Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Current Affairs-GK Update 7th February 2017

Current Affairs and GK Update 6th February 2017
1. CBDT signs four unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under the Department of Revenue, Union Ministry of Finance has entered into four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). These four APAs are related to Manufacturing, Financial and Information Technology sectors. They cover international transactions such as Contract Manufacturing, Software Development Services and IT Enabled Services. With this, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 130. 
  • It includes 122 Unilateral APAs and 8 bilateral APAs. In the current financial year (2016-17), total 66 APAs (5 bilateral APAs and 61 unilateral APAs) were signed.
  • Scientists develop terahertz transmitter capable of sending data 10 times faster than 5G 
  • Scientists from Japan have developed terahertz (THz) transmitter technology, a next generation system which can transmit digital data over 10 times faster than 5G mobile networks. It will pave transmitting digital data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) over a single channel using the 300-gigahertz band.
2. 181 Irrawaddy dolphins counted in Odisha census
  • According to new census carried out by the Odisha State Forest and Environment department in 2016, as many as 181 Irrawaddy dolphins have been sighted in the state. This marks a significant drop from 2015 survey which had recorded 450 dolphins. The 2016 dolphin census in Odisha reported Humpback dolphins (34), bottlenose dolphins (31) and five pantropical spotted dolphins.
  • The Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lagoon of the country recorded a marginal drop in the population of Irrawaddy dolphins from 144 in 2015 to 134 in 2016. 
  • About 55 dolphins were sighted this year in Bhitarakanika, compared to 58 spotted in 2015. 
  • In the Bhadrak Wildlife Sanctuary jurisdiction, only five Irrawady dolphins were sighted. Endangered Irrawaddies are found in three places, humpback and bottlenose dolphins are not distributed uniformly in the State.
  • According to state Forest department, sighting of dolphins depended on the weather condition of the day the census was carried out. Migration of dolphins also continuously takes place in waters close to the coast.
3. FAO calls for International collaboration on wheat rust
  • The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), a United Nations agricultural agency has called for International collaboration on wheat rust to curb threat to global supplies. 
  • According to studies produced by scientists in collaboration with FAO, wheat in Africa, Asia, and Europe is increasingly threatened by fresh groups of wheat rust. Key Facts The studies have showed emergence of two new groups or races of both yellow rust and stem rust in various regions of the world. 
  • They highlight urgent need for early detection and rapid action to keep the wheat rust under control which spread rapidly over long distances by wind. If not detected and treated on time, they can turn a healthy looking crop, only weeks away from harvest, into a tangle of yellow leaves, black stems, and shriveled grains. 
  • Wheat is a source of food and livelihoods for over 1 billion people in developing countries. Some of the most vulnerable regions are also the highest producers of wheat. Northern and Eastern Africa, the Near East, and West, Central and South Asia alone account for some 37% of global wheat production.
4. Rajiv Singh takes over as acting CEO of Prasar Bharati
  • The Prasar Bharati member (Finance) Rajiv Singh has taken over as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the public service broadcaster of India “Prasar Bharati”.
  • He succeeded Mr. Suresh Panda.
  • Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body established under the Prasar Bharati Act and came into existence on 23rd November 1997.
  • Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio(AIR), which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
5. Arunachal Pradesh govt introduces ‘Arunachal Civil Service Awards’
  • The Arunachal Pradesh government has introduced ‘Arunachal Civil Service Awards’ for excellence in public administration in the state.
  • It is an effort to encourage good governance and to recognize the extraordinary services rendered by the government employees in the state.
  • The award will consist of a medal, a scroll, and a cash award of 1 lakh rupees for an individual and 5 lakh rupees for organization /group/team.
6. No queries on deposits of up to Rs 2.5 lakh: CBDT Chairman
  • According to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra, no questions will be asked about deposits of up to 2.5 lakh during the demonetization period.
  • Only those accounts will be probed who do not match tax returns.
  • Earlier, The Income Tax Department has segregated different kinds of deposits and accounts who do not match their income tax returns filed in previous years will be taken for later enforcement.
  • 3 lakh rupees are justified if a person has an annual taxable income of 10 lakh rupees and the tax department will not touch them.
  • if companies show a cash in hand in the balance sheet of 10 lakh rupees and have deposited 5 lakh rupees, the tax department will not scrutinize such entities.
7. Bank of Maharashtra ties up with Cigna TTK
  • The Bank of Maharashtra((BoM) has collaborated with insurance company “Cigna TTK Health” to market the insurer’s products in the bank’s branches across the country.
  • BoM will offer the entire gamut of Cigna TTK’s superior health insurance products to its customers through its network of over 1,896 branches and 14,000 bank employees.
  • Cigna TTK is a health insurance firm established as a joint venture between the Cigna (global insurance player) and TTK Group (Indian conglomerate).
8. India & Austria agree to amend bilateral taxation treaty
  • India and Austria have agreed to amend their existing bilateral taxation treaty to prevent tax evasion as well as enable mutual assistance.
  • The protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of the exchange of tax-related information, which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries.
  • This will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
  • The Protocol was signed by CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra and Charge d’ Affaires of the embassy of Austria Georg Zehetner in New Delhi.
9. Manipur assembly election process begins today
  • Today, two-phase polling of Assembly elections in Manipur begins with the issuance of notification for the first phase of 38 seats.
  • The last date of filing of nominations is the 14th of this month, while withdrawal of candidature can be done till the 18th.
  • The 60-member Manipur Assembly will go to polls in the first phase 4th March and second phase on 8th March.
10. Andhra Pradesh: First Smart Police Station inaugurated
  • The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu has inaugurated the first smart police station at Nagarampalem in Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh).
  • The fully air-conditioned Smart Police Station has a staff room, dormitory, mini control room, a reception chamber, and individual enclosures for the Station House Officer and three Sub-Inspectors.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Police administration has planned to build another 100 such Stations across the state and to phase out congested police stations.
  • The model Police Station doesn’t look like a typical Police Station with plush exterior and interiors that leave one with a feeling of having walked into a corporate style office.
  • Staff manning the station will not wear the usual khaki uniform and instead sport a navy blue trouser and a light blue shirt.
  • The women Constables have a light blue sari for uniform while the lady receptionist will additionally sport a navy blue blazer.
11. Prashant Bhushan launches Citizens’ Whistleblowers Forum
  • Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said the forum will serve as a platform where whistleblowers can make disclosures. 
  • Bhushan said the forum will be headed by former Delhi HC Chief Justice AP Shah. 
  • Ex-Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas, Aruna Roy, among others will be a part of the body.
12. Karnal Singh gets 2-year fixed term as ED chief
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved two-year fixed tenure for Karnal Singh.
  • Singh, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Union Territories cadre, was in October last appointed as ED Director till his superannuation.
  • He was due to retire in August this year.
13. ISRO to launch 104 satellites on Feb 15
  • ISRO will launch 104 satellites through its workhorse rocket PSLV-C37 on February 15 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
  • These 101 satellites are nano-satellites and belong to foreign nations, including the US and Germany.
  • Of these, only three are Indian.

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