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  • Current Affairs 9th January 2018

    Updated : 09-Jan-2018
    Current Affairs 9th January 2018

    Current Affairs 9th January 2018 - Important Points

    • 18th All India Whips’ Conference initiated on - 8th January 2018
    • Norms for MAT on firms facing insolvency relaxed by - CBDT
    • AIIB plans to issue first US dollar bonds by - June 2018
    • India and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 Agreement on - 7th January 2018
    • New scheme for free treatment of Hepatitis C to be launched by - Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
    • India’s fastest supercomputer unveiled at -  Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

    Current Affairs 9th January 2018 - Details

    18th All India Whips’ Conference initiated on - 8th January 2018

    The 18 All India Whips’ Conference was initiated by Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar on 8th January 2018 in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The meeting will end on 9th January 2018. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia was the Chief Guest for the introductory Session of the meeting. 
    During this 2-day conference, Kumar will think rolling out e-Sansad in Parliament and e-Vidhan in State
    Legislatures with an objective to digitize and make their paperless functioning. The Whips’ meeting also focuses to deliberate proposals for smooth and effective working of Parliament and the State Legislatures in the light of the experience obtained by the Whips. 
    More about e-Sansad and e-Vidhan

    • e-Sansad and e-Vidhan are mission mode schemes of Union Government under Digital India plan to make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures paper-less. 
    • Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of both the schemes. 
    • As per the program prepared by MoPA, these schems will make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures participative, responsive, clear, productive and more responsible to the public and make the entire Legislative process more effective. 
    • This environment friendly plan is also in line with the ‘Go Green’ Government plan.
    • In order to economize the whole Legislative operation, e-Vidhan is suggested to be executed in all the States and UTs with Legislatures. 
      Whip- Introduction and role
    • A whip is a key member of a political party’s parliamentary body, having a main role in ‘Floor Management’ in both the Houses of Parliament and is accountable for discipline within the party. 
    • Whip's main work is make sure that his members in Parliament and legislature vote in line with the party’s official policy on crucial matters and make sure that the members turn out for crucial votes. 
    • The significance of Whips in the Parliamentary structure was recognized via the 1st All India Whips Conference at Indore in 1952.

    Norms for MAT on firms facing insolvency relaxed by - CBDT

    The Central Board of Direct Taxes has declared to relax rules around levy of minimum alternate tax for
    insolvent organizations from financial year 2017-2018.
    The objective of the move is to support the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 more productive and minimise deprivation faced by organizations going in for insolvency decision.
    Minimum alternate tax-MAT

    • Its motive is to bring Zero Tax Companies” into tax domain who do not pay any kind of tax. It is governed by provisions enclosed in section 115JB of Income Tax Act, 1961. MAT is authenticated to all organizations comprising foreign organizations.
    • According to the meaning of MAT, tax obligation of organization will be maximum if income tax of organization computed as per normal provision of income tax and tax computed at 18.5 percent on book profit plus surcharge and cess as appropriate.
      Important Facts
    • This exemption provision will be available only for organizations against whom application for corporate insolvency resolution process has been declared by the adjudicating authority. A modification to this effect will be made in section 115 JB of the Income Tax Act.
    • According to present provisions for purposes of levy of MAT organization, amount of loss brought forward or unabsorbed reduction, whichever is less as per books of account shall be decreased from book profit.
    • The relation of rules will allow organization to decrease amount of total loss brought forward including unabsorbed depreciation from the book profit for the purposes of levy of MAR.

    Did you know?

    • This resolution was taken based on proposals of different stakeholders suggesting deprivation faced by organizations against whom application for corporate insolvency decision process was acknowledged by Adjudicating Authority due to ban in allowance of brought forward loss for computation of book profit.
    • The Indian Banks Association also had sought shifting of MAT for new investors apprehending depressed tenders.

    AIIB plans to issue first US dollar bonds by - June 2018

    China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is planning to release its 1st US dollar denominated
    bond with base worth of $1 billion by June 2018.
    The advanced issuance window of bond will be toward end of 1st half of 2018 with time needed for
    certain methods, including Board of Governors’ approval of AIIB’s 2017 financial statements as well as
    borrowing and swap statements.
    Important Points

    • The least size of the issuance will be 1 billion dollars, but as requirement for the 1st bond issue may raise AIIB anticipates of having to release a bigger size.
    • The maturity of the bond will be between 3 and 5 years depending on investor needs at the time.
    • The bank aims to cap its total borrowing volume at US $3 billion dollars in 2018.
      The AIIB has got 3 top-notch ratings from Moody’s and Fitch in recognition of the bank’s strong capital base, global credit rating agencies S&P Global Rankings and stable outlook.
      More about Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank- AIIB
    • AIIB is a multilateral spreading bank established by China. Its aim is to provide finance to infrastructure development and regional connectivity schemes in the Asia-Pacific area.
    • Its aims are to boost economic development in Asia-Pacific area, promote regional cooperation and partnership and provide infrastructure.
    • It most important investment in energy, rural infrastructure, environmental protection, power
      generation, transport and logistics in Asia. It was formally started in December 2015 and available for business in January 2016. It’s headquarter is in Beijing. It has a sanction capital of US $100 billion.
    • Till date it has 84 representatives including India.
    • China is the biggest shareholder of AIIB with 26.06 percent voting shares. India is the 2nd biggest
      shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.

    India and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 Agreement on - 7th January 2018

    India and Saudi Arabia on 7th January 2018 signed the bilateral yearly Haj 2018 accordance, giving the green signal for India’s conclusion to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through waterways also.

    Key Highlights

    • The accordance was signed by Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Haj and Umrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Mohammad Saleh bin TaherBenten at Makkah.
    • Now, with the signing of the accordance, officials from both the nations will talk on all the compulsory formalities and technicalities so that Haj pilgrimage through waterways can be initiated in the coming years.
    • Sending pilgrims through ships will aid decrease down travel expenses remarkably. It will be a revolutionary, pro-poor and pilgrim favourable decision.
    • Moreover, nowadays, the ships are modern and much-equipped to ferry 4000 to 5000 travellers in a single time.
    • They can travel the 2300-odd nautical miles single sided distance between Mumbai and Jeddah within 3-4 days.
    • In the past, the old ships took 12-15 days.
    • The transport of Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by sea way was terminated in year 1995.
    • Now Indian Muslim Females can now go to Haj without their male partner- For the 1st time Muslim females from India can travel to Haj without their male partner.
    • A separate space and transport facility has been ordered for these Haj female pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and female Haj Assistants will be placed for their help.
    • More than 1300 women have registered to go for Haj without male Mehram and all of these women will be free from lottery system and permitted to proceed to Haj.
    • Women more than 45 years of age, who want to go for Haj but who don’t have a male partner, are permitted to travel for Haj in groups of four or more women.

    Did you know?
    India and Saudi Arabia interchange the ideals of progress, global peace and prosperity. Haj pilgrimage is one of the powerful pillars of India-Saudi Arabia relations. Till date, approximately three lakhs and fifty-nine thousand applications have been accepted for Haj 2018.

    New scheme for free treatment of Hepatitis C to be launched by - Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

    The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to initiate National Programme for Control of
    Viral Hepatitis, a new plan free treatment of Hepatitis C from the 2018-19.
    In the new plan, the aim will be on anti-viral treatment of Hepatitis C which will be made available free at all government health centres. For this government has set about a budget of Rs.600 crores for the
    coming 3 years.
    Important Points

    • The Health Ministry is looking at screening unguarded groups, containing drug addicted and people who encountered surgeries and blood transfusion prior to 2002, when the testing protocol was not robust.
    • Moreover, it is in informal discussions with Indian organizations who produce Sofosbuvir on behalf of American pharmaceutical giant Gilead, to broke the price for a national initiative. Sofosbuvir is suggested under the new WHO treatment instructions for Hepatitis C.
      Hepatitis C
    • Hepatitis C is infectious illness caused by blood borne virus hepatitis C virus that initially affects the liver.
    • Remarkable number of people contaminated with Hepatitis C results into liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, which are accountable for 3,99,000 Hepatitis C deaths yearly across the world. About 1.2 crores population in India are investigated to be suffering from Hepatitis C which is 6 times greater the number of HIV/AIDS victims.
    • Hepatitis C can pass through by utilizing drugs injections, risky health care, risky injection executions and transfusion of non-tested blood and its other products. However, it is not sexually transmitted disease. There is no known immunity for Hepatitis C.

    India’s fastest supercomputer unveiled at -  Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

    India’s fastest and 1st multi-petaflops supercomputer called Pratyush was unveiled at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. The name of supercomputer ‘Pratyush’ has meaning Sun.
    It will enhance India with better forecasts for monsoon, tsunamis, extreme events, cyclones, earthquakes, lightning, fishing, quality of air, hot and cold waves, flood and drought among others.
    Important Points

    • Supercomputer Pratyush will be Governmental services, provided by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, for improving weather and climate predictions. Pratyush has 6.8 PF computational energy installed at 2 MoES Institutes. 4.0 Peta Flops HPC service at IITM, Pune and 2.8 Peta Flops service at NCMRWF, Noida. Where PF is a measure of a computer’s processing rate.
    • Pratyush is 4th fastest supercomputer in world dedicated for weather and climate investigation. It come after supercomputing machines in Japan, US and UK.
    • It will upgrade position of Indian supercomputer from 300s to 30s in Top-500 list, a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers.
    • The basic function of the High-Performance Computing service will be monsoon forecasting utilizing dynamical model which needs simulating weather for provided month and letting custom built model calculate effect of actual weather over forthcoming months.
    • It will allow to map areas in India at resolution of 3 kilometers and world at 12 kilometers.

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