21st GST Council meet in Hyderabad
On 9th September 2017, the 21st meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, in Hyderabad.
GST Council Meet:
- This is the first time the GST Council met after filing of GST returns.
- The meet was headed by Finance Minister Mr.Arun Jaitley. Finance Ministers of all states attended the meet.
- The issues discussed in the GST Council meet were – increasing tax for luxury products, lowering tax for commonly used products like idli& dosa batter, dried tamarind, custard powder and kitchen gas lighter, operation of GSTN (GST Network), tax on khadi and handicraft items etc.
- Telangana Government asked for rollback of GST on its developmental projects. It has also opposed the 12% tax on its pet projects such as Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya.
- Apart from the projects, Telangana has requested tax reduction for certain products such as granite, beedi and 33 such products.
- Minutes of the previous GST meet were confirmed.
- The state government hosted a dinner for all the council members and the finance minister at the Falaknuma Palace, in Hyderabad, after the meet.
- Goods & Services Tax
- Indirect Tax
- Consists of State GST (SGST), Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST)
- Implemented on 1stJuly, 2017
Government approves cadre review policy for Army Officers; Indian Army to induct women in military police
On 8th September 2017, in New Delhi, the Government announced that it has approved cadre review policy for Junior Commissioned Officers & other rank-holders in the Army, and Indian Army is to induct women in military police.
Cadre review policy:
- Government approved the third cadre review on 1st September, 2017.
- The policy is now in the hands of Ministry of Defence for implementation.
- This policy will improve promotion chances, financial benefits and career progression for the army personnel.
- This upgradation process will take a period of 5 years.
- This will have a positive impact on 1.45 lakh army officers.
- The last cadre review for army personnel was done in 1984.
Induction of women in military police:
- With Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman having taken charge as the new defence minister of India, a step towards increasing women’s participation in the army has been taken.
- Currently women are allowed to join the Army as officers in the medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings only.
- The new proposal will allow women to serve in the non-officer cadre for the first time in India.
- The induction will start in 2018.
- 800 women are planned to be inducted with a yearly intake of 52 women.
About the Ministry of Defence:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Ms.Nirmala Sitharaman
- Deputy Minister (Minister of State) – Mr.Subhash Ramrao Bhamre
About the Indian Army:
- Motto – Service Before Self
- Chief of the Army Staff – General Bipin Rawat
- Vice Chief of the Army Staff – Lieutenant General Sarath Chand…
Anupriya Patel inaugurates 10th Medical Technology Conference in New Delhi
Anupriya Patel was inaugurating the 10th Medical Technology Conference organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on 7th of Sept. 2017.
Eastern Fleet Ships departed for Overseas Deployment to East and South-East Asia
In accordance with the India’s ‘Act East Policy’, two Indian Naval Ships departed for deployment to East and South-East Asia.
About INS Satpura
INS Satpura with the formidable mountain range in Central India is a multi-role stealth frigate and is commanded by Captain Rahul Shankar.
About INS Kadmatt
INS Kadmatt, named after an island in the beautiful Lakshadweep chain, is an Anti-Submarine Corvette and is commanded by Commander Nithin Cariappa.
Rajnath Singh inaugurated the new HQs building of Bureau of Police Research and Development
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the new HQs building of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Ministry of Home Affairs on 8th of Sept. 2017 in New Delhi.
First National Canine Seminar organised by NSG in Haryana
The first National Canine Seminar organized by National Security Guard (NSG) in NSG Campus, Manesar (Gurugram), Haryana on 7th of Sept. 2017.
Government extends FAME India Scheme by six-month
Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete mentioned that the government wasconsidering the extension of a scheme to promote electric and hybrid vehicles by another six months.
About FAME India Scheme
The FAME India Scheme is learnt to have benefited a total of 148,275 electric and hybrid vehicles (xEVs) from April 1, 2015 till June 30, 2017.
It also aims to support hybrid or electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing eco-system in country in order to achieve self-sustenance in stipulated period.
These 148,275 xEVs have been given direct support by way of demand incentives amounting to Rs 192.56 crore, resulting in saving of 13,553,917 litres of fuel and reduction of 33,971,052 kg of CO2.
ICAR to undertake major research works on agriculture with World Bank fund
On 8th September 2017, Deputy Director General of the National Apex Agricultural Research Body, Mr.Narendra Singh Rathore announced that ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) would undertake major research works on agriculture, in Chennai.
About the research works on Agriculture:
- The announcement was made in the convocation function at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai.
- The research work would be done in 2017.
- World Bank granted a fund Rs.1100 crore for this project.
- The funds would be allocated to each of the ten premier agricultural and veterinary universities in the country.
- The areas of research would includeincreasing availability of fodder for cattle and climate change challenges.Since, in spite of India leading in the global milk production, the milk yield per animal is very low compared to international standards.
- Two research centres would be established in Tamil Nadu for research on preserving and promoting domestic bull species.
About Ministry of Agiculture:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Radha Mohan Singh
- Ministers of State – Mr.S.S.Ahluwalia, Mr.Parshottam Rupala, Mr.Sudarshan Bhagat
Engineless glider Perlan 2 soars at 52,000 ft sets new world record
The Airbus Perlan 2 aircraft has set a new altitude world record for a glider, climbing to 52,172 feet on 3rdSept. in El Calafate, Argentina.
Banking & Finance
PNB, BSNL join hands for mobile wallet Speedpay rollout
Punjab National Bank and BSNL has joined hands to roll out open mobile wallet Speedpay across 10 states in the country announced on 8th Sept. 2017.
i.PNBs Speedway wallet will operate like any other mobile wallet for paying bills, recharging phone. Its users will be able to deposit and withdraw money from authorized retail outlets.
ii.Under the agreement, BSNL will expand Speedpay services in Punjab, Chandigarh (UT), Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
iii.Speedway users will be able to operate Internet banking services from the application.
iv.This technology will help India moving towards less cash economy and provide services in tier 2 and 3 cities.
v.SpeedPay also plays an important role for governments direct benefit transfer programme, to ensure quick and direct payment of subsidies to the citizens
Founded on 19th May 1894
MD& CEO: Sunil Mehta
HQ: New Delhi
Tagline: The name you can bank upon
United Bank of India waives retail loan processing fees up to 100 per cent
On 8th September 2017, United Bank of India announced that is has removed processing fee for retail home loans, car loans and two-wheeler loans, in Kolkata
About the processing fee waiver:
The processing fee waiver will be available till December, 2017.
100% processing fee waiver for:
- Home loans
- Car loans
- Two-wheeler loans
50% processing fee waiver for:
- Mortgage loans
- Personal loans
- Gold loans
About United Bank of India:
- Nationalized bank
- Headquarters – Kolkata
- MD & CEO – Mr.Pawan Kumar Bajaj
India imposes Countervailing Duty for a period of 5 years on some Chinese steel products
On 8th September 2017, Government announced that a Countervailing Duty (CVD) for a period of five years is levied on certain Chinese flat steel products, in New Delhi.
About the Countervailing Duty (CVD):
- This is the first time Countervailing Duty (CVD) has been imposed on any steel product in India.
- The commerce ministry’s investigation arm –Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD)recommended this Countervailing Duty (CVD). Finance Ministry approved it.
- Despite, sufficient demand and supply capcacities in India, the domestic steel industry had a downfall in sales due to subsidised imports from China.
- Countervailing Duty (CVD) was imposed in a move to safeguard domestic traders from imports that are given unfair subsidies by the exporting nation.
- It is a country specific duty for a term of 5 years.
- The actual duty imposed would be the difference between the quantum of countervailing duty(CVD) (which is 18.95 %)and anti-dumping duty.
- This will improve the quality, safety and health of Indian consumers, protecting them from low quality steels.
About ministry of commerce:
- Headquarters – New Delhi
- Minister – Mr.Suresh Prabhu
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) set to get Maharatna status
On 8th September 2017, it was officially announced that Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) would be granted Maharatna Status soon, in New Delhi.
Bharat Petroleum to gain Maharatna status:
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) would be the 8thPublic Sector Enterprise to obtain the Maharatna Status.
- BPCL is currently a Navratna firm.
- According to the Government rules, inorder to gain Maharatna status the company should possess:
– Navratna status
– Average turnover of at least Rs.25,000 crore in the last 3 years
– Net worth of at least Rs.15,000 crore in the last 3 years
– Annual net profit after tax deduction of atleast Rs.5,000 crore in the last 3 years
– Significant global operations
- The Maharatna status would help BPCL expand its operations in India and abroad.
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited
- Oil& Gas Company
- Headquarters – Mumbai
- Chairman& MD – Mr.D.Rajkumar
Amazon India opens largest fulfilment centre in Hyderabad
Amazon has opened its largest fulfilment centre (FC) at the GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad announced on 8th of Sept 2017.
Appointments & Resigns
UIDAI Head A.B. Pandey Given Additional Charge as GSTN Chairman
Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the chief executive of the Unique Identification Authority of India will take over as the chairman of the Goods and Services Tax Network from immediate effect. Unique Identification Authority of India is the body that administers Aadhaar.
Abhay Firodia takes over as SIAM president
Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia has been elected as the new president of the automobile industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Acquisitions & Mergers
Tierra Agrotech buys Monsanto cotton seed business
On 8th September 2017, Tierra Agrotech Private Limited, a Hyderabad based company acquired Monsanto Holdings, a US based cotton seed company, in New Delhi.
About the acquisition:
- Monsanto Holdings is a US Biotechnology giant.
- It had been selling the Bollgard technology in cotton, in India.
- Monsanto has sold its cotton business in India to Tierra Agrotech Private Limited after license issue and price control issues with the Indian Government.
- Also it was locked in a dispute with Nuziveedu Seeds, which also uses Monsanto’s Cotton technology.
- 5. The amount for which Monsanto Holdings was sold has not been revealed.
- Tierra Agrotech would improve its breeding and research programmes and deliver high quality hybrid cotton seeds using this acquisition.
About Tierra Agrotech Private Limited:
- Headquarters – Hyderabad
- Founder & MD – Mr.Suresh Atluri
- Co – Founder & Director – Mr.Surinder K. Tikoo
About Monsanto Holdings:
- US based Bio-technology giant
- Headquarters – Missouri, US
- Chairman, President& CEO – Mr.Hugh Grant
Science & Technology
Scientists make cheap and clean fuel from air
On 7th September 2017, scientists of Cardiff University, successfully created a fuel ‘methanol’ from methane and oxygen obtained from the free air, in the United Kingdom.
Making of methanol:
- Earlier methanol was made from hydrogen gas and carbon-monoxide gas by breaking them down from natural gas at high temperatures.
- This was an expensive and highly energy consuming process.
- Now methanol is made from methane and oxygen, freely available in the air at low temperatures through a process called‘simple catalysis’.
- Catalysis is a process where a substance called ‘catalyst’ is used to speed up the reaction.
- Oxygen freely available in the air and hydrogen peroxide are used in this process.
- Since, the main component oxygen is obtained from free air, this process is cheap, clean and less energy consuming.
New species of edible fish named as Labeo filiferus found in Pampa river
The new species of edible freshwater fish has been discovered in Pampa River in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala.
India’s Sonam Malik bags Gold in Cadet World Wrestling Championship; Neelam settles for bronze.
Young Indian wrestler Sonam Malik bagged a gold medal at the World Cadet Wrestling Championship. It is held in Athens, Greece.
Tottenham Hotspur will have world’s first dividing retractable pitch
Tottenham have announced plans for the world’s first dividing retractable football pitch at their new stadium on 7th of Sept. 2017
Veteran kannada actor R.N. Sudarshan passed away
Veteran Kannada actor RN Sudarshan had passed away in Bengaluru. He was 78.