Current Affairs, News & Facts of 27 Aug 2015

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  • India and Egypt signs two MoUs for Cooperation in Tourism, Scientific and Technical Cooperation

     

    India and Egypt signs two MoUs for Cooperation in Tourism, Scientific and Technical Cooperation

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    During the recent visit of External Affairs Minister to the Arab Republic of Egypt, India and Egypt have signed two Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in the field of Tourism, Scientific and Technical.

    Signed MoUs are :-

    MoU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism:-

     It seeks to enhance the bilateral cooperation in the field of Tourism, Hospitality and Human Resource Development (HRD) between both nations. It also seeks to draw up a road map to enhance cooperation and establish a Joint Working Group (JWG).

    MoU Scientific and Technical Cooperation:-

     Signatory parties are Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of India and National Research Center (NRC) of Egypt. It seeks to support extension and promotion of cooperation in Technology Development and Scientific Research in fields of mutual interest of both countries.

    India, Egypt relations:-

    India is Egypt’s sixth largest trading partner. Top five Indian exports to Egypt include meat, petroleum products, transport equipment, cotton yarns and instruments. Potential sector for India to enhance trade also includes Energy and pharmaceuticals.

    Image source :twitter

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  • Union Cabinet gives nod to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

     

    Union Cabinet gives nod to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015

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    • To make the resolution of commercial disputes less time-consuming with an option of fast-tracking the process, union cabinet has given its nod for amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2015
    • The amendments are based on the Law Commission’s recommendations of 246th reports and suggestions received from stakeholders to ensure that every arbitration was completed within 12 months, a period extendable by another six months.

    Key Provisions of Bill :-

    • The bill ensures that every arbitration was completed within 12 months, a period extendable by another six months any further extension would be granted by the court only on being satisfied to existence of sufficient grounds. 
    • However, such an extension would be accompanied with reduction in the fee of the arbitrator if it comes to the conclusion that the delay was attributable to the acts of the arbitrator.
    • There is also an incentive provision where an arbitrator may get an additional fee if an award is made within six months. But this would be subject to parties to the arbitration agreeing to extend monetary appreciation.

    Appointment of the arbitrator :-

    • There would an amendment to section 12 of the bill, mandating the arbitrator to "disclose in writing about existence of any relationship or interest which may give rise to justifiable doubts about his neutrality". Any person in the position of conflict of interest would be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator
    • Proposed amendment, section 11 says that an application for appointment of an arbitrator shall be disposed of by the high court or Supreme Court as expeditiously as possible and should be decided within 60 days.
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  • Cabinet Gives Nod to Adding 4 Castes in OBC List

     

    Cabinet Gives Nod to Adding 4 Castes in OBC List
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    • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for amending the central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to include Sipai and Patni Jamat or Turk Jamat (all Muslims) of Gujarat and Kahar and Tanwar Singhariya of Uttarakhand.
    • Decision to make suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs was taken Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi based on advice from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC
    • The amendments will enable the persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail the benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions as per the existing policy
    • They will also become eligible for benefit under various welfare schemes, scholarships etc. being administered by the central government, which are at present available to persons belonging to the OBCs

    National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) :-

    • National Commission for Backward Classes is an statutory body that was established on 14 August 1993, under the provisions of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 (Act No. 27 of 1993). The commission was the outcome of the direction of the Supreme Court in the Mandal case judgement.
    • NCBC Act, 1993 empowers the commission to examine requests for inclusion of any communities/castes as a backward class in the lists. After examining the requests, NCBC will tender such advice to the Union Government which shall be ordinarily binding.

    Composition :-

    • The commission has five members: a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India. Their term is of Three years

    Image source : ndtv

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  • India signs pact with Seychelles to curb black money

     

    India signs pact with Seychelles to curb black money

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    • India has inked a taxation agreement with the Seychelles for allowing exchange of information to curb tax evasion and boost its efforts to fight against black money
    • Agreements in sectors such as agricultural research and space were being signed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Seychelles President James Alix Michel who is on three days visit to India.
    • It should be noted that Seychelles is considered one of the preferred offshore havens for routing of funds,  the Union Cabinet recently approved the signing and ratification of the taxation pact with the island nation to unearth black money.

    Agreements signed are :-

    On maritime security:-
    Both the countries  had excellent security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, and India was a partner in providing aircraft, naval vessels and coastal radar systems for strengthening surveillance capacities now India would gift one more interceptor Coast Guard boat to the Seychelles. 

    Air services agreement :-

    It will enable more and easier connections between both nations and help to expand cooperation in space, weather forecasting and disaster management, marine resources and fisheries advisory.  Prime Minister announced India would gift a second Dornier aircraft to the Seychelles

    MoU for Cooperation in agricultural research and education:- 

    It was signed between between Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Seychelles Agricultural Agency.

    Image source: The Hindu

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  • ICICI Bank unveils first guarantee-backed home loan product

     

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    • Largest private lender ICICI Bank has launched the country's first mortgage guarantee-backed home loan product that will expand the credit amount and increase the tenure for an additional fee as well 
    • ‘ICICI Bank Extraa Home Loans’ will allow a borrower to increase the loan amount by up to 20 per cent of the original amount, and also gives the option to extend the repayment period up to 67 years of age.
    • ICICI Bank Extraa Home Loans can be availed only after paying a one-time mortgage guarantee fee to be paid at the start. The fee is 1-2 per cent of the total loan amount and depends on the loan amount, income and profile of the borrower. The fee is the insurance premium for the extra loan amount, which is provided by India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC)
    • The facility will be suitable to largely middle-aged, salaried and self-employed individuals with seasonal income, seeking home loans of a maximum amount of Rs. 75 lakh. Such loans will be available in four cities, Greater Mumbai, the National Capital Region, Bengaluru and Surat.
    • ICICI Bank has launched this initiative in association with India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC). IMGC is a joint venture between National Housing Bank, an RBI subsidiary that regulates housing finance companies in India, NYSE-listed Genworth Financial, International Finance Corporation and Asian Development Bank.

    Image source :dispatch times

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  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)  gives nod for Differential Royalty Payment to states on crude oil production

     

    Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)  gives nod for Differential Royalty Payment to states on crude oil production

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    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved to pay states like Gujarat and Assam, from its annual budget, the difference between royalty paid by operators of some oil fields as per their contract and actual prevailing rate.

    What is differential royalty ?

    • Operators of some 28 fields in Gujarat, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh pay royalty on crude oil they produce at the cap rate mentioned in Production Sharing Contract (PSC) dating back to 1990s.
    • These rates were capped at Rs 450 per tonne as against the current rate of 12.5 per cent of the price of oil. To protect state revenues, the difference between the two was made good by the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) funds.
    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today agreed the proposal to pay the differential royalty from the budgetary allocation for 2015-16.

    Financial estimation for the payment :- 

    The estimated expenditure for the year 2015-16 based on this payment mechanism has been estimated at 56 crore rupees of which 30 crore rupees for Arunachal Pradesh and 26 crore rupees for Gujarat. This expenditure is calculated assuming average crude oil price of 50 US dollars per barrel and one US dollar being equivalent to 60 rupees.

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  • U.S. designates Aziz Haqqani as ‘global terrorist’

     

    U.S. designates Aziz Haqqani as ‘global terrorist’

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    • United States  has designated Abdul Aziz Haqqani, the new leader of the Haqqani network, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT), for being involved in planning and carrying out attacks against Afghanistan
    • Aziz Haqqani assumed the leadership role of the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network after the death of his brother Badruddin Haqqani. Aziz Haqqani is a senior member of the Haqqani Network and brother of Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.
    • Haqqani has been involved in planning and carrying out improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against Afghan government targets, and assumed responsibility for all major Haqqani network attacks after the death of his brother, Badruddin Haqqani.

    Specially Designated Global Terrorist

    Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) is a designation authorized under U.S Code of Federal Regulations. SDGTs are entities and individuals who have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism now Aziz Haqqani comes under the ambit of U.S. sanctions, which prohibits any U.S. national from maintaining any relationship with him and seizure of all his assets, if any, in the U.S.

    Note:- Haqqani network is  blamed for several deadly attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul that killed 58 people. The terrorists had attacked the guest house thinking Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha was present in the compound.

     

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  • Microbiologist Girish Sahni appointed new CSIR chief

     

     

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    Girish Sahni, a microbiologist and former director of CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology in Chandigarh, has been appointed as the new director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He will also be the secretary of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), the science and technology ministry

    About Girish Sahni :-

    • Dr. Sahni, who was born on March 2, 1956, has a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. He has specialisation in Protein Engineering, Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology.
    • He has contributed to the production technology for India’s first indigenous clot bluster drug, natural streptokinase and recombinant streptokinase. In 1991, Dr Sahni joined CSIR-IMTECH and became its director in 2005.
    • He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, and the Association of Microbiologists of India.
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  • Haryana to Set Up Women Police Stations on Raksha Bandhan

     

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    • Haryana Government has announced that it will open Women Police Stations, one in each of the 21 districts of the State and would be inaugurated on the eve of 'Rakshabandhan' festival.
    • These Police Stations, would be opened with a view to ensure safety of women and instill among them a sense of security and confidence. These police stations would be functional from Saturday on Rakshabandhan. 
    • This move by state govt. will ensure an environment conducive to fearless reporting and sensitive investigation of crimes against them by women police officers.
    • The all women staff to be posted in each of these 21 police stations has been fully trained and legally empowered to exercise powers under the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard
    • The investigating officer posted in the Women Police Stations would have all the powers as per the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for the investigation of the offences. The complainants, would have the liberty to report and get the cases registered either in the local police station or in the Women Police Station. 
    • An 'anti eve-teasing staff' would also work under a woman NGO and would identify areas where anti-social elements may indulge in activities specially near the gates of colleges, schools, shopping malls, bus stands, hospitals, hostels and the recreational centres. 
    • Apart from this, Women Helpline '1091' would also work from Mahila Police Station and after receiving any information on helpline, would pass information to the concerned police station promptly.

    Image source : newsx

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2nd Aug

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