Punjab Finance minister Manpreet Badal presented State budget for the year 2017-18
On June 20, 2017, Punjab Finance minister Manpreet Badal presented a state budget of Rs 1.18 lakh crore for the financial year 2017-18.
Highlights of Punjab Budget presented for 2017-18
♦ The budget presented by Manpreet Badal, focused on reducing the crushing debt burden and restoring fiscal stability.
♦ The budget laid special emphasis on education and social sectors.
♦ Badal also mentioned that Punjab’s outstanding debt will be Rs 1.95 lakh crore by the end of the financial year.
Free education for girls in Punjab from Nursery to PhD
i. On June 19, 2017, Punjab Government announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to PhD.
ii. This initiative was one of the key electoral promises made by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
iii. As a step towards women empowerment, reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
Punjab announces loan waiver for small and marginal farmers
On June 19, 2017, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced total waiver of entire crop loans for small and marginal farmers in
1. The loan waiver has been announced for up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres) and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount.
2. This move would benefit a total of 25 lakh farmers of the state’s 18.5 lakh farming families, including 8.75 lakh farmers having land up to 5 acres.
BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Beijing, China
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh attended a Meeting of Foreign Ministers of BRICS countries in Beijing, China on 18th and 19th June, 2017. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who was scheduled to attend this meeting but later cancelled it owing to health reasons.
i. The meeting was chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
ii. During his address at the meeting, V K Singh urged the member countries not to differentiate between “good and bad” terrorists – in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
India and Portugal sign a historical agreement to promote Cooperation in the Field of Archives
On May 17, 2017, a Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives in Lisbon, Portugal.
i. As a first step under this agreement, the National Archives of Portugal handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence).
ii. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.
iii. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia.
♦ Capital: Lisbon
♦ Currency: Euro
BANKING & FINANCE
IDBI Federal Life partners with SunTec for GST roll out
IDBI Federal Life Insurance has announced that it has partnered with SunTec.
i. It will help facilitate in computing and invoicing of debit tax and credit tax that will be GST compliant.
ii. Under the agreement, for the debit tax mandate SunTec will help in analysing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes.
♦ Founded: 1st July 1964
♦ HQ: Mumbai
♦ MD & CEO: Mahesh Kumar Jain
India and ADB Sign $275 Million Loan for Upgrading Urban Services in 64 Small Towns in Madhya Pradesh
The GOI and Asian Development Bank has signed USD 275 million loan for a piped water supply project for rapidly urbanising small towns. It will cover 3 lakh households in 64 small towns in Madhya Pradesh.
i. The state government will provide a USD 124 million counterpart support for the project.
ii. As per ADB it will be completed by June 2022.
iii. According to ADB reports the urban population in the state is expected to increase from 28 per cent in 2016 to 35 per cent by 2026.
iv. It will develop sustainable, inclusive and climate resilient water supply in 64 small and mid-sized towns.
v. It will also provide integrated storm water and sewerage infrastructure in two heritage towns — Khajuraho and Rajnagar.
vi. The loan pact was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance and L B Sondjaja, Deputy Country Director ADB India Resident Mission.
vii. Vivek Aggarwal, Secretary, Urban Development Department, Madhya Pradesh inked the project agreement.
♦ Capital: Bhopal
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
♦ CM: Shivrajsingh Chouhan
Meghalaya govt signs two MoUs with SBI for Digital transaction
Meghalaya government has signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India. It is a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode.
i. The two MoUs are with the State Bank of India for their SBIePay and SBI CMP facilities.
ii. These MoUs give the desired platform to dealers and other citizens for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform.
iii. Under the MoU, Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) is being implemented in coordination with NIC, Shillong. This facility will be available through the gateway provided by SBIePay.
iv. The MoU was signed by Goyal on behalf of the state government and SBI DGM Rajeev Arora.
v. The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury.
vi. It will handle all the online transactions of government receipts across the state.
vii. The state government will now escalate its transactions for collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system.
viii. Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) will cover all the departments.
♦ CM:Mukul Sangma
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
Hike Messenger partners with YES Bank to launch in-app Wallet
Messaging app Hike has added payments feature that will allow its over 100 million users to transfer money, recharge and pay mobile bills through the messaging platform. It has been launched on 20th June 2017.
i. The Hike wallet is powered by Yes Bank.
ii. Hike is the first in India to launch payments facility on a messaging platform.
iii. It will allow free and instant bank-to-bank transfer via unified payments interface (UPI), free and instant money transfer via wallet and recharge right from the app.
iv. Hike has improved the user interface as well as added new features to the camera on the app.
v. Hike Messenger founder and CEO is Kavin Bharti Mittal.
CBDT notifies operationalising provisions of secondary adjustment under IT Act
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified Rule 10CB of Section 92CE under the Income Tax Act, 1961, operationalising provisions of secondary adjustment.
i. Background Information:
The Finance Act, 2017 inserted section 92CE in the Income Tax Act, 1961 with effect from April 1, 2018 to provide for secondary adjustment by attributing income to the excess money lying in the hands of the associated enterprise, in order to make the actual allocation of funds consistent with that of the primary transfer pricing adjustment.
ii. About Rule 10CB of Section 92CE under the Income Tax Act, 1961:
Rule 10CB prescribes the time limit for repatriation of excess money and the rate of interest to be applied for computing the income in case of failure to repatriate the excess money within the prescribed time limit.
SpiceJet signs letter of intent for 50 Bombardier Q400 aircraft for $1.7 billion
SpiceJet has announced on 20th of June 2017 to purchase 50 Q400 turboprop aircraft worth $1.7 billion (over Rs 10,900 crore) from Bombardier.
i. SpiceJet has signed a letter of intent with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft to buy up to 50 Q400 turboprop aircraft.
ii. The letter of intent is for 25 Q400 turboprops and purchase rights for an additional 25 aircraft. These are 86- seater planes.
iii. The order could be valued at up to $1.7 billion and it would be the single biggest order for the Q400.
iv. This order will help in increasing connectivity to smaller towns and cities.
v. The airline currently operates 20 Q400 aircraft in a 78 -seat configuration to domestic and international destinations.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION'S
Rural Development Ministry gives away 144 awards
On June 19, 2017, Ministry of Rural Development conducted an award function in New Delhi, during which it gave away 144 awards to states and different organisations under different categories.
i. Bihar was awarded for constructing the highest number of rural roads while Madhya Pradesh got the award for use of non- conventional construction material in constructing roads.
ii. Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka received a special prize for completing more than 95 per cent of their targets
Annabel Mehta awarded with the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)
Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law and social activist Annabel Mehta, a British national, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) on 18th of June, 2017
i. She has given the award for her work and service to the underprivileged communities in Mumbai, and the NGO, Apnalaya.
ii. The award will be presented to her at Buckingham Palace in London.
iii. Annabel has been recognised and honoured for over 40 years of service to under-privileged communities in India.
iv. She has been President of the NGO, Apnalaya since 2013.
v. She has particularly focused on the Shivaji Nagar slum community, adjoining the Deonar dumping ground.
vi. It has a population of around 600,000, many of whom live in challenging conditions.
vii. She works to promote issues of health care, gender, education and livelihoods using an integrated community development approach.
viii. She was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics.
About the Award:
The Order of the British Empire (which has several ranks) was created in 1917 by King George V.
♦ It has been created to recognise individuals, who have contributed valued service to their communities.
♦ MBE is a rank of the order and stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Bew’s ‘Citizen Clem’ wins Orwell Prize for Books 2017
The 2017 Orwell Prize is the Britain’s most prestigious prize. It is for political writing and was announced on 15th June in London.
i. The 2017 Orwell Prize for books was presented to John Bew.
ii. John Bew has won the £3,000Orwell Prize for books for Citizen Clem.
iii. It is a biography of former UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee.
iv. Citizen Clem is both a magnificent renewal of the art of political biography and a monument to the greatest leader the Labour party.
About The Award:
The award is named after the author of the cult classic dystopian-political fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.
♦ It is awarded annually by the Orwell Foundation.
♦ It is awarded to a book that comes closest to the George Orwell’s ambition “to make political writing into an art”.
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind resigns
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has resigned from the governor post of Bihar.
i. The resignation follows his nomination as the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate.
ii. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar.
iii. Ram Nath Kovind is a 71 year old Dalit leader and a two-term BJP RajyaSabha member.
iv. West Bengal Governor Keshari NathTripathi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar.
v. The presidential election is scheduled for July 17.
vi. Mukherjee completes his five-year term on July 24.
♦ Capital : Patna
♦ CM: Nitish Kumar
In historic first, UNICEF appoints Syrian refugee MuzoonAlmellehan as Goodwill Ambassador
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan as its newest and youngest Goodwill Ambassador on 19 June 2017. Muzoon Almellehan is a 19-year-old education activist and Syrian refugee.
i. Muzoon is the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF.
ii. Muzoon Almellehan escapes the conflict in Syria along with her family in 2013.
iii. She lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom.
iv. It was during her 18 months in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan that she began recommended for children’s access to education, particularly for girls.
About United Nations Children’s Fund
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946.
♦ It was created to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II.
♦ UNICEF’s programmes emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children.
♦ The organisation relies on contributions from governments and private donors
♦ The founder of UNICEF is Ludwik Rajchman.He also served as its first chairman from 1946.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
L&T launches Yard 55000 (Floating Dock – FDN 2) for Indian Navy
On June 20, 2017, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced the launch of a Floating Dock (FDN-2) designed and built for the Indian Navy at the company’s shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai.
i. The Floating Dock (FDN-2), Yard 55000 is an indigenously designed and built platform with state of the art machinery & control systems.
ii. It is the first Naval shipbuilding project for L&T and it is 185m long and 40m wide.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope spots 219 new potential planets
NASA’s Kepler space telescope has spotted 219 new potential planets. Out of which at least 10 are near-Earth-size with conditions suitable to host life.
i. The new data is the most comprehensive and detailed catalogue release of candidate exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system, from Kepler’s first four years of data.
ii. It brings the total number of planet candidates identified by Kepler to 4,034, of which 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets.
iii. The Kepler catalogue will serve as the foundation to determine the prevalence and demographics of planets in the galaxy.
iv. Out of the roughly 50 near-Earth-size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler so far, more than 30 have been verified.
v. The results using Kepler data suggest two distinct size groupings of small planets.
vi. The two distinct planetary populations shows that about half the planets in the galaxy either have no surface, or lie beneath a deep, crushing atmosphere.
vii.The Kepler data set is unique and it is the only one containing a population of these near Earth-analogues – planets with roughly the same size and orbit as Earth.
viii. The data will enable scientists to determine what planetary populations – from rocky bodies the size of Earth, to gas giants the size of Jupiter – make up the galaxy’s planetary demographics.
ix. The team found a clean division in the sizes of rocky, Earth-size planets and gaseous planets smaller than Neptune. Few planets were found between those groupings
Jinder Mahal beats Randy Orton to retain WWE Championship
Professional wrestler Jinder Mahal retained World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Championship at St Louis, Missouri, US on June 18, 2017.
i. Jinder won WWE championship by beating Randy Orton at St Louis, Missouri, US on June 18, 2017.
ii. Big names of the industry like Ric Flair, Cowboy Bob Orton Jr, Larry ‘The Axe’ Henning, Sgt Slaughter were present during the fight
Indian Wushu team claims 6 medals at BRICS Games
Indian Wushu team won 6 medals — two golds, two silvers and two bronzes — in the Wushu competition of the BRICS Games, which concluded on June 19, 2017, in Guangzhou, China.
i. On June 18, 2017, the first day of competition, Gyandas won gold medal in Taijiquan/Taijijian, M. Bidheswari Devi won silver and L. Sanatgombhi Chanu won bronze in Taijiquan/Taijijian event.
ii. On June 18, 2017, the second and final day, Anjul Namdev clinched the gold medal in Changquan overall event, Ng. Toshibala won silver in Women’s Changquan event, and Sajan Lama settled for bronze medal in Nanquan allround Event
Scientist P K Kaw who led thermonuclear experiments India dies at 69
Scientist P K Kaw, a globally-acclaimed plasma physicist who spearheaded India’s efforts to produce energy through thermonuclear fusion has died in Ahmedabad on 18th of June 2017. He was 69.
i. PK Kaw had founded Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar.
ii. Kaw, who was honoured with a Padma Shri in 1985 and was the founder director of the IPR.
iii. The nodal agency that has been coordinating with other countries in building the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France by 2019.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
President of India receives first copy of book ‘Garuda Purana’ published by All India Kashiraj Trust
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of book ‘Garuda Purana’ on 20th of June 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
i. It was published by All India Kashiraj Trust.
ii. He appreciated the efforts made by Dr. Anant Narain Singh and All India Kashiraj Trust (which was inaugurated by the first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad) to preserve and propagate our ancient texts.
iii. President said in accordance with that our legacy and heritage of knowledge in the shape of Puranas is extraordinarily rich.
iv. These texts have shaped our socio-cultural conduct, values and intellectual outlook
World Refugee Day 2017 – June 20 2017
World Refugee Day 2017 is celebrated across the world on 20th of June.
i. World Refugee Day 2017 theme is “Waterloo Region Celebrates Refugees”.
ii. It is celebrated to raise the public awareness about refugee’s situations throughout the world.
iii. World Refugee Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in the Resolution 55/76 on 4th of December in 2000.
iv. It was started celebrating worldwide as an annual event from 2001 on every 20th of June.
v. It has been observed to support millions of families all over the world who have lost their homes and dear ones because of violence or war.
vi. World refugee day celebration provides an opportunity to all to help the refugees worldwide to rebuild their quality lives through lots of related activities.
vii. It is celebrated to eliminate all the horrific violence from the countries and community which is the main reason of people’s displacement and formation of refugee.
viii. 55% of all the refugees comes from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Sudan.
ix. Refugee camps are organized to solve their problems by distributing them shelters, necessary goods, tents, plastic sheets, blankets and etc.
x. They are also availed with free clinics, schools, water resources and etc for supporting them psychosocially and physically.