Daily Current Affairs 20th June, 2017
Afghan President inaugurates first Afghanistan-India air corridor
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport. The corridor is a direct route that will bypass Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce in Afghanistan.
- The aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
Anti-profiteering panel to levy penalty, have sunset date
- The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state finance ministers as members, has approved the anti-profiteering rules.
- As per this, a five-member anti-profiteering authority will be set up to decide on levying penalty if businesses do not pass on the benefit of price reduction to consumers under the goods and services tax regime.
- The authority will be headed by a retired secretary-level officer.
- As per the structure, the complaints of profiteering would first come to the Standing Committee comprising tax officials from states and the Centre.
- It would forward the complaint to the Directorate of Safeguards (DGS) for investigation, which is likely to take about 2-3 months to complete the inquiry. On completion of investigation, the report would be submitted to the anti-profiteering authority which would decide on the penalty.
Lockheed Martin signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India
- The defense arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick-starting a mega ‘Make in India’ project.
- The agreement has been signed at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed to produce F-16 fighter planes in India. It is the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter.
Reliance Defence inks Pact with Serbia’s Yugoimport to Manufacture Ammunition in India
- Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Ammunition which is a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure has entered into a strategic partnership with Serbia’s state-run Yugoimport to manufacture ammunition in India.
- The joint venture is expected to target business opportunities worth Rs 20,000 crore from Indian armed forces in the next 10 years.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Shri Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017
- Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.
- The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth.
NASA’s Kepler Telescope finds 10 Earth-Like Planets
- NASA’s Kepler Telescope has identified 10 Earth-like planets outside the solar system that are expected to host life due to their right size and temperature.
- This finding is a boost in the hope for life elsewhere.
- After an extensive search carried out for four years, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has detected a total of 49 planets in the Goldilocks zone. This number is set to increase as Kepler telescope has so far looked only in one quarter of one percent of a galaxy that holds about 200 billion of stars.
World Refugee Day: 20 June
- The World Refugee Day is observed across the world on 20 June to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. The day is celebrated by United Nations.
Predhiman Krishan Kaw, father of India’s nuclear fusion passes away
- The father of India’s nuclear fusion reactor research program, Padma Shri Prof Predhiman Krishan Kaw, passed away.
- He was the founder director of Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar.
PLACES IN NEWS
114-year-old Taj Palace of Mumbai becomes first Indian building to get trademark
- The iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the Mumbai City has acquired an ‘image trademark’, making it the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design.
- With this, it had joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House.
Indian Wushu Team bags six medals in BRICS Games
- India won six medals in the Wushu competition of the first ever BRICS Games, which concluded in Guangzhou, China recently. The medals haul comprised two each in gold, silver, and bronze.
- It featured some 300 athletes from five countries- Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa (BRICS Nations) with 10 events in 3 sports – men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, and Wushu.
- China will host the 9th BRICS summit in September 2017.