Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 05- OCTOBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 05- OCTOBER - 2016
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 04:11

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

05- OCTOBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

DEFENCE MINISTER SAYS PAKISTAN STILL UNAWARE THAT SURGERY HAS BEEN DONE

  • Pakistan is like a patient who has been given anaesthesia and doesn’t know that surgery has already been done on him, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.
  • The Minister’s remarks are first comments from a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) following the “surgical strikes” on terrorist launch pads along the Line of Control.
  • Mr. Parrikar’s comments came even as Army chief Gen. Dalbir Singh visited the Northern and Western Commands and reviewed the Army’s operational preparedness in these two crucial commands.
  • Addressing a gathering in Peethsain in Pauri district of Uttarakhand, the Minister warned that India would not hesitate to carry out more such operations in the future if its interests were harmed.
  • “If Pakistan continues with such conspiracies, we will give them a befitting reply again,” the Minister said.
  • Army chief interacted with top commanders and got a first hand assessment of the security situation amid heightened tensions along the LoC and the international border.

CBDT RECEIVED DISCLOSURES OF MORE THAN 65000 CRORES UNDER IDS

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had received total disclosures of Rs. 65,250 crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme, 2016 in the form of cash and other assets.
  • The Minister added that since some disclosures that were received manually were yet to be tabulated and verified, the figure could be revised upward.
  • The four-month window under the scheme for declaring undisclosed income or black money that had escaped assessment closed.
  • Mr. Jaitley refused to draw comparisons of the current Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), 2016 with the Voluntary Disclosure Scheme of 1997.
  • Then government had mopped up Rs. 9,760 crore in taxes at an average of about Rs. 7 lakh per declarant.
  • Unlike the IDS, Mr. Jaitley said, the earlier scheme had not penalised the declarents and allowed them to value the assets declared at the market prices of 1987 rather than current rates.

KARNATAKA SOUGHT AN URGENT REVIEW OF APEX COURT ORDERS

  • Karnataka sought an urgent review of the Supreme Court orders to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), saying the directions amounted to judicial legislation.
  • Also, it violated the National Water Policy of 2012 which gives Karnataka’s requirement for drinking water first priority over Tamil Nadu’s need for water to irrigate its farm land.
  • The review petition, filed in the Supreme Court a day after the court directed the Centre to set up the CMB, contends that the judicial orders to release Cauvery water and form the CMB had gravely prejudiced the Karnataka people’s right to life.
  • Karnataka said its civil appeal against the 2007 final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was still pending consideration in the Supreme Court.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

US WARNS PAKISTAN ABOUT NUCLEAR POSTURING

  • The United States has conveyed to Pakistan that nuclear threats are not acceptable, a senior State Department official, who did not want to be named, said.
  • The message was conveyed after Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said twice in the span of a week that his country could use tactical nuclear weapons against India.
  • The U.S is concerned about the safety of Pakistani nuclear weapons otherwise also, the official said “The safety of these weapons is always a concern for us. So we are always monitoring it, regardless of what they said on this particular occasion,”.
  • Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said the U.S Secretary of State John Kerry is talking to the Indian leadership to ensure that the situation does not escalate.
  • “we’re very concerned about the situation there. We don’t want to see it escalate any further. And as part of that concern, the Secretary is certainly engaged and talking to Indian leadership – senior Indian leadership,” Mr. Toner said.
  • Mr. Toner said: “I would just say nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities. And that’s my message publicly and that’s certainly our message directly to the Pakistani authorities.”

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

INDIA WOULD STRESSON TRYING TO OPERATIONALISE THE GREEN CLIMATE FUND

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Kozhikode on September 25 that India would ratify the Paris climate deal.
  • The ratification document will be submitted at the offices of the UN Secretary-General by Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, or his representative, said Environment Ministry officials.
  • It is still unclear what led India to alter its position dramatically from mere weeks ago.
  • At the G20 summit in China last month, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said India “wasn’t ready” in terms of the domestic actions required to ratify, or at least commit to ratify, the Paris deal within 2016.
  • After India’s bid to enter the NSG was rebuffed by China in Seoul in June, the External Affairs Ministry said, “An early positive decision by the NSG would have allowed us to move forward on the Paris agreement.”
  • Mr. Dave said that at the climate talks in Morocco in November, India would stress most on trying to operationalise the $100 billion corpus — called the Green Climate Fund — committed by developed countries.
  • Fund will aid policy, projects and technology transfer as a buffer against the impact of climate change. Only a fraction of it has been pledged so far.
  • The funds will help nations work on fulfilling their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) which aim to reduce carbon emissions through a host of solutions.
  • Mr. Dave said that India has already completed 12 per cent of all pre-2020 Intended National Determined Contributions (INDC), or the road map by which it will make good on its commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
  • As part of its INDC plans, India had promised to bring down its emissions intensity, or emissions per unit of the GDP, by at least 33 per cent by the year 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

THE CENTRE IS RECONSIDERING A PLAN TO WIDEN THE SOCIAL SECURITY NET

  • The centre is reconsidering a plan to widen the social security net for workers by bringing more factories under the provident fund coverage.
  • The Cabinet Secretariat has pointed out a few contradictions in the Labour Ministry’s proposal to amend the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952.
  • The Labour Ministry had proposed to bring down the threshold limit for coverage of firms under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to factories with at least 10 workers. At present, the EPF Act is applicable to factories with minimum 20 workers.
  • The proposal to decrease the threshold limit was found to be contradictory with another proposal in the Act to give an option to workers to switch to the NPS, managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
  • In his Union Budget 2015-16 speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed allowing EPF subscribers to opt for NPS and to make EPF contributions optional for workers below a certain income threshold.
  • In June this year, Centre proposed making EPF optional for textile workers earning less than Rs 15,000 a month as a part of a special package for the garments sector.
  • The government’s proposal to bring factories with at least 10 workers under the EPF fold can bring 50 lakh additional workers under the social security coverage.
  • At present, 8.7 crore workers are subscribing to the EPFO out of which around 3.77 crore workers have been making active contributions to their provident fund account till 2015-16, data showed.
  • The proposal to cover factories with at least tenworkers under the Employee Provident Fund Act was one of the recommendations of the 44th Indian Labour Conference Session which was held in February 2012.

GOVT RECEIVED BIDS OF 53000 CRORE

  • The government received bids worth more than Rs.53,000 crore on the first day of the biggest ever auction of the country’s telecom spectrum, according to sources. A total of 2,300 MHz of spectrum worth Rs.5.6 lakh crore has been put up for sale.
  • Five rounds of bidding were completed. No bids were received for the much-touted 700 MHz band, which is being put up for auction for the first time.
  • While 700 MHz is considered most suitable for offering high speed broadband services, industry players have been complaining about its high pan-India reserve price of about Rs.11,500 crore per MHz.
  • Seven firms — Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Reliance Jio Infocom, and Tata Teleservices —are in the fray to acquire spectrum in seven bands.
  • The government had raked in Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the last spectrum auction held in March 2015. It had sold spectrum across 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

JUNAID AHMAD APPOINTED AS WORLD BANK COUNTRY DIRECTOR FOR INDIA

Junaid Ahmad was appointed as the World Bank Country Director for India. He will succeed Onno Ruhl who completed his four-year term recently.

Ahmad joined the World Bank in 1991 as a young professional.

About Junaid Ahmad

• Hailing from Bangladesh, Ahmad was previously the Chief of Staff to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

• Prior to joining the president’s office in January 2016, Ahmad was Senior Director for Water Global Practice, a position he held since the creation of the Global Practices in July 2014.

• An economist by training, he holds a PhD in Applied Economics from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University.

• Later he worked in the World Bank on infrastructure development in Africa and Eastern Europe.

• He has also held several management positions, leading the bank's programme in diverse regions, including Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in India and South Asia.

IOCL, GAIL SIGN MOU FOR TAKING EQUITY STAKE IN DHAMRA LNG TERMINAL

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and GAIL (India) Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dhamra LNG Terminal Private Limited (DLTPL) for taking equity in the 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Receiving, Storage and Regasification Terminal.

The Dhamra LNG terminal is being built by Adani Enterprises Ltd at Dhamra Port, Odisha.

Highlights of the MoU

• As per the MoU, DLTPL shall be an equal Joint Venture of Indian Oil and GAIL on one hand and Adani Group on the other.

• Indian Oil and GAIL will acquire 39 percent and 11 percent equity respectively in DLTPL, with the balance 50 percent stake being held by Adani group.

• Indian Oil and Adani group will each divest 1 percent of their respective stake to a credible financial institution which will then have 2 percent stake in the terminal.

• Apart from equity, Indian Oil and GAIL intend to book regasification capacity of 3.0 and 1.5 MMTPA respectively in the terminal.

Background
• Presently, the states in eastern India viz. Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal are not able to get the benefits of natural gas in sectors like Domestic, Transport, Industries etc., as the region does not have gas infrastructure by way of LNG Terminals and cross-country gas pipeline grid.

• The LNG Terminal at Dhamra Port will provide the potential customers in these states a clean and economically viable alternative which will also help in reducing the carbon footprint.

• This will also provide momentum to the economic growth of this region by attracting new industrial projects.

• The LNG Terminal will also meet the gas requirements of three oil refineries of Indian Oil situated in Barauni, Haldia and Paradip.

• The three fertilizers plants at Barauni, Sindri and Gorakhpur which are being revived by Govt. of India will also benefit from this terminal.

IWAI SIGNS CONTRACT WITH DST, GERMANY FOR DESIGNING SPECIAL VESSELS FOR NW-1

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) signed a contract with M/s DST, Germany to design vessels, especially suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1). Under the contract, DST will develop 150 to 200 low draft vessels.

The contract was signed with an aim to provide safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through NW-1.

The objective of IWAI is to go along with nature and disturb the river minimally. The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts and will be of high carrying capacity, and most importantly, will be environment friendly.

Highlights

• DST will develop a combination of standardised vessels to meet the requirement of various types of cargo.

• One of the most important navigational challenges for NW-1 is the kind of vessels that will play on the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly stretch.

• Keeping in view the difficult hydro-morphological characteristics of the river in the upper reaches between Patna and Varanasi, it is important to have vessels which can ply on low draft, with high carrying capacity, and are economically viable and environment friendly.

Background

• Union Government is developing the National Waterway-1 under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of 4200 crore rupees.

• The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2000 tons.

• Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch.

• The project includes development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals at Varanasi, Haldia, and Sahibganj.

• It also includes strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka etc.

List of National Waterways in India

Name

River

NW1

Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga—Bhagirathi-Hooghly Rivers

NW2

Sadiya-Dhubri Stretch of Brahmaputra River

NW3

Kollam-Kozhikode Stretch of West Coast Canal and Champakara and Udyogmandal Canals

 

 

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