Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 01 - JULY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 01 - JULY - 2016
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Friday, 01 July 2016 05:37

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

01- JULY - 2016

 

WORLD BANK RELEASES INDIA DEVELOPMENT UPDATE 2016

The World Bank Group released the mid-year edition of India Development Update 2016: Financing Double-Digit Growth. The report finds that India’s economy expanded at a faster pace in FY 2016.

It says that the economy was lifted to a higher growth path by demand from urban households and public investments, despite the fact that other key growth engines had stalled.

Highlights of the Update

• It reviews the current challenges in India’s financial sector and analyzes some of the impacts of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission on Indian states.

• Agriculture, rural household consumption, private investments, and exports have not performed to potential.

• The oil bonanza most directly benefited the government, which for the first time in five years exceeded its revenue collection targets and used the resources to contain the fiscal deficit.

• Capital spending by the central government was ramped up.

• Urban households were the main drivers of growth in FY 2016.

• The manufacturing and services sectors, which expanded 7.4 and 8.9 percent, respectively, also created urban jobs.

• Inflation abated primarily because of lower food prices.

• Lower inflation raised real incomes and allowed RBI to cut interest rates, which favored the financially-connected urban households.

• To remain on this growth path and sustain growth at 7.6 percent into FY17, the challenge for the Indian economy is to activate the stalled engines that are agricultural growth, rural demand and trade.

• The dissipation of the large boost from historically low oil prices in the past year will make this a challenging task, but prospects of a normal monsoon will help, the Update suggests.

• It expects India’s economic growth to be at 7.6 percent in 2016-2017, followed by a modest acceleration to 7.7 percent in 2017-2018 and 7.8 percent in 2018-2019.

• In less than three decades, India’s financial sector has evolved from an essentially state-controlled system toward one with greater participation of private banks and generally more competition.

• Banks currently have capital levels in excess of regulatory requirements, regulations have been strengthened, and overall credit growth in real terms has been resilient.

• On the other hand, concerns have arisen about growing non-performing assets (NPAs) and declining credit growth, particularly in public sector banks (PSBs).

• States are now responsible for 57 percent of the spending, which accounts for 16 percent of GDP. Of this, nearly 74 percent of the funds are untied, allowing more flexibility to states.

• Tax devolution increased everywhere, even for states that saw a reduction in their inter-state share, such as Bihar and Rajasthan.

• Overall, transfer of grants to states increased by 0.7 percent of GDP in FY16 compared to the budget estimate of a net increase of 0.5 percent.

• Health and education expenditures increased in almost every state in FY16.

• Combined health and education expenditures increased in 13 of the 14 states for which data was available.

• Uttar Pradesh spent over one-third of its additional resources on health and education.  Rajasthan and Kerala stood out by spending the equivalent of over 70 percent of additional resources on health, education and infrastructure.

Two Key Reform Fronts for the Financial Sector

The Update suggests two key reform fronts for the financial sector. These are:

• First, accelerate the ongoing structural transformation of the sector toward one that is more market-oriented and competitive, for example relaxing government mandates on banks.

• Second, address the NPA challenge, both by its branches and its roots.

SOFTBANK GROUP NAMES KEN MIYAUCHI AS PRESIDENT AND COO

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank named Ken Miyauchi, head of the group's Japanese telecommunications operations, as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The appointment came after Nikesh Arora had abruptly resigned from his position after it became clear that Chairman and CEO Masayoshi wanted to remain at the helm longer than first planned.

Who is Ken Miyauchi?

Before being named as President and COO of SoftBank, Ken Miyauchi led the Japanese telecommunications operations.

He held 1101230 shares of SBG as of 31 March 2016.

He joined SOFTBANK Corp. Japan in October 1984.

About SoftBank

SoftBank Group Corporation is a Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation.

It was established in Tokyo, Japan, on 3 September 1981.

As of 2015, SoftBank was the 62nd largest company in the world based on a composite of sales, profit, assets and market value.

PAYPAL APPOINTS ANUPAM PAHUJA AS INDIA COUNTRY MANAGER AND MD

World’s leading payments platform PayPal announced the appointment of Anupam Pahuja as the Managing Director (MD) and Country Manager for its India operations.

Pahuja will be responsible for all aspects of PayPal's business in India. He will also be responsible for further strengthening of the company's operations in the country.

Prior to joining PayPal, Pahuja worked as the India MD for SumTotal Systems.

About PayPal

PayPal operates a worldwide online payments system.

It is headquartered in California, United States.

It is one of the world's largest Internet payment companies.

The company operates as an acquirer. It performs payment processing for online vendors, auction sites and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee.

The company was established in 1998.

In 2014, PayPal moved 228 billion US dollar in 26 currencies across more than 190 nations, generating total revenue of 7.9 billion US dollar.

TECH MAHINDRA LTD ACQUIRES UK-BASED BIO AGENCY LTD

Technology services provider Tech Mahindra Ltd (TechM) acquired UK-based digital transformation firm The BIO Agency Ltd.

The acquisition was carried out in an all-cash deal for an enterprise value of up to 45 million pounds.

Highlights of the acquisition

• The payment of 22 million pounds and the surplus cash of 5 million pounds will be made upfront and the balance will be done away as deferred payments based on company performance.

• Tech Mahindra will acquire 100 percent of shares of the company.

• The closing date of the transaction is expected to take place in the first week of July 2016.

• The move will help Tech Mahindra to strengthen its digital portfolio in providing better digital strategy, services and customer experience.

• The acquisition will also help The BIO Agency to make sizable inroads into the telecommunications and enterprise clients of Tech Mahindra.

BIO Agency specialises in digital transformation across sectors such as retail, financial and travel. It offers digital strategy, service design, digital retail, connected products, product innovation and e-commerce solutions.

MERCER'S COST OF LIVING SURVEY 2016 RELEASED; MUMBAI COSTLIEST IN INDIA

Mercer's Cost of Living Survey 2016 was released. Asia dominates the top 5 of 2016 Cost of Living Rankings, with Hong Kong bagging the No. 1 spot, pushing Luanda, Angola to 2nd.

As per the Mercer’s 22nd annual Cost of Living Survey, top factors contributing to cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments are currency fluctuations,cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices.

Key highlights of the survey

The survey includes more than 375 cities throughout the world. The ranking for 2016 includes 209 cities across five continents.

It measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

• Kinshasa, which is ranked sixth in the survey, appears for the first time in the top 10 cities.

Five Indian cities were also ranked in the list. They are:

• Mumbai – Rank 82

• New Delhi – Rank 130

• Chennai – Rank 158

• Kolkata – 194

• Bangalore – Rank 180

Top 10 countries in the list are:

Rank

City

Country

1

Hong Kong

China

2

Luanda

Angola

3

Zurich

Switzerland

4

Singapore

Singapore

5

Tokyo

Japan

6

Kinshasa

Democratic Republic of the Congo

7

Shanghai

China

8

Geneva

Switzerland

9

N'Djamena

Chad

10

Beijing

China

SCIENTISTS DEVELOPED KILOCORE, WORLD'S FIRST 1000-PROCESSOR COMPUTER CHIP

The scientists unveiled a microchip, named KiloCore, containing 1000 independent programmable processors. The chip has been designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The KiloCore was presented at the 2016 Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Honolulu on 16 June 2016.

Key features of KiloCore

The energy-efficient chip has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second.

It contains 621 million transistors.

It was fabricated by IBM using their 32 nm CMOS technology.

Each processor core can run its own small program independently of the others. Cores operate at an average maximum clock frequency of 1.78 GHz.

As each processor is independently clocked, it can shut itself down to further save energy when not needed.

It can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts. Therefore, it is low enough to be powered by a single AA battery.

The KiloCore chip executes instructions more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor.

ARTEMI PANARIN WINS 2015-2016 CALDER MEMORIAL TROPHY

Russian hockey winger Artemi Panarin, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, won the 2015-2016 Calder Memorial Trophy. The announcement was made by the US National Hockey League (NHL).

In the selection process, Panarin received votes on all 150 ballots and was the top choice on 88 for 1258 voting points. He was followed by Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers (955) and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (858).

Panarin, 24, surpassed all rookies in goals 30, assists 47, points 77, power-play goals 8, power-play points 24 and game-winning goals 7 in 80 games in 2015-16.

With this, he also became the fourth rookie in franchise history to reach the 30-goal milestone and the first to do so since 1995-96 (Eric Daze). This score also included his first career hjat-trick in February, which was the first by any Blackhawks rookie since 2002-03, when the fete was achieved by Tyler Arnason.

Calder Memorial Trophy

The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.

The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10 -7-5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.

BCCI APPOINTS ANIL KUMBLE AS HEAD COACH OF INDIAN CRICKET TEAM

Former Spinner Anil Kumble was appointed as the head coach of Indian Cricket Team. He will hold this position for one year.

Kumble’s first assignment will be the upcoming away series in the West Indies, where India will play four Test matches.

The decision of his selection was taken in the BCCI working committee meeting in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh by the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Saurav Ganguly and Sanjay Jagdale, the Chief Co-Coordinator.

Forty-five year old Anil Kumble was among 57 candidates who applied for the position advertised by the BCCI in May 2016.

Anil Kumble

• He is the highest wicket-taker (1136 wickets) for India till date and third in the international list, behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. Wickets taken includes

a) Test cricket – 619 wickets in 132 matches

b) ODI cricket – 337 wickets in 271 matches

c) Twenty20 internationals - 57 wickets in 54 matches

• He is only the second bowler in Test cricket to take 10 wickets in an innings. He achieved the fete in a match against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999.

• The 45-year-old leg-spinner has mentored Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.

• He has been the chairman of the National Cricket Academy and BCCI’s Technical Committee.

• His international cricket career spans 18years.

• Overall, Kumble has to his name in first class cricket.

• He was awarded Padma Shri and also received Arjuna Award.

• He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1996.

• He was appointed Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee in 2012, a position he still holds.

• He was also included into the Great Hall of Fame in 2015.

INDIA JOINED THE MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME

  • In a boost to its non-proliferation credentials, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • The Ministry of External Affairs said India’s MTCR membership would help in “furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,”.
  • MTCR chair at The Hague said India would enjoy “full participation in organisational activities, including the October 2016 plenary of the regime in South Korea.”
  • India had intensified efforts at gaining membership of the MTCR, the NSG, the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement since getting a waiver at the NSG in 2008.
  • Membership of these groups would help India trade more effectively in critical high tech areas.

NITI AAYOG IS WORKING ON A STRATEGY FOR A TRACKING SYSTEM FOR HEALTH PARAMETERS

  • The NITI Aayog is working on a strategy to put in place a tracking system for monitoring health parameters of target beneficiaries under the National Nutrition Mission on a real-time basis.
  • The tracking system is likely to be Aadhaar-linked, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant told reporters after a meeting with States and Chairman, Tata Trusts, Ratan Tata, on the Mission.
  • There are multiple programmes under various ministries aimed at addressing the multitude of the related issues of gender discrimination, infections, diseases, food fortification, education opportunities, sanitation etc, all of which affect stunting and under-nutrition in children below the age of five.
  • The Centre’s effort has been to converge the schemes and now the Prime Minister wants that at the district, block and, if possible, at the village level, the healthcare parameters of target beneficiaries.
  • The Centre was also working out policy measures and a strategy to converge the various schemes that impacted malnutrition.
  • The outcomes at the grass root levels that should be monitored in the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare would also be finalised.
  • NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy said the challenge was and the target should be to identify individual households or individuals for the purpose of monitoring the outcomes.

U.S. WANTS PROGRESS IN INVESTMENT PACT TALKS WITH INDIA

  • The new model text on the basis of which India is negotiating its Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) is making it difficult for America to hold bilateral talks on the proposed India-U.S. BIT.
  • This is mainly because India’s model BIT text “substantially narrows the scope of investments” that can be covered by the proposed India-U.S. BIT, he said.
  • The model text, he said, also “requires that disputes be exhausted in local Indian jurisdictions before alternative investor-state dispute mechanisms can be initiated.”
  • The objective of BITs is protection of the interests of investors but in the process these pacts aim to balance the obligations of the respective governments and the rights of investors.
  • Investors from developed countries including the U.S. have been citing ‘judicial delays’ in India to demand that they be granted the flexibility in the BITs to take disputes to international arbitration tribunals without waiting to exhaust remedies available in India.
  • The sources said these investors have also demanded that the BITs should ensure protection of even the investment commitments they make on the basis of existing policies in India.
  • India had become very cautious about the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism in its BITs following instances of governments being dragged by investors to international courts on the basis of the existing treaties.
  • Foreign investors — seeking such international arbitration — usually claim huge compensation for “losses” they “suffered” owing to reasons including government policy changes.
  • The first round negotiations on the India-U.S. BIT was held in August 2009. However, the negotiations were initially delayed as India and the U.S. had undertaken a review of their respective model BIT texts.

AFTER BREXIT DOMESTIC TURMOIL IS NEW CHALLENGE FOR BRITAIN

  • British leaders battled to calm markets and the country after its shock vote to leave the EU, while insisting London would be not rushed into a quick divorce.
  • Despite governments soothing words, shares in banks, airlines and property companies plunged on the London stock exchange as investors singled out those three sectors as the most vulnerable.
  • The reassurance halted the fall of sterling, which collapsed by 10 per cent on the day of results, but only temporarily as it then plunged again to its lowest level against the dollar in almost 31 years.
  • EU leaders have urged a swift divorce amid fears a drawn-out process could imperil the integrity of the alliance.
  • But Prime Minister David Cameron has said negotiations on Britain’s departure must wait until a successor is chosen from his Conservative party, which could be as late as October.

SCIENTISTS HAVE DECODED THE LONG-STANDING MYSTERY BEHIND MITOCHONDRIA

  • Scientists have decoded the long-standing mystery behind how and why mitochondria are only passed to offspring through a mother’s egg — and not the father’s sperm.
  • Experiments from the study show that when paternal mitochondria persist for longer than they should during development, the embryo is at greater risk of lethality.
  • Harboured inside the cells of nearly all multi-cellular animals, plants and fungi are mitochondria, organelles that play an important role in generating the energy that cells need to survive.
  • Shortly after a sperm penetrates an egg during fertilisation, the sperm’s mitochondria are degraded while the egg’s mitochondria persist, researchers said
  • The paternal mitochondria were found to partially self-destruct before the mitochondria were surrounded by autophagosomes, which target components within a cell and facilitate their degradation.
  • This suggests that another mechanism, something within the paternal mitochondrion itself, initiates the degradation process.

MONETARY POLICY COMMITTEE NOTIFIED

  • The Centre brought the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) one step closer to reality by notifying the changes made to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act.
  • Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted: “Amendments to RBI Act for Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) and connected rules notified. One step closer to its formation and operationalisation”.
  • The six-member Committee — tasked with bringing “value and transparency to monetary policy decisions” — will comprise three members from RBI, including the Governor, who will be the ex-officio chairperson, a Deputy Governor and one officer of the central bank.
  • The other three members will be appointed by the Centre on the recommendations of a search-cum-selection committee to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
  • The Committee is to meet four times a year and make public its decisions following each meeting.

NO TAX WILL BE COLLECTED AT SOURCE WHEN CASH COMPONENT IS LESS THAN RS.2 LAKH

  • No tax will be collected at source when cash component of the payment for goods and services is less than Rs.2 lakh even if the total consideration is more than this amount.
  • CBDT has issued a new circular on Tax Collected at Source (TCS) clarifying that the levy will not be applicable when cash part of the payment for certain goods or services is less than Rs.2 lakh, even when the total payment is more than this amount.
  • It illustrated this statement by an example that in a case where a good worth Rs.5 lakh is sold for which the consideration amounting to Rs.4 lakh has been received in cheque and Rs.1 lakh has been received in cash.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 03 July 2016 04:53
 

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