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Current Affairs - 14 June 2017

General Affairs 

Wave of terror hits Valley: Kashmir on high alert after militants carry out multiple back-to-back strikes
  • In a spate of militant attacks in the Kashmir Valley, terrorists carried out at least six attacks after which a red alert was sounded by the security forces.
    Two grenade attacks were reported from Pulwama district - on a police station and a CRPF camp. Militant attacks were also reported from Pazalpora, Sarnal, Awantipora and Anantnag.
    Intelligence inputs had suggested that after Iftaar there would be multiple attacks. Sources said Jammu and Kashmir Police had warned of attacks to CRPF and Army.
    "We had inputs about possibility of such an attack today in Ramzan and that is why we had alerted our installations," said Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid.
    In the last couple of weeks, the attempts of infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) have gone up. Last week, the Army claimed to have killed 14 infiltrators in north Kashmir and said that the situation was crucial.
    Ten Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were injured when militants hurled a hand grenade at their camp in Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district, sources said.
    The grenade attack incident took place at Laryar area of the south Kashmir town in Pulwama district.
    The injured have been shifted to hospital for treatment and the area has been cordoned off to search the attackers, they said.
    Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack on CRPF camp.
    Terrorists fired upon Army camp of 22 Rashtriya Rifles at Pazalpora in north Kashmir and fled after retaliation by the Army. No injuries were reported in the attack.
    A grenade attack was reported on a police station also in Pulwama. In Pahalgam's Sarnal, terrorists lobbed a grenade at a CRPF camp. Grenade attacks were also reported from Awantipora.
    In yet another incident, the house of a retired High Court judge in Anantnag was attacked. Weapons of two Jammu and Kashmir police personnel outside retired Judge Md Athar was snatched in Anantnag district's Anchidora. Both policemen are injured.

BJP still mum on NDA's presidential nominee: Selection panel will seek democratic consensus
  • The BJP is off the block building consensus for a presidential nominee of their choice.
    The party president Amit Shah on Monday constituted a committee of the party's senior most leaders Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, who will liaise with leaders of other parties to bring them on board with BJP's choice.
    The day started early when Amit Shah paid a visit first to Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu and then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
    Rajnath Singh, who is not in Delhi, is expected back this evening.
    The committee members spoke to each other too and are expected to start paying visits to top political party leaders in order to arrive at the name of a consensus candidate.
    When asked if the BJP will reach out to opponents like the Congress and Left too, Venkaiah Naidu, at a press conference, said, "We will speak to all political parties. We have to take everyone on board and we will evolve broad consensus. We will seek their support."
    While he did strike a democratic note, Naidu was also quick to add that all political parties should be aware that the people's mandate is with the Central government.
    The BJP with allies, is presently comfortably poised to see its candidate assume the highest office of power in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The power corridors are likely to witness some hectic activity in the coming days, as the Election Commission of India gets all set to notify the Presidential elections tomorrow in New Delhi.

Modi government trying to double farmers' income by 2022: Arjun Ram Meghwal
  • Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal today claimed that Centre-led Narendra Modi government is trying to double the income of farmers by 2022. Terming the farmers' protests in Madhya Pradesh as a sponsored programme of the Congress, he claimed Modi government has been doing best work for the betterment of farmers.
    "We have inherited Congress' mismanagement which we are trying to rectify. The issue of loan waiver concerns the state Governments and not the Centre. And the Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley has already clarified this," Meghwal stated.
    On the issue of proposed agitation by Congress on farmer issues, Meghwal stated the Congress should first mention what did it do for the upliftment of the farmers during its tenure.
    Several parts of Madhya Pradesh and the adjoining state of Rajasthan witnessed protests by farmers on a slew of issues including that of Minimum Support Price, compensation for damaged crops and insurance.

Baramulla: Jammu-Kashmir Police invites school student to inaugurate library
  • Setting an example, the Jammu and Kashmir Police today invited a bright school student to inaugurate the police public library in Baramulla instead of a politician.
    Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nitish Kumar dedicated the library to the people of Baramulla.
    The library has been set up keeping in mind to cater needs of aspirants for competitive and government exams. The police department will also organise workshops for the youth appearing for such examinations.
    In the past few months, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed high number of applicants for civil services and IAS officers like Shah Faesal have turned into an icon for many.
    Recently, an IPS officer AG Mir initiated free counseling sessions for state's youth, providing motivation for many in the conflict-ridden state.

Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia arrested on way to violence-hit Mandsaur
  • Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia was today arrested from near Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh.
    Scindia was arrested by the police when he was on his way to meet the relatives of the farmers who were killed in police firing during the Mandsaur violence.
    Scindia and his aides were adamant on meeting the farmers' relatives. The Congress MP's convoy was stopped near Dhodhar toll in Ratlam district.
    "I wanted to go alone to Mandsaur. I wasn't allowed. Rather they arrested me. Tomorrow they will come, roll out red carpet for Shivraj Singh. Section 144 will be removed from Mandsaur," Jyotiraditya Scindia told India Today.
    He alleged that the rule of law has not been followed in the state.
    Scindia is accompanied by Ratlam MP Kantilal Bhuriya and former Mandsaur MP Meenakshi Natarajan.
    Immediately after the arrest of Scindia and his aides, Congress workers present at the spot turned hostile.
    Police have been deployed at the spot to prevent any untoward event. Rapid Action Force has been kept on standby.
    Earlier today, Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel was arrested in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch district when he was on his way to Mandsaur to express his solidarity with the agitating farmers, six of whom were killed in police firing last week.
    Patel was accompanied by Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah.
    "The farmers gave their lives for their rights. It will not go waste. Hardik will meet farmers and will ask them to continue their protest," said Patidar Navnirman Sena General Secretary Akhilesh Katiyar.

Business Affairs 

    7th Pay Commission: Allowances likely to be finalised tomorrow, arrears to be discussed
    • The Union Cabinet will put an end to the wait for revised allowances under the Seventh Pay Commission as a decision is expected to be reached when it convenes tomorrow. After being dropped from the agenda of the last Cabinet meeting, chances are good that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will table the proposals in this regard at the one tomorrow.
      The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) had submitted its suggestions to Jaitley on June 1 after considering the review report from Committee on Allowances led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa. Around 50 lakh central government employees have been waiting for revised allowance rates to be implemented since.
      The E-CoS report includes proposals on House Rent Allowance (HRA), Dearness Allowance (DA) along with others, based on the Lavasa Committee recommendations. Arrears against revised allowance rates are also expected to feature in the list of proposals set to be put up before the Cabinet.
      Meanwhile, reports suggest that Cabinet may decide to not pay arrears for the period of almost a year that allowance rates have been delayed. Saving funds is cited as one of the reasons behind this probable move.
      The government has been able to save Rs 2,200 crore per month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1 last year because of the delays in revised allowances distribution. The loan waiver extended by the Maharashtra government to farmers of the state may also be a factor, stated a Times of India report.
      On the other hand, Cabinet may also look into demands of higher allowance rates raised by the central government employees to compensate for delays in implementing the said rates. Central government employees want the rates to be retained at 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent for Class X, Y and Z cities, even if they are not hiked. The Committee has capped HRA between 2 per cent and 27 per cent. Several reports suggest that the new allowances will be implemented from July.
      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 Lavasa 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 the Finance Secretary 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. However, it submitted its review report on April 24.
      The report was then taken up by the E-CoS for consideration and consolidation, after passing through Department of Expenditure, so that it can be presented before the Cabinet.

    EPFO enrols 82 lakh new subscribers under Employees' Enrolment Campaign 2017
    • Retirement fund body EPFO has enrolled over 82 lakh new subscribers under its Employees' Enrolment Campaign 2017 started on January 1 this year.
      Under the scheme, the employers got the opportunity to file the declaration of unregistered employees under the EPFO Act, with a nominal fine of Re 1 per annum on account of damages.
      According to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) statement, "82,01,533 workers enrolled as on May 31, 2017 under the Employees' Enrolment Campaign 2017."
      "With the enrolment of over 82 lakh subscribers under the scheme, now the total number of contributing members is about 4.5 crore," EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy told PTI.
      Asked about extending the campaign beyond June 30, 2017, Joy said, "There is absolutely no chance to extend it as it was for six months. There is no proposal to extend the scheme also."
      The campaign was launched earlier to encourage employers to voluntarily come forward and declare details of all such employees who were entitled for membership between April 1, 2009 and December 31, 2016 under EPF & MP Act 1952, but could not be enrolled.
      Initially, the scheme was for three months till March 31, 2017 but later it was extended till June 30, 2017.
      Under the scheme, the employees share of contribution, if declared by the employer as not deducted, shall stand waived.
      Besides, the damages to be paid by the employer in respect of the employees for whom declaration has been made under this campaign is paid at the rate of Re 1 per annum.
      Moreover, no administrative charges is collected from the employer in respect of the contribution made under the declaration.
      Under the scheme, a declaration can be made under the campaign for the period till June 2017, for which no enquiry under section 7A is initiated.
      The EPFO also said that for the benefit of international workers, new instructions have been issued to all field functionaries regarding COC (Certificate of Coverage).
      The employer is advised to submit the application form for COC one month in advance and the COC is issued prior to departure of the employee from India.
      Also, the COC period should not exceed 60 months or the specified period in the social security agreement with that country. COC should not be issued for a period which commence much later than date of posting of the Indian worker in the host country for employment, it said.
      There should not be any overlapping of the period of coverage. There should not be gaps when more than one COC is issued to the same posted worker as these results in lack of Social Security coverage during the gaps, it added.
      It said that the EPFO e-court Management System launched on May 16, 2017 with objective of having a transparent and electronic case management system. All per/evidence/documents can be filed online and the status can also be viewed online.
      The body further said that the claim settlement period has been reduced to 10 days from 20 days and grievance redressal period is reduced to 15 days from 20 days.

    GST rollout from July 1, don't be misled by delay rumours: Govt
    • The government today emphasised that Good and Services Tax will be rolled out from July 1 and preparations are in full swing for its smooth implementation, as it sought to dispel rumours of a possible deferment.
      There have been demands from certain sections of the industry for a deferment of GST rollout. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra too had proposed to postpone GST by a month.
      "The Government of India has emphasised that GST is scheduled to roll out on July 1, 2017. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in coordination with the state governments have increased their outreach programmes so as to reach the last trader," a finance ministry statement said.
      In a tweet, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said: "The rumours about GST implementation being delayed are false. Please do not be misled by it".
      The ministry said that preparations are in full swing for a smooth implementation of the landmark reform GST from July.
      The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had over the last three weeks decided tax rates on over 1,200 goods and 500 services and fitted them in either of 5, 12, 18 or 28 per cent slab.
      After the last meeting of GST Council, Jaitley had said the Centre and states have completed discussion on most of the issues.
      "Irrespective of the date in which it starts, some people will say they are not ready, so that have no option but to get ready. You require a honest intent for that," he had said, responding to a query that small traders and artisans were not technologically ready for meeting GST compliance.

    Sensex recovers partially on inflation cheer
    • Stocks got back into shape on Tuesday as the Sensex recovered 102 points to 31,198 in early session -- chiefly buoyed by a cooling inflation -- amid mixed Asian cues.
      Buying picked up on positive economic data after retail inflation fell to a record low of 2.18 per cent in May, from 2.99 per cent in April.
      The 30-share barometer rebounded by 101.82 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 31,197.52. The gauge had lost 166.36 points in the previous session.
      Sectoral indices such as healthcare, realty, capital goods, power and consumer durables looked good.
      Sun Pharma, Lupin, GAIL, L&T, Axis Bank and Bajaj Auto, among others supported the upmove, which rose by up to 2.34 per cent.
      The NSE index Nifty bounced 30.10 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 9,646.50.
      Industrial production, however, grew at a slower rate of 3.1 per cent in April due to poor show by manufacturing, mining and power, coupled with a lower offtake of capital goods and consumer durables.
      Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.37 per cent and China's Shanghai Composite 0.12 per cent in early trade. Japan's Nikkei, however, shed 0.11 per cent.
      The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended 0.17 per cent lower on Monday.

    Sun Pharma receives USFDA nod for anti-cholesterol drug
    • Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' wholly owned subsidiary has received nod from the US health regulator for its generic version of ezetimibe tablets used to reduce high cholesterol levels.
      One of the company's wholly owned subsidiaries has received final approval from the USFDA for its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for generic version of Zetia, ezetimibe tablets, Sun Pharma said in a BSE filing.
      The approval is for the tablets in the strength of 10 mg.
      The tablets are generic versions of Merck's Zetia, Sun Pharma said.
      "As per IMS, ezetimibe tablets had annual sales of approximately $2.7 billion in the US for the 12 months ended April 2017," it added.
      The stock of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries was trading at Rs 539.50 on the BSE, up 1.19 per cent.

    General Awareness

    SRK, Salman, Akshay part of Forbes’ highest-earning

    • The Forbes list of the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2017’ has been topped by American rapper and entrepreneur Sean Combs, known by his more famous stage name ‘Diddy’, with earnings of 130 million dollars. It was published on 13th of June 2017.
      Key Notes:
      Indian superstars Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar are among Forbes’ annual list of the highest-earning entertainers in the world.
      • SRK ranked 65th on the list with earnings of USD 38 million and got tied with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
      • According to the Forbes list Shahrukh Khan cashes in on endorsement deals for dozens of brands most Americans have likely never heard of.
      • The list includes American singer and icon Beyonce on the second spot with earnings of USD 105 million.
      • Salman is on the 71st spot with USD 37 million in earnings and got tied with English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
      • Akshay got 80th on the list with earnings of USD 35.5 million and got tied with musician Bon Jovi.
      • Author J K Rowling, is at number three with USD 95 million.
      • R&B musician Drake is at the number four spot with USD 94 million.
      • Football star Cristiano Ronaldo with USD 93 million rounded out the top five.
      • According to the Forbes list the world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities banked a cumulative USD 5.15 billion during the June 2016 to June 2017 scoring period.
      • The 16 women on this year’s list earned a cumulative USD 822.5 million.
      • As per the Forbes list the 10 male actors on the ranking and there will be not a single female movie star.
      • According to the Forbes women comprise just 16% of the world’s top-earning celebrities.
      About Forbes List
      Forbes is an American business magazine.It is published bi-weekly and it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics.
      • Editor-in-chief: Steve Forbes
      • Editor: Randall Lane
      • First issue: September 15, 1917
      • HQ: Jersey City, New Jersey

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