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Current Affairs Today – October 30 2015

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Current Affairs Today 30

INDIAN AFFAIRS

National Tribal Advisory Council set up

National Tribal Advisory Council set up

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Jual Oram will instigate National Tribal Advisory Council for effecting monitoring and implementation of various tribal welfare schemes.

  •  The council will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will meet once or twice in a year.
  • Ministry will infuse 50 % of the tribal welfare funds to the states in the first quarter of the next financial year and by third quarter 80% of the funds should be released to the states.
  • Problems of sixth scheduled states of northeast require special focus and tribal minister urged to hold a regional conference for them in Guwahati.

Civil Aviation Minister releases Revised Draft National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2015)

Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju released the Revised Draft National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2015) in New Delhi.

Aim of the Policy

  • To provide a conducive environment and a level playing field to various aviation sub-sectors, i.e  Airlines, Airports, Cargo, Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul services, General Aviation, Aerospace manufacturing, Skill Development, etc
  • To create an eco-system to enable 30 crore domestic ticketing by 2022 and 50 crore by 2027. Similarly, international ticketing to increase to 20 crore by 2027.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

China, Germany ink 13 deals to step up cooperation

To speed up the cooperation, China and Germany inked 13 agreements in Beijing,China. President Li Keqiang bestowed a royal welcome to Angela Merkel(Germany Chancellor). Merkel kicked off her eighth visit to China since she first took office in 2005.

2015 has been addressed the Year of China-Germany Innovation Cooperation. Both parties will target creating new evolution in investment, financial cooperation and technology.

key areas of accords:

  • China(leading market in aviation) signed a USD 17 billion pact with European aerospace conglomerate Airbus to buy 130 aircraft.
  • China Aviation Supplies Holding Group and Airbus witnessed the big deal to hold 30 wide-body A330 planes and 100 single-aisle A320 aircraft.
  • To try to coordinate their economic strategies likewise as China is on the lookout for same programs to assimilate regular industry and information technology.

Pakistan loses UN human rights council election

UN election

Pakistan broke down to bring back to the elite UN human rights body, picking up only just 105 votes in the 193-member General Assembly. Moreover, Its current term is set to expire on December 31 and was probing redeem to the 47- member Human Rights council(United Nations). India is also a member of the Council and its term will end in 2017.

  • New members who will call up their 3-year term(from January 1,2016) are Belgium, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Togo, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Greater part of the members of the General Assembly elected the member of the council directly and exclusively by private poll. A non-governmental human rights group UN Watch(Geneva) taken in the setback of Pakistan, tagged it as a “major surprise.”

Reason:

 Before the polling, many human rights bodies were at cross purposes for the re-election of Pakistan, UAE and Venezuela to the council because these governments are criticised globally for their extreme human rights violations.

  • As per report by UN Watch Human Rights Foundations, and the Lantos Foundation, Pakistan, UAE, Burundi and Ecuador were recited by human rights groups for having committed distressing violations of many articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes curbs on the freedoms of speech, press, religion, and assembly, along with disregard for fundamental due process.
  • Moreover, the voted against UN resolutions taking action for victims of human rights abuses in many despots.

Key points :

  • President,UN Human Rights Council: Joachim Rücker
  • President Pakistan: Mamnoon Hussain
  • PM Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI allows Indian corporate to issue offshore rupee-denominated bonds outside India

RBI has allowed companies to issue rupee-denominated bonds abroad that will address both pricing and currency risks.

  • The move follows robust demand for rupee-denominated bonds issued by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • The matter of taxation of income from such bonds under the Income-tax Act, 1961 has been considered by the government and will attract withholding tax of 5%.

It has been decided that the capital gains, arising in case of appreciation of rupee between the date of issue and date of redemption against the foreign currency in which the investment is made. It would be exempted from the capital gains tax.

  •  Legislative amendment in this regard will be proposed through the Finance Bill, 2016.

World Bank retains India growth forecast at 7.5% for 2015-16

As the public investment is helping kick-start the investment cycle, World Bank confined its GDP growth projection for India

FY 2015-16 7.5%
FY 2016-17 7.8%
FY 2017-18 7.9%

Whereas the projection by International Monetary Fund(IMF) is 7.3% this fiscal lower than projected by World Bank.

Some reform areas

  • Rolling out Goods and Services Tax
  • Battering asset quality of Banks
  • Fixing service delivery by States and local bodies

BUSINESS

FIPB approves 6 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,900 crore

Inter-ministerial body FIPB(Foreign Investment Promotion Board) cleared six foreign investment proposals out of seven proposals including that of IIFL Holdings, and Sharekhan worth about Rs 1,900 crore headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

7 FDI proposals

  • Monsoon Capital LLC, SeQuent Scientific Ltd, Agile Electric Sub Assembly and Serap India are approved.
  • One proposal of Volkswagen Finance Pvt Ltd was rejected

About FIPB :

  • Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)is a national agency of Government of India, with the remit to consider and recommend foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the automatic route.
  • It provides a single window clearance for proposals onFDI in India.
  • FIPB Chairman : Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATION

Aruna Sundarajan appointed new Steel Secretary

Senior IAS officer Aruna Sundarajan has been designated as the Secretary in Ministry of Steel. She will succeed Rakesh Singh.

  • Ms. Sundarajan is currently serving Universal Service Obligation Fund under Department of Telecommunications as its Administrator.

There were 5 appointments made by Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) and she is one of them. Rest 4 appointments are:

  • Special Secretary in Cabinet Navin Verma – Secretary in Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region
  • 1980 batch IAS officer of Union territories cadre Naini Jayaseelan – Secretary, Inter State Council Secretariat in Home Ministry
  • 1979 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre Vijay Shankar Pandey – Secretary in Department of Chemicals and Fertilisers
  • 1982 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre Ramesh Abhishek – Secretary, Performance Management in Cabinet Secretariat

ACC has approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Minority Affairs to Amarendra Sinha, Secretary, National Commission of Minorities who will succeed Arvind Mayara.

Sujan Chinoy is India’s new envoy to Japan

Senior diplomat Sujan R Chinoy has been designated as India’s Ambassador to Japan. He will succeed Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa.

  • Mr. Chinoy is 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is currently serving as India’s Ambassador to Mexico (from 2012).
  • Prior 2012 he was Additional Secretary in the National Security Council Secretariat in the PMO where he dealt with strategic policy and national security issues.
  • He had also worked at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York.
  • He had served in the Indian Missions in Hong Kong and Beijing.
  • He was also Consul General of India in Shanghai and in Sydney.

John Magufuli elected as President of Tanzania

President of Tanzania

On his 56th birthday, John Pombe Magufuli, won the election to become Tanzania’s next president and defeated his rival ex-Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. Never the insider of governing Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party cadre, amazed his arbiters. He became known as “The Bulldozer” for pushing a programme to build roads.

“The Bulldozer” in profile:

Magufuli is a trained  chemist from Tanzania’s north-western Chato district and has been the member of parliament since 1995. Previously he has served as the minister of lands and human settlement and as the minister of livestock and fisheries in previous governments.

Key points :

  • Prime Minister of Tanzania: Mizengo Pinda
  • Currency, Capital:Tanzanian shilling, Dodoma

SpiceJet COO Sanjiv Kapoor quits 

SpiceJet’s Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor put down his papers before the expiry of his employment contract. His original tenure was to run until November 2016. His resignation comes ten months after original promoter Ajay Singh took over the ownership of airline.

  • Sanjiv Kapoor was appointed by the then owner Kalanithi Maran.
  • He will join the leadership team at Vistara; an airline company based in Gurgaon and is jointly owned by Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons.
  • Earlier he served as the chief executive of GMG Airlines of Bangladesh and leader of airline practice at global consultancy Bain.

Reason behind resignation

He was given a supporting role after the ownership was transferred to Ajay Singh, a cofounder of SpiceJet. The reduced role contributed to Kapoor’s decision to exit SpiceJet. Singh also became the company’s official spokesman, a task that was performed by Kapoor.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Natco launches Hepatitis C drug in Nepal

Natco Pharma has launched the first licensed generic version of Hepatitis C medicine under its brand name Hepcinat LP in Nepal.

  • Hepcinat LP is a two-drug fixed dose combination product containing Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir in a single tablet.
  • The drug is used in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 viral infection in adults.
  • Natco has priced the product at Rs 25,000 for a bottle of 28 tablets in Nepal.

Natco had signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences earlier in 2015, to manufacture and sell generic versions of its chronic hepatitis C medicines, including generic version of HARVONI, in India and other 100 developing countries.

China’s first lunar rover Yutu sets record for longest stay on Moon

China’s first lunar rover Yutu sets record for longest stay on Moon

As per Chinese lunar probe scientist, China’s first lunar rover, Yutu, has been operating on the moon for almost two years, setting a record for the longest stay by a rover and it has been working on the Moon for almost two years.

  • Yutu was disposed and docked on the moon by China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe in 2013, staying longer than the Soviet Union’s 1970 moon rover Lunokhod 1, which spent 11 months on the moon.

In 2014 it had experienced a mechanical control abnormality but recovered it and continues to collect data, send and receive signals, and record images and video.

Other Hits by China

  • Planning to be key country to drop in a lunar probe on the far-flung side of the moon not visible to Earth.
  • Dongfanghong-1 its maiden satellite, in 1970 made it the 5th country to launch a indoor satellite using an indoor rocket, followed by the Soviet Union.
  • Yang Liwei, the country’s pioneer astronaut, into orbit on the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft in 2003.

SPORTS

Hockey India signed three years partnership with Sports Authority of India

To develop India as a World Class Hockey Nation, endowing SAI(Sports Authority of India) to regain its position as the country’s top sport, would mark the dawning of new age for Indian Hockey.

  • Three-year MoU upholds Hockey as a medium for the development and promotion of values in the youth of the nation also stating that SAI is eager to  promote hockey as a mechanism for youth development and excellence in sports.
  • SAI coaches would become hockey scouts at pre-identified areas and scouting trials by HI national team coaches would be organised for various youth age groups at select SAI centres.

Key points SAI

  • HQ: New Delhi
  • Chairman: Sarbanand Sonowal