Current Affairs, News & Facts of 07 Aug 2015

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  • Rajasthan signs pact for Rs 2,452-cr at an investor meet organised in New Delhi



    • Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje signed an agreement of Rs 2,452 crore  at an investor meet organised in New Delhi.
    • MoUs signed between the state and several private companies with an objective of setting up of industrial units, which would generate about 7,053 direct jobs and thousands of indirect ones
    • Some of the companies with which MoUs were signed today include Stuti Spinners, Sangam India Ltd, Shri Anant Syntex Ltd, Super Gold Suitings Pvt Ltd, Nitin Spinners, Rajasthan Textile Mills Ltd and M R Weaving Mills. 

    Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit 2015

    • Govt of Rajasthan in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organizing Resurgent Rajasthan Investors Summit on 19-20 November at Jaipur. 
    • A roadshow is also being organised at Delhi as part of a series of events being held across the country and abroad to promote investment opportunities in Rajasthan ahead of the summit
    • The theme of this year's Summit :- 'Delivering Dreams, Sharing Prosperity'. 
    • Earlier, roadshows in Japan, Germany, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Indore, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ludhiana were organised.


  • CBDT Signs Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with two US firms



    • As a part of a major initiative to usher in certainty in taxation the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for the first time has entered into an Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with ‘Rollback’ provision with the two US MNCs.
    • With this, the CBDT has so far signed 14 APAs of which 13 are unilateral APAs and one is a bilateral APA. "The 14 APAs signed relate to various sectors like telecommunication, oil exploration, pharmaceuticals, finance/banking, software development services and ITeS (BPOs
    • It should be noted that the transfer pricing issue has generated much controversy in India involving multinationals like Cairn, Nokia and Vodafone.

    Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) :-

    Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax authority that settles transfer prices for some sets of transactions over a fixed period of time. Most APAs involve US taxpayers and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but APAs are also made outside the United States.

    Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) "rollback" :-

    An APA with the "rollback" provision extends tax certainty for nine financial years as against five years in APAs without "rollback"

    Advantage of  Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) 

    • This agreement provides certainty to taxpayers regarding transfer pricing that aim to avoid disputes between taxpayer and tax regulator.
    • It introduce certainty in tax law reduces compliance costs and makes tax regime investment friendly
    • It will boost Indian economy as it Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) will attract investors for setting industries which will create more jobs and revenue

    Image source :financial express

  • Egypt launches Suez Canal expansion



    • Egypt’s government has inaugurated an $8bn (£5.2bn) expansion of the Suez canal which deepens the main waterway and provides ships with a 35km (22 mile) channel parallel to it.
    • It was inaugurated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who welcomed foreign leaders including French President Francois Hollande and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. aboard a historic yacht as helicopters and fighter jets flew by.
    • The expansion will allow for two-way traffic along part of the route, as well as for larger vessels overall. The construction of the new lane began a year ago, on the orders of Mr Sisi
    • Expansion of  Suez canal will increase traffic and boost revenues from the Suez Canal from $5.3bn annually at present to $13.2bn by 2023

    Suez Canal expansion project :-

    • The project was started in August 2014 for the expansion of the Ballah Bypass from 61 metres to 312 metres which was later named as Suez Canal expansion project
    • The project got completed in one year span with an estimated cost of US 8 billion dollars. It comprises 72km of new channel and bypasses. Expansion of  Suez canal  bring it's  length to 120 miles and depth to 78 feet 
    • Project involved digging and dredging along 45 miles of the busy waterway. World's largest vessels will be able to pass side by side through the canal
    • The canal is one of Egypt's top foreign currency earners, with around 10 per cent of the world's trade passing through it
  • Islamic State group seizes central Syrian town of  Qaryatain



    • The Islamic State group have seized a key town in central Syria after heavy clashes with President Bashar Assad’s forces this is the most significant advance of ISIS since capturing the ancient city of Palmyra in May
    • Qaryatain is home to 40,000 people many of them members of Syria's ancient Christian community it is home to towering Roman ruins. Its capture allows the IS group to link up areas under its control in and around Palmyra with areas in the eastern countryside of Qalamoun in Damascus province.
    • ISIS seized the town earlier this morning after three suicide bombers targeted army checkpoints at the entrance to Qaryatain yesterday.
    • Websites affiliated with the Islamic State group and its Facebook account on which the IS posts news of its military activities confirmed the militants had taken over Qaryatain.
  • Banks can shift, merge urban, semi-urban branches without approval: RBI



    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to shift, merge or close branches in urban areas without seeking its prior permission. This is to allow greater operational freedom.
    • In a notification on its website, RBI said banks can “shift, merge or close all branches except rural branches and sole semi-urban branches at their discretion”.
    • Further, while considering shifting/merger/closure of branches, banks should ensure that they continue to fulfil the role entrusted to these branches under the government sponsored programmes and Direct Benefit Transfer  (DBT) Schemes 
    • RBI has asked the lenders to ensure that the customers of the branch are informed well in time before shifting/merger/closure of the branch, so as to avoid inconvenience.
    • When shifting happens, banks have to ensure that branches are shifted/ within the same or to a lesser population category, that is, semi-urban branches to semi-urban or rural centres and rural branches to other rural centres.
    • The banks have also been allowed to shift some activities of a branch in any centre due to space or rent constraints without seeking prior approval of the RBI.
    • Deposit or loan business cannot be maintained at both places, and the new location for part shifting would have to be within one km of the existing location

    Image source :Zee news

  • Snapdeal appoints Amitava Ghosh as VP Engineering



    • Snapdeal has appointed former TaxiForSure Cheif technological officer (CTO) Amitava Ghosh as Vice President (Engineering).
    • Prior to this Amitava Ghosh was the chief technology officer at cab aggregator TaxiForSure before the company got acquired by competitor Ola.
    • In his new role at Snapdeal Ghosh will lead the development of intuitive technology solutions for ease of accessibility and enhanced user experience on the marketplace.
    • Amitava Ghosh has over 17 years of experience, and has spent several years working for organisations, both in India and the US, across large Internet companies and Silicon Valley start-ups.
    • Ghosh will work for Snapdeal's technology innovation centre in Bangalore where currently about 200-people team works 
    • Ghosh holds a masters in technology degree in biochemical engineering and biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Zhanna Nemtsova awarded with Solidarity Prize 2015 of Poland 



    Russian journalist, Zhanna Nemtsova, the daughter of slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, has been awarded Poland's Solidarity Prize. Nemtsova received the award for championing democracy and human rights. Zhanna Nemtsova received the million-euro ($1.1 million) Polish prize for championing democracy and human rights.

    Her father Nemtsov, a popular Russian opposition politician and critic of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead by unknown assailants near the Kremlin on February 27.

    About the Solidarity Prize 

    • The Solidarity Prize was named after the trade union launched by anti-communist icon and former Polish President Lech Walesa.
    • The award was set up in 2014 to mark the 25th anniversary of Poland's semi-free elections in 1989, signaling the end of communism across the Soviet bloc. The award includes 4 million zlotys ($1.1 million).
  • Colonel Harwant Singh (Retd), World War-II hero passes away


    • A World War-II veteran colonel Harwant Singh (retd) who was honoured with the Military Cross - the highest award of the British Arm passed away at the of age of 95 He was officer in charge of the flag-hoisting ceremony on the first Independence Day in 1947.
    • Colonel Harwant Singh was commissioned in 2nd battalion of the Sikh Regiment in September 1941, he served in Iraq, Palestine, North Africa, Cyprus and Italy during World War-2 for the British Army 
    • Colonel Harwant Singh  won the Military Cross in 1944 for gallantry during an offensive against the German forces on the Gothic Line in Italy.
    • During the Independence Day of 1947, being the most senior Indian officer in 1 Sikh, he was made in charge of the flag-hoisting ceremony at Princess Park on August 15 and at the Red Fort on August 16
    • In October 1947, during the outbreak of hostilities with Pakistan in Srinagar. After lieutenant colonel DR Rai, commanding officer, 1 Sikh, was killed in action, the colonel took over officiating command of the battalion and stopped raiders at Pattan. He was felicitated as one of the saviours of Srinagar
    • He he took over command of 4 Sikh in the Kashmir valley itself. Transferred to the Rajputana Rifles in December 1951 when the state forces began to be merged with the Indian army, he commanded 18 Rajputana Rifles, 6 Rajputana Rifles and the Rajputana Regimental Centre. 

    Image source :hindustantimes

  • Snapdeal to invest Rs 637 cr in R&D and launched website


    • With an objective to  to deploy technology-based solutions to improve the shopping experience on its portal, e-commerce site Snapdeal plans to invest $100 million (Rs 637 crore) in its Bengaluru-based Multimedia Research Lab over the next three years.
    • The lab has come out with its first product  a website that uses machine learning and data analysis to help customers pick products.As per Snapdeal’s chief product officer Anand Chandrasekaran said the company has focused on building in-house technology solutions
    • Findmystyle will analyse the customers’ browsing and purchase patterns by using technology solutions, smart algorithms to predict customer needs to offer multiple choices and minimise search. Snapdeal has over 40 million registered users and more than 1.5 lakh business sellers.
    • The online marketplace raised about $1 billion last year, including $627 million from Japan's SoftBank and has been in news recently for raising another round of investment of about USD 500 million from Alibaba and Foxconn.
  • NASA inks US $490 million contract with Russia for ISS travel


    • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has extended a contract with Russia's space agency for $490 million to carry US astronauts to the International Space Station due to lack of Congressional funding.
    • Under the new contract, which runs until 2019 the United States will continue to rely exclusively on Russia to take astronauts to the orbiting outpost 
    • The United States has been dependent on Russia for ISS access since it ended its space shuttle program in July 2012 .United States will pay for use of space vessels belonging to the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min

Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min