Saturday, 20 May 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - May 20, 2017

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

National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bans Open Defecation And Waste Dumping On Yamuna Floodplains

A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains of the Yamuna. It has also slapped an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 for people who violated the order. Apart from this, the NGT has also constituted a committee under the head of Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the cleaning works of the river and ordered it to submit reports at regular intervals. The tribunal has also ordered the Delhi government and the municipal corporations to immediately take action against those polluting industries which function in residential areas. These industries are held as the major source of pollution to the river.

June 30 Deadline For Aadhaar Not To Be Extended: Govt To SC

The Centre today told the Supreme Court that there is no question of extending the June 30 deadline for making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said, the idea behind making Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes was that the benefit should not go to what he called, ghosts as was noticed in schemes like the public distribution system. 

China, ASEAN Countries Agree On Framework For South China Sea Code Of Conduct

China and the 10 members of the ASEAN grouping have agreed to a framework of a legally binding code of conduct aimed at preventing disputes in the strategic South China Sea. Though the draft of the framework has been finalised, no details about the text of the framework agreement have been released. Also, no date has been given on which the full code of conduct is set to be adopted by the parties. However, all the parties have agreed to continue to constructively advance the negotiations and work towards the early conclusion of the code of conduct.

GST Council Announces GST Rates

The GST Council headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has finalised tax rates and has approved all the seven rules for the GST regime that is scheduled to be implemented from July 1. The remaining two rules of the GST pertaining to transition and return is under the examination of the legal committee. In total, the council has fixed the rates of 1211 items. It will decide rates of some other items and services in the coming days.

Salient Highlights
Out of 1211 items, 81% of the items will attract a tax of 18% or less. Only the remaining 19% of items will attract the highest rate of 28%. Household items like Sugar, Tea, Coffee and edible oil will attract 5% levy. Cereals and milk will be exempted from the tax. Manufactured goods will attract 18% levy. Luxury cars will attract 28% GST in addition to a cess of 15%. Small petrol cars will attract 28% GST plus a 1% cess, and diesel cars will be taxed at 28% plus 3% cess. Capital goods, a key asset for the manufacturing sector, will be taxed at 28%. Aerated drinks will fall under the 28% tax bracket.

GST Rates Unlikely To Hurt Inflation, RBI To Be Less Hawkish

A day after the GST council decided on the rates, domestic rating agency ICRA today said, the structure is unlikely to fan inflation. It said in a note, with the effective tax rate intended to be brought down on most items, as well as a large portion of the CPI basket being kept in the exempted category, there is likely to be a limited impact of the GST on goods inflation. On the services front, where the standard rate has been kept at 18 percent, it is said that the availability of input tax credit may soften the impact of GST on services inflation in the future.

Scientists Discover First Natural Human Antibodies Against Ebola Virus

A team of scientists from the United States has discovered a possible cure for Ebola viruses. They have discovered the first natural human antibodies that are capable of neutralizing and protecting animals against all three major disease-causing Ebola viruses. The findings could lead to the discovery of first effective ebolavirus therapies and vaccines.  Scientists have discovered the broadly neutralizing antibodies from the blood of a survivor of the 2013-16 Ebola outbreak. Scientists have also pinpointed the human gene which is expected to be the source of the immune cells that produce these antibodies. These antibodies could emerge as a single therapy to treat all Ebola viruses.

Scientists At IIT Delhi Develop Cheapest Respiratory Filter


Scientists at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, have developed the device ‘Nasofilters’ which is capable of restricting up to 95% of dust and air pollutants. Involving a cost of Rs 10, it is the cheapest nasal filter available. The nano-respiratory filter is now ready for commercialisation. The researchers involved in the project was recently awarded the “National Startups Award” by President Pranab Mukherjee.

ICC Test Ranking: India Retains No.1 Spot

Indian cricket team has retained its top position in the latest ICC Test rankings with 123 points. Indian team is six points ahead of second-placed South Africa. Australia has been placed at the third place with 100 points followed by England at 4th (99 points), New Zealand at 5th (97 points), Pakistan at 6th (93 points), Sri Lanka at 7th (91 points), West Indies at 8th (75 points), Bangladesh at 9th (69 points) and Zimbabwe at 10th with zero points.

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