Daily Current Affairs - 13th Jul 2020

China, Iran close to reaching trade and military partnership

  • Iran and China have quietly drafted a sweeping economic and security partnership that would clear the way for billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other sectors, undercutting the Donald Trump administration’s efforts to isolate the Iranian government because of its nuclear and military ambitions.
  • The partnership would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regularand heavily discounted supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.

Coal India limited given sufficient coal blocks to achieve production target of 1 billion tonnes by 2023-24: Pralhad Joshi

  • Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi has said that Coal India limited has been given sufficient coal blocks to achieve the production target of one billion tonnes by 2023-24.
  • He said India imported 250 million tonnes of coal last year and to avoid this, commercial mining of coal blocks will be encouraged.

Disabled are entitled to same benefits of SC/ST quota: SC

  • The Supreme Court of India, in a significant decision, has confirmed that persons with disabilities are also socially backward and entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.
  • The decision came on a petition filed by Aryan Raj, a special needs person, against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order.

Eight shortlisted for RBI deputy governor post; interview on July 23

  • A search panel headed by the cabinet secretary is scheduled to interview eight shortlisted candidates on July 23 for the post of RBI deputy governor. The post had fallen vacant after senior-most deputy governor N S Vishwanathan demitted office three months ahead of his extended tenure on March 31 on health grounds after serving the monetary authority for 39 years.
  • This vacancy of RBI deputy governor has been reserved for the central bank's internal candidate, who would look after the key supervisory and regulatory functions. As per the RBI Act, the central bank should have four deputy governors -- two from within the ranks, one commercial banker and another an economist to head the monetary policy department.

Govt. against virtual meetings of House panels

  • The Union government has refused to allow virtual meetings of parliamentary standing committees despite repeated demands from the Opposition parties, citing confidentiality norms. In 2008, during Congress-led UPA-1, then Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari had also weighed in in favour of maintaining secrecy of these meetings.

Income Tax Dept. facilitates new functionality for banks and post offices

  • The Income Tax Department has facilitated a new functionality for Banks and Post offices through which they can ascertain the TDS applicability rates on cash withdrawals. Under it, the Banks and Post Offices can ascertain the TDS applicability rates on cash withdrawals of above Rs 20 lakh in case of a non-filer of the income-tax return and that of above Rs one crore in case of a filer of the income-tax return.
  • It said, TDS is deductible at the rate of 2 per cent if cash withdrawal exceeds Rs one crore, if the person withdrawing cash is a filer of the income-tax return. It said, TDS is deductible at the rate of 2 per cent if cash withdrawal exceeds Rs 20 lakh and at the rate of 5 per cent if it exceeds Rs one crore in case the person is a non-filer of the income-tax return.

Lagno pips Yifan to title

  • Kateryna Lagno of Russia has won the third Grand Prix leg of the FIDE Chess.com women’s Speed Chess in dramatic fashion on Sunday. In the final, she scored a 6.5-5.5 win over China’s Hou Yifan, who lost the final game after being in a superior position.

NTPC Limited wins prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019

  • National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC Limited, a Central PSU has won the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019, under Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence Category.
  • NTPCs flagship CSR program Girl Empowerment Mission, a four weeks residential program has been institutionalized in the vicinity of its power stations for the benefit of school going girls to support in their overall development. NTPC has also initiated Contractors’ Labour Information Management System through which payment to contract labourers is paid on the last day of the month at project sites.
  • CII-ITC Sustainability Awards recognize and reward excellence in sustainability practices. It is considered to be the most credible platform for sustainability recognition in the country.

NTPC's Singrauli Unit 1 emerges top-performing plant in Q1

  • National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC's Singrauli Unit 1 has emerged as the top-performing unit in the country in the first quarter of the financial year, as per the data released by Central Electricity Authority. NTPC, Singrauli is the oldest Unit and a flagship power station of NTPC Limited. NTPC, Singrauli has an installed capacity of 2,000 Mega Watt with five units of 200 Mega Watt each and two units of 500 Mega Watt each.
  • With a total installed capacity of 62 thousand 110 Mega Watt, NTPC Group has 70 Power stations comprising of 24 Coal, seven combined cycle Gas or Liquid Fuel, one Hydro, 13 Renewables along with 25 Subsidiary and Joint Venture Power Stations.

Prince Charles lauds India's 'sustainable' way of life amid Covid-19 crisis

  • Addressing the India Global week 2020 through video link, Britain's Prince Charles has lauded India's 'sustainable' way of life amid coronavirus pandemic saying that the country's diversity and resilience is a personal inspiration for him and much to teach all. He further stated that investments in all four forms of capital can increase living standards and wellbeing in a sustainable way everywhere, particularly to the poorest people.
  • Talking about the ancient yogic concept of 'Aparigraha', he expressed that it's about time the world learnt these ancient wisdoms from India in its pursuit to revive itself.

RBI working on a solution for PMC Bank, says Governor Shaktikanta Das

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is engaged with all stakeholders of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank for a workable solution, Governor Shaktikanta Das said. RBI has also tweaked its priority lending norms for urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to ensure they lend more to sectors for which they were intended to lend to, Das said, adding that special efforts are being made towards identifying early risks for UCBs.

Requirement of re-import of cut and polished diamonds relaxed by 3 months

  • The Union Government has extended relief to the gems and jewellery sector by relaxing the requirement of re-import of cut and polished diamonds, which have been sent abroad for certification and grading, by three months.
  • This extension will apply to all cut and polished diamonds that should have been re-imported between 1st Feb. 2020 to 31st July 2020 but which could not be brought back due to disruption on account of COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Ruskin Bond’s 70-yr literary journey captured in 'A Song of India’, illustrated book out on July 20

  • A new book by writer Ruskin Bond will shed light on his lesser known life before he became a successful author, publishers Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India, announced. The illustrated book - "A Song of India", scheduled to hit the stands on July 20, will mark the 70th year of Bond's literary career.

West Indies win first cricket test match against England by four wickets

  • West Indies won the first international cricket match since the sport's return after the coronavirus outbreak, beating hosts England in a thrilling first Test at an empty Ageas Bowl Stadium.
  • West Indies chased down the victory target of 200-run with four wickets in hand, in their second innings to take an early lead in the three-test series.
  • Earlier, the tourists had made 318 runs in their first innings. England had scored 204 and 313 all out in the first and second innings respectively.