Daily Current Affairs – April 19, 2016, Tuesday

1. CBDT releases draft foreign tax credit guidelines

(i) The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has released
guidelines to grant relief in lieu of income tax paid outside India. As per these
rules, tax can be credited against maximum alternate tax (MAT), income tax, surcharge
and cess.

(ii) Until now, the absence of foreign tax credit (FTC)
rules made it difficult for taxpayers and authorities to come to consensus on
credit claims, thereby causing ambiguity as well as litigation.

(iii) Foreign tax credit rules are applicable when tax is
paid abroad and the same income is subject to tax in India. In this case, the
taxpayer can avail credit for tax or call for a deduction in the tax.

 (iv) The draft stipulates
that credit will be allowed to a resident in the year in which corresponding
income has been offered to tax in India. It denies credit for any foreign tax
which is disputed in any manner by the taxpayer.

2. Bill Campbell,
mentor to Silicon Valley’s brightest minds, passes away

(i) Bill Campbell, who was a mentor to some of Silicon
Valley’s important CEOs like Steve Jobs and Larry Page, has passed away at the
age of 75.

(ii) Though he served as president, CEO and chairman of
financial software maker Intuit Inc., he gained prominence as advisor for tech
leaders.

(iii) He joined Apple’s board in 1997, soon after Jobs returned
as the company’s CEO. Though the company was heading towards bankruptcy,
Campbell slowly steered it towards growth.  He ended his 19-year-old tenure on Apple’s
board in 2014.

(iv) During the same time, he lent his expertise to Google,
helping founding members forge a lasting partnership.

(v) Prior to joining Apple, Campbell served as the head
coach of Columbia University’s football team for six seasons. He created a
12-41-1 record at Columbia, a .231 winning percentage that was more than double
than that of his three successors.

3. Govt. releases commemorative
coin on Tatya Tope

(i) Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has released a
commemorative coin of Rs.200 value and a circulation coin of Rs.10 to mark Martyrdom
Day of Maratha hero Tatya Tope.

(ii) Hailed as the hero of the 1857 mutiny, Ramachandra
Pandurang Tope was captured by the British on April 7, 1859 and after a hasty trial
for revolting against the East India Company, was hanged to death on April 18,
1859 at Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh.

4. NIT Sikkim establishes
Param Kanchenjunga, fastest supercomputer 

(i) The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Sikkim has set
up a supercomputer ‘Param Kanchenjunga’, which is said to be fastest among all the 31 NITs.

(ii) As per sources it aims to help in research and
academics in areas like climate modelling, etc.

(iii) The supercomputer was established jointly with C-DAC –
Pune at a cost of Rs.3 crore.

5. Pakistan’s HBL becomes
first South Asian bank to open branch in China

(i) Pakistan’s largest bank – Habib Bank Ltd. has been
granted licence to open its branch in Urumqi in Xinjiang province, which lies
along the Silk Route and adjoins Pakistan.

(ii) It becomes the first South Asian bank to start operations
in the world’s second largest economy.

(iii) The bank aims to leverage on the growing investment
and trade between the two countries that are carrying out their $46 billion
China Pakistan Economic Corridor project which will connect Gwadar port in
Pakistan’s Baluchistan to Xinjiang.

(iv) The bank will act as a channel for transactions and
business deals, given that Urumqi is an emerging commercial and trade centre
and the regional hub for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI) in Central
Asia.

6. Citibank’s K Balasubramanian
to head HDFC’s corporate lending

(i) Citibank’s managing director for corporate banking K
Balasubramanian has been roped in to run the same business in HDFC Bank.

(ii) Expected to join in May, Balasubramanian will replace
Jimmy Tata. The latter will take charge as the bank’s chief risk officer.

(iii) The hiring is significant as the bank is taking
efforts to attract companies to bank with it at a time when some of its Indian
counterparts are battling bad debt.

(iv) The bank’s corporate loan book has risen significantly
from around Rs.47,000 crore three years ago to Rs.1 lakh crore at present. In
the December quarter, HDFC’s corporate loans grew 19%, much more than the
average growth of 10.5% in the sector.

7. Report of
Technical Committee on Large Scale Integration of Renewable Energy released

(i) Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and
Renewable Energy has released report of the Technical Committee on Large Scale
Integration of Renewable Energy, Need for Balancing, Deviation Settlement
Mechanism (DSM) and associated issues.

(ii) A high-level technical committee was instituted to
integrate high penetration of renewable energy and address concerns of stakeholders
in order to guide India on the path of achieving the target of 175GW of
renewable generation capacity by 2022.

(iii) The report prepared by the committee recommends a
15-point action plan to facilitate large-scale integration of renewables in India.

(iv) Some of the recommendations include ensuring flexibility
in the conventional generation, frequency control, generation reserves,
ancillary services, forecasting, scheduling, deviation settlement mechanism,
balancing requirement, etc.

8. World Bank, UNICEF
forge alliance to ensure early childhood development

(i) In order to lay
the foundation for sustainable development and economic growth, heads of UNICEF
and the World Bank Group have urged global and national leaders to take
measures and invest in nutrition and early childhood development programs.

(ii) The alliance urges
governments, development partners, civil society, foundations and the private
sector to make early childhood development a global and national development
priority, so as to provide children access to quality services that improve
their health, nutrition, learning ability and emotional well-being.

(iii) Studies reveal
that one out of four children under five years (159 million) are stunted due to
poor nutrition. The numbers much higher in parts of Africa and South Asia.
Nearly half of all 3 to 6 year olds (especially 80% kids in Sub-Saharan Africa)
lack access to pre-primary schooling.

9. India exceeds
solar energy target for 2015-16 by 150%

(i) India has surpassed its solar energy target for 2015-16
by a huge margin of 150%, commissioning 3018 MW against 2000 MW target it set
for itself.

(ii) As per the Renewable Energy Ministry’s latest figures,
at the end of 2015-16, India’s aggregate solar capacity is 6753.38 MW, up from
3743.97 MW a year ago.

 (iii) Tamil Nadu led
the pack in capacity at 887.19 MW, followed by Andhra Pradesh (433.24 MW) and
Telangana (351.56 MW).

(iv) Rajasthan, which has the best solar radiation among all
other states, remains No. 1 as regards overall installed capacity at 1264.35
MW, while Gujarat, the earliest to start a solar programme, holds the second
place with 1105.15 MW.

(v) The total target for 2016-17 is much higher at 17,000 MW,
which means that over 10,000MW will have be added this year.

10. 13th
Islamic Summit Conference concludes  

(i) The 13th Islamic Summit Conference recently concluded in
Istanbul, Turkey with over 20 Muslim leaders pledging to a trailblazing deal to
tackle terrorism.

(ii) The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which
organised the summit witnessed participation of leaders from across 57 of its
member states.

(iii) Leaders have agreed to a series of deals, including condemning
Lebanon’s Shiite group Hezbollah for propagating terrorism and for undermining national
security of several countries.

(iv) The ten-year plan also included changing the
“rising wave” of Islamophobia. It also proposes to establish an
Istanbul-based police cooperation and coordination centre called the ‘Islamic
Interpol’ to tackle terror and other crimes.

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