Monday, 3 April 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - April 1, 2017

Current Affairs

Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Government Launches E-Challan And M-Parivahan Apps For The Enforcement Of Traffic Rules

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched two mobile applications e-challan and m-parivahan to provide a comprehensive digital solution for enforcement of traffic rules. These applications will provide access to various services and information, and enable citizens to report any traffic violation or road accidents easily.

Government Unveils Online Vigilance Clearance System

The Union Government has launched the Online Vigilance Clearance System and e-Service Book in New Delhi. It was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi. The online system aims to fast track process of cases of vigilance clearance for senior-level appointments in central government. 

Key Facts: 
Initially, the system will be made available for board-level appointments done by Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). Later it will be extended for senior appointments in banks and in government departments. It will reduce the time taken for vigilance clearance from three months to a day or two. All Central Government Ministries have been asked to regularly update the database of officers on the system which will act as computerized database and provide the details of officers clearly.

Government, NDB Ink $350 Million Loan Pact

India has signed its first loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB)/BRICS Bank for $350 million to be used in the development and upgradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh. The objective of the project is to upgrade major district roads in Madhya Pradesh to improve road connectivity in the interior areas of the state with the national and state highway networks. The project will include upgradations, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of approximately 1,500 km of district roads to intermediate lanes, all-weather standards. It will also have road safety features and improved road maintenance and management.

About New Development Bank:
The NDB is a multilateral bank created by BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The goal of the bank is to fund infrastructure projects in emerging economies for sustainable development. It had started its operations in July 2015 with initial authorized capital of $100 billion. It is headquartered in Shanghai, China. In the NDB, each participant country has been assigned one vote, and none of the countries have veto power. Renowned Indian banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath is the President (first) of NDB.

IIT Madras, Indian Army Ink MoU To Strengthen Critical Technological Areas

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces. The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 

Key Facts:
The MoU will facilitate IITM to achieve a better understanding of the critical technology requirements of the Indian Army through seamless interaction between the Army officers and IITM faculty. Under it, Indian Army will sponsor four officers for doctoral programs besides a five-day Technology Development Programme for 15 officers on a biannual basis. The IITM faculty will work closely with the Indian Army to identify areas where the institute can contribute positively to enhancing the capabilities.

Government Lowers Interest Rates On Small Saving Schemes By 0.1%

The Union Finance Ministry has lowered interest rates on all nine small saving schemes by 0.1% for the April-June quarter as compared to January-March quarter. These schemes include Public provident fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra, Sukanya Samriddhi Account, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme. It does not include Post Office Savings Account. 

Key Facts:
Investments in the PPF scheme will fetch lower annual rate of 7.9% from the previous rate of 8%. 5-year National Savings Certificate will also fetch lower annual rate of 7.9% from the previous rate of 8. Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) investments will yield 7.6%. Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme will offer 8.4% annually, from 8.5% at present. Senior Citizens Savings Scheme will offer 8.4% for the 5-year. The interest rate is paid quarterly. Term deposits of 1-5 years will fetch a lower 6.9-7.7% that will be paid quarterly. The 5-year recurring deposit has been pegged lower at 7.2%. However, interest on savings deposits has been retained at 4% annually.

Simplified IT Returns Forms For Salaried Employees Announced

The Government notified a new simplified Income Tax Return Forms, ITR, for individuals for the Assessment Year 2017-18. The Central Board of Direct Taxes said, one of the major reforms made in the forms is the designing of one page simplified ITR Form-1, called Sahaj. This ITR Form-1 can be filed by an individual having income up to 50 lakh rupees and who is receiving income from salary, one house property and other income including interest. Simultaneously, the number of ITR Forms have been reduced from the existing nine to seven forms. However, there is no change in the manner of filing of ITR Forms as compared to last year. All these ITR Forms are to be filed electronically.

Time Limit Ends For Exchange Of Demonetised Notes

The limited period window for the exchange of defunct 500 and 1,000 rupee notes by Indians who were abroad during demonetisation ended today. However, the additional time period of three months is available to non-resident Indians, NRIs, with a rider of exchanging of 25,000 rupees per individual. The exchange window for NRIs will close on the 30th of June.

El Salvador Becomes World’s First Country To Ban Metal Mining

Central America’s smallest nation El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban metal mining nationwide. In this regard, it has passed a law that bans all mining for gold and other metals. The law imposes a broad prohibition on the extraction of minerals to protect the nation’s fragile environment, water reservoirs and reduce social tensions. 

Key Facts: The new law bans all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals both in open pits and mines. It bans the use of cyanide and mercury for mining. It does not apply to quarrying or the mining of coal, salt, and other non-metallic resources.

Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Arrested Over A Corruption Scandal


Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has been arrested and taken into custody over a corruption scandal that led to her dismissal. The 65-year-old leader was driven to a detention center south of Seoul after a court approved her arrest. She is accused of allowing her close friend Choi Soon-Sil to extort money from companies, including Samsung, in return for political favours. Ms. Park, who was removed from office earlier this month, denies the charges. She is the third former president of South Korea to be arrested over criminal charges.
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