FIN ( Facts in News)

Facts in News (FIN) : April 15 – April 30

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[Facts in News]

Bills, Programs, Policies, Schemes, Orders, Judgments
Report of Committee on Taxation of E-Commerce
  • Committee was Chaired by Mr. Akhilesh Ranjan.
  • It was established under Ministry of Finance.
    Key Recommendations:
    1) MNCs are in advantage position than domestic companies.
    2) MNCs have more tax exemption than domestic companies, therefore domestic companies are unable to compete with them.
Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016
  • It has been Released by Ministry of Urban Development.
  • These laws provide standards to regulate the architectural and construction specifications of a building (such as area, height, etc.).
  • These standards serve to protect buildings against any hazards (fire, earthquakes, structural failures, etc.).
  • The model bye-laws will act as guidelines for state and city governments that do not have their own buildings bye-laws.
  • The last model bye-laws were released in 2004.
Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015
  • Passed by Parliament to replace the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.
  • The Act established a Bureau for the purpose of standardization, marking and certification of articles and processes.
  • The Bill broadens this ambit to include goods, services, and systems, and provide for the mandatory hallmarking of precious metal articles.
National Waterways Bill, 2015
  • It has been passed by Parliament.
  • Currently there are five inland waterways that are declared as national waterways under five different National Waterways Acts.
  • This Bill repealed these five Acts, and brought these national waterways under its purview.
  • The Bill identifies 101 additional waterways as national waterways.
  • The Constitution enables the central government to make laws on shipping on inland waterways that are classified as national waterways.
Sikh Gurdwaras
(Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Bill to amend a 91-year-old law to exclude Sehajdharis from voting in the elections to Sikh religious bodies
  • Was passed by the Lok Sabha more than a month after Rajya Sabha approved it.
Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015
  • It has been passed by the Parliament amending the Carriage by Air Act, 1972.
  • The Act regulates carriage by air and gives effect to the Warsaw Convention, 1929, and the Montreal Convention, 1999.
  • The Act also extends these provisions to domestic travel, subject to exceptions and adaptations.
  • The Montreal Convention establishes airline liability in the case of death, injury, or delay to passengers or in cases of delay, damage, or loss of baggage and cargo.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016
  • It has been passed by the Lok Sabha to amend the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • The Act regulates the mining sector in India and specifies requirements for obtaining and granting leases for mining operations.
Draft Coffee Bill, 2016
  • It has been released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on March 23, 2016.
  • The draft Bill seeks to replace the Coffee Act, 1942.
  • The Act established a Coffee Board to control the marketing of all the coffee produced in India and regulate its sale in the domestic and international markets.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
  • The scheme aims to provide free LPG (cooking gas) connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
  • It also aims to ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in India and to protect women’s health (from unclean cooking fuel).
  • Under the scheme, Rs 8,000 crore has been allocated to provide five crore LPG connections to BPL households.
  • An amount of Rs 1,600 will be provided for each LPG connection to a BPL household.
  • The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the state governments.
  • The scheme will be implemented over a period a three years (from 2016-17 to 2018-19).
Twitter Sewa
  • The Union government will launch a new service “Twitter Seva” on April 21, 2016 to address various queries of startups in a time-bound manner. In it, any startup which wants to access government irrespective of any department, they can (put their queries).
Mobility scheme
  • Addressing relocation issue of women scientists
  • Department of Sci and Tech.(Ministry of Sci & Tech) has structures all women specific programmes under one umbrella known as “KIRAN(Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing)
National & International Events
  • Navigation with Indian Constellation
  • India’s own navigation system
  • (7th and final satellite IRNSS-1G was launched completing the constellation)
  • ISRO will now work designing front end chips
  • PM Modi explained it was dedicated to mariners and fishermen(naviks) who have been navigating using sun and stars for many years
  • Online encyclopedia on History, arts and culture
  • Sahapedia is a not-for-profit society headed by former TCS chairman S. Ramadorai, who currently helms the National Skill Development Agency
Vasant Vyakhyanmala
  • 142nd edition in Pune
  • lectures on topics, including politics, governance, history, infrastructure, music, literature and healthcare given by various speakers
  • brainchild of reformer-scholar Justice M.G. Ranade, who hit upon the idea of educating the people on a gamut of topics in 1875 when newspapers were still nascent
  • Visionaries like Justice Ranade and Lokmanya Tilak sensed the importance of educating the people so as to galvanise them against the British Raj.
The 6th edition of Heart of Asia – Istanbul Ministerial Process 2016
  • A regional conference, will be held in New Delhi on April 26, 2016.
  • The conference was established in 2011 to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging security, political, and economic cooperation among Afghanistan and its neighbors.
  • Indian army’s exercise at Bikaner to fine tune country’s war strategy.
Economy and banking
Extended Fund Facility(EFF)
  • When a country faces serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address, the IMF can assist with the adjustment process under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
  • $1.5 billion provided to Sri lanka through 3 year long EFF
Income Tax data made public after 15 years
  • For transparency and informed policy making
  • Data shows direct tax collection has fallen in the last five years
  • 1% of people who declared in assessment year 2012-13 accounted for 20% of taxable income
  • 5% of the companies accounted for 94% of taxable income
  • India had first started publishing its income tax statistics in 1961
Science and Technology
EMALS technology
  • Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System
  • An aircraft catapult which the Navy might buy from the US to use it on its ships
Traditional Medicine and Homeopathy with Mauritius
  • Mauritius India and Mauritius has recently signed MoU to promote cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicine and Homoeopathy.
  • It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries.
Subterranean arsenic removal (SAR) technology
  • aerated groundwater is recharged back into the aquifer to create an oxidation zone which can trap iron and arsenic on the soil particles through adsorption process
  • No chemicals are used and almost no sludge is produced during operational stage since iron and arsenic compounds are rendered inactive in the aquifer itself
Nilgiri Tahr
  • An “Endangered” mountain goat
  • Endemic to Western ghats
  • An “endangered” furry marsupial
  • The quoll is a carnivorous marsupial native to mainland Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania.
  • A distinctive characteristic, common to many species, is that most of the young are carried in a pouch
International Mother Earth Day
  • The International Mother Earth Day is observed every year on April 22 to raise awareness among humans that they have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.
  • The 2016 theme is ‘Trees for the Earth’
Nandankanan Zoological Park
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 400-hectare zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
  • First zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009
  • In the news because an elephant calf died of heat stroke
New reef system discovered
  • Discovered at the mouth of Amazon river
  • (Amazon river is the largest by volume)
Black-necked crane
  • Grus nigricollis is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and winters mainly in remote parts of India and Bhutan
  • Rated as ‘Vulnerable’
  • Rs. 6400 crore hydro power project in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh has been put into suspension because of threat to this crane.
Art and Culture
Domahi festival
  • Domahi or Domasi is popular harvesting festival of Kamrup and eastern Goalpara regions of Western Assam.
  • Festivals marks the commencement and end of harvesting season, and start and end of Kamrupi and Goalpariya new years.
Chithirai festival
  • Celebrated every year at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu during the month of April for symbolizing the unity of saivism and vaishnavism.
  • It does so by re-enacting the wedding of Lord Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Meenakshi (Lord Vishnu’s sister). The festival includes a procession of Kallazhagar avtar of Lord Vishnu entering Vaigai river. He travels from his abode in Azhagar Malai to get his sister married to Lord Sundareswarar. This journey from his abode to his sister’s wedding, on a golden chariot, is the legend behind celebrating the Chithirai Festival.
Persons in News ( Appointments, Awards , Deaths )
N. K.Singh
  • Former bureaucrat and parliamentarian will get “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver”
  • Will receive one of Japan’s highest civilian honours for promoting economic, educational and cultural ties between India and Japan.
  • The Orders of the Rising Sun are conferred in recognition of distinguished accomplishments of an individual.
  • Japan acknowledged Mr. Singh’s contribution to enhance Japan-India educational ties through his association with the Nalanda University.
James Cross Giblin
  • Prominent children’s book editor and publisher died at 82
  • Wrote “Life and Death of Adolf Hitler”
Dipa Karmakar
  • First ever Indian woman to qualify for Olympics in Gymnastics.
Pulitzer prize for Public Service
  • Associated Press(AP)  won the prize
  • For exposing slavery and vicious abuse in southeast asia fishing trade
Laureus awards
  • Annual prize, honors remarkable individuals from the world of sports along with the greatest sporting achievements throughout the year
  • It is given by Laureus World Sports Academy since 2000.
  • Novak Djokovic-Sportsman of the Year
  • Serena Williams-Sportswoman of the Year
  • Niki Lauda-Laureus World Sports Lifetime Achievement Award
  • A Pop icon dies at 57
  • Prince became an international sensation in the 1980s, when he popularised the Minneapolis sound of danceable funk, incorporating rock elements. His 1984 album Purple Rain is often described as one of the greatests of all time. Among his best-known songs are Purple Rain, 1999, When Doves Cry, Cream and Kiss.
Dolkun Isa
  • A German national of Uighur ethnicity
  • Leader of the so called World Uighur Congress, who has been declared a “terrorist” in China
  • He was granted an electronic visa by India to attend a conference in Dharamshala.
Joginder Paul
  • Renowned Urdu litterateur and author died
  • Born on September 5, 1925 in Sialkot in present-day Pakistan, migrated to India at the time of Partition
Places in News
  • Nagaland The “Twinning Network Program on Chemical Ecology” has been launched in Kohima, Nagaland by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science and Earth Sciences.
  • The program is a new collaborative and interdisciplinary programme in Chemical Ecology between institutions in the North Eastern Region (NER) and partners in Bangalore.
Androth islands
  • Part of lakshadweep islands
  • Navy established a new Naval detachment at the island
  • Part of measures to enhance surveillance of crucial shipping lines
Copper plate decoded
  • decoded by the researchers of Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute(BORI)
  • Harshavardhan’s defeat to the Chalukya King Pulakeshin II can now be fixed at 618 AD.
Best Panchayat in India.
  • In Telangana, Balamallupalli village in Karimnagar district has been awarded as the best Panchayat in India.
  • The sarpanch of the Kasturi village, Tirupati Reddy will receive the award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand state on April 24, 2016.
Ephedrine drug
  • Ephedrine is a medication used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia.
  • Used in manufacturing of Mephedrone powder which is also know as meow meow.
Tatya Tope
  • The Union Government has leased a commemorative coin of 200 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on freedom fighter Tatya Tope.
  • The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope during 2015-16 in association with State Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
  • Tatya Tope was one of the notable generals in India’s First War of Independence (1857-58) i.e. Revolt of 1857.
China to launch
‘core module’ for space station
  • Its first space station sometime around 2018
  • The “core module” for the space station would be called the “Tianhe-1”, the Chinese word for galaxy or Milky Way
  • Two space labs will be launched later and dock with the core module, Tianhe-1, The construction of the space station is expected to finish in 2022.
Smarac citizen APP
  • An app by ISRO
  • Architects and real estate developers who plan to construct close to national monuments, app will grant them construction permits within few minutes
  • App will tell how far is the new construction from the monument
Param Vir: A War Diary
  • A book celebrating lives of 21 Param Vir Chakra winners
  • Written by well known social activist Manju Lodha
  • Released by UK high commissioner Navtej Sarna in London
  • Param Vir Chakra award is the highest military honour bestowed by India to those serving in the Indian armed forces.
Excellence Award for CST
  • New Delhi government won the award
  • Excellence award for maximum deployment of ‘Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST)systems’
  • The award is for the solar water heating technology used at four locations.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had organised the CST and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards-2016
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