DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : September 14, 15 & 16, 2019

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President Kovind inaugurates Mahatma Gandhi’s bust in Switzerland

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated a bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Villeneuve in Switzerland.
  • The President is on a five- day visit to Switzerland to boost business and cultural ties.
  • The bust was unveiled to mark the visit of Mahatma to Villeneuve in 1931.
  • The inauguration also coincides with 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the nation.
  • The idol sculpted by Ram Vanaji Sutar is placed on a high pedestal made of sandstone extracted from Switzerland.

Final NRC list of Assam published online

  • In Assam, the final list of National Register of Citizens, NRC with individual status of all the 3 crore 30 lakh applicants was published online today.
  • All those who have applied for the inclusion of their names in the NRC list and have a valid Application Receipt Number, ARN, can check their final status online on www.nrcassam.nic.in.
  • The list bears the names of those who have been accepted as the citizens of Assam, those excluded and persons whose appeals are pending.
  • The names of over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final NRC list published on 31st of last month.
  • The excluded persons would get an opportunity to challenge their exclusion in the Foreigners’ Tribunals.

Aadhaar verification to be mandatory for new dealers from Jan 2020: GSTN

  • The GST Network has decided to make Aadhaar authentication or physical verification mandatory for new dealers from January next year to check malpractices in GST.
  • This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the Group of Ministers of GST Network.
  • Addressing media in Bengaluru today, he said Aadhaar authentication was earlier optional.
  • Mr Modi said the decision was taken after noticing in the last two years that there is a good number of fly-by-night operators, who make fake invoices.
  • He said for those who do not want Aadhaar authentication, physical verification will be carried out, which will be completed in three days.
  • Mr Modi said as refunding is a big issue, the GSTN decided on complete online refunding from September 24 this year from a single source, either by the Central GST or State GST.
  • He further said that no State government is in favour of slashing the GST slab for the Automobile sector from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, fearing loss of revenue. He said the next GST Council meeting is scheduled to take place in Goa on September 20.

BJP launches Seva Saptah to mark birthday of PM Narendra Modi

  • BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah today launched a week-long programme ‘Seva Saptah’ to mark the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17th of this month. He launched the campaign by joining cleanliness drive and distributing fruits among the patients at AIIMS in Delhi.
  • During the week-long programme, BJP leaders and workers will organize blood donation and health camps and also visit hospitals and orphanages to provide help and relief to patients. Party MPs, MLAs and other representatives will join the events in different parts of the country.
  • Three pledges will also be administrated among the people related to Swachata Abhiyan, save water and shunning single use plastic. Exhibitions on Prime Minister Modi’s life journey and service works will also be organized.

ED raids multiple locations in disproportionate assets case involving IT officer Neeraj Singh

  • Enforcement Directorate (ED) has raided multiple locations in connection with a disproportionate assets case against Indian Revenue Service officer Neeraj Singh.
  • The ED said, it raided six locations, two each in Kolkata, Mumbai and Patna after it booked Singh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • The ED filed a criminal case against the Indian Revenue Service officer based on a Kolkata Police FIR for the accumulation of huge wealth in the name of his associates by giving undue favours by misusing his official position.
  • Officials said Singh is under the scanner of the Kolkata Police and the ED for alleged links with the prime accused of the 15,000-crore rupees Rose Valley chit fund scam Gautam Kundu.

GST Network decides to make Aadhaar authentication mandatory for new dealers from January 2020

  • The GST Network has decided to make Aadhaar authentication or physical verification mandatory for new dealers from January next year to check malpractices in GST. This was announced by Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the Group of Ministers of GST Network. Addressing media in Bengaluru, he said Aadhaar authentication was earlier optional.
  • Mr Modi said the decision was taken after noticing in the last two years that there is a good number of fly-by-night operators, who make fake invoices.
  • He said for those who do not want Aadhaar authentication, physical verification will be carried out, which will be completed in three days.
  • Mr Modi said as refunding is a big issue, the GSTN decided on complete online refunding from September 24 this year from a single source, either by the Central GST or State GST.
  • He further said that no State government is in favour of slashing the GST slab for the Automobile sector from 28 percent to 18 percent, fearing loss of revenue. He said the next GST Council meeting is scheduled to take place in Goa on September 20.

Govt announces fresh incentives to boost exports and housing sector

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a fresh set of measures worth around 70,000 crore rupees to boost exports and housing sector. She said that the government will provide a 10,000 crore rupees special window with an aim to help complete ongoing affordable and middle-income housing projects.
  • The housing projects considered for the special window have been limited to non-NPA (Non-Performing Assets) and non-NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) projects. This will benefit roughly 3.5 lakh projects across the country.
  • The other key incentives include extending the scheme of reimbursement of taxes and duties for export promotion, fully automated electronic refund for Input Tax Credits (ITC) in GST, revised priority sector lending norms for exports and expanding the scope of Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS).
  • An inter-ministerial working group has also been formed to monitor export finance. Accordingly, the scheme for Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) was announced which will replace Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for textiles.
  • In effect, RoDTEP will more than adequately incentivise exporters than existing schemes put together.
  • Textile and all other sectors which currently enjoy incentives up to 2 per cent over MEIS will transit into RoDTEP from January 1, 2020. Mrs Sitharaman also announced that the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) will expand the scope of export credit insurance service (ECIS).
  • Finance Minister also said that India will organise annual mega shopping festivals at four locations with four themes across the country in March 2020.

Great Ganga Run-2019 flagged off in New Delhi

  • Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju today flagged off Great Ganga Run-2019 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

Railways to undertake ” Massive Shramdan” drive from Sep 17, focus on collection of plastic waste

  • Railways will undertake – Massive Shramdan drive from Tuesday with main focus on collection of plastic waste. Ministry of Railways said, in the recent past such drives are being undertaken by Railways.
  • This Shramadan is for enhanced cleanliness, through collection of plastic waste from all railway premises and creating awareness for a greater impact against single use plastic.
  • Railway Board has also sent a letter to all Divisional heads, directing that this massive Sharamdan should be arranged at each and every station and nearby localities.
  • The Ministry has asked all Divisional Heads to provide plastic bottle crushing machines, at over four thousand stations by the 2nd October.

India to conduct special training programme for Maldivian civil servants from tomorrow

  • India will conduct a two-week special training programme for Maldivian civil servants from September 16 in Delhi and Mussoorie.
  • It is part of a bilateral MoU on Training and Capacity Building Programme between the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and the Maldives Civil Service Commission (CSC). A 32-member delegation from the Maldives reached the NCGG campus in Mussoorie.
  • Senior policy makers, including Director Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, would address participants in the training programme.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to the Maldives in June, had emphasised India’s Neighbourhood First policy. He assured India’s full support to the Maldives in realising its aspirations for broad based socio-economic development and strengthening of democratic and independent institutions.
  • AIR correspondent reports that one of the MoUs envisages capacity building activities for 1,000 civil servants of the Maldives at the National Centre for Good Governance over the next five years.


US Prez Trump to join PM Modi’s mega rally in Houston on Sep 22

  • US President Donald Trump will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Houston’s mega “Howdy, Modi!” event on the 22nd of this month, White House said last night. Reflecting on the new bonhomie in the India-US ties under the Trump administration, this is for the first time in recent history that the leaders of the two largest democracies will address a joint rally anywhere in the world.
  • More than 50,000 Indian-Americans from across the US have registered for the September 22 mega “Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures” event to be held at the sprawling NRG Stadium in Houston. “Howdy”, short for ‘How do you do?’, is a friendly greeting commonly used in southwestern United States.
  • In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Griesham said, the Modi-Trump joint rally will be a great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India. She said, the event will also reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies and ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.
  • Indian ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla called Trump’s participation in the event historic and unprecedented. He said, it is reflective of the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that has developed between India and the US.
  • This will be the third meeting between the two leaders this year, the previous two being in Japan in June on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit and the other one in August in France.

Bangladesh School project wins Aga Khan Architecture Award

  • An innovative project for constructing a floating school for marginalised children in Bangladesh has been awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Architecture Award 2019.
  • The award was given away yesterday in Kajan, the republic of Tatarstan for the Arcadia Education Project in South Kanarchor of Bangladesh.
  • The project involved the construction of a school in an area which is underwater during the monsoon months.
  • The architect of the project Saif Ul Haque designed a school which remains on the ground during the dry season and floats when the area is submerged in water during monsoon.
  • He utilised only local material – bamboo, used tyres and steel drums for constructing the amphibious structure for the school. The workforce and artisans for the project were also drawn locally.
  • In a citation, the Aga Khan Foundation lauded the project for its contribution to improve people’s lives, social and economic development, access to education in rural communities and global issues like rising water levels.
  • Five other projects from other countries were also given the award.

790 Gram Panchayats connected with optical fibre in Maharashtra: Javadekar

  • Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar has said that 790 Gram Panchayats have been connected with optical fibre in Pune district of Maharashtra under the central Bharat Net scheme.  Wi-Fi facility has been provided to 155 of these Gram Panchayats.
  • The Minister was speaking to reporters after taking a review of various development works in Pune District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee
  • He further informed that nine lakh youth from the district have benefited under Mudra Yojana, saying 8,000 crore rupees have been distributed to them in the form of loans. Wi-Fi facility has been installed at 46 of the 58 railway stations in Pune Division.
  • Prakash Javadekar said Ayushmaan Bharat scheme is getting a good response in the district. He said more than thirty thousand people have taken benefits till date.
  • The Minister informed that libraries will be opened in all the schools of Pune district under Integrated School Education scheme and sports material will also be provided to them.

Traditional Neermahal Jal Utsav concludes in Tripura

  • In Tripura, the three day long traditional Neermahal Jal Utsav concluded today with eye catching boat race and swimming competitions at Rudrasagar lake.
  • Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb flagged off the boat race. Speaking on the occasion, Mr.Deb said, his government has taken initiative to renovate Neermahal so as to get back the aura of its golden era.
  • Neermahal is a water palace built at the middle of Rudrasagar lake by Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya in 1930 as his summer resort being inspired by Mughal style of architecture.

Business & Economy

FPIs turn net buyers, pumps Rs 1,841 cr in first half of SeptemberAIR NEWS

  • Foreign portfolio investors turned net buyers in this month so far, pumping more than 1,800 crore rupees into the capital markets, after remaining sellers for the previous two months.
  • Experts said, the latest inflows have been triggered by improving investor sentiment on the back of easing US-China trade war and supporting macroeconomic data.
  • According to the latest depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) withdrew around 2,031 crore rupees from equities but put in 3,872 crore rupees in the debt segment during 3 to 13 of this month. It translated into a total inflow of around 1,841 crore rupees into the capital markets.
  • Prior to this, FPIs pulled out around 5,920 crore rupees in August and around 2,986 crore rupees in July from the domestic capital markets (both equity and debt).

Modi govt’s efforts on economic front are visible: Smriti Irani

  • Union Minister Smriti Irani has said that the Modi government’s efforts on economic front are visible and asserted that it meets various stake-holders every day to try to find solutions to emerging challenges.
  • Speaking at a “fireside chat” event organised by FICCI Young Leaders Forum, the Textile Minister, reeled out a number of figures to stress that the government has been providing a lot of employment opportunities. Mrs Irani was asked as to how the government plans to provide opportunities to entrepreneurs in this “sluggish” economy.
  • She said in the last 100 days, 8,900 crore rupees has gone directly into the bank accounts of farmers across the country. She also said the government does not “belie”, the challenges do come but added that challenges are there across the world and referred to the US-China trade war.

Forex reserves soar $1 billion to $429.6 billion in Sept 1st week

  • The country’s foreign exchange reserves increased by 1.004 billion US dollars to 429.608 billion dollars in the week to September 6. As per latest RBI data, the reserves had touched a life-time high of 430.572 billion dollars in August this year.
  • Expressed in US dollar terms, the foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and the yen held in the foreign exchange reserves


World No. 2 Pliskova reaches fifth final this year

  • In Tennis, world number two Karolina Pliskova of Czechoslovakia surged into her fifth final of the year.
  • She thrashed unseeded Croatian-born Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 6-2 at the WTA Zhengzhou Open in Beijing today.
  • Karolina will take on Petra Martic of Croatia in the finals September 15.

Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen clinches men’s singles title of Belgian International Challenge

  • In Badminton, rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen stunned second seed Victor Svendsen of Denmark in straight games to clinch men’s singles title at the Belgian International Challenge yesterday.
  • Lakshya was at his best as he notched up a comfortable 21-14, 21-15 win over Svendsen in the title clash.
  • The 18-year-old Lakshya had earlier beaten Denmark’s Kim Bruun 21-18, 21-11 to win in a 48-minute semifinal clash on Friday night.

Pankaj Advani clinches record 22nd world title; wins IBSF Billiards C’ship

  • One of India’s most consistent sportspersons, Pankaj Advani, has clinched a record 22nd world titles by winning a fourth straight final in the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship in Myanmar.
  • Advani yesterday defeated Nay Thway of Myanmar.
  • The 34-year-old has brought home a world trophy every year ever since returning from a professional stint in the UK in 2014. In the short format of billiards, this is Advani’s fifth title in the last six years.

Sourabh Verma clinches Vietnam Open Men’s Singles title

  • In Badminton, Sourabh Verma clinched the Vietnam Open Super 100 title, defeating China’s Sun Fei Xiang in a thrilling Men’s Singles summit clash at the Ho Chi Minh City today.
  • Second seed Verma recovered from a mid-game slump to beat Sun 21-12, 17-2, 21-14. The match lasted an hour and 12 minutes.
  • This victory marks Verma’s second Super 100 win in the ongoing calendar year. He had won the Hyderabad Open earlier in August.

Kaushal Dharmamer clinches Myanmar International Series

  • Indian shuttler Kaushal Dharmamer clinched the Myanmar International Series with a come-from-behind win over Indonesia’s Karono Karono in a thrilling men’s singles final in Yangon yesterday.
  • The 23-year-old from Mumbai, who had won the Hatzor International in October last year, recovered after dropping the opening game to outwit Karono 18-21, 21-14, 21-11 in a match that lasted an hour.
  • Kaushal, who has been troubled by injuries for almost two years, is currently ranked 187th.

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