Current Affairs: 2 February 2017

Rs 10,000 penalty for delay in filing Income Tax Returns

  • Taxpayers who do not file their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) on time will have to shell out a penalty of upto Rs 10,000, but from the 2018-19 Assessment Year (AY).
  • In order to ensure that return is filed within due date, it is proposed to insert a new section 234F in the Act (I-T Act) to provide that a fee for delay in furnishing of return shall be levied for assessment year 2018-19 and onwards in a case where the return is not filed within the due dates specified for filing of return under sub-section (1) of section 139
  • It specified two levels of penalty in this regard: A fee of five thousand rupees shall be payable, if the return is furnished after the due date but on or before December 31 of the assessment year and a fee of ten thousand rupees shall be payable in any other case
  • However, for small taxpayers or where the total income does not exceed Rs five lakh, it is “proposed that the fee amount shall not exceed one thousand rupees. 

INSEAD world’s best B-School, ISB tops the list from India, says FT rankings

  • INSEAD is the best B-school in the world for the second consecutive year in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking of the best 100 programmes for 2017.
  • Indian School of Business (ISB) has been ranked best from India.
  • Other than ISB, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Calcutta were the other top schools finding a mention in the best 100 programmes worldwide.
  • While the ISB has jumped two places to the 27th rank, IIM-A has slipped five places to 29th position this year as against the year before.
  • IM-Bangalore has been ranked at 49th position—up from 62 last year. IIM-Calcutta is at 95th position.
  • China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) from Sanghai is the top-ranked B-School from Asia with a rank of 11—up from 17 in 2016

Amit Mishra becomes India's highest wicket taker in T20s

  • Amit Mishra, after picking up his 201st T20 wicket in the Bengaluru T20I, became India's highest wicket taker in T20 cricket, overtaking Ravichandran Ashwin's record of 200 wickets. 
  • Mishra achieved the milestone in his 170th T20 match after taking the wicket of England's Jason Roy. Notably, Dwayne Bravo holds the record for the most wickets in T20s with 367 scalps.

Clean Sweep for SpiceJet at Asia One Awards, Singapore

  • It was a clean sweep for India’s favourite airline -SpiceJet at the Asia One Awards, Singapore - as it walked away with top recognition in three prime categories.
  • The airline which has been trending all through 2016 with multiple awards and accolades was adorned ‘Asia’s Greatest Brands - 2016’ by the Asia One Board. 
  • The selection process was supervised by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • The year 2016 witnessed SpiceJet standing invincibly tall on the operational charts by recording the highest passenger load factor of over 90%, every month, for 21 months in a row, since April 2015 - a feat unparalleled in India’s aviation history and has also been registering industry leading performance on important metrics such as ‘On Time Performance’ and ‘Flight Cancellations’. 
  • The company has been churning profits for seven consecutive quarters.
  • ‘World Travel Leaders Award’ at the WTM London, ‘Best Employee Engagement’ at the 4th DMA, Best Transportation brand and Best Airline Brand in India by Brand Trust Report are some of the other industry marquee recognitions received by the airline.

Delhi govt to set up a ‘Punjabi chair’ at JNU

  • Delhi Minister for Tourism, Culture and Languages Kapil Mishra Monday announced that the Delhi government has decided to set up a ‘Punjabi chair’ in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to promote research into the Punjabi language.
  • The government has been in touch with the university administration on the proposal for the last four to five years. 
  • Now, the decision has finally been taken to appoint a permanent Punjabi chair in JNU.” Every year, a certain budget will be allocated to the chair by the government, he said, adding that the amount allocated would be about Rs 50 lakh.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Medals to be made from mobile phones

  • Olympic and Paralympic medals for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be made from recycled mobile phones.
  • The Japanese public will be asked to donate old phones and small appliances to gather two tonnes of gold, silver and bronze for the 5,000 medals.
  • The project hopes to promote sustainability and reduce costs.
  • A project that allows the people of Japan to take part in creating the medals is really good,
  • Collection boxes will be placed in local offices and telecoms stores from April and will remain there until the metal required has been collected.
  • Japan, which lacks its own mineral resources, is keen to take the theme of a sustainable future a step further.

5% tax reduction for firms with turnover of up to Rs. 50 crore

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech said income tax for small companies with annual turnover of up to Rs. 50 crore will be reduced to 25% from 30% earlier. 
  • Around 96% of the companies in India will benefit from the lower tax. 
  • Further, startups will have to pay tax on profits for three out of seven years.

Rishabh Pant becomes India's youngest T20I debutant


  • Opener Rishabh Pant, who made his international debut in the T20I against England at Bengaluru on Wednesday, has become India's youngest T20I debutant. Rishabh, aged 19 years, 120 days, has gone past Ishant Sharma, who made his India T20I debut aged 19 years, 152 days. 
  • Rishabh was selected after scoring a triple century in the Ranji Trophy this season.

Foreign Investment Promotion Board scrapped to ease FDI

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during Parliment Budget Session on Wednesday announced scrapping of Foreign Investment Promotion Board to ease the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • The FIPB offered a single window clearance for applications on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India that are under the approval route. 
  • The sectors under automatic route did not require any prior approval from the FIPB and are subject to only sectoral laws.
  • Jaitley also announced further reforms in FDI policy.

Online education platform SWAYAM will feature DTH integration

  • Indian government has proposed to launch an online education platform SWAYAM by leveraging information technology, finance minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the union budget for the year 2017-18.
  • This platform will comprise of at least 350 online courses and will enable "students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty" as well as "access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums, take tests and earn academic grades
  • Access to this platform will be further expanded by linking it to education-dedicated DTH channels
  • Emphasis will be given on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local innovative content.

No Service Charge On Train Tickets Booked On IRCTC Website

  • The booking of railway tickets online through the IRCTC website has just become cheaper. In the Union Budget 2017 presented today, finance minister Arun Jaitley said railways will no longer levy service charge on train tickets booked online through the IRCTC website. 
  • Earlier, a service tax of Rs. 20 had to paid while booking Sleeper Class tickets and Rs. 40 for AC class tickets. "Service charges on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn. Cashless reservations have gone up from 58 per cent to 68 per cent
  • The online booking of railway tickets has witnessed a sharp spurt after the government banned the notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 on November 8 and the cash crunch that followed. 
  • But as people switched to cashless transactions, there was a growing demand that the service charge be waived.
  • This was the first time that the government broke with the 99-year-old tradition of a having separate railway budget, clubbing it instead with the Union budget, which was presented in parliament today. In a budget that was described as "forward looking" by Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, government has provided Rs. 1.31 lakh crore for the capital expenditure of railways,

Yuzvendra Chahal second bowler after Ajantha Mendis to take six-wicket haul in T20 Internationals

  • Young India leg - spinner Yuzvendra Chahal first became the first Indian bowler to record a five-wicket haul and then went on write his name in history by finishing with figures of 6 for 25.
  • Chahal is now only the second bowler after Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis to snare six wickets in an innings in T20 Internationals.
  • Mendis has in fact taken six wickets in an innings in T20Is twice.
  • Chahal's timely wickets helped Virat Kohli win his third successive series against England. India had earlier defeated the visits 4-1 in the Test series and 2-1 in the ODI series

PM Modi to be 'Guest of Honour' at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, scheduled from June 1 to 3, as the 'Guest of Honour'.
  • Official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said, "'This is to confirm that India has been invited as a Guest Country at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which will be held in the city of St. Petersburg, Russia from June 1 to 3, 2017.
  • "As a part of this, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will attend the Forum as Guest of Honour.
  • The forum is an annual Russian business event for the economic sector that witnesses more than 4,000 people from over 60 different countries every year.
  • The forum brings together the chief executives of major Russian and international companies, heads of state, political leaders, prime ministers, deputy prime ministers, departmental ministers, and governors.

Govt announces ban on cash transactions above Rs.3 lakh

  • Budget speech, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday announced that cash transactions above Rs. 3 lakh will not be allowed. 
  • This comes after demonetisation and various other measures by the government to curb black money in the economy. 
  • Jaitley also said that India is mainly a tax non-compliant economy and it puts pressure on tax payers.

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