Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 -FEBRUARY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 -FEBRUARY - 2016
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 04:01

 

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

09 -FEBRUARY - 2016

 

CIPET SIGNED MOU WITH KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT TO SET UP ADVANCED POLYMER LABORATORY IN BENGALURU

Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET), under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka Government to set up Advanced Polymer Design and Development Research Laboratory cum High Learning Centre at Bengaluru.

The State Government share 50 percent of project cost apart from allotting the required land for the centre.

Union Government will bear the remaining 50 Percent and act as a multi-functional one-step facility with specialization in product development in Polymer sector.

Features of the Advanced Polymer Design and Development Research Laboratory

• The Laboratory would be set with all modern equipment and machinery with an estimated investment of   87 crore rupees.

• It will also conduct Research and development, product tests and evaluations and commercialization of technology.

• It will play an important role in developing new Plastics Technologies, Processes and Products to enhance the use of plastics for promotion of industries and betterment of the people.

• It will establish a strong relationship with industries, especially for design and development of advanced polymers, micro fluidic device development and manufacturing techniques for medical and electronics etc.

• It will also compliment a number of projects of ISRO, DRDO, Department of Science and Technology, CSIR and other public and private sector organizations.

• It would also help India to address various global issues such as requirement of light weight components, nano-composites, high performance coatings, flame retardant polymers, increased use of plastic in agriculture and construction, and tailor-made polymer solution for various industries.

About Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET)

• It is a premier national Institution devoted to Academic, Technology Support and Research (ATR) activities for the growth of Polymer & allied industries in the country.

• It operates on hub and spokes model with 28 locations across the country out of which 5 centers have been added during the year 2015-16.

• It conduct diploma and UG/PG programmes, undertake research, and provide technology support to industry by way of designing , tooling, moulding, testing  quality control etc.

• It has been recognised by Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) as a scientific and research organisation in the field of Plastics Engineering and Technology.

• It has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with several leading International Universities for faculty and student exchange Programs, bilateral Research and Development initiatives and collaborative research projects.

• It has established very good interaction with Regional and National Plastics Associations in India.

PACIFIC RIM NATIONS SIGNED TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

All twelve Pacific Rim countries signed the US-ledTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand. This is one of the biggest trade deals in history.

The ceremonial signing event on the pact was led by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and US Trade Representative Mike Froman at Auckland's Sky City Convention Centre.

The trade deal looks to facilitate investment between 12 countries across the Pacific Rim, which together account for about 40 percent of the global economy. The agreement was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.

The TPP was agreed in October 2015 after five years of negotiations and multiple missed deadlines. The signing of the pact ends the process of negotiation but the member countries have two years to get approval on the deal at home.

The deal was signed even after the US is struggling to get the pact ratified in Congress.

The US-led initiative is a key part of President Barack Obama's so-called pivot to Asia but has proved to be a controversial issue ahead of the US elections in November 2016. Obama has barely a year left on his term and his administration warns that the US economy will suffer if politicians don't ratify the TPP agreement.

SARANGI MAESTRO PANDIT RAM NARAYAN SELECTED FOR BHIMSEN JOSHI AWARD

Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan was selected for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Award for 2015-2016.

Narayan’s selection for the award was announced by Maharashtra's Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde in Mumbai.

About Pandit Ram Narayan

Pandit Ram Narayan popularised the bowed instrument sarangi as a solo concert instrument in Hindustani classical music and became the first internationally successful sarangi player.

In 1944, All India Radio, Lahore, hired him as an accompanist for vocalists.

He moved to Delhi following the partition of India in 1947. However, he moved to Mumbai in 1949 to work in Indian cinema.

He became a concert solo artist in 1956.

He recorded solo albums and began to tour America and Europe in the 1960s.

He was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2005.

About Bhimsen Joshi Award

The Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Award is an annual award, which was instituted by the Maharashtra Government.

It is given to individuals who have excelled in classical vocal or instrumental music.

The award comprises 5 lakh rupees in cash, a trophy and a citation.

INDIA'S FIRST AYURVEDIC ANTI-DIABETIC DRUG, BGR-34, LAUNCHED BY CSIR

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched the BGR-34, the country's first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug for Diabetes. BGR is acronym for blood glucose regulator.

The ayurvedic drug BGR-34 was launched at Kozhikode, Kerala by CSIR's Senior Principal Scientist Dr AKS Rawat as part of the Global Ayurveda Festival in the city.

BGR-34 is designed for type 2 Diabetes mellitus, has been scientifically validated for its efficacy and safety. Priced at 5 rupees per tablet, the medicine is now available at all major chemist counters of Kerala.

The drug works by controlling blood sugar level (anti-hyperglycaemic property) and limiting the harmful effects of other drugs and is not toxic in nature nor carries any side-effects.

The drug was developed by CSIR in collaboration with National Botanical Research Institute and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plant. It was developed as diabetes has become a major threat in the health sector and about 6 crore of adult Indian population has been found to be diabetic and there is no effective solution for the disease yet.

TCS BECAME WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL IT SERVICES BRAND

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced that it has been rated as the World’s Most Powerful Brand in IT Services by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation firm.

Scoring highly on a wide variety of measures such as familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, TCS emerged as the IT services industry's most powerful brand with a score of 78.3 points earning it an AA+ rating.

TCS is also the fastest growing brand within its industry over the last six years. The company’s overall brand value has increased from $2.34 billion US dollars in 2010 (when the first evaluation of the TCS brand was conducted) to 9.04 billion US dollars in 2016, which shows a growth rate of 286 per cent.

Key highlights of Brand Finance Global 500 2016 Report

Disney is the world’s most powerful brand

Despite slowing sales, Apple is the world’s most valuable brand

Volkswagen brand value falls by $12 billion US dollars following emissions scandal

4 of the 10 fastest growing brands are Chinese

Strongest brands’ shares outperform the S&P 500 average

The World’s Most Powerful Brands (Top 10)

Rank

(brand strength)

2016

Rank

(brand value)

2016

Brand

Sector

Domicile

Brand Value

2016

(USDm)

1

24

Walt Disney

Media

US

31,674

2

324

Lego

Toys

Denmark

4,520

3

80

L'Oréal

Conglomerate

France

14,990

4

58

PWC

Commercial Services

US

18,569

5

288

McKinsey

Commercial Services

US

4,881

6

29

Nike

Apparel

US

28,041

7

79

Johnson's

Consumer Products

US

15,115

8

17

Coca-Cola

Soft Drinks

US

34,180

9

72

NBC

Media

US

S 16,103

10

2

Google

Technology

US

94,184

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

The company provides clarity to marketers, brand owners and investors by quantifying the financial value of brands.

It was founded in 1996 by David Haigh.

MANIPURI DOCUMENTARY PHUM-SHANG WON GOLDEN CONCH AWARD AT MIFF 2016

Manipuri documentary film Phum-Shang bagged the prestigious Golden Conch Award for the best documentary film at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films (MIFF 2016).

The film is directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, an alumnus of the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata.

The 52-minute film critically examines the serious environmental problems faced by the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. The lake is characterised by its unique floating biomass, known as Phumdi, which is the primary source of livelihood for fishermen who live on huts built on the Phumdis.

Paban Kumar was presented with the Golden Conch Award and a cash prize of 3 lakh rupees by the Governor of Maharashtra Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao and State Cultural Minister Vinod Tawde at a ceremony in Mumbai.

Swiss film My Name Is Salt and an Indian film Placebo shared the Golden Conch Award for the best feature length documentary film.

My Name Is Salt is directed by Farida Pacha, It is a film about the journey of thousands of families to the Rann of Kutch to extract the whitest salt in the world. The film also won the award for best cinematography.

The story of Placebo revolves around the stress and pressure faced by medical students due to intense competition.

Other awards given at MIFF 2016

Debanjan Nandy’s animation film Chhaya bagged the first prize in the animation category of the international competition.

Mumbai filmmaker Devashish Makhija’s Agli Baar shared the Best Short Fiction Film honours with UK entry Solo Finale by Ingo Putze.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the best debut film by a director went to Far From Home by Copenhagen-based filmmaker Nitesh Anjan.

About MIFF

The first ever Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films was held in 1990.

The biennial festival is conducted with the active collaboration of Government of Maharashtra and the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association. Mumbai is the permanent venue of the festival.

MIFF is one of the most prestigious festival in the documentary, short and animation genre at par with International Film Festivals like Leipzig, Berlin, Oberhausen, Cracow and Tampere etc.

RELIANCE DEFENCE TO SET UP DHIRUBHAI AMBANI CENTRE FOR INNOVATION & RESEARCH IN AEROSPACE IN BENGALURU

Reliance Defence Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, will set up the Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation and Research in Aerospace in Bengaluru.

An announcement in this regard was made by the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani at the Invest Karnataka 2016 summit in Bengaluru.

The centre, the first-ever of its kind in the private sector in India, will be a world class facility for research, development and innovation in aerospace technology. It will generate more than 1500 highly skilled jobs.

The centre will be a knowledge-driven technology venture and will function as a global centre of aerospace excellence.

The setting up of the centre is also in tune with the government’s Indigenous Design, Development and Manufacturing (IDDM) for Defence equipment and Make in India and Skill India initiatives.

DJ PANDIAN APPOINTED VICE PRESIDENT OF ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK

Former chief secretary of Gujarat DJ Pandian was appointed vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

His appointment as vice-president and chief investment officer was approved by AIIB. The retired 1981-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre had worked on deputation with the World Bank in Washington. He was also the MD of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).

The Beijing-based 100 billion dollar multi-lateral lender, AIIB was set up in Beijing on 25 December 2015. It was established to boost lending for infrastructure projects such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.

China had nominated its former finance minister Jin Liqun as the first president of AIIB.

The three largest shareholders of the bank are China (30.34 percent), India (8.52 percent) and Russia (6.66 percent). Their voting shares are calculated at 26.06 percent, 7.5 percent and 5.92 percent, respectively.

UNION GOVERNMENT GRANTED MINIRATNA CATEGORY-I STATUS TO HSCC

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda awarded the certificate of Miniratna Category-I status to Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (I) Ltd (HSCC). The honour was awarded to its CMD Gyanesh Pandey at Nirman Bhawan in New Delhi.

It got the status for its consistency in excellent performance in top and bottom-line growth along with its turnover, particularly for the last five years. These status are granted by the Department of Public Enterprises under Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

HSSC is a Public Sector Enterprise under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare since its inception it has been a profit making organisation. As a result, it attained the Miniratna-II status in 2002.

Criteria to award Miniratna Status

Those CPSEs that have shown profits in the last continuous three years and have positive net worth can be considered eligible for grant of Miniratna status.

These are divided in two catergories – I and II.

Miniratna Category-I

CPSEs should have made profits continuously for the last three years otherwise, it should have earned a net profit of 30 crore rupees or more in one of the three years.

The company boards are entitled to invest up to 500 crore rupees or equal to their net worth, whichever is lower without seeking government permission.

Miniratna Category-II

CPSEs should have made profits for the last three years continuously and should have a positive net worth.

The company boards are entitled to invest up to 300 crore rupees or up to 50 percent of their net worth, whichever is lower without seeking government permission.

INDIA TO PARTICIPATE IN COBRA GOLD 2016 MILITARY EXERCISE IN THAILAND

Cobra Gold: A multilateral amphibious military exercise in Thailand.

The term Cobra Gold was in news as India confirmed its participation in the annual amphibious military exercise in 2016.

The decision in this regard was conveyed to Thailand, the host country, during Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to the country.

About Cobra Gold

• It is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise and held in Thailand every year.

• It is among the largest multinational military exercise in which the United States participates.

• As of 2014, Cobra Gold has three distinct activities, namely, the Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX), Command Post Exercise (CPX) and activity related to assisting the local Thai population.

• It was first held in 1982 to improve coordination between the armed forces of the USA and Thailand in both hostile military and humanitarian efforts.

• As of 2015, the exercise expanded to include 26 nations - Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and other South Asian and Pacific Ocean countries among others.

• China was admitted to the exercise for the first time in 2015.

• The exercise was proven effective in improving coordinated military response to natural disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2011 Tōhoku tsunami, and disaster relief provided to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013.

BHARAT BIOTECH UNVEILED FIRST VACCINE CANDIDATE ZIKAVAC FOR ZIKA VIRUS

Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech claimed that it has achieved a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Bharat Biotech developed world’s first, two promising candidatesZikaVac vaccines for Zika infection.

The company is probably the first in the world to file for global patent for the two vaccines.

One of the possible vaccines is recombinant, which means it is created by genetic engineering, while the other was inactivated, and will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks.

The company announced that it could make available the inactivated vaccine in two years if the Indian Government fast-tracked the regulatory approvals once the pre-clinical trials proved to be successful.

While the recombinant vaccine might take time, the pre-clinical testing of the inactivated vaccine in animals will be completed in five months.

Key facts related to the breakthrough

Bharat Biotech developed the vaccine and pro vaccine candidates.

It filed a patent in July 2015. The company is probably the first in the world to file for global patent for Zika Vaccine candidates.

The company has been working on Zika vaccine for more than 15 months.

The company was able to develop the ZikaVac vaccines because it had earlier successfully developed vaccine on vector borne Chikungunya disease which is also transmitted by Aedes mosquito similar to Zika virus.

About Bharat Bitotech

Bharat Biotech is an Indian Biotechnology company, headquartered at Genome Valley, Hyderabad.

The company was founded by Indian scientist, Krishna Ella.

Bharat Biotech has one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing plants of its kind in Asia-Pacific.

It is the first bio-pharma facility in the country to be audited and approved by Korean Food & Drugs Administration (KFDA).

About Zika virus

Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.

Its name is derived from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.

In humans, the virus causes most often no symptoms or a mild illness known as Zika fever, which since the 1950s has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia.

In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.

There is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission, as well as a stronger one with neurologic conditions in infected adults, including cases of the Guillain–Barré syndrome.

In January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel guidance on affected countries.

On 2 February 2016, Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed the first case of transmission in the United States.

On 1 February 2016, World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

CANADIAN PROVINCE OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND & ONTARIO SIGNED MOUS IN CHANDIGARH

Canadian Provinces of Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Ontario inked Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in Chandigarh. The MoUs were inked during the India visit of the premiers of PEI and Ontario Wade MacLauchlan and Kathleen Wynne respectively.

MacLauchlan and Wynne were leading a week-long trade mission to India with a focus on building economic and education relationships between the two nations. During the visit the duo premiers met with several leaders of India like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Ministers.

The meetings were focused on cultivating relationships with India in renewable energy, sustainable development, food products, and post-secondary education.

The MoUs which were signed during the visit includes

MoU to facilitate exchanges of faculty and students and collaboration on research and programming was signed by University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) with Chitkara University and the Punjab Agricultural University.

MoU to send apples grown in eastern Prince Edward Island to markets in India and Asia was signed between the province and Canadian Nectar products.

The Premier and Economic Development and Tourism Minister, Heath MacDonald, who announced that they intend to open their first North American office in Prince Edward Island beginning this spring, and creating new skilled jobs. It was announced when MacDonald met with leaders from software company Aark Infosoft - based in Ahmedabad.

UN PANEL RULED JULIAN ASSANGE’S FORCED STAY IN EMBASSY AS ARBITRARY DETENTION

  • A United Nations panel ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s three-and-a-half year forced-stay in the Ecuadorean embassy in London is a case of “arbitrary detention” and a “deprivation of liberty” and that he should be allowed to walk free.
  • In the light of their investigation and findings, the widely respected UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, considered the highest international legal authority on detention, called upon the governments of Britain and Sweden to “assess the situation of Mr. Assange, to ensure his safety and physical integrity.”
  • Also “To facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner, and to ensure the full enjoyment of his rights guaranteed by the international norms on detention.”
  • Mr. Assange, who faces ex- tradition to Sweden over a rape charge, which he denies, claimed asylum in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in 2012.
  • But Britain and Sweden said they would continue to seek the arrest and extradi- tion of Mr. Assange.
  • Both governments adhere to the view, that in this case, domestic law takes precedence over international law.

FIRST CASE TO BE DECIDED UNDER NEW JUVENILE LAW

  • A decision will soon be taken by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on whether a 17 year-old boy, who is accused of committing two murders in Delhi in five months, will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult.
  • As per the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, the boy could be tried as an adult if the board assesses him mentally and physically capable of committing the heinous offences and as having the ability to understand their consequences.
  • The boy, who will turn 18next month, was first apprehended last September on charge of kidnapping a 13- year-old boy for ransom and killing him later.
  • He was released on bail in November, but the same boy allegedly robbed and killed a 65-year-old woman in Delhi’s Lodhi Colony lastSaturday.
  • If he ends up being tried as an adult, his will be among the first such major case in Delhi after the much-debated law was passed in December and approved by the President on the last day of 2015.

BASMATI RICE ALL SET TO GET GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION TAG

  • The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) ordered issue of the ‘Geographical Indication’ tag for basmati rice grown in the Indo-Gangetic Plains on the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • The order comes seven years after the application was made.
  • The application has been mired in litigation after farmers and exporters and Madhya Pradesh wanted to be included in the list of States approved by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the statutory body responsible for export promotion and development of certain scheduled products.
  • In 2014-15, India exported 37 lakh MT of Basmati Rice to the world worth Rs. 27,597.87 crore and is the world’s leading exporter of the rice, according to APEDA.
  • India exports a major quantity of basmati rice to Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait.

GEAC PUT ON HOLD DECISION ON GM MUSTARD

  • Amid growing out-rage by farmer groups and green activists against commercialisation of the country’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop, mustard, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) decided to put on hold any decision on it for now.
  • The GEAC, the apex body to accord approval for large scale use and commercial release of genetically modified organisms in India, discussed safety issues of GM mustard’s application, but refrained from taking a final decision.
  • It would at least be a couple of months before the trial and safety data, which ran into nearly 4,000 pages, could become ready to be publicly available.

U.S. PRESIDENT ASSURED NARENDRA MODI TO LOK INTO VISA ISSUES

  • U.S. President Barack Obama has assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his administration would soon look into India’s concerns over the recent move to increase visa fees.
  • The Act, among other things, increased the fees for certain H1B and L1 applicants.
  • After the increase, the fees for certain categories of H1B and L1 visas have more than doubled.
  • According to Nasscom, the IT/ITeS industry body, the decision’s financial impact on the Indian technology sector would be around $400 million a year.
  • India (Indian tech firms) will be the most affected by the decision as it is the largest user of H1B visas (67.4 per cent of the total 161,369 visas issued in FY14 went to Indians), and is also among the largest users of L1 visas (Indians received 28.2 per cent of the 71,513 L1 visas issued in FY14).
  • The CII, an industry body, had said the visa fee in- crease was discriminatory and punitive and was aimed at India and Indian-centric technology companies.
  • Issues related to tightening of the visa and immigration regime and the fear-monger- ing about American jobs going to foreigners have been part of the political rhetoric before presidential elections in the U.S.

INDIAN TRUCKS CROSS FREELY INTO NEPAL

  • Residents and traders in southern Nepal dismantled tents and roadblocks set up by protesters at a key border crossing, allowing trucks to cross freely from India for the first time in four months.
  • More than 50 people have died in an agitation against Nepal's first republican constitution led by minority Madhesis, who say the charter ignores their demands for a united homeland and greater say in the running of the Himalayan nation.
  • A prolonged blockade mounted by southern lowlanders on the “Friendship Bridge” linking the Nepali town of Birgunj with Raxaul in Bihar had caused acute fuel shortages and spurred smuggling along the porous border.
  • People in Birgunj madhesis and Raxaul had cleared tents pitched on the bridge by protesters from the Madhesi minority.
  • Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Oli has appeared increasingly isolated by the protests and faced criticism from India over the tough line taken by the authorities against them . The lifting of the blockade may signal the stand-of is easing.

UNITED NATIONS URGED COUNTRIES HIT BY ZIKA VIRUS TO LET WOMEN HAVE ACCESS TO ABORTION

  • The United Nations urged countries hit by the dangerous Zika virus to let women have access to contraception and abortion.
  • The UN human rights office said the South American countries now urging women to hold of getting pregnant over Zika fears had to ofer them the possibility of controlling their fertility.
  • An exploding number of cases of Zika virus – believed to cause a condition called microcephaly in which babies are born with abnormally small heads – have prompted several countries and territories in Latin America to warn women to avoid getting pregnant.
  • But UN human rights chief UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said this warning meant little in countries that ban or heavily restrict access to reproductive health services like contraception and abortion.

FM SAYS INDIA HAS POTENTIAL TO GROW AT FASTER PACE

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India remained one of the fastest- growing economies in the world despite the global economy remaining uncertain.There was still potential for India to grow at a faster pace, he added.
  • “All the major economic organisations, including IMF, have predicted low growth for the world economy in the coming year,” Mr. Jaitley said.
  • “These developments have implications on India’s economy as our ex- ports are also affected.
  • How- ever, the silver lining is low international commodity and oil prices which, in turn, have helped in a better macroeconomic situation in the country,” he said
  • Regarding the fiscal deficit, Mr. Jaitley said that the government was on track to meet the 3.9 per cent of GDP target set for the financial year.
  • “This was the first time thatthe real expenditure amount was higher than the budget proposal. This year we have spent more but still we will very well manage our deficit targets.
  • During 2016-17, the government had to make provision for around Rs. 1.10 lakh crore to meet the liabilities on account of implementation of Seventh PayCommission recommendations and One Rank One Pen- sion (OROP) Scheme.
  • One major suggestion by the Committee regarding taxation was to raise the tax ex- emption limit for middle and salaried class from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh.
  • In addition, greater emphasis is to be laid on widening the tax base and punishing tax evaders.
  • The Committee also suggested that the threshold limit for mandatory PAN card requirement for transaction be raised to Rs.5 lakh and above from the current limit of Rs.2 lakh and above.
  • Further, it was suggested that the service tax exemption limit be raised from Rs.10 lakh to Rs.25 lakh.
  • Other important suggestions made by the Committee included more allocations for agriculture sector and the set- ting-up of an Indian Council for Veterinary Research (ICVR) to boost to milk production.
  • Another suggestion was to bring in more clarity to and awareness about the government’s new crop insurance schemes.

D. J. PANDIAN NAMED AS CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK

  • D. J. Pandian, a former bureaucrat known for holding a string of key positions with the Government of Gujarat, has been appointed as one of the five Vice-Presidents of the newly-established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • Dr. Pandian has been appointed as the Chief Investment officer (CIO) of the lender, whose role is to focus on infrastructure development in Asia.
  • The CIO would be “leading the planning and supervision of the bank’s in- frastructure investment,”.

 

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 04:37
 

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