Daily Current Affairs - 27th Sep 2018

21st Central Zonal Council meeting held in Lucknow

  • The 21st Central Zonal Council meeting was held in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh. It was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. It was attended by Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand while representative ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
  • Zonal Councils were set up under States Reorganization Act, 1956 (thus, they are not constitutional bodies unlike Interstate Council, but are statutory bodies) to foster Inter-State co-operation and co-ordination among the States.
  • Union Home Minister is Chairman of Zonal Councils. Chief Ministers of States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of respective zone by rotation, each holding office for period of one year at time.

25th September: Antyodaya Diwas

  • 25th September was observed as Antyodaya Diwas across the country to mark the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, a noted philosopher, historian and political activist. Antyodaya means uplifting of the weakest section of the society.
  • Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916-68) was a well-known political personality and a thoughtful philosopher. He was a coordinator and a famous leader of Jan Sangh.

3 Indian women selected among Facebook’s Global Community Leaders

  • Social networking giant Facebook has selected three Indian women among five global leaders for $1 million award as part of its Community Leadership Programme. They are Adhunika Prakash, Chetana Misra and Tamanna Dhamija.
  • Adhunika Prakash: She had founded non-profit Breastfeeding Support for Indian Moms in Pune.
  • Chetana Misra: She had founded Mompreneurs India. It is community of like-minded women, allowing them to network, share knowledge and contacts and benefit from partnerships to start business and take it online.
  • Tamanna Dhamija: She had created Baby Destination. It helps mothers exchange information and support one another.

4 Northern states and 2 UTs agree to fix uniform tax rates on petroleum products

  • Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territories of Delhi and Chandigarh have agreed to fix uniform tax rates on petroleum products, amid rising fuel prices. Besides, these states and UTs also have agreed to bring uniformity in taxes on liquor and registration of vehicles and transport permit. This decision will lead to increase in government revenue and at the same time curb black marketing. It will also help to curb diversion of trade.
  • Decision in this regard was taken at meeting finance ministers of five states and officials of UT Chandigarh held in Chandigarh to deliberate on fixing uniform rate of taxes on petrol and diesel. The meeting was initiative of Haryana Finance and Excise and Taxation Minister Captain Abhimanyu.

Aadhaar linking must for PAN, filing income tax returns: SC

  • The Supreme Court ruled that linking the Aadhaar card to PAN card is mandatory and is needed for filing income tax returns.
  • The apex court, however, said Aadhaar is not mandatory for opening bank accounts and linking with existing accounts. Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI had earlier told the court that Aadhaar linking would help prevent duplication of PAN cards.
  • The Supreme Court also struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed private companies to avail Aadhaar data. Calling the section unconstitutional, the court asserted that private companies cannot insist on having Aadhaar number of customers. Aadhaar authentication records cannot be stored beyond six months, striking down the current rule of five years.

Bangladesh beat Pakistan and enters Asia Cup Finals

  • Mushfiqur Rahim struck a brilliant 99 as Bangladesh produced an all-round effort to stun Pakistan by 37 runs in the last Super Four match and progress to the final of the Asia Cup.
  • Bangladesh will pay finals with India.

Finance Ministry launches web portal to grant loans to MSMEs within hour

  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched portal ‘www.psbloansin59minutes.com’ to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get in-principle approval of loans within hour without need for branch visit.
  • The web portal will enable in principle approval for MSME loans up to Rs. 1 crore within 59 minutes from Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and 5 Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
  • The portal is strategic initiative of SIBDI led five PSB consortium incubated under aegis of Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance. It sets new benchmark in loan processing and reduces turnaround time from 20-25 days to 59 minutes.

Google Appoints Keith Enright As Its Chief Privacy Officer

  • Alphabet Inc.’s Google has appointed its privacy lawyer, Keith Enright, as Chief Privacy Officer as the company proposed policies for potential federal regulation of data. In his new role, Enright will oversee crafting Google's strategy on privacy issues.
  • Before Google, Enright worked as the Chief Privacy Officer at Macy's and was also a senior consultant at IBM.

Government launches Financial Inclusion Index

  • Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley launched Financial Inclusion Index in New Delhi. It was launched after his Annual Performance Review Meeting with CEOs of Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
  • The annual Financial Inclusion Index will be released by Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance. It will be measure of access and usage of basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.
  • The index has three measurement dimensions (i) Access to financial services (ii) Usage of financial services and (iii) Quality.

IAF successfully test-fires air-to-air Astra missile

  • The Indian Air Force successfully test fired the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Astra from a Su-30 aircraft, the Defence Ministry said. The missile, tested at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station, “successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision.”
  • In the series of trials held till date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope.
  • The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials. Astra, deemed to be the best in class weapon system, has undergone more than 20 developmental trials.

India, Morocco agree to enhance bilateral cooperation in field of defence and security

  • India and Morocco have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security. Decision in this regard was taken at meeting between Moroccan Defence Minister Abdeltif Loudyi and Defence Mnister Nirmala Sitaraman in South Block in New Delhi. This was first ever visit of Moroccan Defence Minister to India.
  • Both countries also singed two bilateral MoUs, (i) ‘Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security’ between Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT–IN) and Moroccan Computer Response Team (ma-CERT) and (ii) Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’ between Indian ISRO and Moroccan Centre of Remote Sensing.

Indian Culinary Institute inaugurated in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

  • Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. It is promoted by Union Ministry of Tourism. The ICI building was designed by National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC).
  • The main objective of Indian Culinary Institute (ICI)is to institutionalize mechanism to support efforts intended to preserve, document, promote and disseminate Indian Cuisine.
  • At present In India, there is no formal education specific to Indian cuisine, culinary art. Besides, there was no regular credible institutional source at apex level for supply of cuisine specialists to sector.

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting joins SDG Media Compact aimed at advancing awareness of SDGs

  • Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has joined SDG Media Compact aimed at advancing awareness of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is among more than 30 organisations from across the world that have come together to form global media compact.
  • SDG Media Compact is initiative of United Nations, in collaboration with UN Foundation. It is alliance of news and entertainment media and it is committing to work with United Nations to foster public discourse and spur action on SDGs.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global non-binding goals featuring 169 targets to be implemented from 2015 to 2030.

Mukesh Ambani tops India Rich list for 7th time in a row

  • Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, chairman of India’s second-most valued firm ‘Reliance Industries’, has topped the ‘Barclays Hurun India Rich List 2018’ for the seventh consecutive year, with the total net worth of INR 371,000 crore. Barclays Hurun India Rich List 2018, a compilation of the individuals in India having a net worth of INR 1,000 crore or more, featured 831 Indians compared to 617 last year.
  • Mr Ambani is followed by London-based S.P. Hinduja, with the net worth of INR 1,59,000 crore; and L.N. Mittal, with a net worth of INR 1,14,500 crore. Azim Premji, with the wealth of INR 96,100 crore, is fourth in the list. The cumulative wealth of the 831 individuals featured in the list stood at $719 billion, amounting to a quarter of India’s GDP of $2,848 billion.

National e-Vidhan Application: National Orientation workshop held in New Delhi

  • Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs had held two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal. On this occasion, new website of NeVA was also launched.
  • National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) is an initiative of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. It aims to make all legislatures in the country paperless by making proceedings of houses digital. It also aims to provide information about functioning of House to common citizen at click of button.

SC allows live streaming of proceedings of constitutional importance

  • The Supreme Court allowed the live streaming of its proceedings in the cases that hold constitutional importance.
  • Rendering the judgement, the bench, comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud, said, "It (live streaming) will start from the Supreme Court. Rules have to be followed for this. Live streaming of court proceedings will bring accountability into the judicial system."
  • The order came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising in her personal capacity in January, 2018.

UN declared 2019-2028 as Nelson Mandela decade of peace

  • Unanimously adopting a political declaration at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, nearly 100 Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Member States and representatives of civil society committed to redoubling efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world, as they paid tribute to the late South African President’s (1994-99) celebrated qualities and service to humanity.
  • Recognizing the period from 2019-2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace, the Declaration saluted Mr Mandela for his humility, forgiveness and compassion, acknowledging his contribution as well to the struggle for democracy and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.

WAYU: Air pollution control device inaugurated in New Delhi

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Environment Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated air pollution control device WAYU (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit) for traffic junctions at ITO intersection and Mukarba Chowk in New Delhi. The device aims at tackling toxicity in air by sucking in particulate matter and release fresh air.
  • WAYU (Wind Augmentation PurifYing Unit) has been indigenously developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) as part of Technology Development Project being funded by Department of Science and Technology. Its prototype has capacity to purify air in area of 500 meter square. It consumes only half unit of electricity for 10 hours of running and has maintenance cost of only Rs. 1500 per month.