Saturday, 13 May 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - May 13, 2017

current affairs
Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Amitabh Bachchan Appointed As Goodwill Ambassador For Hepatitis In South-East Asia Region

World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia Region. He has been appointed to boost awareness to stop the spread of Hepatitis, which is one of the leading causes of liver cancer and cirrhosis. As an ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan will participate in public awareness programmes to scale up prevention measures, early diagnosis and treatment. It is estimated that around 325 million across the world suffer from chronic hepatitis which is an inflammation of the liver resulting in liver scarring, liver cancer and death if untreated.

Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Successfully Test-Fires Air-To-Air Missile

Light combat aircraft 'Tejas' has successfully test-fired an air-to-air missile, paving the way for powering the indigenously-built aircraft with missiles having beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities. The test-firing was conducted on a manoeuvrable aerial target at the interim test range at Chandipur in Odisha yesterday. The Defence Ministry said in a statement that the objective was to assess the integration of the BVR missile with avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and missile weapon delivery system of Tejas. The Ministry said, all onboard systems performed satisfactorily during the launch and the missile scored a direct hit on the target destroying it completely.

Aadhaar Not Mandatory For PAN, ITR In J&K, Assam And Meghalaya

The government has exempted the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya and citizens above 80 years from mandatory quoting of Aadhaar to obtain PAN cards and file tax returns. In a notification, the Finance Ministry said, the exemption has been given to an individual who does not possess the Aadhaar number or the enrolment ID. The exemption will also apply to non-residents and non-citizens. The government, under the Finance Act 2017, has made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of the Aadhaar application form for filing tax returns. Besides, quoting Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from 1st of July.

15 States Have Joined UDAY Scheme

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar have agreed to join the central government’s electricity distribution utility (Discom) financial turnaround scheme to take the total number up to 15. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Minister said on Monday that within two months of getting Cabinet approval, more than half the states have voluntarily agreed to join the scheme called the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). Under UDAY, states shall take over 75 percent of Discom debt as on 30 September 2015 over two years where 50 percent of Discom debt shall be taken over in 2015-16 and 25 percent in 2016-17. Discoms will also issue bonds for the remaining 25 percent of their debt which will be guaranteed by the state governments. Further, states will issue non-SLR including SDL bonds in the market or directly to the respective banks and financial institutions holding the Discom debt to the appropriate extent.

Government Revises Base Year Of Wholesale Inflation And Industrial Output Data To 2011-2012 From 2004-05

The government has revised the base year of Wholesale Price Index, WPI and Index of Industrial Production, IIP to 2011-2012 from 2004-05. As per the new series, April WPI inflation stood at 3.85 percent and March IIP at 2.7 percent. The Consumer Price Index-based inflation in April stood at 2.99 percent. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Ramesh Abhishek said the new series of WPI will provide a more accurate picture.

Unchecked Market Borrowings By States Could Affect Financial Stability: RBI Report

State governments’ market borrowings may result in the accumulation of debt liabilities which, if unchecked, could pose major challenges for macroeconomic and financial stability, cautioned a Reserve Bank of India report. The composition of States’ outstanding liabilities indicates a greater reliance on market borrowings over the years — they constituted 69.7 percent of outstanding liabilities of States at end-March 2015 and is budgeted to reach 74.7 percent by end-March 2017. The share of National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) in outstanding liabilities and States’ dependence on loans from the Centre, however, continued to decline. State governments face severe resource constraints as their non-debt receipts are often insufficient for fulfilling their developmental obligations. Over the years, market borrowings have been a dominant source of financing the gross fiscal deficit (GFD).

China Simulates Lunar-like Environment

China has set up a 160-square-meter (1,720-square-foot)  laboratory — dubbed as “Yuegong-1”, or “Lunar Palace” for simulating a lunar-like environment. Four Postgraduate students from the Beijing’s astronautics research university will live in the laboratory for up to 200 days in a bid to prepare for China’s long-term goal of putting humans on the moon. The student volunteers would be sealed inside the cabin with no input from the outside world in order to simulate long-term, self-contained space mission. The cabin will have facilities for treatment of human wastes through the bio-fermentation process. The experimental crops would also be grown in the laboratory with the help of food and waste byproducts. The cabin according to Chinese agencies represents  the “world’s most advanced closed-loop life-support technology so far.” The Lunar Palace is hailed as the world’s third bio-regenerative life-support base and the first to be developed in China. 

NASA Detects Signs Of Water In A Distant Neptune Sized Planet

Scientists have detected “a strong water signature” in the atmosphere of a distant Neptune-sized planet called HAT-P-26b. The study conducted using NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has shown that  HAT-P-26b has a primitive atmosphere composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Although the planet is not a water world, its atmosphere which is relatively clear of clouds has a strong water signature. Researchers have detected the presence of water by pooling data obtained from four transits when the planet passed in front of its host star. By studying how the signatures of the starlight changes, researchers can come up with the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The study has been published in the journal Science.

US Says Pakistan-Based Terrorist Groups Planning Attack On India And Afghanistan

A top US spy master has said that Pakistan-based terrorist groups are planning to attack both India and Afghanistan. Daniel Coats, Director of National Intelligence told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a Congressional hearing on Worldwide threats that Islamabad has failed to curb militants and terrorists in Pakistan. Coats said, these groups will present a sustained threat to the United States's interest in the region and continue to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan. Pakistan, he rued, is expanding its nuclear arsenal in pursuing tactical nuclear weapons, potentially lowering the threshold for their use. Coats said, Pakistan is concerned about international isolation and sees its position of India's rising international status including India's expanded foreign outreach and deepening ties with the United States.

Indian Women Wrestler Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat And Divya Kakran Win Silver

Three  Indian women wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and Divya Kakran bagged silver medals in their respective categories in the Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi after losing out in their final bouts. Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik lost her final bout against Japan’s Risako Kawai in 60 kg category. Vinesh Phogat lost the final in women's 55 kg category and Divya Kakran in 69 kg to settle with silver medals.

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