Current Affairs Current Affairs - 11 June 2017 - Vikalp Education

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Current Affairs - 11 June 2017

General Affairs 

Women to be inducted as military police jawans first, says Army Chief Bipin Rawat
  • A week after the Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat announced that combat roles for women would be open soon, the chief today said that women will be first inducted in military police before taking the discourse further on their combat positions in the force.
    "Firstly, we will start with women as military police jawans, will take next step after success," General Rawat told media after attending a Passing out Parade (PoP) ceremony in Dehradun.
    "Because many times, when people go to the operation, we have to face the people and many a times ladies come in front of us," he said.
    Currently women are allowed in a number of select areas including in medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Indian Army but combat roles are kept off limit for them due to operational concerns and logistical issues.
    According to reports, India will be joining countries like Germany, Australia, Canada, the United States, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel that have already allowed women in combat roles in their army.
    Last year, in a major step forward, Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh became the first women fighter pilots to be formally commissioned by the Indian Air Force.
    Answering a question on the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, General Rawat claimed youth in the valley are being instigated through a campaign of misinformation on social media.
    "Youth in Kashmir are being instigated by a misinformation campaign on social media," he said.
    On June 8, General Rawat said the situation in Kashmir would be normal soon.
    He said, "Pakistan is spreading disinformation among the youth of Kashmir with doctored videos and messages. This is further supported by some of the people in the Valley who spread it and glamorise the young boys who have joined terrorist organisations."

Madhya Pradesh: Families of 4 farmers who died in Mandsaur firing ask CM Chouhan to end fast
  • The families of four farmers who died in police firing in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur earlier this week, have asked Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to end the indefinite fast he began today.
    But Chouhan today reiterated that his fast would continue until peace was fully restored in his state.
    Madhya Pradesh - the districts of Mandsaur and Dewas in particular - has witnessed protests by farmers who want debt relief and better crop prices.
    Five farmers were killed in police firing on Tuesday, and another was beaten to death, allegedly by police personnel.

    Meanwhile, Mandsaur's Superintendent of Police said no curfew would be imposed after 8 pm in the region, but that Section 144 would remain in effect.

Pakistan violates ceasefire in Krishna Ghati sector of Jammu, India hits back
  • Pakistani troops on Saturday violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.
    Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling of 120 mm of four Indian Army posts and civilian areas.
    A senior army officer said, "Pakistani Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 2030 hours along the Line of Control (LC) in Krishana Ghati sector."
    According to reports, the Pakistani troops also targeted civilian population and small villages along the LoC in Krishna Ghati and Balnoie areas of Poonch district, triggering panic among the people there.
    The Indian Army was giving a befitting reply to Pakistan's shelling, the officer said. Firing was on when reports last came in.
    Earlier on Saturday, the Indian Army foiled an infiltration attempt in Bandipora's Gurez sector and killed a terrorist.
    The slain terrorist's weapons were seized and a combing operation launched in the area.
    In another incident on Saturday, a group of militants fired at two security forces' vehicles in Anantnag's Qazigund town.

Time has come to take Pakistan-occupied Kashmir back, says Baba Ramdev
  • Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has come out with a very specific demand for the Narendra Modigovernment- take Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) back from Pakistan.
    Terming PoK as the root cause of the persistent Kashmir unrest, he said PM should work in this direction to rid the northern state from its longstanding turmoil.
    "PoK was the cause of all the problems in Jammu and Kashmir. The only solution I think at this point of time is India acquiring the PoK territory into its own. It's because of PoK that Pakistan was successful in pushing terrorists in to India. PM should look into this issue and make a start in a phased manner to acquire PoK", said Baba Ramdev.
    Baba Ramdev who is holding a Yoga camp in Motihari for last three days said that apart from the problem of PoK, Hizbul chief Hafeez Sayeed, Jaish chief Masood Azhar and 1993 Mumbai serial blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim also need to be dealt with.
    "Dawood, Masood Azhar and Hafeez Sayeed have also become a cause of problem for India and I would urge PM Modi to either eliminate them or bring them back to the country. If Modi does any of the two, he would become immortal", added the Yoga guru.

BJP to organise quiz for children on PM Modi to mark 3 years of NDA government
  • Children are in for exciting prizes in a quiz devised by the BJP to celebrate three years of the Narendra Modi government.
    With summer vacations on, the party has organised special camps for school children where they will be asked questions on PM Modi and various initiatives taken by the government like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Padhao Beti Bachao and demonetisation.
    The plan was chalked out at a party meeting on Thursday. The idea was to create awareness among children about governance and politics, said Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari.
    The fest will be organised in all seven Lok Sabha constituencies. Local BJP units will form teams of interested students and camps will be organised for them. Tiwari said top 10 students in each constituency will be awarded.
    "The BJP government has initiated a number of reforms in the social and economic sectors. This quiz aims at creating awareness among students as well as engaging them with the idea of developing India," Tiwari said.
    "Apart from the quiz, a short film will be shown to the students on the government's initiatives. Parents accompanying the children will also be briefed about the government's achievements. Further, a separate intellectual meet will be organised in each constituency to collect feedback from the public," the BJP president said. While the Modi fest was initially planned till June 15, Tiwari said, the programme could be extended for another week.
    Meanwhile, the BJP has planned six different programmes to celebrate three years of the Modi government. Addressing a meeting of Delhi BJP office bearers, the party's national general secretary Arun Singh elaborated on these programmes. They include creating awareness about Deen Dayal Upadhyay among people at the booth level.
    Further, a show will be held highlighting achievements of three years of Narendra Modi government.
    Of the more than 100 initiatives by Union government, 99 are meant just for the poor, a BJP leader said. The other programmes include a bimonthly meeting at the booth level, celebration of the party's Foundation Day on April 6 and Martyr Day of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on June 23, and the birth and death anniversaries of party ideologue Upadhyay.

Business Affairs 

    Aadhaar will be a must for filing Income Tax Returns from July 1: CBDT
    • Aadhaar will be a must for filing Income Tax Returns from July 1, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said on Saturday.
      A partial relief has been given by the Supreme Court to those who do not have Aadhaar. Such PAN numbers will not be cancelled, reported PTI.
      The policy-making body of the Income Tax Department issued a statement stating that the Supreme Court yesterday had only given a "partial relief" to those who do not have an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment ID, and the taxman, hence, will not "cancel" their Permanent Account Number (PAN).

      The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a three- point "effect of the judgement" of the apex court statement saying:
      From July 1, 2017 onwards every person eligible to obtain Aadhaar must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar enrolment ID number for filing of income tax returns as well as for applications for PAN.
      "Everyone who has been allotted permanent account number as on the 1st day of July, 2017, and who has aadhaar number or is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number to income tax authorities for the purpose of linking PAN with Aadhaar," it said.
      It explained what will happen in a case of "non- compliance" or where a person does not possess Aadhaar.
      "Only a partial relief by the Court (SC) has been given to those who do not have Aadhaar and who do not wish to obtain Aadhaar for the time being, that their PAN will not be cancelled so that other consequences under the Income Tax Act for failing to quote PAN may not arise," the CBDT said.
      If the PAN is cancelled, then a person cannot do his normal banking and financial operations and hence this relief is given. But, it has been made clear that for filing of ITR or to obtain a new PAN, Aadhaar will be mandatory from July 1, a senior I-T official explained.
      Senior officials said the apex court's order given yesterday was "studied" by a high-level team of authorities from the Law Ministry, Finance Ministry, CBDT and the Income Tax Department after which this clarification has been issued.

    7th Pay Commission report: Announcement on revised allownces may come by June end
    • The never-ending wait for the Central government staff to know what Narendra Modi government has in store for them has stretched further.

      The beneficiaries have already received their revised salaries, however, the picture related to the exact allowances is still unclear.

      If various media reports are to be believed then the Cabinet would look at the proposals over allownces by the end of June. The employees might receive the same, including house rent allowance (HRA), by July 18.

      Over 4.9 million central government employees have been waiting for their revised allowances under the Seventh Pay Commission.

      According to a report published in the Financial Express, because of the delays in revised allowances distribution, the government has been able to save Rs 2,200 crore per month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1 last year.

      However, the Centre may compensate the delay to some extent by offering more generous HRA than recommended by the committee earlier, the report quoted sources as saying.

      The Ashok Lavasa Committee on Allowances submitted its report to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on April 27.

      The Committee was formed to review the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

      The pay commission had recommended abolition of or subsuming of allowances like acting, assisting cashier, cycle, condiment, flying squad, haircutting, rajbhasha, rajdhani, robe, shoe, shorthand, soap, spectacle, uniform, vigilance and washing.

      The Committee was constituted in June last year after the government implemented the recommendations of the Pay Commission.

      The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances, and subsuming 36 other allowances. It also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA)--for metros, commission recommended bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.
      The Seventh  Pay Commission had recommended the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) be kept at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.

      Government employees protested the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, following which the Narendra Modi-government formed a committee under Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa to review the suggestions.

      The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July and after an extended deadline was asked to submit its report to the government by February 22, 2017.

      If the government implements pay commission recommendations on allowances, then as per estimates, the cost to the exchequer will be Rs 29,300 crore.

    Govt was aware that 'note ban' would cause cash crunch, but it led to 'great movement' towards digitisation: Arun Jaitley
    • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government was aware that demonetisation would cause a cash crunch in India but had envisaged long-term advantages like "great and substantial" movement towards digitisation of the economy.
      "We were conscious of the fact that the demonetisation, to the extent that it causes a cash crunch made temporarily for a quarter or two impact on us adversely. But there were some long-term advantages which were envisaged," Jaitley told Bloomberg TV in an interview aired here.
      Asked whether demonetisation has been a success, he said the first significant advantages that has taken place is that there is a "great and a substantial movement" towards digitisation of the economy.
      "The use of cash relatively comes down, the use of other mode of payments increases. The second is, there is a substantial number of assesses who have been added," Jaitley said.
      He also said that he anticipates a substantial increase in the tax base.
      "I think the new normal has been established in India and a message is loud and clear that it's no longer safe to deal substantially in cash," said the finance minister.
      Responding to a question, Jaitley said he does believe that India has carried on a large number of structural reforms in the last few years.
      "With the kind of structural reforms which are setting in, the kind of public expenditure and the foreign direct investment we are getting in, I do expect the growth to turn around and improve this year," he said.
      "I do believe that the net effect of demonetisation, that is the invigoration of the informal economy with the formal one. The GST is likely to set by the first of July this year," he said, hoping that with a good monsoon being forecasted this year, the growth would increase.
      "The one important challenge that we have is with regard to a private sector investment, we do believe that the global curve is also turning, go turning slowly. Domestic consumption is improving. And hopefully, if we are able over the next one year or so, address the problem of the Indian banking system itself. We will again pick up significant growth," Jaitley said.

    BSNL eyes 11% market share, to install 25,000 wi-fi hotspots
    • Telecom minister Manoj Sinha on Friday set the target of achieving 11 per cent market share for the state-owned BSNL within 12 months.
      "This time, we have seen a growth of 0.3 per cent in the market share. Next time when we meet, it should not be less than 10 (per cent). I expect it to be 10.5 per cent, but if it crosses 11 per cent, we will take whatsoever special steps required for BSNL," Sinha said at an agreement signing ceremony between BSNL and USOF for wi-fi services.
      The market share of BSNL has increased to 9.35 per cent, from 9.05 per cent a year ago. In percentage terms, the growth works out to 3.3 per cent.
      Under an agreement signed between BSNL and the Universal Service Obligation Fund, a corpus for rural telecom services, the company will install 25,000 wi-fi hotspots in rural areas with an outlay of Rs 942 crore within four months.
      BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said the project cost includes operation expenses for three years.
      "The MoU says six months, but Shrivastava has advanced it... to four months. I hope these 25,000 wi-fi hotspots will be installed across our 25,000 rural exchanges in four months," Sinha said.
      Saying a lot is at stake, the minister directed BSNL officials to complete phase one of broadband services under the BharatNet project by June 30.
      "In any case, we have to complete first phase (of BharatNet) by June 30. I dont want anyone to come up and say even 1 kilometre of the work is left. We have to keep the target of lighting up (activating broadband in) 1,000 villages per day. Many social transformation is dependent on it," Sinha said.

    GSTN asks Suvidha Providers to get systems audited as per ISO
    • With the looming July 1 deadline for new indirect tax regime, GST Network has asked the GST Suvidha Providers to get their systems audited as per ISO standards before they start feeding data into the network.
      This assumes significance as the country is gearing up for an overhaul of its indirect tax regime and thousands of businesses will upload their purchase-sale invoices on the GST Network (GSTN) on a daily basis.
      GST Network - the company building the IT backbone for the new tax structure - has also asked the 34 GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) to ensure security of their systems.
      The GSPs will assist taxpayers in interacting with GST systems, from registration of entity to uploading of invoice details to filing of returns under the new regime.
      "GSPs were told that they must have their systems audited as per the prevailing ISO standard on security from one of the auditors on the panel of CERT-IN before they connect with and start pushing data into the GST System," a finance ministry statement said.
      At a meeting with GSPs, GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar assessed their preparedness. Besides, GSTN presented the timelines of the release of updated specifications for the new GST Return forms.
      "GSTN also published and explained the method and manner in which the GSPs would be able to integrate with the GST system to be able to submit all the return forms on behalf of their clients and tax payers," the statement added.
      GSTN also advised all GSPs to continue to visit the GSP ecosystem webpage on the GSTN website ( for all information, updates and guidelines, which are regularly updated.
      For the convenience of taxpayers, GSTN has also come up with an offline tool where data on invoices (business to business), exports, supplies to consumers etc., which are required to create GSTR-1 can be entered in an excel sheet in offline mode.
      The tool can be run to upload all such data on the portal. Only while uploading the data on GST portal, internet connectivity will be required.
      The offline tool will be provided free of cost and taxpayers will be able to download it from the GST portal ( from last week of June.
      GSTN will also release the format of excel in which businesses will start maintaining the data from July 1 for using the offline tool for uploading the invoice data and other return data.
      Taxpayers using offline tool will not require services of any GSPs. Similarly, those having small number of business-to- business invoices, like retailers and small traders, can do the data entry on portal itself and they will also not require the services of GSPs, the statement said.

    General Awareness

    India awards road contract to complete Kaladan project in Myanmar

    • Indian Government has awarded Rs. 1600 crore contract for building 109-km road connecting Paletwa river terminal to Zorinpui in Mizoram border as part of $484-million Kaladan multi-modal transport projects in Myanmar that will offer connectivity to Mizoram in India.
      • The work allocated as per this contract will begin in October 2017.
      About Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project:
      • Objective: The project will reduce the distance and time taken for transporting goods from Kolkata to India’s North Eastern states, thereby fostering economic development in the region.
      • Sea Route: Under Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project, Kolkata in West Bengal will be connected to Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea route passing through Bay of Bengal.
      • Inland Waterway: The Sittwe seaport is to be connected to Paletwa in Myanmar by inland waterway though Kaladan River.
      • Road Transport: Paletwais to be connected to Mizoram by road transport.
      • This is the first major project taken up by India in Myanmar. The idea of Kaladan Mult-Modal Tranport Project was conceived in year 2003. The framework agreement with Myanmar was signed in 2008 and construction began in 2010.
      • Since the construction work began, the project has repeatedly missed deadlines owing to insufficient funds and improper planning. However in October 2015, the Narendra Modi government revised the budget estimates by nearly six times to Rs.2904 crore and roped in State-owned Ircon Infrastructure and Services Ltd as consultant with an aim to complete the project in 2019.
      After the completion of this project, Mizoram will be the ‘gateway to Southeast Asian countries’. Besides, the project will also strengthen bilateral relation with Myanmar.
      Current Status of Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project:
      On Myanmar side, India has completed the construction of Sittwe port, at the estuary of Kaladan River.
      • Construction of the river terminal, 158 km upstream and dredging of the river to ensure navigability are in the final stages.
      • At the Indian side, extension of the Aizawl-Saiha National Highway by 90 km to the international border at Zorinpui, at the southern tip of Mizoram, is almost over.
      • 6,000-crore project is under way for four-laning of the 300 km Aizawl-Tuipang highway to ensure faster movement of goods between Sittwe and Mizo capital of Aizawl in the North West which is close to the Barak Valley of Assam.
      Quick Facts about Myanmar:
      • Capital:  Naypyidaw
      • Currency: Burmese kyat
      • Current President: Htin Kyaw

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