Current Affairs India - 11-12 May 2016

1. The National Technology Day was observed across the country on 11th May to commemorate India's technological advancements and expertise. This day was instituted in the year 1999 when on this day India achieved a great mark in its advancement of technology by testing first indigenous aircraft 'Hansa-3'. The theme of 2016 was 'Technology enablers of Startup India'.


2. The Harish Rawat led government of Uttarakhand proved its majority in the Uttarakhand floor test in the state assembly with 33 votes in their favour, which was held as per the order of Supreme Court. With this, President-s rule will be revoked from the state and Harish Rawat will come back as Chief Minister.


3. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has formed a three-member committee headed by Union Road Transport Secretary Sanjay Mitra to frame policy regarding diesel cabs after the Supreme Court banned diesel-operated taxis in New Delhi. Supreme Court also refused to increase the earlier deadline of 30th April for conversion of diesel taxis into CNG ones.


4. India and Mauritius have signed the amendment of a two-decade-old Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between these two countries which allows India to claim tax on capital gains arising from sale of shares acquired on or after 1st April, 2017 in Indian companies. Post this DTAA agreement, Mauritius will no longer be India-s most favorable FDI route as all investments will be taxable. Currently Mauritius provides more than 30% FDI in India.


5. Indian American elementary teacher Revathi Balakrishnan has been honored as the 2016 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year by US President Barack Obama for her remarkable work in the field of education at Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Texas.


6. Sanjay Kaul has been appointed as the new country Head of Apple India. Before that he was Sales Director of Apple India. Before joining Apple, he worked for Canadian handset manufacturer BlackBerry where he led the firm's channel sales division. He succeeds Maneesh Dhir who resigned in January this year to pursue other opportunities.


7. India-s Industrial production measured by Index of Industrial production (IIP) grew by just 0.1% in March compared to 2% growth in February. The cumulative IIP growth for the period April-March 2015-16 stood at 2.4% compared to previous financial year.


8. India-s Retail inflation, measured by Consumer price index, increased marginally to 5.39% in April compared to 4.83% in March due to higher food inflation. Food inflation for April jumped to 6.32% compared to 5.21% in March.


9. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has published the 'draft guidelines for 'on tap' Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector' while the final guidelines will be issued and the process of inviting applications for setting up of new universal banks in the private sector will be initiated after receiving feedback, comments and suggestions on draft guidelines from banks, non-banking financial institutions, industrial houses etc. Present guidelines include:


(i) Resident individuals and professionals having 10 years of experience in banking and finance as eligible persons to promote universal banks, (ii) large industrial/business houses are excluded as eligible entities but permitted to invest in the banks to the extent of less than 10%, (iii) Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) has now been made non-mandatory in case of promoters being individuals or standalone promoting/converting entities who/which do not have other group entities, (iv) The NOFHC is now required to be owned by the promoter/promoter group to the extent of at least 51% of the total paid-up equity capital of the NOFHC, instead being wholly owned by the promoter group, and (v) Existing specialized activities have been permitted to be continued from a separate entity proposed to be held under the NOFHC subject to prior approval from the Reserve Bank and subject to it being ensured that similar activities are not conducted through the bank as well.


10. Veteran cricket administrator Shashank Manohar was elected unopposed as ICC-s first independent Chairman, two days after he resigned from the President post of BCCI. He was elected to the post after the ICC Full Council-s approval of constitutional amendments proposed by the Board following its April meeting. He will take charge immediately as Chairman of ICC and hold the post for 2 years.


11. Oscar winning music composer A R Rahman agreed to be the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent today. With this he joins cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan to be Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent.