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Current affairs : August 14, 2016

Assam becomes first state to pass Constitution Amendment Bill on GST:
Assam has become the first state to ratify Constitution Amendment Bill related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), following its passage by both houses of Parliament said Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal. Hailing the GST as a revolutionary bill, Sonowal said the new tax regime will benefit the common people of the country.

No more Rail Budget – Finance Ministry nods for Suresh Prabhu’s Proposal:
From the next fiscal, the 92-year-old practice of presenting a separate Rail Budget is set to come to an end as the Finance Ministry accepted to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s proposal for merging it with the General Budget.

Fifth Generation signs pact with Anna University:
Chennai based Fifth Generation Technologies has entered into an agreement with Anna University, Chennai, for conducting research to study about the remaining life of critical equipment that are working in high temperature environments.
  • The Company is specialized in real time intelligence solutions and products to the manufacturing industry, will work on creep, fatigue and corrosion to arrive at a prediction of remaining life of critical equipment’s.

Government notifies revised tax treaty with Mauritius
Government has notified the revised tax treaty with Mauritius under which India will impose capital gains tax on investments routed through the Mauritius from April 1 next year in a bid to curb tax evasion.
  • The protocol amending the agreement between India and Mauritius, signed on August 24, 1982 for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains and for the encouragement of mutual trade and investment, was signed at Mauritius on May 10, 2016.
  • India and Mauritius signed had signed the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) after prolonged negotiations at Port Louis.
  • This treaty ensure firms in Mauritius that invest in India are not just ‘shell’ and instead have substantial operations in the island, such as paying staff there, before qualifying for treaty terms of getting exemption from payment of capital gains tax in India.
  • This concessional rate would however apply to a Mauritius resident company that can prove that it has a total expenditure of at least Rs 27 lakh in that nation and is not a ‘shell’ company with just a post office address.
  • Under this amended treaty with Mauritius, for two years beginning April 1, 2017, capital gains tax will be imposed at 50 per cent of the prevailing domestic rate. Full rate will apply from April 1, 2019.

Maiden National Conference Investigation Agencies held in New Delhi
The first National Conference of InvestigationAgencies was held on 12-13 August, 2016, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. It is jointly organized by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India.
  • This conference is aimed to organize the All India Conference of Police and Law Enforcement officers engaged in investigation task and provide a platform for the India’s different law enforcement agencies to come together and discuss a coordinated strategy to tackle crime. 

Times Internet partners HDFC Bank to launch co-branded Debit Card
Times of India Group’s Times Internet in cooperation with Mortgage lender HDFC launched co-branded debit cards. It will have a daily shopping limit of Rs 2.75 lakh and an ATM withdrawal limit of Rs 1 lakh.
  • This is the second co-branded card launched by Times Internet with HDFC Bank, back in 2013 both the majors jointly launched Credit card focused on Entertainment segment.
Co-Branded Debit Card:

  • The Times Points HDFC Bank Debit Card will offer at least 10 per cent discount on online shopping on retail, groceries and dining space and also offers reward them for engaging with the Times Internet sites.
  • It also comes with a personal accidental death cover up to Rs 10 lakh per customer, international air accidental death cover of Rs 50 lakh and zero liability cover up to Rs 1 lakh on fraudulent and skimming transactions.

Ms. Anitha Nayar  – India’s next ambassador to Chile
India’s present ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Anitha Nayar is to be appointed as the next Ambassador of South American country, Chile.
  • Indian Ministry of External Affairs appointed Ms. Anitha Nayar, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1983 batch as the next ambassador of Chile and she is expected to assume her office in Chile soon.

Orkut creator launches new social network called Hello
San Francisco based Hello Network, Inc which was founded by orkut creator Orkut Büyükkökten come up with new social network called Hello, which is available on mobile only.
  • The Hello platform designed to help you connect with people who share your passions. In fact Hello is probably the most widely spoken word in the world after Okay.
  • The Orkut website owned and operated by Google in which users meet new and old friends and maintain in effect relationships came to an end on September 30, 2014.
  • According to the Former Google Engineer and Hello founder the app is more visual based rather than text. The idea with Hello is to make the world friendlier.

Person in News:
1. Skahti Sinha:
Shakti Sinha, an Indian Administrative Service officer may be appointed as the new director of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) under the Union Cultural Ministry.
  • The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) is a museum and library in New Delhi, India, which aims to preserve and reconstruct the history of the Indian independence movement. This library is instituted within the Teen Murti House complex, it is an autonomous institution under the Indian Ministry of Culture, and was founded in 1964 after the death of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. 
  • NMML aims to foster academic research on modern and contemporary history. Now the Nehru Memorial Library is the world’s leading resource centre on India’s first prime minister and its archives contain the bulk of Mahatma Gandhi’s writings apart from private papers of C. Rajagopalachari, B. C. Roy, Jayaprakash Narayan, Charan Singh, Sarojini Naidu and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur.

2. Founder of Akshardham temples and a saint of the Swaminarayan sect Pramukh Swami passed away
The 95-year-old founder of Akshardham temples and a saint of the Swaminarayan sect Pramukh Swami passed away after prolonged illness at the Sarangpur temple near Ahmedabad on August 13.
  • He was the president of the Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), a sub-sect of the Swaminarayan sect, which during his tenure expanded globally, with over 3000 temples built in five decades worldwide.

3.Lyricist Na Muthukumar passes away
Famous Tamil lyricist-poet-columnist Na Muthukumar, who has written songs for more than 1000 films, passed away due Jaundice. He was 41 years old. He was not keeping well for the past one month who was well known for his Tamil Writings.
  • Muthukumar hailed from Kanchipuram did his graduation in Physics and opted Masters in Tamil Literature and worked for a doctorate from theMadras University.

Schooling beats Phelps to win Singapore’s 1st Gold
Singapore exploded in celebration after homegrown swimming hero Joseph Schooling beat US legend Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly in Rio to win the tiny republic’s first ever Olympic gold. The 21-year-old Asian champion set a new Olympic record of 50.39sec as he edged out his American idol Phelps, who ended in a sensational dead heat for silver alongside South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.

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