This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 13 April 2017
■ The Budget session of Parliament has concluded and both the Houses were adjourned sine die. During the session, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have passed 12 legislations and held discussions on several important issues. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has described the second part of the Budget session as productive and constructive. Members have sat around 29 hours extra to dispose of the urgent government business though over eight hours were wasted due to disruptions.
■ The Ministry of Power has launched the URJA MITRA App, which aims to empower citizens by real time information sharing on power supply. This app is a first of its kind application which provides a central platform, for State Power Distribution utilities to disseminate power outage information to urban/rural power consumers across India by SMS/email/push notifications.
■ Petrol and Diesel prices will now change every day in sync with international rates in five select cities from 1st May. Daily revision of petrol and diesel price will be first implemented in Puducherry, Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh.
■ Madhya Pradesh Cabinet has imposed a ban on using polythene carry bags in the state with effect from May 1. It is meant to safeguard cows who die after ingesting the plastic bags.
■ In order to strengthen the rights of the people infected with HIV, Lok Sabha has passed the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2017. The bill ensures equal rights to people affected by HIV and AIDS in getting treatment, admissions in educational institutions and jobs.
- Note that: There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India and patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as against the global percentage of 41%, according to the 2015 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) report.
■ President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted people on the occasion of Vaisakhi. The festival of Vaisakhi celebrates the sweat and toil of the farmers who bring good harvests and happiness to the homes of the people.
■ The Election Commission has thrown an open challenge to people to hack its Electronic Voting Machines. This move comes after opposition parties urged it to revert to the paper ballot system raising doubts over tempering of the EVMs.
- From first week of May, experts, scientists, technocrats can come for a week or 10 days and try to hack the machines.
- The Commission had earlier announced a similar challenge in 2009 and it claimed no one could hack the EVMs.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 13 April 2017
■ Russia has vetoed a UN draft resolution demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of a suspected chemical attack. The resolution, which was being pushed by the US, Britain and France, was aimed at bolstering support for international inquiries into a deadly toxic gas attack in Syria. US, Britain, France and many other western countries contest that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces were responsible for the chemical attack.
- It garnered 10 votes in favour, Russia and Bolivia against, and China, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia abstained.
- Note that: This is the eighth time that Russia has used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block action directed at its ally Syria.
■ In Nepal, United Democratic Madhesi Front comprising major Madhesi parties have decided to boycott local elections scheduled on May 14, saying that the proposed bill is not sufficient to address their demands.
■ Bangladesh has executed banned Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and his two associates for a attack on a shrine at Sylhet in 2004. The attack on saint Hazrat Shahjalal Shrine in Sylhet killed three people and injured 70 including the British high commissioner Anwar Chowdhury.
- Note that: HuJI was formed in 1992 by Bangladeshis who took part in the Afghan war against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. The US has designated HuJi as a foreign terrorist organization while Indian agencies indicate HuJI’s links in the Jaipur serial bombings and several other blasts.
■ UN chief Antonio Guterres has named Achim Steiner, as the new administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
- About UNDP: Headquartered in New York City, the UNDP seeks to reduce poverty, improve social development and encourage women’s empowerment.
- A German national, Achim Steiner, previously served at the UN Environment Programme and headed the UN office in Kenya.
- He will succeed Helen Clark, a former New Zealand Prime Minister, who has steered the UNDP since 2009.
■ Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialised nations have met in Italy, aiming to put pressure on Russia to break its ties with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The G7 have also lent support to the U.S. for its attack on the Syrian government-controlled Shayrat airfield in Homs province. No agreement was reached on sanctions against Russia for supporting the Syrian regime.
- About G7: The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7.
- These countries are the seven major advanced economies representing more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion).
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 13 April 2017
■ The Union Cabinet has approved hike of 300 rupees per quintal in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of raw jute for 2017-18 season taking it to 3500 rupees.
- It will benefit the jute industry which supports the livelihood of 40 lakh farm families and provides direct employment to 3.7 lakh workers mainly concentrated in West Bengal, Bihar and Assam.
■ The Cabinet also approved setting up of Government e-Marketplace Special Purpose Vehicle (GeM SPV) for procurement of goods and services required by the Central and State government organizations.
- It will work as an end-to-end marketplace for procurement of goods and services in a transparent and efficient manner.
- Thereafter the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal will cease to function by 31st of October this year.
■ The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the listing of 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock exchanges.
- They include Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and IRCON International Limited.
- The listings will be done through public offer of shares upto 25 per cent of Government shareholding.
- The CCEA has also approved reservation of shares for the eligible employees of 11 CPSEs.
- Benefit: Listing of CPSEs will promote people’s ownership by encouraging public participation in Central Public Sector Enterprises.
■ The Government has set up an Inter-Disciplinary Committee to examine the existing framework regarding Virtual Currencies, also known as Digital and Crypto Currencies. The Committee will examine the existing global regulatory and legal structures governing these Currencies.
- The Finance Ministry has asked the committee to suggest measures for dealing with such currencies including issues relating to consumer protection and money laundering.
- The Committee will be chaired by Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) and will submit its report within three months.
■ The Haldia port of West Bengal has been named the cleanest in a first-ever ranking of all major Indian ports on sanitation parameters. Vizag port came second in the ranking of all 13 Indian ports, conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI) during the ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’.
■ Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the company responsible to look through millions of invoices daily to ensure that the tax applied on transactions is limited to the value added at that stage, will encrypt the data submitted by businesses and have firewalls to prevent leaks of this data.
- Only two people will have access to this data—the taxpayer himself and his assessing officer.
- This data will be stored at four different locations to safeguard it.
GSTN is a private, not-for profit company in which the central government and states and Union territories together hold 49%. The rest is owned by financial institutions. GSTN will be funded by levying a user fee on state governments for its services.
The company will provide information technology support to all stakeholders for smooth implementation of the new taxation regime (GST) across the country. It will be the repository of all information related to taxation and entities registered under GST.
■ The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has tied up with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to issue Permanent Account Number and Tax Deduction Account Number in a day. This aims to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
- The CBDT has also introduced electronic PAN cards which will be sent by email to applicants.
Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 13 April 2017
■ Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh is among the 8 Ambassadors for the ICC Champions Trophy, which starts on June 1 in England. The cricketers will make promotional appearances during the ICC Champions Trophy tour, besides analysing the tournament matches.
■ The Chairman of Dainik Bhaskar group, Ramesh Chandra Agarwal has passed away. He had extensive experience in the publishing and newspaper business spanning for over four decades.
- He was also the Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry – Madhya Pradesh.
- Also a recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Life time Achievement Award in Journalism.
- He was ranked 95 on the Forbes list of India’s Richest in 2012.
■ Former Union Minister and Congress leader Akhilesh Das Gupta has passed away at 56 years of age. He was the son of freedom fighter and former Uttar Pradesh CM Babu Banarasi Das. He was the serving chief of the Badminton Association of India.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims”
Q1.Who has become the first Naga cop to receive Shaurya Chakra award from the time of Nagaland attaining statehood?
- A) Neiphiu Rio
- B) Atu Zumvu
- C) Joseph Hesso
- D) P B Rijju
Q2. The Union government aims to launch “SAMPADA Scheme” for which sector?
- A) Mining Sector
- B) Higher Education
- C) Food processing
- D) Tourism Sector
O3. Who is the author of the book `Matoshree’?
- A) Sumitra Mahajan
- B) Shashi Tharoor
- C) Venkaiah Naidu
- D) Sushma Swaraj
O4. Who is the newly appointed chairman of Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)?
- A) Shiva Kirti Singh
- B) Bipin Bihari Srivastava
- C) S B Singhal
- D) D P Wadhwa
Answer these questions in the comments below. Have a Good Day!
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