Current Affairs: 12 April 2017

ESAF Small Finance Bank launches social deposit scheme Hrudaya Deposit

  • ESAF Small Finance Bank has launched a social deposit scheme called Hrudaya Deposit at a function held in Thrissur.
  • The deposit scheme, as the name suggests, stands for a social cause, through which, ESAF Bank provides the customers with an opportunity to be a part in social welfare projects, which none of the other banks has given so far.

Salient Features Of Scheme

  • The significance of the scheme is that a customer who deposit in it, becomes a part of nation building, as their deposits are used for the welfare and infrastructure development of the marginalised sections of the society
  • An individual or a legal entity can join the Hrudaya Deposit Scheme with a minimum deposit amount of Rs.15 lakh and for a minimum period of two years. 
  • An account can be opened through internet banking or by calling the Relationship Manager. The compound interest will be given in every quarter as per the present rates. 
  • The customer will also have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how their money is used to improve the lives of the ordinary people in the country.
  • The Hrudaya deposit scheme envisages the business development of the rural farmers, fishermen, vegetable vendors etc.

Vice President receives first copy of the book titled ‘Hope in a challenged democracy; An Indian narrative’ authored by Shri Ashwini Kumar 

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has received the first copy of the Book titled ‘Hope in a challenged democracy; An Indian narrative’ authored by Shri Ashwini Kumar, from the former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, here today. 
  • The former Chief Justice of India, Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
  • The principal themes of the book, in the author’s own words, are firstly on the ‘incestuous relationship between wealth and power’ and its impact on the credibility and moral authority of the government, and secondly on what he describes as ‘an insufferable atmosphere of intolerance.’ 
  • Interspersed in the argument is ‘the disturbed equilibrium between the institutions of democracy, the pressures on the secular conscience of the country and on its social cohesion.

Flipkart acquires eBay’s India biz to fight Amazon

  • India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart has raised $1.4 billion led by China's internet giant Tencent, with participation from the online auction site eBay and Microsoft, valuing the Bengaluru-based company at $11.6 billion, post the investment.
  • This marks the largest capital infusion for any privately-held Indian internet venture and surpasses the earlier high set by Flipkart itself when in July 2014 it picked up $1 billion and set the stage for a funding boom in the local startup ecosystem.
  • In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment of USD 500 million and selling its India business to the company.
  • Even as eBay has sold its India business Flipkart, not all of its employees in India will be absorbed by the Bangalore-based company.
  • A part of employees will move to Flipkart at the closure of the deal which will take approximately 60-90 days. While another chunk of employees who will continue to support the transition will take further more time to move to Flipkart. 

National Hindi Sevi Samman Awards announced

  • Central Hindi Institute Director N.K. Pandey announced the names of 26 writers from different categories for the prestigious Hindi Sevi Samman Awards.
  • The awardees will receive Rs 5 lakh each, a citation and a shawl from President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • The Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Award for Hindi journalism will be awarded to Rahul Dev and Baldev Bhai Sharma.
  • Professor S. Shesharatnam (Andhra Pradesh), M. Govind Rajan (Tamil Nadu), Harmahendra Singh Bedi (Punjab) and H. Subadani Devi (Manipur) have been selected from non-Hindi speaking states for their contribution to the Hindi language.
  • Foreign Hindi writers selected for the award are Professor Fujii Takeshi (Japan) and Professor Gabriela Nik Ilieva (New York) while the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) who get the awards are Pushpita Avasthi (Netherlands) and Padmesh Gupt (London).
  • The Union Human Resource Development Ministry instituted the Hindi Sevi Samman in 1989. More than a hundred Hindi writers have received the prestigious awards till now.

nakshe" Portal launched by Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 250th Anniversary of Survey of India

  • A new web portal nakshe" was launched by the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi on the occasion of 250th anniversary of Survey of India(SoI). 
  • Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) containing natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography are prepared by the SoI since its inception in 1767 and is in conformity with the National Map Policy-2005. 
  • These OSM maps have been made available for free download from nakshe" web portal in pdf format on 1:50,000 scale through Aaadhar enabled user authentication process, in line with Digital India programme of the Government of India. 
  • The Survey of India, the principal mapping agency of the country is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year. 
  • Origin of the Survey of India is traced back to Year 1767. 
  • It is the oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world. 
  • Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trignometric Survey (GTS) in 19th century on this day i.e. 10th April, 1802, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest. 

Colson Whitehead wins Pulitzer prize for The Underground Railroad

  • Literary blockbuster novel The Underground Railroad, which depicts the journey of a young woman escaping from slavery via a fantastical train system, has won the Pulitzer prize for fiction.
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead review – luminous, furious and wildly inventive
  • This genre-bending tale of escape from slavery in the American south contains extraordinary prose and uncomfortable home truths
  • Author Colson Whitehead has collected multiple accolades for the bestselling book, including last year’s National Book Award. 
  • The Pulitzer prizes, considered the most prestigious journalism and arts awards in the country, were announced on Wednesday afternoon at Columbia University in New York.

Other Awardees

  • Lynn Nottage→ Pulitzer for the drama Sweat, a Broadway play about factory workers battling job cuts.
  • Matthew Desmond→ Nonfiction award for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Hisham Matar→ biography prize for The Return,
  • Tyehimba Jess→ won the poetry award for Olio.
  • New York Daily News and ProPublica→ journalism awards for their investigation into the New York police department evicting people, mostly minorities, from their homes.
  • David A Fahrenthold of the Washington Post→ the national reporting award for the lack of promised donations by the Trump Foundation during the election
  • California’s East Bay Times nabbed the breaking news Pulitzer for its coverage of the Oakland fire at a warehouse that killed 36 people.
  • Hilton Als of the New Yorker won the criticism award, Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail took home the investigative award for his reporting on opioids in West Virginia, and the New York Times garnered the international reporting award for its coverage of Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Bank Accounts To Be Blocked If Not Self-Certified By April 30.

  • Bank accounts opened between July 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015 need to submit self-certification by April 30 to comply with FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) provisions, without which the accounts would be blocked
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT said that the account holders may be informed that, in case self-certifications are not provided till April 30, 2017, the accounts would be blocked, which would mean that the financial institution would prohibit the account holder from effecting any transaction with respect to such accounts.
  • Investors are required to provide details such as country of tax residence, tax identification number from such country, country of birth, country of citizenship etc.
  • Mutual funds and other financial institutions had also asked customers to comply with the new norms.
  • The purpose of FATCA is aimed at ensuring that individuals pay tax on income generated from their wealth parked overseas.

Andhra Pradesh CM relaunches ‘Adarana’

  • Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the re-launch of ‘Adarana’, a scheme for improving traditional occupations on the occasion of 191st birth anniversary of social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule which is being celebrated for the first time as a State function.
  • The scheme will offer modern tools, technology, marketing, and financial support to artisans and those pursuing traditional occupations to raise their income levels and provide employment in the rural areas. 
  • Modernising was necessary for goldsmiths, carpenters, weavers, blacksmiths, and potters, among others, he said. ‘Adarana’ had been launched with this objective during the TDP rule.

Lucknow just held its first Pride Parade 

  • Lucknow held its first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Asexual - Pride Parade
  • In a proud moment for the state, LGBTIQA members were also joined by their family members, who came out in support of the participants.
  • The city’s LGBIT (lesbian, gay, intersex and transgender) community walked a distance of barely 1.5 km, from the Sikandarbagh crossing to the General Post Office Hazratganj, but their message went a long way.
  • The first Awadh Queer Pride Parade saw at least 300 people march hand in hand, waving rainbow flags or wearing its colours
  • By evening, social media users in Lucknow had flooded their pages with photographs of the city’s first gay pride parade.

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