Daily Current Affairs – 17th May, 2016, Tuesday

1. ‘Dhan wapsi’ Income Declaration Scheme to be implemented from June

a) The Union government has announced that its ‘Dhan Wapsi Income Declaration Scheme’ for disclosing information on domestic black money would start from June 1.

b) Individuals willing to declare their black money will have to pay tax and a penalty, totalling 45% to come clean.

c) The scheme was launched in 2015 and the government has collected about Rs. 2,428 crore in taxes after around 644 declarations were made under the one-time black money compliance window for those who had black money stashed abroad.

d) The amnesty scheme will be valid for four months from June 1 to September 30, 2016. Payments toward taxes, surcharge and penalty will have to be made by November 30.

2. India Post goes geotags post offices on geoportal Bhuvan

a) India Post has gone high-tech and geotagged over 1.5 lakh post offices on the indigenous geoportal Bhuvan, which has been developed by ISRO. Over 1.39 lakh post offices are in rural areas.

b) These tags will facilitate fast searches and not only help people get to the nearest post office but also know about services and timings.

c) ISRO developed Bhuvan to provide visualisation services and earth observation data to users in public domain.

3. BHEL wins Rs 1,600-cr contract to set up 250-mw thermal power plant

a) Bharat Heavy Electronics Limited has bagged a contract to set up a coal-based 250-mw thermal power plant at Rourkela Power Project in Odisha.

b) The contract has been signed between BHEL and NTPC-SAIL power company, a joint venture between NTPC and Steel Authority of India.

c) Previously, BHEL had executed the coal-based 2×250 mw Bhillai expansion power plant for the company.

4. India inks nuclear deal with Bangladesh

a) India and Bangladesh recently signed a nuclear agreement, the focus areas of which are of high importance in the 21st century- energy, connectivity, security.

b) The nuclear deal will equip and train Bangladesh to import their first nuclear power plant from Russia.

c) In March 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated a 100 mw power transmission line from Palatana to Bangladesh. India is currently working on upgrading this power transmission line to 500 mw.

5. South Korean author Han Kang wins 2016 Man Booker International Prize

a) South Korean author Han Kang has bagged the 2016 Man Booker International Prize for his book ‘The Vegetarian’.

b) The book was translated by British translator Deborah Smith. The writer and her translator will split the award’s £50,000 prize money.

c) Kang, 45, currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. She has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award.

6. Sudha Singh breaks 3,000m steeplechase national record

a) Indian athlete Sudha Singh has created history by breaking the national record in women’s 3,000m steeplechase event in the Diamond League Meet in Shanghai.

b) She clocked a 9-minute 26.55 seconds to better the previous national record. Singh is already qualified for the upcoming Rio Olympics.

c) The 2015 World Championships gold-medallist Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi of Kenya won in a personal best timing of 9:07.42

7. FC Barcelona wins La Liga Champions Parade 2016

a) Barcelona FC has retained the Spanish league title La Liga with 0-3 score against Granada. Luis Suarez from Barcelona FC scored a hattrick.

b) They finished the tournament with 91 points in total. It is Barcelona FC’s fifth straight win and eighth league title in 12 seasons.

c) Real Madrid finished second with a 2-0 win over Deportivo.

8. US launches Phase II of EPAA missile defence system in Romania

a) The US has launched Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) missile defence system in Romania.

b) It has been set up as a part of the USA-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement which was signed in 2011.

c) The system is equipped to counter threats from short and medium-range missiles with the use of SM-3 missile interceptors.

d) While it will be built and maintained by the US, it will be jointly operated by the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

e) It is the first land-based defensive missile launcher in Europe and will join other elements of the NATO defensive shield located in Germany, Turkey and Spain.

9. Government launches ePACE, INFRACON and upscaled INAM PRO

a) Union Minister of road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently launched three initiatives to foster best practices in engineering and construction of roads.

b) He has launched ePACE, INFRACON and an updated version of INAPPRO with the aim of the making the road-building process faster, more transparent and efficient.

c) ePACE: ePACE (Projects Appraisal & Continuing Enhances) is an online integrated Management Information System that brings projects from all wings of the Ministry under a common platform, ensuring their effective and real-time tracking. The portal currently tracks detailed information about over 2,000 projects being executed by multiple agencies. This information can be freely accessed by anybody.

d) INFRACON: It is a national portal for Infrastructure Consultancy Firms and Key Personnel. It will work as a bridge between consultancy firms working in the road engineering and construction sector and domain experts and key personnel who are deployed both for project preparation and supervision.

e) INAMPRO: It is a web-based application for infrastructure and material providers. It provides a common platform to the material providers and the prospective buyers.

10. Justice Deepak Gupta sworn-in as Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh HC

a) Justice Deepak Gupta has taken oath as the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.

b) He started practising law since 1980 in Himachal HC. In October 2004, he was elevated as the judge of Himachal Pradesh HC. He had served twice as Acting Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh HC. In March 2013, he was transferred as the first Chief Justice of Tripura HC.

11. India, US hold first maritime security dialogue

a) The first round of talks under the maritime security dialogue between India & US was held in New Delhi to deepen strategic partnership in the maritime domain.

b) Both countries discussed issues like Asia-Pacific maritime challenges, naval cooperation, and multilateral engagement. A bilateral Maritime Security Dialogue co-chaired by officials at the Joint Secretary/Assistant Secretary-level of the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs and the U.S. Departments of Defence and State will also be launched.

c) During this dialogue, a “white shipping” technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic and Navy-to-Navy discussions on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare was also agreed upon.

d) The maritime dialogue between India & US is important due to recent claims by China to the disputed islands in the region and Beijing’s consolidation of in the South China Sea.

12. Women archers Deepika, Bombayla, Laxmirani named for 2016 Rio Olympics

a) A 3-membered Indian women’s archery team comprising Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi was recently named for 2016 Rio Olympics.

b) The Archery Association of India (AAI) has selected them after rigorous six stages of selection trials and training over three and half months.

c) A 3-membered men’s archery team comprising Jayanta Talukdar, Atanu Das and Mangal Singh Champia has been selected by AAI for the third stage World Cup in Antalya, Turkey. The team has to prove their worth in World Cup in Turkey to secure a berth in Olympics.

13. World Bank approves $625 mn for India’s Rooftop Solar Program

a) The World Bank’s Board has approved $625 million loan to support India’s grid-connected rooftop solar programme to generate clean energy.

b) The board has also approved a co-financing loan of $120 million along with a $5 million grant from Climate Investment Fund’s (CIF) Clean Technology Fund.

c) The project will finance the installation of at least 400 MW of Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (GRPV) in India. These solar PV installations will provide renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation.

d) The project also aims to bolster the capacity of key institutions and back the development of overall PV market.

14. Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei sworn in as acting Chief Justice of Tripura High Court

a) Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei of Gauhati High Court has been sworn as the Chief Justice of Tripura HC. He will be succeeding Justice Deepak Gupta, who has taken the oath as the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh HC.

b) Justice Vaiphei is the seniormost puisne judge of the Gauhati High Court.

c) Vaiphei was appointed as an Additional Judge in the Gauhati High Court in July 2003. He was elevated as the Chief Justice (Acting) in October 2015.

15. 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed

a) The 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) was observed on May 17, 2016. The theme for this year’s programme is ‘ICT Entrepreneurship for Social Impact.

b) World Telecommunication Day has been annually celebrated since 1969. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

c) It marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

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