G.K Update 12 May 2016 (English)
By: D.K. Choudhary
1. 11th May : National Technology Day
i. Every year, National Technology Day is observed across India on May 11 to mark Indian technological advancement. This year the theme is Technology enablers of Startup India.
ii. The day has been declared National Technology Day by the Indian Government in order to commemorate the history of India’s technological capability and expertise.
iii. This day glorifies the importance of science in day to day life and to celebrate the anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test which was held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan. Apart from Pokhran nuclear test, on this day first indigenous aircraft Hansa-3 was test flown at Bangalore and India also conducted successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day. Considering all these achievements 11 May was chosen to be commemorated as National Technology Day.
2. RBI cancels licence of 4 NBFCs and 7 other surrender licence
i. The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) has cancelled the certificate of registration of the four Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and seven other Maharashtra-based non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) have surrendered their registration certificates.
ii. RBI cancelled their certificates in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The NBFCs whose certificate of registration were cancelled include :- Kolkata based – M/s Neelanjali Engineering Private Limited, Kolkata based – M/s Novoflex Tradecom Private Limited, Mumbai based – M/s Guide Investments and Trading Co. Pvt. Ltd and Pune based – M/s Enol Ventures Private Limited.
iii. Apart from this, seven Maharashtra-based Non Banking Financial Institutions have surrendered their registration certificates following which they won’t be allowed to transact their financial business.
3. Indian Navy decommissions fighter planes Sea Harriers
i. Indian Navy has decommissioned its fleet of iconic Sea Harriers.
ii. The Naval Air Squadron 300 – I N A S 300, popularly known as ‘white tigers’, de-inducted these fighter aircrafts and replaced them with new generation Mig 29 K fighters in a touching ceremony on INS Hansa near Vasco.
iii. Wing Commander Shikhu Raj, a Sea Harrier Pilot himself and the commander of the squadron handed over the command of the squadron to Captain KHV Singh in an historic ceremony and bid adieu to the Sea Harriers. The function was presided over by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. K. Dhowan.
4. Indian Navy launches underwater vigil system in Visakhapatnam
i. Indian Navy has launched the state-of-the-art Harbour Defence Systems, viz., Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) and Mine Warfare Data Centre (MWDC) which would enhance the Navy’s surveillance capability and response to security threats at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.
ii. Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, AVSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command inaugurated the two systems.
iii. The IUHDSS is a multi-sensor system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warnings for all types of surface and underwater threats to Visakhapatnam harbour.
5. Harish Rawat set to return as Uttarakhand CM
i. Congress leader Harish Rawat is all set to be reinstated as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, over six weeks after he was ousted by the Centre, with the Supreme Court, putting its stamp of approval on the floor test in the Assembly.
ii. Rawat gets 33 votes out of 61 in the floor test. No irregularities were found in the voting.
iii. However, 9 MLAs could not vote due to their disqualification.
6. Government constitutes Sanjay Mitra committee to prepare policy framework for taxi operators
i. The Union Government has constituted a three member committee to prepare a policy framework for taxi and other transport operators.
ii. The committee will be headed by Sanjay Mitra, Secretary of Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Its other two members are Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Delhi Transport Commissioner as its members.
iii. The committee was constituted after taxi and other transport operators had appraised the situation emerging from Supreme Court’s order and directions of Environment Pollution Control Authority of banning diesel taxis in the National Capital Region (NCR). It will look into these issues and come up with appropriate recommendations to address the same in a time bound manner.
7. US-India Defence Cooperation Act introduced in Senate
i. The US-India Defence Technology and Partnership Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Mark Warner and John Cornyn – co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.
ii. If this act is passed, it will elevate the status of the Indo – US defence relationship on par with that of America’s closest allies like NATO and Israel.
iii. The legislation has been sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for necessary action. The act urges the US government to enhance India’s military capabilities in the context of combined military planning and promote co-production and co-development opportunities.
8. India signs revised tax treaty with Mauritius
i. India and Mauritius has signed the protocol for amendment of a two-decade-old Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the two countries.
ii. After this India will get taxation rights on capital gains arising from sale of shares acquired on or after 1st April, 2017 in Indian companies. Earlier in 1983, India had signed a DTAA with the Mauritius and now an amendment to DTAC was signed in a bid to ensure that firms in Mauritius that invest in India are not just ‘shell’ companies who could earlier avoid paying capital gains tax in India.
iii. With the signing of this agreement amendment the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) with Mauritius, sale of shares of an Indian resident company will be taxed at 50 per cent of the applicable rate between 1st April 2017, to March 31, 2019. Full capital gains tax will apply from April 1, 2019 onwards.
9. India to develop regional connectivity projects worth $5 billion in South Asia
i. India is planning to develop regional connectivity projects worth $5 billion in South Asia.
ii. The projects include road corridors connecting India with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan through West Bengal and India-Myanmar through Manipur.
iii. As per Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, India is also assisting the countries with power projects. In the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) 2025 workshop, he also stated that India is also planning to establish Integrated Customs Ports (ICPs) and improved Land Customs Stations (LCS) at key border points with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to ease the movement of goods and people within the sub-region.
10. MP Tourism wins Lonely Planet’s Best Indian Destination for Wildlife Award
i. The Madhya Pradesh Tourism (MPT) won the Lonely Planet Group’s Best Indian Destination for Wildlife Award.
ii. The award was handed over to MPT at a function in Mumbai by actress Amy Jackson. On behalf of MPT Chairman, the award was received by his Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Vinod Kumar Amar.
iii. Madhya Pradesh located in Central India has 25 wild life sanctuaries including 9 National Parks. Among them Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench are ideal habitat for tigers.
11. Karnataka Bank launches ‘cash back’ campaign
i. Karnataka Bank has launched ‘cash back’ campaign for its VISA debit cardholders.
ii. A press release by the bank said that the campaign will be in force for a month from May 10 to June 10. Those cardholders, who have done a minimum five swiping at point-of-sale (POS) terminals or five online transactions with a minimum value of rs. 200 each, will qualify under this campaign.
iii. More than 3,200 top spenders -both in terms of value and volume of transactions -will get cash back aggregating rs. 10 lakh. P Jayarama Bhat, Managing Director of the bank, launched the campaign in Mangaluru.
12. Amazon launches its online video service
i. E commerce company, Amazon has launched its online video service, called Amazon Video Direct.
ii. This facility will facilitate the users by allowing to post clips on its website and earn through advertising, royalties and other sources.
iii. The service will make the content available to rent, own or view for free with ads. This move puts the company in direct competition with Google-owned YouTube. Under this service, the users who make the videos available on web will be paid based on their performance out of a $1m pot under a system similar to the way Amazon pays some self-publishing ebook writers.
13. Quickr acquires beauty services provider Salosa
i. Cross-category classifieds business Quikr has acquired Salosa, an on-demand in-home beauty services provider, for an undisclosed amount.
ii. The move comes even as the company plans to invest rs. 250 crore over 12 months in its home services vertical, QuikrServices, in line with its verticals-focused strategy.
iii. Salosa, which has been a QuikrServices partner from January, will further strengthen its beauty services offerings with stylists who have undergone a rigorous process of quality and background checks along with training, said the company.
14. N K Singh gets Japan’s second highest national award
i. A Bureaucrat, who turned as politician N.K. Singh has honoured with Japan’s second highest national decoration for his contribution in strengthening Indo-Japan ties in the field of trade and investment over the last few decades.
ii. The award has been conferred by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe at a ceremony in the Imperial Palace.
iii. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star award given to Mr. Singh’s role in boosting Indo-Japan economic ties, particularly in promoting Japanese investments into India over many years. Total 91 eminent personalities, including eight foreign recipients have been conferred with the award.
15. Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for war crimes
i. Bangladesh government have hanged the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes committed during the country’s 1971 Liberation War.
ii. He was 73 year old and hanged at Dhaka Central Jail.
iii. He was the senior most Islamist to be executed in Bangladesh for war crimes during the liberation war against Pakistan. His final appeal against his death sentence was rejected by the apex court on May 5. He was in jail since 2010.
16. Rodrigo Duterte wins 2016 Philippines Presidential Election
i. Anti-crime candidate and mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte has won the 2016 presidential election of the Philippines by a landslide victory.
ii. He will become the 16th President-elect of Philippines. He was followed by Mar Roxas 23% (9.27 million) votes and his closest rival Grace Poe with 22% (8.6 million) votes.
iii. He is a lawyer by profession and later entered into the politics. He became vice-mayor of Davao in 1986 and mayor in 1988. He is among the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and has been mayor of Davao City for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years.
17. Sania-Hingis continue to lead Women’s Doubles rankings
i. In Tennis, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis continue to lead the latest Women’s Doubles rankings released .
ii. Sania and Hingis, who have won 13 titles together including 4 this year, maintained their joint position with 12,045 points each.
iii. American Serena Williams continued to top the Singles rankings, with Angelique Kerber rising to second and Agnieszka Radwanska dropping to third. In Men’s Singles rankings, Swiss Roger Federer replaced Andy Murray from the 2nd spot after the Briton failed to defend his Madrid Masters title on Sunday. Novak Djokovic is still at the top.