Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 12 - AUGUST - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 12 - AUGUST - 2016
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Friday, 12 August 2016 04:26

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

12- AUGUST - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

ALL PARTY MEET TO DISCUSS KASHMIR ISSUE

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with all political parties on the Kashmir unrest, Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha.
  • The House also passed a unanimous resolution appealing to the people of the Kashmir Valley to restore peace and harmony, adding that there “cannot be any compromise on national security.”
  • Asserting that security forces were asked to show “maximum restraint” in using pellet guns against protesters, Mr. Singh was non-committal on their immediate withdrawal.\
  • He said Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were issuing threats to family members of security forces and civil administration officials in the Valley. \
  • Mr. Singh said there was no question of handing over Kashmir to the Army and rumours were being spread “deliberately.”

MOTOR VEHICLES (AMENDMENT) BILL

  • The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha includes a section focusing on the safety of children.
  • One of the main points includes an amendment making it compulsory for every child above 4 years to wear a helmet.
  • The Transport Department hopes that an amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act will create more awareness on the safety of children.
  • A heavy helmet made for adults can lead to neck and spinal issues in children
  • Certification: The desire to buy a lightweight helmet could result in the purchase of a non-standard helmet
  • The helmet must fit perfectly on the head with no free space for movement.
  • The child should be able to remove the helmet easily in the absence of an adult.

FIRST UNIT OF KUDANKULAM STARTED

  • A President, a Prime Minister and a Chief Minister sitting in three different cities met virtually to dedicate the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) to the nation.
  • Nearly 28 years after Russia and India signed the agreement to set up the plant, PM Narendra Modi, Russian President and Tamil Nadu CM did the honours through a video conference organised from Moscow, Delhi, Chennai, and Kudankulam.
  • The 1,000-MWe KNPP-1 is the largest single unit of electrical power in India. “In years ahead, we are determined to pursue an ambitious agenda of nuclear power generation.
  • At Kudankulam alone, five more units of 1,000 MWe each are planned,” Mr. Modi said.
  • He said the government planned to build a series of bigger nuclear power units in cooperation with Russia.\
  • But Mr. Modi, a big proponent of solar power, also made a case for building partnerships “for green growth.”

SEARCH OPERATIONS STILL ON FOR MISSING AN-32

  • Finding no trace of the An-32 aircraft that went missing over the Bay of Bengal on July 22, two specialised vessels have now been deployed to beef up the search.
  • Oceanographic research vessel Samundra Ratnakar of the Geological Survey of India and research vessel Sagar Nidhi of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will undertake sea bed profiling.
  • Sagar Nidhi , which was in Mauritius, was specifically called in for the purpose and it joined the search.
  • Assistance of these vessels was requested after the searching aircraft and ships failed to pick up any signal or visible signs of the aircraft. They have submersibles, which can be sent deep once a possible location is identified.
  • Meanwhile, ships and aircraft of the Navy, the Coast Guard and the IAF and a submarine are continuing the search both in surface and sub-surface domains.
  • Now that it is 20 days since the aircraft went missing, the teams are relying on passive means by scanning the sea floor.
  • The depth in the general search area is about 3-3.5 km. Officials said special cells had been formed to keep the families posted on a daily basis on the search efforts.

OPPOSITION RAISED ISSUES IN CITIZENSHIP(AMENDMENT) BILL

  • The Opposition parties, led by the Congress, want the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in July, sent to a Standing Committee of Parliament.
  • The original Act, passed in 1955, lists the ways to acquire citizenship, denying to undocumented migrants.
  • The amendments now seek to allow citizenship to undocumented migrants of all faiths barring Islam from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • The 1955 Act defines an illegal migrant as a foreigner who enters India without a valid passport or travel documents or stays beyond the permitted time.
  • But a key amendment readsIn short, members of every major religious community barring Islam coming into India without legal passports or staying on without valid papers will be entitled to Indian citizenship after six years of residence in India.
  • Peeved Opposition MPs are now pushing for the Bill to be sent to a Standing Committee.
  • A senior Congress member in the Rajya Sabha said: “This revives memories of 1947. How can one community be left out? India is not yet officially a Hindu state.”

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

US SUPPORTS INDIA’S AID IN AFGHANISTAN

  • The U.S. is in favour of India providing greater security assistance to Afghanistan.
  • The gift of four MI-25 attack helicopters by India to Afghanistan was specially cited by the U.S. military commander while flagging the crucial role India is playing in the war-torn country.
  • The tremendous cooperation India has made in the human capital of Afghan security forces is the one contribution that is going to be enduring.
  • He said efforts were under way to create a facility in Afghanistan for servicing Russian made military equipment such as the MI-25 helicopters they got from India.
  • The fight against Taliban, he said, is making progress. “Last year, Afghan forces suffered over 5,000 deaths. But by the end of the year, they were able to take control of all major population centres.
  • After President Obama gave authority to attack the IS in January this year, U.S. forces have been aggressively targeting them.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

CABINET APPROVED FOREIGN INVESTMENT CHANGES IN NBFCS

  • The Cabinet approved a proposal to amend rules for foreign investment in non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).
  • Foreign investment in ‘other financial services’ that are not regulated by any regulators or by a government agency can be made via the approval route,
  • Further, minimum capitalisation norms as mandated under FDI policy have been eliminated as most of the regulators have already fixed minimum capitalisation norms
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a one-time grant of Rs.900 crores spread over three years for an R&D project for the development of Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) technology for thermal power plants.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs.1,554 crore, according to the government.
  • The Rs.900 crore, commencing from 2017-18, is to be provided as plan gross budgetary support to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) for the implementation of the R&D project.
  • The Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the amendment of Section 64 and section 65 and the consequential amendment in Section 115 of the Factories Act, 1948 by the introduction of the Factories (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament.
  • The Cabinet also approved the introduction of pension and post-retirement medical services benefits to the employees of the Food Corporation of India.
  • “The annual financial implication for both schemes combined would be around Rs.134.4 crore at present level of salaries of the employees,” the government said.

GOVT CAME UP WITH NEW NORMS FOR APPRAISAL AND APPROVAL OF PUBLIC-FUNDED SCHEMES

  • Finance Ministry has issued new norms for the appraisal and approval of public-funded schemes as well as to improve the delivery of goods and services to citizens.
  • With the announcement in the Union Budget 2016-17 of doing away with Plan Non-Plan distinction at the end of Twelfth Five Year Plan, it is imperative that a plan non-plan neutral appraisal and approval system is put into place.
  • One of the guidelines is that no new scheme or sub-scheme can be initiated without the prior “in-principle” approval of the Department of Expenditure. This will not apply to the announcements made in the Budget Speech for any given year.
  • The new policy also empowers ministers to approve expenditure proposals of up to Rs 500 crore, up from the previous limit of Rs 150 crore.
  • The Finance Ministry move is aimed at improving the delivery of goods and services to citizens.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA INVITES INDIA FOR URANIUM

  • Even as obstacles have been lifted for Australia’s export of uranium to fuel India’s nuclear power plants, South Australia has said a huge business opportunity awaits Indian firms that can help it set up nuclear waste disposal facilities.
  • South Australia, a state in south central Australia, houses over a quarter of the world’s uranium resources and about 70 per cent of Australia’s reserves of the heavy metal.
  • Recently, a Royal Commission looked into the potential for increasing South Australia’s participation in the nuclear fuel cycle including in the establishment of facilities for the storage and disposal of radioactive and nuclear waste.
  • Such a facility must be owned and controlled by the state government, the Commission suggested, adding that local community consent was required to host such a facility.
  • Once the proposal to establish a nuclear waste disposal facility got the local community’s consent, South Australia would pass a legislation to make it a reality.
  • On the other areas where India can expect the transfer of technology from Australia, particularly from South Australia, he said: “There is a lot of scope for transfer of technology in the areas of water (desalination & clean water technologies) and food.”

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

CASSINI SPACECRAFT HAS DISCOVERED STEEP-SIDED CANYONS ON TITAN

  • NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has discovered steep-sided canyons, hundreds of meters deep, on Saturn’s moon Titan that are flooded with liquid hydrocarbons.
  • The finding represents the first direct evidence of the presence of liquid-filled channels on Titan, as well as the first observation of the deep canyons, NASA said.
  • The observations show that the channels — in particular, a network of them named Vid Flumina — are narrow canyons, generally less than a kilometre wide, with slopes steeper than 40 degrees.
  • This suggested that the channels might also be filled with liquid, but a direct detection had not been made until now.
  • Cassini’s radar was used as an altimeter, sending pings of radio waves to the moon’s surface to measure the height of features there.
  • Earthly examples of both of these types of canyon-carving processes are found along the Colorado River in Arizona.
  • An example of uplift powering erosion is the Grand Canyon, where the terrain’s rising altitude caused the river to cut deeply downward into the landscape over the course of several million years.

THE WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA WILL NOW HOUSE THE COUNTRY’S FIRST REPOSITORY ON TIGERS

  • The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) here will now house the country’s first repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell.
  • The Dehradun-based WII has about 23,000 images of tigers. “This has to be maintained and the Tiger Cell will do that,”.
  • Project clearanceThe Tiger Cell could also help with the development-conservation debate.
  • When a project needs environmental clearance, our spatial data can be used to overlay the project plan on our maps and check whether the project would interfere.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

RBI RELEASES THIRD BI-MONTHLY MONETARY POLICY STATEMENT 2016-17

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2016-17.

One of the key announcements under the policy was that the RBI Governor Raghuram G Rajan kept the Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 percent.

Based on the assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the following changes were announced in key policy rates:

• Repo Rate: The policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) was kept unchanged at 6.5 percent.

• Reverse Repo Rate: The reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 6.0 percent.

• Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks was also kept unchanged at 4.0 percent of Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL).

• Marginal standing facility (MSF) Rate: The MSF rate was fixed at 7.0 percent.

• Bank Rate: The Bank Rate also stands at 7.0 percent.

Assessment of Economy

• Among emerging market economies, activity remains varied. GDP growth stabilised in China in Q2 and manufacturing activity was weak in July due to adverse weather and subdued export demand.

• Recessionary conditions are gradually diminishing in Brazil and Russia.

• World trade remains sluggish in the first half of 2016. International financial markets did not anticipate the Brexit vote and equities plunged worldwide and currency volatility increased.

• On the domestic front, more than 80 percent of the country is receiving normal to excess precipitation. Kharif sowing strengthened after a lacklustre start, particularly with respect to pulses.

• Barring cotton, jute and mesta, sowing of all crops is currently above the 2015 acreage.

• Industrial production rose at 3 percent in the current financial year. In fact, capital goods production excluding insulated rubber cables expanded by 8 percent.

• Retail inflation measured by the headline Consumer Price Index rose to a 22-month high in June 2016. The rise was mainly driven by food, with vegetable. Sugar prices also firmed up.

• Fuel inflation remained subdued due to sustained deflation in prices of LPG. Excluding food and fuel, inflation eased across major sub-groups.

• In the external sector, merchandise export growth moved into positive territory in June. This upturn was reasonably widespread covering chemicals, marine products, handicraft, plastic, rice, electronic and engineering goods.

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI LAUNCHES 70 SAAL AZAADI YAAD KARO KURBANI CELEBRATIONS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 70 Saal Azaadi, Yaad Karo Kurbanicelebrations in Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh. Alirajpur is the birthplace of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad.

The Yaad Karo Kurbani is a 15-day programme. It is aimed at celebrating 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement and 70 years of Independence.

Key highlights of the campaign

The 70 Saal Azaadi, Yaad karo Qurbani campaign is aimed at developing a feeling in every person that nation is first and individual is secondary.

It seeks to provide an opportunity for the people to recall the supreme sacrifices made by freedom fighters during freedom struggle.

The goal of the campaign is to inform the youngsters about the unsung heroes and the history of the freedom struggle.

About Quit India Movement

The Quit India Movement is also known as the India August Movement (August Kranti).

It was a civil disobedience movement launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee.

It was launched by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during World War II.

The movement’s demand was an end to British Rule of India.

Gandhi made a call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech delivered in Mumbai at the Gowalia Tank Maidan.

The All-India Congress Committee launched a mass protest demanding what Gandhi called "An Orderly British Withdrawal" from India.

Almost the entire leadership of the INC was imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi's speech.

The Quit India campaign was effectively crushed.

PAWAN MUNJAL REAPPOINTED CMD AND CEO OF HERO MOTOCORP

The Board of Directors at Hero MotoCorp reappointed Pawan Munjal as the Chairman, Managing Director (CMD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company for a period of five years.

The reappointment will be effective from 1 October 2016.

Pawan’s current tenure comes to an end on 30 September 2016.

On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp appointed Vikram Kasbekar - Head of Operations & Supply Chain - to the Board of Directors of the company.

About Pawan Munjal

Pawan Munjal joined Hero Honda Motors in the early 1980s as Director.

He took over as Managing Director of Hero Honda Motors 2002.

He has successfully overseen the company's successful transition from Hero Honda to Hero Motocorp in 2011.

RAJYA SABHA PASSES ENFORCEMENT OF SECURITY INTEREST AND RECOVERY OF DEBTS LAWS AMENDMENT BILL, 2016

Rajya Sabha passed the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to amend four laws namely

• Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI)

• Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (RDDBFI)

• Indian Stamp Act, 1899

• Depositories Act, 1996

The bill aims to improve ease of doing business and facilitate investment leading to higher economic growth and development.

Earlier, the Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in first week of August. With this passage at both the houses, it will be sent to the President for his assent.

Features of the Bill

Amendments to the SARFAESI Act:

• The bill asks the District Magistrate (DM) to take possession over collateral, against which a loan had been provided, upon a default in repayment, within 30 days.

• It empowers the DM to assist banks in taking over the management of a company, in case the company is unable to repay loans. This will be done in case the banks convert their outstanding debt into equity shares, and consequently hold a stake of 51%percent or more in the company.

• It creates a central database to integrate records of property registered under various registration systems with this central registry. This includes integration of registrations made under Companies Act, 2013, Registration Act, 1908 and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

• It says that the secured creditors will not be able to take possession over the collateral unless it is registered with the central registry. Further, these creditors, after registration of security interest, will have priority over others in repayment of dues.

• It empowers the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to penalise a company of it fails to comply with any directions issued by it.

• It also provides that stamp duty will not be charged on transactions undertaken for transfer of financial assets in favour of asset reconstruction companies.  Financial assets include loans and collaterals.

Amendments to the RDDBFI Act:

• The Bill increases the retirement age of Presiding Officers of Debt Recovery Tribunals from 62 years to 65 years.

• It also increases the retirement age of Chairpersons of Appellate Tribunals from 65 years to 67 years.

• It makes Presiding Officers and Chairpersons eligible for reappointment to their positions.

• It allows banks to file cases in tribunals having jurisdiction over the area of bank branch where the debt is pending.

• It states that under certain procedures will be undertaken in electronic form.

• It provides details of procedures that the tribunals will follow in case of debt recovery proceedings.

Background

The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced by the Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley, in Lok Sabha on May 11, 2016.

Earlier in June 2016, the Bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the Chairmanship of Bhupender Yadav, MP for examination and presenting a Report to the Parliament.

RAJEEV KRISHNAN APPOINTED AS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF MAX HYPERMARKETS INDIA

Rajeev Krishnan was appointed as the Managing Director of Max Hypermarkets in India with effect from 1 August 2016. Krishnan succeeds Viney Singh, outgoing Managing Director.

However, Singh will continue to be on the Board of the company as a Non-Executive Director.

As managing director, Krishnan will guide and direct the strategy and execution of the Hypermarket & Supermarket business of the SPAR brand in India, and will report to the board of Max Hypermarket, a franchisee of SPAR India.

About Rajeev Krishnan

• Prior to this appointment, Krishnan was the senior advisor for Mckinsey's retail and consumer practices.

• He also worked with Bharti Retail, part of the Bharti Wal-Mart joint venture in India, as an executive vice president and business head of retail operations.  
• Krishnan has over 29 years of global experience with retail and consumer background at Target, Wal-Mart & Mckinsey & Company.

• Before Bharti Retail, he was the group VP at Target Corporation in the US and spent 18 years with them.

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 13 August 2016 06:49
 

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