Current Affairs, News & Facts of 29 Dec 2015

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  • No LPG subsidy for taxpayers who earn over Rs 10 lakh annually

     

    No LPG subsidy for taxpayers who earn over Rs 10 lakh annually

    The Centre has announced that taxpayers with an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh will not get subsidised LPG cylinders from the new year . This decision will be given effect to initially on self-declaration basis of LPG consumers while booking cylinders January 2016.

    Currently, all households are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rate of Rs 419.26, while the market price of each cylinder is Rs 608. Of the total 14.78 crore LPG consumers in the country 20.26 lakh people have taxable income above Rs 10 lakh, annually but still they are availing subsidy on LPG cylinders they buy. 

    It is expected that by this move government will save upto Rs. 113 crore which will used for providing new connections to the BPL families so that they can replace the use of fuels such as kerosene, coal, fuel wood.

    Background :

    On March 27 this year, the government had asked “well-off people” to voluntarily give up using subsidised LPG under the ‘Give it Up’ campaign and instead buy cooking fuel at market price. So far, of the estimated 14.78 crore LPG consumers in the country, over 52 lakh are reported to have given up access to subsidised fuel voluntarily so that the subsidy benefits goes to poor families.

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  • Indian Oil Corp tops in 2015 Fortune 500 companies in India list

     

    Indian Oil Corp tops in 2015 Fortune 500 companies in India list

    State-run Indian Oil Corporation  has emerged as India's biggest company in terms of annual revenue generated by the Indian companies as per an annual list of 2015 Fortune 500 companies in India.For the sixth consecutive year, Indian Oil Corp has topped the list.

    IOC topped the list for consecutive sixth year with annual revenue of Rs. 4,51,911 crore while Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries' full-year revenue is Rs 3,82,565 crore.

    Top 10 companies as per  Fortune India 500 ranking :

    • Tata Motors  : With a revenue of Rs 2,67,025 crore, Tata Motors jumped to third slot from last year's 5th rank by replacing Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL)
    • State Bank of India (SBI) : State Bank of India (SBI) moved to the fourth position with an annual revenue of Rs 2,57,289 crore. It was ranked sixth in 2014
    • BPCL : BPCL was ranked fifth with an annual revenue of Rs 2,40,367 crore. It had grabbed the third spot in last year's ranking.
    • Hindustan Petroleum: Rs 2,13,380 crore annual revenue. 
    • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC): Rs 1,65,161 crore annual revenue. 
    • Tata Steel: Rs 1,41,669 crore annual revenue. 
    • Hindalco Industries: Rs 1,06,897 crore annual revenue. 
    • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS): Rs 98,368 crore annual revenue

    Among others in the list are Idea Cellular (47th), Asian Paints (85th), TVS Motor Company (125th), Godrej Consumer Products (157th), Kwality (195th), Aegis Logistics (271st), Srei Infrastructure Finance (303rd), Transport Corporation of India (397th) and Persistent Systems (447th)

    Fortune India 500 ranking :

    • The Fortune India 500 is a ranking of the top 500 corporations in India compiled on the basis of latest sales and gross revenue figures. The list is published annually by Fortune magazine.
    • The ranking is based on total revenues of the organisation. Other individual parameters include year-on-year change in total revenues, net operating income, profits, assets, net worth and dividend.
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  • Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes away

     

    Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler passes away

    Legendary American cinematographer Haskell Wexler who was best known for his work in films like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “American Graffiti”,passed away on 27th December 2015 in California, US. He was 93.

    Facts to know about Haskell Wexler :

    • Haskell Wexler, was born on February 6, 1922 to a Jewish family in Chicago. He was one of the most influential cinematographers in film industry
    • Haskell was known for his work on films like Jane Fonda’s anti-war classic “Coming Home” and Sidney Poitier’s race drama “In the Heat of the Night”
    • He had worked as director of photography on films including The Best Man and Mulholland Falls. He also produced and directed 1969’s Medium Cool.
    • Haskell was also recognised for his documentary work on the Emmy-winning Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang and 1970’s “Interviews with My Lai Veterans”, for which he won an Academy Award.

    Awards and Honours : He has won Oscar awards for films Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976). He was also nominated for Oscars for his contributions to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Matewan and Blaze. He was first cinematographer to receive star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.

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  • Amitabh Kant appointed as CEO of NITI Aayog

     

    Amitabh Kant appointed as CEO of NITI Aayog

    Senior IAS officer Amitabh Kant has been given the additional responsibility of being Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog. Kant will replace the incumbent NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar whose extended tenure will end on 31 December 2015. Decision in this regard was taken by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

    Amitabh Kant is the IAS officer of 1980 Batch of Kerala Cadre. He is currently serving as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). He is set to superannuate on 28 February 2016.

    Facts to know about NITI Aayog :

    • NITI Aayog  (The National Institution for Transforming India Aayog)  is a Government of India policy think-tank established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 January 2015 to replace the Planning Commission. Noted Economist Arvind Panagariya was appointed Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog. Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members.
    • NITI Aayog aims to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India,  a "bottom-up" approach to planning in contrast to the Planning Commission's tradition of "top-down" decision-making. One of the important mandates of NITI Aayog is to bring cooperative competitive federalism.
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  • China passes its first law against domestic violence

     

    China passes its first law against domestic violence

    China's Parliament has adopted the country's first law against domestic violence, bringing traditionally silent abuse victims, including couples who are in live-in relationship, under legal protection. The new law,  passed by the Chinese national legislature, prohibits any form of domestic violence, including psychological abuse. The legislation was approved at the end of a week-long bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

    Importance of the new law :

    • It enables individuals and organisations to prevent domestic violence, and allows legal guardians and close relatives of abuse victims, in addition to the victims themselves, to report abuse. Police will have to step in immediately when such a report is filed.
    • China previously did not have a special law covering violence in the family. References to the matter were only made in other laws and regulations such as the Marriage Law, the Law on the Protection of Minors and the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women.
    • More than 40,000 complaints of domestic violence are lodged with the ACWF (All-China Women's Federation) each year. Victims resorting to the ACWF for help are mainly women, children and the elderly, and 88.3 per cent of cases received in 2014 involved abuse by husbands of their wives.

    Facts to know about the new law :

    • Victims and those in immediate danger can file for a personal protection order that the court must grant or deny within 72 hours. In urgent cases, decisions must be made within 24 hours.
    • Once the order is granted, courts may prohibit the abuser from harassing, stalking or contacting the applicant and his or her close relatives, order the abuser to move out of the home, or adopt various other measures to protect the applicant.
    • If the abuser violate the protection order, they may be fined up to 1,000 yuan, detained for up to 15 days or face criminal charges in serious offences.
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  • China passes its first Counter-Terrorism law

     

    China passes its first Counter-Terrorism law

    China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the top organ of China’s parliament has passed the country’s first counter-terrorism law to address rising terror threats at home and boost international security.

    Key facts about the new law :

    • Media reports of terror attacks will also be monitored with restrictions on reporting details of terror activities that might lead to imitation and  images of "cruel and inhuman" acts.
    • It is mandatory for technology firms to give sensitive data like encryption keys to the government bodies when asked for under this law.
    • The new law grants overarching powers to security agencies and also allows the military to venture overseas on counter-terror operations.
    • The new law includes measures forcing telecommunication companies and internet service providers (ISPs) to install online 'back doors' in servers so they can be easily accessed by government officials when needed.
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