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival.

AMITABH BACHCHAN CONFERRED WITH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was presented with the lifetime achievement award in New Delhi.

He received the honour at NDTV Indian of the Year Awards for his contribution to the film industry.

About Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan

• He was born on 11 October 1942.

• He is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the angry young man of Hindi cinema.

• He started his career in 1969 film Saat Hindustani followed by Anand, Guddi, Zanjeer, Sholay among others.

• He also made his Hollywood debut with Baz Luhrmann's film The Great Gatsby, in which he played a Jewish character.

• He won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards as Best Actor.

• He shares a record with Kamal Hassan and Mammootty.

• He won a number of awards at international film festivals and award ceremonies and fifteen Filmfare Awards.

• He is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 39 nominations overall.

• Apart from National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards and other competitive awards which he won for his performances throughout the years, he has been awarded several honours for his achievements in the Indian film industry.

• In 1991, he became the first artist to receive the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award which was established in the name of Raj Kapoor.

ARUNA SETHI APPOINTED AS FIRST WOMEN HEAD OF INDIAN COST ACCOUNTING SERVICE

Aruna Sethi, the Principal Adviser (Cost), took over charge as the head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS). With this appointment, she became the first woman to occupy the post.

Prior to the present elevation, Aruna, a 1985 batch ICoAS officer, held important portfolios in Government of India including Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Defence etc.

About Indian Cost Accounts Service

• It is one of the six organized accounting services of the Government of India.

• It is comparatively young accounting service constituted in 1978.

• The ICoAS Officers have the requisite skill by virtue of their professional background and experience gained in managing the multifarious and complex issues relating to financial and cost management matters.

• Office of Chief Adviser Cost is one of the divisions functioning in the Department of Expenditure.

• It is a professional body staffed by qualified Cost/ Chartered Accountants.

• This Office is responsible for advising the Ministries and Government Undertakings on cost accounts matters and to undertake cost investigation work on their behalf.

GOVT IS LIKELY TO MAKE BIG DISINVESTMENT

  • The big thrust areas of Union Budget 2016-17, will be the agriculture and transport sectors and big-ticket disinvestment, including strategicsales in high-value companies such as Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), and oiland defence public sectorunits (PSUs) such as Oil andNatural Gas Corporation(ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL).
  • Mr. Jaitley will also announce in his budget speech a new centrally sponsored scheme forirrigation.
  • On the expenditure side,the big outgo will be on account of the implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission recommendationsfor pay and pension hikes with effect from January 1, 2016
  • Mr. Jaitley will present the budget in Parliament on February 29.
  • To meet the fiscal deficittarget, the government willrely on proceeds from disinvestment for which the budget will set ambitious targets

LOSS MAKING PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS TO BE WINDED UP

  • A two-year road map for three types of sales of government stake in PSUs.
  • First, a plan for windingup loss-making units, including rules for the disposal of their assets and land.Passage next month of thenew bankruptcy code byParliament during the bud-get session, it is expected,will aid these sales
  • Second,profitable PSUs will be list-ed on stock exchangesthrough public sales of shares.
  • The government’s shareholding in enterprisesalready listed will be pareddown through public offers to the minimum level depending on the sector and“in line with governmentpolicy.
  • The third categorywill be that of strategic sales of high-value and big-sizecompanies such as BHEL,and the oil and defense sector PSUs.
  • Based on inputs received from private investors, the government is finalising anew revenue model for irrigation projects to be developed in the public-privatepartnership space, whichwill bring down the down-stream user charges forfarmers.
  • This technology-intensive concept will beselectively applied to high-yield, plantation and commercial crops.
  • The Centre has already opened up 100% FDIunder the automatic routein rolling stock, services, catering and the developmentand running of passenger terminals.
  • Measures are likely for addressing delaysin land acquisition in various States that is leading to stalled rail projects.

TEN SOLDIERS DIED IN SIACHEN’S AVALANCHE

  • The 10 soldiers trapped in ice after an avalanche on the Siachen glacier were declared dead
  • The soldiers belong to the Madras regiment of the Army and have been posted there recently.
  • Avery large rescue team has been deployed to reach down to the swamped Army post. The rescuers are working at extremely low temperatures hovering between -25 to -45 degrees putting their lives at risk.
  • The major avalanche struck the Army post in Northern Siachen Glacier located at a height of 19600 feet
  • The Indian Army has been controlling the dominant heights of the glacier, the world’s highest battlefield, since occupying it in April 1984 under Operation Meghdoot pre-empting Pakistan’s move which controls heights at the lower altitudes.

SUPREME COURT TOLD BCCI TO ACCEPT RECOMMENDATIONS OF LODHA COMMITTEE

  • Describing the Justice R.M. Lodha Committeereport on overhaul of BCCI as“straightforward, rational and understandable”, the Supreme Court sternly advised the cricketbody to “fall in line” with therecommendations and save itself further trouble.
  • Mr. Naphaderepresenting BCCI said the recommendations had to be firstdeliberated with its 30 members and implementation ofthese sweeping reforms in fullwould give rise to “all sorts ofcomplications.”
  • The Justice Lodha reporthad been distributed amongmembers and a meeting of its legal committee fixed for February 7.

50% QUOTA FOR WOMEN IN PANCHAYATS PLANNED

  • Minister for RuralDevelopment and PanchayatiRaj, has said the government would bepushing a Constitutionalamendment, first cleared bythe UPA Cabinet, to increasereservation for women inpanchayats from 33 per cent to 50 per cent in the budgetsession of Parliament.
  • Though someStates have provided 50% reservation to women in panchayats, the government will,through the ConstitutionalAmendment, ensure that it isimplemented in the wholecountry.
  • Though someStates have provided 50% reservation to women in panchayats, the government will,through the ConstitutionalAmendment, ensure that it isimplemented in the whole country.
  • Among the States that al-ready follow 50% reservationfor women in Panchayati RajInstitutions (PRIs) are Bihar,Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

INDIA AND RUSSIA FORMS WORKING GROUP TO BUILD COMPONENTS FOR NUCLEAR PLANTS IN INDIA

  • In a move that could become a model for countries keen on a share of India’s civil nuclear energy pie, India and Russia have set up a working group to locally build components for nuclear power plants of Russian design.
  • This is based on the Action Programme signed between Rosatom and the Department of Atomic Energy of India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow in December 2015.
  • Rosatom, as part of its plans for expanding its global footprint, is in the process of opening its regional office for South Asia office in Mumbai.
  • The Action Programme includes areas of cooperation in the field of joint machinery production, especially for nuclear power plants, as well as cooperation in the field of joint development, mastering and technological support of the implementation of end-to-end production technologies of products for heavy and power engineering industries.
  • The three joint working groups, set up under the Indo-Russian Coordinating Committee on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy established in December 2014, are on the nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear CM energy and scientific-technical cooperation.
  • The localisation plans are part of the government’s efforts to build manufacturing in the country under its ambitions Make in India initiative.
  • Russia is currently building six reactors in Kudankulam of which the first unit was commissioned in autumn 2013. It was shut for the first scheduled preventive maintenance (SPM) and has now successfully restarted power generation.

INDIA RATIFIES PACT ON NUCLEAR COMPENSATION

  • Five years after signing the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), India ratified the convention, the IAEA’s Office of Public Information and Communication reported from Vienna.
  • The CSC is a convention that allows for increasing the compensation amount in the event of a nuclear incident through public funds pooled in by contracting parties based on their own installed nuclear capacities.
  • It entered into force on April 15, 2015.
  • India had also passed its own domestic nuclear liability law, the Civil Law for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act in 2010.
  • Countries such as the U.S. have said that the Indian law’s provisions are violative of the CSC, but this has been denied by India.

BREAKDOWN IN TALKS FOR SYRIA

  • The U.S. demanded that Russia immediately halt its bombing campaign in Syria after a bitter breakdown in peace talks ex- posed the deep rift between world powers aiming to end the five-year conflict.
  • On the ground, nearly 40,000 people have fled an offensive this week by President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime north of the city of Aleppo.
  • Mr. Assad’s forces also entered two Shia villages that were under siege by rebels.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Moscow to halt its bombing of the Syrian op- position in what he said was a “robust” phone call with Rus- sian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
  • Meanwhile, aconference of donor nations raised $11 billion for Syrian humanitarian needs over the next four years.
  • Mr. Cameron told a news conference that donors had pledged $6 billion for this year alone, and a further $5 billion to be spent by 2020.

SRI LANKAN ANTHEM IN TAMIL CREATES PROBLEM

  • Sri Lanka celebrated its 68th Independence Day with a difference. The official event, held on the Galle Face Green here, had both Sinhala and Tamil versions of the national anthem rendered.
  • However, the government’s move has triggered a debate on its constitutional validity.
  • However critics say there has to be a constitutional amendment in view of the provisions in Article 7 and the Third Schedule of the 1978 Constitution, dealing with the national anthem.

CRUCIAL BILLS AT STAKE IN BUDGET SESSION

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expects the joint committee of Parliament studying the insolveny and bankruptcy code will submit its report by the first week of March, with passage of the reform legislation possible during the Budget session scheduled to begin February 23.
  • He also expressed the hope that the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill meant for the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would al- so be passed in the Budget session itself.
  • Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha stressed upon prioritising the pro- vision of universal pension security including income security, health and life insurance and taking advantage of the large number of young people in the country who would otherwise become dependent on the State and society in the old age.
  • He said that he believed in the philosophy to em- power Indians with tools and knowledge to take ownership of their own retirement.
  • The NIIF would be the major driving force for investments in to India’s infrastructure 2016-17 onwards and can emerge as a major vehicle for bringing in foreign investment for infrastructure.

IT SERVICES EXPORTS TO CROSS $100 BILLION

  • IT industry body Nasscom said that India’s IT services exports would cross the $100 billion mark in 2015-16 and the sector would clock double digit growth in 2016-17.
  • The optimism comes despite concerns about the impact of the election campaign in the United States, which accounts for half of India’s IT exports and the rise of protectionism in Europe and the U.K.
  • The IT sector, which India’s largest private sectoremployer, is likely to add two lakh new jobs this year, taking its employee strength to 3.7 million.
  • It expects another two lakh new jobs in 2016-17 with an expected 10 per cent to 12 per cent growth in exports at the present currency valuations.

CABINET NOD LIKELY FOR SCRAPING OLD VEHICLES

  • The government is working on a plan to phase out old vehicles from the roads and the policy frame- work will be soon sent to the Cabinet for approval.
  • The auto industry has been demanding a uniform policy in this regard for a long time.
  • Scrapping of old vehicles will not only create a market for new vehicles but also help in reducing the pollution to some extent.
  • With the government pushing for introducing of BS-VI emission norms by 2020, Mr. Gadkari told the automakers not to worry about the availability of suitable fuel but focus on developing engines to meet the guidelines.
  • Automobile manufacturers have expressed doubts on whether BS-VI compatible fuel would be available in time as the entire country is yet to be covered by BS-IV, although it was introduced in 2010.

SOUTH ASIAN GAMES STARTED AT GUWAHATI AND SHILLONG

  • The 12th South Asian Games will be launched with pomp and grandeur at the Indira Gandhi stadium, Sarurasajai, Guwahati.
  • Originally scheduled to be back in 2012, the prestigious multi-discipline event encompassing competitions in 23 disciplines and 241 events well be held across two cities — Shillong and Guwahati.
  • From a historical perspective, the South Asian Games were established as a movement to foster peace and friendship through regular sporting contact between athletes from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and current host India.
  • The first edition was held in Kathmandu in 1984.
  • This is the third time India will host the Games, after Kolkata in 1987 and Chennai in 1995,and it will have hopes of continuing with its overall dominance across venues for a twelfth straight time.

 

 

When we know what we are passionate about, only then we can reach our full potential. If you think about the words job and passion, which one would you rather spend your time on?

• Tapping into the power of passion is essential to being able to accomplish what you want with yourself and with your company.

• Getting others to feel that same passion and add their personal passions is what energizes a group of people to greatness.

• It is released when the people are "emotionally and intellectually excited by the firm's vision and values." Passion is a much more powerful energy than that fear, dread, or boredom.

A job has become synonymous with drudgery, a drag; something you have--not want--to do, and it drains your energy. Having a passion for your work is energizing, something you are looking forward to, that you cannot wait to dive into to, and it makes you happy. When passion is strong and it is identified and understood, it is possible to harness that energy to create great things and have a big impact in the world. This is true on all levels of our world--individual, family, company, national and world (although we have yet to reach this ideal so far).

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
‪#‎RAY‬ - ‪#‎Empowering‬ ‪#‎Talent‬ ‪#‎Since‬ 1971
www.rosemaryinstitute.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 03:58
 

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