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Current Affairs Today – November 7 2015

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Current Affairs Today Nov 7


Union Government decided to impose 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess on all services

Swachh Bharat Tax

Government has decided to impose 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess on all serviceswith effect from November 15, 2015, which are presently liable to service tax  announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

  • The decision to impose 0.5 per cent cess will translate into a tax of 50 paise only on every Rs 100 worth of taxable services.

Services :   Air travel, telephony, eating out and banking

The additional cess would be over and above the 14 per cent Service Tax rate which is already being levied and may yield the government an additional about Rs 400 crore during the remainder of the current fiscal.

About Swachh Bharat :

Swachh Bharat is among the major initiatives of the Modi government, which has embarked on a major drive to ensure cleanliness across the country.

Launch  : on 2 October 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi

Mission : One step towards cleanliness

  • The government had in Budget 2015-16 estimated to collect over Rs 2.09 lakh crore from service tax.
  • According to government estimates, expenditure on health adds up to Rs 6,700 crore annually (approximately Rs 60 per capita).

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurates ‘International Summit on Energy Efficient Technologies in Railways’

International Summit on Energy Efficient Technologies in Railways is inaugurated by Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu

Theme: Energy Efficiency Trends and Technologies in Railways

Partner: United Nations Development Programme(UNDP)

Purpose: To explore the latest energy efficiency solutions and technology that it can reduce energy bills and facilitate sustainable development.

Members present: Shri A.K. Mittal (Chairman, Railway Board), ShriNavinTandon (Member Electrical Railway Board) and senior officials from Railways.

Key highlights:

  • Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu launched a website on green initiatives of Indian Railways with the URL
  • Website:It will provide information to Railway employees, scholars, researchers, industries and passengers about initiatives taken by Indian Railways for moving to Green Technology.
  • Developed by: CRIS in dialogue with Electrical Energy Management directorate of Ministry of Railway will be immensely helpful in promoting status of Greener Mode of Transport.

UNDP advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.

  • HQ: New York
  • Head: Helen Clark

Dr T K Viswanathan Committee on Bankruptcy Law Reforms submitted its report

Why committee was set up?

To look into various bankruptcy related issues and give its report alongwith a draft Bill on the subject to the government.

Recommendations of the committee:

  • To set up insolvency Regulator and insolvency adjudicating authority to exercise regulatory lapseby insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and informational utilities and the authority to hear and dispose of cases by or against the debtor respectively.
  • To restore the revival/re-organizationrule applicable to financially distressed companies and limited liability entities
  • Early identification of financial distress and recovery of the companies and limited liability entities if the basic business is found to be viable.Timeline of 180 days for applications for insolvency resolution, can be extended for 90 days by the determining authority only in exceptional cases.
  • An insolvency resolution plan, prepared by the resolution professional has to be sanctioned by 75 per cent of voting share of financial creditors, once approved, it would require sanction of the adjudicating authority, if rejected the authority will make an order for liquidation.
  • As a precursor to a bankruptcy process two distinct processes Fresh Start and Insolvency Resolution.

21st INCOFYRA to be organised in Bengaluru in 2016

21st INCOFYRA to be organised in Bengaluru in 2016 Theme: Yoga in Integrated Healthcare Systems

Theme: Yoga in Integrated Healthcare Systems

Organised by:  Vivekananda Yoga AnusandhanaSamsthana from January 3-7, 2016at PrashantiKutiram, Bengaluru.

Inaugurated by: Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi

Key points: The Health Minister stated that

  • Conventional systems of medicine such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani etc., can be combined with the mainstream medicine system to provide treatment for NCDs(Non communicable diseases).
  • 21stINCOFYRA provides a floor for national and international experts and practitioners in traditional systems of medicine to present findings of evidence based research regarding impact of yoga etc. on NCDs.


  • Conclave will be great opportunity to bring expertise of traditional as well as modern medical science from our country and around the world and an opportunity to learn from recent research in medical systems.
  • Integration of modern medicine and AYUSH systems is the need of the hour to deal with communicable and non-communicable diseases.

*International Conference on ‘Frontiers in Yoga Research and its Applications(INCOFYRA)

Child born out of rape has right over assaulter’s property: Allahabad High Court

Recent judgement made by Allahabad High Court has administered that the child will be treated as an illegitimate child of the rape accused and will have inheritance rights to his property and advised that a just law may be depicted by the legislature to deal with this knotty social issue.

Judgment key points:

  1. If the child is given away for adoption then he/she will not have any rights on the property of the biological father.
  2. In the matter of inheritance the manner of birth of a person is irrelevant
  3. The rights of inheritance of a person are governed by the Personal Law to which the person is subject irrespective of the manner of birth of the person


Venezuela withdraws USD 460mn from IMF

Venezuelaextracted $460 million from the International Monetary Fund(IMF) in its third such operation this year because its cash reserves aredeclining sharply.

  • The IMF website displayed that Venezuela traded piece of its Special Drawing Rights account at the Fund for greenbacks.
  • Venezuela focussolely on oil exports and has taken a big shot from a nip in crude prices. Its hard currency reserves have shaken at 25% over the past year to $15.4 billion.Until now it had not extracted assets from the IMF since 2006.
  • Drop in oil prices is the currenttrouble for Venezuela and depressed an economy hit by recession, shortages of basic goods and high inflation.


  • Its value is determined by a basket of four currencies: Yen, Dollar, Pound sterling and Euro.
  • Some countries buy SDRs to cope up with their necessities at the IMF and sell them for hard currency to raise their reserve level.


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, to cherish global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

  • HQ: Washington D.C., US
  • CEO: Christine Legarde



Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned

Romania PM

Romania’s Prime Minister resigned after being charged for forgery, tax evasion, and money laundering as part of a far-reaching anti-corruption drive by state prosecutors.

  • Ponta had endured protests since becoming Prime Minister was heavily defeated in the Presidential elections and was facing court cases for corruption and refused to quit.
  • After the deaths of 32 people in a fire at the Colectiv Club in Bucharest, he finally resigned.

About Victor Ponta:

  • Victor-Viorel Ponta is a Romanian jurist and politician who served as Prime Minister of Romania from being appointed by President TraianBasescu in May 2012.
  • A finalist in the November 2014 presidential election, Ponta lost to PNL candidate Klaus Iohannis(President).

Key points :

  • Romania Capital : Bucharest
  • Romania currency: Leu

V Sivaramakrishnan appointed as Managing Director of Oxford University Press India

Oxford University Press (OUP) India has appointed V Sivaramakrishnan as the Managing Director, with regional responsibilities including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal succeedingRanjanKaul.

  • He will join OUP India from Manipal Global Education Services and the Asia Education divisional board of OUP.

V Sivaramakrishnan:

  • An Indian-born(Tamil Nadu,India) American and British structural biologist, works at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, UK. On November 30, 2015.
  • Ramakrishnan will take up the post of President of the Royal Society succeeding his predecessor in the role, Paul Nurse.He also worked with Ford Motor Company and Proctor and Gamble.


  1. Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  2. Padma Vibhushan
  3. Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences, US & Canada

Oxford University Press India:

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford and has played a key role in the University’s work. It is the largest and most successful university press in the world with offices in fifty countries and publishes more than 6,000 new resources a year across the academic and educational spectrum.

Zubin Karkaria appointed global CEO of Kuoni

Zubin Karkaria has been appointed global chief executive officer of travel and visa services company Kuoni. He is first Indian to head the 109-year old Swiss company.

  • Karkaria replaces outgoing CEO Peter Meier and concurrently continues to run the VFS Global Division.

About Zubin Karkaria :

  • Karkaria has been associated with the group since 1996. He was heading tour operatorSOTC when it was acquired by Kuoni that year and was appointed CEO of Kuoni, India.
  • He founded the VFS Global (visa facilitation service) in 2001 and continues to head the division.
  • In 2013 he was appointed as the head of Kuoni’s group executive board.

About Kuoni :

Travel is a tourism company. It was founded in 1906 by the entrepreneur Alfred Kuoni in Zurich, Switzerland.

Awards & Recognitions

SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant, Rallis India win CII-EXIM Bank awards

Steel Authority of India’s Bhilai Steel Plant and Tata enterprise Rallis India were awarded the 21st CII-EXIM Bank award for Business Excellence for 2015.

  • Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presenting the awards to the winners at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Quality Summit 2015.

CII-EXIM Bank awards

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is an association of Indian businesses which works to create an environment conducive to the growth of industry in the country.

  • The awards recognise companies for their achievements in quality and business performance and also aim to raise awareness of these parameters to gain competitive edge.

Key points :

  • CII Headquarters : New Delhi,India
  • CII Chairman : Sumit Mazumder


Army successfully test fires 300 km range Brahmos missile

Army successfully test fires 300 km range Brahmos missile

Army successfully test fired the nearly 300-km-range Brahmos supersonic land attack cruise missile at Pokhran test range in Rajasthan.

  • The missile was test launched by a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) deployed in full configuration.

Specification :

  • 290-km and a Mach 2.8 speed
  • It is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea and air against sea and land

About BRAHMOS missile system

  • BRAHMOS missile system, the most lethal and potent weapon system for precision strike available with Indian Army.
  • The Army has already inducted three regiments of Brahmos in its arsenal. The land-attack version of Brahmos has been operationalised in the Army since 2007.
  • BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia.

*Chief of BrahMos Aerospace : Sudhir Mihra

Google to Pilot Internet via Balloon in India With Project Loon

Internet giant Google is working with the government on a pilot project for providing internet connectivity by using large balloons.

  • Project Loon is using big balloons floating at a height of 20-kilometres above Earth surface for transmission of internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.
  • Google may initially partner with BSNL for testing this technology by using broadband spectrum in 2.6GHz band.

Key points :

  • Google Headquarters : Mountain View,S.
  • Google CEO : Sundar Pichai


The book titled Rebooting India authored by Nandan Nilekani & Viral Shah released

The book titled “Rebooting India: Realising a billion aspirations”  authored by  Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah and Published by Penguin Books.

  • The book which explores Aadhaar, Digital India, e-KYC and the role of government in an innovation economy among others.
  • Every chapter in the book starts with what is wrong with the system which is demonstrated with real life-like characters under present day conditions.