Current Affairs Current Affairs - 22 June 2016 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 22 June 2016

General Affairs 

India To Become Member Of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation This Week
  • NEW DELHI:  India is set to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) along with Pakistan when the China-dominated security grouping meets for its summit in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent on June 23-24 which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The SCO is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO and its membership will help India have a greater say in issues relating to security and defence besides combating terrorism.

    India, one of the largest energy consuming countries in the world, is expected to get greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Central Asia once it becomes a member of the SCO.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 23 on the sidelines of the SCO summit during which he is expected to seek China's support for India's bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which Beijing is keen on blocking.

    The annual plenary session of the NSG will be held in South Korea's capital Seoul on June 23 and 24 during which India's application for membership may come up for deliberation.

    The SCO had set the ball rolling to make India a member of the bloc during its summit in Ufa in July last year when administrative hurdles were cleared to grant membership to India, Pakistan and Iran.

    India will complete the process of full membership of the SCO at the summit, sources said.

    SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    India, Iran and Pakistan were admitted as observers at the 2005 Astana Summit. The Tashkent SCO Summit in June 2010 had lifted the moratorium on new membership, paving the way for expansion of the grouping.

    India feels as SCO member, it will be able to play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism in the region.

    India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

    India has been an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

    Russia has been favoring permanent SCO membership for India while China pushed for induction of Pakistan.

Border Security Force Turns To Nets, Cow Bells For Checking Intrusion
  • JAISALMER:  In order to curb cross-border infiltration, the BSF has decided to install tools like cow bells and nets along border areas in the district.

    "The tools, including domestic equipment like cow bells, 'ponchu' nets and trip layers, have been placed along the border areas in the district," Deputy Inspector General BSF, Ravi Gandhi, said.

    The cow bells have been attached to fencing at the international border. If some intruder tries to cross it, the bells would generate a ringing sound, thereby alerting the BSF men, the DIG said.

    He said that a trip layer is a cracker that bursts and emits light when the wire is touched, thus alerting the force about potential intrusions.

    'Ponchu' net, he said, traps the leg of the intruder making it difficult for him to walk.

'Not Sonia Or Rahul Gandhi, Can't Scare Me': Arvind Kejriwal To PM Modi
  • NEW DELHI:  Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a press conference attacked PM Modi after the former was named in a police case linked to an alleged water tanker scam in Delhi. Mr Kejriwal said that the cases or raids against him were deliberate, but said that he will no break or bend.

    Here are the highlights from his address:
    • PM Modi is deliberately naming me in police cases.
    • To PM - At least you accept that your fight is directly with me.
    • I am not Sonia or Rahul Gandhi who will bend, break or be scared.
    • I am not Robert Vadra whom you scan strike a deal with.
    • I will die but never accept corruption.
    • I am the only one standing against the wrongdoings of PM Modi like a wall.
    • I will keep raising my voice against everything that is wrong. I won't be bent or broken.
    • Whenever the poor fight for their livelihood, you will see me with them in their struggle.
    • Whenever you (PM Modi) will try and save a Vasundhara Raje in the Lalit Modi controversy, I will raise my voice against it.
    • So order as many raids as you want to, I will keep doing my work.

Soon, Aadhaar To Be Linked With Caste, Domicile Certificates
  • NEW DELHI:  All state governments have been asked to link Aadhaar with caste and domicile certificates to be issued to school students, as part of a first-of-its-kind initiative by the Centre.

    The states have been told to ensure that such certificates are issued within 60-day time to the students when they are studying in Class V or VIII.

    The development assumes significance as there have been complaints of delay in grant of scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. Besides, people have often complained of harassment allegedly by government officials in getting caste and domicile certificates issued.

    "The state government may also try to get the information of students fed into the meta data to be made online and may link it to Aadhaar enabled data, if feasible.

    "Sincere efforts be made to issue these certificates along with Aadhaar number," reads Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) released by Personnel Ministry on issuance of caste and certificates in schools.

    The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issues Aadhaar -- a 12-digit number which acts as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in the country.

    Business Affairs 

    Sensex closes 54 points down, Nifty below 7,850 on profit booking
    • Snapping Monday's gains, the S&P BSE Sensex on Tuesday settled the day 54 points lower, while the broader Nifty50 ended below its key 8,250-mark.
      The headline indices fell as investors booked profit after a rally in the previous session, even as sentiment was supported by growing expectations that Britons will vote to remain in the European Union in this week's referendum.
      The 30-share index ended the day at 26,812, down 54.14 points, while broad-based 50-share index quoted 8,219, down 18.60 points at close.
      The government on Monday announced sweeping reforms on foreign direct investment, clearing the way for Apple to open stores in the country and announcing easier terms for investors in sectors ranging from civil aviation to pharmaceuticals.

      That broader optimism helped shares overcome disappointment after Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Saturday unexpectedly said he would step down after his tenure ends in September.
      But for now, analysts said, investors would be choosy, picking specific sectors such as mid-caps.
      "It is a market where people are more comfortable buying into a bottom-up approach, buying into the mid-cap counter," said Deven Choksey, managing director at KR Choksey Securities.
      HDFC Bank, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro and NTPC were among the laggards, losing as much as 0.93 per cent to 2.14 per cent on profit-booking.
      Among gainers, companies focussed on rural markets rose after the weather office said on Monday monsoon rains had covered nearly half of the country.
      Automobile companies Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra rose as much as 0.93 per cent to 1.54 per cent.

      SoftBank President Nikesh Arora to step down over CEO post
      • SoftBank President and COO Nikesh Arora on Tuesday said he will step down from the firm on June 22, a day after a special committee found allegations against Arora in a purported shareholder demand "without merit". 
        SoftBank in a release said Arora will take on advisory role in the Group from July 1.  
        Arora said he can't be "CEO-in-waiting past his sell-by date" as the current chief Masayoshi Son wanted to continue for 5-10 years more.
        The 48-year-old former Chief Business Officer at Google decided to call it a day as his 58-year-old boss Son said he was planning to quit at the age of 60 but felt he was "still a bit too young".
        Arora, who has been instrumental in SoftBank's investments in Indian entities like Snapdeal, Ola, Grofers, and Oyo Rooms, said he intends to focus more on Indian start-up ecosystem going forward.
        Japanese MNC SoftBank said Masayoshi Son will continue as Chairman and CEO. Nikesh joined Google in 2004 and resigned as senior VP and chief businesss officer of the company in 2014. 

        IT dept to block PAN, LPG subsidy of defaulters
        • In order to cripple and check the activities of wilful tax defaulters, the Income Tax department has decided to "block" Permanent Account Number (PAN) of such entities, get their LPG subsidy cancelled and take measures to ensure that they are not sanctioned loans.
          A number of such measures have been mooted by the tax department, to be undertaken this financial year, in order to curb the menace of large-scale tax avoidance and evasion.
          As per a strategy paper prepared by the department, also accessed by PTI, the taxman will block PAN in such a way "that these defaulters are not sanctioned any loans or overdraft facility by public sector banks, as the same is bound to become non-performing assets".
          Further, it said, "Ministry of Finance can be suggested to withdrawn facility like LPG subsidy which is directly credited in to the bank accounts of the said defaulters."
          This step, the strategy paper said, will act to "disincentive" the defaulters.
          The taxman also proposes that the identities of such blocked PANs be circulated to the Registrar of Properties "with a request for not allowing any registration of immovable properties where such PANs are involved."
          Such defaulters' information has also been recommended to be circulated across tax offices so that their activities loans or government subsidy can be plugged country-wide.
          The department has also decided to subscribe to the Credit Information Bureau Limited (CIBIL) data, on a possible payment basis, to check out the financial activities of defaulters and undertake action against them for recovery and freezing of assets.
          CIBIL is an agency to collect and maintain records of an entities' payments pertaining to loans and credit cards.
          The department, beginning last year, has also started to 'name and shame' large tax defaulters (over Rs 20 crore default) by publishing their names and other credentials in leading national dailies and on its official web portal.
          Till now, 67 such entities have been put in public domain by the department.
          The IT department, beginning this financial year, has also decided to publicly name all category of taxpayers who have a default of Rs one crore and above.
          "Tax default is a major menace that the department is grappling with.These new measures are aimed to curb these instances in the right earnest," a senior IT official said.

        Can crude oil hit $80 by 2017? Aye, says the man who predicted recent surge
        • Can oil at $80 by 2017 be a possibility? If J Marshall Adkins, the man who correctly predicted a rebound in crude at the start of 2016, is to be believed, oil may surge as much as $80 by 2017 on supply constraints.
          "West Texas Intermediate will average $80 per barrel by the end of next year," said Adkins of Raymond James in a note to clients, as reported by Bloomberg. The figure is higher than all but one of the 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, who sees West Texas Intermediate at $82 per barrel next year.  
          However, in the longer run, Raymond James' analysts see WTI prices moderating to about $70 per barrel.    
          After hitting a 14-year low of around $26 a barrel in February, it's only in May that oil prices surged past $50, and has hovered in the narrow range of $47-$52 since then.
          While Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may not have reached an agreement to cap oil production, Raymond James could indentify three different supply-side constraints that are likely to push up sagging crude prices.    
          First, the production outside United States may fall more than what was anticipated. The analysts cite organic declines in China, Columbia, Angola, and Mexico as prompting this downward revision.
          "When oil drilling activity collapses, oil supply goes down too!," writes Raymond James. "Amazing, huh?"  
          Secondly, the unexpected or unplanned supply outage may also persist all through 2017. A string of outages mainly on account of wildfires in Canada and unrest in Nigeria and Libya had knocked out nearly four million barrels per day of production in May.
          "Adkins and his fellow analysts noted such outages may take a further 300,000 barrels per day out of global supply. 

          Govt wants states to buy local coal but no import curbs planned
          • The government has asked states to buy coal from Coal India's growing stockpiles but won't place curbs on imports, a senior coal ministry official told Reuters ahead of the allocation of new mines to state firms.
            Coal India, the world's largest miner of the fuel, has boosted output at a record pace over the past two years, aided by faster environmental and other clearances under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
            Though an age-old coal shortage has now turned into a surplus, demand has not grown as fast as expected, leading to massive mounds of unsold coal and generating speculation among some industry officials that the government would introduce some kind of curbs on imports to help Coal India out.
            Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Tuesday that the fuel was a key raw material for various industries and the government was not considering import curbs, though it did want state power generators to buy coal locally, given the production surge.
            "We want them to buy but can't force anybody," said Swarup, who attended a conference of state power, energy and renewable energy ministers last week.
            Coal imports fell for the first time in five years in the fiscal year ended March 31, but some firms are still importing better-quality thermal coal used to generate power.
            Steel-making coal is not abundant in India, so imports of that variety will continue unabated though volumes are much lower than for thermal coal.
            Later on Tuesday, Swarup will release a schedule of mines to be allocated to state government companies without any restrictions on their end use, called commercial mining.
            As of now, government-controlled Coal India dominates mining of coal for sale and the soft current demand means the ministry will delay the auction of commercial mines to private firms.
            "There will be no value if we do it now," he said. "There's no demand for (private commercial coal mines) as of now."

          General Awareness

          Union Government allowed 100% FDI in Civil aviation, Defence and Food processing

            • Union Government relaxed Foreign Direct Investment policies and approved 100% FDIunder automatic route
              i. Defenceii. Civil Aviationiii. iii. Airports
              And also relaxed in the sectors such as  e-commerce in Food products, Broadcasting carriage services and Private Security agencies
              Changes in Foreign Direct Investment
              Sl NoSectorApproved FDI
              2Pharmaceuticals (Brownfield)74%
              3Airports (Brownfield)100%
              4Civil Aviation100% (49% Automatic & 51% Govt Approval)
              5Cable Networks, DTH and Mobile TV100%
              Features of FDI Enhancement:
              • Creating platform to Employment and Job Creation in India
              • Union Government required $1 trillion to renovate the infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways
              • It will enhance the country’s balance of payments condition and strengthen the Rupee value against the other nation’s currencies
              • The companies such as Apple are allowed to launch their stores in India by exempting them from local sourcing requirement for 3 years under the single brand retail
              • In India, FDI is allowed for all the sectors under automatic approval except some sectors need approval from State and Central
              Foreign Direct Investment:
              A foreign direct investment is a controlling ownership in a business enterprise in one country by an entity based in another country

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