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Current Affairs - 19 May 2015

Delhi govt locks offices of senior bureaucrat Anindo Majumdar for clearing Gamlin's appointment
  • NEW DELHI: The AAP government in Delhi on Monday locked the office of senior bureaucrat Anindo Majumdar (principal secretary services) in the Delhi secretariat, whose office had confirmed the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary.

    Delhi government sources claim the transfer and posting of officers under UT cadre and their work allocation comes under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.

    "Anindo Majumdar bypassed all council of ministers, he is no more secretary of services," Delhi government sources told ANI.

    The powers of Anindo Majumdar have been transferred to Rajendra Kumar who took over as new principal secretary (services) in Delhi. Delhi lt governor Najeeb Jung, however, rejected Rajendra Kumar's appointment, terming his appointment 'void'.

    Earlier on Sunday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the confrontation over the appointment of power secretary Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary was another instance of interference by the Narendra Modi government and hinted that the Centre was conspiring to ensure that the AAP dispensation "failed".

    Dwelling on the conspiracy angle, Kejriwal wondered why the Centre would push for Shankutala Gamlin's appointment as acting chief secretary in the face of Delhi government's opposition.

    The confrontation over Gamlin's appointment had led to a letter war between AAP and Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.

    The CM accused Gamlin of lobbying for the discoms. "She asked our power minister to sign a letter. When the minister questioned her about it, she said that it was a 'comfort letter' for the discoms which have applied for a loan of Rs 11,000 crore. But when the minister enquired from others, he got to know that it was guarantee letter from the government. If Reliance-owned power companies failed to pay the loan, the burden would come on the people and the rates in Delhi would have increased two-three fold," he said.

Narendra Modi in South Korea: World's perception of India has changed
  • SEOUL: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that "in the last one year, the world's perception about India has changed".

    "There was a time when people left India saying the country is of no good," PM Modi said.

    The Prime Minister said that mood has changed and "India is being seen as the fastest growing economy of the world".

    "Today people are excited to come to India. This is the mood that has changed," Modi said while addressing Indian community in Seoul.

    "The world has realized that BRICS cannot be imagined without India," the PM said.

    Addressing Indians in Seoul, the PM said: "I am starting my visit to Korea by meeting all of you."

    Highlighting the importance of his current visit, PM Modi said that for long time, India has been following "Look East policy", but now that has changed.

    "A key component of our government's foreign policy is the 'Act East policy'," the Prime Minister said.

    The Prime Minister said that solution for India's all problems is development.

    "The path is tough but we have embraced that path. The solution to all problems is development," the PM said.

    The PM elaborated that by development, he means a change in quality of life.

    "Development is not about big roads and buildings. It's about a change in quality of life. For instance, I want every home to have a toilet," PM Modi said.

    The Prime Minister thanked all political parties for the passing of India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement.

    Making a pitch for "Make in India" initiative, the PM said that he wants "India to be a manufacturing hub".

    "The world's best technology should come to India," PM Modi said.

Parrikar in city: First RSS chief, then OFB chairman
  • Nagpur: After union home minister Rajnath Singh and BJP national president Amit Shah, who came over the last week, defence minister Manohar Parrikar came down to Nagpur and met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday. 

    Parrikar, who is on a two-day visit to Nagpur, started with a trip to RSS headquarters at Mahal on Sunday. He held a closed-door meeting with Bhagwat for nearly an hour before meeting union transport minister Nitin Gadkari at his residence. 

    He also held a marathon meeting with the chairman of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) S Yamadagini and other senior officials of the defence establishments here, apart from the local MLAs and BJP leaders. 

    Parrikar will also visit the three ordnance factories in the region, at Nagpur, Bhandara and Chandrapur, apart from the Solar Industries plant, which is a private company engaged in defence production. His engagements also include formally inaugurating a cruise ship themed restaurant on Ambazari Road. 

    Replying to a question by newspersons, Parrikar said he has been a RSS worker since early days and he does not require any reason to visit the organization headquarters. "There were issues related to Nagpur which the leaders here wanted me to address. As it was convenient to meet all officials and stakeholders together, I decided to come to Nagpur," said Parrikar. 

    He said several issues like the Tekdi temple, cantonment bypass, Koradi tourist circuit, railway siding for ordnance factory and even Mihan land swap were discussed. "The meet helped me get a basic understanding of the cases and I will soon come up with solutions. Some of the issues may be resolved by Monday itself," said the minister. 

    On Mihan, he said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on land swap deal was signed a few days ago, and the final modalities have also been sorted out. The cabinet gave clearance to exchange 278 hectares of land under IAF with 400 hectares offered by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), which is developing the Mihan project, on December 24 last year. 

    The IAF, which has a helicopter unit on the site, has certain operational facilities on the land which is just 15% of the total area. It needs to hold on to it so that flying continues, to which MADC has agreed. IAF will ensure that the base is shifted to the new site offered by MADC by the time the latter requires the defence land, he said. 

    Under current circumstances, it is not possible for IAF to shift the entire base. Nagpur is a crucial location for the helicopter unit catering to Naxal affected areas. The only alternate site available to IAF for shifting the helicopter base is at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, he said. 

    However, he said he was not aware of finer details like the IL-76 base, which was earlier located at the site and the likelihood of bringing it back, or the second runway plans.

Rahul to begin 3-day Amethi tour on Monday
  • LUCKNOW: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will begin a three-day tour of Amethi on Monday. Rahul's visit, the first since his 56-day sabbatical that ended last month, is expected to be a stormy one especially in light of the NDA government's cancellation of the Mega Food Park project in Amethi and Rahul's allegation that this was a result of prime minister Narendra Modi's politics of vendetta.

    The Congress and BJP have been locked in a stormy duel - the Parliament was adjourned twice as a result - over the cancelled project and what it means for the VIP parliamentary constituency. Since Rahul's office first announced his visit to Amethi, Union minister for HRD, Smriti Irani, who contested and lost the Lok Sabha elections has also visited the constituency on May 12 and charged Rahul with having done little for the constituency or the farmers he is now taking up for.

    Increasing the duration of his constituency visit by one day, Rahul will now visit Amethi for 3 days. On the first day of his tour, he will meet farmers affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms and visit farmers' families affected by crop losses. He will also meet Congress committee members and district and block level leaders of the party on the evening of May 18. On Day 2, Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate projects in Sangrampur, completed through the use of his MP local area development funds. On the final day of his three-day tour, the Amethi MP will also chair a vigilance committee meeting of development works being conducted in Amethi.

    Preparing ahead of Rahul's arrival, Congress functionaries have being going from village to village to spread the word about how the closure of the MFP project has impacted the fate of local farmers in Amethi and the neighbouring districts. The party has also conducted crop loss surveys of the constituency the results of which are likely to me made public by Rahul.

    Box: The Uttar Pradesh Congress committee has extended by one month, its on-going membership drive. Earlier, the PCC had fixed May 15 as the last day of filing for membership. Due to a less than satisfactory response, the date has now been extended by a month, to June 15.

National panel seeks govt nod to divide OBCs to ensure equitable distribution of reservation benefits
  • National panel seeks govt nod to divide OBCs to ensure equitable distribution of reservation benefitsNEW DELHI: Will the Modi government bite the bullet and divide OBCs into groups along the lines of their "backwardness" to ensure equitable distribution of reservation benefits? 

    The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has sought the government's nod to categorize backward castes in the central list of OBCs into three groups, and limit each group's claim to a fraction of the 27% reservation.

    Highly-placed sources said the consultations between NCBC and the ministry of social justice, which started under UPA, have reached a critical stage with the national panel advocating the initiative to ensure that "the better-off OBCs do not corner the rights and facilities meant for the more deserving categories of OBCs".

    "As there is no classification among different OBCs in the central list, the more advanced among OBCs are availing most of the benefits available to the OBCs to the detriment of the interest of the really depressed and downtrodden among the OBCs," the commission is learnt to have said, having earlier argued on similar lines in a letter to the prime minister.

    Known as "sub-categorization", the idea is rooted in the grievance that "forwards among the backwards" are cornering the 27% Mandal quota because the "backwards among the backwards" are unable to compete with them owing to their inferior educational and financial status.

    As a remedy, the OBCs are to be divided into sub-groups, with communities with similar levels of "social, educational and economic backwardness" to be clubbed together and apportioned a part of the 27% quota. The quantum allocated to each sub-group would be in proportion to their population.

    It will ensure that "forwards among backwards" only compete with each other for a slice of the 27% quota, and not monopolize the entire quota cake. It will leave the "backwards among backwards" to vie with each other on a level-playing field.

    Though resented by stronger OBCs like Yadavs/Kurmis as it would limit their quota benefits, sub-categorization is demanded by weaker castes who complain that the former have usurped their share.

    Ahead of Bihar assembly elections to be followed by Uttar Pradesh, known as Mandal strongholds, the issue has a political sensitivity because of its potential to realign the loyalty of social groups.

    Having positioned himself as an OBC, PM Narendra Modi would face the choice between sticking to the status quo and of trying to polarize the numerically stronger "extremely backwards" against Yadavs and Kurmis, represented by BJP rivals Lalu Prasad and chief minister Nitish Kumar (Bihar) and by Mulayam Singh Yadav (UP).

    In its recent communication to the Centre, the NCBC asked the government to take a "policy decision" if it can go ahead with nationwide sub-categorization of OBCs and also sought the Centre's approval for its "methodology". It also wants "funding" for a study by an expert body like ICSSR to study backward class profile of each state to decide on the sub-groups.

ISC and ICSE exam results declared
  • ISC and ICSE exam results declaredMUMBAI: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) announced the ISC and ICSE exams results at 11.30 am on Monday

    There are three toppers in ICSE exam this year, scoring 496 out of 500. These students are: Sougata Chowdhury of St Xavier's School (Kolkata), Ananya Hard Patwardhan of Chaturbhuj Narsee Memorial School (Mumbai) and Tejan Tapan Sahoo of St Mary's School (Navi Mumbai). This is ICSE's best result in the last five years.

    Arkya Chatterjee from Bivekananda Mission School (Kolkata) is this year's topper for class 12 ISC exam, scoring 99.75%. She has broken CISCE's five year record too.

    This year, more than 70,000 candidates took the Class 12 boards, and the number of students who took the Class 10 boards was around 1.59 lakh. Last year the result was announced on May 17 and 21 for ISC and ICSE respectively.

    The results are available to the students on to the council website Schools can access the results by logging on to the careers portal of the council using the principal's login ID and password. The results are also available through SMS.

    The ICSE boards began on February 27 and ended on March 30, while the ISC exams began on February 9 and ended on April 1.

    In ICSE 10 Class, total pass percentage is 98.49 percent.

    In ISC 12 Class, total pass percentage is 96.28 percent.

    Class XII ISC results registers best pass percentage. Pass percentage recorded this year is 96.28% up by 1.01%.

    Pass percentage of class X and class XII in Delhi/ NCR school is 98.50% and 97.27% respectively.

    South region recorded best pass percentage with 99.08% for Class XII.

    Class X ICSE results pass percentage this year is 98.49% up by 0.21% from last year. Top region is South with 99.66%.

    Overall, girls have fared better in both ICSE and ISC results.

    How to get your results?

    * Log into the Council's website, click on the link 'Results 2015'. Enter your correct Unique ID and CAPTCHA as shown on the screen.

    * For receiving the ICSE 2015 and ISC 2015 Examination Result through SMS, type your Unique ID in the Following way in the ICSE 1234567 (seven digit unique ID) / ISC 1234567 and send it to 09248082883

Senior government and BJP leaders rush to meet RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
  • Senior government and BJP leaders rush to meet RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
    NEW DELHI: Senior government and BJP leaders are rushing to meet RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat these days, in what's being described as 'confabulation' after the first year anniversary of the NDA government. 

    While these ministers are clocking up 'frequent flier' miles on the Delhi-Nagpur sector, sources within the party describe these meetings as an exercise on getting feedback about the NDA government's performance, one year into office. 

    "In the beginning, RSS was clear that the government had to deliver on the economy. Now, the narrative seems to be skewed in favour of the land bill and suit boot ki sarkar. Which is why the Parivar needs to come to grips to it," the source added.

    Some minister Rajnath Singh dashed off to Nagpur on Thursday last to meet Bhagwat, followed by BJP chief Amit Shah, who travelled to Nagpur on Saturday. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar is scheduled to visit Bhagwat on Monday, while ex-NDA minister MM Joshi will also travel to Nagpur this week. The meeting of ministers such as Gadkari, Parrikar, Shah and Joshi points to the fact that RSS has been expressing its worries over various issues facing the government and party. 

    "While day-to-day instructions are never given nor sought, it's been a year and there are several issues that need to be discussed," said a person familiar with the developments inside BJP. "There's a feeling in RSS that while some of its Hindutva agenda has gained prominence, it has been sidelined on the economic agenda," he added. 

    Aides of Singh, however, dismissed any serious discussions on the NDA government between him and Bhagwat, merely saying that he was visiting Nagpur for a meeting on Naxalism, and having discovered that Bhagwat was in town, decided to call on him. According to top sources in the party, at least "two other ministers" are also expected to land up in Nagpur in the coming days. 

Jaya likely to contest from Chennai, MLA vacates seat
  • CHENNAI: AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa is likely to contest from Radhakrishnan Nagar (R K Nagar) constituency in north Chennai, party sources said. An indication of this came on Sunday with the party MLA representing constituency, B Vetrivel, submitting his resignation, which has been promptly accepted by assembly speaker V Dhanapal.

    Vetrivel's resignation has come days ahead of the May 22 meeting of party MLAs where Jayalalithaa is expected to be elected leader of the legislature party, paving the way for her return as Tamil Nadu chief minister. Her conviction by a special court in Bengaluru on September 27, 2014 in the disproportionate assets case automatically disqualified her as an MLA and she had to step down as chief minister. But her acquittal by the Karnataka high court on May 11 cleared the path for her to assume charge again.

    A release from the assembly secretariat said Vetrivel has resigned with immediate effect. No reason was cited for his resignation. Though there was no explanation from AIADMK either, it is seen as a move to enable Jayalalithaa's return to the assembly through a byelection to fulfill the requirement that she become an MLA within six months of taking oath as CM. If she decides to contest a byelection, it would also put rest speculation about the AIADMK government going for snap assembly polls.

    When asked if he had resigned for creating a vacancy for Jayalalithaa, Vetrivel said he was not authorized to speak to the media. "Please follow Jaya TV and Namadhu MGR for our party's official statement. I am not an authorized person," he told TOI over phone. If Jayalalithaa contests from R K Nagar, this will be the first time that she will be testing her electoral fortunes from a seat in the state capital. The constituency has been a traditional AIADMK stronghold.

    Jayalalithaa's choice of R K Nagar came as a surprise for many party seniors. "Many of our MLAs and rebel PMK and DMDK MLAs offered to vacate their seats for Amma. R K Nagar got the opportunity," a senior said. Party sources said Vetrivel reached the state secretariat around 8am and submitted his resignation in the presence of Dhanapal and assembly secretary A M P Jamaludeen. "He was instructed by the leadership to resign. To complete the formalities, senior officials turned up at the secretariat despite it being a holiday," a senior official said.

    Official and party sources said under the circumstances, Jayalalithaa may not call for early polls at this stage. "Amma might have got legal clearances for the swearing-in ceremony. Since the legal experts have clearly said that the judgment of the Karnataka high court can't be suspended on the basis of arithmetic error, she may have decided to go ahead," a senior minister said.

    A bypoll is held automatically if a seat falls vacant in the first four years of a government, and in the fifth year, the Chief Election Commissioner will have to be approached if a bypoll needs to be held. The 14th assembly began with an oath-taking ceremony on May 23, 2011, which means the fourth year ends on May 22.

    On May 15, Jayalalithaa announced that the AIADMK legislature party meeting would be held at the party headquarters on May 22. Jayalalithaa led her party to a landslide win in the 2011 elections and won from the temple town of Srirangam. AIADMK won the bypoll held to the seat recently to fill the vacancy caused by her disqualification. With Vetrivel's resignation, AIADMK will have a strength of 150 in the 234-member assembly.

    These types of taxes are directly imposed & paid to Government of India. There has been a steady rise in the net Direct Tax collections in India over the years, which is healthy signal. Direct taxes, which are imposed by the Government of India, are:
     (1) Income Tax :-
    Income tax, this tax is mostly known to everyone. Every individual whose total income exceeds taxable limit has to pay income tax based on prevailing rates applicable time to time.
     (2) Capital Gains Tax :-
    Capital Gain tax as name suggests it is tax on gain in capital. If you sale property, shares, bonds & precious material etc. and earn profit on it within predefined time frame you are supposed to pay capital gain tax. The capital gain is the difference between the money received from selling the asset and the price paid for it.
     (3) Securities Transaction Tax :-
    A lot of people do not declare their profit and avoid paying capital gain tax, as government can only tax those profits, which have been declared by people. To fight with this situation Government has introduced STT (Securities Transaction Tax ) which is applicable on every transaction done at stock exchange. That means if you buy or sell equity shares, derivative instruments, equity oriented Mutual Funds this tax is applicable.
     (4) Perquisite Tax :-
    Earlier to Perquisite Tax we had tax called FBT (Fringe Benefit Tax) which was abolished in 2009, this tax is on benefit given by employer to employee. E.g If your company provides you non-monetary benefits like car with driver, club membership, ESOP etc. All this benefit is taxable under perquisite Tax.
     (5) Corporate Tax :-
    Corporate Taxes are annual taxes payable on the income of a corporate operating in India. For the purpose of taxation companies in India are broadly classified into domestic companies and foreign companies.
     (6) Sales Tax :-
    Sales tax charged on the sales of movable goods. Sale tax on Inter State sale is charged by Union Government, while sales tax on intra-State sale (sale within State) (now termed as VAT) is charged by State Government.
     (7) Service Tax :-
    Most of the paid services you take you have to pay service tax on those services. This tax is called service tax. Over the past few years, service tax been expanded to cover new services.
     (8) Value Added Tax :-
    The Sales Tax is the most important source of revenue of the state governments; every state has their respective Sales Tax Act. The tax rates are also different for respective states.
     (9) Custom duty & Octroi (On Goods) :-
    Custom Duty is a type of indirect tax charged on goods imported into India. One has to pay this duty , on goods that are imported from a foreign country into India. This duty is often payable at the port of entry (like the airport). This duty rate varies based on nature of items.
     (10) Excise Duty :-
    An excise or excise duty is a type of tax charged on goods produced within the country. This is opposite to custom duty which is charged on bringing goods from outside of country. Another name of this tax is CENVAT (Central Value Added Tax).
     (11) Anti Dumping Duty :-
    Dumping is said to occur when the goods are exported by a country to another country at a price lower than its normal value. This is an unfair trade practice which can have a distortive effect on international trade. In order to rectify this situation Central Govt. imposes an anti dumping duty not exceeding the margin of dumping in relation to such goods.
     (12) Professional Tax :-
    If you are earning professional you need to pay professional tax. Professional tax is imposed by respective Municipal Corporations. Most of the States in India charge this tax.
     (13) Dividend distribution Tax :-
    Dividend distribution tax is the tax imposed by the Indian Government on companies according to the dividend paid to a company’s investors. Dividend amount to investor is tax free. At present dividend distribution tax is 15%.
     (14) Municipal Tax :-
    Municipal Corporation in every city imposed tax in terms of property tax. Owner of every property has to pay this tax. This tax rate varies in every city.
     (15) Entertainment Tax :-
    Tax is also applicable on Entertainment; this tax is imposed by state government on every financial transaction that is related to entertainment such as movie tickets, major commercial shows exhibition, broadcasting service, DTH service and cable service.
     (16) Stamp Duty, Registration Fees, Transfer Tax :- If you decide to purchase property than in addition to cost paid to seller. You must consider additional cost to transfer that property on your name.
     (17) Education Cess , Surcharge :-
    Education cess is deducted and used for Education of poor people in INDIA. All taxes in India are subject to an education cess, which is 3% of the total tax payable. The education cess is mainly applicable on Income tax, excise duty and service tax.
     (18) Gift Tax :-
    If you receive gift from someone it is clubbed with your income and you need to pay tax on it. This tax is called as gift tax.
     (19) Wealth Tax :-
    Wealth tax is a direct tax, which is charged on the net wealth of the assessee. Wealth tax is chargeable in respect of Net wealth corresponding to Valuation date.Net wealth means all assets less loans taken to acquire those assets. Wealth tax is 1% on net wealth exceeding 30 Lakhs (Rs 3,000,000). So if you have more money, assets you are liable to pay tax.
     (20) Toll Tax :-
    At some of places you need to pay tax in order to use infrastructure (road, bridge etc.) build from your money given to government as Tax. This tax is called as toll tax. This tax amount is very small amount but, to be paid for maintenance work and good up keeping.

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