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May 13, 2015

13th May 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • At least 47 people have been killed and 20 others injured after a passenger bus carrying members of the minority Ismaili Shia community was attacked by gunmen on motorcycles in Pakistan's Karachi today.
    • Some leaflets found at the site of the attack claimed it had been perpetrated by the Daulatul Islamiyyah Baaqiya, an Islamic State-inspired group.
    • Also, terror-tracking website Site Intel Group tweeted that Khorasan Province, a division of the Islamic State (IS) in the Afghan-Pakistan region, claimed credit for the deadly attack.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leave for a Three Nation (China, Mongolia and South Korea) Six-day visit shortly.
    • During this visit, he is going to ink Several agreements, including in the field of trade and tourism.
    • Highlights of the Visit :
      • China (14-16)
      • PM will land in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province and the hometown of President Xi Jinping.
      • The two leaders will hold a summit meeting, and later Modi will visit places of cultural interest in Xi'an.
      • Mangolia (17-18)
      • Modi will be in Mongolia on May 17. This is the first visit by an Indian prime minister.
      • He will present a sapling of the Bodhi tree to the chief abbot of the Gandan Monastery in Ulan Bator.
      • He will then meet Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg for talks during which several agreements are set to be inked.
      • In a special gesture, the Mongolian parliament will be opened on a holiday (Sunday) for the first time to allow Modi to address lawmakers in Ulan Bator.
      • Modi will also meet President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
      • They will ink agreements in the field of cyber security, an air services agreement and in cooperation in traditional systems of medicine.
      • Mongolia is marking its 25th anniversary of becoming a democracy and Buddhism is a major point of linkage.
      • South Korea (18-19)
      • He will lay a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery. 
      • He will attend a reception by the Indian community, during which 1,500 members will be present. 
      • He will hold talks with President Park Geun-hye.
      • A number of agreements are to be inked.
      • On May 19, Modi and Park are to attend the 6th Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul
      • Modi will also meet CEOs and visit the Hyundai shipbuilding yard at Ulsan. 
      • In Seoul, among the agreements to be inked are in the field of trade, shipping, logistics and in double taxation avoidance and new energy.
National Affairs
  • A bill to deal with black money stashed abroad was passed by Parliament today.
    • The Bill allows imposition of a steep 120 percent of tax and penalty on undisclosed foreign assets and income besides a jail term of up to 10 years to deal with black money stashed abroad.
    • Before the new law comes into effect, a limited period window will be provided to people to declare their till now undisclosed income and assets, pay 30 percent tax and a similar amount as penalty and escape prosecution.
    • The Bill will put in strong deterrent for those who do not come clean in a one-time window being provided under the law and declared unaccounted foreign wealth.
    • India and other G-20 members have committed to a global framework on automatic information exchange. 
      • It will also receive information on assets held by its citizens from the US under FATCA.
  • The Supreme Court today lifted its embargo and allowed the Centre to go ahead with the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and a Vigilance Commissioner from the list of candidates shortlisted by it.
    • The two posts have been lying vacant for past few months and the apex court had on December 17, 2014 asked the Centre to take its prior “leave” before going ahead with the appointment for which 10 candidates each have been shortlisted after scrutinizing 130 applications received in response to the advertisement issued in this regard.
  • Supreme Court bans pictures of political leaders in government advertisements.
    • The Court has stated that government ads can feature pictures of only the Prime Minister, the President, and the Chief Justice of India only.
    • The verdict applies to the frequent ads that are placed by the centre and state governments to publicize schemes.
      • Note : Today's ruling means that Chief Ministers and Governors cannot feature in government ads. 
    • The court has also appointed a committee of three members to ensure that the new guidelines are not violated. 
  • In Andhra Pradesh, a 15-member State-level Steering Committee constituted to coordinate the activities at the apex level to realise the State’s vision of being one among the best three states in the country by 2022 and the best State by 2029. 
    • Chairman : Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • Haryana‬ Govt to going to set up a high powered commission of enquiry to investigate the land deals in Haryana during the Bhupinder Singh Huda (congress) rule.
    • This commission to be headed by a retired judge, it will focus especially on the cases involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
New Appointments
  • Achal Kumar Jyoti, a former Chief Secretary of Gujarat during Narendra Modi's tenure as Chief Minister, today took over as the new Election Commissioner, filling one of the two vacancies in the three-member body.
  • Indian-origin Daniel Mookhey today became the first politician in Australia to be sworn in on the Gita when he took oath in New South Wales Parliament.
    • Note : Mookhey was elected by the Labor to replace Steve Whan in the New South Wales Upper House, making him the state's first politician of Indian background.
  • Bharti AXA General Insurance has announced the appointment of Deepak Iyer (currently managing director — Indian subcontinent at Wrigley India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Mars Inc) as its new chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD). 
    • Iyer is expected to come on board by the end of June and will take charge from Milind Chalisgaonkar, interim CEO and MD, after receipt of regulatory approvals by the company.
Awards & Honors
  • Kolkata-born writer Neel Mukherjee's "The Lives of Others" has won the UK's Encore Award for the best second novel.
Business & Economy
  • The Union Cabinet today approved new urea policy and fixed subsidy rate of phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers for 2015.
    • In the new urea policy, the government is considering measures for boosting urea production by making plants more energy efficient.
    • The policy will also provide framework for balanced use of fertilisers. The correct proportion in which Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) should be used is 4:2:1.
  • A day after the Centre released its consolidated FDI policy, the Delhi government today said it will not allow entry of foreign direct investment in the capital's retail sector, saying that it will be detrimental to the interests of traders in the city.
  • Google Inc. is going to build its biggest campus outside the US in Hyderabad at an investment of Rs.1,000 crore. 
    • The 2 million square feet facility, the Internet giant’s first company-owned campus in Asia, will house 13,000 employees when it is ready in 2019.
    • Telangana's information minister K.T. Rama Rao, who is on an official visit to the US, signed this agreement with Google Inc.
    • Under this agreement, the state government will allocate the company 7.2 acres in Hyderabad’s Gachibowli locality.

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