Daily Current Affairs - 09th Aug 2019

ADB to provide $200 million for rural road project in Maharashtra

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has approved a USD 200 million loan for improving road infrastructure in 34 districts of Maharashtra to better connect rural areas with markets and services.
  • Roads in rural areas would be upgraded to all-weather standards which will boost links between local residents and economic centres across the state, the ADB said. The project will also work with the rural infrastructure agency, the Maharashtra Rural Road Development Association (MRRDA), to develop road safety, road asset management, contract management, and climate resilient design.

Amla retires from international cricket

  • South African batsman Hashim Amla has retired from all international cricket with immediate effect.
  • Amla played 124 Tests, 181 ODIs and 44 T20Is between in his 15-year-long cricketing career. He went on to make 18,000 runs including 55 centuries and 88 fifty-plus scores across all formats of the game. He is the only South African to have scored a triple century in the Test format.

BAFTA LA to honour Steve Coogan with Charlie Chaplin Award

  • Actor Steve Coogan will be felicitated with the Charlie Chaplin Award by the British Academy’s Los Angeles branch. He will receive the honour during the 2019 Britannia Awards.
  • The Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy recognises the talents whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy.

BrahMos missile to be deployed for maritime coastal defence

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and the Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB) for the Navy.
  • The NGMMCB will be fitted with the BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missiles and deployed along the coast. The SDR has been designed and developed by the DRDO, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the Navy’s Weapons Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE). It will facilitate high-speed data and secure voice communication with anti-jamming capability.

Food supply is at dire risk: UN

  • The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which, combined with climate change, is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself.
  • The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.

Government approves 5,595 e-buses in 64 cities under FAME India's second phase

  • The Centre gave nod to 5,595 electric buses (e-buses) for inter- and intra-city transportation in 64 cities, giving a thrust to last-mile connectivity and continued electric mobility push.
  • Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad got the highest number of buses at 300 each.

Income Tax dept relaxes assessment and scrutiny norms for start-ups

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a clarification and directed its officers not to raise additional tax demands for start-ups recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • Further, even unregistered companies have been given relief, with the assessing officer being allowed to scrutinize them only after getting permission from his superior officer.
  • Angel Tax refers to income tax payable on capital raised by unlisted firms by issuing shares where the share price is considered more than the fair market value.

India, Bangladesh to set up committee for optimum utilisation of water resources

  • India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up a Joint Technical committee for optimum utilisation of Ganges water as being received by Bangladesh under the Ganga Water Sharing Treaty 1996.
  • After the Secretary-level meeting in Dhaka, both the countries also agreed to prepare a framework for interim water-sharing agreement for eight rivers including Feni, Gumti and Teesta. Both the countries also discussed issues related to pollution of trans boundary rivers.

Manipur tops in Breastfeeding, Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices

  • Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan released a report on Breastfeeding in New Delhi.
  • According to the report Manipur has topped the rankings in Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in the country. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are at the bottom positions in the report card.

No jail for CSR violation: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to business leaders

  • The government has given an assurance that it will not initiate punitive action against companies not following the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norms as mentioned in the recent amendments to the Companies Act, industry leaders said, following a meeting with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • The legal changes on CSR spending now allow fines for both the defaulting company in question and officers deemed responsible of Rs 50,000 to Rs 25 lakh, with officers also liable for imprisonment up to three years.

Pranab Mukherjee receives Bharat Ratna; Bhupen Hazarika, Nanaji Deshmukh honoured posthumously

  • Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, singer Bhupen Hazarika and Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh have been conferred Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award during an event at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • Hazarika and Deshmukh have been given the honour posthumously.

President Kovind gives assent to National Medical Commission Bill

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his nod to National Medical Commission Bill 2019. The move came after Parliament passed the bill in the just-concluded session. The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. It has provisions to set up the National Medical Commission which will frame policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals and assess the requirements of healthcare-related human resources and infrastructure.

Rs 3 trillion of capital infusion only helped PSBs trim losses, not drive credit supply: India Ratings

  • The massive Rs 3 trillion capital infusion by the government into state-run banks over the past six years has helped them reduce losses but has failed to boost credit growth, says a report.
  • Between FY14 and FY19, the government has infused Rs 3 trillion in state-run banks-a good portion of which came in from the national insurer LIC.

Tax dispute limits doubled for appeals in high courts, Supreme Court

  • The government has doubled the monetary limits of tax disputes for filing appeals by the income-tax (I-T) department in high courts and the Supreme Court (SC). This is seen as a move to reduce tax dispute cases.
  • The limits for filing appeals in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) have been more than doubled. The existing floor for filing appeals in the ITAT stands at Rs 20 lakh. It has since been revised to Rs 50 lakh. Similarly, the limit for appealing against an order in the high courts has been revised up to Rs 1 crore, from Rs 50 lakh. Now appeals can be filed in the SC, if a tax dispute is over Rs 2 crore, against the present Rs 1 crore.

Usha Thorat panel suggests liberal currency market for offshore users

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a task force under the former deputy governor Usha Thorat to examine issues related to offshore rupee market and recommend policy measures to ensure the stability of the external value of the domestic currency.
  • A liberal currency trading regime that would include permitting $100 million Over The Counter trades without underlying exposure, aligning tax treatment with global standards, and extend trading hours to enable overseas investors to trade are among the recommendations by the task force.

World Archery suspends AAI for defying guidelines

  • The World Archery (WA) suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) for defying its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies, asking the federation to put its house in order by the end of this month.
  • The decision is effective from Monday and the last event in which the archers can participate under the Indian flag is the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid from 19th to 25th of this month.