Current Affairs Current Affairs - 30 May 2017 - Vikalp Education

Online Vikalp, Current Affairs, Current Awareness, General Awareness, Aptitude Classes, Daily News, General Knowledge, General Awareness For All Competitive Exam, current affairs quiz,current affairs in india, current affairs about sports, current affairs and gk, current affairs about india, current affairs daily quiz, current affairs dairy, current affairs education, Top News, Breaking News, Latest News

Current Affairs - 30 May 2017

General Affairs 

Totally Agree With Army Chief On 'Dirty War' In Jammu And Kashmir: Venkaiah Naidu
  • Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today voiced "total agreement" with Army Chief General Bipin Rawat's statement that the "dirty war" in Jammu and Kashmir has to be fought through innovative ways.

    The Congress, however, said one of the fundamental tenets of counter insurgency operations across the world is winning the hearts and minds of the people also.

    Asked to comment on the army chief's remarks, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said he "does not envy the army chief as nobody would like to be in his boots".

    He said the army is dealing with a tough situation and one understands it, but it also has to be borne in mind that the Indian Army has perhaps the widest experience in counter insurgency operations.

    "In fact, a large number of counter insurgency manuals in various other parts of the world, have actually imbibed the experience of the Indian Army and the Indian Armed Forces and one of the fundamental tenets of counter insurgency operations is also winning the hearts and minds of the people. And we would leave it at that," he told reporters.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr Naidu tweeted, "Totally agree with Indian Army chief's statement that the dirty war in Jammu and Kashmir calls for innovation".

    In an interview to PTI, General Rawat said that the army is facing a "dirty war" in the state and it has to be fought through "innovative" ways.

    He also strongly defended the use of a Kashmiri man as a 'human shield' by a young army officer last month against stone-pelters in the Valley.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel At Country Retreat
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her country retreat near Berlin for informal talks over a private dinner.

    The two leaders enjoyed the sunshine with a walk in the grounds of Schloss Meseberg, an 18th century Barceoque castle in the Brandenburg district of Germany which is the official state guest house of the German Chanllor.

    "The bonds of a fruitful partnership. Chancellor Merkel receives Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Schloss Messeberg before a private dinner," said a Ministry of External Affairs statement alongside images of the two leaders in conversation in the luxurious gardens of the grand palace.

    The meeting has been described as a very informal affair where the two leaders will discuss issues of mutual interest, with the more formal engagements of PM Modi's two-day visit to Germany set to kick off today.

    PM Modi's accompanying delegation of senior ministers, including Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Energy Minister Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar, are also holding talks with their German counterparts.

    PM Modi had arrived in Berlin earlier yesterday at the start of his six-day, four-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France.

    In an interview with the German newspaper, 'Handelsblatt', he had urged Europe to play a lead role in tackling the menace of terrorism. He said, "Europe has been hit hard by terrorism. To our mind, terrorism is the gravest challenge facing humanity. Europe must play a lead role in developing an effective global response under the aegis of the United Nations to deal with this menace".

    On Indo-German ties, he said India sees Germany as an important partner in the national flagship programmes of Make in India, Skill India, Start-up India, Clean India and Smart Cities. 
    "We are keen to attract German Mittelstand [small and medium enterprises] to partner with us in our Make in India programme. We are committed to provide a supportive business ecosystem to those who join us in our growth story," he said. 

    "We have established dedicated platforms to support German companies and investments in India. There is strong commitment from the leadership on both sides to strengthen economic relations. I am very optimistic about this partnership," he said. 

    In reference to Germany as the host of the G20 summit in Hamburg in July, PM Modi offered India's full support for a successful outcome.

    "The G20 has emerged as a premier forum for coordination on international and financial matters. Our expectation is that G20 would be able to enhance global growth," he noted. 

    PM Modi is set for a ceremonial welcome at the Chancellery, the office of the German Chancellor, following which he will hold formal talks with Merkel as part of the India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations [IGC] tomorrow. 

    The two leaders are expected to clinch a host of agreements and, in the PM Modi's own words, "chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, innovation and science and technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways and civil aviation, clean energy, development cooperation, health and alternative medicine".

    PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel will also conduct a meeting with senior business leaders before inaugurating the Indo-German Business Forum tomorrow. 

    PM Modi will end his German tour with a courtesy call on German President, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at his official residence of Castle Bellevue before leaving for Spain tomorrow evening.

In Babri Masjid Case, Framing Of Charges Against LK Advani, Other Leaders Tomorrow
  • BJP stalwarts LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti will appear before a special CBI court in Lucknow tomorrow for framing of charges in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

    Besides them, Special CBI judge SK Yadav had asked BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, VHP's Vishnu Hari Dalmia and a one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara to present themselves before the court in person.
    While directing the accused to present themselves in person, the judge had said no application for adjournment or exemption from personal appearance shall be entertained.

    The court, which is hearing two separate cases relating to the demolition of the Babri masjid, would also frame charges against Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Ram Vilas Vedanti, Baikunth Lal Sharma alias Prem Ji, Champat Rai Bansal, Mahant Dharma Das and Satish Pradhan in the second matter.

    The Supreme Court had on April 19 ordered prosecution of Advani (89), Joshi (83), 58-year-old Uma Bharti, and other accused for criminal conspiracy in the politically sensitive case. It had also ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years.
    The top court had called the destruction of the medieval-era monument a "crime" which shook the "secular fabric of the Constitution" while allowing the CBI's plea seeking restoration of criminal conspiracy charge against the four BJP leaders, including Vinay Katiyar (62), and others.

    However, the Supreme Court had said BJP leader Kalyan Singh, who is the Rajasthan Governor and during whose tenure as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh the disputed structure was razed, is entitled to immunity under the Constitution as long as he holds the gubernatorial office.

    It had transferred the case against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and three other accused from a Raebareli court to Lucknow for a joint trial in the demolition case.

Yogi Adityanath Pushes For Digital Government Records, Wants 'E-Office' By October
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today directed officials to implement e-office system in the state secretariat from October 1 and asked them to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the same by June 15.

    Under the e-office system, physical files would be replaced with digital files, which would expedite disposal of files by prevent time wastage.

    "Chief secretary Rahul Bhatnagar has been directed by the Chief Minister to present a DPR of e-office system implementation by June 15. The Chief Minister has stressed that was most necessary for better maintenance and upkeep of records and files and making the running of the system more easy and transparent," an official spokesman said here. 
    The Chief Minister has formed a group of officials who would deliberate on required hardware, software, training of personnel and making way for digitisation of existing physical files for implementation of the system.

Bhupen Hazarika Dhola-Sadiya Bridge: China Warns India After PM Modi Launched Assam-Arunachal Bridge
  • China on Monday asked India to be "cautious" and exercise "restraint" over building infrastructure in Arunachal Pradesh, days after a bridge that links it to neighbouring Assam was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    China claims Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet. India has repeatedly rejected that stand, asserting that the border state is an integral part of India.

    "We hope India adopts a cautious and restrained attitude on the issue before the final settlement of the border issue with China to jointly control disputes, safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas," the Chinese Foreign Ministry told news agency IANS.

    "China's position on the eastern section of the Sino-Indian border areas is consistent and clear," a statement in Chinese said.

    PM Modi last week opened the country's longest bridge over the Brahmaputra river that connects Assam's easternmost region with Arunachal Pradesh.

    The 9.2 km Dhola-Sadiya bridge will cut the distance and travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by 165 km and five hours.

    The bridge, built to accommodate tanks, will ensure swift movement of Indian troops in Arunachal Pradesh which will bolster India's defence along the China border.

    Last month, China protested strongly to the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing considers the 81-year old spiritual leader a separatist. India said the visit was to promote religious harmony and had no political colouring. The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising that was crushed by Chinese troops, trekked through the Himalayas and entered India through Arunachal Pradesh.

Business Affairs 

    Hard times ahead for Reliance Communications
    • It's a precarious situation for Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications. On Monday, it announced fourth quarter results that suggest that things are not going fine for RCom. The company reported considerable drop in revenues and net profits, both annually and sequentially. For instance, RCom's revenues dipped 24 per cent to Rs 4,524 crore in January-to-March 2017 as compared to corresponding period last year. The company reported net loss of Rs 948 crore in last quarter as against net profits of Rs 79 crore in the same period last year.
      RCom's core business, that is telecom services, is witnessing steady decline over the past few quarters. The last quarter was particular weak because it reported deterioration in both voice and data businesses.  For instance, the number of voice subscribers shrunk to 84.7 million in fourth quarter of 2016/17 from 103.6 million in the same quarter last year. The voice ARPU (average revenues per user) fell from Rs 107 a year ago to Rs 87 now.
      The onslaught by Reliance Jio has affected the voice revenues of all telecom operators, largely affecting their voice ARPUs, but in the case of RCom, it's even worse. The drop in Rcom's voice customers shows that people are switching from its network to other telcos. So far, the larger operators like Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have kept their voice customer intact. RCom, on the other hand, have not been able to customers under its fold who are leaving in hordes, as the latest numbers suggest.
      The telecom market is shifting from voice to data. While the average revenue realization per customer has dipped for most telcos, they have been able to increase their overall mobile broadband customer base. The rise in data traffic is making up for the fall in data ARPUs.
      However, that's not the case with RCom. It has registered decline in total data customers, total data traffic and data usage per customer. For instance, its total data customers fell from 38.9 million a year ago to 28.3 million in the last quarter. The total data traffic on its network dropped to 79,554 million megabits in the last quarter to 104,743 million megabits a year ago.
      To make the matter worse, the telco is now staring at a possible crisis with its outstanding debt. The company's gross debt stood at Rs 45,733.4 crore as on March 2017. RCom has said that it's likely to retire about Rs 25,000 crore debt from the sale of its towers business to Brookfield and impending merger with Aircel. The lenders have turned cautious though, and categorised their exposure to RCom as special mention account.

    SEBI proposes tighter rules for offshore derivatives

    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) on Monday proposed to tighten rules on offshore derivative instruments (ODIs) by imposing "regulatory fees" and prohibiting the sale of products that track derivatives, unless issued for the purposes of hedging.
      If adopted, SEBI's plan would be the latest stringent action against controversial products created by banks to track Indian derivatives, shares and debt products and then sold to overseas investors.
      In a consultation paper, SEBI proposed that ODI issuers be given until Dec. 31, 2020 to wind down these products, unless they were undertaken for hedging purposes. ODIs tracking equities and debt would be spared.
      SEBI also proposed a fee of $1,000 every three years, starting from April 1 this year, on ODI issuers and each investor, in order to "discourage the ODI subscribers from taking the ODI route" and push them instead to register as foreign portfolio investors.
      SEBI said its proposals were being made "to enhance the transparency in the process of issuance and monitoring of ODIs," and set a June 12 deadline for comments from interested parties.
      Although their popularity has waned, ODIs has still a significant source of investment because they have less stringent registration requirements than investing directly.
      SEBI estimates the notional value of existing ODIS on equities, debt and derivatives at 1.69 trillion rupees ($26.21 billion) by April, down from 2.3 trillion in January 2016.
      But the investments, steered mainly into products called participatory notes (P-notes), have stirred regulatory suspicion that they are a conduit for money laundering or channeling of unaccounted wealth held by Indians abroad into domestic markets.
      SEBI has tightened ODI rules since 2014, including mandating that issuers provide more information about investors, while the government has moved to amend tax exemption treaties with countries such as Mauritius and Singapore.
      "This is the last nail in the coffin for P-note issuance. The government has been cracking down on investments through P-notes and my feeling is that they will keep tightening the rules until this is completely dead," said Amit Maheshwari, a managing partner at law firm Ashok Maheshwary & Associates.
      "This is also the right time for these tighter regulations because markets are at a high and dependence on foreign investments has reduced."
      Indian share markets have hit a series of record highs this month, fuelled by strong domestic retail investment.
      But India is still popular with foreign investors, who have plowed $8 billion into shares this year, and a net $12.6 billion into debt.

    Apathy of banks and Govt. delays slows infra growth: AM Naik
    • While sluggishness in the private sector investment is hampering the country's economic growth, AM Naik, chairman of India's largest private sector engineering and infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) came openly against the government and the banks for not focusing on the real issues that the businesses are facing.
      In a press briefing after announcing the fiscal performance of the company in the last financial year in Mumbai, Naik said the government projects are getting postponed every quarter, while banks are unwilling to lend to large private projects, but focused on recovering the dues.
      L&T has posted 8 per cent growth in revenues to Rs 1.1 lakh crore in the last financial year, thanks to monetization of some large completed projects. The net profit also rose by 43 per cent to Rs 6041 crore. However, the infrastructure behemoth had to write down Rs 18,000 crore worth projects from its order books as non-moving, because of the governmental delays and funding issues.
      Naik, flanked by incumbent managing director and CEO S N Subrahmanyan and CFO R Shankar Raman, said the company would anticipate an increase of 12-14 percent order inflow and 10 percent increase in revenues next fiscal.
      Naik said that L&T is now largely depending on the government projects, unlike in the past when 30 per cent of the orders were from private sector. "Now there are no serious big private sector projects. If there were 20 serious people bidding for a big project, not even four-five are not there (now). At least 70-75 percent of the big private sector players are no longer willing to invest, as banks are after them to recover dues, though banks are flushed with funds," said the septuagenarian executive who will become L&T's non-executive chairman from October 1, for three years.
      The company was expecting orders from defence sector worth over Rs 10,000 crore in the last year. Since that has not happened, the company is cautious on the visibility for new orders from that sector. "I can't predict whether it will happen in the next four quarters," he added.
      Earlier, the company was fighting internal execution delays to complete projects on time. "Our execution level was 23 percent run on time, which has now improved to 87 percent. If we were earlier requesting more time for execution, now we are after them (those who placed the orders) to 'take' the finished project", said Naik, noting that L&T finished construction of interceptor boats for Coast Guard two years ahead of schedule, but they are accepting the ships only in a phased manner.  
      The company got fresh orders worth Rs 1,42,995 crore last fiscal and the consolidated order book stood at Rs 2,61,341 crore as of March 2017. Its gross revenues grow only 8 percent in 2016-17 and orders grew only by 5 percent for the period.
      L&T, which will be selective, will focus on profitable execution of the large orders, on-time deliveries and operational excellence, said Naik.

    Government to announce electoral bonds scheme soon: Arun Jaitley
    • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the Centre would shortly announce the nature of the electoral bonds scheme. "This year, before the budget was being prepared, the prime minister had told us to take some steps in the budget to cleanse the political parties, and out of that the electoral bonds scheme was born," he said addressing BJP workers here. "We are in the process of shortly announcing the nature of the scheme," he said. In the budget 2017-18, the government had proposed amendment to the RBI Act to enable issuance of electoral bonds.
      Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his decisiveness, Jaitley said unlike the previous prime minister (Manmohan Singh), Modi has been decisive in taking steps with regard to demonetisation, surgical strike against Pakistan and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). On GST, he said from July 1 onwards India will become a uniform market, where goods and services will flow freely across the country and curb evasions.
      Jaitley said in the last three years, not even a single allegation of corruption has been levelled against the Modi government, for it has divested itself from discretionary power and allowed the system to decide all matters. "Why is it that, in the last three years, not a single allegation of corruption has been made against the government? The reason is simple... The government has divested itself from all discretionary powers, and left everything to be decided by the system," he said.
      "We have allocated spectrum and coal blocks, but nobody comes to meet us... the system, the market mechanism decide it, and hence there is no scope for misuse of power and corruption," he said. On Karnataka politics, Jaitley hoped that the party would put its heart and soul to bring it back to power under the leadership of B S Yeddyurappa.
      "Yeddyurappaji is in the driver's seat. Under his leadership, everybody will unitedly put his heart and soul and bring BJP back to power. Karnataka will become part of an aspirational India which does not believe in caste and dynastic politics, but performance of the government," he said. Jaitley added that neither caste nor dynastic politics will be enough to win elections.

    India will grow at 7.2 per cent in 2017-18, says World Bank
    • World Bank expects India, the fastest growing major economy in the world, to grow at 7.2 per cent in the current fiscal and further up to 7.7 per cent by 2019-20 on strong fundamentals, reform momentum and improving investment scenario.
      "Economic activity ought to accelerate in 2017-18. GDP is projected to grow at 7.2 per cent from 6.8 per cent in 2016- 17. Growth increases gradually to 7.7 per cent by 2019-20, underpinned by recovery in private investments," World Bank said at the launch of India Development Report.
      The report says demonetisation in November 2016 caused a slight disruption to Indias growth recovery, following a favourable monsoon last fiscal, but things seems to be bettering.
      "India remains the fastest growing economy in the world and it will get a boost from its approach to GST which will reduce the cost of doing business for firms, reduce logistics cost of moving goods across states, while ensuring no loss in equity," said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.
      The World Bank report says that the overall impact of GST on equity and poverty is likely to be positive. 

    General Awareness

    India’s Tax Laws, 2nd Most Complex in Asia-Pacific – Deloitte Survey

    • As per the Asia Pacific Tax Complexity Survey conducted by professional services firm, DeloitteIndia has the second most complex taxation system in the Asia-Pacific Region. This outcome is based on a survey of over 300 financial and tax executives in 20 countries across Asia Pacific. 147 of these respondents have business operations in India. The respondents were asked to give their views on the current and anticipated tax environment for their respective countries.
      Highlights of Deloitte Survey:
      • As per the survey report, only China has more complex tax system than India. In this context, complexity refers to perceived level of difficulty in interpreting the tax law and rules.
      • In China and India, over 50% respondents believe that complexity in the tax regime has increased in the last 3 years.
      • Over 90% of the respondents wish to see tax reforms in India, China and Indonesia.
      • Majority of the respondents believe that Indian tax system has become less consistent over the last 3 years. In this context, consistency refers to the perceived uniformity and transparency in enforcing prevailing tax laws.
      • 45% of respondents feel that tax audits conducted by Indian tax authorities are rigorous.
      • The report mentioned that rolling out of Goods and Services Tax(GST) will reduce complexity in tax environment by eliminating multiple taxes. However, over next 2-3 years, GST along with General anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) and adoption of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) actions, complexity will increase in Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) tax and Indirect Tax.
      Top 5 Asia-Pacific Countries in terms of Tax Complexity:
      About Deloitte:
      Deloitte is a UK-incorporated multinational professional services firm offering services such as audit, tax, management consultancy, financial advisory, risk advisory and legal consultancy.
      • It was formed in the year 1845.
      • Deloitte’s operational headquarters is located in New York, US.
      • Deloitte is one of the Big Four” accounting firms along with KPMG, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

      No comments:

      Featured post

      Current Affairs - 16 December 2018

      General Affairs   Cyclone Phethai Gathers Over Bay Of Bengal, May Hit Andhra On Monday ...

      Copyright © 2016. Vikalp Education