Daily Current Affairs - 07th Oct 2017

5,800 companies with 13,140 suspicious accounts

  • The Union government said the post-demonetisation transaction data from 13 banks cast suspicion on 5,800 companies with 13,140 bank accounts. The company with the highest number of accounts had 2,134 account associated with it, followed by others having accounts in the range of 900, 300 and so on.
  • The Registrar of Companies struck off 2,09,032 companies from its lists earlier this year on the suspicion that they were shell companies. The operation of the bank accounts of these 2,09,032 suspicious companies were restricted for discharge of their liabilities only.

Aayog forms panel for ‘intelligent’ transport

  • The NITI Aayog has set up a national-level committee constituting officials from various ministries and States to develop a roadmap for the implementation of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) policy.
  • Subjects covered under the panel’s purview would include traffic management, parking management, electronic enforcement of traffic rules and fleet management. The committee’s mandate would also include monitoring and encouraging pilot projects.
  • The National ITS policy will aim to reduce urban traffic congestion, improve parking for vehicles in cities, road safety and the security of passenger and goods traffic. The committee will work towards setting uniform standards to implement the ITS in various parts of the country

Australia, India to enhance ties

  • India and Australia discussed ways to enhance cooperation in tackling terrorism, radicalisation and cyber-crimes. The India-Australia Joint Steering Committee discussed the scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalisation, besides steps to check illegal financial transactions, counterfeiting and cyber-crimes.
  • Issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, combating illegal drug trafficking, and sharing information between law enforcement agencies, were also discussed.

Catalan independence vote put 'yes' on 90.18%

  • The final results of banned Catalan referendum on independence from Spain showed "yes" votes winning 90.18 percent of votes cast against 7.83 percent of "no" votes. The Catalan regional government put voter turnout at nearly 2.3 million people, or around 43 percent of registered voters.
  • The referendum was declared illegal by the Spanish government and courts. Catalans who favour remaining part of Spain mainly boycotted the ballot and many polling stations were closed.

Centre proposes three-year licence for contractors

  • The Union government has proposed a major overhaul in the contract labour law, which includes a three-year licence for contractors to work across the country instead of a separate one for new work orders.The contractor will have to clearly define a particular area of work and the proposed law is in line with International Labour Organisation Convention 181.
  • Contractors will no longer require a licence for undertaking each project, as per the proposed changes to the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. If the contractor wants to work in a single State for up to three years, the permit needs to be obtained from the State Government, according to the proposal.
  • The contractor will need to inform the government whenever it receives a work order from a company, failing which the licence may be cancelled, the proposed law stated.
  • The government has also proposed to make wage payment primarily through electronic mode instead of cash payment.

India’s greenhouse gas emissions up by 4.7% in 2016

  • According to the latest report by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, trends in global CO2 and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions show that India’s emissions have gone up by 4.7% in 2016.
  • The report’s data is based on the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) produced by the European Union.
  • Emissions in the U.S. saw a fall of 2%, the Russian Federation 2.1%, Brazil 6.1%, China 0.3%, and, within the European Union, the United Kingdom 6.4%.
  • In 2016, the five largest emitting countries and the European Union accounted for 68% of total global CO2 emissions and about 63% of total global GHG emissions.
  • According to India’s own submission at the United Nations, its cumulative emission is 3 % of the global emission.

Madhya Pradesh lost 17 tigers this year

  • Madhya Pradesh, once popularly known as the ‘tiger State’, has lost 17 big cats so far this year, as per the figures of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). According to NTCA’s figures, 71 tigers died in India between January 1 and September 29 this year.
  • The wildlife activists have blamed the bureaucracy’s lethargy for the death of tigers.
  • Of these, 17 died in MP, followed by 14 in Karnataka, 12 each in Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, six in UP, four in Assam, two each in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and one each in Odisha and Rajasthan.

Many Indians skip nutritious food

  • A nation-wide study, carried out by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) to assess urban nutrition, shows not only a great diversity in food consumption in 16 States in the country, but also that Indians consume far less than the recommended quantum of several micro-nutrients and vital vitamins.
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported the highest intake of flesh foods, including meat and fish, while Odisha has the highest consumption of green leafy vegetables (GLV).
  • On an average, while the recommended dietary intake of GLV is 40g/Cu/day, the consumption in the country is 24g/Cu/day.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the lowest intake of flesh foods, and Kerala consumes the least green leafy vegetables.
  • Madhya Pradesh has the highest intake of sugar and jaggery, Odisha and Assam have the highest intake of salt. Rajasthan is high on the intake of fats and oils as well as milk and milk products.
  • The researchers used the method of a 24-hour dietary recall to collect food and nutrient information from 1.72 lakh people in 16 States.

Mutual Fund schemes to fall under five heads: SEBI

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed mutual funds to categorize all their schemes into five broad groups namely: equity, debt, hybrid, solution oriented and other. Further, within the broad groups, the regulator has asked fund houses to have schemes based on parameters such as market capitalization, investment strategy, tenure of instruments (for debt schemes) and the share of equity and debt.
  • SEBI further wants different schemes launched by a mutual fund are clearly distinct in terms of asset allocation, investment strategy, etc. It emphasizes the need to bring in uniformity in the characteristics of similar type of schemes launched by different mutual funds.

Nobel Peace Prize goes to ICAN

  • Nuclear disarmament campaign group the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to rid the world of the atomic bomb. The Nobel committee sought to highlight ICAN’s tireless non-proliferation efforts as nuclear-related crises swirl around North Korea and Iran.
  • Founded in Vienna in 2007, ICAN comprises more than 400 NGOs and has mobilized supporters and celebrities alike in its cause. It was a key player in the adoption of a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty, signed at the UN by 122 countries in July.
  • The Peace Prize, which comes with a gold medal and a cheque for nine million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) will be presented in Oslo on December 10 on the anniversary of the death of its founder, Swedish philanthropist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.
  • Although global atomic weapons stockpiles have reduced from around 64,000 warheads in 1986 at the height of the Cold War to more than 9,000 in 2017 according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) but the number of nuclear-armed nations has grown.
  • The U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are all thought to possess weapons of mass destruction.

RIL exits Pennsylvania shale assets for $126 mn

  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has decided to exit all of its interest in certain upstream shale assets in north-eastern and central Pennsylvania, US. The assets, currently operated by Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc., were sold to BKV Chelsea LLC, an affiliate of Kalnin Ventures LLC, for a consideration of $126 million.
  • The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the third quarter of FY2018, with an April 1, 2017, effective date
  • Reliance remains invested in the Marcellus shale play via its non-operated position with Chevron in southwestern Pennsylvania and in the Eagle Ford play via its non-operated position with Pioneer in Texas.

Sania Mirza-Peng Shuai enter semis of China Open

  • India's Sania Mirza and her partner Peng Shuai entered the semi-finals of the China Open tennis championships, in Beijing. Sania and Peng duo came from a set down to beat fifth-seeded Czech pair of Barbara Strýcová and Katerina Siniaková 4-6 6-2 10-7 in the quarterfinals.
  • Sania and Peng will now face Swiss Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-jan of Chinese Taipei in the last-four round.

SC lifts veil on Collegium recommendations

  • The Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, decided to go public with all its recommendations to the government on judicial appointments, transfers and elevations to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. The recommendations will be uploaded on the Supreme Court's official website.
  • As a start, the Supreme Court has already posted online detailed reasons for its October 3, 2017 recommendations for judicial appointments to the Madras HC and the Kerala HC.
  • The secretive nature of the functioning of the Collegium continued through the tenures of 20 Chief Justices of India.

Syrian army ousts IS from last central Syria pocket

  • In Syria, army has cleared Islamic State (IS) from its last pocket of territory in central Syria after months of fighting. The armed forces completed military operations in the eastern Homs countryside, eliminating the last groups of the IS in the area and liberating an area of 1,800 square kilometres.
  • IS has lost swathes of Syrian territory to separate campaigns being waged by Syria’s army, supported by Russian forces and Iran-backed militias, and by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Trump set to decertify Iran nuclear agreement

  • The Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers reached in 2015 appears to be in jeopardy as President Donald Trump is unlikely to issue a certification mandated by a U.S law for the country’s continuing participation in the agreement.
  • Decertification by Mr. Trump will not directly result in the U.S withdrawal from the agreement, but could a trigger a series of events that may destabilize and eventually dismantle it. The President is expected to give a speech explaining his position and a new, tougher policy towards Iran next week.

Under-17 World Cup: India lose 0-3 to USA in group A match

  • In their opening encounter of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, India lost to the United States by three goals to Nil in Group A matches played at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi. Two-time champions Ghana began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Colombia.
  • India will play their second Group A match against Colombia in Delhi on October 9.