Current Affairs Update – 20-22 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 20, 21 and 22 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, BOB Manipal, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.



Current Affairs at a Glance - 20-22 May, 2017
  1. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 19 May 2017 finalised a four-tier structure for taxation of services in line with the tax slab for goods. This four-tier tax slab includes- 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. The bulk of services will fall in the 18 per cent bracket, including financial services such as banking and insurance, telecom, information technology, government services such as auction of resources including spectrum, and restaurants that have air-conditioning or serve liquor.
  2. Microsoft India on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to drive skill development through "Project Sangam".
  3. Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi facility at 28 stations on the Konkan Railway on 21 May 2017.
  4. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 22 May 2017 launched high speed, air-conditioned Tejas Express, a premium luxury train that will run from Mumbai to Goa. This luxury train boasts of several modern facilities on-board like LED TV and tea/coffee vending machine. The train will operate five days a week during non-monsoon period, and three days a week during monsoon period.
  5. Hassan Rouhani was on 20 May 2017 re-elected as the President of Iran after winning the Iranian presidential elections 2017.
  6. Mumbai Indians were crowned the new IPL champions following their thrilling one—run win over Rising Pune Supergiant in the summit clash here tonight.
  7. The Bengaluru FC on 21 May 2017 defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0 to lift the Federation Cup at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
  8. Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez was on 19 May 2017 awarded with the International Humanitarian Award in Editor's Choice category of Asian Voice Charity Awards. The award recognises the work of charity organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) and abroad.
  9. Prashant Ranganathan, an Indian, on 20 May 2017 won the world’s largest pre-college science competition 'The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2017' in the United States. Prashant Ranganathan hails from Jamshedpur city of Jharkhand, India.
  10. The International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated globally on 22 May 2017 with the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”.
  11. The 2017 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed across the world on 21 May 2017.





Banking & Financial News

GST Council fixes 4-tier tax slab for services


  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on 19 May 2017 finalised a four-tier structure for taxation of services in line with the tax slab for goods. This four-tier tax slab includes- 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.
  • The bulk of services will fall in the 18 per cent bracket, including financial services such as banking and insurance, telecom, information technology, government services such as auction of resources including spectrum, and restaurants that have air-conditioning or serve liquor.

Slabs

  1. 5 % - Transport services, Cab aggregates like Ola and Uber, Restaurants with Rs 50 lakh annual turnover, AC rail travel, Economy Air tickets
  2. 12 % - Non-AC restaurants that don’t serve liquor, Hotels with room tariffs below Rs 2500, Business class air travel, Work contracts
  3. 18 % - Hotels with Rs 2500-5000 room rents, Telecom and Financial Services, AC Restaurants with liquor license
  4. 28 % - Five-Star Hotels, Movie Tickets, Racing, Betting on Racing, Casinos

GST Rates for Services

  • Education, Healthcare and Third Tier Railway Travel will be exempted from GST.
  • Goods transport and Cab aggregates like Ola and Uber will attract a 5 per cent GST. This low GST is due the reason that there is no input tax credit for their key input 'fuel'. However, the tax will go up once petrol and diesel are brought under the GST.
  • Hotels and restaurants, depending on their services, will attract different tax rates.
  • Non-AC restaurants and those that don’t serve liquor will attract 12 per cent GST. Smaller restaurants with less than Rs 50 lakh annual turnover can avail of the composition scheme with 5 per cent GST.
  • As for the hospitality industry, those with room tariffs below Rs 2500 will face 12 per cent GST, those with Rs 2500-5000 rents will face 18 per cent GST and five-star hotels will face 28 per cent GST.
  • Business class air travel will attract 12 per cent GST while economy tickets will face 5 per cent GST.
  • In the case of railways, AC rail travel will face 5 per cent GST with the facility of input credit of services, while sleeper, metro ticket and seasonal passes will remain exempt.
  • Railway freight will face 5 per cent tax with input tax credit for services.
  • Work contracts that now attract 6 per cent service tax plus state taxes of 1-2 per cent without any input tax credit, will now face 12 per cent with input tax credit.
  • Telecom and Financial Services will attract 18 per cent GST, which is the standard rate for services.
  • A peak rate of 28 per cent will be charged on five services including five-star hotels, movie tickets, racing, betting on racing and casinos.
  • Tax on e-commerce was fixed at 1 per cent.

Microsoft India inks MoU with Telecom Sector Skill Council


  • Microsoft India on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to drive skill development through "Project Sangam".
  • "Project Sangam" is a Cloud hosted platform that leverages Microsoft Azure services, as well as the power of LinkedIn, to provide an integrated mobile-first platform for skilling, and employment.
  • Telecom Sector Skill Council is a not-for-profit public-private partnership between National Skill Development Corporation and the telecom industry.
  • Using the platform, TSCC can create courses compliant with the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). These courses can then be further extended by their partners and trainers with their own training material.


News related to India and states

Railway Minister inaugurated free Wi-Fi facility at 28 Railway Stations


  • Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi facility at 28 stations on the Konkan Railway on 21 May 2017.
  • The provision has been made possible through a tie-up between Indian Railways and the broadband and internet service provider SYSCON/Joister.
  • The free internet would be available at a speed of 2 Mbps for the whole of 24 hrs. The initiative is in line with the Union government’s Digital India campaign.
  • The service providers, SYSCON/JOISTER, which are already providing JOISPOT brand Wi-Fi in Pune & Mumbai institutes, have undertaken the project as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.
  • The 24 hrs wi-fi facility will cover the station entrance and the surrounding area with unlimited data download.
  • In order to access the free Wi-fi, users would have to open the Joispot mobile app and register using their name and mobile number and request for one time password (OTP).         


Advertisement







Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu launches high speed Tejas Express


  • Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on 22 May 2017 launched high speed, air-conditioned Tejas Express,  a premium luxury train that will run from Mumbai to Goa.
  • This luxury train boasts of several modern facilities on-board like LED TV and tea/coffee vending machine. The train will operate five days a week during non-monsoon period, and three days a week during monsoon period.
Top 10 things to know about Tejas Express

  • Modern Technology: It encompasses ultra-modern amenities like on-board infotainment, Wi-Fi, CCTV, fire and smoke detection facilities, tea and coffee vending machine etc.
  • Aeroplane on Tracks: It is India's first premium train that is capable of running at 200 kms per hour, that is it is named as 'Aeroplane on Tracks'. However, due to constraints related to rail tracks, it will run at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour.
  • Design: It is manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala. It has automatic entrance door, a first in non-suburban train in Indian railways. The graffiti proof and vinyl-wrapped exterior has a bright orange and yellow colour theme.
  • Route: Tejas Express will operate between Mumbai and Karmali (Goa) for five days a week during non-monsoon period and three days a week during monsoon. It will have stops at Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Ratnagiri and Kudal stations.
  • Seating Capacity: Its executive AC chair car has 56 seating capacity and its AC chair cars has 78 seating capacity. There are 12 AC chair cars in Tejas.
  • Railway Fare: Executive Class Fare of Tejas is Rs 2680 (with food) and Rs 2525 (without food). For AC chair car, the fare is Rs 1280 (with food) and Rs 1155 (without food).
  • Catering Services: If a passenger does not opt for catering services at the time of booking the ticket and decides to purchase meals onboard, an extra amount of Rs 50 per service will be levied, in addition to the prescribed catering charges.
  • Safety and Security: This high-speed train has all the safety measures like suppression system, fire suppression system, smoke detection and fire detection. There is also a GPS-based passenger information display system and a digital destination board.
  • Disabled Friendly: There is Braille assistance installed for visually challenged passengers in the train.
  • Hygiene: The train has bio-vacuum toilets facility in all the coaches. It also has hand dryers, water level indicators and touch-less water taps.

Manual titled Living conditions in Institutions for Children in conflict with Law released by WCD Ministry


  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has developed a manual titled “Living conditions in Institutions for Children in conflict with Law”.
  • The manual was prepared following the directions of the Supreme Court dated 5 February 2016 in the matter of Re-inhuman conditions in 1382 prisons, WP (C) 406 of 2013.
  • The apex court directed the ministry to prepare a manual similar to the Model Prison Manual as being prepared by Ministry of Home Affairs that will take into consideration the living conditions and other issues pertaining to juveniles who are in Observation Homes or Special Homes or Places of Safety in terms of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
  • The objective of preparing such a Manual for children in conflict with law is to provide guidelines to the States/UTs and other stakeholders which will help them to establish institutions for children in conflict with the law and providing appropriate institutional and rehabilitative services to them.
  • The Manual has been framed within the purview of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016.

Chitale Committee recommends several measures for Desiltation of Ganga


  • Chitale committee constituted to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal), submitted its report to Ministry of Water Resources on 19 May 2017.
  • The committee in its report has recommended a slew of measures like a study of reach wise sediment transport processes along with establishing annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities.
  • It also recommended the preparation of annual reports (Sand registry) describing the previous de-silting/dredging activity and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget, morphological and flood routeing studies that would examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration.

Appointments

Hassan Rouhani re-elected as President of Iran


  • Hassan Rouhani was on 20 May 2017 re-elected as the President of Iran after winning the Iranian presidential elections 2017.
  • This will be his second term as Iran's President. Rouhani won his second term by presenting himself as the candidate of change and social freedoms that ended many sanctions.
  • Rouhani was first elected as Iran's President in 2013. He won 2013 elections by pledging to end Iran’s isolation and improve civil rights.

Sports News

Mumbai Indians win third IPL trophy with thrilling 1-run win


  • Mumbai Indians were crowned the new IPL champions following their thrilling one—run win over Rising Pune Supergiant in the summit clash here tonight.
  • Rohit Sharma opted to bat after winning the toss but Mumbai batsmen failed to deliver while the Supergiant bowlers came out firing on all cylinders.
  • Krunal Pandya top—scored with a crucial 47—run knock while skipper Rohit contributed 24 runs to help Mumbai post 128 for eight.
  • Jaydev Unadkat (2/19) and Adam Zampa (2/32) shared four wickets between them for Pune Supergiant.
  • Mumbai Indians surprisingly managed to defend the low total to capture their third IPL trophy with Pune Supergiant falling agonisingly short by one run.

Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan to lift Federation Cup


  • The Bengaluru FC on 21 May 2017 defeated Mohun Bagan 2-0 to lift the Federation Cup at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack.
  • After both sides played out a 0-0 draw in regulation time, it took two strikes from Bengaluru FC’s Vineeth to settle the tie.
  • The Federation Cup is an annual knockout style club football tournament in India.

Alexander Zverev beat Novak Djokovic to clinch Italian Open Men’s Singles title


  • Alexander Zverev on 21 May 2017 defeated World No. 2 Novak Djokovic 2 6-4 6-3 to win the Italian Open. The final was held in Rome, Italy.
  • With the win, Zverev became the youngest Masters 1000 titlist since a 19-year-old Djokovic won the 2007 Miami Open presented by Itau.

World News

NASA names bacterium found on ISS after APJ Abdul Kalam


  • A team of scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in May 2017 named a new organism after A P J Abdul Kalam, a former President of India.
  • The new organism is a bacterium, which has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on Earth.
  • The bacterium has been named as Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president, who was also an aerospace scientist.

Awards & Honors

Jacqueline Fernandez wins UK Humanitarian Award


  • Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez was on 19 May 2017 awarded with the International Humanitarian Award in Editor's Choice category of Asian Voice Charity Awards. The award recognises the work of charity organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) and abroad.
  • Fernandez was awarded for her philanthropic work in India. She has been working with the charity 'Habitat for Humanity for last five years. This organisation works to help people to live with dignity by giving them homes to live in.
  • While, writer Jeffrey Archer was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to various charity organisations over the years.

India's Prashant Ranganathan wins Intel International Science Award 2017 in US


  • Prashant Ranganathan, an Indian, on 20 May 2017 won the world’s largest pre-college science competition 'The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) 2017' in the United States. Prashant Ranganathan hails from Jamshedpur city of Jharkhand, India.
  • Ranganathan received the award in the Environmental Engineering category for his project ‘Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos using native bacteria’. His project will help farmers in biodegrading the pesticide which is plaguing the country.
  • Four Indian-Americans also received Intel ISEF Awards in various categories. Pratik Naidu from Virginia bagged an award in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Adam Nayak from Oregon won in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Karthik Yegnesh from Pennsylvania won in Mathematics and Rahul Subramaniam from Connecticut won in the Microbiology category.
  • In all, more than 1700 students from across the world participated in the week-long event.


Days

International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated worldwide


  • The International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated globally on 22 May 2017 with the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”.
  • The theme was chosen as it coincides with the observance of2017, which is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and also to contribute to ongoing initiatives like the Sustainable Tourism Programme.
  • The observance of the day aims to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism to economic growth as well as to the conservation of biodiversity.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2017 observed


  • The 2017 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was observed across the world on 21 May 2017 with an aim to bridge the gap between different cultures.
  • The Day celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.
  • In December 2002, the UN General Assembly in its resolution declared 21 May as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development following UNESCO's adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in 2001.







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