Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 13 November 2017

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 13 November 2017

::NATIONAL::

SC Collegium to take call on appointing 40 judges to 9 HC judges

  • The Supreme Court collegium would take a call on appointing 40 judges to nine courts, a senior functionary said even as 106 judges had been appointed to the constitutional courts thisyear.
  • The Law Ministry forwarded recommendations from nine High Courts to the collegium to appoint 40 judges.
  • The High Courts from where the recommendations had been received include Karnataka, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Madras and Tripura, the functionary said.
  • By Law Ministry data, as on September 1, while the approved strength of judges in the 24 High Courts was 1,079, there were 413 vacancies and these High Courts were functioning with an effective working strength of 666 judges.
  • As per the procedure, a three-member High Court collegium recommends a name to the Supreme Court collegium.
  • The recommendation is initially sent to the Law Ministry, which attaches an Intelligence Bureau (IB) report about the candidate’s record and forwards it to the SC collegium for the final call.
  • The collegium had recently said the judiciary and not the IB was a better judge of who should be part of the judiciary.
  • Commenting on the appointment of judges, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that 126 judges were appointed in 2016 which was a record since 1989.
  • He said on an average 82 judges were appointed annually.

::INDIA AND WORLD::

First Quadrilateral talks give emphasis to navigation rights

  • Beginning a new diplomatic initiative, India participated in the first formal official-level discussions conducted in Manila under the recently mooted regional coalition known as the ‘Quad’, the quadrilateral formation that includes Japan, India, the United States and Australia.

  • The quadrilateral talks were held even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and U.S. President Donald Trump at a gala dinner thrown by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines for the visiting leaders, who are here to participate in the 31st ASEAN and the 12th East Asia summits.

  • “The discussions focussed on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners.

  • They agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large

  • “The officials also exchanged views on addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as well as on enhancing connectivity,” the MEA statement said.

  • The Indian team consisted of the Joint Secretary in charge of the East Asia division in the MEA, Pranay Verma, and the Joint Secretary in charge of the South division in the MEA, Vinay Kumar.

  • Indicating the simmering regional tension with China and Beijing’s assertiveness over the South China Sea issue, a statement from the Australian Foreign Ministry informed that freedom of navigation figured at the ‘Quad.’

  • Official sources emphasised that the quadrilateral was not aimed at any other country, and said India was also involved in other similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues.

  • The event was also attended by Premiers Li Keqiang of China and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.

  • The U.S.’s statement indicated that further cooperation “to curtail DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)’s nuclear and missile programmes and unlawful acts” were also on the agenda discussions.

  • Indian official sources emphasised that the quadrilateral was not aimed at any other country and said New Delhi was also involved in similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues.

  • The quadrilateral meeting is significant as it was held in the backdrop of the comments by the Chinese Premier urging reduction in tension over regional issues like the South China Sea dispute.

  • “The wise expand common ground while the unwise aggravate differences,” said Premier Li in a newspaper article, defending the Chinese position in the dispute.

  • Official sources emphasised that the quadrilateral was not aimed at any other country and said India was also involved in similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues.

  • India’s commitment towards the region was highlighted by Mr. Modi as he took to the social media before arriving here and said, “I will take part in the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits, which symbolise India’s commitment towards deepening engagement with ASEAN and India-Pacific region.”

  • Mr. Modi will take part in the inauguration of the ASEAN summit and will hold talks with Mr. Trump and Mr. Duterte.

Issues like Rohingya, South China Sea on ASEAN summit discussion list

  • The maritime dispute over the South China Sea, exodus of the Rohingya citizens of Myanmar into Bangladesh and India, North Korean nuclear posturing and Islamic State-linked terrorism are likely to be the key talking points at the 31st ASEAN summit beginning in Manila.

  • The South China Sea has been at the centre of discussions on multilateral problems at the ASEAN-China level, which has been further complicated by China’s land reclamation projects aimed at building air surveillance and domination projects in the region.

  • ASEAN has been battling with the task of framing a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the common maritime future, which officials of the Philippines say is likely to get the green light during the ASEAN summit.

  • A Bangladeshi source told that Dhaka expected ASEAN to raise the issue in a prominent way and convince Myanmar to stop the atrocities against the Rohingya. It is likely to be a major issue at the “retreat” where leaders can speak freely about all issues away from the media glare

  • The presence of the pro-Islamic State militants in the Maraqi city in southern Philippines is also expected to receive attention as the fight with the militants has been a major domestic issue of the Philippines.

  • The developments in Marawi have also emerged as a reason for it to seek international support. China has in recent months extended support to the Philippines.

  • “China also provided timely weaponry assistance in the counter-terrorism campaign in Marawi, and on the second day after the campaign successfully concluded, Chinese engineering machinery were delivered for local reconstruction,” said Premier Li Keqiang of China in a newspaper article.

  • It is expected that the simmering tension between the North Korea and the U.S. and Japan will also feature prominently talks.

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::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::

Changes in the GST returns filing process

  • The Goods and Services Tax Council took a slew of decisions during its 23rd meeting in Guwahati to benefit consumers and businesses alike. While consumers will stand to benefit from a number of rate cuts, including the tax on restaurants, businesses stand to benefit from a significant easing of compliance norms to do with filing returns.
  • Up to November 15, when the decisions take effect, the GST system requires businesses to submit at least three forms to file their returns.
  • The GSTR-1 dealt with the invoice-wise details of supply, GSTR-2 dealt with the receipts of goods, and GSTR-3 was an overall summary derived from the two previous forms.
  • Now, the GST Council has decided that, in order to ease the compliance burden on businesses, companies would be allowed to only file the GSTR-1 form, up to March 31, 2018.
  • The Council has set up a committee to look into how to make the GSTR-2 form easier, following which it will be brought back into the system.
  • The Council also decided to extend the usage of the summary GSTR-3B form, meant to make life easier for those unfamiliar with the filing process, till March 31 from the earlier
  • December 31 deadline.
  • Normally, the GSTR-1, GSTR-2, and GSTR-3 forms had to be filed by the 10th, 15th, and 20th of the subsequent month, respectively. The GST Council decided to relax these deadlines for both small businesses as well as large enterprises, although in different ways for each.
  • Companies with a turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore a year will now be able to file their GSTR-1 forms for each month in a quarterly manner. That is, the GSTR-1 forms for July to September are to now be filed by December 31, the October to December forms by February 15, 2018 and the January to March forms by April 30, 2018.
  • Companies earning Rs. 1.5 crore or more a year can file their July to October forms by December 31. Thereafter, they will have to file monthly returns, but with a delay of 40 days from the end of the taxable period. That is, the returns for November will have to be filed by January 10, those for December by February 10, and so on.
  • Not only did the latest Council meeting ease the deadlines, but it also slashed the penalties for filing late. For companies with nil tax liability for a particular month, the penalty for delays has been cut to Rs. 20 per day from Rs. 200 per day. All other companies will have to file a penalty of Rs. 50 per day, down from Rs. 200 per day

Govt decided to inject more capital in PSBs

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government had decided to inject more capital in state-owned banks to strengthen the banking system and spur economic growth.
  • The government had unveiled a staggering Rs. 2.11 lakh crore, two-year road map to bolster NPA-hit public sector banks, which includes recapitalisation bonds, budgetary support and equity dilution.
  • Addressing heads of state-owned banks at ‘PSB Manthan’ Mr. Jaitley said the government had decided to put in more capital from the Budget, through bonds and banks’ equity expansion and “therefore, it is the country which is virtually going to pay to keep the banking system in good health”.
  • He said “when the system is making all these changes and all these monetary contributions in order to strengthen the banking system, we want a robust public sector banking system so that your ability to support growth itself increases.”

RBI is the net buyer of U.S. dollars

  • The Reserve Bank of India continued to remain a net buyer of U.S. dollars after it bought $1.259 billion in September from the spot market.
  • In the reporting month, the central bank had bought $3.788 billion, while it sold $2.529 billion in the spot market, according to the latest RBI data.
  • The RBI intervenes in the foreign market to contain volatility in the rupee and not to set a price band.

P-notes investment plunges to8-year low

  • Investments in the Indian capital market through participatory notes (P-notes) plunged to a more than eight-year low of Rs. 1.23 lakh crore at September-end due to stringent norms put in place by regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • The total value of P-notes investments — equity, debt and derivatives — slumped to Rs. 1,22,684 crore at September-end after hitting a seven-and-a-half year low of Rs. 1,25,037 crore at the end of August, according to SEBI data.
  • This is the lowest level since August 2009, when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs. 1,10,355 crore.
  • P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas players who wish to be part of the Indian stock market without registering themselves directly.
  • Of the total investments in September, P-note holdings in equities were at Rs. 91,160 crore and the remaining were in debt and derivatives markets.

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