Monday, 30 November 2015

Current Affairs November 30, 2015

Pranab Mukherjee on three-day maiden visit to Gujarat, Diu from tomorrow

  • President Pranab Mukherjee will embark on a three-day maiden visit to Gujarat and Diu from tomorrow during which he will interact with students and faculty of IIM Ahmedabad, besides attending other functions.
  • He will inaugurate Amul’s state-of-art feed manufacturing plant, present Dr APJ Abdul Kalam IGNITE awards to creative children as well as interact with faculty and students of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, tomorrow, a press release issued today by Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • On December 1, Mukherjee will visit Sabarmati ashram and inaugurate its Archives and Research Centre, address the 62nd convocation of Gujarat Vidyapith, visit Somnath temple and inaugurate a beach festival at Diu.

I-T dept launches PAN-based litigation management system

  • Aimed to reduce lengthy proceedings and time taken in litigation, the Income Tax department has activated a PAN-based online system which enables the taxman to access cases in their jurisdiction on a click, amongst a building database of over 5 lakh appeals and 1.50 lakh judgements.
  • The new facility is part of the National Judicial Reference System (NJRS), an electronic repository of cases under the direct taxes category or income tax pending in legal forums like the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR), various High Courts and the Supreme Court.
  • It has recently launched business application software which uses PAN to track all the transactions and financial records of an individual and entity across the country.

Report sought on tree-felling around Taj

  • With continued threat to the Taj Mahal due to pollution around it, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought a report into illegal felling of trees in the eco-sensitive zone around the monument by December 16.
  • The NGT has asked environmental activist and lawyer M. C. Mehta, who is a court commissioner in the matter, to submit the final inspection report on the felling of 4,000 trees around the Taj by December 16.
  • According to the report, a former Agra DFO had allegedly cut trees within 500m radius of the Taj Mahal, which was declared an eco-sensitive zone in 2011-12.

At world table today, PM will underline: Climate is responsibility, concern of all

  • Modi will formally open the India pavilion which has impressed everyone it is the first time India has put up a pavilion at this annual conference to showcase its philosophy and approach towards climate change.
  • A smartly done India pavilion at the venue of the climate change conference in Paris was grabbing eyeballs, bringing a smile on faces of negotiators and campaigners who started gathering in the French capital for two weeks of tense negotiations at one of the most keenly-awaited meetings in recent times.
  • Monday is the big day when close to 150 heads of states and governments, including India’s Narendra Modi, will make three-minute speeches each, offering their political support to the negotiations that are expected to deliver a landmark global agreement on climate change.
  • Modi will launch the Global Solar Alliance, an effort to bring together tropical countries to promote solar energy, in a separate event for which at least 30 heads of states have signed up to attend, Indian officials said.

Govt. bats for revising RPO target to 10% by 2022

  • The government is looking at increasing renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets from 3 per cent to 10 per cent so as to meet the one lakh MW solar capacity by 2022.
  • Under the RPO, distribution companies (discoms) are mandated to purchase a certain amount of their power from renewable sources.
  • The current tariff policy mentions separate percentages of RPO for solar and non-solar sources.
  • The revision in the current RPO targets has to take place in the new tariff policy, he said.
  • The power ministry was requested to look into it after which it prepared a proposal that is pending Cabinet approval.
  • The recently announced UDAY package that aims to alleviate the discoms’ debts also includes a rule that they will now have to comply with the RPO, outstanding since April 2012, within a period to be decided in consultation with the power ministry.

Finance Ministry to meet banks on Dec 1 to make Gold scheme attractive

  • The Finance Ministry will hold a review meeting with banks and RBI representatives on Tuesday to assess the gold monetisation scheme, which has seen a “slow response” since the launch earlier this month, so as to make it more attractive.
  • The meeting, to be chaired by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, is also likely to be attended by RBI Deputy Governor H.R. Khan.
  • Out of the 20,000 tonnes of gold worth over Rs 52 lakh crore lying idle with households and institutions, the scheme has been able to garner only 400 gm of physical gold till November 18.

  • The scheme is aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on the gold imports to meet the domestic demand.
  • The ministry has recently fine-tuned the scheme to get better response from those holding stocks of gold.

Monetary policy: Rajan may maintain status quo on key rates

  • RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan may adopt a wait-and-watch approach in the upcoming monetary policy, maintaining a status quo on the interest rates.
  • While the RBI had front-loaded a 50-basis point booster dose cut in the previous policy, most bankers and analysts are not expecting any change in the repo rate on Tuesday.
  • Rajan will announce the fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review on December 1. Currently, the repo rate (rate at which banks borrow short-term funds from RBI) stands at 6.75 per cent.The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), part of bank deposits to be kept with RBI, is also likely to remain unchanged at 4 per cent.
  • The US Federal Reserve is expected to effect its first hike in nearly a decade at its two-day meeting from December 16. The US repo rate has been at 0-0.25 per cent since the 2008 global credit crisis.

Reserve Bank may leave rates unchanged: SBI chief

  • The chairperson of State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya, says she does not expect any changes to current interest rates in the bimonthly monetary policy review by Reserve Bank of India scheduled to be announced.
  • In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, Ms. Bhattacharya said, “I don’t think the Reserve Bank of India would be looking at reducing interest rates as there might be a lift-off from the US Fed. Until there is clarity on the way the Fed is moving, I think they will hold rates.”
  • The chairperson of India’s largest bank added that she sees a recovery period in the economy as the government has begun addressing a number of things holding projects back. In particular, she pointed our renewable energy, roads and highways, and smart cities as bright sparks.
  • “There are a number of things being addressed by the government,”.

Sindhu seizes Macau Open title for third time

  • Sindhu produced a dominating game to notch up a 21-9 21-23 21-14 win against sixth seed Mitani in a women’s singles match.
  • Two-time defending champion P. V. Sindhu completed a hat-trick of women’s singles title at the $ 120,000 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold after defeating Japan’s Minatsu Mitani in the finals here today.
  • Sindhu produced a dominating game to notch up a 21-9 21-23 21-14 win against sixth seed Mitani in a women’s singles match that lasted an hour and six minutes here.
  • World No. 12 Indian dished out some superb strokes and acute angled returns to bamboozle the Japanese, besides making some sound judgements at the baseline to get across Mitani, who struggled to keep the shuttle inside the court.
  • Sindhu will next play at the $120,000 Indonesia Masters Grand Prix Gold.

Australia wins first day-night Test by 3 wickets

  • Australia won the first ever day-night cricket test by 3 wickets against New Zealand, with tail-enders Peter Siddle and Mitch Starc ushering the hosts to victory in a dramatic finish under lights that will almost certainly ensure the format isn’t consigned to history as a one-time event.
  • The match was over inside three days, which hasn’t happened in an Adelaide Oval test since 1951 and which highlighted the differences of using the pink ball and playing under lights in the longest form of the game.
  • Ball dominated bat, particularly in the twilight sessions. The first 25 wickets tumbled in two days before New Zealand resumed Sunday at 116-5, an overall lead of 94.
  • New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said the day-night concept was the future of test cricket.

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