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Daily Current Affairs For 4th April 2017 ( English )

1.     Under the Central GST (CGST) Act, tax evasion of over Rs 5 crore under the GST regime will be cognizable and non-bailable offence with the police having authority to make an arrest without a warrant. If a person is arrested for a non-cognizable and bailable offence, the Deputy/ Assistant Commissioner of CGST/SGST can release him on bail and he will be subject to the same provisions as an officer in-charge of a police station under section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The government has set ambitious target date of July 1, 2017 for roll out of the GST, which will subsume indirect taxes such as central excise, service tax, VAT and other local levies.
2.     India and the United Kingdom have decided to set up a 240 million pound Green Growth Equity Fund to finance clean energy projects in India. Decision in this regard was taken at the 9th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in Delhi. Both India and UK are going to make a contribution of 120 million pounds each in the fund which will focus initial investments in India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market. The Fund will be a sub-fund of National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) which was set up by India in 2015 to finance greenfield as well as brownfield projects and stalled projects.
3.     A global alliance of tech industries and academic organisations have unveiled $14-million The News Integrity Initiative to combat the spread of “fake news”, improve public understanding of journalism, promote news literacy and build trust in journalism. The founding funders of the initiative include Facebook, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s philanthropic fund, Ford` Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks. City University of New York’s journalism school will coordinate research, projects and events. Fake news has become a serious issue in the U.S. election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated on social media, potentially swaying some voters. Concerns also have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe and rise of click farms to generate revenue from online advertising using made-up news stories.
4.     Senior IPS Officer Geeta Johari was appointed as new Director General of Police (DGP) of Gujarat. With this, she became first woman IPS officer to be appointed as DGP of the state. She will replace P.P. Pandey – acting DGP of the state. Mrs. Johari is IPS officer of 1982 batch. Prior this appointment, she was working as Head of Gujarat Police Housing Corporation. She will retire in November 2017.
5.     Tripura Government has signed two agreements with the Union Ministry of Power to enhance power supply in distribution network. The agreements will enable state to get the benefits under the Central government scheme. As per the agreements, state has accepted the provision of Ujjwal Distribution Assurance Yojana (UDAY) and Transmission Service Agreement of Union Power Ministry to upgrade the existing transmission network to reduce Aggregate Technical and Commercial Loss.
6.     Prof. David R. Syiemlieh took the Oath of Office and Secrecy as Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He was administered oath by Vinay Mittal, the senior most Member of the Commission as per clause (1) of Article 316 of the Constitution. Prof. Syiemlieh had joined the Commission as member in June 2012. Later he was appointed Chairman in January 2017. Prior to joining UPSC, he was Vice Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar. He has held many important positions in various policy making, academic and administrative bodies. He has also has authored several books and publications. He  was awarded Senior Fulbright Fellowship in 1999.
7.     BP Kanungo took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Mumbai. He was appointed by Government in March 2017 for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, he was holding the position of Executive Director of RBI. Earlier he had worked in several functional areas of the banks such as foreign exchange management, banking and non-banking supervision, currency management, government and bank accounts and public debt. He also had served as the head of regional offices of RBI at Jaipur and Kolkata besides holding the position of the Banking Ombudsman for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
8.     Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passed away(84)She was recognised as one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and as an innovative exponent of the Jaipur gharana.  She was born on April 10, 1932. She had learned classical music from her mother Mogubai Kurdikar who was the well-known vocalist. She also had developed her own personal style, which reflected the influence of other gharanas and was generally regarded as an individual variant of the Jaipur tradition. She was primarily known for her skillful singing of classical khayals set in the traditional ragas of Hindustani music, but also performed the lighter classical genres of thumri, bhajans and film music. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002) and became fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi (2010).

9.     The 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference was held at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. This is for the second time India hosted the conference after it was hosted for first time in 1968. Scientists and experts from 49 member countries of the Commonwealth had participated in it. They focused issues on biodiversity conservation and management, livelihood and economic security from forests, diversification, multiple uses and sustainable harvest, forest and climate change. They also shared their ideas and researches on ‘Forests for Prosperity and Posterity’ in consonance with Aichi targets of the UN Convention on Conservation of Biological Diversity (UNC-CBD) and Sustainable Development Goals.
10.  The number of beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana for providing free of cost LPG (cooking gas) connections to BPL households has crossed 2 crore mark since its launch in May 2016.  The success of the scheme shows that how it is serving as a novel means of women empowerment and achieving the goals of providing clean fuel and a better life to the people. The Ujjwala Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016 from Maldepur Morh, Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. Tagline for the scheme: Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan. Purpose of the scheme: Empower women and protect their health by shifting them from traditional cooking based on unclean cooking fuels or on fossil fuels to clean cooking gas. Beneficiary: Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a BPL will be given deposit-free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre. Identification of beneficiaries: It will be through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) in consultation with state governments and Union territories. Implementing Ministry: The scheme is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.Targets: 8,000 crore has been earmarked for providing 5 crore LPG connections to poor households within 3 years by 2019.
11.  The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Union Defence Ministry has approved proposal to procure fresh batch of Barak surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for the Indian Navy’s warships from Israel. The procurement of the missiles will enhance India’s maritime capability in view of the changing security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).
12.  The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru was adjudged as the best Indian university in the 2017 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released by Union Human Resource Development Ministry. This year it is second edition NIRF survey and was released as part of the India Rankings 2017 for the Educational Institutions. List of Top 5 indian Rankings: In Over All Category : Indian Institute of Science, Banglore. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi  In Engineering : Indian Institute of Technology, Madras Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In Management: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management, Banglore Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode In University : Indian Institute of Science, Banglore Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Banaras Hindu University Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Banglore Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal. In Colleges : Miranda House, Delhi Loyola College, District Chennai Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi Bishop Heber College, District Tiruchirapalli Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College,New Delhi In Pharmacy : Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali, S.A.S. Nagar (Mohali), Punjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chandigarh Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Hyderabad.
13.  Scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have identifiedsoil fungus Aspergillus tubingensis that uses enzymes to rapidly break down plastic materials. The plastic-eating fungus was found Islamabad, Pakistan. The new discovery in an advance can help to deal with plastic waste problem that threatens our environment in safer and more effective way
14.  India and Malaysia have inked seven agreements to foster deeper relationship between the two countries. The agreements were exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Abdul Razak in New Delhi who was on six day state visit to India. Air Services Agreement: It is revised ASA with Malaysia signed by both countries in 1974. MoU on Cooperation Fertilizers sector: It deals with development of proposed Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in Malaysia and offtake of exisiting surplus urea from Malaysia to India. MoU on cooperation in Sports: It envisages cooperation through exchange of sportspersons, instructors, information on sports regimen and training curricula, etc. MoU for cooperation in training: It was signed between Malaysian Human Resource Fund (HRDF and EDII, Ahmedabad. It envisages EDII, Ahmedabad to carry out training and other capacity building programmes, as necessary on behalf of the Human Resource Development, Malaysia. MoU on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications: It was singed between Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). It establishes recognition of equivalence of various degrees awarded by educational institutions in both countries and envisages eventual signing of mutual recognition agreement. MoU on collaboration in technology development in the field of Palm Oil: It was signed between Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and India’s Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT). MoU on implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in Andhra Pradesh: It was signed between MIGHT Technology Malaysia and AP Economic Development Board. The Malaysian industry-government group for high power technology (MIGHT) will act as facilitator to develop cluster in AP. As part of park, packing material will be made from recycled agricultural materials.
15.  The Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. The Scheme aims at providing physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. The scheme will be distribute free of cost physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to BPL category in Camp mode. It is the first-of-its-kind Central Sector Scheme (CCS) in India, to be fully funded by the Union Government. It is expected to benefit 5,20,000 Senior Citizens and its expenditure implementation will be met from the “Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund“.
16.  The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has withdrawn subsidy given to mild hybrid vehicles under FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India) scheme.  Earlier, mild hybrid, strong hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles were given incentives under the FAME India scheme.
17.India and six other South Asian countries of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) have pledged to improve intra-regional connectivity to boost trade and tourism. Decision in this regard was taken at the Finance ministers of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar meeting held in New Delhi to reshape SASEC.  They also came out with the SASEC Vision for 2025 and adopted operational plan 2016-25. SASEC Vision: It is a new strategic road map to guide the sub-region’s development through 2025. It reflects member nations’ commitment to tap into latent industrial demand and promote sub-regional industry-to-industry links Operational plan 2016-25: It defines the strategic objectives and operational priorities in transport, trade facilitation and energy as well as for the development of economic corridor. The members are eying for $70 billion incremental GDP and 20 million jobs by 2025 so that SASEC become better, stronger and faster to make South Asia one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the world.

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