Current Affairs June 19, 2017: India Inc prepared for GST rollout from July 1
CRPF launches ‘MADADGAAR’ helpline for Kashmiris:
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has inaugurated a toll free helpline called ‘MADADGAAR’ for the Kashmiris, whereby it shall be able to serve the citizens of the Valley located all over the country. The helpline is the first of its kind in Kashmir with a toll free number (14411).
MADADGAAR will render assistance in case of public safety, medical emergencies, disruption of civic amenities, natural and manmade calamities, women safety etc.
Sushma Swaraj inaugurated KIP for young overseas Indians:
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for young overseas Indians at a function in New Delhi.
The programme is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields such as economic and education.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram Celebrated 100 Years:
Sabarmati Ashram, which served as epicentre of the country’s freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi stay there, celebrated its centenary on June 17, 2017 in presence of his grandson and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi lived in the ashram and it situated on the banks of Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad along with his wife Kasturba from 1917 and 1930.
Electric propulsion to usher in new era of satellite launches:
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been working on a new propulsion system that is set to usher in a new era of cost effective satellite launches.
It is known as electric propulsion (EP) system, this technology converts solar energy into electrical energy which in turn is used to change the velocity of a satellite in space. It reduces the use of chemical propellant in a launch vehicle. EP system was first used as a technology demonstrator in GSAT-9 or the South Asia Satellite launched on May 5.
Mangrove forests to be declared bird sanctuary:
The Chettuva mangrove forests in Thrissur district as a bird sanctuary has been completed. The green signal for the formal declaration is expected to be given by the State Board for Wildlife at its meeting to be held at Thiruvananthapuram on June 21st.
Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor: P. Sathasivam
Vedanta to set up steel plant in Jharkhand:
A steel plant would soon come up at Manoharpur in West Singhbhum district. The Vedanta Group and the Jharkhand Mineral Development Corporation would set up the plant. 700 crore of the total MoU signed with prospective investors have already been implemented on the ground and project proposals worth 15,000-16,000 crore will be effective in July.
- Capital: Ranchi
- Chief Minister: Raghubar Das
- Governor: Draupadi Murmu
PSBs told to explore smaller peers’ buyout:
The Finance Ministry has asked four large PSU lenders to explore opportunities for acquisition of small and mid-sized banks with a goal to create global sized lenders.
One of the possibilities is that large public sector banks (PSBs) like Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Bank of India could try looking for potential candidates for acquisition.
There are factors like regional balance, geographical reach, financial burden and smooth human resource transition that have to be looked into while taking a merger decision.
Telangana will shield 12% reservation for poor Muslim communities:
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has said the state will shield the proposed 12 per cent reservation for poor Muslim communities even in the highest office of the Central Government.
- Capital: Hyderabad
- Chief Minister: Chandrasekhar Rao
- Governor: E. S. L. Narasimhan
Decisions Taken at GST 17th Meeting:
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council at its 17th meeting decided to increase the room tariff threshold, above which the luxury rate of 28% will apply, to Rs. 7,500 from the Rs. 5,000 decided earlier.
The Council also decided to defer the dates of filing the detailed return for July and August. Also, the Council decided that State-run lotteries will fall in the 12% tax bracket, while all others will be taxed at 28%. The invoice-wise details needed in GSTR 1 for July can be filed by September 5 and for August by September 20.
- GSTR 1: GSTR 1 is the Tax Form to be filled and send electronically by a Tax payer which contains outward supply details of his business transactions for a period of month.
India Inc prepared for GST rollout from July 1:
Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) announced that India Inc is ready for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, as the new indirect tax regime will contribute significantly towards economic growth, job creation and exports expansion.
- CII Director General: Chandrajit Banerjee
Raman Singh on tour of West Bengal:
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is on tour of West Bengal as part of the BJP’s effort to increase its foot print in the state.
He attended the ‘Swacchta Program’ in Midnapore and inaugurated ‘MODIFest‘, an event to showcase PM Narendra Modi’s achievements in his three-year tenure, in Midnapore.
Underground waste system soon:
The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has cleared an underground waste collection system covering 84 locations, and started working on a bin that will be placed in a large pit and look like a letter box over ground. This system was first set up at Haldwani in Uttarakhand.
Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
Dedicated sanctuaries needed to protect cows:
Amid the nationwide debate over demands to ban cow slaughter, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir underlined the need to protect the cow by setting up dedicated sanctuaries.
“The Centre is considering a proposal to set up ‘cow sanctuaries’ and initiate ‘project cow’ on the lines of ‘project tiger’. He was addressing a national conference on “BOS INDICUS – The Glorious Indian Cow”, organised by Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS) at the Bombay Stock Exchange in south Mumbai.
After Andhra Pradesh, Telangana too opens medical devices park:
Attracting medical device manufacturing units seems to be the new competitive race between the two Telugu States.
Within a year of the launch of a medical devices park at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana government has inaugurated what it claims to be the country’s biggest facility, in Medak district.
Spread over an area of 250 acres in Sultanpur, about 50 km from Hyderabad, activity at the Medical Devices Park got off to a start with Industries.
Bengaluru gas distribution project inaugurated:
Gas transmission major GAIL launched the 6,283-crore Bengaluru City Gas Distribution (CGD) project.
The project is expected to cover 4,395 sq km in urban and rural Bengaluru, broadly covering eight sectors. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, inaugurated. And also Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Sadananda Gowda during the inauguration of the Bengaluru City Gas Distribution project,
Australia announces online visa applications for Indians from July 1:
The Australian government announced that Indian nationals can apply for a visitor visa online starting from first July.
Australia’s Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke, said the online application option would make applying for the country’s visitor visas easier and enhance the experience for Indians.
- Capital: Canberra
- Currency: Australian dollar
- Prime minister: Malcolm Turnbull
France: President Emmanuel Macron’s party wins clear parliamentary majority:
French President Emmanuel Macron’s party has won a clear parliamentary majority and weeks after his own presidential victory, with nearly all votes counted, his La République en Marche, alongside its MoDem allies, won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.
French President: Emmanuel Macron
Currencies: Euro, CFP franc
Banking & Business
Delhi Connaught Place is ninth most expensive office market in world:
According to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey of US-based CBRE, Connaught Place in Delhi has been ranked 9th most expensive prime office market in the world with an occupancy cost of $153.89 per square feet per annum.
Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and CBD of Nariman Point have ranked 20th and 33rd in the list respectively among top 50 most expensive office markets.
Hong Kong (Central) became the world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq ft per annum. Hong Kong (West Kowloon) and Beijing (CBD) also featured among the top five most expensive markets. Apart from New Delhi (Connaught Place – CBD), Beijing (Finance Street), Tokyo (Marunouchi/Otemachi) and Shanghai (Pudong) also featured in the top ten list.
Bandhan Bank to open 160 branches:
MD and CEO of Bandhan bank Chandra Shekhar Ghosh announced that bank is planning to open another 160 branches at different locations and reach the 1000-mark by the end of this financial year (2017-18).
The bank currently has 840 branches spread across different states in the country.
- Bandhan Bank Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal
- Chairman: Ashok Lahiri
CAD expected to be around 1.4 per cent of GDP in 2017-Nomura Report:
According to the Japanese financial services major Nomura report, India current account deficit is expected to be around 1.4% of GDP in 2017 compared to 0.6 per cent in 2016, owing to stronger domestic growth.
Points to Remember:
- According to Reserve Bank of India, the current account deficit soared to $3.4 billion, or 0.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to $0.3 billion a year ago.
Science & Technology
NASA Orion spacecraft passes key safety tests:
NASA Orion spacecraft, which has designed to take astronauts to deep space destinations such as the Moon and Mars has successfully completed a series of tests for its critical safety systems.
Researchers tested the abort motor for Orion’s launch abort system on June 15, firing the 17-foot tall motor for five seconds. It produced enough thrust to lift 66 large SUVs off the ground and helps qualify the system for future missions with astronauts.
- NASA Headquarters: Washington D.C
- Agency Executive: Robert M.Lightfoot.Jr
NASA reveals first targets for James Webb ‘Mega Telescope’:
NASA scientists have finally unveiled some of the targets to be observed by the colossal James Webb Mega telescope. It said that these targets include objects both inside and beyond our solar system. It will observe Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, as well as Trappist-1e.
Apart from that, NASA has also revealed that the initial observations from James Webb Mega telescope will also explore a broad spectrum of the universe’s mysteries.
Jack Kirby to be named ‘Disney Legend’:
Jack Kirby, the co-creator of Captain America, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man and Black Panther is going to be honored as one of Disney’s Legends next month for his contribution to the Marvel brand.
Kirby will receive the honour on July 14th from Disney CEO Bob Iger during D23 Expo 2017. Kirby will be one of two initial Marvel honourees for the Disney award – Stan Lee being the other.
2017 Orwell Prize awarded to John Bew:
The 2017 Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, was announced in London. The £3,000 2017 Orwell Prize for books titled “Citizen Clem: A Biography of Clement Atlee” won the award.
64th Jio Filmfare South Awards 2017:
Madhavan and Ritika Singh’s Irudhi Suttru, the Tamil version of Hindi film Saala Khadoss, has walked away with three honours at 64th Jio Filmfare South Awards.
It bagged the awards in categories like Best Director (Sudha Kongara Prasad), Best Male Actor (Madhavan), Best Female Actor (Ritika Singh) and Best Film: “SR Prabhu Joker”
Best Supporting Actor (Male): Samuthirakani for Visaaranai film
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Sai Dhanshika for Kabali film
Pakistan won ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Cup:
Pakistan defeated India in final match of champion trophy 2017 to clinch the ICC champion trophy 2017 cup.
Golden bat: Shikhar Dhawan
Golden ball: Hasan Ali
Sharvan clinches gold, Deepak clinches silver:
The Indian wrestlers clinched three medals, including a gold by Sharvan, on the final day of the Junior Asian Championships. Sharvan bagged the yellow metal in the men’s 60kg freestyle, beating Yones Aliakbar Emamichoghaei of Iran. Deepak Punia claimed the silver in 84kg freestyle while Karan won the 66kg freestyle bronze.
Srikanth wins Indonesia open:
Indian Shuttler K. Srikanth clinched his third Super series title, lifting the Indonesia Open men’s singles trophy with a straight-game victory over Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in the final. World No. 22 Srikanth, who had reached the Singapore Open final in April, outclassed Sakai, ranked 47th.
Historic Events of the Day
June 18: World Father Day:
Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.
Father’s Day is being celebrated on June 18 in most parts of the world this year. Usually, this special day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
June 18: Sustainable Gastronomy Day:
Sustainable Gastronomy Day is a United Nations observance held annually on June 18. It aims to raise awareness of the importance of gastronomy for sustainable development. Gastronomy is a science that studies the relationship between food and culture. It is organized by UNESCO and FAO.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Headquarters: Rome, Italy
- Head of FAO: Jose Graziano da Silva
- Headquarters: Paris, France
- Head of UNESCO: Irina Bokova
June 19: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict:
In every year 19th June observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, in order to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world.
- 2017 Theme: “Preventing Sexual Violence Crimes through Justice and Deterrence”
‘Harry Potter’ actor Sam Beazley Passed away:
Actor Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, has passed away. He was 101.
Ramakrishna Mission Chief Swami Atmasthananda Passes Away:
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission President Swami Atmasthananda Maharaj passed away after a prolonged illness, said the Belur-based Math. He was 98.