Current Affairs: 21 June 2017

Important Days

International Yoga Day: 21 June 2017

  • Yoga in India is considered to be an around 5,000-year-old mental, physical and spiritual practice. 
  • The practice has turned into a rage across the world and on 11th December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe one common day in the year as International Yoga day or World Yoga Day. 
  • United Nations General Assembly declared 21st of June as International Yoga Day.
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National Events

India's First Indigenously Built Floating Dock Goes On Stream

  • The country's first indigenously built floating dock FDN-2 for the Indian Navy, was formally launched at the L&T Shipbuilding Yard at Kattupalli near Chennai.
  • The floating dock, awarded to Larsen and Toubro by the Ministry of Defence in May 2015, was to design and build at an order value of Rs. 468 crore.
  • The floating dock will be delivered to Indian Navy, Port Blair in the coming months after undergoing a series of "harbour trials,"
  • The floating dock was launched by Anjali Deshpande, the wife of Vice Admiral D M Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition at a function.
  • The Floating Dock is an indigenously built designed and built platform with state-of-the-art machinery and control systems capable of docking ships of upto 8,000 tonne displacement.
  • The dock covers facilitate "repair" and "refit" activities even in inclement weather conditions.
  • The company had invested in building state-of-the-art facilities at Kattupalli and look keen to continue service to the Indian Navy, Larsen and Toubro

Meghalaya Govt signs two MoUs with SBI for digital transaction

  • Meghalaya government today signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India as a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode. 
  • With implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), these MoUs are expected to give dealers and other citizens the desired platform for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform
  • The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury, which dedicatedly handles all online transactions of government receipts across the state centrally for a few selected departments
  • The state government will now escalate its transactions for collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system - Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) covering all departments in a phased manner
  • SBI CMP will help the state government to make its payments online and will reduce paper work and manual reconciliation of government transactions

Punjab Announced Free Education For Girls From Nursery To PhD

  • The Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in Punjab has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to PhD. 
  • free textbooks will be provided to all students in government schools from the next academic session.
  • Nursery and LKG classes will be reintroduced in government schools from next year. Fulfilling another election promise Singh also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

Government of India and the ADB Sign $275 Million Loan for Upgrading Urban Services in 64 Small Towns in Madhya Pradesh

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $275 million loan on 19th June, 2017 for improving urban services in 64 small towns in the State of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Madhya Pradesh needs substantial investments to keep pace with rapid urbanization. Availability of continuous piped water supply is vital for improving the urban infrastructure, and it will facilitate improved access to safe drinking water for residents in the project area
  • ADB's continued support to the State's urban development, through this project, will improve further the quality, coverage, efficiency, and sustainability of urban service delivery, stabilize and deepen institutional capacity, and improve long term water service management

Indore installs India's 1st 14-foot robot to control traffic

  • In what is being considered as a first for India, Indore has installed a 14-foot-tall robot to control traffic.
  •  It's equipped with a public address system and can take photos of traffic violators to generate e-challans when connected to police control room. 
  • Developed by Shri Venkteshwar Institute of Technology, the robot reportedly took two years and Rs.20 lakh to complete.

International Events

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman appointed Crown Prince

  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country's counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession.
  • According to a royal decree, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was also named deputy prime minister, and maintains his post as minister of defence.
  • The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads an economic council tasked with overhauling the country's economy. 
  • He had previously been the second-in-line to the throne as deputy crown prince, though royal watchers had long suspected his rise to power under his father's reign might also accelerate his ascension to the throne.

India and Portugal Sign A Historical agreement to promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

  • A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives
  • As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence).
  • These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. 
  • The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia. 

Reliance Defence inks pact with Serbia's Yugoimport

  • Anil Ambani Group company Reliance Defence Ammunition has entered a strategic partnership with Serbia's state-run defence major Yugoimport
  • to manufacture ammunition in India and target business opportunities of Rs 20,000 crore over the next 10 years.
  • Two companies will work together in the field of ammunition amongst others, with projected minimum requirement of Rs 20,000 crore over next 10 years from Indian armed forces
  • There is also an option for exporting ammunition, adding the proposal envisages transfer of technology by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and indigenous manufacturing in India.
  • Yugoimport, a state-owned enterprise, is a market leader in the field of ammunition production and has offered a fully compliant technical solution to meet the Make in India requirements of the Indian government, as per RDL. 
  • RDL has proposed to set up a greenfield facility for the production of ammunition.

Banking & Finance

CBDT notifies secondary adjustment transfer pricing rules

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified the rules for operationalising the provisions of secondary adjustment in the arena of transfer pricing.
  • The Finance Act, 2017 , had introduced the concept of secondary adjustment. 
  • In simple words, if there is an upward transfer pricing adjustment made to the income of an Indian company that has earned such revenue through transactions with its parent or group companies (known as related parties), then the quantum of such addition needs to be brought back to India within a stipulated time. 
  • Else, it will be treated as a loan given by the Indian company, which will attract a notional interest charge and a tax on such interest income.
  • Now, CBDT has notified Rule 10CB, which prescribes the time limit for repatriation of the excess money from the overseas group company and the rate of interest which would apply for failure to repatriate within the prescribed time.

Hike, Yes Bank tie up for UPI payments

  • Hike — the Indian WhatsApp rival — will offer payment facilities to its 10 crore users through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by partnering with Yes Bank.
  • According to Hike CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal, the partnership will make Hike Messenger the largest UPI-based platform in India. 
  • It will empower over 10 crore of our users to transact seamlessly on the revolutionary UPI platform, which was launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to accelerate the adoption of digital payments in the country
  • This development will revolutionise the way P2P and P2M payments are done within the chat platform, including mobile top-ups, among others
  • Yes Bank has been one of the early movers on the UPI platform, partnering Flipkart's PhonePe to enable UPI payments through the latter's app.
  •  As a result, the private lender is currently responsible for close to 35% all UPI transactions in the country, and over 80% of merchant transactions done on the UPI ecosystem.

IDBI Federal Life partners with SunTec for GST rollout

  • IDBI Federal Life Insurance today said it has partnered with SunTec, which will help facilitate in computing and invoicing of debit tax and credit tax that will be GST compliant.
  • Under the agreement, for the debit tax mandate SunTec will help in analysing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes
  • MetLife announced the appointment of Sanjeev Kapur as senior vice-president and chief marketing officer (CMO) of Asia.
  • Kapur will report to Esther Lee, MetLife executive vice-president and global chief marketing officer, and Chris Townsend, president of Asia, the company said in a release here.
  • He will also join the Asia leadership team of the private insurer.

Awards & Honours

Ramamani lyengar Memorial to be awarded for contribution in Yoga

  • The Ramamani lyengar Memorial Yoga Institute has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award, for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of Yoga.
  • The selection was done among 85 nominations out of which 15 were recommended by the screening committee.
  • On June 21, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra had announced the institution for the award for its promotion and development of Yoga.
  • The Ministry of AYUSH developed the guidelines for the awards after which two committees were constituted namely, the Screening Committee for preliminary evaluation and Evaluation Committee (Jury), to ensure a transparent process while finalising the awards.

Deepika Padukone nominated for Teen Choice Awards

  • Hindi cinema actor Deepika Padukone has been nominated in Teen Choice Awards for her breakthrough role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage and the actor will compete with Wonder Woman Gal Gadot for the trophy.
  • Deepika, 31, has been nominated in the Choice Action Movie Actress category for essaying the role of xXx agent Serena Unger, who helps Xander Cage in saving the world in the DJ Caruso directed film.

Annabel Mehta, renowned social activist will get MBE

  • Annabel Mehta has been a known social activist for a long time. 
  • She is also the mother of Anjali Tendulkar, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar’s wife. Annabel who is a British national and is married to an Indian has been confirmed to get an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) later this year. 
  • She will get the award in her capacity as a social worker for her tireless work with the underprivileged in Mumbai.

Appointments

Ayurveda specialist appointed special secretary in Ayush ministry

  • Ayurvedaphysician 'Vaidya' Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush ministry.
  • Usually a senior bureaucrat is appointed to such a post.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha's appointment for three years on a contract basis
  • Vaidya (meaning physician) Kotecha is chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur.
  • The appointment is in line with the Centre's efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government.

UNICEF appoints 19-year-old Syrian refugee as goodwill ambassador

  • The UN children’s agency has announced the appointment of its youngest goodwill ambassador, 19-year-old Syrian refugee and education activist Muzoon Almellehan. UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth said Monday that Muzoon is the first goodwill envoy with official refugee status.
  • Muzoon fled the conflict in Syria along with her family in 2013, living as refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom. 
  • It was during her 18 months in the Za’atari camp that she began advocating for children’s access to education, particularly for girls.

Science & Technology

ISRO to launch earth-observation Cartosat-2E and 30 nanosatellites

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an earth-observation satellite, named Cartosat-2E on June 23. 
  • A from the Cartosat-2E, 30 other nano satellites, both national and international , will be transported by the PSLV as well. 
  • This comes after earlier this month, India successfully launched its heavy rocket GSLV Mk-III which boosted ISRO’s reach to a new height.
  • This is the 40th flight of the rocket which will carry the Cartosat-2E, a pivotal sattelite when it comes to earth-observation and the rest 30 nano satellites. 
  • While almost 29 of the satellites onboard are from foreign countries, the only one nano satellites sent by India is the one which was created by the students of Noorul Islam University of Tamil Nadu.
  • The rest of the countries who shall use the Indian PSLV for transporting their own nano satellites are, Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the UK and the US.
  • Cartosat-2E will facilitate monitoring of the earth and using its panchromatic and multispectral cameras it shall provide regular remote sensing services. 
  • Apart from that, it shall also be useful as its name suggests, in cartographic applications, meaning in creation of land use maps, coastal land use and regulation, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system applications. 
  • It shall also be useful in utility management for example in road network monitoring and water distribution.
  • Cartosat-2E weighs 712 kilogram and along with the other 30 satellites, it will be launched from the launchpad one of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, popularly known as Sriharikota launch range at 9.29 am(IST). 
  • The satellites will be placed in a 505 kilometer polar sun synchronous orbit, the report suggested.

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