Current Affairs Today – December 5 2015

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CAT Dec 5

INDIAN AFFAIRS

CEA Dr Arvind Subramanian Committee suggests GST rate of 17-18 per cent

A key panel on GST(Goods and Services Tax) headed by the chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian submitted its suggestions to the government. Chief economic advisor suggested a revenue-neutral rate 17-18 per cent GST rate and dropping of the one per cent additional tax on inter-state sales.

Revenue-neutral rate:To preserve current revenues that is at which there will be no loss to both state and central governments.

Delhi Assembly passes Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015

The Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2015 passed by the assembly after encompassing two amendments proposed by activist Anna Hazare.

  • The anti-corruption bill was passed with 64 votes in the 70-member Delhi Assembly. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government described it as the strongest anti-graft legislation in the country.

Delhi Assembly passed MLA of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension, etc.) (Amendment) Bill, 2015

Delhi Assembly passed a bill, around 400 per cent hike in the salaries of MLAs. The Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Government of NCT of Delhi (Salaries, Allowances, Pension) Amendment Bill 2015 will allow the basic salaries of MLAs to surge from 12,000 rupees to 50,000 rupees.

Key Highlights:

  • Proposed to hike in constituency allowance from present 18,000 to 50,000 rupees.
  • A payback sum of 70,000 rupees per month as allowance under ‘Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance’ which is 30,000 rupees at present.
  • A communication allowance of 10,000 rupees per month as well as 30,000 rupees as monthly conveyance allowance for each MLA. As a result their overall monthly package will be over 2 lakh rupees as against the existing 88,000 rupees.
  • BJP has criticized the Delhi government for bringing this bill and to withdraw it, opposing it will send a wrong message to the people.

This year a group of AAP legislators had demanded a significant hike in salary, as their earnings were not enough to run their family and offices. rejection

Married daughters eligible for appointment on compassionate grounds: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court ruled that married daughters of deceased government employees should be considered for appointment on compassionate grounds under the Dying in Harness Rules.

  • Division Bench led by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Varma passed the order allowing the writ petition of Vimla Srivastava, whose father had died while serving as a revenue department official in Azamgarh district.
  • She had confronted the dismissal of her request for a job on compassionate grounds by the District Magistrate, according to him as per Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servants’ Dying-in-Harness Rules requests of only widowed or unmarried daughters could be accommodated.

View of the court: A married daughter cannot be deprived of her right only because of her marital status and labelled as not acceptable the state government’s contention that daughters upon their marriage become a member of their in-laws’ family they are not included among the dependents of the father.

Key Point:

The court specified that the elimination of married daughters violated Articles 14 (Right to Equality), 15 (prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion, caste etc.) and 16 (equality of opportunity in matters of public employment).

AP CM launches ‘She Autos’ scheme

She Autos scheme

Andhra Pradesh Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched ‘She Autos’ scheme and distributed 49 CNG-fuelled autos to women drivers. Each auto costs Rs.1.90 lakh.

Purpose: To encourage women to take up driving as profession  

  • Pay Rs 4,500 per month for a period of 18 months and the remaining amount would be allowed by Women’s Welfare Department as a subsidy.

Key points: Andhra Pradesh

  • Capital City: Hyderabad, Amravati(proposed)
  • Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan
  • Rice Bowl of India and Egg bowl of Asia

Lok Sabha passes bill to enhance compensation for Air Travellers

Lok Sabha passed a bill to enhance the compensation that airlines must pay to passengers in case of death, injury, lost baggage or even unreasonable flight delays.

  • The Bill proposed to raise the liability limit for damage in case of death or bodily injury for each person from 1,00,000 SDR (special drawing rights) to 1,13,100 SDR.
  • Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which was moved by Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and passed by a voice vote proposed to increase the compensation for death in an air accident to over Rs.1 crore from almost Rs 89 lakh now.
  • It will enable the government to review the liability limits of air carriers in line with the Montreal Convention, which was granted by India in May 2009. As a result in the Indian carriers paying compensation corresponding to the rates paid by their global counterparts.

Uttar Pradesh Government launches first International festival on Birds

The state government launched its first International Festival on Birds. The northern state has been famous for hosting many indigenous and exotic migrant birds.

Purpose: To promote the collection of bird species in Uttar Pradesh

Inaugurated by: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, at the National Chambal Sanctuary in Agra.

Hosted by: Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

National Chambal Sanctuary: It is a protected tri-state area that accommodates critically endangered species such as Gharial (small crocodiles), the Red-crowned Roof Turtle and the endangered Ganges River Dolphin,

Location: Along the Chambal River, falls in the tri-point of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh

  • Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav launched a book that is ‘Birds of UP’.
  • HQ: Morena(Uttar Pradesh)

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Australia passes Anti-Terrorism law to strip citizenship

Australia’s parliament has passed the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism offences or found to have fought with banned groups overseas, despite concerns about deporting terrorists.

  • The Bill will also ensure that terrorists who are dual nationals are prevented from returning to Australia and dual nationals who engage in terrorism within Australia will be removed where ever possible. The dual nationals would lose their citizenship if the person is convicted of a terrorism offence and sentenced to at least 6 years of imprisonment.

China’s first manned electric aircraft RX1E gets license for production

China’s first manned electric aircraft RX1E gets license for production

China’s first manned electric aircraft, a two seater plane powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, has been granted a license for production.

  • A 90-minute charge will give 45-60 minutes of flight time.
  • The two seater plane was designed by Shenyang Aerospace University and Liaoning General Aviation Academy in north eastern Liaoning province.

Key Points:

  • Chinese President: Xi Jinping
  • China’s capital: Beijing

BUSINESS

GAIL launches ‘Bhuvan-GAIL Portal’ for satellite monitoring of pipelines

To address pipeline safety concerns, state-run energy major GAIL (headquartered in New Delhi) in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre, a unit of ISRO have launched satellite surveillance portal called ‘Bhuvan-GAIL Portal’ to monitor the 13,000 km of gas pipeline network.

Key Points:

  • Presently the monthly monitoring of more than 13,000 km of pipeline network is done via helicopter surveys.
  • GAIL (India) believes that space technology can also be used efficiently to monitor the pipeline’s Right of Use (RoU).
  • The portal will be live by January 2016.
  • A mobile application has been developed from which pictures of untoward incidents taken locally from any mobile showing the actual scenario can be uploaded instantly to the portal.
  • To establish the technical feasibility of utilising space technology GAIL began the study with imageries from Indian satellites and later shifted to very high-resolution foreign satellites.
  • GAIL is also looking for alternative methods like advance Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) which can also be integrated with this system.

CCI imposes Rs 74 cr fine on Alkem Labs

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of over Rs 74 crore on IPO-bound Alkem Laboratories and its two officials for indulging in unfair business practices.

  • CCI has directed to “cease and desist from indulging in any of the practices which are found to be anti-competitive in terms of the provisions of section 3 of the (Competition) Act”.
  • It has also slapped fines of Rs 4.35 lakh on All Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association (AKCDA) and one of its officials in the same case.

YouTube opens first video production studio in India

YouTube opens first video production studio in India

Youtube, in collaboration with Subhash Ghai-owned film school  Whistling Woods International, has opened its 8th (one of a kind) Youtube Space in Mumbai’s Film City. It is the first video production studio in the country. Similar to Youtube’s existing studio hubs around the world, the new Mumbai YouTube Space offers courses, equipment, workshops, collaborations, and more.

  • Through this collaboration, India’s popular up-and-coming YouTube creators, as well as their students, will have free access to Whistling Woods’ studios, high-end audio, visual and editing equipment, in addition to training programs, workshops and community events.

Key Points:

  • Headquarters: California, United States
  • CEO: Susan Wojcicki
  • Parent organization: Google

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Scientist M Nair Rajeevan appointed Earth Sciences Secretary

Renowned Scientist M Nair Rajeevan has been appointed as Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences. His appointment as Earth Sciences Secretary has been approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training.

  • Rajeevan is serving as the Director of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.
  • He had also served in other institutions like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Delhi Government launched Mobile app to rescue homeless people

The Delhi government has launched a mobile-based application to rescue homeless people during winters.

  • 23 rescue teams have been formed by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). After the download of app users can initiate a rescue operation over the phone by taking a picture of the people and posting it on the app.
  • The DUSIB server will then automatically detect the location of the person and the nearest rescue team will be informed and sent to the location. The user of the app can also inform the nearest shelter through a list of shelters provided in the app.

Key Points:

  • According to a survey conducted last year, there were about 16,000 homeless people in Delhi.
  • DUSIB has so far created 198 night shelters with a capacity to accommodate 16,338 homeless people.

OBITUARY

Veteran dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid dies

Veteran Israeli dove Yossi Sarid, a former government minister who remained a leading critic of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians until his final days

About Yossi Sarid:

  • One of the leaders of the Israeli peace camp and advocated Israeli territorial concessions to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.
  • Served as education minister and environment minister and led the dovish Meretz party before he retired in 2006.

Key Points: Israel

  • Capital & Currency: Jerusalem, Shekel
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu
  • President: Reuven Rivlin

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

Theme: “The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer! “

International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development is celebrated every year all over the world on 5th of December.

Day

  • Exclusive chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
  • Online volunteering award offered to the best volunteer to recognize his contribution towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals for the economic and social development.
  • Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, to peace and development, engaging people to shape the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
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