Current Affairs Current Affairs - 3 March 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 3 March 2017

General Affairs 

Navy Successfully Test-Fires Anti-Ship Missile From Kalvari Submarine
  • In what can be termed as the Indian Navy's significant milestone in enhancing its "sub-surface" warfare prowess, an anti-ship missile was today successfully test-fired for the first time from an indigenously built Kalvari class submarine.        

    The weapon was fired from the submarine, the first of India's six Scorpene-class submarines built under the Project 75, and it "successfully hit" a surface target during the trial in the Arabian Sea.

    All the six diesel-electric attack submarines will be equipped with the anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat, the defence ministry said, noting these missiles would provide the vessels the ability to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.

    "The missile successfully hit a surface target at an extended range during the trial firing.

    "This missile launch is a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpene-class submarines being built in India, but also in enhancing the Indian Navy's sub-surface warfare capability," the ministry said in a statement.

    The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.

    The Kalvari class submarine has superior stealth and can use guided weapons such as torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles on enemy subs from the surface or underwater.  Besides warfare, its varied functions will include intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance etc.

    The second Kalvari class submarine was launched in Mumbai in January this year in the presence of Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre.

    Six such Scorpene-class submarines are being built in Mumbai as part of the government's extensive plans to modernize the Indian Navy. 

India Denounces Pakistan's Bid To Raise Kashmir At UN Council Meet
  • India has rebuffed Pakistan's attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, by denouncing Islamabad as the global "epicenter" of terrorism and accused it of trying to destabilize the state.

    "Pakistan has created terrorist outfits against India. This monster is now devouring its own creator," Ajit Kumar, India's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, told the Council meeting in the Swiss city on Wednesday.

    Earlier, Pakistan's Law Minister Zahid Hamid had called for the Council's intervention in Kashmir, asserting that the "human rights and fundamental freedom of innocent Kashmiris are being trampled upon."

    Mr Hamid denied there was any terrorism threat in Kashmir outright and claimed that Islamabad's involvement was only in providing "political, moral and diplomatic support".

    Rejecting these assertions, Mr Kumar said: "The fundamental reason for disturbances in parts of Jammu and Kashmir is cross-border terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan."

    Pakistan has been carrying out, "an intense campaign to destabilize" the state through "infiltration and cross-border terrorism, inciting, promoting and glorifying violence", he said.

    Calling terrorism "the grossest violation of human rights", Mr Kumar added that 'Members will recognise the irony of a nation that has established a well-earned reputation of being a global epicentre of terrorism holding forth on human rights. For the past two decades, the most wanted terrorists of the world have found succour and sustenance in Pakistan."

    The Pakistan minister made an appeal to Indians to be aware of the human rights situation in Kashmir.

    "We call upon all the mechanism of the Council and the Indian community to remain seized of the grave and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedom in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir."

    Reacting to Mr Hamid's claims that Kashmir was an international issue under Security Council resolutions, Mr Kumar said: "Pakistan's unwarranted references to UN Security Council resolutions are grossly misleading as Pakistan was required to vacate the parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal and forced occupation."

    "The robust and mature Indian democracy proved once again that it has sufficiently strong and adequate mechanisms to redress any internal difficulties even if they are incited from outside," the Permanent Representative said.

    Mr Kumar asserted the fact that over 99 per cent of the high school students in the state have written their exams indicated the return of normalcy, he added.

    He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had fast-tracked a $12 billion development package for the state.

    Meanwhile, Mr Hamid brought up the request by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to send a team to the state.

Aadhaar To Be Made Mandatory For Booking Train Tickets Online
  • The Railways will soon move towards Aadhaar-based online ticketing system to prevent touts from blocking a bulk of tickets, end fraudulent bookings and curb cases of impersonation.

    Aadhaar number has been made mandatory for senior citizens to avail concessions in train tickets from April 1. A three-month trial run for this is going on.

    As per the new business plan 2017-18, unveiled by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today, besides the Aadhaar-based ticketing system, the Railways will move towards cashless ticketing system by installing 6,000 point-of-sale machines and 1,000 automatic ticket vending machines across the country.

    An integrated ticketing app will also be launched by May to promote cashless transaction.

    "Aadhaar number will be required for one-time registration at the IRCTC ticketing site. The step is aimed at eliminating touts from registering with fake identities," a senior Railway Ministry official said, adding the Railways is preparing a software for the purpose.

    Despite taking several steps, touts manage to block a bulk of tickets and sell them at much higher prices.

    The new business plan also envisages launching of new tourist trains connecting hill stations and enhancing passenger comfort and providing pleasurable journey experience through improving amenities and catering service.

PM Narendra Modi Hails Defence Scientists For Successful Test Of Missile
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today lauded the defence scientists for the successful testing of interceptor missile and said it is a proud moment for the entire country.

    "Hearty congratulations to our defence scientists for the successful demonstration of ballistic missile defence capability," he tweeted. 
    "With this, India joins the select group of five nations with such capability- a proud moment for the entire country," he added in another tweet. India yesterday successfully test-fired an indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile capable of destroying any incoming enemy missile at low altitude.

    The interceptor is a 7.5-metre single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a high-tech computer and an electromechanical activator, the official said.

    "The test launch was conducted in order to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode. It was a low altitude trial," a defence official said.

    The interceptor was engaged against a Prithvi missile fired from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur which took the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.

    In about four minutes, the interceptor positioned at Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal roared through its trajectory to destroy the incoming hostile missile mid-air in an endoatmospheric altitude, the official said.

    "The mission was excellent and it was a direct hit," said a scientist of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

    The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars, said an official.

    In its first test in May last year, the AAD missile was successfully test launched off the Odisha coast.

5 Men Trying To Buy Phone Get Caught With Fake Notes Worth 57 Lakh In Kolkata
  • In what could be the biggest seizure of counterfeit notes since demonetisation, nearly Rs. 57 lakhs in 2000-rupee notes were seized by the police in Kolkata today. Five people were arrested near Fancy Market in Khidderpore, where they were trying to buy a mobile phone with the fake notes.

    The shop owner felt the notes were not genuine and alarmed the cops after an argument broke out with the five men.

    The accused were arrested from the spot which led the police to the fake notes.

    Vishal Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police told reporters, "The total amount seized is Rs. 56 lakh 74 thousand - all in Rs. 2,000 denomination". The notes had stamps of State Bank of India to make them look genuine.

    The five men arrested are Manawar Mollah (29) from Jeypore, Sheikh Eklash Ahmed (26) from Uluberia, Sheikh Abul Kalam Azad (35) from Domjur, Sayyed Rehan (27) from Uluberia and Balai Mondal (23) from Barjora.

    The seized notes have been sent to the RBI's Salboni printing press for expert opinion.

    The police also said that the five accused were involved in smuggling of gold and that they had recently travelled to Mumbai, Odisha and Jharkhand. Their vehicles have also been seized.

    The investigation will focus on the source of the fake currency. They could have either come in from Bangladesh or printed locally, says the police. They will also probe the possibility of an involvement of an international agency.

Business Affairs 

Cash transactions at banks and ATMs: All you need to know about Rs 150 charge
  • Days after Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said the process of remonetisation is almost complete, a few private sector banks including HDFC have started levying charges on cash transactions. The move is clearly to discourgae cash transactions.
    The charges are, however, applicable only on over-the-counter transactions at banks. It will not be applicable on transactions at ATMs. 
    Currently, five withdrawals are allowed at your bank's ATMs. In case you withdraw from other banks' ATMs it is just 3. After that, a charge of Rs 20 is levied.
    HDFC Bank
    HDFC will now allow only four free transactions and after that it will charge you Rs 150 plus taxes and cess. The charges would apply to savings as well as salary accounts effective from March 1, HDFC Bank said in a circular. Before March 1, it used to charge a fee of Rs 100 on the sixth cash transaction.
    The bank would also cap the third party cash transactions at Rs 25,000 per day, while cash handling charges would be withdrawn. 
    HDFC said that the withdrawal and deposit up to Rs 2 lakh is allowed at home branches, with transactions above this limit being chargeable.  According to HDFC, home branch is where you open your account.
    ICICI BankICICI Bank would charge Rs 5 per thousand rupees (subject to a minimum of 150) at branches, while deposit at Cash Acceptance Machine would be free of charge for first cash deposit of a calendar month and Rs 5 per thousand thereafter. 
    The charges are applicable only on cash transactions at non-home branches of ICICI.
    The charges are applicable on customers with basic savings accounts and salary accounts. 'Privileged' customers are exempt. ICICI banks' charges are same as they were before the demonetisation move announced on November 8
    Axis BankAxis bank will charge Rs 5 per thousand or Rs 150 whichever is higher, and it is applicable only on saving accounts after four free transactions. 
    It has not made any changes for salary accounts holders and 'privileged' customers. Axis bank does not differentiate between home and non-home branches.

DLF stock tanks 8% on promoters plan to sell 40% in rental arm
  • The DLF stock on Thursday plunged over 8 per cent following reports that its promoters will enter into an exclusive pact with Singapore's GIC to sell their 40 per cent stake in the company's rental arm, DCCDL Ltd, for an estimated Rs 13,000 crore.
    The stock tanked 8.11 per cent to end at Rs 141.10 on BSE. Intra-day, it slipped 9.15 per cent to Rs 139.50.
    At NSE, shares of the company tumbled 8 per cent to close at Rs 140.90. The company's market valuation too fell by Rs 2,220.85 crore to Rs 25,172.15 crore. On the volume front, 30.69 lakh shares of the company were traded on BSE and over two crore shares changed hands at NSE during the day.
    "Shares of DLF corrected by 9.2 per cent intraday over the bourses after the company's promoters decided to offload 40 per cent equity in the retail arm DLF Cyber City Developers to Singapore based private equity firm GIC," said Achin Goel, Head: Wealth Management & Financial Planning, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
    The audit committee of the company yesterday approved entering into an exclusive arrangement with an affiliate of Singapore's GIC for the deal. Global investors Blackstone and GIC were in the race to acquire the 40 per cent stake of DLF promoters in DCCDL.
    "Based on the presentations made by bankers and legal advisors, the audit committee decided that we should go ahead and enter into an exclusivity arrangement with an affiliate with GIC," DLF group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ashok Tyagi told PTI.
    The country's largest real estate developer, DLF, had announced in October 2015 that its promoters would sell their entire stake in DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL), which holds the bulk of the commercial assets of the group. 

Model GST Bill to go for 20% peak tax; slabs intact for now
  • The GST Council has proposed to raise the peak tax rate to 20 per cent, from the current 14 per cent, in the model Goods and Services Tax Bill to preclude the requirement of approaching Parliament for any change in rates in future.
    The change in the peak rate will not alter the 4-slab rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent agreed upon last year, but is only a provision being built into the model law to take care of contingencies in future, two officials in the know told PTI.
    The revised draft of model GST law, which was made public in November 2016, provides for a maximum rate of tax under the new regime at 14 per cent (14 per cent central GST and an equal state GST, taking the total to 28 per cent).
    "There shall be levied a tax called the central/state goods and services tax (CGST/SGST) on all intra-state supplies of goods and/or services... at such rates as may be notified by the central/state government... but not exceeding 14 per cent on the recommendation of the Council and collected in such manner as may be prescribed," the draft law states.
    Officials said this "14 per cent" will now be changed to say the rate will not exceed "20 per cent".
    The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising representatives of all states, has agreed to keep the upper band of the rate in the law at 20 per cent.
    "For the moment, we will not tinker with the rate structure of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. The GST Council has decided to keep the upper cap higher at 20 per cent so that in future in case of need to hike tax rate, there is no need to approach Parliament for a nod and the GST Council can raise it," the officials said. This means the central GST and state GST can be up to 20 per cent each, leaving the scope for a maximum levy at 40 per cent.
    "The 4-tier rate structure that has been decided will hold for now. By keeping the upper cap at 20 per cent, we are just keeping an enabling provision which the Council can exercise at a later date after deliberation," the official added. Mirroring the model GST law, the CGST, SGST and UTGST law will be firmed up by the Centre, states and union territories, respectively.

    The Centre plans to introduce in Parliament the Central GST (CGST) Bill in the forthcoming session beginning March 9. After it is ratified, the states will introduce the State GST (SGST) Bill in their respective legislative Assemblies.
    The central and state officials will soon start the exercise to determine which goods and services should fall in which tax bracket and the same will be taken to the Council for approval soon.
    Together with this, they will also decide the goods and services that would attract a cess on top of the peak rate to create a corpus that can be used for compensating states for any loss of revenue from implementation of GST in the first five years. The government is looking at GST rollout from July 1.

    Equity markets' turnover rises for 2nd consecutive month
    • The segment-wise turnover of Indian equity markets increased in February 2017 compared to January this year.
      The turnover in the high-yielding cash segment of the NSE and the BSE grew 17.6 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, in February compared to the previous month.

      The turnover in the derivatives segment of the NSE surged 12.6 per cent to Rs 9,34,83,393.7 million in February compared to January.
      The month of January saw a single-digit growth of 4.8 per cent in this category.
      Turnover in both sub-segments, futures and options, grew during the month, rising by 11.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent to Rs 1,44,35,919 million and Rs 7,91,24,588 million, respectively, as in February 2017.
      The turnover in the derivatives segment of the BSE, which remained subdued since April 2016 on a month-on-month basis, owing to discontinuation of liquidity enhancement incentives, increased slightly in February.
      It rose from Rs 74.6 million in January 2017 to Rs 83.2 million in February 2017.
      A better-than-expected December 2016 quarter earnings, declared by some blue-chip companies, revived buying interest among investors and led to a rise in turnover.
      At the same time, the Union Budget 2017-18 exempted indirect tax transfers for Category I and II foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and kept long-term and short-term capital gains tax unchanged for capital markets.
      This tax relief, too, spurred trading activity in the markets.

      D-Mart IPO opens on March 8, price band fixed at Rs 295-299
      • Supermarket retail chain D-Mart's initial public offer (IPO) is all set to hit the market with a price band of Rs 295-299 on March 8.
        The Rs 1,870-crore IPO will close on March 10.
        Bids for the IPO can be made for a minimum of 50 equity shares and in multiples of 50 shares thereafter.
        Around 6.23 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each (face value) will be offered to the public. The issue size is worth Rs 1,865.57 crore.
        D-mart owner Avenue Supermarts has reserved 50 percent portion for the public issue has been reserved for qualified institutional buyers which 60 percent portion is likely to be allocated to anchor investors. 
        The stock will be listed on both BSE and NSE. 
        Avenue Supermarts was incorporated on May 12, 2000 at Mumbai, Maharashtra as a private limited company under the Companies Act, 1956
        35 percent of the issue size has been reserved for retail investors and 15 percent for non institutional investors.
        Currently, D-Mart operates close to 120 stores, most of them located in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
        Axis Capital, Edelweiss Capital, HDFC Bank, ICICI Securities, JM Financial Consultants, Kotak Mahindra Capital, Motilal Oswal Investments Advisors, and SBI Capital Markets are the book running lead managers to the issue.

      General Awareness

      Important Days in February 2017

      • Dear Aspirant,
        We collected the important days in February 2017 and provided in a table Format. We hope, it will help you in Competitive exams!!!
        Feb 1 2017
        Remember Day40th Indian Coast Guard Day
        PurposeTo protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
        Feb 2 2017
        Remember DayWorld Wetland Day
        PurposeTo marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
        ThemeWetlands for disaster risk reduction
        Feb 4 2017
        Remember DayWorld Cancer Day
        PurposeTo raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
        ThemeWe can I can
        Feb 6 2017
        Remember DayInternational Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation.
        PurposeTo raise awareness about the female genital mutilation (FGM) and to promote its eradication
        ThemeBuilding a solid and interactive bridge between Africa and the world to accelerate ending FGM by 2030
        Feb 10 2017
        Remember DayNational Deworming Day
        PurposeTo deworm children between the ages of (1-19) at schools and anganwadi centres.
        Feb 11 2017
        Remember DayInternational Day Women and Girls in Science
        PurposeTo highlight female achievement, equal access and participation in the science field
        ThemeGender, Science and Sustainable Development: The Impact of Media
        Feb 13 2017
        Remember DayWorld Radio Day
        PurposeTo remember the contribution of radio in our life.
        ThemeRadio is You
        Feb 20 2017
        Remember DayWorld Day of Social Justice
        PurposeTo promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment
        ThemePreventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work
        Feb 21 2017
        Remember DayInternational Mother Language day
        PurposeTo promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism
        OrganizationUN, UNESCO
        ThemeTowards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education
        Feb 22 2017
        Remember DayWorld thinking day
        PurposeA day when they think about their “sisters” (and “brothers”) in all the countries of the world, the meaning of Guiding, and its global impact.
        OrganizationWAGGGS(World Association For Girl Guides and Girl Scouts).
        ThemeConnect Activity Pack
        Feb 24 2017
        Remember Day74th Central Excise Day
        PurposeTo encourage the employees of excise department to carry out the central excise duty all over the India in better way in order to prevent the corruption
        Feb 27 2017
        Remember DayChandra Shekhar Azad‘s 86th death anniversary or Martyrdom Day
        Feb 28 2017
        Remember DayNational Science day
        PurposeTo commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect by Sir C.V.Raman in 1928
        ThemeScience and Technology for Specially Abled Persons

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