Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 21 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 21 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
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Thursday, 22 September 2016 05:21

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

21- SEPTEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

GOVT RELEASES LIST OF 27 NEW SMART CITIES

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi has made its way to the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Urban Development Ministry.
  • Varanasi is one of the three cities, others being Agra and Kanpur, from Uttar Pradesh which goes to the polls next year, which are part of the list of new smart cities.
  • The 27 cities, including Madurai, were selected after three rounds of competition, with the total number selected under Smart City Mission standing at 60.
  • Govt said the new 27 smart cities proposed projects worth Rs. 66,883 crore under Smart City Mission, including Rs. 42,524 crore under area-based development and Rs.11,379 crore for technology-based pan-city solutions.
  • With five cities, Maharashtra has the highest number of cities on the list. The 27 new cities are from 12 States, including four each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, three from Uttar Pradesh and two each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the list for the first time.
  • Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities chosen among 63 total cities.
  • Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that have made it to the third list are Ujjain, Tirupati, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur and Ajmer, apart from Agra and Varanasi.
  • The implementation of Smart City Mission is now spread over 27 States and Union Territories.
  • The nine States and Union Territories that are yet to enter the implementation phase are Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra, Nagar and Haveli.
  • Each of these cities will receive a Central assistance of Rs. 200 crore in the first year and Rs. 100 crore over the three subsequent financial years, and the State Govts and urban local bodies will match the Centre’s contribution of Rs. 500 crore.
  • The Centre plans to transform 100 cities by 2019-20 by providing Rs. 48,000 crore in financial support over five years.

GOVERNMENT IS SET TO EMBARK STRATEGIC DISINVESTMENT PROGRAMME

  • The BJP-led NDA government is all set to embark on its strategic disinvestment programme.
  • NITI Aayog’s proposal for shutting down 17 sick or loss-making government companies has received the go-ahead from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
  • A second set of proposals from the Aayog for strategic sales aimed at reducing government ownership to below 51 per cent in about 22 public sector companies has also got the green signal from the PMO.
  • Government companies in the hospital services business and the construction consultancy industry are also on the list of PSUs for strategic disinvestment.
  • The Finance Ministry is approaching the Cabinet for its approval separately for each of the strategic sales the PMO has approved. It expects minimum resistance as the administrative ministries were brought on board.
  • Before these PSUs are shut down, the Centre will offer voluntary retirement to their employees.
  • The administrative ministries of these PSUs will seek approvals of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for each of these cases.

SUPREME COURT DIRECTED KARNATAKA TO RELEASE 6000 CUSECS OF CAUVERY WATER PER DAY

  • The Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
  • A Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra directed Karnataka to release this amount from its reservoirs for the period between September 21 to September 27, the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court.
  • Despite objections by senior advocate Fali Nariman for Karnataka that the State was in dire need of drinking water, the Bench doubled the quantum ordered to be released by the Cauvery Supervisory Committee barely 24 hours ago.
  • The court order was a severe blow to Karnataka, which began the hearing by protesting even the Committee’s order to release 3000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu till September 30.
  • The order has also impacted its challenge to the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal verdict in 2007 by directing the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board within four weeks.
  • The setting up of the Board, envisaged by the tribunal, was put on hold due to Karnataka’s litigation.

INDIA’S FIRST INTER-STATE RIVER INTERLINKING PROJECT GOT A GO-AHEAD FROM NBWL

  • India’s first inter-State river interlinking project was given a go-ahead by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).This would be the first time that a river project will be located within a tiger reserve.
  • The Rs. 10,000-crore Ken-Betwa project will irrigate the drought-prone Bundelkhand region but, in the process, also submerge about 10 per cent of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, feted as a model tiger-conservation reserve.
  • The main feature of the project is a 230-km long canal and a series of barrages and dams connecting the Ken and Betwa rivers that will irrigate 3.5 lakh hectares in Madhya Pradesh and 14,000 hectares of Uttar Pradesh, in Bundelkhand.
  • The key projects are the Makodia and Dhaudhan dams, the latter expected to be 77 m high and responsible for submerging 5,803 hectares of tiger habitat in the Panna tiger reserve.
  • According to the NBWL, 6,221 hectares — 4,141 of which is core forest and located inside the reserve — will be inundated when, and if, the proposed reservoir is filled to the brim.
  • A key point of contention between wildlife experts associated with the impact assessment and dam proponents in the Water Resources Ministry was whether the height of the Daudhan dam could be reduced to limit the water overflow .
  • The Ken Betwa project is divided into two phases and these clearances are only valid for the 1st phase. The wildlife clearance will pave the way for the forest clearance and environment clearance process.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

THE UNITED NATIONS SUSPENDED ALL AID CONVOYS IN SYRIA

  • The United Nations suspended all aid convoys in Syria, the day after a deadly airstrike on trucks loaded with crucial supplies of food and medicine. The airstrike came after the Syrian military had declared an end to a seven-day partial cease-fire.
  • Stephen O’Brien, the head of the U.N. agency that coordinates aid, said in a statement that the attack would amount to a war crime if it were found to have targeted humanitarian aid workers.
  • The airstrike came as workers were unloading aid. It killed a senior official of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and some civilians, but initial reports that 14 people had died could not be confirmed.
  • Repeated strikes by aircraft destroyed 18 of 31 trucks that the U.N. said had been clearly marked as a humanitarian convoy.
  • The trucks were carrying wheat flour, 9 tonnes of medicine and winter clothing for about 78,000 people.
  • The attack came shortly after the Syrian army had announced that the partial cease-fire was over and resumed offensive operations, reportedly including airstrikes on rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK APPROVED $631 MILLION FOR INDIA’S FIRST COASTAL INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR

  • Asian Development Bank has approved $631 million for building India’s first coastal industrial corridor between Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
  • The fund will help develop the first key 800-km section of the planned 2,500-km East Coast Economic Corridor expected to spur development on India’s eastern coast and enable seamless trade links with other parts of South and Southeast Asia.
  • The total cost of the project is $846 million and work on it is expected to be over by 2031. The remaining $215 million would be funded by the Andhra Pradesh government.
  • ADB’s loans and grants comprise a $500 million two-tranche facility to build key infrastructure and a $125 million two-tranche loan to help in industrial policies and business promotion.
  • By 2025, annual industrial output along the corridor will increase fourfold to $64 billion from about $16 billion in 2015 if investment opportunities are maximized over the coming 10 years.
  • The Centre is keen to encourage manufacturing to create jobs for a labour force that is growing by about 12 million each year.

GOVT LOOKING TO GIVE BOOST TO TOURISM SECTOR

  • The government is looking to woo foreign and domestic investments to fund 700 tourism-related projects requiring over Rs.50,000 crore during the three-day Incredible India summit set to kick off on Wednesday.
  • The summit, organised in association with CII, is the first such tourism investors’ summit to be held in India. It will be inaugurated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
  • States roped in knowledge partners such as KPMG to identify these projects, which included amusement parks and hotels.
  • The thrust remained on hospitality as there wasneed for about two lakh hotel rooms to cater to higher demand from foreign and domestic tourists.


:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

JAMIE MURRAY AND BRUNO SOARES WIN 2016 US OPEN MEN’S DOUBLES TITLE

Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares won the 2016 US Open Men’s Doubles title.

Murray and Soares defeated Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-3.

With this, Murray became the first British man for 44 years to win the US Open doubles titleSoares also became the first Brazilian to win more than one Grand Slam doubles title.

About 2016 US Open

The 2016 US Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.

The 2016 US Open was the 136th edition of the US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year.

It took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park of Queens in New York City, United States.

Stan Wawrinka won the men's singles event.

Angelique Kerber won the women's singles event.

PHILIPPINE REVENGE DRAMA 'ANG BABAENG HUMAYO' WINS GOLDEN LION AWARD AT VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

A revenge drama Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left) won the Golden Lion for Best Film Award at the 73 Venice Film Festival.

Ang Babaeng Humayo is nearly four-hour black and white revenge drama film about a woman’s thirst for revenge and her feelings of forgiveness after 30 years in jail for a crime she did not commit.

On the other hand, Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky and Mexican film director Amat Escalante shared Silver Lion for Best Direction for their respective films Paradise and The Untamed.

Tom Ford's noir thriller Nocturnal Animals from the U.S. won the Grand Jury Prize.

The complete list of winners:

• Golden Lion: Lav Diaz for Ang Babaeng Humayo

• Silver Lion Director (tie): Andre Konchalovsky for Paradise and Amat Escalante for The Untamed

• Jury Grand Prize: Nocturnal Animals

• Special Jury Prize: The Bad Batch

• Actor: Oscar Martinez for The Distinguished Citizen

• Actress: Emma Stone for La La Land

• Screenplay: Noah Oppenheim for Jackie

• Marcello Mastroianni Price for Young Performer: Paula Beer for Frantz

• Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future: The Last of Us

About Venice Film Festival

• The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival was founded in 1932.

• It is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" film festivals alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival.

• The film festival takes place in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy.

• Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi and in other venues nearby.

• Since its inception, the Film Festival has become the most prestigious international film festival in the world.

STAN WAWRINKA DEFEATS NOVAK DJOKOVIC TO WIN 2016 US OPEN MEN’S SINGLES TITLE

Third seed Stan Wawrinka defeated world number one Novak Djokovic to lift the 2016 US Open Men’s Singles title.

In the final, Swiss Wawrinka defeated Serbian Djokovic 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the title.

This is Wawrinka’s maiden US Open title and his third major title.

About Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss professional tennis player.

He has reached three Grand Slam singles finals in his career, winning all three: the 2014 Australian Open, the 2015 French Open and the 2016 US Open.

Just prior to the 2014 French Open, he requested and the ATP granted a formal change in his name from Stanislas Wawrinka to Stan Wawrinka.

About 2016 US Open

The 2016 US Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.

The 2016 US Open was the 136th edition of the US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year.

It took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park of Queens in New York City, United States.

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares won the men’s doubles title.

Angelique Kerber won the women's singles event.

UNION CABINET APPROVES FORMATION OF GST COUNCIL

The Union Cabinet approved the process, formation and functioning of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council.

The council will consist of the Finance Minister and State Finance Ministers. It will make recommendations on important issues related to GST, including items and rates.

The GST Council and its Secretariat will be set up as per the following details:

Creation of the GST Council as per Article 279A of the amended Constitution

Creation of the GST Council Secretariat, with its office at New Delhi

Appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council

Inclusion of the Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council

Create one post of Additional Secretary to the GST Council in the GST Council Secretariat and four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat

As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council shall consist of the following members:

Union Finance Minister

Chairperson

The Union Minister of State, in-charge of Revenue of finance

Member

The Minister In-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government

Members

Background

On 8 September 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill. The Bill will pave the way for rollout of GST.

The new tax regime will do away with the indirect taxes. It will usher in one tax for the entire country.

Over 18 States have ratified the bill.

The GST is a single indirect tax, which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as VAT, excise duty, service tax and central sales tax.

 

 

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