Current Affairs Current Affairs - 30 March 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 30 March 2017

General Affairs 

Try Patrolling Streets With Juniors, Yogi Adityanath Tells UP Cops
  • After making it clear that the law and order situation in the state would be his government's top priority, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today asked cops to change the way they operated to encourage a sense of safety among people and fear among criminals.

    During a review meeting with Director General and Additional Director Generals in his office yesterday, he also demanded a transparent working style in a corruption-free environment. "The police must establish a direct contact with people and take cognizance of even the most minor incident," he said.

    He also stressed on field visits to understand the ground reality and said if cops can take some time out and patrol on foot with their juniors, it will instill a feeling of safety and reassurance among residents.

    "If the department incorporates a few changes in its style of working, it would create fear in the mind of criminals and anti-social elements," the Chief Minister said.

    Last week, Mr Adityanath made a surprise visit to the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow where he inspected records and mini-cells or lock-up facilities. "This is the first audit, not the last," said the Chief Minister, adding his visit aimed to "boost the morale of cops so that the law prevails."

    He also encouraged policemen to report on "the black sheep in the department who are acting in collusion with criminals and anti-social elements".

    While promising a "fair and impartial" investigation into the latest attack on African students in Greater Noida to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Chief Minister directed police officials to prepare an elaborate work plan at the earliest.

    The police said they have already arrested seven people and promised more arrests. A case of attempt to murder and violence has been lodged against about 300 unidentified people.

Probe 2 Ex-Chief Ministers In Karnataka Mining Scam, Says Supreme Court
  • Six years after a Lokayukta report indicted two Karnataka chief ministers N Dharam Singh and HD Kumaraswamy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe into the role played by the two politicians in a mining scam.

    The probe, to be conducted by the state's special investigation team, will have to report its findings to the court within three months.

    A third former chief minister, SM Krishna - whose name also figured in the Lokayukta reports - will not be investigated for now. "We had gone through the Lokayukta report and there is nothing, not even a whisper against Mr Krishna," the top court's bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and RF Nariman observed.

    A social activist TJ Abraham had alleged the politicians had connived with bureaucrats to allow private businesses move into a huge tract of forest land in Bellay for iron ore mining. These relaxations were illegal and violated the rules, he had alleged.

    Mr Krishna, who recently quit the Congress to join the BJP in Karnataka, had approached the Supreme Court in 2011 after the Karnataka police named him and 10 others including the two former chief ministers. He was the Foreign Affairs Minister in the UPA government.

    The Supreme Court had stayed the probe against Mr Krishna for de-reserving the forest blocks for mining when he was chief minister during 1999-2004. The soft-spoken Dharam Singh was appointed chief minister as the consensus candidate in Aril 2004 when Congress joined hands with the Janata Dal (Secular). But the government collapsed after HD Kumaraswamy of the JD (S) - also son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda - walked out of the coalition in 2006. Mr Kumaraswamy later became chief minister for a year with support from the BJP.

Women To Get 26 Weeks Maternity Leave, President's Nod To New Law
  •  Women employees will now be able to get paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as per a new law.

    President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 that has made changes in some of the provisions of over 55-year-old law entitling certain benefit to women employees.

    The new law makes it mandatory for every establishment with fifty or more employees to have the facility of creche within a prescribed distance.

    The employer is also bound to allow four visits a day to the creche by a woman.

    Every establishment shall intimate in writing and electronically to every woman at the time of her initial appointment regarding every benefit available under the new law, the statute says.

    An employer can also permit a woman to work from home after she has availed maternity leave.

    "In case where the nature of work assigned to a woman is of such nature that she may work from home, the employer may allow her to do so after availing of the maternity benefit for such period and on such conditions as the employer and the woman may mutually agree," it says.

    The law also allows maternity leave of 12 weeks for a woman who adopts a child below the age of three months, and for commissioning mother (a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in any other woman).

    The entitlement of 26 weeks paid leave under the law is only for first two children. A woman with two or more children will be entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, says the law which will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people.

    The statute that will help approximate 1.8 million women workforce in organised sector, has amended Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that regulates grant of maternity benefit to women employees in certain establishments.

    The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on March 9 and Rajya Sabha on March 20.

    India is at third position globally in terms of the number of weeks of maternity leave after Canada (50 weeks) and Norway (44 weeks).

Nitish Kumar For 2019, Says His Party. Lalu As Chankaya, Says His. And Congress?
  • After Prime Minister Narendra Modi crushed it in Uttar Pradesh, delivering to his party a record win, opposition leaders are promoting a coalition of non-BJP parties as the primary need for the general election in 2019. Few have been faster to embrace that #RelationshipGoal than Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United or JDU, whose leaders are aglow in the fact that it's Bihar that is being held up as the prototype for countering the BJP.

    Yesterday, in the state legislature, Neeraj Kumar, a lawmaker from the Chief Minister's party said, "In the given situation, Nitish Kumar 's the most competent and credible face to lead an anti-BJP front." The suggestion was seconded by Illayas Husain, a leader from ally Lalu Yadav's party, who described Mr Kumar as Chandragupta, the emperor famous for good governance, and Lalu as Chanakya, the king's politically shrewd strategist.

    In 2015, Mr Kumar, then seeking a third consecutive term, became the centerpiece of the now-storied maha-gathbandan or Grand Alliance that entwined him with former rival Lalu and the Congress. Like in UP this year, the Prime Minister gave the BJP's campaign his all, commanding enormous audiences to his rallies and punting on serving as the face of the initiative -no presumptive Chief Minister was named. It was, however, the alliance that triumphed, serving the BJP a rare loss since it came to power at the centre in 2014.
    However, the reaction to the 'Nitish for 2019' proposal from Mr Kumar's junior ally, the Congress, amounted to a giant hmmph. "All these talks are premature and only an act of sycophancy," said Ashok Chaudhary, who heads the party in Bihar and is a member of the cabinet. The Congress, rendered politically gaunt by a series of electoral losses, holds that its Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who led the party's disastrous bid of Uttar Pradesh, must soon be promoted to party chief, a post currently held by his mother Sonia Gandhi. Like Lalu, its equation with Mr Kumar has been tested by the Chief Minister's cheerleading of PM Modi's demonetization move, which was denounced by all opposition leaders except him.

    Lalu and his wife, Rabri Devi, have recently been mooting a retirement plan not just for themselves but for the Chief Minister, stating that it's time for "younger leaders to take over", a naked petitioning of promotions for their sons who are ministers in the government.

5 Astronauts Assigned To Future ISS Mission: NASA
  • NASA has assigned five astronauts for upcoming missions aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the US space agency said today.

    Astronauts Joe Acaba, Ricky Arnold, Nick Hague, Serena Aunon Chancellor and Shannon Walker all have begun training for missions launching later this year and throughout 2018.

    Acaba will be the first to launch, assigned to the Expedition 53 and 54 crews that already include Mark Vande Hei of NASA, and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

    They will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in September. Walker will train as a dedicated backup for Acaba. Arnold will join NASA's Drew Feustel and a Russian cosmonaut for Expeditions 55 and 56 to launch in March 2018.

    Arnold and Acaba's assignments were enabled by the recent agreement to add additional crew members in 2017 and 2018 to boost space station science and research.

    First-time fliers Hague and Aunon-Chancellor will fall into the standard rotation for NASA astronauts. Hague will launch in September 2018 on Expeditions 57 and 58 with two Russian cosmonauts.

    Aunon-Chancellor will join the Expedition 58 and 59 crews in November 2018, along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and a Russian cosmonaut.

    "It's great to get to announce so many assignments at once," said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Centre in Houston.

    "There's plenty of work to be done at the space station, and the research opportunities are almost limitless. These folks are all going to do great work and bring a lot of value to their crewmates," said Cassidy.

    Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they'll work with while in space.

    This will be Acaba's third trip to the space station and his second long-duration mission.

    He was selected as an astronaut in 2004, and flew on space shuttle Discovery's STS-119 station assembly mission in 2009, before returning for a longer stay in 2012, as part of the Expedition 31 and 32 crews. 

    Arnold will be visiting the space station for the second time, but this trip will be much longer than his last.

    He also was selected in the 2004 class and flew with Acaba on STS 119. On that mission, he conducted two spacewalks, spending 12 hours and 34 minutes outside the space station.

    Selected as a member of the 2013 astronaut class, Hague is a colonel in the US Air Force. Prior to his selection, he worked as an adviser to the US Senate on matters of national defence and foreign policy.

    Aunon-Chancellor joined the astronaut corps in 2009, and has been at NASA since 2006, when she became a flight surgeon.

    She also served as the deputy lead for medical operations for NASA's Orion spacecraft before being selected as an astronaut. Walker spent 163 days as a flight engineer for Expedition 24 and 25 in 2010.

Business Affairs 

SBI offers free credit card at 'zero annual fee' for customers with minimum Rs 20,000 balance
  • With the aim of expanding the reach of digital payments, the State Bank of India on Tuesday said that it will offer credit cards to every account holder who has a balance of Rs 20,000-25,000. The card will be offered through a network of 20,000 plus SBI branches.
    The Bank will not go into customers' credit history and the card, which will be issued in the name of 'Unnati', will remain free for four years.
    "Presently, lack of credit history has been a challenge in increasing the card penetration in the country. In such a scenario, this card is likely to facilitate in generation of credit history for new users, which will help bringing them into organised financial stream," SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said.
    "To encourage adoption of credit cards and facilitate expansion in the reach of digital payments, the SBI Card Unnati will be offered free, at zero annual fee, for four years," she further said.
    Explaining the reasoning behind keeping the card free, SBI Cards CEO Vijay Jasuja said: "SBI has close to 30 crore customer accounts, including Jan Dhan Yojana. Post-demonetisation the balance amount in these accounts increased significantly. Many customers do not have credit history and are not eligible for cards. We want to bring about financial inclusion in terms of credit facility with this new product."
    The Bank is also in the process of increasing its stake in SBI Card to 74 per cent. "Stake will be increased by first quarter of next financial year...there are few regulatory issue that is being sorted out," SBI chairperson said. SBI currently holds 60 per cent stake in SBICPSL and 40 per cent in GECBPMSL. The balance being held by GE Capital in both the ventures.
    The SBI has approval to infuse Rs 1,160 crore in the two JVs - SBI Cards and Payment Services Pvt Ltd (SBICPSL) and GE Capital Business Processes Management Services Ltd (GECBPMSL)- through purchase of equity shares from GE Capital so as to increase the bank's stake in both the companies to 74 per cent. Asked about remaining 26 per cent stake, she said, the decision has to be taken by GE.
    The nation's largest lender SBI entered credit card business in 1998 by roping GE Capital India, the consumer finance arm of US-based GE Capital. SBI Card, having 4.3 million user, said its latest offering 'Unnati' targeted at all SBI customers, including Jan Dhan account holders throughout the country.

Only BS-IV vehicles to be sold from April 1, says Supreme Court
  • The Supreme Court has banned sale and registration of all vehicles not complying with Bharat Stage IV or BS-IV emission norms from April 1, 2017, badly jolting the auto industry saddled with an inventory worth Rs 20,000 crore.
    The court announced its decision today in favour of 'public health, which is more important than commercial interests'.
    Around a million vehicles, including 7.51 lakh two-wheelers, cannot be sold after March 31 due to BS-IV non-compliance, as per the apex court's order. The mandate came post a petition filed by an automaker to stop sale of BS-III-compliant vehicles beyond March 31.
    According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the manufacturers have a total stock of 8,24,275 BS-III-compliant vehicles.
    Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India are going to be the biggest losers in the two-wheelers market while Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland will be most impacted in the commercial vehicle space.
    Earlier, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a draft notification, making BS-IV-compliant vehicles mandatory across the country in a phased manner from April 1, 2017, without mentioning any date of registration.
    Automakers suggested that the April 1 deadline was meant to stop manufacturing of BS-III vehicles, and not their sale and registration.
    The manufacturers also argued that in 2005 and 2010, when the industry had switched to BS-II and BS-III, respectively, they were allowed to sell their stocks with old emission norms. Likewise, they should be able to sell their old stocks this time as the new technology is duly introduced.
    The dealer community is furious over the ruling and will be pressurising the manufacturers to take back the non-compliant inventory.
    The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) accused that most vehicle manufacturers did not prepare for the April 1 deadline; neither did they ensure a nationwide rollout of BS-IV vehicles by scaling down their production of BS-III vehicles and continued to manufacture between January and March, 2017.
    Companies like Chennai-based Ashok Leyland produced a higher number of vehicles--a total of 11,563-- in January 2017 compared to 10,935 vehicles in January 2016.
    However, a few players like Maruti Suzuki and truck maker Bharat Benz have already moved to the BS-IV norms.
    Commenting on the development, Erich Nesselhauf, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said, "A thousand BharatBenz BS-IV trucks on the road underline our commitment to lead this much-needed upgrade to cleaner and more efficient vehicles. We have worked relentlessly for more than a year to be fully BS-IV ready on April 1."

Sensex, Nifty end higher; Auto stocks fall on SC verdict, Ashok Leyland top loser
  • The Indian benchmark indices opened on a positive note and continued sustained trades throughout the day. 
    The Indian rupee touched a high since October 2015 against the US dollar. 
    Nifty Bank Index ended 0.78 per cent higher led by SBI. 
    However, after the Supreme Court announced a ban on BS-III vehicles, auto stocks took a beating. 
    3.35 PM:
    The S&P BSE Sensex ended the day 29,531.43, up 121.91 points while the Nifty50 settled the day at 9,143.80, up 43.00 points. 
    3.15 PM:
    Shares of automobile majors took a hit as investors turned cautious of the Supreme Court's verdict on BS-III vehicles.
    This decision will significantly affect the industry that is said to have an inventory of 8.2 lakh such vehicles.
    Hero MotoCorp plunged nearly 3 per cent on the BSE.
    TVS Motor, Ashok Leyland, among others fell intraday trades.
    12.30 PM:
    GST rate structure has a total of 4-tax slabs: 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent confirmed
    12.21 PM:
    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley begins the Goods and Services Tax speech. 
    This will be followed by a debate in Parliament that is expected to be 7-hour long.
    11.55 AM:
    SBI, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank and Larsen and Toubro added over 1 per cent to the BSE.
    On the NSE Index, Bharti Infra was the top gainer adding nearly 4 per cent to the bourse. 
    11.53 AM:
    The BSE Sensex climbs to 29,524.03, up 114.51 points.
    The Nifty Index was trading at 9,132.90, up 32.10 points. 
    11.30 AM:
    Nifty bank hits record high. It gains most among the indices, up 4 per cent. 
    It crossed its previous level of 21,336.
    The gains were led by Stae Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. 
    All PSU Banks were in green - OBC, Canara Bank and SBI were the top performers. 
    11.24 AM:
    Bharti Airtel completed sale of 11.32 per cent stake in its mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel to its wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure for Rs 6,806 crore, the telecom operator said today.
    "The company has today completed an inter-se transfer of 11.32 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel to Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company," Bharti Airtel said in a BSE filing.
    Bharti Infra was trading 3.69 per cent higher at Rs 340.40 on the BSE. 
    11.22 AM:
    Larsen & Toubro announced that its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2,400 crore in domestic and international markets.
    "The power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has recently bagged major orders worth Rs 2,400 crore in the domestic and international markets," the engineering and construction major said in a BSE filing.
    The stock was trading 1.18 per cent up at Rs 1,564 on the BSE.
    9.17 AM:
    The market breadth is positive with over 700 stocks performing well.
    Bharti Infra was up 1.52 per cent, and was the top performer on the BSE.
    State Bank of India, NTPC and Tata Steel all added to the bourse.
    Dishman Pharma continued to trade big volumes, up 10.9 per cent.
    9.16 AM:
    The Indian rupee gained past 65 against the US dollar. 
    It appreciated above 65-mark against US dollar for the first time since October 28, 2015.
    Experts have cited that the rupee has been the best performing currency for the month of march and offers good yield on the account of strong foreign inflows.
    9.15 AM:
    The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 29,481.88, up 72.36 points.
    The Nifty50 started the day 9, 126, up 23 points.
    Nifty Midcap was up 27 points.
    8.40 AM:
    Asian shares edged higher on Wednesday and the US dollar and commidities held gains from previous trading session.
    However, the pound slipped after the British government formally begun the Brexit from the European Union.
    The Dow snapped an eight-day losing streak, its longest run of losses since 2011, in part as a survey showed consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high
    The bourse ended 0.73 per cent higher, while the S&P 500 gained 0.73 per cent and the Nasdaq 0.6 per cent.
    The biggest loser overnight was the South African rand which has lost almost five per cent in two sessions on speculation well-respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan might lose his job.
    Oil prices gained after a severe disruption to Libyan oil supplies and as officials suggested the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers could extend output cuts to the end of the year.

    Filing Income Tax Return to become easy; e-filing to start from April 1
    • A crisp income tax form for salaried individuals will be introduced from April 1, doing away with some columns to simplify the filing of returns.
      Individuals with salary and interest income will have to fill fewer columns as some of these for claiming income deductions have been clubbed in ITR1 form called 'Sahaj'.
      In the form for Assessment Year 2017-18, deductions claimed under different sections of Chapter VIA have been removed and only mostly used ones have been included.
      "Columns that will remain include those for claiming deductions under Section 80C, mediclaim (80D). Those individuals who want to show deductions under other heads can do so by selecting an option," an official told PTI.
      Currently, the ITR 1/Sahaj has 18 different columns for claiming deductions under Section 80 of the Income Tax Act.
      Under section 80C, a deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh can be claimed from total income for investments in LIC, PPF and repayment of housing loan.
      Section 80D provides for tax deduction from the total taxable income for the payment of medical insurance premium. This deduction is over and above the deduction under Section 80C.
      "The forms would be notified by this month end as we want assessees to start filing returns from April onwards," the official added.
      The move is aimed at encouraging more number of people to file returns. Currently, only 6 crore out of 29 crore persons holding permanent account number (PAN) file income returns.
      The current 3-page form is simplified version of an income tax return form after removing mandated disclosure of foreign trips and dormant bank accounts introduced two years back.
      People with an income of more than Rs 50 lakh per annum and who own luxury items like yacht, aircraft or valuable jewellery will continue to disclose these expensive assets with the I-T department in the ITRs.
      The e-filing facility for ITR-1 is likely to be enabled from April 1 and ITRs can be filed till the stipulated deadline of July 31.
      At the time of filing the form, the taxpayer has to fill in his PAN, Aadhaar number, personal information and information on taxes paid, and TDS will be auto-filled in the form.
      Post July 1, as per amendments to the Finance Bill 2017 as passed by the Lok Sabha, it would become mandatory for an assessee to provide the Aadhaar number or the number showing that he has applied for Aadhaar in the ITR.
      Also the efiling website would have an online tax calculator to help assessees determine their tax liability.
      ITR 1-SAHAJ, 2 and 2A can be used by individual or Hindu Undivided Families whose income does not include income from business.
      ITR 4S - SUGAM can be used by an individual or HUF whose income includes business income assessable on presumptive basis.

      India becomes net exporter of power for the first time
      • India has become a net exporter of electricity for the first time, the power ministry said on Wednesday, adding that upcoming cross-border transmission lines with neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar will only increase sales.
        April-February power exports of around 5,798 million units were 4 percent higher than what India bought from Bhutan, which has been a steady supplier of hydro-electricity to the country since the eighties.
        New transmission lines with Bangladesh and Myanmar helped India sell more, the government said.
        Known for its crippling power cuts, India has been investing heavily on generation infrastructure over the past few years. A massive surge in the local supply of raw materials like coal in the past two years has also helped power companies boost output.
        Some experts, however, say local power demand has grown slower than expected.

      General Awareness

      List of International Airports in India

      • Hello Friends, We have seen in most of the exam few question is asking from General Knowledge. So we have provided you List of International Airports in India for upcoming exams like – SBI, IBPS, RBI, SSC, FCI etc and many more upcoming exams.
        StateCity Airport Name
        Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPort BlairVeer Savarkar International Airport
        Andhra PradeshVisakhapatnamVisakhapatnam International Airport
        AssamGuwahatiLokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
        BiharGayaGaya International Airport
        DelhiNew DelhiIndira Gandhi International Airport
        GoaGoa/tdGoa International Airport/Dabolim Airport
        GujaratAhmedabadSardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
        Jammu & KashmirSrinagarSrinagar Airport
        KarnatakaBengaluruKempegowda International Airport
        KarnatakaMangaloreMangalore International Airport
        KeralaKochiCochin International Airport
        KeralaKozhikodeCalicut International Airport
        KeralaThiruvananthapuramTrivandrum International Airport
        Madhya PradeshBhopalRaja Bhoj International Airport
        MaharashtraMumbaiChhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
        MaharashtraNagpurDr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport
        ManipurImphalTulihal International Airport
        OdishaBhubaneswarBiju Patnaik International Airport
        PunjabAmritsarSri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport
        RajasthanJaipurJaipur International Airport
        Tamil NaduChennaiChennai International Airport
        Tamil NaduCoimbatoreCoimbatore International Airport
        Tamil NaduMaduraiMadurai Airport
        Tamil NaduTiruchirapalliTiruchirapalli International Airport
        TelanganaHyderabadRajiv Gandhi International Airport
        Uttar PradeshLucknowChaudhary Charan Singh International Airport
        Uttar PradeshVaranasiLal Bahadur Shastri Airport
        West BengalKolkataNetaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport

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