Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 24 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 24 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:39

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

24- NOVEMBER - 2016

:: NATIONAL ::

SC SAYS CASES IN DIFFERENT HC’S TO CONTINUE ON NOTE BAN

  • The Supreme Court refused to stay the cases in High Courts against the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes.
  • A Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said the petitions in the various High Courts highlighted the differ-ent inconveniences across the country.
  • “Maybe some relief can be had by these people.” Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to “shut its door” on the “frantic and affected” public.
  • The court also allowed co-operative banks to approach their respective High Courts with their grievances.
  • The Centre maintained that the demonetisation policy, an exercise intended to weed out black money and cripple terror funding, was a success.
  • Mr. Rohatgi responded thatthe situation was “much better” and more than Rs. 6 lakh crore had been deposited in banks since the demonetisation was announced on November 8.
  • The AG said queues in front of banks and ATMs had thinned and the situation would become normal in the next 20 days.

POTENTIAL HYDRO POWER PROJECTS IN HIMALAYA FACES RISK OF FLOOD

  • Potential hydro power projects in the Himalayan region would need to factor in chances of increased floods from the formation of new lakes and the expansion of existing ones due to melting glaciers, says an analysis of Himalayan glaciers.
  • The results are part of a modelling study by Swiss researchers on the impact of climate change in the Himalayas.
  • According to the study, 441 hydro-power projects spanning India, Nepal, Pakistan and China, that is, 66% of constructed and potential hydro power projects, are on possible Glacier Lake Out-burst Floods (GLOF) tracks.
  • This means they could be gorged with extra water from melting glaciers. Almost a third of these hydro power projects could experience GLOF discharges well abovewhat these dams account for, says a study.
  • India accounts for 129 of the hydro projects analysed. India's environment and water resources ministries areengaged in a tiff with the power ministry over the construction of forthcoming hydro power projects in Uttarakhand.
  • Broadly, they deal with the impact of these projects on the local ecology and on the natural flows of the rivers they are built upon.
  • In the Beas basin, six lakes in 1989 had increased to 33 in 2011, and in the Parvati Valley catchment area, there was an increase from 12 lakes (in 1989) to 77 lakes (in 2014).
  • Most of the Himachal Pradesh lakes were relatively small or with a capacity of a million cubic metres, and only a few of them had a capacity larger than 10 million cubic metres of water.

AFTER PROPOSAL OF SEVERAL CHANGES GST COUNCIL MEET POSTPONED

  • With several States suggesting changes in the model GST and compensation laws, the GST Council meeting scheduled for November 25 has been postponed to December 2-3.
  • The officers committee of both the Centre and States, however, will meet on November 25 to finalise the three draft legislation — the CGST, the IGST and compensation law.
  • These will be placed in the public domain for stakeholders' comments.
  • The Centre proposes to introduce these legislations as money bills to ensure they are not stuck in the RajyaSabha, where the ruling NDA does not have a majority.
  • The Central GST (CGST) will be framed based on the model GST law. The IGST law would deal with inter-State movement of goods and services.
  • Also, the States will draft their own State GST (SGST) based on the draft model law with minor variations incorporating the State-based exemption.
  • The Centre plans to create a Rs. 50,000 crore fund for the GST compensation by levying cess on demerit and luxury goods.

SPECIAL WINDOW OF RS. 21,000 CRORE TO DISTRICT CENTRAL COOPERATIVE BANKS

  • Union governmentannounced a special window of Rs. 21,000 crore to district central cooperative banks to ensure smooth agriculture-related operations during the current rabi season.
  • The government also began a new phase of its de-monetisation policy and efforts to make the economy less dependent on cash by boosting digital transactions.
  • Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told presspersons that the Rs. 21,000 crore would en-able these banks to sanction and disburse crop loans to farmers through the network of primary agricultural co-operative societies.
  • He said nearly 82,000 of the 2.2 lakh ATMs in the country had been recalibrated to dispense new currency, adding that within afew days the remaining ones would be covered.
  • On seizures of unaccounted-for cash, Mr. Das said the Revenue Department would soon make a statement on the ex-act quantum. He said the currency printing presses were working at full capacity in three shifts to replenish the notes.
  • The government announced a slew of incentives to help promote digital transactions.
  • Pointing out that 30 croreRuPay debit cards had been issued with a 300 per cent growth in their use in the past 12 days, Mr. Das said the banks had decided to waive transaction charges on using them up to December 31.
  • The National Payments Council of India had waived switching charges for RuPay cards.
  • Further, public sector banks and some private sec-tor banks had decided to waive transaction charges till December 31. Private sec-tor banks are expected to do likewise, Mr. Das said.
  • Besides, Railways have decided not to levy service charges on e-tickets up to December 31.
  • To promote greater usage of payments through e-wallets, the RBI has decided to increase the monthly transaction limit for individuals from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000. Similar enhancements have also been announced by the RBI for merchants.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

NIKKI HALEY PICKED AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS

  • Nikki Haley was named as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by President-elect Donald Trump, becoming the first Indian-American to be appointed to a Cabinet-level post in any U.S. administration.
  • Daughter of Indian immigrants from Punjab, Ms. Haley (44) is the first woman tapped by Mr. Trump for a top-level administration post during his transition to the White House.
  • The presidential transition team said this would be a Cabinet-level position in the Trump-Pence Administration. The Cabinet position would require confirmation by the Senate.
  • Noting that Ms. Haley is one of the most universally respected governors in the country,she has travelled abroad to negotiate with international companies on behalf of South Carolina.

ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION TO DISCUSS IMPLICATIONS OF DONALD TRUMPS ELECTION

  • At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru over the week-end, one of the biggest questions was whether Donald Trump, as the next U.S. President, would stick to his threat to erect steep trade barriers against Beijing.
  • Dragging the United States into a tit-for-tat confrontation with the world's second-largest economy. No such war has begun, yet it seems clear that the U.S. has already lost.
  • China has been steadily gaining in the global economic system. Waging war against globalisation, America is making China's case.
  • China's economy would surely suffer if the U.S. were to impose a 45 per cent tariff on nearly $500 billion worthof Chinese imports.
  • The U.S. absorbs only 16 per cent of Chinese exports, but it is China's healthiest export market. Fears of American protectionism are already stoking capital flight from China. But China might be better placed than the U.S. to take the blow.
  • China has several ways to retaliate. It could bar state-owned companies from doing business with American businesses.
  • It could limit ac-cess to essential commodities, as it did in response to a fishing dispute with Japan by stopping exports of so-called rare earth minerals essential to the electronics industry.
  • Itcould soft-pedal efforts to combat the piracy of U.S. patents and copyrights. Some of the U.S.' most successful companies would be in for a rough ride.
  • The vast majority of Apple's iPhones, for example, are assembled in China. The assembly costs, though, account for less than 4 per cent of the value added of the device.
  • That means China could force a halt in iPhone production at little cost to it-self, while Apple would face a deeply disruptive, expensive effort to shift production elsewhere. Building it from scratch in the United States is nearly impossible.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

SEBI LIBERALISED NORMS FOR ANGEL FUNDS

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has liberalised norms for angel funds to invest in early-stage entities as part of its attempts to facilitate fund-raising for start-ups.
  • The capital markets regulator also enhanced the scope of investment of foreign investors in unlisted debt securities.
  • The regulator has in-creased the upper limit for number of angel investors in a scheme from forty nine to two hundred.
  • Angel Funds will also be allowed to invest in start-ups incorporated within five years instead of the earlier norm of three years.
  • The requirements of minimum investment amount by an angel fund in any venture capital under-taking has been reduced from Rs.50 lakh to Rs.25 lakh.
  • Further, the lock-in requirements of investment made by angel funds in the venture capital undertaking has been reduced from three years to one year.
  • Such funds have also been allowed to invest in overseas venture capital undertakings up to 25 per cent of their investable corpus in line with other Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).
  • The regulator also clamped down on agreements between company management personnel and shareholders that assure a certain compensation or share in profits to the employee.
  • SEBI has stated that all such agreements entered into during the last three years will have to be dis-closed to the stock ex-changes and companies will have to seek an approval from the public shareholders of the company.
  • Further, interested per-sons involved in the trans-actions will have to abstain from voting on the said resolution, the capital mar-kets regulator said

PAYTM ROLLED A NEW FEATURE IN ITS MOBILE WALLET

  • Paytm has rolled out a new feature on its mo-bile wallet application that will allow shopkeepers to accept payments through credit or debit cards. The move eliminates the need for a point-of-sale (PoS) or swipe machine.
  • Currently, there are about 14.8 lakh PoS machines in India, used by seven lakh retailers, for about 74 crore debit and credits cards in use. With this update, buyers need not have a Paytm account.
  • The bill is generated by the shopkeeper, who will then pass his phone to customers to enter card details. The customer will receive a one-time-password (like in the case on any online transaction) on his/her mo-bile number.
  • The details, entered by the customer, will not reside on the app but on the bank's website, making the process secure, Paytm said. The company said merchants can accept up to Rs.50,000 a month, as stipulated by the central bank.

FOR SMOOTH MOVEMENT GOVT WANTS DIGITAL TAGS

  • To ensure smooth movement of traffic at toll plazas, the government on Wednesday reiterated the need for use of digital identity tags in all vehicles, including cars, to enable electronic payment at such places.
  • Ministry of Road Transport and High-ways is therefore advising the automobile manufacturers to provide ETC-compliant RFID in all new vehicles.
  • The government had through a notification in 2013 mandated that all passenger and commercial vehicles be fitted with Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID).
  • According to industry estimates, more than six million RFID tags were fitted on vehicles by auto makers in last three years.

GOLDMAN SACHS EXPECTS GDP GROWTH AROUND 6.8 PERCENT

  • Goldman Sachs has forecast a deceleration in India’s GDP growth to 6.8 per cent this fiscal, down from 7.6 per cent last financial year, due to demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes.
  • According to Goldman, post the ‘dramatic currency reform' the liquidity short-age would be a significant constraint on domestic activity, which in turn would affect GDP growth.
  • “In the short term, the liquidity shortage appears likely to be a significant constraint on domestic activity, leading us to forecast a deceleration in GDP growth to 6.8 per cent in FY17 (below consensus), down from 7.6 per cent in FY16,” Goldman Sachs said in a research note.
  • The currency reform should help to move economic activity into formal channels and in-crease government revenue, it added.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

SOUTH KOREA APPROVES DEAL ON NORTH KOREA WITH JAPAN

South Korea approved a deal to share intelligence on North Korea directly with Japan. The agreement will come into effect after it is signed in the South Korean Parliament.

The pact known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was inked in Seoul, South Korea. This pact will help the two countries to pool military intelligence on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

The deal is designed to take advantage of the two countries’ perceived intelligence strengths. In case of Japan it is high-tech surveillance, and in South Korea, it is human intelligence or spies in North Korea.

Till date, the two countries shared their intelligence report via the US, which was seen as a cumbersome process in the face of potentially urgent threats. They were sharing their intelligence report on North Korea's nuclear program via the US under a deal signed in 2014.

Earlier, the two countries wanted to sign a similar deal in the year 2012 but South Korea failed to do so due to domestic opposition.

Controversy

The deal saw outcry by a large section of people as well as the opposition party of South Korea. In the case of South Korea, the deal is controversial as the country remembers the Japanese atrocities in wartime. The country still shares anti-Japanese sentiment over Japan’s colonial rule during the first half of the 20th century (between 1910 and 1945).

The main opposition party of South Korea termed the deal as humiliating and unpatriotic. They also threatened to impeach the Defence Minister Han Min-Koo, if the agreement is passed through the Parliament.

North Korea has termed the pact as dangerous, as it would open a door to a Japanese re-invasion of the Korean Peninsula.

On the other hand, the Defence Minster of South Korea defended the decision by terming that the deal was necessary due to military threat posed by North Korea.

WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD TO BE HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN INDIA

The 13th World Robot Olympiad will be held in India for the first time ever. It will be organised jointly by NCSM under the aegis of Ministry of Culture and India STEM Foundation (ISF) from at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida.

More than 2000 students from 54 countries will participate in the event to find innovative ways, using robotic technology, to reduce, manage and recycle waste.

The theme for the 13th World Robot Olympiad is Rap the Scrap. The theme is in line with 'Swachh Bharat Mission' of the Indian government. The theme suggests students to Rap (talk) about waste – an important social issue. The students are expected to come up with innovative ideas using robotics technology to ‘Rap the Scrap’ i.e. to reduce, manage and recycle waste.

About World Robot Olympiad

The World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition for young people.

It uses Lego Mindstorms manufactured by LEGO Education.

The competition was first held in 2004 in Singapore.

It was formally established in the year 2003.

China, Japan, Singapore and Korea are considered the founding countries of the competition.

It consists of 4 different categories, Regular, College, Open and Soccer.

For the Regular and Open categories, it consists of three different age groups: Elementary, Junior High and Senior High. Participants below the age of 13 are considered as Elementary, participants from ages 13 until 16 years old are considered Junior High and participants between 17 and 19 are considered Senior High.

The 12th World Robot Olympiad was held in Doha, Qatar in November 2015. The theme for the year was 'Robot Explorers'.

In 2017, the World Robot Olympiad will be held in Costa Rica.

PORTUGUESE PM ANTONIO COSTA TO BE CHIEF GUEST AT PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS

The Union Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, announced that Antonio Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, accepted the proposal be the Chief Guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

On the other hand, Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin, Vice President of the Republic of Suriname will be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is scheduled to be held from 7 January to 9 January 2017 at Bengaluru in Karnataka. The Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held on 7 January 2017.

About Antonio Costa

Born on 17 July 1961, Antonio Costa is the Prime Minister of Portugal. He has been in office since 26 November 2015.

Previously, he served as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from 1997 to 1999, Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002, Minister of State and Internal Administration from 2005 to 2007, and Mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015.

He was elected as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party in September 2014.

About Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated in India on 9 January each year.

It is celebrated to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.

The day also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa in Bombay on 9 January 1915.

The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora set up by India Government under the chairmanship of L M Singhvi.

The day was formally established in 2003.

It is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs of the Government of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region of India.

During the celebration, a forum for issues concerning the Indian Diaspora is organised and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards are also given.

The 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The Theme for the year was "Apna Bharat, Apna Gaurav". The Chief Guest was Donald Ramtar, President of Republic of Guyana.

TRUMP NAMES SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY AS UN ENVOY

Donald Trump, the President-elect of the United States of America (USA), named South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as the US Ambassador to the United Nations. With this, Haley becomes the first non-white female cabinet-level official to be appointed within the Trump administration.

She will be serving Carolina as its Governor until her nomination is not confirmed by the Senate.

Besides Nikki Haley, President-elect Trump also named Betsy DeVos as education secretary of the country. DeVos is a billionaire education philanthropist and activist.

While naming the two, Trump praised the two appointees. In a statement he said, ‘Haley was a proven deal maker and we look to be making plenty of deals’ and ‘Devos was a brilliant and passionate education advocate’.

Interesting Fact: Both, Haley and DeVos, opposed Trump during the campaign. De Vos spent much of the year raising money for other Republicans’ for the election.

Nikki Haley

• She is the daughter of Indian immigrants

• She was a vocal critic of Trump on the campaign trail

• The 44-year-old has been characterised as a rising star within the Republican Party is the youngest Governor in the US.

• She has served America as the 116th Governor of South Carolina since 2011.

• She is also the first woman and first minority governor of South Carolina.

• She is the second Indian-American, after Bobby Jindal, to serve as governor in the US.

• She was the prominent leader, who pushed for the removal of the Charleston battle flag from the South Carolina State House after the deadly church shooting in Charleston in June 2015.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 07:29