Union Cabinet approves formation of GST Council
i. The Union Cabinet on 12 September 2016 approved the process, formation and functioning of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council.
ii. The council will consist of the Finance Minister and State Finance Ministers. It will make recommendations on important issues related to GST, including items and rates.
Chairperson: Union Finance Minister
Member: The Union Minister of State, in-charge of Revenue of finance
Members: The Minister In-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government
i. A task force headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya to prepare a road map for elimination of poverty has submitted its report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and suggested setting up of a committee to identify people below the poverty line (BPL).
ii. The task force, which included NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and secretaries from the Ministries of Rural Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has also suggested participation from the States in defining the BPL population, a senior government official said.
After introducing 'Twitter Sewa' for redressal of telecom and postal grievances, the government today launched a toll-free number 1924 to register postal complaints.
It will initially be operational for 12 hours on working days and has been started in Hindi, Malayalam, and English. Notably, Department of Posts (DoP) is the 8th largest department in terms of number of complaints
China and Russia have started naval drills in the disputed South China Sea on Monday. China claimed that the "routine" drills, which are expected to last eight days, are only aimed at strengthening cooperation.
This comes amid tensions in the contested waters after a UN court ruled that China does not have "historic rights" over the region.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Russia & US next week to discuss cross-border terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir & growing activities of Islamic State (IS) in the country.
He will visit Russia for five days, for discussing issues related to Indo-Russia anti-terror cooperation.
In both the bilateral visits the Home Minister will highlight Pakistan’s direct involvement in cross border terrorism.
China’s high-speed railway has completed over 20,000 kms of track network in the country, becoming the world’s longest bullet train network.
A high-speed railway linking Zhengzhou in China’s central Henan Province with Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province opened on Saturday.
With this new line, China’s high-speed railway lines have exceeded 20,000 kms in total length, the world’s longest
China has ‘world’s highest bridge’
Chinese engineers have completed the basic structure of what is expected to become the world’s highest bridge.The Beipanjiang bridge, in mountainous southwestern China, soars 565 metres (1,854 feet) above a river.
It overtakes the Si Du River Bridge in the central province of Hubei to become the world’s highest bridge.
According to a survey conducted by Virtuoso, an international luxury travel network, Iceland is the best adventure destination for luxury travel. Galapagos in Ecuador was ranked second while Costa Rica and Chile's Patagonia tied for the third spot.
Additionally, activities like hiking, biking and kayaking have been listed as activities preferred by "active and specialty travellers"
North Korea demands recognition as 'nuclear state'
North Korea has demanded the US recognise it as a “legitimate nuclear weapons state” following its fifth and largest atomic test, according to officials. They added that UN's threats of further sanctions against the country were “highly laughable”.
The officials said North Korea will continue to improve the "quality and quantity" of its weapons to protect itself from American threats
i. Net direct tax collections during the April-August period has grown 15.03% from the year-ago period to INR 1.89 lakh crore, government data released on Monday stated.
ii. Further, direct tax collections, comprising corporate income tax and personal income tax, till August is 22.30% of the budget estimates for the fiscal. The increase has been attributed to robust collections in personal income tax
Digital payments and e-commerce platform Paytm today launched an Aadhaar-based eKYC (E-Know Your Customer) service. KYC is a customer identification procedure followed by banks and wallet companies.
KYC-enabled Paytm customers are allowed a wallet balance limit of up to INR1 lakh, as opposed to INR 10k for non-KYC ones. Paytm is set to launch its payments bank before November
Bakytzhan Sagintayev appointed as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
Bakytzhan Sagintaev appointed as Prime minister of Kazakhstan by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic
Wasim Bari MD of Pakistan cricket team
Former Pakistan Test captain Wasim Bari has been appointed as the new manager of the national team for the coming ‘home’ series against the West Indies in the UAE.
68-year-old Bari, who played 81 Tests and 51 ODIs, has also served as chief selector and chief operating officer in the board. Bari was a wicket-keeper and right-handed batsman. At the end of his 17-year career he was the most capped player in Pakistani Test history
22nd Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival
The five-day-long 22nd Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival concluded at the Rabindra Mandap auditorium with the presentation of the prestigious awards named after the legendary Odissi artists.
The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2016 for lifetime achievement was presented to Jharana Das (Cinema) and Guru Kishore Kumar Mohanty (Odissi).
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Prativa Samman 2016 for exceptional diligence and accomplishment was awarded to Rajib Bhattacharya (Odissi), Madhusmita Mohanty (Odissi), P. Praveen Kumar (Bharatanatyam) and Rupak Kumar Parida (Odissi vocal).
Himachal Pradesh government has signed a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore government for developing a smart integrated township in Jathiadevi near Shimla airport.
The MoU was signed between Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) and Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise in the presence of Urban Development and Town and Country Planning and Housing minister Sudhir Sharma.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a satellite developed by the students of IIT Bombay. Called ‘Pratham’, the satellite will measure the total electron count of the ionosphere.
The satellite was conceptualised by two students of the Aerospace Engineering department - Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar - in July 2007.
Tata, ICICI to raise Rs.5,500 cr for power plants
Tata Power and ICICI Venture will create a platform company to raise over INR5,500 crore and facilitate investment in power projects in the next 2-3 years,
The sponsors and partner investors will contribute the initial capital investment, which will be used to acquire stake in power generating companies in India, the company added
US-based startup develops 360º 4K action camera
US-based startup Camorama has developed a 4K action camera that can record 360-degree videos. The camera captures virtual reality videos which can be streamed live to YouTube and Facebook.
The product has been launched on Kickstarter for crowdfunding and has already raised over $150,000. Priced at $239 for early customers, the camera will start shipping in November
As part of the ongoing Indo-US defense cooperation, a joint military training exercise, ‘Yudh Abhyas 2016’ is set to be conducted in Uttarakhand from September 14 to 27. The exercise in Chaubattia was being conducted by the headquarter Central Command.
The exercise is aimed at stimulating a scenario where both nations were working together to counter insurgency and terrorism in mountainous terrain under UN charter. The two week exercise will witness participation of about 225 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of Congo Brigade of the Indian Army.
China, Russia to stage military drills
The eight-day joint exercises will include a focus on “seizing and controlling” islands and shoals, Chinese navy spokesman Liang Yang said in a statement.
They will involve surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armored equipment from both navies, he said.
Men's Singles : Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland)
Women's Singles : Angelique Kerber (Germany)
Men's Doubles : Bruno Soares (Brazil) / Jamie Murray (United Kingdom)
Women's Doubles : Bethanie Mattek-Sands (United States) / Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic)
Mixed Doubles : Laura Siegemund (Germany) / Mate Pavić (Croatia)
Shristi Sharma, a 12-year-old Nagpur girl, has entered the Limca Book of World Records for limbo skating on ice. Sharma ice skated for 10 metres under 11 bars placed a metre apart at a height of 33 centimetres from the ground,
She is becoming the only person to accomplish the feat. She also holds a Guinness World Record in limbo roller skating.
Indian Railways broke the unwritten rule with an impressive performance, barring the defeat to Punjab & Sind Bank in its group (Pool-B). At the final of the 90th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here on Sunday, Railways defeated defending champion Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) 2-1 to lift the Trophy.