Current affairs : January 18, 2017 for all competitive exams

India becomes Associate member of CERN
India has officially become an Associate member of CERN with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on November 21, 2016.
  • An Agreement was signed in November 2016 to admit India to CERN as an Associate member. But India had to “notify CERN of its final approval for the Agreement to enter into force” and become an Associate member.
  • CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe by using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems.

Finance Ministry suspends Dec. 21 tax circular on indirect transfers
In a move that will provide a respite to foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), venture capital and private equity investors, the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) has decided to put on hold its recent circular on taxation of indirect transfers.

Current affairs : January 17, 2017 for all competitive exams

GST: Centre, States reach consensus over dual control, roll out likely from July 1
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has arrived at a consensus on contentious issues such as administrative control over tax payers in the new indirect tax regime, thus paving the way for GST to be introduced this year, although three months after the Centre’s original rollout deadline of April 1, 2017.
  • The consensus was reached after the Centre agreed to the demand of states to go in for horizontal split with regard to tax payers based on annual turnover.

National Alliance against online Child sexual abuse and exploitation
The Ministry of Women & Child Development is planning to form a National Alliance against   Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.

Current affairs : January 16, 2017 for all competitive exams

India’s rising income inequality: Richest 1% own 58% of total wealth
According to a study by rights group Oxfam, India’s richest 1% now hold a huge 58% of the country’s total wealth — higher than the global figure of about 50%. In the report titled ‘An economy for the 99 per cent’, Oxfam said it is time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.
  • Just 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($ 216 billion) as that of the bottom 70% population of the country.
  • The richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population.

Current affairs : January 15, 2017 for all competitive exams

69th Army Day being observed on 15th January 2017
69th Army Day is being observed today (15th January 2017). The day marks the taking over of the Indian Army by the first Indian Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, on January 15, 1948. 
  • He took over the reins of the Army from Lieutenant General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief and became the first Commander-in-Chief of the independent India. 
  • The day is celebrated to pay homage and salute to the courageous and brave Indian soldiers who have been sacrificing their lives for protecting the country.

Current affairs : January 14, 2017 for all competitive exams

Indian harvest festivals:
The Harvest season is on and festivities have gripped the nation from the north to down south.
  • The festival of Makar Sankranti is being celebrated today when the Sun enters the Makar zodiac and the days begin to lengthen compared to nights.
  • In South India and particularly in Tamil Nadu, it’s the festival of Pongal which is being celebrated over 4 days at harvest time.

Signing of Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement by CBDT
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (BAPA) with Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company.
  • With this, total three Bilateral APAs are now signed with Indian subsidiaries of Japanese companies all including rollbacks. The total number of bilateral APAs entered into by the CBDT is now eight.