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).         
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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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