Friday, 1 September 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - September 1, 2017

current affairs

Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

Rajiv Mehrishi to be the next CAG; Sunil Arora as the next Election Commissioner 

Former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi is to be the next Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. He will replace the present incumbent Shashi Kant Sharma who completed his term on 30th August. Mehrishi has emerged as the top choice for the post. A formal order on this is expected soon. Former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Sunil Arora will be the new Election Commissioner. His appointment was approved by the President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday. The appointment will take effect from the date he assumes the charge.

India, Switzerland to enhance cooperation in fight against tax fraud, tax evasion

India and Switzerland have emphasized their willingness to further enhance cooperation in the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. Both the countries also acknowledged the importance of a global level playing field for effective implementation of the international standards on tax transparency. In a Joint statement issued in New Delhi on 31st August on the ongoing visit of Swiss President Doris Leuthard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mrs. Leuthard noted with satisfaction the signing of the Joint Declaration on November 2016 on the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information. President Leuthard briefed Prime Minister Modi about the ongoing parliamentary procedure in Switzerland. Prime Minister Modi welcomed the steps taken by the Swiss side to expedite the execution of tax information sharing request by India.

Rajiv Kumar appointed as new DFS Secy; Anita Karwal as CBSE Chairperson

Senior bureaucrat Rajiv Kumar has been appointed Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, DFS, while Anita Karwal would be the next Chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE.

Supreme Court quashes centre’s decision barring 2 medical colleges from admitting students

The Supreme Court has quashed the Centre's decision barring two medical colleges from admitting students for MBBS course in the 2017-18 academic session. The apex court's judgement came up yesterday in matters relating to the medical colleges based in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which were denied the nod to admit students. The bench directed the authorities to permit them to take part in the current year's counselling process which is still in progress. 

South Mumbai Building Collapse: Death toll rises to 32; relief operations        underway

The death toll in the South Mumbai building collapse incident has risen to 32. Rescue and relief operations are underway as 3 to 4 persons are still feared to be trapped under the rubble. The five storied building that collapsed in densely populated Pakmodia Street near JJ road on 31st August is reported to be more than 100 years old. The injured have been admitted to nearby JJ hospital. According to officials, five fire brigade personnel and an NDRF jawan also sustained injuries during the rescue operations. They have been shifted to the J J hospital.

GJM suspends indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, GJM suspended its indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills from today till the next round of talks with the state government, which is scheduled on 12th of this month. This was informed by the GJM convenor Binay Tamang in Darjeeling on 31st August 2017. He, however, said that if the outcome of the dialogue is not positive, then the decision on whether to resume the shutdown or chalk out a new course of action will be taken. 

Government extends deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar till 31st December

The Government has extended the deadline for linking of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar by four months. Sources said, the deadline has been extended until 31st of December this year which was set to end on 31st August 2017. This comes at a time when the government has granted a similar extension for the furnishing of Aadhaar for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes. The Supreme Court is also hearing petitions challenging the government's decision on Aadhaar and has posted the matter for next hearing in November.

Iraq claims victory over ISIS

Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi declared victory over Islamic State militants in Tal Afar and the entire province of Nineveh, despite continued fighting in the small town of al-'Ayadiya. In a statement, Abadi said Tal Afar has been liberated. Tal Afar had become the next target of the US-backed war on the terrorist group following the capture of Mosul, where it declared its caliphate over parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Iraqi forces had been waiting to clear al-'Ayadiya, 11 km northwest of Tal Afar, before declaring complete victory in the offensive. Islamic State militants had retreated to the town. 

 US sends additional troops to Afghanistan

The Pentagon has begun sending additional troops to Afghanistan to carry out the United States President Donald Trump's new war strategy. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis yesterday said that members of Congress will be briefed before details are made public. Mattis told reporters in an impromptu news conference at the Pentagon that he signed orders, but it is not complete. He would not say how many additional troops are deploying or what their exact roles will be. He said that in general, the extra forces will support Afghan forces in combat with the Taliban, rather than doing the fighting for them.

Pakistan court declares Musharaff a proclaimed offender

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a proclaimed offender and ordered the seizure of his property. The court also sentenced two senior police officers in jail for 17 years. The court delivered its verdict in a decade-old-case involving the gruesome assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi on 27th of December, 2007 when she came out of the park after addressing an election rally.

5.7% GDP growth rate in 1st quarter of current fiscal is matter of concern: Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said, the 5 .7 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter of this fiscal is a matter of concern and it throws up the challenge to the economy. He said the rate has come down predominantly due to pre-GST effect as manufacturers were focusing more on clearing the existing stock. Talking to the media in New Delhi, Mr. Jaitley said, the service sector and investment have improved in this quarter but down trend in manufacturing industries is essentially a GST impact. He said in the coming quarter, the government requires working both in terms of policy and investment to improve the growth rate.

Almost 99% of demonetised notes back in system: RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India in its annual report confirmed that almost 99 percent of banned Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that were demonetised last November have returned to the system. In the report for 2016-17, the RBI said that out of 632.6 crore pieces of Rs 1,000 currency notes in circulation, 8.9 crore have not been returned post the note ban last November. The government on November 8, banned old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in an attempt to weed out black money in the country. The old notes were allowed to be deposited in banks, with unusual deposits coming under the income tax scrutiny.

Growth of eight core sectors slips to 2.4% in July

The country's eight infrastructure sectors grew 2.4 percent in July this year. The infrastructure sector had expanded 3.1 percent in July last year and had grown 0.8 percent in June this year. According to the official data, coal production increased 0.7 percent in July this year, natural gas output grew 6.6 percent, steel production rose 9.2 percent, and electricity generation climbed 5.4 percent. But, crude oil output decreased 0.5 percent in July, petroleum refinery output declined 2.7 percent, fertilizer production fell 0.3 percent, and cement production dropped 2 percent during the month.

Finance Ministry rules out new window to deposit scrapped notes

Finance Ministry has ruled out opening another window for depositing the scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupees notes. Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said it had expected all the annulled currency to be returned, in line with the latest RBI data. Mr. Garg said, most families had high-value currency notes and they used it for making payments during the pre-demonetisation era. He said the government had not made any statement on not expecting all of the money to return back. Yesterday, the Reserve Bank revealed that 99 percent of the 15.44 lakh crore rupees currency junked in November last year had come back, some had pleaded with the government for another window to deposit their small holding of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

Indian industry body expresses disappointment over weak GDP data 

India Inc has expressed disappointment over the country's economic growth, which slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in April-June. Industry chamber PHDCCI said, ease of doing business remains a major concern as manufacturing firms, particularly labor intensive units, are impacted by various stringent laws and compliance costs. PHDCCI President Gopal Jiwarajka said in a statement that the breakthrough in GST should be followed by reforms in labor laws such as a single uniform labor law across the country. He said the industry was in anticipation of rebound from low growth. Assocham suggested that policymakers should take urgent steps to revive private investments.

After 39 successful launches and 24 years, the PSLV launch fails

The PSLV-C39 has failed in its mission, as its heat shield failed to separate, preventing the satellite IRNSS-1H to reach its designated orbit. It was planned to insert the new navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on the 31st August in a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit to replace the ailing IRNSS-1A in space.  As per the original plan, the rocket PSLV C39 had lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 7 pm today, with the IRNSS-1H on board. ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told the journalists waiting in Sriharikota that the heat shield failed to function. Apart from the heat shield separation rest of the activities have gone smoothly but in terms of the mission, it is unsuccessful because of the satellite, we are not in a position to put it to the actual orbit.  We will do the detailed analysis and come back on this. The PSLV rocket is normally known for its reliability. But the failure today has come as a blot on its impressive record so far. The PSLV has been serving as a trusted work-horse so far, except its first ever flight. It has been used for launching the record 104 satellites recently and also for the prestigious space science missions like Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan-I. However, ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar expressed satisfaction over its performances during all other stages except the heat shield separation.

Sindhu to be the Brand Ambassador for Bridgestone Tyres

On 30th August, tyre manufacturer Bridgestone announced that ace Badminton Player and Olympic and World Silver medalist P.V. Sindhu will be the company’s first Brand Ambassador. The agreement will be for a period of three years, in which Sindhu will be featured in Bridgestone’s global marketing initiatives. The company is a World Wide Olympic Partner.

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