Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the important Current Affairs for 28th July, 2016. These are important for the upcoming RBI Grade B Phase I Exam 2016.
LIC signs up Axis Bank as bancassurance partner
- India's largest insurer Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has signed an agreement with private sector lender Axis Bank as its bancassurance partner wherein the bank will distribute LIC's products to its customers.
- In the preliminary phase, the bank will distribute LIC’s life insurance products across its branches in West Bengal, Bangalore and Haryana – Panchkula. Additionally, the bank will also provide post sales services such as premium collection and renewal of policies.
- In a statement, LIC said that this is one of the largest bancassurance partnerships after the recent Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) regulations issued on open architecture framework for banks. As on June 30, 2016, Axis Bank had a network of 3,006 domestic branches and extension counters situated in 1,882 centres.
Union Cabinet clears changes to GST Bill, drops 1% additional tax on inter-state sales
- The Union Cabinet on 27 July 2016 cleared changes to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Constitutional Amendment Bill.
- The changes include dropping 1 percent manufacturing tax and providing guarantee to compensate states for any revenue loss in the first five years of rollout of the proposed indirect tax regime.
- It decided that any dispute between states and the Centre will be adjudicated by the GST Council, which will have representation from both the Centre and states.
- The existing bill provides that the centre will give 100 percent compensation to states for first three years, 75 per cent and 50 per cent for the next two years.
Lok Sabha passes Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015
- Lok Sabha on 27 July 2016 passed the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015. The Bill seeks to amend the Benami Transactions Act, 1988.
- The bill prohibits benami transactions and provides for confiscating benami properties.
- Amend the definition of benami transactions
- Establish adjudicating authorities and an Appellate Tribunal to deal with benami transactions
- Specify the penalty for entering into benami transactions.
- It expands the definition of benami transaction by including following
- Transaction is made in a fictitious name
- Owner is not aware of and denies knowledge of the ownership of the property
- Person providing the consideration for the property is not traceable
- Earlier, it defined benami transaction as a transaction where a property is held by or transferred to a person, but has been provided for or paid by another person.
- As per the report published by US Geological Survey on 19 July 2016, Joint expedition titled Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 by India and the United States (US) have resulted in the discovery of large, highly enriched accumulations of natural gas hydrate (an icy form of the fuel) in Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean.
- The international team of scientists was led by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited of India in cooperation with the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Japanese Drilling Company, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
- This is the first discovery of its kind in the Indian Ocean that has the potential to be producible.
Findings of the Expedition
- The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 is the second joint exploration for gas hydrate potential in the Indian Ocean.
- It focused on the exploration and discovery of highly concentrated gas hydrate occurrences in sand reservoirs.
Policy for awarding Waterfront and associated lands in major ports approved
- The Union Cabinet on 27 July 2016 approved the Policy for awarding waterfront and associated land to port dependent industries in major ports along with its operationalization.
- The Policy will result in uniformity and transparency in the procedure for awarding captive facilities. It will enable optimal utilization of capacities in major ports and increase revenue to the Major Port Authority.
Highlights of the Policy
- The ambit of the Policy includes creation of new assets as well as utilization of currently unutilised existing assets such as vacant berths. The Policy will be applicable to all the Major Ports.
- Under the Policy, concession will be granted to Port Dependent Industries (PDI) for setting up dedicated facilities in Major Ports for import and export of cargo for maximum 30 years.
- Extension of concession period on conditions including under utilization of asset as per the Concession Agreement may be allowed.
- After a maximum of 30 years of operation, the waterfront land in a Major Port will be allotted for construction of berths, offshore anchorages, transhipment jetties, single point moorings etc.
India signs $1 billion deal with US for procuring four Poseidon-8I aircraft
- India on 27 July 2016 signed a one-billion dollar deal with the US defence and aerospace major Boeing for procuring four long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, Poseidon-8I. First of the four new P-8I aircraft will be delivered in 50 months.
- Incidentally, India is P-8I's first international customer and was also Boeing's first military sale to India.
- The contract was inked during the on-going visit of the US under secretary for defence on Acquisition Frank Kendall.
- The contract is a follow-on order to eight P-81 planes worth 2.1 billion dollars deal inked in 2009, already bought by India in a direct deal with the firm. These aircrafts were inducted by the Navy between May 2013 and October 2015.
Union Cabinet approves setting up of AIIMS in Bhatinda
- The Union Cabinet on 27 July 2016 approved the establishment of a All India Institute Of Medical Science (AIIMS) at Bhatinda in Punjab under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
- It will provide super specialty health care to the population while creating a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary level institutions/facilities being created under National Health Mission (NHM).
Highlights of the AIIMS in Bhatinda
- The cost of the project for establishment of the AIIMS in Bhatinda shall be 925 crore rupees.
- This cost estimate does not include recurring costs (wages & salaries and operation & maintenance expenses).
- The recurring expenditure will be met by the respective AIIMS from their annual budgets through Grant-in-Aid to them from Plan Budget Head of PMSSY of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Muralitharan, Lohmann, Morris and Rolton to be inducted into Cricket Hall of Fame
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) on 27 July 2016 announced that Muttiah Muralitharan, Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris and George Lohmann will be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
- With the announcement, off-spinner Muralitharan becomes the first Sri Lankan player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- The four cricketers were voted by the ICC Cricket Hall of Famers as well as members of the media. They will be presented with commemorative caps honouring their contribution to the game to mark their induction.
IOC to launch Olympic Channel on August 21
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 27 July 2016 announced that it will launch the Olympic Channel. The channel will be launched on 21 August 2016, at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
- The channels original programming will include short-form and long-form content, focusing on elite athletes, their quest for success and sport around the world.
European Commission appoints Michel Barnier as Chief Brexit Negotiator
- The European Union’s executive on 27 July 2016 appointed Michel Barnier, former French Financial Services Commissioner, as its Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom’s exit from the bloc.
- Barnier will be a prominent figure in the negotiations over Britain’s exit from the union.
- In June 2016, Didier Seeuws, a Belgian diplomat, was appointed as head of a Brexit task force by the European Council.
C.K. Mishra appointed new Health Secretary
- C.K. Mishra, a 1983 batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre, has been appointed the new Health Secretary, an official statement said.
- Mishra will replace B.P. Sharma, a 1981 batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre, who has been appointed secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
- N.S. Kang, a 1983 batch IAS officer of the Punjab cadre, associated with the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) as additional secretary, has been made Secretary and Director General of the organisation after upgradation of his post.
World Hepatitis Day 2016 observed with theme Elimination
- World Hepatitis Day 2016 was observed across the world on 28 July 2016 with the theme Elimination.
- The day acts as a significant global platform for raising awareness about hepatitis and influence real change in disease prevention, testing and treatment.
- The theme for the 2016 focuses on elimination of hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. The theme can be easily adapted for local use to achieve elimination, greater awareness, increased diagnosis and key interventions including universal vaccination, blood and injection safety etc.
Father of Hybrid Sorghum Neelamraju Ganga Prasada Rao passes away
- Distinguished agricultural scientist Neelamraju Ganga Prasada (NGP) Rao, fondly referred to as the Father of Hybrid Sorghum, passed away on 27 July 2016 in Hyderabad following a brief illness. He was 89.
- NGP Rao is well-known for basic and applied research in breeding and agronomy of several dryland crops.
Writer Mahasweta Devi passes away at 91
- Eminent author and social activist Mahasweta Devi, whose writings focused on the marginalised communities in the country and served as the voice of the oppressed, died here today after a multi-organ failure. She was 91.
- Awarded the Sahitya Akademi and Jnanpith awards for literary excellence, Devi helped tribals and the rural dispossessed in organising themselves in groups so that they could take up development activities in their own areas.
- She founded several grassroot level societies for the welfare of tribals.