Monday, 25 May 2015

18th March 2015

>>Union Cabinet has cleared the black money bill to curb the menace of black money in the country
provisions of the bill.
  •  The proposed bill gives powers to tax authorities to track and deal with illegal wealth stashed abroad.
  • Under the provisions of the new Bill, the offences related to black money will be non-compoundable and the offenders will not be permitted to approach the Settlement Commission.
  •  The bill also has provision of punishment to deal with the black money cases. It proposes penalty at the rate of 300 per cent of taxes to be levied on the concealed income and assets, in addition to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.
  • Union Cabinet also gave its nod for signing of an agreement with the US on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The agreement will enable India to acquire information on big foreign transactions and indirectly curb black money stashing.

>>Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to collaborate with other space agencies on inter-planetary explorations.

  • It was announced by Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha.
  • Presently ISRO is having talks with space agencies of the United States of America, Russia and France to collaborate for inter-planetary explorations.
  • From this collaboration, India will acquire the knowledge to minimize the cost of launching complex missions and enhance the technological capabilities in spacecraft design. 
  • While, the expertise gained through such collaborations will help India improve its capabilities of earth observation and satellite communication.

>>"The MoEF today withdrew the suspension of Environment Clearances. The mining industry will resume operations immediately now”.
  • The suspension of 72 out of the total 89 approved mining leases in the coastal state had been lifted, said Parsekar, adding that the remaining ones were within the one-kilometre radius of wildlife sanctuaries.

  • The environmental clearances of mines had been suspended by the then Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan in September 2012 for alleged violation of rules.

>> France, Germany and Italy have agreed to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  • In addition, Australia, a key US ally in the Asia Pacific region, is set to decide on joining the international bank next week.South Korea, Switzerland and Luxembourg were also considering joining the AIIB.
  • The moves from the countries come as a severe blow to the Obama administration that was working hard to keep them out of the institution.
  • Britain has earlier announced its intention to become a founding member of the AIIB – a Chinese-led initiative that is expected to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in the Asian region.
  • In October 2014, representatives of 21 Asian nations convened in Beijing to inaugurate the AIIB, which is focused on providing funding to infrastructure projects within Asia. The bank was initially capitalised with $50bn (£31bn, €39.5bn), half of which was funded by China.
  • Britain is the first major Western country to apply to become an AIIB member. It will meet other founding members in March to discuss governance and accountability arrangements.

>>India will hold one of the biggest global yoga meets in china to celebrate the UN’s first International Day of Yoga.
  • Over 10000 yoga enthusiasts are expected to take part in the meet being organized in Dujiangyan in Chengdu,china’s Sichuan province from 17th June to 21st June 2015.
  • China was one of the 170 countries voted for the UN yoga Day proposed by PM Narendra Modi in 2014.

>> Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was named Young Global Leader (YGL) from India by the World economic Forum(WEF).
  • In the list of 187 YGLs for 2015 from across the world .Irani is accompanied by 10 other Indians,including Gaurav MP and son of Assam CM Tarun Gogoi.

>>India’s indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile, Astra, was successfully launched from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft.
  • “The missile was successfully tested to hit a simulated target at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha today”.
  • The all-weather, state-of-the-art missile developed by Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) can engage and destroy enemy aircraft at supersonic speed. 
  • The 3.8 metre long Astra is the smallest of the DRDO-developed missiles and can be launched from different altitudes. 
  • It can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km, 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.
  • The last trial of Astra was conducted from a naval range in Western sector on May 4, 2014, and it was also successful.

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