Daily Current Affairs 29th June, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 29th June, 2017


NASA achieves a major milestone in developing Quieter Supersonic Jet

  • NASA has reached a major milestone in developing a quieter supersonic passenger jet that is capable of safely travelling over land.
  • NASA has completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. NASA had forged a partnership with Lockheed Martin, in February 2016 for the QueSST preliminary design.
  • With this development, NASA is a step closer to actually building an X-plane. The project falls under the ambit of NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project.
  • Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane. The LBFD is also known as X-plane.

US issues New Visa Criteria for Six Muslim Countries

  • The US has issued new criteria for visa applicants from six Muslim countries.
  • The US Supreme Court has partially restored President Trump’s executive order that banned travel of people from the six Muslim-majority countries.
  • President’s executive order was widely criticised as a ban on Muslims.
  • As per the new criteria, applicants from the six Muslim-majority countries must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling in the US.
  • In short, the applicants must prove a “close” family or business tie to the United States.
  • As per the new guidelines, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancées or other extended family members will not be considered as close relations by the US State Department.
  • However, the applicants can be exempted from the ban if they can prove a “bona fide relationship” with a US person or entity.
  • The Supreme Court has given only a broad guidelines on such relationships and has suggested that such bonafide relationships would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the US. The Government lawyers must determine how to define such a relationship.

Indian-American appointed as US Ambassador to Peru

  • S. President Donald Trump has appointed an Indian-American named Krishna R Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru.

UNESCO names Sharjah as World Book Capital 

  • UNESCO has named Sharjah as the World Book Capital for 2019. Sharjah was chosen for its efforts to make books accessible to its entire population.
  • Sharjah was selected to underline the efforts taken by it to make books accessible for reading to as many people as possible, especially the marginalised populations.
  • It has followed an innovative and inclusive community-focused activity programme to engage people, in particular, the very large migrant population. Sharjah is the 19th city to be named as World Book Capital by the UNESCO.
  • The earlier cities which were named as World Book Capital are: Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012), Bangkok (2013), Port Harcourt (2014), Incheon (2015), Wroclaw (2016), Conakry (2017) and Athens (2018)


NALSA has launched Web Application for Legal Services to Prisoners

  • NALSA has launched a web application for free Legal Services to Prisoners at the conference held at Indian Law Institute, New Delhi.
  • The Conference saw the participation of Member Secretaries and administrative officers of 18 State Legal Services Authorities.
  • The Legal Services Management System has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Salient Facts
  • The State Legal Services Authorities and District Legal Services Authorities will feed into the web application the data for each individual prison inmate in the jails within their jurisdiction. The feeds will have details regarding the representation of prisoners through a counsel in the court.
  • The software will also help in generating reports showing the total number of inmates, the number of inmates unrepresented, the number of inmates represented by legal services lawyers and the number of inmates represented by private lawyers.
  • All these information can be generated State wise, District wise and also with respect to each jail. The software is also capable of generating information with regard to prisoners eligible for bail under Section 436-A Cr.P.C.

APEDA refutes rumours about plastic rice

  • Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Agency (APEDA) has refuted rumours about plastic rice, attributing the videos on social media showing bouncing rice balls to a natural property of rice.
  • According to APEDA, the buoyancy of rice balls dropping on a hard surface is its natural property and it depends on the amylose content. Rice starch consists of two main components — amylose and amylopectine — generally in a proportion of 25:75. However, there exists a lot of variation in germ plasm with respect to proportion of amylose and amylopectine. If, amylose is low (<10{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}), the rice on cooking tends to become very sticky and the rice balls made of such cooked rice will have no buoyancy on dropping to a surface. However, the rice balls made up of cooked rice from intermediate to high amylose (22-30{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}) type rice, will have buoyancy and these balls will jump for three-four times when dropped on hard surface.

On the lines of INTERPOL, Northeastern states to have NEPOL

  • It is a proposed police organization by the North eastern states including West Bengal in the lines of International Police Organization(INTERPOL). It will facilitate cooperation between the states of the region in tackling insurgency, cross border crime and smuggling.
  • North eastern militants have come together and formed United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), an umbrella organization comprising of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent), Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit). This organisation has orchestrated several strikes on security forces.
  • Also, North eastern states share over 4500km long border with Bangladesh, China, Myanmar and Bhutan. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-km-long border, of which 262 km falls in Assam.
  • Hence, cooperation among the police forces between the states is necessary.

PM Modi inaugurates Centenary Celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.
  • The Prime Minister has also released the coin and postal stamp in the honour of Shrimad Rajchandraji on his 150th birth anniversary at Abhay Ghat.
  • Shrimad Rajchandraji was the guru to Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram Sabarmati Ashram otherwise called as Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, or Satyagraha Ashram is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati. Sabarmati Ashram served as one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi for twelve long years.
  • The ashram has been declared as a national monument by the Indian government. Gandhiji started the Dandi march also called as Salt Satyagraha from Sabarmati Ashram on 12 March 1930.


CBDT entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement with Indian taxpayers. A Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement involving United Kingdom has also been signed.
  • The APAs signed pertain to healthcare, information technology and gaming/animation (media) sectors of the economy.
  • The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for the maximum of five future years.
  • Further, the taxpayer has the option to rollback the APA for four preceding years, as a result of which, tax certainty for a total period of nine years is provided. Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest among Multi National Enterprises (MNEs). An APA can be unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral.

An APA provides the following Benefits:

  • Certainty with respect to tax outcome of the tax payer’s international transactions, by agreeing in advance the arm’s length pricing or pricing methodology (ies) to be applied to the tax payer’s international transactions covered by the APA.
  • Removal of an audit threat (minimize rigours of audit), and deliverance of a particular tax outcome based on the terms of the agreement.
  • Substantial reduction of compliance costs over the term of the APA.
  • For tax authorities, an APA reduces cost of administration and also frees scarce resources.

India offers $100,000 to UN Tax Fund

  • India has contributed $ 100,000 to the UN Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters (the UN Tax Fund).
  • The fund is aimed at helping the developing countries to actively participate in the discussion of tax issues.
  • This was announced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Office for Financing, Development Office.
  • India has also earned the distinction of becoming the first country to make a voluntary contribution to the UN tax fund.


Swasth Saarthi Abhiyaan (SSA)

  • The SSA event is a unique initiative to address the major issues being faced by public transport drivers, with almost all of them being users of CNG.
  • It is a two month long mega campaign focusing on providing preventive healthcare to the auto, taxi and bus drivers of the region. It will provide free health checkup which includes blood test, sugar test, eye test.
  • SSA is an initiative of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).


National Statistics Day: 29th June

  • The National Statistics Day, celebrated every year on June 29 to mark the birth anniversary of renowned statistician Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis.
  • He was the first Indian statistician to receive world recognition. In 1933, he had founded the first Indian statistical journal Sankhya.


Vidya Balan named ambassador of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

  • Actress Vidya Balan has named an ambassador of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).
  • It will be held in August 10-22, 2017, which showcase over 60 films. In 2017, IFFM has diversity as its central theme.


NIFT Chairperson

  • The Union Government has appointed Shri Rajesh V. Shah as Chairperson on the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Fashion Technology as per the provisions of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006.







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