Saturday, 3 June 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - June 03, 2017

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

Soil Health Card Helps In Increasing The Productivity: Agriculture Ministry

The government has said that Soil Health Card has helped in increasing the productivity of farm produce and reduced the cost of production. Agriculture Ministry in a release said, it has also made a huge difference to farming and farm produce. The scheme initiated for farmers provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients for improving soil health and its fertility. It also provides information about the nature of the soil. 

Extent Of National Highways To Be Doubled In The Next Five Years

Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan today said, the extent of national highways in India would be doubled in the next five years. Launching the three-day “Making Of Developed India (MODI) Fest” in Chennai, he said the share of national highways in India’s road infrastructure is just 2 percent at present, though they account for 40 percent of the total road travel. The Minister expressed concern that road accidents claim about 1.5 lakh lives in India every year, far exceeding the number of war victims. Mr. Radhakrishnan assured that road accident deaths would be reduced by half within a year by way of improved road safety measures.

India Successfully Test Fires Prithvi- II Missile

On the 2nd June 2017, India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea in Odisha around 09:50 AM. Developed by DRDO, Prithvi-II is powered by liquid propellant has been inducted into the 333-missile regiment of the Indian Army. Defence sources said Prithvi-II has the capability to carry a payload of up to 1 thousand kilo gram but if the same was reduced by half, the striking range could be enhanced. The missile can be taken close to the forward line over any kind of terrain. It has been designed to deliver advanced conventional warheads deep into enemy territory. Prithvi-II can hit mobile targets, including unmanned aerial vehicles. It was first test tested in 1988 and inducted into the armed forces in 2003.

Maharashtra Farmers’ Strike Sends Vegetable, Milk Prices Soaring

The indefinite strike called by farmers in Maharashtra since Thursday seeking waiver of their loans has led to a surge in the prices of vegetables and milk, especially in cities such as Mumbai. Prices of some vegetables have risen by up to 40 percent over last week’s prices as supplies have dwindled sharply from the producing regions in the State. Milk prices have risen by at least 3 a litre. In Navi Mumbai, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC)-controlled market yard unloaded only 153 vehicles till Friday morning. On Thursday, the first day of the strike, 450 vehicles had ferried the goods. Usually, the market receives about 550 vehicles. 

Income Tax Department Warns Against Cash Dealings Of Rs. 2 Lakh

The Income-Tax Department today warned people against indulging in cash transaction of Rs. 2 lakh or more saying that the receiver of the amount will have to cough up an equal amount as penalty. It also advised people having knowledge of such dealings to tip-off the tax department by sending an email to in. The government has banned cash transactions of Rs. 2 lakh or more from April 1, 2017, through the Finance Act 2017. The newly inserted section 269ST in the Income Tax Act bans such cash dealings on a single day, in respect of a single transaction or transactions relating to one event or occasion from an individual. “Contravention of Section 269ST would entail levy of 100 percent penalty on the receiver of the amount,” the tax department said in a public advertisement in leading dailies.

UN Security Council Expands North Korea Sanctions After Missile Tests

The UN Security Council has expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea in response to a series of missile tests conducted by Pyongyang this year. The measures impose a travel ban and asset freeze on four entities and 14 officials, including the head of North Korea's overseas spying operations. The council voted unanimously to back the sanctions after weeks of negotiations between the US and China. Pyongyang has defied a UN resolution banning all nuclear and missile tests. The sanctions resolution was adopted by the 15-member council yesterday. Among the 14 North Korean officials, is Cho Il-u, who leads Pyongyang's foreign espionage operations. 

India, China, & EU Reaffirm Commitment To Paris Agreement On Climate Change

China, the European Union (EU) and India, which along with the US make up the four biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, have restated their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Top EU official Donald Tusk said at a summit with China that Brussels and Beijing would step up co-operation. Mr Trump announced the US is leaving for economic reasons, saying the deal would cost American jobs. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would still curb the emissions. Amid widespread international condemnation of the US decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not judge Mr Trump. The Paris agreement commits the US and 194 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and endeavour to limit them even more, to 1.5C. The UN World Meteorological Organisation said yesterday that, in the worst scenario, the US pullout could add 0.3C to global temperatures by the end of the century.

Leo Varadkar To Be Next Irish PM

Leo Varadkar is set to become the Republic of Ireland's next Prime Minister after winning the leadership of the Fine Gael party. The 38-year-old will become the first gay Prime Minister and will also be the country's youngest ever leader. Mr Varadkar beat his rival, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, with 60 percent of the votes to lead Fine Gael - the biggest party in the coalition government. He will succeed Enda Kenny as leader of the centre-right party within weeks.

Trump's Decision To Withdraw From The Paris Agreement On Climate Change Widely Condemned By The International Community

There has been a widespread international condemnation of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Describing the carbon-curbing accord as a vital tool for the planet, the societies and the economies, Europe's three biggest economies - Germany, France and Italy said in a joint statement that the agreement cannot be renegotiated. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said he is inspired by the growing momentum around the world to combat climate change and transition to clean growth economies. British Prime Minister, Theresa May said, the climate accord is a safety net for future generations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the move extremely regrettable and said nothing would stop those who supported the accord. However Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would not judge US President. Mr Trump said he was prepared to discuss a new deal but key signatories to the accord quickly ruled that out. He said the deal punished the US and would cost millions of American jobs.

FM Jaitley To Chair 15th Meeting Of GST Council In New Delhi

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will chair the 15th meeting of the GST Council in New Delhi on the 3rd June. This meeting is likely to finalise the rates of tax and cess on gold, biscuits and a few other commodities. The Council may also review tax rates for some goods in view of representations received from industry. According to an official release, the approval of amendments of the draft GST Rules and related forms are also on the agenda of the meeting. This is believed to be the last GST Council meeting before the rollout of the new tax regime from 1st of July. Last month, the GST Council had put over 1,200 goods and 500 services in the four tax brackets of 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent. It had also imposed cess over and above the peak rate of 28 percent on demerit and luxury goods.

RBI Initiates ‘Prompt Corrective Action’ For Dena Bank

The Reserve Bank of India has initiated prompt corrective action (PCA) for Dena Bank in view of high net non-performing assets and negative return on assets. In a statement to the stock exchange, the public sector bank said, “This action will not have any material impact on the performance of the bank, and will contribute to improving the internal controls of the bank and improvement in its activities.” As of March-end 2017, Dena Bank’s net NPAs as a percentage of net advances deteriorated to 10.66 percent (6.35 percent as on March-end 2016). ROA of the bank for two consecutive years has been negative — 0.75 in FY16 and 0.67 in FY17. Last month, the central bank had initiated PCA for IDBI Bank and UCO Bank in view of high NNPAs and negative ROA. The RBI had initiated PCA on Indian Overseas Bank in October 2015.

SBI, World Bank Finance 400-Cr Solar Projects

State Bank of India and the World Bank announced on Friday that they had financed 100 MW of rooftop solar projects worth 400 crores in India. The World Bank aid helped the public sector SBI lower the lending rate to project developers, according to SBI Deputy Managing Director Karnam Sekar. “The support from World Bank has helped to lower the interest rate by 3-3.5 percent from the 11-12 percent lending rate for a medium-sized solar rooftop project,” he said. SBI has availed a loan of 625 million from the World Bank for on-lending to viable Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar PV (GRPV) projects undertaken by developers, aggregators and end-users, for installation of rooftop solar systems. These will be installed on the rooftops of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. Through this programme, SBI will support the installation of more than 600 MW of rooftop solar capacity according to an official statement. SBI expects to fully utilise this corpus in the coming two years.

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