Daily Current Affairs Updates: April 12, 2017

[no_toc]Daily Current Affairs Short Updates for April 12, 2017 with important short notes on current events and newspaper summary.

SC gives a new ruling that gender is not a pretext for leniency

  • SC has taken cognizance of the increasing role of women in crime and said that gender cannot be considered as a ground for lenient punishment and they should be treated at par with men for equal offences committed by them.
  • SC also held that women at times surpass men in the intensity and nature of crime.

SC directs Centre, Punjab and Haryana to settle SYL

  • SC asks the Centre, Punjab and Haryana to complete their talks on construction of SYL (Sutlej-Yamuna Link) Canal as soon as possible. Justice Ghose will retire on May 27 and said if the issue isn’t settled till then, it will have to be passed to a Bench.
  • Both states have continued a stand-off on the issue.

Dynamic fuel prices to be introduced in UT and 4 cities from May 1.

  • Public sector oil companies will start with a pilot project of dynamic fuel pricing in Chandigarh, Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Udaipur and Jamshedpur from May1, 2017.
  • It will involve a daily revision of both petrol and diesel prices like other commodities that reflect daily rate.
  • The companies involved are Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. They together own 95 percent of the 58,000 fuel stations in the country.
  • The companied state that a daily revision will be less volatile and more accurate.

E-marketplace gets Cabinet nod

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval to set up a special purpose vehicle called “Government e-marketplace GeM-SPV). It will be a National Public Procurement Portion registered under the Companies Act.
  • It will be a national portal for buying goods and services by Central and State governments.
  • It will provide end-to-end online marketplace for Central and State government ministries/departments, Central and State PSUs, autonomous and local bodies for both procurement of common use goods and services.

FATCA Act: Self-Certify Bank Accounts or face closure

  • FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act requires that the bank accounts which were opened between July 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015 should be self-certified on self-certify forms by April 30, non-compliance will lead to account blocking.
  • This is as per the Inter-Governmental Agreement IGA with US for implementation of FATCA which was came into force on August 31, 2015.

Rex Tillerson gets a cold welcome in Russia

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received a cold welcome in Russia due to recent US air-strikes on Russian ally Syria over former’s reaction on the chemical attack.
  • Russian Foreign Minister stated that Russia is trying to decipher the real intentions of Trump administration amidst highly ambiguous and contradictory ideas coming from Washington.
  • Tillerson admitted the fact that the two world powers have sharp differences.

China and US discuss rising tensions in Korean peninsula

  • China has urged US to resort to peaceful measures for solving rising tensions in Korean peninsula due North Korean nuclear programme.
  • This has become important as the US Navy fleet Carl Vinson headed towards Korean waters.
  • US has also asked China to show significant commitment to bring a resolution to the issue as North Korea has stepped up its missile development and nuclear programme.

Iran’s former President Ahmedinejad  will run for Presidential race

  • Former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has defied the recommendation by the Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to run for the Presidential election due in May.
  • His entry has spoilt the whole mathematics of the election which was believed by the majority will be won by the moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Trump’s new Executive Order  will hurt Indian Shrimp exports

  • $5.5 billion Indian seafood market will face tough restrictions in America as the new executive order will impose countervailing duties on countries dumping goods.
  • America is the biggest importer of Indian seafood. It had a share of 5% in 2015-16, 94% of which was shrimp.
  • Indian exporters will face anti-dumping duty in addition to other non-tariff barriers like increased inspections.

Panel formed to review virtual currencies

  • The Central government has formed a new Panel under Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) to examine the various virtual/digital/crypto currencies like bitcoins, etc.
  • It will also look into the framework in-depth to study issues related to consumer protection and money laundering.
  • The Panel has to submit its report in next 3 months.

 FRBM Panel for 3% fiscal deficit target

  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) committee has made recommendations of a fiscal deficit target f 3% by 2020.
  • The Committee has also suggested an escape clause for over-riding considerations of national security, calamities of national proportion and collapse of agriculture etc. which has drastic effects on output and incomes.
  • The Committee was headed by NK Singh.

 Budget Session ends with passage of landmark Bills

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2017 passed
  • Bills passed in both the Houses of Parliament are as follows:
    • The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill
    • The Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities)Bill
    • The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill
    • The Maternity Benefit (Amendment)Bill
    • The Mental Health Care Bill
    • The Employee’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill
    • The Taxation (Amendment) Bill

 Industrial output declines 1.2% in February

  • A contraction in capital goods has led to a decline in Industrial output by 1.2% in February
  • Manufacturing also fell by 2% in February against its rise of 2.3% in January. 9 out of 22 industry groups remained positive.
  • Sugar, cement and plastic machinery also showed sharp declines.

 President of Badminton Association of India passes away

  • Akhilesh Das Gupta, President of Badminton Association of India passed away following a massive heart attack in New Delhi. He was 56.
  • He had first become the BAI President after the arrest of former chief VK Verma over charges of corruption in Commonwealth Games 2010.
  • He was unanimously re-elected for 4-year term in 2014. He was also the Vice-President of Badminton Asia Confederation.