Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 11 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 11 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:23

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

11- NOVEMBER - 2016

:: NATIONAL ::

IT DEPARTMENT CONDUCTED RAIDS ACROSS COUNTRY

  • The Income Tax Department conducted searches in Mumbai and Delhi on hawala operators and bullion traders found accepting demonetised currency.
  • The IT searches followed “specific and definite information” against at least a dozen hawala operators and jewellers suspected to be dealing in demonetised currency in return for gold, sources said.
  • The monitoring in the cooperative banks is loose, and chances of manipulation and back-dated entries is high. But mainly, the searches were restricted to hawala operators in the Mumbai region.

SC MADE PUNJAB LAW REGARDING RAVI, BEAS ILLEGAL

  • Supreme Court declared that Punjab reneged on its promise to share the waters of rivers Ravi and Beas with neighbouring States like Haryana by unilaterally enacting the controversial Punjab Termination of Water Agreements Act of 2004.
  • A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice Anil R. Dave gave its opinion on a Presidential Reference made to it 12 years ago, on July 22, 2004, questioning the constitutional validity of the Act.
  • The apex court concluded that the Act was illegally designed to terminate a 1981, agreement entered into among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to re-allocate the waters of Ravi and Beas. The SYL Canal was a product of this 1981 agreement.
  • By introducing the 2004 Act, the State defied two back-to-back apex court verdicts, pronounced in 2002 and 2004, it said.
  • The first one had directed Punjab to complete the SYL Canal in a year. The second judgment had ordered the formation of a central agency to “take control” of Punjab’s work on the canal.
  • In short, the Supreme Court said Punjab acted as “a judge in its own cause”. The State exceeded its legislative power in proceeding to nullify the decree of this court and therefore, the Punjab Act of 2004 cannot be said to be a valid legislation.

SC ASKS CENTRAL AND STATE GOVT TO WORK IN REMOVING POLLUTION

  • The Supreme Court asked the government and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) whether it intends to just sit back and watch people gasping for breath finally die in a polluted national Capital.
  • “The courts are trying to monitor, the National Green Tribunal is trying to monitor the pollution... and there you are, just sitting there and waiting for people to die,” Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said.
  • You must have plans. How will you have spread of stations (to monitor air quality) that will clear the picture? You need to immediately plan as to how many stations will be reasonable, looking into the importance of the situation,” the Bench said
  • The Centre had promised to inform the court about its comprehensive plan to grade pollution and warn the public about the air toxicity levels.
  • However, instead of a plan, the Bench found that Delhi had just three air ambience monitoring stations – Dwarka, Dilshad Gardens and Shaadipur – with no central monitoring system to collate real-time pollution data and inform the public.
  • Mr. Kumar complained that though the government is willing to do what is necessary to help, the implementing agencies are not doing what they should do to curb pollution.
  • In response, the Chief Justice called the government “sluggish.”

ALL GOVT TRANSACTIONS TO BE MADE CASHLESS

  • The NDA government's demonetisation gambit is being backed up by an effort to move all government transactions to the cashless mode.
  • Centre working on a new single window e-payment system that individuals or businesses can use to make payments to any central or State department.
  • Govt will be issuing a request for proposal (RFP) by December to set up a common e-governance platform for end-to-end transactional experience for a citizen, businesses as well as internal government functions.
  • An RFP is issued by an agency to invite bids for a particular project from interested parties.
  • While some government departments have introduced electronic payments system, a lot of PSUs, schools and courts have said they lack mechanisms to introduce such a system.
  • While it will not be mandatory for the government bodies to be part of the platform, the IT ministry will “continue to encourage and push” all departments to go cashless.
  • Last year, the Prime Minister’s Office had also set an ambitious target to shift at least 90 per cent of all government transactions that involve payments or receipts from citizens and businesses to electronic or paperless mode by the end of 2016.
  • The implications of such a platform on corruption will be huge, the official said, adding, “If cash isn’t involved anywhere…there can be no deniability. If someone has taken money, it will be easily traceable.”
  • The official pointed out that for payments happening out of Central government, over 97 per cent are already electronic.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

COUNTRY STAY DIVIDED AFTER US ELECTIONS

  • A day after Republican Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the U.S., it dawned on America that divisions are easy to create but difficult to heal.
  • The three protagonists of this election season — President Barack Obama, President-elect Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton — appealed for unity and calm, but protests broke out in many parts of the country.
  • In at least 25 cities across the country, protesters chanted ‘not my President’ and lit candles while numerous social media initiatives sought support to ensure that Mr. Trump is a one-term President.
  • The protesters marched on Trump buildings in several cities. College campuses in California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania also witnessed students protests.
  • Muslims, Hispanics and Blacks, three communities that felt particularly at the receiving end of Mr. Trump’s campaign, are more anxious.
  • The most unsettling prospect for minority communities is the potential repealing of Obamacare, which Mr. Trump has promised to do. The programme ensured health insurance for 20 million people who were not previously covered.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

PRIME MINISTER MODI ON JAPAN VISIT

  • As PMModi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe prepare to discuss the conclusion of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement after their talks, all eyes will be on whether India will accept a “nullification” or “termination” clause.
  • The deal, which will open up access for India to cutting edge nuclear energy technology, reactors and critical parts, has been held up for years over the clause, which stipulates that it would be cancelled if India were to conduct a nuclear test.
  • Along with the $1.5-billion deal for U-2 amphibious aircraft, the civil nuclear agreement will be the highlight of the talks between Mr. Modi and Mr. Abe, which will follow business meetings and a call on Emperor Akihito.
  • India maintains a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing, but has thus far refused to sign on to the NPT, the CTBT or given any other undertaking outside of its commitments at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • However, analysts concede that Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, has special sensitivities that India may need to make an exception for, despite India’s insistence on nuclear sovereignty.
  • MEA officials refused to comment on the report, saying only that the “text will speak for itself.”

INDIA LASHED OUT WORLD BANK ON INDUS WATER TREATY

  • India lashed out at the World Bank over its decision to favour Pakistan on the Indus Water Treaty dispute process over the Kishenganga and Ratle dam and hydropower projects.
  • While India had asked for a neutral expert to be appointed over Pakistan’s objections to the projects first, Pakistan appealed directly for a Court of Arbitration (CoA) to be set up as it claims India has violated the 1960 treaty.
  • “Inexplicably, the World Bank has decided to continue to proceed with these two parallel mechanisms simultaneously. India cannot be party to actions which are not in accordance with the Indus Waters Treaty,” said a statement issued by the MEA spokesperson from Tokyo, shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed there.
  • The MEA statement came just hours before the World Bank was due to draw lots by which it selects “umpires” for the Court of Arbitration.
  • World Bank’s action of going ahead with Pakistan’s claim had escalated the differences into an international dispute.
  • PM Modi held a high level meeting on the issue, where several senior officials proposed that India should pull out of the arbitration entirely unless the World Bank changes.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

GST REGIME TO START FROM APRIL 1

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that major issues on the GST have been resolved and the new regime will be implemented from April 1, 2017.
  • “A lot of distance has been covered as far as GST is concerned,” Mr. Jaitley said at the Economics Editors’ Conference.
  • “It is the consensus approach that we have been following. And one of the objects has been that since the GST Council is a federal decision-making process, the manner in which it functions in the initial years will lay down a precedent for the future.”
  • “Rather than resorting to voting and divisions on every issue, we have been trying to discuss, re-discuss and then reach a consensus and so far we have been able to resolve most of the major issues through a consensus,” he said.
  • “If you look at some of the important directional decisions, I think one of the most obvious ones pending for a long time was that the different sectors of the economy needed to be opened up,” Mr. Jaitley said.

INDIA HOPES FOR FAIR RESOLUTION ON U.S. WORK VISA ISSUE

  • India will take up the IT industry’s concerns regarding curbs on the non-immigrant temporary work visas as well as the absence of a bilateral social security pact, once U.S. President Donald Trump takes charge, Commerce Minister said.
  • “We will continue our negotiations … At the earliest available moment, we will brief about the Indian (IT) industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy. We hope the new President will deal with the issues in a fair manner,” Ms. Sitharamansaid.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) in a statement said the Trump administration must expedite talks on the proposed India-US Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • The USIBC said the U.S. should also take up market access barriers faced by American companies in India.
  • This includes tariff increases on the importation of Information & Communications Technology products, foreign direct investment (FDI) barriers in insurance.
  • This is especially with respect to ownership and control, inequitable FDI restriction in tobacco, and price controls in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.
  • The USIBC said about “five lakh U.S.-based Indian workers pay the 6.2 per cent Federal Insurance Contributions Act payroll tax on an ongoing basis.
  • Despite their contributions, which add up to $1 billion per year, they will never receive the benefits because they return to India before having worked for at least 40 quarters (approximately 10 years).”
  • Following the Obama administration’s move to increase the fees for H1-B and L-1 visas, industry body Nasscom had said the move will result in the IT sector taking a hit of over $400 million annually.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

NASA’S MMS MISSION CREATES GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR HIGHEST ALTITUDE FIX OF GPS SIGNAL

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission set the Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal at 70000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.

Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission successfully completed commissioning activities on 1 September 2015 and is now in full science mode.

About Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

• NASA’s MMS mission is an unmanned space mission to study the Earth’s magnetosphere, using four identical satellites flying in a tetrahedral or pyramid formation.

• It was launched in March 2015 with an aim to map magnetic reconnection, a process that occurs as the sun and Earth’s magnetic fields interact.

• It was launched to understand the causes of magnetic reconnection for understanding phenomena of auroras on Earth, flares on surface of sun, and areas surrounding black holes.

• It was designed to gather information about the microphysics of energetic particle acceleration and turbulence, processes that occur in many astrophysical plasmas.

• When these four satellites were closest to Earth, they moved up to 35405 km/hour, making them the fastest known operational use of a GPS receiver.

• These satellites operated in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth and incorporated GPS measurements into their precise tracking systems.

• Earlier in 2016, MMS achieved the closest flying separation of a multi-spacecraft formation with only 7.2 km between the four satellites.

• The mission in its first year of prime mission gave scientists the new insight into Earth’s magnetosphere.

39TH JAMNALAL BAJAJ FOUNDATION AWARDS CONFERRED

The 39th Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards for the year 2016 were conferred in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Well-known Gandhian and President of Tunisia's Ennahdha Party, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchiwas among the four prominent personalities conferred with the prestigious award.

The other recipients of the awards are:

• Mohan Hirabai Hiralal, founder and convenor of Vrikshamitra: He was honoured for outstanding contribution in the field of Constructive Work. He worked for village empowerment in Menda Lekha in Gadchiroli, which became the first village in India to exercise community rights to harvest bamboo under the Forest Rights Act.

• BonBehari Vishnu Nimbkar, founder of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute: He was presented the award for application of science and technology for rural development.

• Dr. Nannapaneni Manga Devi, founder secretary of Sri Venkateswara Bala Kuteer and Chetana Charitable Trust: He was honoured with the award for development and welfare of women and children.

About Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Awards

Jamnalal Bajaj Award is an Indian award, for promoting Gandhian values, community service and social development.

It was established in 1978 by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation of Bajaj Group.

It is given annually in four categories: Constructive Work, Application of Science and Technology for Rural development, Outstanding contribution for the Development and Welfare of Women and Children, and International Award for promoting Gandhian values outside India.

Each category carries a cash prize of 10 lakh rupees, a citation and a trophy.

AMITAV GHOSH TO BE HONORED WITH TATA LITERATURE LIVE! LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Tata announced that Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 will be conferred on acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh.

The award will be presented to Ghosh at Tata Literature Live!’s annual awards ceremony to be held on 20 November 2016 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, Mumbai.

About Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh is an Indian-American author best known for his work in English fiction.

He was educated at the all-boys The Doon School where he edited The Doon School Weekly. His contemporaries at Doon included author Vikram Seth and Ram Guha.

He received degrees from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University, and Delhi School of Economics.

He then won the Inlaks Foundation scholarship to complete a D. Phil. in social anthropology at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, under the supervision of Peter Lienhardt.

In 1986, he wrote his debut novel titled The Circle of Reason.

His other famous works in fiction are The Shadow LinesThe Calcutta ChromosomeThe Glass PalaceThe Hungry TideSea of Poppies, among others.

His notable non-fiction writings are In an Antique LandDancing in Cambodia and at Large in BurmaCountdown, and The Imam and the Indian.

His book The Circle of Reason won the Prix Medicis etranger, one of France's top literary awards.

The Shadow Lines won the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar.

Sea of Poppies was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize.

The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri in 2007.

About Tata Literature Live!

The award has been instituted by the festival to recognise and honour outstanding contributions in the Indian literary space.

Past recipients of the award include legendary writers Kiran Nagarkar in 2015, MT Vasudevan Nair in 2014, Khushwant Singh in 2013, Sir VS Naipaul in 2012 and Mahasweta Devi in 2011.

Since its inception, Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest has instituted awards to honour achievements by Indian writers, both emerging and accomplished.

SEVENTH EDITION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES BEGINS IN NOIDA

The seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) kicked off in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

The session was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda and was attended by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

It is for the first time that India is hosting COP meeting of FCTC. It is the world’s biggest convention on tobacco control policy in which 180 countries are participating.

About WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the first global evidence-based public health treaty.

It recognises the right of all people to the highest standard of health.

The Treaty was developed by countries in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. There are currently 180 Parties to the Convention.

India has been the forerunner in ratification of the public health treaty and was the 7th Country to ratify the Convention in 2004. India ratified the treaty on 27th February 2005 and is therefore obligated to comply with the treaty provisions and its guidelines to reduce tobacco consumption globally.

India provided a leadership role in the negotiations of FCTC and was also the Regional Coordinator for the South-East Asia Region.

About Conference of Parties

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the Governing Body of the WHO FCTC and is comprised of all Parties to the Convention.

It keeps under regular review the implementation of the Convention and takes the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. It may also adopt protocols, annexes and amendments to the Convention.

The regular sessions of COP are held at two yearly intervals.

NARENDRA MODI TO BE MASCOT OF INCREDIBLE INDIA CAMPAIGN

The Union Tourism Ministry is all set to name Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the mascot of its ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

The position was lying vacant since Aamir Khan’s ouster as the campaign’s brand ambassador in January 2016 for his remarks on Indian intolerance. Names of Bollywood superstars, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra were doing rounds as likely contenders of the role.

Why Modi?

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a strong standing and his success story has been widely popular among people in India as well as abroad.

• He has visited a host of countries after his appointment.

• Tourism inflow from countries visited by the Prime Minister post his appointment like the US, Germany, Fiji, Brazil, UK, Myanmar and Australia has witnessed a significant jump.

The ministry plans to release a video footage of Modi speaking on tourism in India and abroad.

Key details of the video

• The footage will be taken from the speeches delivered by the Prime Minister on tourism during the last two and a half years.

• It will also include sections from radio and audio releases and videos where Modi has spoken on nation’s uniqueness and diversity.

• It is expected to get released within 45-50 days, coinciding with the peak tourist season.

About ‘Incredible India’ campaign

• Conceptualised in 2002 by V Sunit and Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, it is the first marketing initiative of its kind.

• Its main objective is to create a distinctive identity for the country.

• The campaign successfully established India as a high-end tourist destination, generating a 16% increase in tourist traffic in the first year itself.

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2016: DONALD TRUMP DECLARED WINNER

US Republican Donald Trump won the US presidential elections in a stunning victory. He won the elections by 276 seats.

He is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States of America (USA)on 20 January 2017. He will succeed Barack Obama.

He won Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina, while Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won 218 seats, took Virginia and Nevada, ABC projects.

Overview of the Results

Candidates

Percentage of Votes

Donald Trump

Republican Party

48%

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Party

47%

Gary Johnson

Libertarian Party

3%

Jill Stein

Green Party

1%

Other candidates

0.7%

Donald John Trump

• Donald Trump is an American businessman and the President-elect of the United States.

• He was the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2016 election

• He is the chairman and president of Trump Organisation. The organisation is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.

• Earlier, he said that he will vacant his position in the Trump Organisation prior to his assumption of the presidency.

• He has received a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.

• In 1971, he was given control of his father Fred Trump's real estate and construction firm and later renamed it The Trump Organization, rising to public prominence shortly thereafter.

• Trump has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series.

• He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.

• As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 11:06