Current Affairs 12th September 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Union Cabinet  approved the process, formation and functioning of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 12 September 2016. The council will consist of the Finance Minister and State Finance Ministers. It will make recommendations on important issues related to GST, including items and rates. The GST Council and its Secretariat will be set up as per the following details: Creation of the GST Council as per Article 279A of the amended Constitution Creation of the GST Council Secretariat, with its office at New Delhi Appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council Inclusion of the Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (non-voting) to all proceedings of the GST Council Create one post of Additional Secretary to the GST Council in the GST Council Secretariat and four posts of Commissioner in the GST Council Secretariat On 8 September 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to the 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill. The Bill will pave the way for rollout of GST.The new tax regime will do away with the indirect taxes. It will usher in one tax for the entire country.Over 18 States have ratified the bill. The GST is a single indirect tax, which will subsume most of the central and state taxes such as VAT, excise duty, service tax and central sales tax.

Third seed Stan Wawrinka has defeated world number one Novak Djokovic to lift the 2016 US Open Men’s Singles title on 11 September 2016. In the final, Swiss Wawrinka defeated Serbian Djokovic 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the title. This is Wawrinka’s maiden US Open title and his third major title. Stan Wawrinka : Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss professional tennis player.He has reached three Grand Slam singles finals in his career, winning all three: the 2014 Australian Open, the 2015 French Open and the 2016 US Open. Just prior to the 2014 French Open, he requested and the ATP granted a formal change in his name from Stanislas Wawrinka to Stan Wawrinka. 2016 US Open : The 2016 US Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.The 2016 US Open was the 136th edition of the US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park of Queens in New York City, United States.Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares won the men’s doubles title.Angelique Kerber won the women's singles event.

Himachal Pradesh government has notified the guidelines for transparent auction and scientific mining and hiked the penalty for offences under the mining act. The government has also decided that the mining lease would be granted through open auction. In order to curb illegal mining, the state government has notified the Himachal Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) and Minerals (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2015 providing for stringent punishment for illegal mining. Imprisonment up to two years or fine up to 25000 rupees or both has been made for those involved in illegal mining of minerals, their transportation and holding. In compliance of orders of National Green Tribunal, the government had banned mining in the state but at the same time the government was concerned that the pace of development was not hamper for want of minerals and resorted to scientific mining. As per the rules, no lease would be provided in respect of land within a distance of two kilometres from the immediate outer limits of Municipal Corporation/ Municipal Committee, one kilometer from the immediate outer limits of Nagar Panchayat.

Union Government has issued fresh flexi-fund guidelines for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) on 9 September 2016 . The guidelines would give more freedom to states in spending money under the CSS to meet local developmental requirements.Under the new norms, flexi-funds in each CSS have been increased from the current 10 percent to 25 percent for states and 30 percent for Union Territories. Now, the states can use the fund to undertake mitigation or restoration activities in case of natural calamities, or to satisfy local requirements in areas affected by internal security disturbances. The guidelines said that state governments will have to constitute a state-level sanctioning committee to avail of the flexi-fund facility. The flexi-fund facility is not for CSS which emanate from legislation, like MNREGA. Based on the recommendations of the sub-group of chief ministers and consultations with stakeholders, Niti Aayog had issued instructions for rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

Britain’s Jamie Murray and Brazil’s Bruno Soares won the 2016 US Open Men’s Doubles title. Murray and Soares defeated Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-3. With this, Murray became the first British man for 44 years to win the US Open doubles title. Soares also became the first Brazilian to win more than one Grand Slam doubles title. 2016 US Open : The 2016 US Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.The 2016 US Open was the 136th edition of the US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year.It took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park of Queens in New York City, United States.Stan Wawrinka won the men's singles event.Angelique Kerber won the women's singles event.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber on has defeated Karolina Pliskova by 6–3, 4–6, 6–4 to win 2016 US Open Women's Singles title 10 September 2016. It was Kerber's second Grand Slam singles title. With this, she became the first German to win the US Open since Steffi Graf in 1996. On the other hand, Pliskova became the first Czech woman to make the US Open final since 1993. Also, she is the only fourth player to defeat both of the Williams sisters in the same Grand Slam tournament. 2016 US Open : The 2016 US Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts.The 2016 US Open was the 136th edition of the US Open, the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Stan Wawrinka won the men's singles event. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares won the men’s doubles title.

Himachal Pradesh government has signed a preliminary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore government for developing a smart integrated township in Jathiadevi near Shimla airport.  The MoU was signed between Himachal Pradesh Housing and Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) and Asian Pacific Singapore Enterprise in the presence of Urban Development and Town and Country Planning and Housing minister Sudhir Sharma during a meeting. The preliminary MoU has been signed for this project which will be expanded soon after detailed discussions between the two governments and the state is also looking forward to explore possibilities for expanding this MoU for more housing projects in the state as well.

Nagaland The 2016 Youth Voters’ Festival held in Nagaland from September 5 to 9, 2016. The 5-day festival held under the directives of the Election Commission of India (ECI). The purpose of the festival is to increase the electoral participation through voter registration and turnout to increase the qualitative participation in terms of ethical and informed voting and to provide a continuous electoral and democracy education to the people. The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President in India.[1] The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act.  The Supreme Court of India has held that where the enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provision to deal with a given situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner.

Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra have emerged the cleanest districts in India according Gramin Swachh Survekshan. Sindhudurg was judged as the cleanest in the ‘Plains’ category and Mandi in the cleanest district in ‘Hills’ category.  The Gramin Swachh Survekshan report was released by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) with 98.4 score.  West Sikkim (Sikkim) with 96.4 score.  himla (Himachal Pradesh) with 94.1 score. Plains category  Sindhudurg (Maharashtra) with 96.8 score.   Nadia (West Bengal) with 95.0 score.  Satara (Maharashtra) with 92.9 score. In the survey total of 22 hill districts and 53 plain areas were assessed by the Quality Council of India (QCI). QCI was given task to carry out the assessment by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj A total of 22 hill districts and 53 plain areas were assessed by QCI under the Gramin Swachh Survekshan launched in May 2016. Each district was judged on four distinct parameters of Gramin Swachh Survekshan. Maximum weightage was placed on accessibility to safe toilets and water.  The parameters to judge sanitation status included: (i) Households having access to safe toilets and using them. It was given 40% weightage and included survey of toilet usage, water accessibility, safe disposal of waste. (ii) Households having no litter around. It was given weightage of 30%. (iii) Public places with no litter in the surrounding. It was given weightage of 10%. (iv) Households having no stagnant wastewater around. It was given weightage of 20%.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte from USA has been banned for 10-month following his bogus gunpoint robbery story during a drunken night out at the Rio Olympics. It was officially announced by United States Olympic Committee (USOC). Three other swimmers also involved in the escapade were suspended for varying periods up to four months. 12-time Olympic medallist Lochte  won gold in the 4×200 metres freestyle relay in Rio. He can’t attend next year’s World Championships in Budapest.

Qatar National Bank (QNB) has been given approval to open a branch in India offering banking services, the Gulf region's largest lender . The bank, which in June completed the EUR 2.7 billion purchase of Turkey's Finansbank, has a presence in more than 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.  QNB said it obtained the approval of India's regulatory authorities to conduct operations in the country, adding the move would help towards achieving its goal of strategic global expansion. 

British surgeons have successfully performed the world’s first robotic operation inside the eye, potentially revolutionising the way such conditions are treated.  The procedure was carried out at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. The surgeons used a joystick and touchscreen outside the eye to control the robot while monitoring its progress through the operating microscope.  This gave medics a notable advantage as significant movements of the joystick resulted in tiny movements of the robot.

Yoga guru Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurveda launched its mega food park on a 230-acre land at an industrial hub in Nagpur ,promising to employ 10,000 people and engage 50,000 farmers of the region in trade. The company plans to develop a Rs 1,000-crore food park at Multi-model International Cargo Hub and Airport, Nagpur (MIHAN), where juices would be made from famous Nagpuri oranges and for the first time packaged as a brand. The plant would be Patanjali’s first expansion from its facility near Haridwar in Uttarkhand. The plant is expected to link nearly 50,000 farmers’ suppliers, create direct employment for over 10,000 people and eventually provide indirect employment to lakhs of families.

Odisha has bagged 9th Global Agriculture Leadership Award 2016 at the National Level gathering of important stake-holders in agriculture development at the Agriculture Leadership Summit at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. This award Instituted by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) in 2008 the award is given annually to the individuals and organizations in recognizing excellence and leadership roles played by individuals and organizations towards development of agriculture affecting the lives of millions of farmers.

The Union Government has launched Urja Mitra Helpline through which customers can get information on power outages from distribution companies by dialing 14401. The helpline was launched by the Department of Telecom (DoT) of the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Urja Mitra Helpline is for pan-India usage to send information through voice calls and SMSes. The information will apprise customers about power situation in their area so that they can plan accordingly. It is a mandatory service, which will be provided by all the telecom operators.  Besides, Power Finance Corporation (PFC) on behalf of the Union Power Ministry has developed Urja mobile app. It will enhance consumer connect with power distribution companies.  Using it consumers can get information on outages, complaint redressal, timely release of connections, and power reliability, among others.

The world’s first daily driverless bus service has started in Lyon, France which will run in the city’s Confluence area. The driverless bus service includes two electric shuttles that will transport passengers on a ten-minute route hosting five stops. The driverless buses can hold up to 15 passengers and are electric buses. It has features like LIDAR radar technology and motion sensors will help to avoid accidents. The LIDAR radar technology allows these buses to know exactly where they are and to detect everything happening around them. Using this technology these buses manage their movement intelligently to avoid collisions. LIDAR is acronym of Light Detection And Ranging. Originally it was created as a portmanteau of “light” and “radar”. It is a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light. It is sometimes simply referred to as 3D scanning or laser scanning with terrestrial, airborne and mobile applications. It is popularly used to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geodesy, geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, forestry, atmospheric physics etc.

Civil Aviation Ministry has prohibited the use and carriage of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smart phone on board aircraft on 9 September 2016. The decision was taken in light of several incidents globally, involving the battery of Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The Ministry has issued a public notice advising airlines and travellers not to turn on or charge the smart phones during flights. Passengers have also been advised not to stow them in their checked in baggage. As per notification, passengers can carry them in their hand baggage in switched-off mode. The decision came a day after US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a similar warning. The Samsung has already recalled about 2.5 million units of the smart phone following the complaints. As per reports, more than 35 cases of exploding batteries has been reported since the phone was launched on 19 August 2016. The phone was launched with iris biometric scanner for enhanced security, upgraded S pen and a dual-curved screen.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has launched e-nivaran (electronic resolution) facility for online redressal of taxpayers’ grievances on 8 September 2016. The grievances can be related to refunds, Income Tax Returns (ITRs), Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), and Permanent Account Number (PAN) among others. It was started with an aim to reduce instances of harassment of the public when it comes to complaints related to the Income Tax (IT) department. It will be available on the e-filing portal ( of the department. Features : It will help taxpayers in registering their complaints through their computer and receive a special PIN number on their registered mobile number and email, which will help to keep track on the issues.It will also allow the complainant to track the progress of the complaint. People can lodge their complains and upload the documents related to the same in form od a PDF file and clubbed as a ZIP file. People who don’t have a PAN can also access the e-nivaran facility and lodge their complaints in connection with their I-T case. The ‘e-nivaran’ form will be available in a physical form at the Aaykar Sampark Kendras (ASK) (tax facilitation centre), located in over 300 cities. Later, the form will be fed into the system by tax officials.

Army Green won the Durand Cup football title. In the final of Asia's oldest football tournament in New Delhi on 11 September 2016 , Army Green defeated Neroca FC 6-5 via penalty shoot outs. In the semi-final, Army Green had prevailed over Aizawal FC by a 4-2 margin, to become the first Army team since 2005 to reach the title clash. In their semi-final, Manipur side, Neroca FC, defeated DSK Shivajians 3-nil to become the first team from the North East to reach the summit-clash of the Durand football tournament. With this victory, Army Blue collected the cash prize of 45 lakh rupees, biggest cash prize in the tournament. On the other hand, Neroca collected a cash prize of 20 lakh rupees. Durand Cup : Durand Cup is a football competition in India and was first held in 1888. It is co-hosted by the Durand Football Tournament Society (DFTS) and Osians. The Tournament is named after its founder, Sir Mortimer Durand, Foreign Secretary in charge of India from 1884 to 1894.  

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