Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 9, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 9, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

General Anti-Avoidance Tax Rule to start from April 2017

The Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has announced that the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) will start from April 1, 2017 to check tax evasion and avoidance. GAAR was announced as part of the 2012-13 Budget speech of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. However, its implementation was repeatedly postponed because of the apprehensions expressed by foreign investors. Their main apprehension among foreign investors is over provision in GAAR allowing the government to retrospectively tax overseas deals involving local assets. Foreign investors fear that government may tax participatory notes (p-notes), which could attract a tax rate of up to 15%.

Indian Army conducts test of indigenous heavy artillery gun Dhanush

The Indian Army has successfully conducted ‘user-validation’ trials of indigenous Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Dhanush in the Himalayas. It clears the way for the induction in the Army. Earlier, proof firing tests of Dhanush’s armament systems were carried out during technical trials in June and September 2016 and some initial integrated firing tests were successfully carried out in December 2016. It is developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the private sector companies. It was designed by the DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE). Readmore

PM Narendra Modi announces Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY), a skill development program targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment to make India the Skill Capital of the World.PKVY will provide training and certify Indians who are seeking overseas employment in selected sectors that have high demand in the global labour market in line with international standards. Read more

SC wants VVPAT in EVMs for fair elections

The Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100% transparency in elections. This is the second time the Supreme Court has directed Election Commission (EC) for the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. Earlier in 2013, SC had directed the EC to introduce VVPAT in a phased manner for 2014 general elections. SC had observed that VVPAT will ensure free and fair polls and help in sorting out disputes. Read more

Government makes Aadhaar mandatory for MGNREGA work

The Union Government has made mandatory for workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to have an Aadhaar card. Those who have registered under the scheme will be required to give furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar card or undergo the enrolment process till March 31, 2017. Read more

International Current Affairs

China steps up naval patrols in disputed islands with Japan

China has stepped up its naval patrols in the waters of the disputed Sankakus islands (Diaoyu islands) under the administrative control of Japan in the East China Sea.The move could anger Japan as both countries doggedly trying to enforce the claims over the uninhabited islands. China is saying that it is conducting such patrols on a regular basis in its territorial waters.These islands were under the control Japan since 1895 till 1945 after they went under administration control of United States as part of the Ryukyu Islands till 1972. They are strategically located close to key shipping lanes and rich fishing grounds, and there may be oil reserves in the area. Since Japan asserted its control by nationalising Sankakus islands in 2013 to step up its claims, China has started its naval patrols in the disputed waters.

74th Golden Globe Awards

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was organized at Beverly Hills, California, United States (US). The Golden Globe Awards are the annual awards that honour the best in Motion Pictures and American Television for the previous year. This year, La La Land, a romantic musical comedy-drama film won in all the seven categories including the top award of best musical or comedy at the ceremony in Los Angeles. Veteran actress Meryl Streep was bestowed with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. Read more

Events

International Kite festival begins in Ahmedabad

The international Kite festival started in Ahmedabad at Sabarmati River Front in Ahmedabad. It was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. About 51 kite fliers from 8 different states while more than 100 kite fliers from 31 countries are participating in this week-long mega event. Kite fliers from Canada, Israel, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, New-Zealand, Russia, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA are part of them. The theme pavilion based on ‘Tourist Destinations of Gujarat’, kite workshop, craft stalls to display the local art and food stalls with local delicacies are major attractions of this year’s festival. Besides, the international kite fliers will also visit Palanpur, Vadodara, Rajkot, Pavagadh, Valsad and Gandhidham in Gujarat as a part of international kite festival.

20th National Conference for e-Governance begins in Visakhapatnam

The 20th Edition of the National Conference for e-Governance 2016-17 has started in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Internet of Things and e-Governance’ and will be covering newly evolving areas of e-Governance across five plenary sessions. Read more

Science and Technology Current Affairs

New Ginger species with medicinal properties discovered in Andamans

discovered a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The new species has been named as Zingiber pseudosquarrosum and belongs to genus Zingiber. It is used for its medicinal values by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of the Andamans. Read more

Persons in News

Indian-American engineer bags Oscar for technical achievement

Indian-American Parag Havaldar has been named in the list of 18 achievements announced by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its 2017 Scientific and Technical awards. He was honoured for the development of expression-based facial performance-capture technology at Sony Pictures Imageworks. His pioneering system enabled large-scale use of animation rig-based facial performance-capture for motion pictures, combining solutions for tracking, stabilisation, solving and animator-controllable curve editing. The technology developed by him is used to create stylised and realistic character animations in a variety of movies, including Alice in Wonderland, Hancock, Spiderman and Monster House. Havaldar is a computer engineer from IIT-Kharagpur and also holds PhD in computer vision and graphics from University of Southern California. Currently, he is a software supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani passes away

Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani passed away after suffering from heart attack. He was 82. He was 4th President of Iran from 1989 to 1997. Rafsanjani was a key figure in the foundation of the Islamic republic in 1979 and leading figure in the Iran’s politics since the 1980s. He had played key role in ending Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) and was considered main mover behind Iran’s acceptance of UNSC resolution for ending war. He also had headed the Iran’s Expediency Council, a body which is intended to resolve disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council. He was also key player in development of Iran’s nuclear programme. Although, he was a part of the religious establishment, he was regarded as a “pragmatic conservative” open to improving ties to the West.

Former Portugal President Mario Soares passes away

Portugal’s former President Mario Soares passed away in capital city Lisbon. He was 92. He is widely seen as the father of the Portugal’s modern-day democracy. He was the founder of Portugal’s Socialist party and had spearhead of the country’s entry into the European Union (EU). He was Portugal’s 17th President from 1986 to 1996. He had headed (as Prime Minister) Portugal’s first democratically elected government from 1976 to 1978. Later he also served PM from 1983 to 1985.

Sports Current Affairs

Spain’s Roberto Bautista win’s 2017 Chennai Open title

Spain’s Roberto Bautista won the 2017 Chennai Open title in the men’s single category. In the final match, he defeated Russia’s Daniil Medvedev by 6-3, 6-4 score. It was first ATP tournament of the season. This was the second time Bautista played a final at the Chennai Open. In 2013, he ended up as a runner-up to Janko Tipsarevic. The Chennai Open is a annual professional tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts in January at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. At present, it is a part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour. 2016 Chennai Open title was won by Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka for record fourth time (2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016).

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