Daily Current Affairs 13th April, 2017
Pink patrol, security app for women in Bengaluru
- A fleet of pink patrol vehicles to attend to the distress calls from women and an exclusive police mobile phone distress application have been introduced in Bengaluru as part of an effort to improve the safety and security of women in the city.
- The pink patrol cars called the ‘Pink Hoysalas’ and the Suraksha mobile phone app were unveiled by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The app has been developed by the Bengaluru city police IT team and can be downloaded on Android and iOS phones.
Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as “an Institute of National Importance” through an Act of Parliament.
- The Institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by IITs. A separate Act will also impart the required status to the Institute to become a “Centre of Excellence” in petroleum and energy studies.
- The Cabinet has also approved Rs 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs 200 crore towards its Endowment Fund.
- The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector.
Cab safety measures for women included in the New Taxi Policy guidelines
- Cab safety measures for women commuters as recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping (MoRTH) have been included in the new Taxi Policy guidelines.
- These recommendations from the Ministry of Women and Child Development comes at the backdrop of increasing cases of sexual harassment of women commuters in the cabs.
- Recommendations that were included in the New Taxi policy guidelines are:
- Mandatory fitting of GPS panic devices in the taxis.
- To ensure the safety of women and child passengers, central locking system in the taxis to be disallowed.
- Sharing of a seat in the cabs must be subject to the willingness of passengers.
- Identification of driver along with the photo and the registration number should be prominently displayed in the cab.
- Violation of stipulated rules and regulations by taxi operators and drivers to be strictly dealt in accordance with law.
Haryana launched Operation Durga to ensure women Safety
- Similar to that of Uttar Pradesh’s ‘anti-romeo squad’, the Haryana government has launched ‘Operation Durga’ to ensure women safety in the state.
- Under this operation, teams formed by the Chief Minister’s Flying Squad visited public places such as schools, colleges, bus stands and railway stations and caught persons indulging in crime activities against women like eve-teasing, stalking, harassment and other such activities.
- Since women are hesitant in reporting incidents involving anti-social elements to the Police, the campaign, ‘Operation Durga’ was launched so that flying squads patrol those areas where such anti-social elements committed crimes against women.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
Government sets up a panel to examine framework for Virtual Currencies
- The Government has set up an Inter-Disciplinary Committee to examine the existing framework with regard to Virtual Currencies.
- The Committee will take stock of the present status of Virtual Currencies both in India and globally. It will also examine the existing global regulatory and legal structures governing these Currencies.
- The Finance Ministry stated that the committee will suggest measures for dealing with such currencies including issues relating to consumer protection and money laundering. The Committee will be chaired by Special Secretary of Economic Affairs, Shri Dinesh Sharma.
About Virtual Currencies
- A virtual currency or virtual money has been defined in 2012 by the European Central Bank as “a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community.”
- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury, defined virtual currency in its guidance published in 2013.
- In 2014, the European Banking Authority defined virtual currency as “a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically”.
- A virtual currency is created through encryption techniques. There are various kinds, such as: bitcoin, litecoin, peercoin, namecoin, ether and primecoin. Among these, bitcoin is most famous. In India, there are multiple bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin mining companies and portfolio management firms.
Cabinet approves listing of 11 CPSEs on stock exchanges
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for the listing of 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock exchanges.
- As approved, the listing of CPSEs will be through the public offer of shares up to 25 per cent of Government of India’s shareholding.
- Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)
- IRCON International Limited
- Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) Ltd.
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd.
- RITES Ltd.
- Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
- Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd.
- Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL)
- North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) Ltd.
- MSTC Ltd.
- Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd. (MIDHANI)
Petrol, diesel prices to change every day from May 1
- As per the announcement of government from May 1, 2017, petrol and diesel prices will change every day in sync with international rates.
- State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will launch a pilot for daily price revision in five select cities which are Puducherry, Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh from May 1, 2017 stated by Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Central Processing Centre (CPC) gets new Pin Code
- The Department of Post has allotted a unique pin code for the Income Tax Department’s Central Processing Centre (CPC) based in Bengaluru so as to ensure that the letters and mails sent by taxpayers to the CPC are not lost or reach the centre late. The new pin code given to CPC is 560500.
- Earlier, the CPC was using the pin code 560100 which was marked for the entire city area of Bengaluru. The new pin code will cater exclusively to the CPC of the Income Tax department and will help in addressing the grievances of the taxpayers with respect to the issues of non-reaching of postal mails.
President Gives Assent to Four GST Legislations
- President Pranab Mukherjee has given assent to four supporting legislations on Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The four legislations are:
- The Central GST Act, 2017,
- The Integrated GST Act, 2017,
- The GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, and
- The Union Territory GST Act, 2017.
The above bills were passed in Rajya Sabha on April 6th and in Lok Sabha on 29 March.
- Now with the President’s assent, these bills will pave way for the roll-out of GST regime from 1 July.
- The Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, deals with the levy of the Central Goods and Services Tax by the union government over the supply of goods and services within the boundary of a state.
- The Integrated GST Act, 2017, provides for the levy of Integrated Goods and Services Tax by the union government on the interstate supply of goods and services.
- The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, provides for compensation for the losses incurred by the states on account of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.
- The Union Territory GST Act, 2017, provides for the levy and collection of tax on intra-state supply of goods, services or both, by the Union Territories. Jammu & Kashmir GST regime will not be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir because of the fact that Article 370 gives special status to the state.
- So, the state will have to legislate its own law and integrate with the GST regime. GST Goods and Services Tax is a comprehensive indirect tax which is to be levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services in India.
- This is so far the biggest tax reform in the country.
- GST will subsume central excise, service tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and other local levies to create a uniform market. GST eliminates the cascading effect of taxes because it is taxed at every point of business and the input credit is available in the value chain. The tax rates under GST regime will be based on the recommendation GST Council. Council has two-thirds voting by States and one-third by Centre.
Bank accounts to be blocked if not self-certified by April 30, 2017
- As part of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) compliance, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked the banks/financial institutions to link their accounts with Aadhaar number and self-certification from customers by April 30, 2017, to avoid closure of accounts.
- It is clearly directed the banks to obtain a self-certification for the accounts opened between July 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015.
Karnataka Bank gets new MD and CEO
- Mahabaleshwara Mavinakudige Subrahmanya has been appointed as the new MD and CEO of Karnataka Bank Ltd.
- He succeeds Polali Jayarama Bhat, who voluntarily stepped down 15 months ahead of his three-year term as MD and CEO.
- P J Bhat is the new part-time non-executive chairman of Karnataka Bank
Amazon receives RBI approval for e-wallet
- Amazon India has received the RBI’s approval for an e-wallet ‘Amazon Pay’, which the e-tailer had applied for early last year.
- The licence has been issued to Amazon Online Distribution Services on March 22, 2017 and is valid for five years.
Tata Motors arm launches Made-in-India robot
- TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors has launched a Made-in-India robot catering primarily to micro, small and medium industries.
- The indigenously built robot TAL Brabo is available in two variants of payloads of 2 kg and 10 kg, priced at Rs.5 lakh and Rs.7 lakh, respectively.
- This is the first robot conceptualized and designed in India.
Government launches Aadhaar Seeding Application
- The Union Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched Aadhaar Seeding Application for efficient service delivery and widening the reach of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) benefits.
- It was launched at the 217th special meeting of the Central Board of Employees Provident Fund (CBEPF/EPFO) in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Minster of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya
- The seeding application has been developed by the EPFO with the support of Common Service Centres (CSC) and CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).
- It has been developed in pursuance of the government’s policy for optimum use of information technology for efficient service delivery and widening the reach of benefits to people.
- The application will enable a provident fund member or pensioner walk into any field offices of the EPFO or CSC outlets with UAN (Universal Account Number) and Aadhaar and seed the Aadhaar with the UAN
Jharkhand police initiates Tare Zameen Par programme for underprivileged kids
- Jharkhand Police has initiated Tare Zameen Par programme to enlighten children in Naxal-affected areas in the Palamau district of Jharkhand.
- This programme is aimed to restore confidence in the state police force and to encourage children to lead happy lives.
- As a part of the programme, the state police appealed the locals to donate bags, shoes, books and clothes to improve the basic amenities of the children in the Naxal-affected areas.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu relaunches ‘Adarana Scheme’
- Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the re-launch of ‘Adarana scheme’ for improving traditional occupations.
- It is for the uplift and all-round development of people belonging to the Backward Classes stated by CM Naidu.
The second spell of Hindu new year and harvest festivals falls are being celebrated across the country:
- Bengalis celebrate Poila Boishakh.
- Malayalis celebrate Vishu.
- Tamilians celebrate Puthandu.
- Assamese celebrate Rongali Bihu.
- Punjabis celebrate Baisakhi.
- Odia celebrates Maha Vishuba Sankranti.
PERSONS IN NEWS
PM Modi becomes the most followed world leader on Instagram
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the most followed world leader on photo-sharing app Instagram with a whopping 6.9 million followers, surpassing US President Donald Trump.
- Modi is also the most “effective world leader” on the platform. Trump, who occupies the second spot, has 6.3 million followers while Pope Francis is in third place with 3.7 million followers.
UN chief Guterres names Achim Steiner as new administrator of UNDP
- United Nation (UN) chief Antonio Guterres has named a German Achim Steiner, as the new administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
- Headquartered in New York City, the UNDP seeks to reduce poverty, improve social development and encourage women’s empowerment.
India, Australia sign sports partnership
- India and Australia have started a partnership aimed at increasing cooperation in sports, in the presence of visiting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.
- The partnership will advance India-Australia cooperation in four areas athlete and coach training and development, sports science, sports governance and integrity, and grassroots participation.
- Sports Minister Vijay Goel has launched a major grassroots programme named ‘Khelo India’ for developing a sporting culture at grass-root level