G.K Update 24,June 2016 (English)
By: D.K Choudhary
1. Union Cabinet extends the deadline of UDAY scheme
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of extending the deadline for implementing the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) by a year to March 31, 2017.
ii. With this decision, states shall take over 75% of ailing DISCOM (Power Distribution companies) debt as on 30th September 2015 by 31st March 2017 by issuing Bonds. It is considered as a significant step in realizing the vision of proving 24X7 affordable and environment-friendly Power for All. This intervention will also lower the interest burden of debt and allow states, which could not join UDAY earlier to put DISCOMs reforms on an accelerated path.
iii. The UDAY scheme aims at bringing ailing power discoms to a state of operational efficiency, with state governments taking over up to 75% of their respective debt and issuing sovereign bonds to pay back the lenders. It is the most comprehensive power sector reform ever undertaken.
2. Railway minister flags off Danapur-Saharsa Janhit Express
i. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has flagged off a new train service between Danapur and Saharsa in Bihar through video-conferencing at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi with an aim to connect every region of the country with the rail network.
ii. Besides flagging off the Danapur-Saharsa Janhit Express (daily), Railway Minister has also announced the extension of three train services in Bihar and Jharkhand.
iii. Under which, the service of Jasidih-Chandan passenger train was extended up to Banka. It is the first passenger train to run on the newly constructed Chandan-Banka line. While the daily service of Jaynagar-Saharsa Janki Express (daily) was extended up to Katihar and Patna-Murliganj Koshi Express (daily) was extended up to Purnea Court.
3. FM Arun Jaitley to embark on 5-day China visit to attend AIIB annual meet
i. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will embark on a five-day visit to China starting from 23rd of June, where he will attend the first annual meeting of the board of governors of the 100-billion US dollar Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
ii. The AIIB meeting will be held on 25th and 26th of June, in Beijing, China.
iii. During his stay in Beijing, Mr. Jaitely will participate in different sessions of the two-day AIIB meeting including the session on ‘Infrastructure and Global Economic Growth’ and ‘Financing Green Infrastructure: The Role of Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs)’ among others. Mr. Jaitley will also hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei on June 27. He will also participate in the 8th India-China Financial Dialogue. He will return to New Delhi on June 28th, after completing his five-day official visit to China.
4. Union Cabinet approved the establishment of Fund of Funds for Startups
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) at Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) for contribution to various alternative investment funds (AIF).
ii. The establishment of the fund is in tune with the Start-up India Action Plan that was unveiled in January 2016 to boost start-up ecosystem in the country.
iii. The corpus of Rs 10,000 crore for FFS will be built up over the 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles, subject to the progress of the scheme and availability of funds.
5. Union Cabinet approves Mega Spectrum Auction
i. The Union Cabinet under Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the spectrum auction plan recommended by the department of telecommunication.
ii. The approved auction will have spectrum bands of 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz available for sale.
iii. This will be the biggest spectrum auction ever for Indian telecom industry and is expected to fetch the government around Rs.5.36 trillion. The auction of such a large quantity of spectrum will give a fillip for Digital India programme.
6. Cabinet approves Rs.6,000 Cr package for textiles
i. The government has also approved a Rs 6,000 crore special package for textiles & apparel sector to create one crore new jobs in 3 years, attracting investments of $11 billion and generating $30 billion in exports.
ii. The measures approved include additional incentives for duty drawback scheme for garments, flexibility in labour laws to increase productivity as well as tax and production incentives for job creation in garment manufacturing.
7. Cabinet approves four laning of Hubli-Hospet Section of NH-63 in Karnataka
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the development of four laning of Hubli-Hospet Section of NH-63 in Karnataka.
ii. The cost is estimated to be Rs.2272.20 crore including the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
iii. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 144 km. This work will be done under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.
8. Union Cabinet approves pact for the avoidance of double taxation with Belgium
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the signing of a Protocol amending the Agreement between India and Belgium for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The decision in this regard was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. The amendment to the Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework for the exchange of tax-related information between the two countries.
iii. It also revises the scope of existing treaty provisions on mutual assistance in collection of taxes and further help to curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The Protocol will also revise the existing treaty provisions on mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
9. Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Germany
i. The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Steinbeis GmbH Co. KG, Germany for technology transfer and resourcing in manufacturing, including sub-sectors of Capital Goods. Steinbeis GmbH is leading organization for applied industrial research in Europe.
ii. The MoU between India Steinbeis GmbH was signed in April 2016 during the Industrial Exhibition Hannover Messe 2016 in Hannover, Germany.
iii. The field of cooperation envisaged in the MoU are- (a) profiling of specific technologies,(b) technology road mapping for specified Capital Goods sub-sectors, (c) assessment of technology status of Capital Goods Cluster, (d) cooperation in events on technology and (e) upgrading existing technology institutes / setting up Greenfield institutes in India and other technology related co-operation and collaboration.
10. LIC Chairman S K Roy resigns
i. S.K. Roy, the head of state-run Life Insurance Corp (LIC), the biggest single investor in the country, has tendered his resignation two years before his term was due to end.
ii. Roy has written to the finance ministry but his resignation is yet to be confirmed.
iii. Roy had been with the insurer more than three decades after rising through the ranks to be appointed chairman in 2013.
11. Anju Bobby George resigns as Kerala Sports Council President
i. India’s lone athletics World Championship medal winner Anju Bobby George has resigned as President of the Kerala Sports Council.
ii. She resigns after she accused Sports Minister EP Jayarajan of allegedly harassing her and other members of Kerala Sports Council. Besides the iconic athlete, 13 other members of the council, including noted volleyball player Tom Jose, also resigned.
iii. She was appointed to the top post by the Oommen Chandy government in the year 2015. Anju became the first Indian athlete ever to win a medal in a World Athletics Championships in Paris in 2003. Anju the winner of Arjuna awards has represented the country in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships from 2002 onwards.
12. Aveek Sarkar resigns as Chief Editor of ABP Group of Publications
i. Aveek Sarkar has resigned as the Editor-in-Chief of Ananda Bazaar Patrika (ABP) and The Telegraph. However, he would continue as the chairman of the group.
ii. He is succeeded by Arup Sarkar.
iii. Aveek Sarkar will now play an advisory role as Editor (Emeritus) and Vice Chairman of the company.
Moreover, Anirban Bhattacharya was appointed as the Editor of the Ananda Bazaar Patrika and R Rajagopalan was named as the Editor of The Telegraph.
13. PayPal appoints Anupam Pahuja as India Country Manager and MD
i. World’s leading payments platform PayPal has announced the appointment of Anupam Pahuja as the Managing Director (MD) and Country Manager for its India operations.
ii. Pahuja will be responsible for all aspects of PayPal’s business in India. He will also be responsible for the further strengthening of the company’s operations in the country.
iii. Prior to joining PayPal, Pahuja worked as the India MD for SumTotal Systems.
14. Andy Murray wins record fifth Queen’s Club title
i. British tennis star Andy Murray has created history after he fought back to win the Queen’s Club tournament for a record fifth time defeating Milos Raonic in a pulsating final on 19 June 2016.
ii. The defending champion recovered from a set and 3-0 down to beat the third-seeded player 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3 in the title clash.
iii. The 29-year-old had earlier won the Aegon Championships in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. This victory at the Wimbledon warm-up event was Murray’s 37th career ATP title and his second this year.
15. India won three-match T20 Series against Zimbabwe
i. India has won the three-match T20 series against Zimbabwe 2-1. In the third and final match played at Harare, India defeated Zimbabwe by a narrow three-run margin .
ii. Series Report1st Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 18 June 2016. Zimbabwe defeated India by 2 runs. Elton Chigumbura was adjudged as the Man of the Match. 2nd Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 20 June 2016. India defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets. Barinder Sran was adjudged as the Man of the Match.3rd Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 22 June 2016. India defeated Zimbabwe by 3 runs. Kedar Jadhav was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
iii. Man of the series award won by Barinder Sran (an Indian bowler)