Daily Current Affairs - 09th Jul 2018

GoM favours deferment of sops for digital payments under GST by a year

  • A ministerial panel will recommend to the GST Council to defer by a year the proposal to incentivise digital payments under GST, citing revenue implications of doling out a concessional tax rate. The panel has decided to wait for stabilization of revenues under GST in the current fiscal before considering differential GST rates for people making payments using the digital mode.

Govt. asks RBI to track all transactions

  • The Union government has asked the Central bank the RBI to set up an information technology (IT)-based mechanism to keep a tab on all non-cash financial transactions in the country. This move is aimed at widening the crackdown on black money and following the money trail flowing in and out of thousands of shell companies.
  • The idea is to make the RBI the sole repository of such information, which will not be made available to other agencies such as the income tax department and the enforcement directorate as a default. . Such agencies may be required to make specific requests to the central bank if they want information on a particular set of entities.
  • Currently under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, banks and financial institutions are already required to alert the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under the Finance Ministry, to any suspicious transactions, cash or otherwise.
  • Cash transactions of more than Rs. 10 lakh (including a series of transactions integrally connected to each other and exceeding Rs. 10 lakh in a month), need to be reported to the FIU.
  • All suspicious transactions need to reported to the unit within seven days after it is concluded that those are suspicious in nature.
  • In FY17, the FIU had received more than 15.9 million Cash Transaction Reports and 4.73 lakh Suspicious Transaction Reports.

Gymnastics World Cup: Dipa Karmakar clinches gold medal

  • India's premier gymnast Dipa Karmakar clinched a gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin in Turkey. Dipa Karmakar scored 14.150 to win gold. This is Dipa's first medal in a World Challenge Cup. She had topped the qualification also with a score of 13.400. She returned to action after nearly two years of lay-off due to injury.
  • She has been included in the 10-member Indian gymnastics team for the upcoming Asian Games.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to inaugurate 17th World Sanskrit Conference at Vancouver

  • Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will inaugurate the 17th World Sanskrit Conference to be held at Vancouver, Canada. The purpose of this conference is to promote, preserve and practice the Sanskrit language all over the world by the people.
  • More than 500 scholars and delegates from over 40 countries will participate in the five day conference and exchange their knowledge by presenting papers on various subjects.
  • There will be a special panel discussion on over a dozen topics like - History and Education of Women in Vedic Literature, Sanskrit Buddhist Manus, introducing Bhagavata Purana Commentaries and research on the Gargiyajyotisa.
  • The World Sanskrit Conference is being held in various countries across the globe once in every three years and so far it has been held thrice in India.

IMPS fund transfer doubles to Rs 3.23 lakh cr in FY’19 Q1

  • Transfer of funds through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) crossed Rs. 3.23 lakh crore in the April-June quarter of 2018-19, which is almost double the amount recorded in the year-earlier period. The IMPS offers an instant, round-the-clock, inter-bank electronic fund transfer service that can be accessed through multiple channels.
  • Different banks have different limits for daily and monthly fund transfers through IMPS.
  • Immediate Payment Service is an instant real-time inter-bank electronic funds transfer system in India. IMPS offers an inter-bank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. The service is available 24/7 throughout the year including bank holidays.

India beat England by 7 wkts in 3rd Twenty-20 to clinch series 2-1

  • India thrashed England by seven wickets in the third and final Twenty-20 International to clinch the series, 2-1. Put in to bat, England posted 198 for 9, with opener Jason Roy top scoring with 67.
  • In reply, Team India achieved the target with 8 balls to spare and 7 wickets in hand. Opener Rohit Sharma scored his third T-20 ton and was an unbeaten on 100 off just 56 balls, comprising 11 fours and 5 sixes. He was adjudged man of the match as well as player of the series.
  • During the game, MS Dhoni entered in the history books becoming the first wicket-keeper to take 50 catches in T20s and also the first keeper to take 5 catches in a single T20 match.
  • The victory was India's sixth consecutive T-20 series win.

India rethinks Russia fifth-generation fighter aircraft deal

  • India has conveyed to Russia its unwillingness to go ahead with the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, primarily because of the high costs involved in the project. The negotiations between the two sides have not yet been stopped as India was ready to have a re-look at co-development of the jet if an appropriate cost sharing formula was arrived at.
  • According to government sources, the cost of the project has been estimated at around $30 billion or Rs. 2 lakh crore.

Law Commission's consultations with political parties on simultaneous elections concludes

  • Law Commission's consultations with political parties on simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and State Assemblies concluded without reaching a consensus.
  • Shiromani Akali Dal, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and AIADMK have supported the idea of one nation one election. On the other hand DMK, Trinamool Congress, CPI, AIUDF and Goa Forward Party have opposed the concept.
  • BJP has sought time from the Commission to present its views while the Congress has said that it will consult other opposition parties on the issue before deciding its course of action.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has on several occasions stressed the need to hold simultaneous polls to help save time and money and allow political parties to pay more attention to governance.

Nirbhaya gangrape case: Supreme Court to deliver verdict on review petitions of three convicts

  • The Supreme Court of India will pronounce its verdict on the petitions filed by the three convicts in the brutal December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape case. A three-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and R Bhanumathi will pronounce the verdict.
  • The Apex Court had on May 5, last year, upheld the Delhi High court order of death penalty to them. Following which, the three convicts appealed before the Supreme Court for review its order of death sentence

Over 51 lakh dwelling units sanctioned in 3 years under PMAY (U)

  • The Urban Affairs Ministry stated that over 51 lakh houses have been sanctioned against the demand of one crore in the last three years under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). In that over 28 lakh units are under construction and eight lakh houses have been completed. The Urban Ministry aims at large-scale construction of houses for the urban poor.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022.

Pakistan thrashes Australia to claim T20 tri-series title

  • Pakistan chased the target of 184 set by Australia in the final of the Twenty20 tri-series at Harare Sports Club. Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman cracked a career-best 91 to help his side from an early wobble in their pursuit of Australia's 183 for 8.
  • Put in to bat first, Australia scored 183 for 8, which was not quite enough to better Pakistan in the final match.

PSU banks mull raising Rs. 50,000 cr. in equity

  • Public sector banks are planning to tap the markets to raise more than Rs. 50,000 crore this fiscal to increase up their capital base for business growth and meeting regulatory global risk norms.
  • Out of 21 public sector banks, 13 have already taken the approval of their boards or shareholders for raising capital through the equity market. The combined value of the share sale of these banks is upwards of Rs. 50,000 crore.
  • Leading the pack is the Central Bank of India, which has already got shareholders’ approval for raising Rs. 8,000 crore equity capital. Canara Bank also proposes to raise up to Rs. 7,000 crore through various means, including rights issue and QIP.
  • Capital is urgently required for these banks as they are debt-ridden with non-performing assets (NPAs) of about Rs. 10 lakh crore.
  • According to analysts, their first quarter results may not be very encouraging despite heavy cleaning up of books as the dust has not settled on the NPA front.

SAT seeks review on practice of share sales to select investors

  • The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has asked the capital markets regulator SEBI to look into the manner in which merchant bankers and brokers market sales of shares, especially by listed companies, to select investors before an issue opens.
  • The tribunal said it could lead to sharing of inside information giving such investors an unfair advantage over others and hence the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) must examine whether there is a need to bar such investors from trading before the issue opens.
  • This assumes significance as popular fund-raising routes such as offer for sale (OFS) and qualified institutional placement (QIP) used by listed firms are often pitched to select potential investors before the issue opens.

Sebastian Vettel wins British GP

  • Sebastian Vettel won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari to deny Lewis Hamilton a fifth successive home victory and move eight points clear at the top of the Formula One standings. Reigning champion Hamilton went from pole position to the rear of the field before finishing second for Mercedes in a superb fightback. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished third.
  • The win was Vettel’s fourth of the season, 51st of his career, and champions Mercedes’ first defeat at Silverstone since 2012.

Six bids to supply 110 fighters for IAF

  • Six global aircraft manufacturers have responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Indian Air Force to supply 110 fighter aircraft. The deadline for the RFI was July 6. The RFI, which was issued on April 6, states that the government plans to buy 110 fighters jets, of which 85% will have to be built in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme in partnership with a “Strategic Partner/Indian Production Agency.”
  • The procurement will be processed through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model under the Defence Procurement Procedure.
  • The six global aircraft manufacturers include Lockheed Martin F-16 , SAAB Gripen, Boeing F-18, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and United Aircraft Corporation MiG-35.
  • Lockheed Martin F-16 and SAAB Gripen are single-engine fighters, while Boeing F-18, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and United Aircraft Corporation MiG-35 are twin-engine ones.

Telecom firms oppose TRAI’s public Wi-Fi model

  • Telecom operators have opposed public Wi-Fi model recommended by the sector regulator TRAI, saying it will adversely impact debt ridden industry and compromise national security.
  • Telecom operators body stated that the proposal to sell internet services without a licence, will be a complete bypass of present licensing framework, detrimental to massive investments already made in spectrum, telecom infrastructure.
  • Based on existing rules for cyber cafes, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended that a new set of players to be called Pubic Data Office Aggregator (PDOA) should be allowed to resell Internet services through yesteryear PCO type of set-up that will be called Public Data Offices.