Daily Current Affairs - 03rd Apr 2017

Agreement for CIRDAP establishment Centre in Hyderabad

  • Ministry of Rural Development and Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) have signed an agreement for establishment of CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad.
  • Background
  • The CIRDAP is a regional Inter - Governmental and autonomous institution which came into existence in 1979 at the initiative of the countries of Asia Pacific region and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) with support from several other UN bodies and donors.
  • India is one of the key founder members of this Organisation. Its Headquarters is located at Dhaka. Bangladesh.
  • The objective of CIRDAP is to promote regional cooperation and act as a serving institution for its member countries for promotion of integrated rural development through research action, training, information dissemination etc.

Bob Dylan accepts Nobel prize at last

  • After months of uncertainty and controversy, Bob Dylan finally accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, and/or scientific advances.
  • The prize ceremonies take place annually in Stockholm, Sweden (with the exception of the peace prize, which is held in Oslo, Norway). Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money that has been decided by the Nobel Foundation.

Exim Bank to raise $3 billion from global capital markets

  • The Indian government-owned export credit agency, Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank), is looking to raise about $3 billion from international capital markets in 2017-18.
  • Export–Import Bank of India(Exim) is the premier export finance institution in India, established in 1982 under Export-Import Bank of India Act 1981.
  • The Exim Bank functions under the regulation of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).

Federer wins Miami Open

  • Roger Federer continued his recent mastery of Rafa Nadal when he beat his great rival 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open.
  • Federer improved to 19-1 this year, winning the Australian Open in five sets over Nadal, and Paribas Open in straight sets over Stan Wawrinka. His only loss was at the hands of Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round in Dubai.

GAAR raises issue of taxman's powers

  • The General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) are set to be implemented from 1st April of this year. The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) are designed to prevent the avoidance of tax by taking advantage of international tax laws.
  • The rules say that if the major outcome of a transaction is a tax benefit and there is no sound business basis for the transaction, then the government can invoke GAAR and reclassify the transaction or the profits arising from it.
  • However the industry is concerned about the greater subjective authority being given to the tax department and how this could render transactions unprofitable.

India added 5,400 MW of wind power in FY17

  • India added a record 5,400 MW of wind power capacity in 2016-17, breaking it's previous record of 3,472-MW added in 2015-16.
  • Also, with the addition of 5,400 MW (which appears to be a rounded figure), the country’s wind power capacity stands at 31,177 MW.
  • Andhra Pradesh topped installations with 2,190 MW; Gujarat stood second at 1,275 MW and Karnataka followed with 882 MW.
  • In order to promote climate resilient and sustainable development, India has setup a target to install 175 GW renewable energy by 2022. It includes 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind energy and 15 GW from other renewable energy resources.

Indian billionaires richer by $19.8 billion

  • Indian billionaires, led by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, are richer by $19.8 billion or Rs. 1.28 lakh crore in fiscal 2017, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
  • Steel baron Laxmi Nivas Mittal with a personal wealth of $15.9 billion is second in the list
  • Pharmaceuticals leader Dilip Shanghvi is the third richest with personal wealth of $14.7 billion.

Miami Open: Sania Mirza loses women's doubles final

  • Sania Mirza and her Czech team-mate Barbora Strycova lost in the Women's Doubles final of Miami Open tennis tournament.
  • The third seeded pair was defeated by unseeded Canadaian-Chinese pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 6-4, 6-3.
  • The Miami Open, also known as the Miami Masters, is an annual tennis tournament for men and women held in Key Biscayne, Florida, an island town just off the coast of Miami. The tournament is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event on the men's tour and a Premier Mandatory event on the women's tour, played on hard courts at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park. The event is held annually in March.

Mizoram becomes 27th State to join UDAY

  • Mizoram became 27nd state in the country to join Union Government’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY). In this regard, Central Government and the state government have signed MoU for operational improvement of Mizoram’s Power Distribution Department.
  • The MoU paves way for improving operational efficiency of the Power Distribution department of the State. Through compulsory Distribution Transformer metering, consumer indexing & GIS mapping of losses, upgrade/change transformers, meters etc., smart metering of high-end consumers, feeder audit etc. AT&C losses and transmission losses would be brought down, besides eliminating the gap between cost of supply of power and realisation.

Petrol price cut by Rs 3.77 per litre, diesel by Rs 2.91

  • Petrol price has been cut by 3 rupees 77 paise per litre and diesel by 2 rupees 91 paise per litre, excluding state levies. The new rates came into effect midnight that is from early hours of 2nd April.
  • The three state-run oil marketing firms Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp review retail fuel prices periodically and usually revise them every fortnight to pass on the impact of global crude oil prices to consumers.
  • In a statement, Indian Oil Corporation said that the current level of international oil prices and Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate warrant decrease in selling price of Petrol and Diesel.
  • Petrol and Diesel prices are broadly determined by the following factors.
  • Petrol price = cost price (procuring + refining + marketing) + tax (central + state).
  • Cost price = f(international crude price).
  • International Crude Price = f(Supply, Demand, Government policies, Financial Institutions, Geopolitics).

PM Dedicates Chenani-Nashri Tunnel in J&K to the Nation

  • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated India’s longest highways tunnel - the Chenani- Nashri tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir- to the nation.
  • He said that the tunnel will not only reduce the distance between Jammu and Srinagar, but will also promote tourism in the valley, open up employment opportunities for the youth and give a boost to development in the state.
  • On this occasion, the PM also recollected another engineering marvel:The 9 km long, twin-tube, all-weather tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir, which is not only India’s longest highways tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highways tunnel.

PMKK inaugurated at Kavoor

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) programme has been initiated at kavoor in Mangaluru.
  • At the PMKKs, youth aged between 18 and 35 will be provided skills to make their services relevant to industries in the region. Similar skills are provided for those from the economically weaker sections under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Koushalya Yojana.
  • The PMKKs in Mangaluru and Mandya will be operated by Excelus Learning Solutions. This firm will run PMKKs to come up in Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Virajpet and 30 other places in the country.

Salary hike to RBI personnel

  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel and his deputies have received a salary increase with the government more than doubling their basic salary to Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 2.25 lakh a month, respectively.
  • The “basic pay of the Governor and Deputy Governors” have been revised retrospectively with effect from January 1, 2016 and marks a huge jump from the Rs. 90,000 basic pay so far drawn by the Governor and Rs. 80,000 by his deputies.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the country's apex financial statutory body established to regulate the banking sector in country, formulate the monetary policy to control inflation among the other things.

SBI chief wants to break into top 30 global league

  • After leapfrogging into the league of top 50 global banks following the merger of five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with it, State Bank of India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya has set her sights higher, wanting SBI to break into the top 30 global league in the next few years. Following the merger of five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore — and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with it, SBI now has a balancesheet size (deposits plus advances) of Rs. 41 lakh crore. With the merger, which is effective from April 1, SBI now has 2.77 lakh employees, 50 crore customers, and more than 25,000 branches and 58,000 ATMs.

Sindhu becomes Womens singles champion of India Super Series tournament

  • Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu produced a superlative performance to beat reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain 21-19, 21-16 to lift her maiden India Open Super Series title.
  • Earlier, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark clinched the men's singles title of the tournament beating Chinese Taipei's Tien Chen Chou in straight games. Third seed Axelsen edged past Chou 21-13, 21-10 to claim his maiden India Open title.

Union Textiles Minister launches PowerTex India

  • The Government has launched PowerTex India, a comprehensive scheme for powerloom sector development, simultaneously at over 45 locations in the country.
  • The scheme was launched at Bhiwandi,Thane district in Maharashtra by the Union Textile Minister, Smt. Smriti Zuban Irani.
  • As the powerloom sector employs around 44 lakh people, this scheme would especially benefit small powerloom weavers.