September 01, 2019

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National

  1. CBDT constitutes special cell to address grievances of start-ups
  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes -CBDT has constituted a five-member special cell to address grievances of start-ups with relation to angel tax and other tax-related issues
  • The ‘startup cell’ will be headed by the member (Income Tax and Computerisation) of the board.
  • The cell will work towards redressal of grievances and mitigate tax-related issues in case of start-up entities with respect to the administration of Income-tax Act,1961.
  • Start-up entities can approach the cell for the speedy resolution of their grievances.
  1. Air India to ban single-use plasticfrom October 2
  • Air India announced that the usage of single-use plastic on the flights of its subsidiaries — Air India Express and Alliance Air — will stop from October 2
  • In first phase it will implement in all flights of Air India Express and Alliance Air flights.
  • In 2nd phase, it will be implemented in Air India flights,
  1. 1st India-Ghana Foreign Office Consultations held in New Delhi
  • The first ever India-Ghana Foreign Office Consultations was held in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Shri. T.S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) while the Ghanaian delegation was led by Mr. Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

Key Points:

♦Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and looked at new areas for cooperation. Views were also exchanged on regional and multilateral issues.

♦They agreed to enhance cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, development partnership, dèfence & security, health & pharmaceutical sector, capacity building & training and people to people contacts.

♦Satisfaction was expressed by both sides on the regular high political level exchanges, including the successful visits of Honorable President of India to Ghana in June 2016 and Honorable President of Ghana to India in March 2018 to attend the Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance (ISA).

State

  1. Vice PresidentM Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates Aqua Aquaria India 2019 in Hyderabad
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Aqua Aquaria India 2019 in Hyderabad
  • The three-day expo is being organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).
  • Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is organising this bi-annual event.
  • India, the second largest fish producer in the world with a production of 13.70 million tonnes during 2018-19, earns 10 per cent of its total exports from fisheries.
  • The contribution of fisheries to the Gross Domestic Product is about one per cent and about 5.37 per cent to the Agricultural GDP.
  • “This year’s theme – ‘taking blue revolution to India’s hinterland’.
  1. Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019
  • The Himachal Pradesh assembly passed a bill named Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019 which repeals the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006. The new bill is against conversion by force, inducement or through marriages solemnised for the sole purpose of adopting a new religion.

Key Points:

♦Bill prohibits conversion by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, inducement, marriage or any fraudulent means.

♦Any marriage for the sole purpose of conversion will be declared null and void under Section 5 of the bill.

♦As per the bill, anyone seeking to convert will need to give a month’s notice to the district magistrate, stating that the person is converting on his own.

♦The priest who performs conversion ceremony will also be given a month’s notice in advance and those reconverting to their parent religion are exempted from this provision.

♦If Dalits, women or minors were made to convert, the jail term will be between 2-7 years.

♦Section 10 of the bill states that no person or organisation violating the provisions will be allowed to accept any donation or contribution of any kind from within or outside the country.

Banking & Finance

  1. Government announces mega merger of public sector banks
  • Finance minister NirmalaSitharamanannounced amalgamation of 10 public sector banks into four big banks.
  • After the amalgamation, total number of Public Sector Banks in the country will come down to 12 from 27 banks in 2017
  • Merger of Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce(OBC) and United Bank with business of ₹95 trillion to make India’s second-largest bank&and 2nd largest branch network in India
  • The other merger will be between Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank, which will make the fourth-largest bank, with ₹2 trillion business.
  • Also, Union Bank will be merged with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank to build India’s fifth-largest public sector bank with ₹59 trillion in business.
  • Indian Bank will be merged with Allahabad Bank to make India’s seventh-largest PSB with a business of ₹08 trillion
  1. India’s GDP growth slumps to 5% in April-June quarter
  • According to National Statistics Office (NSO), India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 5 % in the April-June 2019,
  • It was lower than the 5.8% in the previous quarter and below the 8% in the first quarter of the previous year.
  • The June quarter growth was the slowest since the March quarter of 2012-13
  1. RBI increases time allowed for converting minimum KYC PPI into full KYC PPI
  • The RBI has announced that the timeline for conversion of minimum KYC detail for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) to full KYC compliant PPIs has been extended from 18 months to 24 months.
  • The notification says that this timeline will not be extended any further.
  • For mimium KYC complaint, e-wallet service providers asks for user’s mobile number and any one government identification number to authenticate the account.
  • However, full KYC requires a more detailed verification procedure. Normally, PAN card and proof of address is among the pre-requisites for full KYC
  • The amount loaded in such PPIs during any month shall not exceed Rs 10,000 and the total amount loaded during the financial year shall not exceed Rs 1,00,000
  1. NPCI has rationalises BHIM UPI charges for merchant transactions to promote digital payments
  • In a bid to promote digital payments, an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments in India, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has rationalised merchant discount rates(MDR) for BHIM UPI (Unified Payment Interface ) transactions.

Key points:

♦It has waived merchant fees for offline UPI transactions of up to Rs 100 made using QR(Quick Response) code scan-and-pay. For the large transactions, merchant fees have been capped at Rs 100.

♦For other transactions, the merchant discount rate (MDR) has been hiked to 0.30% (maximum Rs 100). Currently, it is 0.25% for transactions up to Rs 2,000. It will be 0.65% for transactions above Rs 2,000.

♦The revised MDR rates will come into effect from October 1, 2019.

♦MDR: It is the is the rate charged to a merchant for payment processing services on debit and credit card transactions.

♦Bharat Interface for Money(BHIM) ,a mobile payment App developed by NPCI  is interoperable with other UPI applications, and bank accounts for quick money transfers.

♦The NPCI already launched P2PM (an addition of the P2P (Peer to Peer) and P2M (Peer to Merchant),that waives off the MDR for small businesses that carry inward transactions of up to INR 50,000. This limit is now extended to Rs 1,00,000 per month .

Business & Economy

  1. CAGR of Digital payments in India recorded at 12.7%
  • According to the report titled “Fintech in India – Powering mobile payments” released by KPMG, a global advisory firm, Digital payments in India have grown with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7% in the number of non-cash transactions.

Key Points:

♦Merchants have adopted digital payments with close to 1.5 million digital payment acceptance locations in 2016-17. It has been hiked over 10 million in a short span of 2-3 years.

♦The global digital payments market is expected to touch $10.07 trillion by 2026.

♦Factors responsible for a transformational role and democratised mobile payments in India was the role played by wallet players and Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based real time payments.

♦The volume of UPI transactions have increased at a CAGR of 246% during the period from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

♦Mobile payments have witnessed a major shift in the past 5 years with the proliferation of payments like UPI, mobile wallets, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BharatQR and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

♦The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has forecast an outcome of 50% increase in mobile-based payment transactions as per its ‘2021 vision document’.

  1. 2% TDS on cash withdrawals of over Rs 1 crore to come into effect from September 1, 2019
  • The Department of Revenue notified that 2% tax deduction at source (TDS) on cash withdrawals of over Rs 1 crore will come into effect from September 1, 2019. The government had made this provision in the Union Budget 2019-20 with an aim to discourage cash transactions and move towards less cash economy.

Key Points:

♦The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) further notified that if a person has already withdrawn Rs 1 crore or more in cash up to August 31, 2019 from one or more accounts maintained with a banking company or a cooperative bank or a post office, in the current fiscal, the 2% TDS shall apply on all subsequent cash withdrawals.

♦Any cash withdrawal prior to September 1, 2019, will not be subjected to the TDS.

♦Since the threshold of Rs 1 crore is with respect to the previous year, calculation of amount of cash withdrawal for triggering deduction under section 194N of the Finance Act shall be counted from April 1, 2019.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. IndiGo CFO Rohit Philip resigns
  • InterGlobe Aviation today said its CFO Rohit Philip has resigned from the the company, effective September 15.
  • AdityaPande has been appointed as the new CFO with effect from September 16.
  • InterGlobe Aviation is the parent company of the country’s largest airline IndiGo
  1. NripendraMisra quits as Principal Secretary to PM Modi
  • NripendraMisra, principal secretary to Prime Minister NarendraModi, has stepped down and he will be relieved of his post from the second week of the next month
  • Former cabinet secretary P K Sinha, who has been appointed Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the PMO, is expected to be named additional principal secretary to the PM
  1. PM’s principal secretary Nripendra Misra to Retire, PK Sinha Appointed Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the PMO
  • Former Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar(PK) Sinha ,a 1977 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh Cadre has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) after Nripendra Misra’s request to be relieved as Principal Secretary was accepted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key points:

♦PK sinha: He  worked as the Power Secretary of India, and was the Shipping Secretary of India.

  • He retired as 31st Cabinet Secretary on 30th August,2019.
  • He is an economics graduate and earned a postgraduate degree in economics.
  • He has served in various key posts in both the Government of India(GoI) and the Uttar Pradesh state Government.

♦Nripendra Misra: He is a 1967-batch retired IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh(UP) cadre .

  • Misra is an Allahabad University graduate &went on pursuing his master’s from Harvard University.
  • He has over 40 years of experience and held several important posts in UP state and Centre government.
  • He is one is among the most outstanding officers, who have a great knowledge of public policy and administration.

Books

  1. Haryana CM releases book named ‘Jin Dhoondha Tin Paaiyan’ penned by OP Singh
  • Haryana Chief Minister ManoharLalKhattar released a book penned by senior IPS officer OP Singh.
  • Singh, an ADGP rank officer in Haryana police, who is currently Special Officer to the Haryana chief minister.
  • The 174-page book named ‘Jin Dhoondha Tin Paaiyan’, is written in Hindi and has 45 chapters. It covers a wide range of issues including crime, violence, police, sports and social media.
  1. A new book named , “A Short History of Indian Railways”, penned by Rajendra B Aklekar introduced
  • A new book called “A Short History of Indian Railways”, written by veteran journalist and author Rajendra B Aklekar on the history of Indian Railways details the journey of the national transporter starting from the 1830s(almost 15 years before the official train run of 1853) to the new high-speed Train 18 and Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi’s ambitious bullet train project has been introduced in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Key points:

♦The preface of the book has been written by eminent journalist Mark Tully(former Bureau Chief of the BBC- British Broadcasting Corporation, New Delhi), who lauds the book for its interesting story-telling and carefully-curated topics and its enchanting description on Indian Railways.

♦The book documented many untold stories of the 1st train, the key roles of Railway Department in the freedom struggle of India, including incidents like Kakori Train Dacoity, a plan to blow up Mahatma Gandhi’s Train, and also interesting stories of rail demons, ghosts, and haunted railway lines.

♦The book has been published by Rupa Publications

Science, Space & Technology

  1. MIT scientists developed biggest-ever carbon nanotube computer chip- RV16XNano
  • Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed the biggest-ever computer chip using carbon nanotubes (CNT)- RV16XNano. This was published in the journal Nature.
  • RV16XNano is a 16-bit processor that contains 14,000 transistors — electronic switches. These switches are made up of CNT — tiny cylinders made of rolled-up, atom-thick sheets of graphene.
  • The first carbon nanotube (CNT) computer, made in 2013, contained only hundreds of electronic switches known as transistors.

Obituary

  1. 4-time Emmy award winner Valerie Harper passed away in US
  • Veteran comedian and four-time Emmy winner Valerie Harper, aged 80, passed away in Los Angeles, United States. She was suffering from different health issues over the years. She was born on August 22, 1939 in Suffern, New York.
  • She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped in 2010.
  • She was the recipient of Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series 3 times during her time on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Rhoda.

READ IN HINDI

September 7, 2019

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