Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
Friday, 16 September 2016 04:12

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

14- SEPTEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

UNION CABINET APPROVED THE SETTING UP OF THE GST COUNCIL AND ITS SECRETARIAT

  • The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council and its Secretariat.
  • The Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on the GST could cease to be the forum at which the discussions between the Centre and States would take place, the Centre said after announcing the creation of the Council.
  • The Empowered Committee is headed by Amit Mitra, Finance Minister of West Bengal, a State that is yet to ratify the constitutional amendment enabling the roll-out of the GST.
  • Each State is to nominate as a voting member a minister, who may or may not be holding the finance or the taxation portfolios.
  • The Centre will have two representatives on the Council: the Union Finance Minister will chair it and Union Minister of State in-charge of Revenue, will be a member.

BENGALURU AND PARTS OF KARNATAKA WERE GRIPPED BY LARGE SCALE VIOLENCE

  • As Bengaluru and parts of Karnataka were gripped by large scale violence and arson, one person died and two were injured in police firing.
  • Mobs set vehicles on fire and attacked businesses with Tamil names after the Supreme Court ordered that Cauvery water continue to flow to Tamil Nadu.
  • Soon after the court declined to accept Karnataka’s appeal to freeze its September 5 order on release of water, hundreds of protesters took to Bengaluru’s streets, burning vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration numbers.
  • Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were imposed in Bengaluru and Mysuru, areas around four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin, and Pandavapura in Mandya district.

THE CENTRE APPROVED THE ENHANCING OF BUFFER STOCK OF PULSES

  • The Centre approved the enhancing of buffer stock of pulses to 20 lakh tonnes so as to stabilise the prices and encourage farmers to scale up production.
  • The government said the specific variety of pulses and their quantities for the buffer stock would be decided on the price and the availability.
  • The release of pulses from the buffer stock and procurement in the subsequent year will be based on the prevailing pulse [production] scenario as well as the buffer stock position.
  • The requisite funds for this operation will be provided to the price stabilisation fund scheme (PSFMC) of the department.
  • To create the buffer stock, domestic procurement would be done by the Food Corporation of India, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India and Small Farmers Agriculture-Business Consortium.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

NAVAL DRILL BY CHINA AND RUSSIA DESPITE HAGUE VERDICT

  • China and Russia began their first naval exercises in the South China Sea (SCS), setting the stage for a deeper military and political engagement, reinforced by the meeting at Hangzhou between the two heads of state.
  • Russians and the Chinese had come to an understanding that the exercises would not be held in disputed waters.
  • Russians have been sending a dual signal. While they are conveying to the United States that they stand by the Chinese, they are also preserving their strategic relationship with Vietnam.
  • The eight-day Joint Sea-2016 exercise is the largest naval drill conducted by the two countries since their annual naval manoeuvres began in 2012.
  • Russian President said during this month’s G-20 summit in Hangzhou that Moscow supported China’s rejection of the ruling by an international arbitration tribunal at The Hague that had rejected Beijing’s territorial claims in the SCS.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

EXCHANGE OF TARIFF CONCESSIONS UNDER THE ASIA PACIFIC TRADE AGREEMENT

  • The Union Cabinet approved a move for exchange of tariff concessions under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), towards expanding trade ties with five nations in the region, including China.
  • Since this is a preferential trade agreement, the basket of items as well as extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds from time to time. Till date, three rounds of trade negotiations had taken place.
  • India is likely to benefit from offers of China and South Korea for duty concessions in sectors including textiles, chemicals and iron and steel, according to government sources.
  • Indian industry had not gained much from APTA so far, especially in textiles.
  • India in return has offered duty concessions on rail rolling stock, nuclear reactors and fissile material to boost the ‘Make In India’ initiative.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

INDIA’S INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT AND INFLATION SLOWED

  • India’s industrial output slowed drastically led by a decline in manufacturing and an almost 30 per cent contraction in capital goods production, signalling a slump in investments.
  • Retail inflation on the other hand slowed significantly, spurring expectations that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would likely reduce interest rates later this year to support economic growth.
  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 2.4 per cent in July, compared with a growth of two per cent in June, mainly on account of weakness in manufacturing, which contracted 3.4 per cent.
  • Inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 5.05 per cent in August, slower than 6.07 per cent in July, according to official data.
  • The slowdown in industrial activity comes at a time when the April-June GDP growth rate eased to a 15-month low. Within the CPI, the food category witnessed an inflation rate of 5.8 per cent in August, down from the blistering 8 per cent seen in July.
  • The electricity sector grew 1.6 per cent in July, lower than 8.3 per cent in June, while the mining sector grew 0.8 per cent, down from 5.3 per cent.
  • However, there are problems with relying on the IIP as an economic metric, owing to its dated base year and its variance from the present methodology for calculating economic growth.

CENTRE’S INDIRECT TAX COLLECTIONS INCREASED MORE THAN 27 PER CENT

  • The Centre’s indirect tax collections increased more than 27 per cent in the April-August 2016 period, helped by a 49 per cent jump in excise receipts, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance.
  • The government also reported a 15 per cent increase in direct tax collections.
  • Till August 2016, 22.3 per cent of the Budget Estimates of direct taxes for financial year 2016-17 has been achieved.
  • The increase in tax collection, however, may not be enough to help the government meet its fiscal deficit target since the target this year is even stricter than that of last fiscal.
  • A separate government statement said indirect tax collections up to August stood at Rs.3.36 lakh crore, 27.5 per cent higher than the amount collected during the year-earlier period.
  • Within direct tax, the government said that corporate tax refunds during April –August — amounting to Rs.77,080 crore, up 22.2 per cent from the same period last year.
  • The Centre will likely increase capital expenditure after the monsoon, and the 7th Pay Commission impact would also begin to kick in, leading to a challenging fiscal deficit situation.
  • In indirect tax, central excise collections stood at Rs.1.53 lakh crore during April-August, up 49 per cent from the year earlier period. Service tax collections were Rs.92,696 crore, witnessing an annual increase of 23.2 per cent.
  • Customs duty collections were up 5.7 per cent at Rs.90,448 crore.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

JAN SHIKSHAN SANSTHAN CONFERRED WITH 2016 UNESCO CONFUCIUS PRIZE FOR LITERACY

The Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) of Malappuram, Kerala was conferred with the 2016 Unesco Confucius Prize for Literacy. The award was conferred on the JSS in recognition of its literacy-linked skill development activities among the underprivileged in rural areas.

The JSS bagged the prestigious international award for its initiatives in applying new technology in literacy. Innovations such as Braille applications and the Talking Pen used by the JSS impressed UNESCO.

The award sponsored by China consists of 20000 US dollars, a diploma, and a silver medal. Moreover, a JSS team will be given a free study tour to China.

Jan Shikshan Sansthan's Skill-Development Programme

• The JSS has reached out to the weaker sections, including widows and Adivasis, with its literacy and skill-development programmes.

• More than 53000 people from different sections have been covered since the project began in 2006.

• With JSS support, more than 40000 people improved their income through such means as stitching, mobile repairing, embroidery, choke-making and bag making.

• The talking pen introduced by the JSS to educate tribal women had won wide appreciation.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION CERTIFIES SRI LANKA MALARIA-FREE

The World Health Organisation certified Sri Lanka a malaria-free nation.

Sri Lanka is the second country in the WHO South-East Asia Region to eliminate malaria after Maldives.

Sri Lanka’s anti-malaria campaign adjusted its strategy to intensively target the parasite after the malaria cases jumped in the 1970s and the 1980s and the 1990s. The change in strategy was unorthodox, but highly effective.

How Sri Lanka emerged victorious over the deadly disease?

The country deployed mobile malaria clinics in high transmission areas. It helped in prompt and effective treatment and helped in reducing the parasite reservoir and the possibility of further transmission.

Effective surveillance, community engagement and health education enhanced the ability of authorities to respond, and mobilized popular support for the campaign.

The adaptation/ flexibility of strategies and support from key partners such as WHO and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria fast-tracked success.

By 2006, the country recorded less than 1000 cases of malaria per year.

By October 2012, the indigenous cases were down to zero.

From the last three-and-a-half years, no locally transmitted cases have been recorded in the country.

About Malaria

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans.

It causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches.

If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later.

The disease is most commonly transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures.

The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator.

Malaria is commonly associated with poverty and has a major negative effect on economic development.

In Africa, it is estimated to result in losses of 12 billion US dollar a year due to increased healthcare costs, lost ability to work, and negative effects on tourism.

INDIAN CONSERVATIONIST BIBHUTI LAHKAR WINS HERITAGE HEROES AWARD OF IUCN

Indian ecologist and conservation activist Bibhuti Lahkar became the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious Heritage Heroes Award by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Lahkar received the award at the IUCN's World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Indian ecologist was among five conservationists across the globe to be nominated for 2016 Heritage Heroes Award.

The Heritage Heroes Award is aimed at recognising outstanding efforts around the globe in making a difference in the conservation of World Heritage sites in challenging situations.

Who is Bibhuti Lahkar?

Bibhuti Lahkar has researched grassland ecosystems in the Indian state of Assam.

He did his PhD on the grasslands of Manas National Park with special reference to Pygmy hog.

His research work has covered diverse areas of grassland ecosystems of Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

He was the recipient of the prestigious grants from Rufford's Foundation for his work on community conservation in Manas World Heritage site and conservation of Hoolock Gibbon at Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary.

He also conducted the first GIS survey of the Royal Manas National Park.

His research findings and recommendations are a critical component in the Manas Tiger Conservation Plan.

K G GEORGE WINS 2015 J C DANIEL AWARD

Veteran award-winning film director K.G. George won the prestigious J.C. Daniel Award for his overall contribution to the Malayalam film industry.

The award will be given away along with the State Film Awards at a function to be held at Palakkad in October 2016.

Who is K.G. George?

Kulakkatil Geevarghese George is an Indian film director and screenwriter.

He is considered to be among one of the directors who revolutionized Malayalam cinema in the 1970s.

He is noted for his deep psychological analysis and character study of the human mind in his films.

He made his debut with 1975 movie Swapnadanam, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam.

His well known films include UlkadalMelaYavanika among others.

He is also the founder and chairman of the Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA).

About J.C. Daniel Award

The J. C. Daniel Award is Kerala's highest award in Malayalam cinema.

The Government of Kerala created the award to commemorate the contribution of Indian filmmaker J. C. Daniel, who is often regarded as the father of Malayalam cinema.

It is presented annually by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, a non-profit institution under the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala, India.

It was instituted in 1992.

The award is given to honour the recipients for their outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema.

Recipients are selected by an independent jury established by the Academy and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Actor Madhu was the first recipient of the award.

Actress Aranmula Ponnamma is the only woman who has received the honour in 2005.

In 2014, the award was presented to director and screenwriter I.V. Sasi.

 

 

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