GK Eduwrap – 8th May 2015

National:

1. High Court of Gujarat ordered shutting down of 67 sand mining units in the Gir Forest Sanctuary, the only adobe of Asiatic lions. These 67 mining units were ordered to stop operation as their leases were not renewed.

2. Rajya Sabha  passed 119th Constitutional Amendment Bill on Land Boundary Bill (LBA). The Bill is to operationalise the Land Boundary Agreement with India and Bangladesh, and the exchange of certain enclaves of land between the two countries.

3. Lok Sabha passed Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill 2014. The Bill clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category.

4. India and Iran signed an inter-Governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran.

5. Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley launched the Mobile Application of DD News, E-version of India 2015 & Bharat 2015 and E-book of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on its initiatives and achievements. The App will make it possible for millions of people in India to keep in touch with the latest happenings around them.

6. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with South Korea. The bilateral DTAA was signed in 1985 for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income for the citizens of both the countries.

7. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for allowing foreign investments into Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by recognizing it as an eligible financial instrument or structure under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999.

8. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its nod for increase in the investment limit for cases requiring prior approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to 3000 crore rupees from the present 2000 crore rupees.

9. Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar launched the state level ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme’ in Panaji. After launching the campaign, the Chief Minister also urged the society to invest more on girl child basically in the field of education as the girls gives more fruits to the society and family also.

10. The Canadian House of Commons approved the Bill C-51, Anti-Terror Act, 2015 that empowers the country’s spy agency. It was adopted in a 183 to 96 vote. The act would give the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) the ability to operate overseas and make preventative arrests. It also makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without charge.

11. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) relaxed the provision related to investment limit by the Central Government agencies in Mega Food Parks by allowing them to invest up to 100% on their equity holding in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) from the present 26%.

12. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for building and launching of GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites. These two satellites with the structure similar to the GSAT-10 are aimed at providing replacement capacity and in-orbit backup that is they will provide for continuance of the services of existing users and augmenting in-orbit spare capacity to meet emergencies.

13. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong opened first museum Indian Heritage Centre in Little India. The museum was dedicated to Indian history. Singapore is celebrating 50 years of its independence in 2015 as well as 50 years of diplomatic relations with India.

14. The district authorities of Muglawali village of Yamungar district in Harayana, located near Adi Badri, claimed that they have dugged out a paleo (old) channel which resembles now inactive River Saraswati.

International:

1. The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was presented with the 2015 Freedom of Expression Courage Award of the PEN American Centre at the American Museum of Natural History.

2. Philippine and Japanese coast guard teams held an anti-piracy drills in Manila Bay. This is the first drill held by Japan and the Philippines after signing a strategic partnership pact in 2012. The drills in Manila Bay were watched by the coast guard chiefs of 17 Asian nations.

3. Mhairi Black, aged 20, has become Britain’s youngest member of parliament since 1667 in a victory which symbolises an expected nationalist landslide in Scotland.

4. Nepal Rastra Bank announced to provide interest-free loans for rebuilding houses. The bank will provide interest-free loans of up to 25 lakh nepali rupees in the Kathmandu Valley and 15 lakh nepali rupees for those outside the capital for house reconstruction.

Mergers & Acquistion:

1. Myntra acquired Bengaluru-based startup firm Native5 Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition, founders of Native 5 will join Flipkart, parent company of Myntra.

2. Alibaba-backed company Paytm tied-up with Quick service restaurants (QSRs) Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day for offline payment. With this acquisition, Paytm’s mobile wallet will soon be accepted at Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day.

This tie-up came when Paytm is foraying into the offline retail space. At present, Paytm offers and recharge services for DTH and mobile phone services as well as mobile wallet services for online transactions on Uber, Bookmyshow, eBay and IRCTC.

Appointment:

1. Achal Kumar Jyoti, the former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. Jyoti (62) will have tenure of nearly three-years, when he will turn 65, the age at which Election Commissioners demit office under the Constitution of India.

Awards & Recognition:

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati in New Delhi. Swami Chinmayananda was a renowned Hindu spiritual leader and teacher who had inspired the formation of a global nonprofit organisation called Chinmaya Mission to spread the knowledge of Advaita Vedanta.

2. Nadia district in West Bengal has won the 2015 United Nations Public Service Award in the category of Improving Delivery of Public Services for the initiative ‘Sabar Shouchagar’. It was announced by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The award will be presented by the UN Secretary General in June 2015 in Medellin, Colombia.

Death:

1. Oscar Holderer, the last known surviving member of the German engineering team that designed the rocket that took US astronauts to the Moon died in Alabama on 5th May 2015. He was 95.

2. Noted Assam historian and social scientist Dr. Amalendu Guha passed away on 7th May 2015 in Guwahati, Assa, following age related ailments. He was 91. He was known for his extensive research related to the socio-economic history of North eastern state of Assam.

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