Current Affairs Update – 12 April, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 12 April, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO mains, BOB Manipal 2017, NICL AO 2017 and NIACL Assistant 2017.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 12 April, 2017

  1. Finance Ministry today
    constituted an inter-disciplinary committee to examine the existing framework for virtual currencies, including bitcoins,
    and suggest measures to deal with issues like money laundering
    . The
    committee, to be chaired by Dinesh Sharma – Special Secretary (Economic
    Affairs), will submit its report within three months, a finance ministry
    statement said.
  2. Interbank messaging service SWIFT, which is used to transfer
    trillions of dollars between banks every day, will launch a new tool to spot
    fraudulent messages, seeking to restore trust in the system after millions of
    dollars were stolen in cyber raids.
  3. The shareholders of Grasim
    Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Nuvo
    Limited (ABNL)
    and Aditya Biral
    Financial Services Limited (ABFSL)
    in April 2017 approved the Scheme of
    amalgamation of ABNL with Grasim.
  4. The Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) on 11 April 2017 tied up
    with the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to issue Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Tax Deduction Account
    Number (TAN) in 1 day in order to improve ease of doing business
    .
  5. The Union government announced on
    12 April 2017 that it would buy up to 1
    lakh tonnes of potato grown in the 2016-17 crop year at Rs 4,870 per tonne

    from the Uttar Pradesh farmers to protect them against the drastic reduction in
    prices.
  6. The Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) on 11 April 2017 announced that
    it has tied up with the Indian Railways
    for executing Rooftop SPV Systems Project. An agreement
    in this regard was
    signed between the BHEL and the Indian Railways on 30 March 2017.
  7. The joint military training
    exercise of India and Mongolia has begun recently in Mizoram. It is the twelfth edition of
    the Indo-Mongolia joint military exercise Nomadic
    Elephant.
  8. Raman Singh, the Chief Minister
    of Chhattisgarh, on 11 April 2017 announced
    that his government will impose an alcohol ban in Chhattisgarh in coming days
    .
    The ban or prohibition will be regulated in a phased manner.
  9. The Amnesty International on 11 April 2017 released the Death Penalty Report 2016. As per the
    report, at least 1,032 people were executed in 23 countries in 2016. In 2015,
    Amnesty International recorded 1,634 executions in 25 countries worldwide.
  10. International Day of Human Space Flight was observed on 12 April 2017. The day is an annual
    celebration of the anniversary of the first human space flight undertaken by Yuri
    Gagarin, a Soviet citizen.
  11. A book titled Hope in a Challenged Democracy: An Indian Narrative was released on 10 April 2017 by former Prime
    Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari
    received the first copy of the book, which is authored by Ashwini Kumar.

Financial and Banking News –

FinMin sets up Dinesh Sharma panel to take stock of virtual currencies

  • Finance Ministry today
    constituted an inter-disciplinary committee to examine the existing framework
    for virtual currencies, including bitcoins, and suggest measures to deal with
    issues like money laundering.
  • The committee, to be chaired by
    Dinesh Sharma – Special Secretary (Economic Affairs), will submit its report
    within three months, a finance ministry statement said.
  • The inter-ministerial group will
    have representatives from the revenue department, Home Ministry, RBI, Ministry
    of Electronics and Information Technology and State Bank of India.
  • The committee will take stock of
    the present status of virtual currencies, both in India as well as abroad.
  • It will also examine the existing
    global regulatory and legal structures governing virtual currencies and suggest
    measures for dealing with issues such as consumer protection and money
    laundering.
  • The circulation of virtual
    currencies, also known as digital/cryptocurrencies, has been a cause of concern
    with experts voicing their worries at various fora from time to time.
  • The Reserve Bank had already
    cautioned the users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including
    bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer
    protection and security-related risks that they are exposing themselves to.

SWIFT to introduce tool to spot fraudulent inter-bank messages
  • Interbank messaging service
    SWIFT, which is used to transfer trillions of dollars between banks every day,
    will launch a new tool to spot fraudulent messages, seeking to restore trust in
    the system after millions of dollars were stolen in cyber raids.
  • Belgium-based SWIFT said on
    Wednesday that it will offer clients a service that will be able to learn a
    user bank’s messaging patterns so that it can spot if a payment is being made
    to an unusual counter-party or for an unusual amount.
  • Last year $81 million was stolen
    from Bangladesh’s central bank after thieves hacked into its SWIFT system and
    sent instructions to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pay money from
    Bangladesh Bank’s account to parties in Asia.
  • SWIFT was criticised last year by
    some users and industry players for failing to beef up security on its system
    even as the risk of cyber attacks increased and the network expanded to include
    smaller institutions with more lax security procedures.
  • Though SWIFT launched a range of
    new security measures and services in September, the latest product — due to be
    introduced early next year — will “red-flag”, or put on hold, payment
    instructions that exceed limits set by clients or are deemed anomalous by the system’s
    learning software.
  • “The new payment controls service
    is a direct response to our community’s request for additional services to
    complement and strengthen existing fraud controls,” SWIFT Chairman Yawar Shah
    said.
  • Luc Meurant, SWIFT’s head of
    financial crime compliance services, told Reuters that the service would be
    targeted initially at institutions and central banks with small messaging
    volumes because they might not be able to afford to develop such detection
    tools themselves.

Aditya Birla Nuvo to be merged with Grasim Industries
  • The shareholders of Grasim
    Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited (ABNL) and Aditya Biral Financial
    Services Limited (ABFSL) in April 2017 approved the Scheme of amalgamation of
    ABNL with Grasim.
  • Besides, the shareholders also
    approved demerger and listing of the Aditya Biral Financial Services Limited,
    which is a part of the ABFSL.
  • The merged entity Grasim will
    have proforma consolidated turnover of Rs 59,766 crore, EBITDA of Rs 11,961
    crore and a net profit of Rs 4,245 crore for the year ended March 2016. It will
    be –
  • Number 1 cement company in India
    with the largest selling brand
  • Among the top 5 fund managers in
    India with funds under management of Rs 2,29,500 crore
  • Among the top 7 private non-HFC
    NBFCs in India with a lending book of Rs 29,852 crore
  • Among the top 4 private sector
    life insurers and asset management companies in India
  • A leading player in textiles and
    chemicals
  • Third largest telecom operator in
    India

CBDT to issue PAN and TAN within 1 day to improve Ease of Doing
Business
  • The Central Board of Direct
    Taxation (CBDT) on 11 April 2017 tied up with the Union Ministry of Corporate
    Affairs (MCA) to issue Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Tax Deduction Account
    Number (TAN) in 1 day in order to improve ease of doing business.
  • Applicant companies will be
    required to submit a common application form SPICe (INC 32) on MCA portal. Once
    the data of incorporation is sent to CBDT by MCA, the PAN and TAN will then be
    issued immediately without any further intervention of the applicant.
  • The Certificate of Incorporation
    (COI) of newly incorporated companies will include the PAN in addition to the
    Corporate Identity Number (CIN). TAN will also be allotted simultaneously and
    communicated to the Company.
  • In March 2017, PAN was allotted
    within 4 hrs in 95.63 per cent cases and within 1 day in all cases to the newly
    incorporated companies.

Centre plans to buy 1 lakh potato from UP farmers to ease their load
  • The Union government announced on
    12 April 2017 that it would buy up to 1 lakh tonnes of potato grown in the
    2016-17 crop year at Rs 4,870 per tonne from the Uttar Pradesh farmers to
    protect them against the drastic reduction in prices.
  • The centre would also be giving
    them an additional amount of Rs 1217.60/tonne to help them bear all their
    overhead costs.
  • The decision was approved by the
    Union Agriculture Ministry under the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS).
  • The scheme would be implemented
    by the state agency.
  • Under the scheme, a maximum of
    100000 metric tonne of potato may be procured.
  • Overhead expenses covered under
    the scheme include transportation charges, mandi tax and godown charges.
  • The centre, where the purchase
    will take place, will be decided by the state government in coordination with
    the state agency.

BHEL and Indian Railways tie-up for Rooftop SPV Systems
  • The Bharat Heavy Electricals
    (BHEL) on 11 April 2017 announced that it has tied up with the Indian Railways
    for executing Rooftop SPV Systems Project.
  • An agreement in this regard was
    signed between the BHEL and the Indian Railways on 30 March 2017.
  • The agreement was signed in the
    presence of Amitabh Mathur, Director (IS&P), BHEL and Ravinder Gupta CAO,
    Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels.
  • Under the agreement, the BHEL
    will install 2 MWp Roof Top SPV Systems at Diesel loco Modernisation Works
    (DMW), Patiala.
  • Under the agreement, the BHEL
    will undertake various activities including design, supply, installation,
    testing and commissioning of grid connected rooftop solar photo voltaic power
    plant.
  • The BHEL was also entrusted with
    the responsibility to undertake associated civil works.
  • Further, the agreement will also
    include 5 years’ operation and maintenance.
  • With the signing of the
    agreement, the BHEL enhanced its roof top SPV project portfolio to 10 MWp.

Cairn India merged with Vedanta Ltd
  • Metals and mining group Vedanta
    Ltd on 11 April 2017 got effectively merged with its oil and gas subsidiary
    Cairn India Ltd.
  • Cairn India is a debt-free firm
    with cash and cash equivalents of Rs 22838.22 crore as of 30 September 2016.
  • The merged company will have a
    larger market cap of USD 15.6 billion.
  • As per the deal, Cairn India
    minority shareholders will receive one equity share and four redeemable
    preference shares in Vedanta Ltd against each share they hold.
  • Cairn India shareholders who will
    become shareholders of Vedanta will also receive an interim dividend of Rs
    17.70 per equity share as approved by the board of Vedanta on 30 March 2017.
  • No shares will be issued to
    Vedanta or any of its subsidiaries for their shareholding in Cairn India.            

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News related to India and states –
Indo-Mongolia Joint Military Exercise Nomadic Elephant 2017
  • The joint military training
    exercise of India and Mongolia has begun recently in Mizoram. The 14-day long
    exercise began on 5 April 2017 and will end on 18 April 2017.
  • It is the twelfth edition of the
    Indo-Mongolia joint military exercise Nomadic Elephant.
  • It is being conducted at the
    Indian Army’s elite Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School Vairengte in
    Mizoram.
  • The exercise is aimed at training
    the troops in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations (CICT Ops)
    under the United Nations mandate.
  • In the exercise, the Indian Army
    is represented by a contingent comprising of three officers, four JCOs and 39
    soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.

Raman Singh announces liquor prohibition in Chhattisgarh
  • Raman Singh, the Chief Minister
    of Chhattisgarh, on 11 April 2017 announced that his government will impose an
    alcohol ban in Chhattisgarh in coming days. The ban or prohibition will be
    regulated in a phased manner.
  • The announcement of liquor ban
    was made after his meet with Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, in
    Patna. It was announced from Munger, Bihar. Singh was on a two-day personal
    visit to Bihar, he visited the state to meet Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati at
    Munger Yogashram.
  • Raman Singh said in the first
    phase, the prohibition will be imposed in villages of Chhattisgarh. The
    prohibition will be imposed in villages with a population of 3000 and more.
  • With this announcement,
    Chhattisgarh becomes the second state in the country to impose alcohol
    prohibition in the state in April 2017. Earlier in the week, a similar
    announcement was made by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
    Chauhan.
  • Chauhan on 9 April 2017 announced
    that all liquor shops would be closed across the state in a phased manner.

Reports & Indexes –
Amnesty International released Death Penalty Report 2016

  • The Amnesty International on 11
    April 2017 released the Death Penalty Report 2016. As per the report, at least
    1,032 people were executed in 23 countries in 2016. In 2015, Amnesty
    International recorded 1,634 executions in 25 countries worldwide.
  • As per the report, most
    executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan – in that
    order.
  • The report concluded that China
    remained the world’s top executioner. However, the true extent of the use of
    the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is considered a State
    secret.
  • Excluding China, 87 per cent of
    all executions took place in just four countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and
    Pakistan.
  • For the first time since 2006,
    the USA was not one figured in the Top 5 Executioners List. It fell to the
    seventh place behind Egypt. The 20 executions in the USA were the lowest in the
    country since 1991.
  • Chad, India, Jordan, Oman and
    United Arab Emirates –all countries that executed people in 2015 − did not
    report any executions last year.

Days –
International Day of Human Space Flight observed on April 12

  • International Day of Human Space
    Flight was observed on 12 April 2017. The day is an annual celebration of the
    anniversary of the first human space flight undertaken by Yuri Gagarin, a
    Soviet citizen.
  • Yuri Gagarin carried out Vostok 1
    space flight on 12 April 1961, making one orbit around the Earth over 108
    minutes in the Vostok 3KA spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched by Vostok-K
    launch vehicle. This historic event opened the way for space exploration for
    the benefit of all humanity.
  • The day is also observed as the
    Cosmonautics Day in Russia and some other countries.
  • United Nations General Assembly
    (UNGA) through its resolution A/RES/65/271 on 7 April 2011 during its 65th
    session proclaimed that International Day of Human Space Flight will be observed
    annually on 12 April.
  • In its proclamation, the general
    assembly said, “The day will be celebrated at the international level to
    reaffirm the important contribution of space science and technology in
    achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States
    and peoples. It said that the day will help in ensuring the realisation of
    their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.”

Books & Authors –
Hope in a Challenged Democracy: An Indian Narrative authored by Ashwani
Kumar
  • A book titled Hope in a
    Challenged Democracy: An Indian Narrative was released on 10 April 2017 by
    former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.
  • Vice President of India M. Hamid
    Ansari received the first copy of the book, which is authored by Ashwini Kumar.
  • The book goes on to critically
    analyse the issues of fundamental importance in the framework of the
    “dignitarian goals of the republic, the role of a ‘living Constitution’, the
    necessity of equilibrium between executive, legislature and judiciary, the role
    of media, importance of equitable growth, a responsive justice system and a
    rising India’s engagement with the world.”

Sports News –
India’s Harbhajan among 8 ambassadors for ICC Champions Trophy

  • Harbhajan Singh, the veteran
    Indian bowler was on 12 April 2017 named as one of ICC’s eight ambassadors for
    the Champions Trophy tournament, which is scheduled to be held in England from
    1-8 June 2017.
  • He will be joining other
    ambassadors including Shahid Afridi, the legendary Pakistani all-rounder, Ian
    Bell from England, Australia’s Mike Hussey, New Zealand’s Shane Bond, Graeme
    Smith, former captain of South Africa, Habibul Bashar from Bangladesh and Kumar
    Sangakkara, former captain of the Sri Lankan national cricket team.

Awards & Honors –
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred National Geoscience Awards 2016

  • Pranab Mukherjee, the President
    of India, on 12 April 2017 conferred the National Geoscience Awards 2016 in
    Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • A total of twenty-seven
    geoscientists received the prestigious National Geoscience Awards 2016, as
    individuals or team, for meritorious contributions in twelve fields of
    geosciences.
  • Dr Abhishek Saha from National
    Institute of Oceanography was honoured with the Young Scientist Award.
  • The National Geoscience Awards
    was previously known as the National Mineral Awards. The awards were instituted
    by the Union Ministry of Mines in 1966. It was instituted to honour individuals
    and teams of scientists for their extraordinary achievements and outstanding contributions
    in fundamental and applied geosciences and mining and allied fields.

Obituaries –
Congress leader Akhilesh Das Gupta passes away

  • Former Union Minister, Akhilesh
    Das Gupta passed away in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 12 April 2017, after
    suffering from a heart attack. He was 56.
  • Gupta was rushed to Lari
    Cardiology Centre post his attack where he passed away in the wee hours. He is
    survived by his wife, daughter and son.

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