Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 26 December 2017
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 26 December 2017
Jadhav meets family in Islamabad
The wife and the mother of alleged Indian spy KulbushanJadhav met him
for 40 minutes at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, while Deputy Indian High
Commissioner and Pakistani officials listened in on the conversation
Mr. Jadhav and the family members spoke in a highly secured room, from
either side of a glass partition.
Pakistani officials said the presence of Deputy High Commissioner J.P.
Singh could not be taken as provision of consular access. Mr. Singh, who
accompanied the visitors, was not allowed to speak.
At the briefing, Dr. Faisal repeated the charges against Mr. Jadhav,
facing the death sentence for alleged espionage and sabotage. India has
denied the charges, saying Mr. Jadhav was a former naval officer, pursuing
business interests in Tehran from where he was abducted by Pakistani
Dr. Faisal said Commander Jadhav, whom he described as an ‘Indian spy, a
terrorist and a saboteur,’ was a serving Indian naval officer sentenced to
death for his involvement in ‘espionage, terrorism and subversive
activities’ against Pakistan.
Mr. Jadhav’s family had a brief stop at the mission again before they
headed to the airport to catch a flight to India.
They left Pakistan for Muscat by an Oman Airlines flight at 1944 hours
(local time), said officials at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Dr. Faisal said the meeting was positive and the two sides talked
thoroughly. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically
registered,” he added.
A video of Mr. Jadhav played during the press conference was recorded
before his meeting with his family, officials said. “I requested a meeting
with my wife and mother and I am thankful to the Government of Pakistan for
this gesture,” Mr. Jadhav said in the brief video message.
He also stated that he was tasked by the Research and Analysis Wing
(RAW), the Indian intelligence agency, to plan, coordinate and organise
espionage, terrorism and sabotage aiming to destabilise and wage war against
He made every effort to impede the efforts of the Law Enforcement
Agencies and was eventually caught red-handed.” During his trial at the
Field General Court Martial, he was provided a defending officer as per the
law of the land,” the spokesman said.
New govt will sworn in Gujrat
The new BJP government led by Vijay Rupani will take the oath of office
and secrecy at a grand ceremony in the State capital of Gandhinagar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, senior party
leaders and the Chief Ministers of the States ruled by the National
Democratic Alliance, besides saints and religious leaders of various sects
and faiths, will attend the function to be held at the new Secretariat
The BJP Legislature Party elected Mr. Rupani and Mr. Nitin Patel after
party observers ArunJaitley and Saroj Pandey named them at a meeting with
top leaders and elected representatives.
The Cabinet is likely to have new members because six Ministers and
Speaker RamanlalVora lost the polls. However, those who won the polls are
expected to make it to the Ministry again.
The Ministers who lost are ChimanbhaiSaparia (Energy and Agriculture),
AtmaramParmar (Social Justice, Women and Child Development) and Shankar
Chaudhary (Health), besides two junior Ministers.
In the recently held Assembly polls, the ruling party won for the sixth
consecutive time but its tally came down to 99, its lowest since 1995 when
the party stormed into power in the State for the first time.
Five-day Teesta Rangit Tourism Festival, 2017
Darjeeling, recuperating from the 104-day strike, will host a five-day
Teesta Rangit Tourism Festival, 2017.
The four-month strike has severely affected tourism, one of the biggest
sources of income in the Darjeeling hills. The festival will be held in
phases in different hill towns across the two districts of Darjeeling and
It will be held from December 27 to 29 in Darjeeling; December 28 and 29
in Kurseong; December 29 and 30 in Kalimpong; and December 30 and 31 in
Chairperson of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration BenoyTamang, who
was keen on the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the
festival, has urged all stakeholders to cooperate and make the festival a
While tourists have started trickling in, the situation was grim until a
few weeks ago. Hoteliers and tour operators had put the bookings between 20%
Christmas and New Year festivities are the peak of tourist season in the
Darjeeling Hills and its 400-odd hotels.
“Over the past few days tourists have started arriving, but it is
nowhere compared to last year’s figures,” a north Bengal-based tour operator
The toy train services, which was suspended after the violent agitation
for a separate state of Gorkhaland in June, resumed in the second week of
Centre against fixed terms for the police cheifs
The Union government has filed an interlocutory application in the
Supreme Court to amend a 2006 order of the court that is being used by the
States to appoint “favourites” as Directors-General of Police.
The Home Ministry moved the court earlier this month to seek clarity on
the order that ensures a two-year fixed term for the DGPs.
Some States were misusing the order and appointing officers about to
retire, giving them a fixed term of two years, irrespective of the
superannuation date. The official said the implementation of the order was
not monitored effectively.
Recently, the Home Ministry wrote a strong letter to the Andhra Pradesh
government after the State forwarded a panel of seven officers of the rank
of DGP, including three on the verge of retirement.
The State had kept the post vacant for months and issued an order on
November 24 to appoint N. Sambasiva Rao, an IPS officer of the 1984 batch,
who was to retire on December 31. Mr. Rao is likely to hold the post till
the 2019 elections.
In 2016, the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal issued an
order allowing IPS officer SurajitKarPurkayastha to stay in office for two
years, though he attained superannuation on December 31.
The late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had used the order to
appoint Ashok Kumar, an IPS officer of the 1982 batch, as the DGP in
November 2014 for a fixed term of two years, though he attained
superannuation in June 2015.
“The All India Services Act, 1951, bars any officer from remaining in
office after retirement, unless cleared by the Centre. The Home Ministry is
the cadre-controlling authority for IPS officers, and the Supreme Court
order is being increasingly misused by the States to appoint officers close
to the regime,” the official said.
The court issued the order for a fixed two-year term for the DGPs after
Prakash Singh, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, filed a petition on police
UNESCO have recognised the skill of Ecuadorian artisans who make woven hats
Cultural authorities at UNESCO have recognised the skill of Ecuadorian
artisans who make woven hats.
The widely known “Panama hat” is a brimmed hat traditionally made in
Ecuador from the straw of the South American toquilla palm plant.
The hats are thought to have earned their misleading name because many
were sold in nearby Panama to prospectors travelling through that country to
California during the Gold Rush.
Production of the circular-brimmed hats is still a family affair carried
out on a household scale. The industry’s center is La Pintada, a district
about 170 km west of Panama City.
Artisans of the truly Panamanian pintao hat start with the fibres of
several plants that are cured and then woven into braids that are wrapped
around a wooden form and sewn together from the crown of the hat down.
Several bands of fibre are dyed black with the leaves from a different
plant and then stuck in mud for three days. The fibres are woven into fine
geometric designs and integrated into the hat giving it its name.
“The pintao hat has become an integral part of regional outfits
throughout the country worn during traditional dances and community
festivities,” the U.N. heritage arm’s statement said.
Depending on the quality of the work, some pintao hats can cost hundreds
::Business and Economy::
Condonation of delay scheme is expected to come as a relief for disqualified
Only bona fide directors will benefit from the proposed scheme that will
provide a three-month window for defaulting companies to submit their
The Condonation of Delay Scheme, which would be rolled out by the
Ministry of Corporate Affairs, is expected to come as a relief for
disqualified directors. It is to be operational from January 1 to March 31,
Corporate Affairs Secretary said that since so many people were
affected, the government felt that some resolution was required without
compromising the fight against illegal activities.
“The scheme is not open for directors of struck-off companies. They can
come only when they [those companies] are restored through the National
Company Law Tribunal (NCLT),” he said.
As part of clamping down on illicit fund flows, the corporate affairs
ministry has disqualified more than 3.09 lakh directors of companies which
failed to submit annual filings for a long time.
Following the move, concerns were raised that many directors of genuine
companies have also been disqualified. Besides, some individuals moved
courts against their disqualification.
As per a draft circular, the Director Identification Numbers of
disqualified directors that have been deactivated would be ‘temporarily
activated’ during the scheme period.
After submitting the filings under the scheme, a company concerned would
have to file a separate form seeking condonation of the delay along with a
fee of Rs. 30,000, it added.
SIAM has suggested reduction of Goods and Services Tax on EVs
To promote electric vehicles (EVs) in India, auto industry body SIAM has
suggested reduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on such vehicles to 5%
besides giving one-time Income Tax (I-T) deduction of 30% of vehicle price
for non-financed buyers.
In a white paper submitted to the government, the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also mooted exemption from road tax for EVs
while stating that a multi-pronged, segment and customer-specific policy
will be needed for a successful transition to electric mobility.
The policy should collectively aim at improving affordability and
acceptance of EVs by bridging viability gap; enabling charging
infrastructure build-out; encouraging domestic manufacturing and creating
public awareness besides providing other enablers, it said.
On specific fiscal measures, SIAM said GST rate for all EVs may be
brought down from 12% to 5% and road tax be fully exempted.
For EV buyers, the paper proposed a “one-time Income Tax deduction of 30% of
vehicle price from total taxable income to individual purchasers, who have
not availed any bank finance for the purchase“.
To determine the cut-off price for such an incentive, a maximum vehicle
price of Rs. 25 lakh (the same used to define SUVs as per SIAM
classification) may be considered, it added.
The paper further said for individuals who had availed bank finance to
purchase a personal EV, “Income Tax deduction of up to Rs. 1 lakh on the
interest component for loans taken may be given every year during the tenure
of the loan, like government’s scheme on home loans“.
PSBs to rationalise branches to strengthen their financials
The finance ministry has asked public sector banks to look at
rationalising their domestic and overseas branches as part of the reform
process to strengthen their financials.
The banks have been advised to pursue closure of loss-making domestic
and international branches as part of a capital-saving exercise.
There was no point in running loss-making branches and placing a burden
on the balance sheet, so banks should look at not only big savings but also
small savings like these for improving overall efficiency.
Many banks, including State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank
(PNB), have already taken initiative.
Besides, Indian Overseas Bank has rationalised the number of regional
offices in the country by reducing 10 regional offices from the existing 59,
eyeing optimum utilisation of resources and reduction in administrative
The Ministry is of the view that there is no need for multiple banks in
a single country, sources said, adding that banks can explore a single
subsidiary formed with 5-6 banks coming together for conserving capital and
realising economies of scale.
As part of the rationalisation strategy, PNB is exploring the sale of
stake in its U.K. subsidiary, PNB International. Bank of Baroda and SBI are
also examining the issue of consolidation.
IBBI is now looking to put in place the regime for individual insolvency
Steering the ‘smooth and fast-paced’ journey of the insolvency law, the
IBBI is now looking to put in place the regime for individual insolvency in
a phased manner.
About 500 corporates have been admitted for resolution and about 100
companies have commenced voluntary liquidation under the Insolvency and
Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which is a little more than a year old.
As it enters 2018, individual insolvency regime and facilitation of
corporate insolvency transactions are among the main priorities for the
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.
“We are looking forward to implementing a regime for individual
insolvency in a phased manner. In the first phase, we would implement the
insolvency regime in respect of individuals who are guarantors to corporates
undergoing resolution process,” Mr. Sahoo said.