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May 06, 2015

6th May 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • President Pranab Mukherjee‬ is leaving tomorrow on a four days tour of Russia‬, to take part in the Victory Day‬ celebrations that mark the victory of allied forces in the Second World War.
    • Note : The 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade will take place in Red Square in Moscow on 9th May 2015 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945.
  • South Arabia will host a meeting of Syrian opposition groups fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
    • The main intention of this meeting is to stress the need for a political settlement in Syria.
  • French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian met Defense Minister Manohar Parikar to begin negotiations for the 36 Rafale fighter jets
    • This trip of Drian follows the 14th edition of the "Varuna" exercise between Indian and French Navies, conducted from April 28 to May 2, off India's western coast with the carrier battle groups of the two countries.
  • The United States has authorized commercial ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than a half-century (5 decades), in a major step in improving relations between the two countries.
    • This adds to the charter air services that had been permitted until now, focused on enabling Cuban-Americans to visit their families.
    • The ferries will also be allowed to carry cargo to the communist island of 11 million, which sits just 150km off the southern tip of Florida.
National Affairs
  • Lok Sabha passes the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
    • The bill seeks to carry out new indirect tax regime, that will subsume various central and state levies like sales tax, excise and service tax except taxes on the supply of alcoholic liquor for human consumption and petroleum products.
    • Once adopted, it can dramatically alter tax administration in a one-shot solution by replacing a string of central and local levies such as excise, value added tax and octroi into a single unified tax to lower commercial barriers that impede ease of doing business.
    • The government plans to introduce GST from April 1, 2016.
  • Government today announced that there is no proposal for creation of separate zone for Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu & Kashmir.
    • This puts to rest the controversy surrounding recent reports that government was planning to build composite townships for Kashmir pandits in the Valley.
  • The union cabinet today gave its approval to operationalising three social sector schemes -
    Atal Pension Yojna (APY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
  • Rajya Sabha today unanimously passed a historic bill to operationalise the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh that provides for exchange of territories to settle the 41-year border issue.
    • The Constitution 119th Amendment Bill, which will allow the operationalization of the 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement, was passed with full support from 181 members. The bill will be taken up by Lok Sabha tomorrow.
  • Maharashtra government today decided to bring down the crop loss percentage, which is crucial in awarding compensation to farmers whose crop is hit by natural calamities, to 33 per cent from existing 50 per cent.
    • The state cabinet also raised the amount of compensation by 50 per cent. 
  • The Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill 2014, A bill which seeks to reduce workload of the Delhi High Court by transfering thousands of civil suits valued up to Rs 2 crore to the 11 district courts in Delhi was passed in Rajya Sabha today.
    • This bill will not only reduce the burden from Delhi High Court but lead to "speedy" disposal of cases helping the litigants.
    • Note : At present, all suits above Rs 20 lakh are heard by the High Court. 
    • Law Minister : D V Sadananda Gowda

Science & Technology
  • A proposal for building GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites supporting telecommunication, television services and in-orbit back-up received the Government's approval today.
    • The GSAT-17 and the GSAT-18 spacecraft project, cleared by the Union Cabinet, will be built at a cost of Rs 1,013.2 crore and 1,022 crore respectively. 
      • They weigh 3,425 kg each.
    • The GSAT-18 spacecraft will provide replacement capacity supporting the existing television, telecommunication, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and VSAT services in the country.
    • The GSAT-17 satellite, on the other hand, will offer similar services and some additional features such as in-orbit back up. Its footprint would cover the entire mainland India.
  • Microsoft India today unveiled Edu-Cloud, a cloud computing-based offering, designed to offer digital learning and teaching in schools and higher educational institutions through virtual learning platforms in India.
    • Microsoft India Chairman : Bhaskar Pramanik.
People in News
  • A Mumbai court sentences Bollywood Actor Salman Khan for five years imprisonment in 2002 hit and run case.
    • The Mumbai High court grants him two days interim bail.

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