Daily Current Affairs Updates–26th October 2016:
Govt sets up fund to help Indian film-makers in producing path breaking films
i. Minister of state for Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Rathore today said Government will remove restrictions on film-makers and will ease film certification process based on recommendation given by Shyam Benegal Committee. Addressing CII Big Picture Summit in New Delhi, Mr. Rathore said his ministry has set up a fund to help Indian film-makers to make path breaking films and compete in film festivals.
ii. He said the way news is being twisted by private channels to boost TRPs is a matter of concern. The Minister said currently online news channels are not under Information and Broadcasting Ministry's ambit, but it is an area of concern. He said application process for TV channel licensing has been streamlined and made online to avoid delay.
i. Centre is committed to provide LPG as a clean cooking fuel across India through Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has said, more than 90 Lakh new connections have been released to the women from BPL households in the last 6 months. It said, safety of LPG consumers and the households is the prime concern of the government as well as the Oil Marketing Companies, while distributing new LPG connections.
ii. The Ministry said, that government is continuously monitoring the settlement of Insurance claims related to past LPG accidents and monthly meetings are being held with the Insurance Companies. It said, the pendency in this regard has come down from 51 percent in June 2016 to 33.76 per cent in October 2016 and all efforts are being made to clear all pending cases in 3 months.
i. Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today launched a new initiatives Biotech-KISAN (Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) to empower farmers, especially women. Under the scheme, fellowship will be given to women farmers for training and education in the farm practice.
ii. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the aim of the initiative to connect farmers, scientist and science institution across the country. He said, Biotech-KISAN will connect farmers to best global practices, training workshop in India and other countries.
iii. The Minister said, the scheme also aims at addressing individual problem of the smallholding farmers by providing solution. He said, the scheme will be implemented in 15 agro-climatic zones of India in phased manner with the objective of linking new technology to the farm by understanding the problem of the local farmer.
i. Government agencies have so far procured over 34 thousand and 546 tonnes of moong and urad dal directly from farmers for its buffer stock during the ongoing kharif marketing season. Later the pulses will be used to boost supply in the open market and curb price rise.
ii. An official release said, Food Corporation of India, NAFED and the Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium are procuring kharif pulses from farmers. The Government has set a procurement target of 50 thousand tonnes of pulses for its buffer stock in the current season.
iii. The government has decided to create a 20 lakh tonnes buffer stock of pulses through domestic procurement and imports to make market intervention in the case of price rise.
The Uttarakhand High Court ordered state government to completely ban on the sale of whitener in the state following the death of a teenager from sniffing an excess of it. The High Court issued the order by taking suo motu cognisance of the death of the 14-year-old boy due to sniffing excess whitener for a kick. Besides, the high court also ordered that items such as Feviquick, Iodex should not be sold to children below 18 years of age in view of prevalent abuse of these among teenagers.
i. Haryana government, which completed its two years today, would observe the next year as “Garib Kalyan Varsh” and emphasis would be laid on welfare of poor people and generating maximum employment opportunities for the youth.
ii. Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal said this in Chandigarh today. He said that the next year will be the year of Golden Jubilee of the State and it would be dedicated to Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. Mr Manohar Lal said that he had made about 2000 announcements during these two years out of which 1200 announcements have either been completed or work on them is in progress.
i. In a bid to stamp out the menace of cervical cancer in the state, the Punjab government would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNICEF to procure 40,000 doses of vaccine against Human Papilloma Virus in a phased manner. With this decision, Punjab would be the first state in the country to launch this free vaccination program to eradicate the curse of cervical cancer.
ii. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during a high level meeting with the senior officers of the Health & Family Welfare Department. Mr. Badal emphasized the need to create awareness amongst the general public especially in rural areas about the preventive measures and cure of cervical cancer through launching a mass media campaign.
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said better facilities and services to the taxpayers are the key to Direct Tax Reforms. Mr Jaitley was speaking after launching the SMS Alert Service for direct taxes for about 2.5 crore private and Government salaried employees at a function in New Delhi .
i. The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise Mitra Shakti 2016 began on 24 October 2016 at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka. The exercise will continue till 6 November 2016.
ii. The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate.
i. India will provide LED bulbs and other energy efficient equipment worth nearly 1.34 crore rupees to Pacific island nation Vanuatu as a grant. Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who is on a two-day visit to Vanuatu informed this. Mr Goyal held talks with Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas and Foreign Affairs Minister of the country Bruno Leingkone Tau.
i. India has notified the revised double tax avoidance agreement, DTAA with South Korea. The revised DTAA aims at avoiding the burden of double taxation for taxpayers of two countries in order to promote and thereby stimulate flow of investment, technology and services between India and Korea. An official release said, it will provide tax certainty to the residents of the two countries.
ii. To promote cross border flow of investments and technology, it also provides for reduction in withholding tax rates from 15 per cent to 10 per cent on royalties and from 15 to 10 per cent on interest income. The treaty also allows investors to invoke Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) in transfer pricing disputes as well as apply for bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements.
The release said, provisions of new DTAA will have effect in India in respect of income derived in fiscal years beginning on or after 1st of April, 2017.The revised DTAA was signed in May last year during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Seoul.
i. Pakistan has been ranked the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality for the second consecutive year. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016, released yesterday, Pakistan ranks 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index, way behind Bangladesh.
ii. Pakistan is also the worst performing state in South Asia. The only country ranked below Pakistan is Yemen , while Syria is one place ahead at 142. The report captures progress towards parity between men and women in areas of educational attainment, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.
Union Bank of India on Wednesday said it proposes to raise Rs 2900 crore through bonds in the next five months. The board approved to raise up to Rs 2,900 crore of debt capital by March 31, 2017 by way of issue of Basel III-compliant Perpetual Debt Instruments (Additional Tier 1) or Basel III-compliant Tier 2 bonds, the state-owned bank said in a filing to stock exchanges
India has climbed 21 spots to rank 87th on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2016. With this jump in ranking, India has now overtaken China which is ranked 99th out of 144 countries. Iceland tops the latest rankings followed by Finland, Norway and Sweden. The World Economic Forum is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
i. India has moved a place up but is still 130th in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking for 2017. The marginal improvement came on the back of slight improvement in four indicators - getting electricity, enforcing contracts, trading across borders and registering property.
ii. Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Ramesh Abhishek said, a dozen of important reforms like enactment of bankruptcy code, GST and introduction of single window system for building plan approvals were not recognised by the World Bank.
iii. The report, which examines regulations that enhance or constrain business activity, assesses 190 countries and ranks them according to the impacts of their regulatory environment on business.New Zealand has been ranked the top country in the world, up one place.
i. NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Dr Arvind Panagariya has said that the Indian economy has the potential to touch 6-8 trillion USD in the next 15 years as against 2 trillion at present.
ii. Participating in an interactive program in Guwahati he asserted , though there are many challenges before the Indian economy at present, but overall the country has a great future. He said that NITI Aayog is working on towards this direction and has adopted a 15-year vision document.
AGREEMENTS & MoUs
India and Iran have moved closer on Farzad-B gas field deal. Both nations continued their high level engagement on the gas field in Tehran yesterday. Joint Secretary for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Sunjay Sudhir met Iranian Deputy Minister of Petroleum Dr Amir-Hossein Zamaninia to discuss bilateral cooperation in the field of oil and gas including ongoing negotiations of Farzad-B gas fields.
i. BSE Institute Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with New Zealand’s University of Otago to offer programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The MoU between BSE Institute and University of Otago will give the students an opportunity to study overseas.
ii. The offerings are the Master of Professional Accounting (MProfAcct), which is a professionally accredited accounting program aimed at graduates of any discipline who want to pursue a career in accounting, and MBA and The India Immersion Program, whereby the students from New Zealand will get the opportunity to visit India and learn about the Indian Financial Markets, about the Indian economy and also the Indian culture, according to a release.
i. The Union Ministry of Urban Development on 25 October 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Ltd and Central Public Works Department (CPWD).The MoU was signed for the redevelopment of General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies in New Delhi.
ii. The NBCC will redevelop Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar and CPWD will redevelop Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur. The total estimated cost of the project is 32835 crore rupees including maintenance and operation costs for 30 years. The cost of works assigned to NBCC will be 24682 crore rupees and to CPWD will be 7793 crore rupees.
i. In keeping with the tradition of promoting group company CEOs to the Tata group holding company, Tata Sons’ board, Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, and N Chandrasekaran, CEO & Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), were appointed as additional directors on its Board. Both Chandrasekaran, 53, and Speth, 61, are running the most successful operations of the Tata group.
ii. Earlier during the tenure of Ratan Tata, RK Krishna Kumar, MD of Tata Tea and JJ irani, MD of Tata Steel were also appointed on Tata Sons board. Similarly, late JRD Tata had appointed late Sumant Moolgaokar and late Darbari Seth on the TSL board.
i. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 25 October 2016 appointed New Zealand's Jason McCracken as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). McCracken will take over FIH in February 2017. He will replace Kelly Fairweather, who is leaving for the International Tennis Federation after six years in the role.
ii. McCracken is a renowned figure in hockey family. He served as an Olympic and World Cup umpire, FIH committee member and technical official for over 20 years. McCracken’s most recent appointments were technical delegate at the Rio 2016 Olympics and tournament director at the 2014 men's hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands
i. India-born Rajeev Misra in the third week of October 2016 was appointed the SoftBank Vision Fund, constituted by Japanese telecom and Internet major Softbank Corp. The SoftBank Vision Fund intends to make investments in the technology sector globally. It is managed in the United Kingdom by a subsidiary of the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG). It is reportedly one of the world's largest of its kind and will be operated from London.
All India Radio (AIR) has won the first prize in the Community Service Announcement category of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) awards for this year. AIR’s entry (Diary of a Tiger) was declared the winner at a glittering award ceremony held in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of ongoing 53rd ABU General Assembly and Associated Meetings.
The selected programme is an 89-second spot in Hindi on the dwindling forests and gradually decreasing habitat of tigers. The award includes a trophy, certificate and cash prize of US Dollars 2000.
i. Paul BeattyPaul Beatty on 25 October 2016 became the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize. He won the award for his racial satire, 'The Sellout' at a ceremony in London's Guildhall.
ii. The novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles. Chair of the Judges, Amanda Foreman, said the book managed to eviscerate every social taboo. South Korean author Han Kang wins 2016 Man Booker International Prize for 'The Vegetarian'
iii. Beatty was honoured with the prize money of 50000 Euros from the Duchess of Cornwall, a trophy and a designer bound edition of his book. The shortlisted authors each received 2500 Euros and a specially bound edition of their book
India’s first startup magazine “Cofounder” has been launched by Adhish Verma and Arunraj Rajendran. The magazine will talk about real stories behind the early stage startups and entrepreneurs. It would emerge as the new data storage and communications medium and through its first launch of magazine are essential to inform Indian CEOs and CIOs of the different startups to aware the startup life, the struggles and the journey.
Comedian Bill Murray on 23 October 2016 was honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour. He was presented with the award at the ceremony organised at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington DC. Murray was awarded the 19th Mark Twain Prize for making an impact on U.S. society similar to Mark Twain's. The Mark Twain Prize for American Humour is an American award for humour awarded by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Guru Raja and Joti Mal opened the medal account for India, striking gold in their respective events at the Commonwealth Senior (Men and Women) Weightlifting Championships being held at Penang, Malaysia. Raja lifted a total of 249 kilogram in the men's 56 kilogram category event, while Joti Mal 175 kilogram in the women's 53 kilogram category. Gopal Anbarasu lifted 259 kilogram in 62 kilogram category fetched a bronze medal.
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on 21 October 2016 unveiled the Official Mascot for the 2018 World Cup. The Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is named Zabivaka, which means ‘the one who scores’ in Russian. The mascot is the wolf developed by student designer Ekaterina Bocharova. The selected mascot had received 53 per cent of the votes, followed by the tiger (27 per cent) and the cat (20 per cent).
Legendary footballer Carlos Alberto Torres passed away on 25 October 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was 72. Carlos was known for scoring one of the greatest goals in World Cup history in 1970 final against Italy.