Current Affairs Daily Digest: January 19, 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for January 19, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.
National Current Affairs
AAI receives 45 initial bids under Regional Connectivity Scheme
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 45 initial bids from 11 parties to fly routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) launched by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. The initial bid proposals covers more than 200 routes and as many as 65 airports, 52 of them not served by any airline and 13 under-served airports. Now, Government has invited counter-bids against these initial proposals. Read more
Government launches ShaGun portal to monitor Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The Union Government launched a dedicated web portal ShaGun (http://ssashagun.nic.in) for monitoring the progress of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The portal was developed by World Bank in collaboration with Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. Its name has been derived from the words Shala (means schools) and Gun (i.e. Gunvatta meaning Quality). Read more
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Russia on cooperation on Youth matters
The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia for cooperation on Youth matters. It will facilitate exchange programmes in the field of youth affairs between both countries. It will also help in promoting exchange of values, ideas and culture amongst youth through establishment of people-to-people contacts and in consolidating friendly relations between the two countries.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and UAE on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport
The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport. The proposed MoU seeks to pave way for facilitation and promotion of maritime transport, simplification of customs and other formalities between both countries. It will also facilitate the use of existing installations for the disposal of waste and enable shipping companies from both countries to enter into bilateral and multi-lateral arrangements for sustainable trading activities.
Cabinet approves MOU between India and UAE for cooperation in SMEs and Innovation
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates for cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Innovation. The MoU would benefit Indian SMEs and lead to equitables and inclusive development. It will help for the exposure to best practices in SME sector abroad to provide an opportunity to Indian SMEs to improve and innovate further. It will also provide to SME sector in India an opportunity to have a mutually beneficial relation with SME sector of the UAE and to explore their markets.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam In the field of cyber security
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam in the field of Cyber Security. The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, prevention and resolution of cyber security-related incidents between both countries. Its implementation will result in significant mutual benefits in the cyber security sector, through institutional and capacity-building in the field of cyber security. The MoU was signed between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), India and Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security in September 2016 at Hanoi.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Serbia for cooperation in IT and Electronics
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Serbia for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics. The MoU aims to promote cooperation between both countries in the field of IT and Electronics and foster active cooperation and exchanges between the private entities, Governments, capacity building institutions and other public and private organizations of the two countries in IT & Electronics.
Environment, Science and Technology Current Affairs
Scientists names 3 diseases that could cause next global health emergency
Scientists have named three relatively little-known diseases, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), Lassa fever and Nipah virus as the next potential global health emergency threat. In this regard, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has committed 460 million dollars to speed up vaccine development for these three diseases. CEPI aims to have two new experimental vaccines ready for each disease within five years in order to be prepared incase of their global outbreaks. CEPI is a public-private coalition that aims to derail outbreaks of epidemics by speeding development of vaccines. It is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF), Government of Norway and Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of S&T, Government of India.
World’s primates facing extinction crisis
According new international study, about 60% of more than 500 primate species including Gorillas, monkeys, lemurs around the world are facing extinction crisis. They are now threatened with extinction and 3 out of 4 primate species have shrinking populations. The main reasons for decline in their population are massive habitat loss, illegal hunting, mining and oil drilling, logging, ranching and farming that all driven by human behaviour. The study also cited that poverty and civil unrest in poor countries are the main driving force for hunting of these primate species in order to feed humans.
Moth species named after Donald Trump
Scientists have officially named a new endangered species of moth as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, found in parts of Southern California and Baja, Mexico after US president-elect Donald Trump. The adult of the new discovered species stands out with yellowish-white scales on the head showing an amusing resemblance to Donald Trump’s hairstyle, thus justifying his name for it.
Banking, Economy & Business Current Affairs
Cabinet approves to augment CGTMSE for supporting MSEs
The Union Cabinet has approved package for augmentation of the Corpus of Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for supporting Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). With this, the corpus of the Trust has been increased from Rs. 2,500 crore to Rs. 7,500 crore and it will be fully funded by the Union Government. Read more
Cabinet approves amendment in Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for amendment in the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) for electronics manufacturing. These modifications will further incentivize investments in electronic sector and move towards Union Government’s goal of ‘Net Zero imports’ in electronics by 2020. Read more
CCEA approves listing of five general insurance PSUs at the stock exchanges
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its ‘in principle’ approval for listing the five Public Sector General Insurance Companies (2016-17) owned General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges. They are New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Corporation of India. Read more
Bengaluru ranked world’s most dynamic city: JLL Index
According to recently released annual by Jones Lang LaSalle’s City Momentum Index (CMI), Bengaluru (capital of Karnatak) has emerged as the most dynamic city in the world. The index tracks the speed of change of a city’s economy and commercial real estate market. Read more
PMGKY not applicable for non-cash income
The Income Tax Department has clarified that income declaration scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), will be only applicable to cash or deposits in bank accounts and not for income in the form of jewellery, stock or immovable property. The scheme will also not apply to income stored in foreign accounts. PMGKY was launched to give people an opportunity to pay taxes with penalties and declare undisclosed income following the demonetisation of high value currency.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)
It allows people to deposit previously untaxed money in form of cash or bank deposits by paying 50% of the total amount (It includes 30% as tax and 10% as penalty on the undisclosed income, as well as 33% of the taxed amount as cess). Moreover, the declarant will also needs to deposit 25% of undisclosed income in a fixed deposit scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016. If the declarant refuses for using the government deposit scheme, then 85% of the amount will be deducted as taxes and penalties.
RBI to increase focus on IT and cyber security
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through its arm Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Ltd (ReBIT) is planning to increase its focus on IT and cyber security of the financial sector. For this purpose, ReBIT has invited applications for various roles across its four verticals of Systems Audit, Cyber Security, Research and Innovation, and Project Management and Administration. The cyber security vertical of ReBIT will be responsible for running a security operations centre and will also look after responding to any incidents that may occur on systems of RBI or any of the financial institutions.
CCEA approves Alternative Mechanism for deciding minority stake sale in CPSEs
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval to Alternative Mechanism to decide on the quantum of disinvestment in a particular Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSE) on a case by case basis. It will be subject to Government retaining 51% equity and management control. This will reduce speculation and overhang and expedite the disinvestment process. This mechanism is in addition to the present functions performed by Alternative Mechanism as has been approved by CCEA in August, 2014.