Current Affairs – March 31, 2018

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LTCG tax, other Budget proposals to kick in from April 1

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Several budget proposals including the reintroduction of the tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) exceeding Rs 1 lakh from the sale of shares will kick in from April 1, the beginning of the 2018-19 financial year. Besides, other tax proposals like reduced corporate tax of 25 percent on businesses on turnover of up to Rs 250 crore and a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 in lieu of transport allowance and medical reimbursement will come into effect from Sunday.
While the exemption limit on income from interest for senior citizens has been raised five times to Rs 50,000 per year, the limit of deduction for health insurance premium and medical expenditure has been raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 under section 80D of the I-T Act. For senior and very senior citizens, the tax deduction for critical illness will be Rs 1 lakh from April 1, as against the existing limit of Rs 60,000 for senior citizens and Rs 80,000 for very senior citizens. The 2018-19 Budget had after a gap of 14 years reintroduced 10 percent tax on LTCG exceeding Rs 1 lakh from the sale of shares.

Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken gets Geographical Indication tag

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Six years after it applied for the Geographical Indications (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a chicken breed whose black meat is in demand in some quarters, Madhya Pradesh has got the coveted label. The protein-rich meat of Kadaknath, chicks, and eggs are sold at a much higher rate than other varieties of chicken.
Chennai-based GI Registry accepted the application of Gramik Vikas Trust, Jhabua, which was filed in 2012. The breed is native to Jhabua, Alirajpur, and parts of Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. Managing director of Madhya Pradesh Livestock and Poultry Development Corporation Dr. H B S Bhadoria said successive journals brought out by Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) have always recorded that the breed was native to MP.

Senior bureaucrat Vineet Joshi is Director-General of National Testing Agency

3cc 30 - Current Affairs – March 31, 2018
Amid row over the CBSE paper leak, the government on March 30 appointed senior bureaucrat Vineet Joshi as the Director-General of the National Testing Agency (NTA), which will conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions organized by the CBSE, AICTE and other bodies. Joshi, a 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre, was appointed to the post for five years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.
The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had in November last year approved the setting up of the NTA. The establishment of the NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations. It will relieve the CBSE, AICTE and other bodies of the responsibility of conducting these entrance examinations and also bring in high reliability and a standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem-solving abilities of the students.

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurates India’s longest elevated road

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The construction of the longest elevated road in the country began in November 2014. It took three years and four months to complete the 10 km six-lane road, built on 227 single pillars. Only two and four-wheeled vehicles would be allowed on this road during the initial days. This six-lane elevated road, built at a cost of about Rs 11,000 crores, will make it easier to commute between Delhi and Ghaziabad.
Apart from this, it will also be easy for commuters to reach National Highway (NH) 58 from NH 24. It is estimated that around 4,000 vehicles would ply on this elevated road every hour. The road was inaugurated by CM Yogi near the Karhera Bridge after reaching the Hindon Air Force station on March 30 morning. After inaugurating the road, CM Yogi announced development projects worth Rs 1700 crore for Ghaziabad.

India gets 1st US LNG shipment at Dabhol

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India has received its first LNG cargo from the US under a long-term supply deal when a ship carrying super-cooled natural gas arrived at Dabhol in Maharashtra. A charter ship, MV Meridian Spirit arrived at Dabhol after 25 days voyage from Louisiana, state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd said in a press statement.
GAIL India has contracted 3.5 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from US energy firm Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana. The first cargo from the project arrived at Dabhol, the cite of India’s biggest gas-fired power plant. It has also contracted long-term volumes for another 2.3 million tonnes at Dominion Energy’s Cove Point liquefaction plant.

New Jersey declares April as Sikh Awareness Month

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The US state of New Jersey has declared April as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’ as part of its effort to promote awareness of the faith. New Jersey’s State Assembly made the declaration in a joint resolution this week, saying it was an effort to combat the “increasing and unacceptable levels of anti-Sikh bigotry“.
“The month of April of every year is designated as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’ in the State of New Jersey in order to promote public awareness of the Sikh faith, recognize the important contributions of the Sikh community, and combat anti-Sikh bigotry,” the resolution said. The resolution was adopted unanimously by both the New Jersey House of Representative and the Senate.

A month after the disaster, the powerful quake measuring 6.9 strikes Papua New Guinea

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A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the southern coast of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain island on March 30, initially triggering a tsunami warning for surrounding coastlines, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The shallow quake struck close to the coast, around 100 miles (162 km) southwest of Rabaul, a much more remote region than the country’s mountainous mainland highlands where a magnitude 7.5 tremor struck on Feb. 26, killing 100 people.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) issued a threat warning for the country’s coastline located within 300 km of the quake’s epicenter but later advised that the threat had passed. Dellie Minding, a receptionist at the Rabaul Hotel in the east of New Britain, around 20 minutes from the coast, told Reuters that the earthquake was felt, with many guests running outside, but there was no damage.
Capital: Port Moresby
Currency: Papua New Guinean Kina

Jammu and Kashmir CA appoint Irfan Pathan as its coach-cum-mentor

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The Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) on March 30 appointed former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan as the coach-cum-mentor of its senior stateside for the 2018-19 season. “He will be the coach-cum-mentor of our team for a period of one year,” JKCA CEO Aashiq Bukhari said. The 33-year-old Pathan played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 24 T20 Internationals for India between 2003 and 2012. Pathan was captain of Baroda for the past two domestic seasons. On his arrival, Pathan interacted with the young cricketers at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium and told them to work hard on their game in order to reach the next level.

Kaziranga National Park’s rhino population rises by 12 in 3 years

9cc 4 - Current Affairs – March 31, 2018
The population of the one-horned rhino in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park has risen to 2,413, a 2018 census has found. This amounts to an increase of 12 rhinos over the 2015 census count of 2,401. This is a very small change, given that the previous census had registered an increase of 111 beasts over the 2012 count. Officials, however, attributed it to “incomplete” execution of the census.
“People literally have to ride on elephant backs and SUVs to count rhinos for the census. So it is a common practice to burn patches of tall grass for enhancing visibility. However, burning was poor this year due to the high moisture content and several rhinos may have been missed,” said NK Vasu, chief wildlife warden of Assam.
CM of Assam – Sarbananda Sonowal
Governor of Assam – Jagdish Mukhi

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