Current Affairs Current Affair - 10 July 2016 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affair - 10 July 2016

General Affairs 

Congress' Telecom Scam Allegation An 'Empty Rhetoric', Says Arun Jaitley
  • The Congress party has "perfected the art of scoring self-goals", said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dismissing the Congress' allegations of a telecom scam of Rs. 46,000 crore as "empty rhetoric".

    In a blog post on Facebook, Mr Jaitley came down heavily on the Congress, saying the party has "run out of ideas" and is now questioning the NDA government as the impropriety took place during UPA regime.

    Finance Minister Jaitley said, "Under the well-established policy of Government of India, telecom service providers pay to the Government of India license fee and spectrum user charges on a revenue sharing basis."

    "A CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report of February had stated that the six telecom service providers, between 2006-07 and 2009-10, had under-reported their revenues to the extent of Rs. 46,000 crore, depleting the share of the Union government in licence fee and spectrum user charges by about Rs. 5,000 crore," he said.

    "The CAG Report was received by the Telecom Department in February this year and its supporting documents were received in June 2016 and the same are now being scrutinized so that the Telecom Department can take further action in the matter. As per Parliamentary procedure, the CAG Report is now pending before the Public Accounts Committee," Mr Jaitley said in his post.

    Pointing out the timing of scam, the Finance Minister said, "The pertinent question is how is this a scam of the NDA Government? The under reporting by the telecom service providers relates to the period when UPA was in power. The UPA Government, under its very nose, allowed this under reporting."

    He further said: "The Final CAG report pointed it out in February 2016 and only 3 weeks ago have the documents been sent by the CAG to the Telecom Department. Notwithstanding the fact that the issue is pending before the PAC, the Telecom Department, which is processing these documents, will take action. What is act of omission and commission by the present Government? An impropriety took place during the UPA Government for which the present Government will take action."

    "The question, however, is the pathetic plight of the Congress party. Notwithstanding the fact that this impropriety took place during the UPA Government, the Congress Spokesman made an empty noise about this being an NDA Telecom Scam," Mr Jaitley lashed out at the Congress.

    "Shrillness, non-application of mind and a belligerent rhetoric seem to be the strategy of the Congress party. It is a pity that the Party has been pushed to this desperation," his post read.

Betting On New Ally, Amit Shah Fires At Bhaiya Mulayam From East UP
  • MAU, UTTAR PRADESH: It was an unusual Amit Shah rally in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Mau town by any measure. The 10-odd saffron flags were nearly invisible in a sea of yellow as the BJP president arrived for a rally this afternoon.

    Yellow is the colour of the S-BSP or Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party - a cheeky take on Mayawati's BSP or Bahujan Samaj Party.

    Led by politician Om Prakash Rajbhar, the regional party represents the Rajbhars, an OBC or other backward class community, with a presence in as many as 122 Assembly seats out of about 150 in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

    The Rajbhars are part of the crucial 50 per cent OBC vote in Uttar Pradesh from which the BJP hopes to draw a fair share of support in the 2017 elections as it takes on both the Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's BSP.

    "The BJP and the Bharatiya Samaj Party will bring the vikas rath to UP. In 2014, we got 73 seats out of 80. Then Rajbhar ji was not with us. Now he is with us. Bhaiya Mulayam, please think what will happen now," said Amit Shah.

    The Rajbhars derive their legacy from King Suheldev who ruled eastern Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich and is said to have defeated a Persian army in the 11th century.

    Om Prakash Rajbhar, who lost the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls from Zahoorabad in the Ghazipur district, was very blunt about his demands from his new ally, the BJP.

    "The owner of all treasures is Modi ji and the second owner is Amit Shah. I spoke to Amit Shah. He said that you partner with us, let us form the government and I will give you as much money from Delhi as you want," he said.

    Apart from the Samajwadi Party and BSP, this time Amit Shah and the BJP are also facing a challenge from an unexpected quarter - that of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Nitish is from the Kurmi community, another OBC community with a significant nine per cent population in Uttar Pradesh.

    In the last four months, Mr Kumar has held five rallies in eastern Uttar Pradesh including in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi.

    Rajnath Singh To Visit US From July 17, To Discuss Security Issues
    • NEW DELHI:  Enhancing anti-terror ties, sharing intelligence inputs and facilitating easy travel by each other's citizens would be high on the agenda during the five- day visit of Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the US beginning July 17.

      He will lead the Indian delegation at the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue to be held in Washington with the US team to be headed by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson.

      Further cementing anti-terror cooperation, real-time sharing of intelligence inputs, cyber security and critical infrastructure protection, countering illicit finance, global supply chain security, megacity policing and science and technology are some of the other key issues to be discussed at the strategic meeting.

      This senior-level exchange between India and the US will reinforce the strategic homeland security partnership and enhance operational cooperation in investigations, capacity building, and countering threats, a Home Ministry official said.

      Upcoming law enforcement engagement proposals include sharing lessons learned and best practices in police training and responding to mass casualty exercises, improving both nations' capabilities to respond to terrorist incidents and natural disasters.

      Besides, there will be discussions on two key recently- signed agreements -- Global Entry, a US Customs and Border Protection programme that permits speedy clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in America; and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6), which allows access to information on terrorists.

      The US has been pressing for India's inclusion in the Global Entry so that high dignitaries like former presidents, former prime ministers, former Union ministers, film stars, top industrialists and frequent flyers could visit America without any hassle.

      There will be extensive discussion on the Global Entry during the dialogue, the official said.

      Initially, the names of around 2,000 prominent Indians could figure in the coveted list, which would be expanded gradually after proper background checks of each individual.

    Russian, American, Japanese Astronauts Board Space Station
    • MOSCOW:  Three astronauts from the United States, Russia and Japan boarded the International Space Station today after a two-day journey aboard a Russian Soyuz space capsule.
      The capsule docked smoothly with the space station at 0406 GMT (12:06 a.m. EDT) Saturday at a height of 412 kilometers (254 miles) above the Earth. Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the crew entered the station about two hours later.
      Russian Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's Kathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi of the Japanese space agency JAXA are beginning a four-month stay on the orbiting space laboratory. They joined American Jeff Williams and Russians Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin, who have been aboard since mid-March.

    New Gene Discovery May Help Treat Cancer, Heart Disease: Study
    • SINGAPORE:  Researchers have discovered a new gene that controls blood vessel formation, an advance that may not only help in development of anti-cancer therapies but also prove useful in diabetic eye and heart diseases.

      Blood vessels form a network throughout the body to deliver the nutrients necessary to keep the tissues and organs alive and healthy.

      The formation of this network is controlled by a process called angiogenesis, researchers said.

      Angiogenesis inhibition is commonly targeted in cancer treatment development that aims to starve tumours of the nutrients necessary for their survival, they said.

      In the heart, increasing angiogenesis can help heart pump function.

      For the first time, scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore uncovered a role for the gene, Wars2, in the process of angiogenesis and confirmed the importance of Wars2 for angiogenesis in rats and zebrafish.

      "Using different genetic techniques, we inhibited Wars2 function in both rats and zebrafish, and the resulting animals showed impairment of blood vessel formation within the heart and in the rest of the body," said Mao Wang from Duke-NUS.

      To confirm the involvement of Wars2 in angiogenesis, researchers increased the effect of Wars2 and showed that blood vessel formation was enhanced.

      Specifically, they were able to determine that Wars2 plays an important role in supplying sufficient endothelial cells, the building blocks of blood vessels, for angiogenesis.

      "Angiogenesis is vital for supporting life and providing nutrients to all parts of the body," said Stuart Cook from Duke-NUS.

      "Finding a way to control angiogenesis not only provides a target for the development of anti-cancer therapies, but may also prove useful in similarly starving abnormal blood vessel growth elsewhere in the body, like in diabetic eye disease," Cook said.

      Wars2 may be a possible new drug target for cancer and heart disease, researchers said.

      The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

    Business Affairs 

    BSE to suspend 8 firms for non-compliance with listing norms
    • Leading bourse BSE will suspend trading in the shares of eight companies from July 29 as they have failed to comply with the listing regulations for two straight quarters.
      The exchange has frozen the entire promoter shareholding of these entities from Thursday onwards till further notice. Trading of Gangotri Iron & Steel Company, Gupta Synthetics, MCS, Niraj Cement Structurals, Minolta Finance, Softech Infinium Solutions, Unimin India and Zylog Systems would be suspended from July 29, BSE said in a circular.
      These companies were found to be non-compliant in December 2015 and March 2016 quarters.
      They did not comply with the provisions of Sebi (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015.
      The suspension would continue till the companies are in compliance with Sebi norms. Fifteen days after suspension, restricted trading would be allowed in these scrips.
      Revocation of suspension would be subject to the companies further complying with the procedure and all extant norms prescribed for revocation of suspension, BSE said in the circular issued on Thursday.
      In case, they comply with the norms, including payment of fines, by July 25, then there would no suspension of trading, it added. 

      Govt mulls new financial year to boost growth
      • The government on Wednesday constituted a four-member committee to examine "the desirability and feasibility" of having a new financial year.
        The committee, chaired by former Chief Economic Adviser Shankar Acharya has been asked to assess the impact of having a new financial year, considering its effect on agricultural crop cycle, budget process, taxation systems and impact on businesses.
        The current April-to-March financial year in the country has continued from the British colonial rule.
        The move comes close on the heels of a cabinet rejig in the government. The panel has been asked to produce a transition plan for any change it proposes, including any changes in tax laws.
        Bibek Debroy, a member of PM Modi's National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), had said last year that India's fiscal year should be around Deepavali.
        However, the bureaucrats have always resisted this change as it could take a lot of time to adjust to the new system.
        The new committee has been asked to submit its recommendations to the government by December 31.

        Cipla to invest Rs 590 crore for a biosimilars plant in S Africa
        • Drug firm Cipla will invest over Rs 590 crore to launch a manufacturing facility in South Africa for the production of biosimilars.
          The company's "proposed biotech subsidiary in South Africa will invest just over Rs 590 crore into the country's first state-of-the-art biotech manufacturing facility, for the production of biosimilars," Cipla said in a statement.
          For this a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Cipla BioTec Pvt Ltd and Dube Tradeport Corporation will be signed, it added.
          The facility will manufacture biosimilar drugs made from living organisms that would be used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2017, with full operations expected to commence in the third quarter of 2018, Cipla said.
          Commenting on the development, Cipla MD & Global CEO Subhanu Saxena said a manufacturing base here in South Africa will allow opportunities for supply chain partners and related companies to get involved.
          Cipla's investment in this facility will enable the creation of the first bio-cluster on the African continent, he added.
          Shares of the company were trading 0.93 per cent up at Rs 518 ascrip on BSE.

        Expect spectrum auction to be finalised in September: Telecom Minister
        • Government expects to hold the mega spectrum auction in September, through which it hopes to garner Rs 5.66 lakh crore, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Friday.
          The minister, who took charge earlier this week, said, "We expect spectrum auction to be finalised in September."
          Last month, the Union Cabinet had approved the spectrum auction plan.
          The government expects to raise at least Rs 64,000 crore from the auction of about 2,300 Mhz of spectrum and Rs 98,995 crore from various levies and services in the telecom sector.
          On call drops, where the industry and the government have been at the loggerheads, Sinha assured that he expects "qualitative progress" on the issue in coming 5-6 months.
          "Department of Telecom will work on the framework for providing relief from call drops in the long term," he said, adding the issue will be discussed in next 15-20 days.
          Asked about Congress' allegations of a telecom scam, he said, "Whatever happened in the past has nothing to do with this government."
          "Since the time this government has come in power, there has been no such complaints. The process of recovering money from telecom operators will be completed in definite time," he added.

          Nirmala Sitharaman to lead business delegation to Russia
          • Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead a delegation of over 110 Indian companies that will showcase their engineering prowess at a trade fair in Russia.
            India is the partner country for 'INNOPROM 2016', which is the largest annual international industrial trade fair of Russia.
            The 4-day fair will start from July 10 in Ekaterinburg.
            With 'Industrial Net' being the lead theme for the exhibition, the event aims to bring together all important components to improve efficacy under one roof, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
            Apart from the large, medium and small Indian companies participating in the event, states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are also going to showcase their industrial strengths, it said.
            The Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan will lead their state delegations.
            Central government departments including Heavy Industries, Electronics and IT, Ministries of Power, Tourism and Renewable Energy, will also form part of the official delegation.
            "Overall, the strong India participation is expected to highlight the strengths of India within the area of engineering and innovation" at the fair, it added.
            Quoting Sitharaman, it said India s partnership provides a significant opportunity to sustain, expand and further develop the strategic partnership between the countries.
            'INNOPROM' will also offer India a platform to showcase 'Brand India Engineering' and 'Make in India', it said.
            Further, it said that Russia has now become the first country to have agreed to invest under the 'Make in India' umbrella in two key strategic sectors - nuclear and defence.
            India and Russia have set a goal of boosting bilateral trade to $30 billion and mutual investment to $15 billion by 2025.
            The two-way trade stood at $6.18 billion in 2015-16 as against $6.34 billion in the previous fiscal.

          General Awareness

          Kerala’s Radhika Menon: First Woman in the World to Bag Bravery Award at Sea

            • Radhika Menon, who became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from theInternational Maritime Organsiation (IMO) on July 9.

              • Radhika Menon, a resident of Kerala, rescued seven fishermen from the Bay of Bengal last June when the fishing boat ‘Durgamma’ drifted from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Gopalpur in Odisha.
              • The boat had lost its anchor in the adverse sea weather, which had also washed away the food supplies.The fishermen were surviving on the ice from the cold storage and had lost hope of making it of the ordeal alive.The fishermen’s families had believed them to be lost at sea and were preparing for their last rites when they received calls about their miraculous rescue.
              • The Awards ceremony is expected to take place at IMO Headquarters on November 21 at the end of the first day of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).
              Radhika Menon:
              Menon was at the helm of oil tanker ‘Sampurna Swarajya’ of Shipping Corporation of India.
              This is not the first time Radhika has proved her mettle. Five years ago, she became the first woman to captain a ship of the Indian Merchant Navy.
              Bravery Award at Sea:
              This annual Award was established by IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.
              About IMO:
              The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
              ♦ Headquarters‎: ‎London, United Kingdom
              ♦ Secretary – General : Ki Tack Lim
              ♦ IMO has 171 Member States and 3 Associate Members

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