Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 22- SEPTEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 22- SEPTEMBER - 2016
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Thursday, 22 September 2016 05:32

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

22- SEPTEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

SINGLE BUDGET FROM NEXT YEAR

  • With the ambition of putting an end to the populism, the Union Cabinet has decided to bring the curtains down on the 92-year-old tradition of presenting a separate Rail Budget.
  • It has been decided to merge the Rail Budget and the General Budget. Railway Minister will not present budget for the year 2017-18. Instead, Finance Minister will present a “unified” budget.
  • The decision, taken on the recommendation of a NITI Aayog committee headed by its member Bibek Debroy, reflects the decrease over time in the relative size of the Rail Budget compared to some of the other components in the General Budget, such as defence and roads & highways.
  • Reform was intended to “deglamorise” the Railways portfolio and discourage the leveraging of the Rail Budget for handing out largesse to vote banks.
  • Decisions like that are commercially crucial but politically challenging, especially fare hikes would now become routine ones taken any time during the course of a year without as much public glare, said an official.

CROSS-CULTIVATION OF SHORT AND LONG-TERM CROPS HAS RESULTED IN INCREASED PROFITABILITY

  • Intercropping of horticulture and floriculture crops in one field has not only enhanced profit for floriculturists but also ensured economic safety and better returns for them.
  • With improved technology, cross-cultivation of short and long-term crops — tomato and jasmine — in one acre of land has resulted in increased profitability and regular income throughout the year.
  • The farmer can also offset the loss that might occur in one crop with the profit in another crop. Small onion (shallot) can also be raised on bunds of irrigation channels. No additional water is necessary.
  • Adoption of simple technologies will also improve the quality of vegetables. After harvesting onion, cauliflower can be raised in the same field. Such cropping method will enhance the quality, colour and taste of the flower, he says.
  • Farming should be carried out scientifically, especially raising of hybrid crops as they were sensitive to climate, soil and water condition. Farmers should grow as many crops as possible to make agriculture remunerative.

GOVT MADE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE NATIONAL MISSION FOR CLEAN GANGA

  • The Union Cabinet has approved changes allowing the National Mission for Clean Ganga to fine those responsible for polluting the river. Earlier this power was vested solely with the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • The Rs. 20,000-crore National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is among the flagship initiatives of the government and though at least 230 projects have been sanctioned this year there is very little progress on the ground.
  • The bulk of the river cleaning projects involve setting up of sewage treatment plants, installing trash skimmers and beautifying the ghats.
  • The NMCG has been a registered society since 2012 and its role is largely to fund projects to implementing organisations. It didn’t have legal powers to “tackle various threats” or issue directions to polluters.
  • The NMCG, which now has the status of an Authority, will have a two-tier management structure with a governing council to be chaired by a Director General. There will also be State-level committees.

THE MANIPUR UNIVERSITY OF CULTURE BECAME INDIA’S SECOND CULTURAL UNIVERSITY

  • The Manipur University of Culture opened with its first session at the premises of the Government Dance and Music College, Palace Compound, Imphal.
  • This is the second such institution — the first University of Culture is in Odisha.
  • Vice-Chancellor said, “This is a dream come true for the people of Manipur, who are blessed with a rich cultural heritage. The initiatives for such a university began in 2002.”

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

THE LANDMARK PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE MOVED CLOSER TO REALITY

  • The landmark Paris agreement on climate change moved closer to reality after 31 countries joined during the United Nations General Assembly.
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced confidence that the accord, through which countries commit to take action to stem the planet’s rising temperatures, would come into force by the end of the year.
  • The accord requires all countries to devise plans to achieve the goal of keeping the rise of temperatures within two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
  • The countries that joined the accord included Latin American powerhouses Argentina, Brazil and Mexico as well as major fossil fuel powers Brunei and the United Arab Emirates.
  • To come into force, the Paris agreement needs ratification from 55 countries that account for at least 55 per cent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A total of 60 countries have joined the Paris accord, meeting the threshold. But they account for just less than 48 per cent of emissions, according to UN figures.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

INDIA REMINDS PAKISTAN ABOUT ITS 2004 PROMISE

  • India asked Pakistan to end the “persistent and growing violation” of its 2004 undertaking not to let its territory be used by terrorists, even the government is serious about punishing perpetrators of attack on the Uri Army camp.
  • “The attack in Uri only underlines the fact that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active. We demand that Pakistan lives up to its public commitment to refrain from supporting and sponsoring terrorism against India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
  • “If the Government of Pakistan wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks, India is ready to provide finger prints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents,” the MEA spokesperson said.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

PSLV SATELLITE LAUNCHER WILL PLACE ITS PASSENGERS IN TWO DIFFERENT ORBITS

  • On September 26, the PSLV satellite launcher will for the first time place its multiple passengers in two different orbits. The flight is also significant as it will last two hours and 15 minutes, making it the PSLV’s longest ever.
  • Three Indian and five foreign commercial spacecraft will ride in it together. Only the main passenger, ISRO’s 370-kg Scatsat-1 ocean and weather tracker, will get off first at a slightly higher orbit at around 700 km.
  • The remaining smaller satellites, weighing between 5 kg and 110 kg, will be ejected at around 600 km — but after about two hours.
  • ISRO had tested this new techique during a PSLV flight in June this year. It then said the added versatility of reaching satellites to different orbits will enlarge its customer base: sometimes, different launch customers need to reach their satellites to different orbits or distances from Earth.
  • The PSLV has so far launched 39 remote-sensing satellites of ISRO, including the Chandrayaan-1 of 2008 and the Mars mission of 2013-14.
  • It has also orbited 74 foreign commercial and university satellites in a global trend where the demand for its category of launch services is increasing.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

THE CENTRE HAS NOTIFIED THE SCRAPPING OF TOLL TAX COLLECTIONS ON SMALL ROAD

  • The Centre has notified the scrapping of toll tax collections on small road stretches and bridges developed at a cost of less than Rs.100 crore.
  • The initiative is based on the recommendations of a committee constituted by the Centre to examine and recommend the minimum eligibility criteria for charging toll fees.
  • At present, the Central government has the power to exempt any section of a national highway, permanent bridge, bypass or tunnel from toll tax, according to the National Old Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules 2008.
  • All road projects, standalone structures and road stretches in which the project construction cost is less than Rs.100 crore and old bridges for which residual recoverable project cost is less than Rs.100 crore will be exempted from toll tax collection.
  • However, the project cost will not include cost of pre-construction activity, utility shifting and land acquisition, the ministry added in the notification
  • The move follows policies adopted by governments in BJP-ruled states to exempt toll taxes on some state highways. Recently, Gujarat exempted car, jeep and van category vehicles and state transport buses from tolls on state highways beginning August 15.
  • As a result, nine public private partnership (PPP) projects were impacted and the government had vowed to compensate private developers for the revenue loss through monthly reimbursements.
  • Last year, Maharashtra had scrapped 12 toll plazas across the State and exempted small vehicles and State transport buses from having to pay at 53 other toll points.

INDIA’S CAD NARROWED IN THE FIRST QUARTER

  • India’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed in the first quarter of the financial year to $300 million as compared with $6.1 billion in the year-earlier period. The deficit sharank to 0.1 per cent of GDP in the period, as compared with 1.2 per cent.
  • On the basis of balance of payments, merchandise imports declined sharply — by 11.5 per cent — as compared with merchandise exports, which fell 2.1 per cent, leading to a lower trade deficit in Q1 of 2016-17.
  • Net services receipts declined on a year-on-year basis, largely due to a fall in net earnings on account of travel, financial services and other business services.
  • Net foreign direct investment also moderated to $4.1 billion in Q1 of 2016-17 from $10 billion a year earlier and $8.8 billion in the preceding three-month period.
  • Higher repayments under external commercial borrowings led to a net outflow under loans to India in Q1 as against net borrowings in the same period last year.
  • Portfolio investments recorded a net inflow of $2.1 billion in Q1 of 2016-17 as against a marginal outflow in the corresponding period of last year.
  • Portfolio investment recorded an outflow of $1.5 billion in the preceding quarter, primarily reflecting net inflow in the equity component.
  • Accretion to non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits, which were $1.4 billion, moderated from both a year earlier as well as the previous quarter.
  • The balance of payments posted a surplus of $7 billion for the April-June quarter, a decline from the $11.4 billion surplus recorded a year earlier.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

FIRST BRICS WELLNESS WORKSHOP CONCLUDES IN BENGALURU

The first BRICS Wellness Workshop concluded in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The workshop was inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar on 10 September 2016.

Along with the workshop, National Fair on comprehensive Indian Medicine system (AROGYA) was also inaugurated in the city. The four day event is organized by Union Ministry of AYUSH, in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). The fair will conclude on 13 September 2016.

Key highlights of the BRICS Wellness Workshop

The Workshop is organized to promote partnerships with BRICS nations.

It aimed at promoting knowledge sharing and pushing forward AYUSH initiatives in BRICS countries, which will further help in globalization of AYUSH.

The Workshop was designed to have sessions related to Traditional Systems of Medicine, Trade and Economy, Wellness and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Wellness indicators for BRICS, Wellness and Tourism among others.

It included a session on WHO strategy for Traditional Medicine.

On the other hand, the AROGYA fair provides a good exposure for manufacturers/importers of Traditional Medicines/Raw Materials of the BRICS Countries to have firsthand experience of Indian Traditional Medicinal products/manufacturing facilities.

UNION CABINET APPROVES ESTABLISHMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION FINANCING AGENCY

The Union Cabinet approved the creation of the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).

The HEFA will be established to give a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions.

Key highlights of the HEFA

The HEFA will be jointly promoted by the identified Promoter and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with an authorised capital of 2000 crore rupees. The Government equity will be 1000 crore rupees.

The HEFA will be formed as a SPV within a PSU Bank/ Government-owned-NBFC.  It will leverage the equity to rise up to 20000 crore rupees for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions.

It will also mobilise CSR funds from PSUs/Corporates, which will in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on grant basis.

The HEFA will finance the civil and lab infrastructure projects through a 10-year loan.

All the Centrally Funded Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible for joining as members of the HEFA.

For joining as members, the Institution should agree to escrow a specific amount from their internal accruals to HEFA for a period of 10 years. This secured future flows will be securitised by the HEFA for mobilising the funds from the market.

Each member institution will be eligible for a credit limit as decided by HEFA based on the amount agreed to be escrowed from the internal accruals.

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS VICE CHAIRMAN LEE JAE-YONG TO BE APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR OF THE BOARD

South Korean electronics major Samsung Electronics announced that Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will be appointed as a registered executive director on the board.

The decision was made keeping in mind the urgent need for strategic decision-making on aggressive investments and new growth engines from a long-term perspective.

Who is Lee Jae-yong?

Lee Jae-yong is a South Korean business magnate.

He is the eldest child and only son of Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung.

He received a degree in East Asian history at Seoul National University.

He obtained his master's in business administration from Keio University.

He has also attended Harvard Business School to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration degree, focusing on e-commerce. However, he did not obtain the degree.

He is referred to as the Crown Prince of Samsung by the South Korean media.

His wealth is estimated to be worth 7.9 billion US dollar, making him the third wealthiest person in South Korea.

In 2014, he was named the world's 35th most powerful person and the most powerful Korean by Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People along with his father Lee Kun-hee.

INDIAN AMERICAN SCIENTIST RAMESH RASKAR WINS US$500000 2016 LEMELSON-MIT PRIZE

Indian American Ramesh Raskar won the 2016 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Raskar is the co-inventor of radical imaging solutions including femtophotography, an ultra-fast imaging system that can see around corners, low-cost eye-care solutions for the developing world and a camera that allows users to read pages of a book without opening the cover.

Who is Ramesh Raskar?

Ramesh Raskar is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Associate Professor.

He is also the head of the MIT Media Lab's Camera Culture research group.

He was born in Nashik.

He finished his engineering education from College of Engineering, Pune.

He finished his PhD at UNC Chapel Hill.

He holds over fifty patents.

About Lemelson-MIT Prize

The Lemelson Foundation awards several prizes yearly to inventors in the United States. The largest is the Lemelson–MIT Prize which was endowed in 1994 by Jerome H. Lemelson.

It is administered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The winner receives 500000 US dollars, making it the largest cash prize for invention in the U.S.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 13:09
 

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