Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 28th October, 2015. These are important for the upcoming IBPS Clerk 2015 Exam.
NITI Aayog panel on Innovation submitted its report recommending private funding for R&D
- A NITI Aayog panel on Innovation headed by Prof Tarun Khanna on 27 October 2015 submitted its report recommending that the private sector should help fund research and development, including in research labs at universities and startups.
Recommendations of the committee
- It recommended improved tax benefits for investments equivalent to a percentage of corporate profits in research labs in universities and startups.
- It recommended that all contracts with foreign defence companies above 5 billion US dollars should include a clause for five percent of contract value to be directed to establish research-centric universities with strong emphasis on its core product areas.
- It suggested a Make in Universities program which would involve setting up 500 tinkering labs, where aspiring entrepreneurs can experiment to create products that address local problems, with one 3D printer per institute.
- For these labs, the panel recommends utilisation of half of the 1000 crore rupees fund that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had set aside for the Self Employed and Talent Utilization (SETU) scheme.
Union Finance Ministry launched E-Sahyog Pilot Project to facilitate Taxpayers
- The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 27 October 2015 launched the e-Sahyog pilot project of the Income-Tax Department to facilitate taxpayers by reducing their need to physically appear before tax authorities.
- The e-Sahyog project is aimed at reducing compliance cost, especially for small taxpayers.
Highlights of the e-Sahyog project
- The objective of e-Sahyog is to provide an online mechanism to resolve mismatches in Income-tax returns of those assesses whose returns have been selected for scrutiny, without visiting the Income Tax Office.
- The Income-Tax Department will provide an end to end e-service using SMS, e-mails to inform the tax assesses of the mismatch.
- The taxpayers will simply need to visit the e-filing portal and log in with their user-ID and password to view mismatch related information and submit online response on the issue.
- The responses submitted online by the taxpayers will be processed and if the response and other information are found satisfactory as per automated closure rules, the issue will be treated as closed.
- The taxpayers can check the updated status by logging in to the e-filing portal.
India ranked 130 in ease of doing business: World Bank
- World Bank on 27 October 2015 announced that India ranked 130 out of the 189 countries surveyed in terms of ease of doing business for domestic firms. It was revealed in the report entitled Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency.
- As per the report, India could improve its ranking by 12 places from the 142nd position of the 2015 report by undertaking significant improvements in the regulatory framework for starting new businesses.
- The findings of the report were based on collection of data in Mumbai and Delhi between June 2014 and May 2015.
- Starting a business: India was placed at the 155th position overall in this segment. However, it is still one of the areas of greatest improvement for India, as the number of days to start a business was cut down to 29 days in 2015 from much longer 127 days in 2014.
- Dealing with construction permits: India showed very poor performance in this segment as it was placed at the 183rd position overall.
- Getting electricity: India ranked overall 70 among the surveyed countries as now companies can get connected to the grid and get on with their business in 14 days sooner than before in Delhi and Mumbai.
- Registering property: India ranked 138. To improve performance in this segment, the report suggested for undertaking digitization of land records across the country, taking Karnataka as an example, to make records more easily accessible and more open for collaboration with external stakeholders.
Exim Bank announced setting up of project development firm KPDC in Africa
- Exim Bank announced on 27 October 2015 that it will set up a development firm, the Kukuza Project Development Company (KPDC), in Africa to facilitate Indian participation in infrastructure projects across the continent.
- IL&FS Group, African Development Bank and State Bank of India are also the shareholders in KPDC.
- KPDC aims to strengthen every partner, who will complement each other in building Indian project exports while simultaneously aiding the furtherance of economic and political ties between India and Africa.
- The company is expected to provide specialist project development expertise to take the infrastructure project from the concept stage to the commissioning stage in the African continent.
Reliance Industries signed revised Listing Agreements with BSE and NSE
- Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) declared on 27 October 2015 that it signed the revised listing agreement with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) as mandated under the newly introduced Listing Regulation notified by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
- With this, RIL became the first listed company to conform to SEBI norms.
- Earlier, the Listing Agreement was a bilateral agreement between the stock exchange and the company, and SEBI did not have regulations on it. Therefore, each company's agreement with stock exchange could be at variance and could lack the full force of SEBI's rigour.
- On 2 September 2015, SEBI notified the new Listing Regulations, which are effective from 1 December 2015.
India and Sri Lanka began Joint Naval Exercise SLINEX 2015 at Trincomalee
- Indian Navy and Sri Lankan Navy on 27 October 2015 began the 4th edition of Sri Lanka-India Exercise (SLINEX) at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. The exercise will go on till 1 November 15. SLINEX 15 is expected to enhance the capability of two navies to work together and contribute towards maritime security.
- The exercise will commence with a Harbour Phase, during which, the participants will engage in professional, cultural and social interactions.
- The Harbour Phase will be followed by the Sea Phase, which will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface exercises.
Bengaluru-based Saankhya Labs developed ‘Pruthvi’ chip to power White-Fi devices
- Bengaluru-based Saankhya Labs Pvt Ltd. in the third week of October 2015 announced that it developed a chip, named as Pruthvi, to augment capacities of White-Fi devices.
- The Pruthvi-based White-Fi devices will be used by Microsoft to extend the reach of internet services in remote areas of the country.
What is White-Fi technology?
- It uses the unused spectrum in frequencies utilised for broadcasting of television signals and use it for the internet. In technology parlance, these unused spectrum spaces are called White Space and thus it is also called TV White Space technology.
Mahatma, Modi among most admired globally: WEF survey
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the 10th most admired personality globally, as per a new survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that has ranked late South African President Nelson Mandela on the top.
- Mahatma Gandhi is ranked fourth most admired leader, according to a survey of more than 1,000 millennials. The respondents were spread across 285 cities in 125 countries.
- After Mandela, the WEF’s Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 found that Pope Francis is the second most admired leader. Others in the list are Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk (3rd rank), Microsoft Founder Bill Gates (5), U.S. President Barack Obama (6th), Virgin Group Founder Richard Barson (7), Apple Founder Steve Jobs (8), Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus (9) and U.S. investor Warren Buffett (11).
- Out of the 1,084 respondents, 3 per cent voted for Mr. Modi as well as for Mr. Yunus while 20.1 per cent favoured Mandela. As many as 12.4 per cent of the respondents voted for Gandhiji.
Bidhya Devi Bhandari elected as first women President of Nepal
- Bidhya Devi Bhandari was on 28 October 2015 elected as the President of Nepal. She is the first women president of Nepal.
- She received 327 votes against her opponent’s 214 in the Nepal’s Parliament.
- Election to the post of president became necessary as the first democratically-framed constitution was adopted on 20 September 2015 and consequently, the then incumbent president Ram Baran Yadav had to resign.
Aruna Sundarajan appointed new Steel Secretary
- Senior IAS officer Aruna Sundarajan was on Wednesday appointed as Secretary in Ministry of Steel as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the government.
- Ms. Sundarajan, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, is presently Administrator, Universal Service Obligation Fund under Department of Telecommunications. She has been appointed in place of Rakesh Singh, who superannuated on September 30, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.
- She is among five new Secretaries appointed by the government.
- Vijay Shankar Pandey will be new Secretary in Department of Chemicals and Fertilisers. Mr. Pandey, a 1979 batch IAS officer, is presently posted in his cadre — Uttar Pradesh.
Russia to launch manned moon missions by 2029
- The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called as Roscosmos, on 27 October 2015 announced that it plans to launch a manned flight to the moon and the lunar landing is planned for 2029.
- It also announced that the Russian scientists are working on creating a new spacecraft made of composites specifically designed for moon missions.
- Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Roscosmos, made the announcement during a space technology conference in Moscow.
- As per the announcement, the spaceship is expected to make its first test flight in 2021. It will dock with the International Space Station in 2023, and the spaceship will carry out its first unmanned mission to the moon in 2025.
J&K to host South Asian Rugby 7’S Championship in 2016
- Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Youth Services and Sports Molvi Imran Raza Ansari on 27 October 2015 announced that Kashmir Valley will host South Asian Rugby 7’S Championship in 2016.
- The decision was made during the 131st Standing Committee meeting of J-K State Sports Council, which was chaired by Ansari. As per the decision, the championship will be held at Bakhshi Stadium from 18 June to 20 June 2016.
- The Championship will be participated by eight teams consisting of 180 participants from various countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India.
World Bank released Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency Report
- World Bank on 29 October 2014 released the Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency Report. The report is 12th in a series of annual reports published by World Bank measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.
- In the report, India with a score of 53.97 points has been ranked 142 among the 189 countries. In 2014 report, India with a score of 52.78 was ranked 140.
- Singapore with 88.27 points occupies the top position in the ease of doing business followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and South Korea respectively. The USA and UK has been ranked seventh and eighth respectively.
- In the Doing Business, the lowest five economies are Chad (185), South Sudan (186), Central African Republic (187), Libya (188) and Eritrea (189).
Britain's Curry King Lord Gulam Noon Died
- One of Britain's most well-known Indian-origin peers, Lord Gulam Noon on 27 October 2015 passed away in London due to liver cancer. He was 79.
- Known as the Curry King, Noon founded the Noon Products business, which is credited with the popularity of chicken tikka masala in Britain.
- Lord Gulam Noon was born on 24 January 1936 in Mumbai. He travelled to Britain in 1964 and emigrated there permanently in 1972. He established Noon Products in Britain in September 1987 and manufactured chilled and frozen Indian and Thai ready meals, mainly for UK supermarkets.