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Current Affairs Today – August 4 2016

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Finally GST finds a way to roll out with a majority endorsement in both the Houses of Parliament
The Rajya Sabha passed a bill to amend the Constitution that would facilitate the straitening of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) backing the government’s assurance that the tax rates would be kept “as low as possible”. It is noted that The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 was approved by the Upper House with 203 votes in favor and none against and a rare affableness was witnessed among the ruling and the opposition parties of the central Government.
i. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed the GST which will enacts that presently 80% of goods attract 12.5% of Central excise duty while at the state level 55% of items are charged with 14.5% VAT or sales tax. The weighted average of the two in 65% of the items comes to 27%. Adding cess and entry tax takes the figure to 30%
ii.  In sum, three enabling laws are required to be passed to give shape to the new tax regime — Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) that need to be cleared by Parliament, and 29 State GST legislations (SGST) that will have to be cleared by the respective state assemblies.
iii. It is a rare phenomenon that the major opposition party in the Parliament endorsed this GST bill amedndment following the six changes made in the bill, including scrapping of 1 per cent manufacturing tax and incorporates clearer provisions for compensating states for revenue loss for five years.

Much Awaited Motor Vehicle Act amendment Bill 2016 clears it ground through the Cabinet approval
On its commitment to reduce the road accidents and fatalities, the Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Recent Amendment:-
♦ In the present Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 Sections out of which the Bill aims to amend 68 sections whereas Chapter 10 has been deleted and a Chapter 11 is being replaced with new provisions in order to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process.
This new Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016 provision emphasizes on the following attributes:-
i. To levy hefty penalties for violation of traffic norms including up to Rs 10,000 fine for drunken driving and Rs 2 lakh compensation for hit-and-run cases.
ii. Provision of up to Rs 10 lakh compensation in case of road fatality.
iii. Increase in compensation for Hit & Run cases from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs.
iv. Addition of 28 new sections.

Union Cabinet approves amendments in Central List of OBCs applicable to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
i. The Union Cabinet has given nod for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana upon recommendations by the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The amendment done by way of inclusion/correction/deletion of castes/communities applicable.
ii. The Commission in its series of recommendation gave 35 changes in respect of Andhra Pradesh and 86 New Entries in respect of Telangana.
iii.The amended changes meant to help the people belonging to these castes/ communities in both the states to avail the benefits of government reservation and posts and in Central Educational Institutions as well as various welfare schemes, scholarships etc in OBC category.

First Tech Meet Of Hydrocarbon Vision 2030
First Tech Meet Of Hydrocarbon Vision 2030i. The Two day long first technology meet under the targets of the ambitious Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast India started in Guwahati Assam.
ii. The idea of the meeting mooted by the sub- committee of the upstream sector headed by ONGC and has members from upstream national oil players as well as private players.
iii. The main event of the meeting was to deliberate the issues pertaining to the implementation of the Vision document which envisions an investment of Rs 1,30,000 crore over the next 15 years.
iv. The meet attended by various PSUs and private sector oil firms including ONGC, OIL, Geo Enpro, Jubilant, Hindustan and other companies involved in the sector.

Cabinet approves signing of ASA between India & Lao PDR
i. The Union Cabinet has given its nod for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The ASA agreement is the route for any air operation between the two countries.
ii. The Agreement will boost the trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing. In fact the Air frequency and routes have not been declared.
iii. The agreement enables enhanced and seamless connectivity also comes with commercial opportunities to the Air operators of the two countries.
iv. The country is bordered by Myanmar and China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand to the west is landlocked nation whose economy depends heavily on investment and trade with its neighbors.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
♦ Capital: Vientiane
♦ Currency: Lao kip


SAARC Interior Ministers and Immigration Authorities Meeting held in Islamabad, Pakisthan
The 7th meeting of SAARC Immigration Authorities was held in Islamabad, Pakistan on August 2. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa.
Immigration Authorities Meeting(August 2-3, 2016):-
Several Immigration authorities of the member countries presented in this meeting. The meeting emphasized three important factors regarding the immigration facilities of its member countries,
i. To coordinate different areas to maximize the potential of visa exemption scheme launched among the member countries
ii. To be deliberate on development of security software for SAARC visa exemption scheme and immigration matters.
iii. To implement Visa exemption scheme among SAARC countries in twenty-four categories including dignitaries, businessmen, journalists and sports persons.
Home Ministers Meeting(August 4-5, 2016):-
i. The meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) interior ministers held in Islamabad with regional affairs, terrorism, prevention of drugs and human trafficking on its agenda.
ii. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the two-day SAARC interior ministers meeting, which is attended by interior ministers from all Saarc states except for Bangladesh.

Forbes releases the list America’s top wealth Advisors with 4 Indian based Americans ensures their hot spots
Forbes comes up with a list of America’s top wealth advisors with 200 members altogether manage USD 675 billion with four Indian-origin persons as a part of the list.
♦ The top three spots were secured by the following wealth managers of the respective companies,
♦ It is noted that Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS secured multiple advisors in the top 20 spots, led by Greenwich,
1 – Conn.-based Jeff Erdmann of Merrill 
2 – Manhattan-based Morgan Stanley’s Brian Pfeifler
3 – UBS’ Christopher Errico.


RBI imposes penalty on 2 Chhattisgarh cooperative banks
i. Reserve Bank of India slapped penalty of five lakh each on two cooperative banks based in Chhattisgarh under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The two banks namely,
1.Zila Sahakari Kendriya Bank Maryadit, Raipur
2.Raipur Urban Mercantile Cooperative Bank Limited
ii. These cooperative banks penalised for violation of the directives/guidelines of the Central Bank on ‘Know Your Customer’ norms.

RBIRBI launches portal to curb illegal money pooling by firms
i. The Reserve Bank of India has launched a website ­– in a bid to curb illegal and unauthorized pooling of funds by unscrupulous firms. It was launched by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
ii. The move will help people obtain information about entities allowed to collect deposits and also would help in arriving logical conclusion by punishing the guilty is paramount to deter entities.
iii. The Sachet portal (Hindi for alert) will provide filing, tracking of complaints in addition it will also offer information about whether any particular unit is registered with any regulator.

RBI panel to benchmark India’s household finance
i. Reserve Bank has constituted a panel to study the various facets of household finance in India and to benchmark India’s position vis­a­v is both in other major world markets and advanced economies.
ii. The panel headed by Financial Economics Professor Tarun Ramadorai at Oxford University.
iii. The Panel will have representatives from RBI, Securities & Exchange Board of India, Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA).
iv.The panel has also been directed to explore the priority for growth and change and evaluate households’ demands in Indian formal financial markets in coming years.

SBI to become a single entity by April 2017
i. India’s largest lender State bank of India to merge its associate banks with itself this fiscal to make the merged entity operational by April 2017.
ii. The lender is in line to submit the proposal to the government and likely to start the merging activities October this year to revitalize the system.
iii. The lender will merge all its 5 subsidiaries — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.
iv. The merged SBI will be ranked as the 45th largest bank globally in terms of assets from its current 52nd position according to the Bloomberg.


Signing of Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement by CBDT
nnn taxi. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) with the Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company. This is the first APA agreement with a Japanese entity with rollback provision.
The APA scheme was coined in the Income Tax Act in 2012, later in 2014 the rollback provisions were included in it. It is fourth bilateral APA signed by the tax Authority.i.The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) with the Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company. This is the first APA agreement with a Japanese entity with rollback provision.
iii. The scheme will pave the way for taxpayers to transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of global transactions in advance.


ShubhaMudgal to be awarded Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
Well-known UP hailed singer Shubha Mudgal named for 23rd Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award for her exceptional contribution in the areas of communal harmony, peace and goodwill
♦ The singer will be presented with the award on Sadbhavna Diwas Day on August 20. She was chosen by the Advisory Committee of the Award.
i. Shubha is Allahabad hailed popular singer of Hindustani classical music, Thumri, Khayal, Dadra and popular Indian pop music.
ii. Shubha received numerous awards, including the Padma Shri from the Government of India in the year 2000, and the Gold Plaque Award in 1998, and the UP-Yash Bharati Sammanin 2015.

Champ under Cars – Om Swaroop creates Guinness World Record in Limbo Skating
Six-year-old Indian boy enter Guinness World Record for farthest limbo-skating under carsOm Swaroop Gowda, A 7 years old young lad from Karnataka has entered the Guinness World Record for longest distance limbo skating under the cars.
i. With a equilateral distance between the cars and ground, the lad covered 65.283 metre, which is a World Record for time being.
ii. In a challenge show held in Bangalore, Om Swaroop successfully passed by 36 cars simultaneously thus creating a new world record in limbo Skating.
iii. It is noted that the gap below each car can be no more than 35 cm and the farthest distance limbo skating under cars was 48.21 metres, till his historical record.
Limbo – Skating:-
Limbo skating or roller limbo is a sport in which a person drives on roller skates underneath an obstacle like a horizontal pole without touching it.
♦ In order to pass an obstacle with a very low height, advanced athletes spread their legs apart, if possible into a full split, and lean their upper body forward, with the face almost touching the ground.
♦  As with traditional limbo dance, several athletes may participate in a competition, in which a pole is lowered from round to round. Whoever touches the pole is out, until only one person remains as the winner.

Nellore Station bags first place in SCR zone
i. Nellore Railway Station topped in cleanliness ranking in Vijayawada division and the Secunderabad based South Central Railway zone in implementing Swachh Bharat guidelines.
ii. The Survey was conducted by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation through TNS India Private Limited in 407 stations (in 75 A-1, 332- A category stations) across the country.
iii. The survey was commissioned by the Environment & Housekeeping Management Directorate -Ministry of Railways, New Delhi.
iv. The survey has given points mainly taken feedback from the Rail passengers, In addition it also covers porters and vendors on the platform or ticketed area and railway officials.
The top 10 stations
Nellore, Bilaspur, Kota, Habibganj, Anand, Mysore, Vadodara, Madurai, Bharuch and Ernakulam.


Sudhansu Mani – New General Manager of ICF, Chennai
i. Intergal Coach Factory, Chennai gets it new General Manager – Sudhansu Mani. He belongs to 1979 batch of Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME).
ii. He has a vast experience of 36 years in Indian Railways and worked in areas like workshop management, railway operations, project management, planning and R&D and alas as a Chief Mechanical Engineer, Rail Wheel Factory, Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
iii.  It is noted that he also served as,
♦ An Advisor (Minister), Berlin, at Embassy of India, Germany,
♦ Executive Director in Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow
♦ Chief Workshop Manager, Lallaguda Workshop
i. Integral Coach Factory(ICF) is the only manufacturer of rail coaches located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,  India.
ii. It was established in 1952, is owned and operated by theIndian Railways. The coach factory primarily manufactures cars for Indian Railways but also exports railway coaches to other countries.
iii. It is noted that a total of 50,000 coaches had been produced till 18 Aug 2015 by ICF since its evolution.

Islamic State Group absorbs Boko Haram of Nigeria as its New leader.
The Islamic State (IS) group has announced that its West African affiliate Boko Haram has a new leader.
i. Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group was lead by Abubakar Shekau until August 2016, when he was succeeded by Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
ii. Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who was previously served as a spokesman for the Nigerian-based Boko Haram, is seemed to lead the Islamic state militant group.
iii. The discussion with al-Barnawi indicates a major shift in strategy for the Nigerian extremists, who have killed many more Muslims than Christians in attacks in mosques with suicide bombers and gunmen..
iv. It is noted that the ideological or religious roots of IS and like-minded groups go deep into history, almost to the beginning of Islam itself in the 7th Century AD.

Yousef Chahed to be named as the New PM of Tunisia following a political unrest
Yousef Chahed to be named as the New PM of Tunisia following a political unrestYoussef Chahed – A minister in Tunisia’s previous government announced that he has been nominated as the country’s new prime minister and quickly warned Tunisians to brace themselves for “exceptional sacrifices.”
i. He also served as minister for local affairs in the government that fell over the weekend in a no-confidence vote. He would replace Prime Minister Habib Essid, a U.S.-trained agricultural economist who faced criticism from across the political spectrum.
ii. Tunisia President Essebsi already faces widespread criticism over what some see as his attempt at a hereditary transfer of power to his son Hafed, the new leader of  Nidaa Tounes. This has split his party with critics breaking to form a new movement.
iii. Numerous unemployed young people with university educations have set themselves afire in recent years, and one self-immolation of a man selling vegetables and fruits in a provincial town triggered the revolution that toppled long-time autocratic ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2010, inspiring the Arab Spring.
iv. Nidaa Tounes and the Islamist Ennahda party, both part of the ruling coalition, control a majority of the seats in parliament, meaning that Chahed’s nomination is likely to be accepted by lawmakers when they vote on his approval.
About Tunisia:
♦ Capital – Tunis,
♦ Currency – Tunisian dinar

Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh – elected as a next Ambassador of India to Ireland on eyeing the upcoming elections
Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh currently serving as the High Commissioner of India to Singapore, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Ireland and she is expected to take up her assignment shortly.
♦ He belongs to the Indian Foreign Service batch, 1987.
Ireland :
i. Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great
Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
ii. Politically, Ireland is divided between theRepublic of Ireland(officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, in the northeast of the island.
iii. In 2011 the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just fewer than 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
iv. The island’s geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable climate which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages.

TATA International Limited gets its Non—Executive Director, Mr. Deepak Premnarayen
i. The board of Tata International Limited, the global trading and Distribution Company, announced the appointment of Deepak Premnarayen as Non-Executive Director with effect from 1stAugust 2016.
ii. Further, the board announced that Arun Kumar Vora will be retiring as Director on 14thAugust 2016 after a distinguished tenure and long association with Tata International.
iii. Mr. Premnarayen is the Executive Chairman and founder of ICS Group, a real estate, asset management and financial services company that is headquartered in Mumbai and is involved in executing projects across India and Africa. He has a diverse career spanning four decades across the Indian corporate sector and has been following his entrepreneurial aspirations since 1995.
About TATA :
♦ Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It was founded in 1868 by Jamsedji Tata and gained international recognition after purchasing several global companies. It is one of India’s largest conglomerates. In 2014-15, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $108.78 billion.
♦ These companies collectively employ over 600,000 people.Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders.


Five new games including Karate finds place in Olympics 2020, Tokyo’s Agenda
i. Amidst the ongoing Rio Olympic fever, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to add five new games/events to the sports programme agenda for the Olympic games, Japan 2020.IOC agrees to add five new sports for Tokyo 2020 Olympics
ii. The games list of Japan Olympics gives way for five new entrants namely,
4.Sports climbing and
iii. The organization committee for the Japan 2020 Olympics submitted its report and based on these five new events have been added to the existing list of games.
iv. The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic games and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.
v. it is noted that the inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball, which will have the same number of teams but different player totals, because softball teams have 15 players whilst baseball teams have 24


F1 legend Chris Amon dies of cancer at 73
i. Best ever formula one race chris amon died at the age of 73on august 3 in newzealand.
ii. Christopher arthurchris” amon was a new zealand motor racing driver. He was active in formula one racing in the 1960s and 1970s – and is widely regarded to be one of the best f1 drivers never to win a championship grand prix.
iii. In formula one, chris Amon took part in 96 grands prix, achieving 5 poles, leading 183 laps in 7 races, reaching the podium 11 times and scoring a total of 83 championship points.
iv. Amon holds the record for the most different makes of car raced by a formula 1 world championship driver, with thirteen.
v. A biography ‘forza amon’ by journalist Eoin young charts amon’s racing career and gives some insights into his personal life. the book makes clear one point on which amon himself disagrees with most commentators, the issue of his bad luck.
vi. It is noted that former ferrari technical director mauro forghieri stated that amon was “by far the best test driver i have ever worked with. He had all the qualities to be a world champion but bad luck just wouldn’t let him be”.
vii. Apart from driving, chris amon also ran his own formula one team for a short period in 1974. away from formula one, amon had some success insports car racing, winning the 24 hours of le mans race in 1966