08 July 2017 Current Affairs

Saima Wazed made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism

Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder has been appointed as the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for autism in the world body’s Southeast Asia region. Her appointment is for a period of two years. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu Declaration which emphasizes on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are life- long disabilities that affect brain functioning, and when left without proper support can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

‘GST Rates Finder’ App launched by Govt

Ministry of Finance has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the app in New Delhi. Through this app, user can determine GST rate by entering the name of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the Goods and Services containing the name which was typed in the search box. A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. This mobile app can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The application has been launched on Android platform, and is expected to be unveiled for iOS users shortly.

122 Countries adopts treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting. Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously. The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is hosting the twelfth G20 Summit on 7th and 8th of July, 2017. The G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg. The theme of the German presidency of the G20 is ‘Shaping an interconnected world’. Leaders of the G20 countries agreed to swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and its financing. In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders also decided that the private sector will also be involved in the global efforts to counter terror financing.

Centre launches student-scientist connect programme Jigyasa

To develop interest among students to pursue science, Centre launched student-scientist connect programme, named Jigyasa, whereby nearly 1200 Kendriya Vidyalaya will be connected to 38 CSIR Research Laboratories across the country. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this program. MoU signing ceremony was held in the presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science & Technology and Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of HRD. The focus is on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning. “JIGYASA” is one of the major initiative taken up by CSIR at the national level, during its Platinum Jubilee Celebration Year.

RBI permits NBFCs to offer new pension scheme

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed systematically important non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to sell and market the new pension scheme (NPS). All the non-banking financial companies who are with an asset size of Rs 500 crore and above and also in the previous financial year who had reported net profit will be allowed to offer non pension scheme after registration with Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.

Canara HSBC OBC Life inks pact with Dhanlaxmi Bank

Private life insurance company Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance has entered into an alliance with the Kerala based Dhanlaxmi Bank for marketing various life insurance products. In accordance with the agreement, the insurance company will be offering life insurance products to the customers of Dhanlaxmi Bank, while the bank will also be a corporate agent of the insurance major for a period of 3 years. Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, the only insurer in India selling products through banks, provides products covering a variety of needs including retirement accumulation, child education, comprehensive protections, as well as customised investment solution.

MRP to be sole price decider from Jan 1, 2018

From January 1, 2018, the price of a packaged good would no longer depend on where you bought it- be it a local Kirana store, a mall, a five-star hotel or an airport. The Consumer Affairs Ministry has amended the rules that govern packaged commodities to this effect. As per the amended Legal Metrology rules for packaged commodities, the Centre has clarified that the retail sale price shall be the maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes, with the provision to round off the price to the nearest rupee or 50 paise. The new norms also require sellers to enhance the size of letters and numerals for making declarations about the packaged goods, such as their “best before date, month and year” to indicate their shelf life, for making it easier for consumers to read vital information.

Indian-origin man awarded Australia’s highest civilian award

Guruswamy Jayraman, a 69-year-old Glenwood resident who migrated from Delhi to Australia in 1991, has been awarded Order of Australia for community work, the highest civilian award in Australia. He holds a graduate diploma in health counseling and in medical terminology and counseling. Jayraman has received a number of awards, such as Outstanding Services to Older Citizens Award from the Auburn Council (2011), Service to the Indian Community and Seniors by the India Independence & Australia Day Celebration Committee (2010) and Community Services award from GOPIO Sydney (2012). He was also awarded for his contributions for seniors in Western Sydney by the Minister for Ageing & Disability.

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