Current Affairs

Indian Economy Current Affairs 2019 | ECONOMY AND FINANCE Current Affairs for All Competitive Exams

World’s largest digital sky survey issues biggest-ever astronomical data release
◗  The world’s largest digital sky survey has released the second edition of data — amounting to over 1.6 petabytes the biggest astronomical information ever released.

◗  The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in the US in conjunction with the University of Hawai’ Institute for Astronomy (IfA), released data from PanSTARRS – the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System.

◗  The Pan-STARRS observatory consists of a 1.8-metre telescope equipped with a 1.4- billion-pixel digital camera.

◗ Pan-STARRS was the first survey to observe the entire sky visible from Hawai’i multiple times in many colours of light. One of the survey’s goals was to identify moving, transient, and variable objects, including asteroids that could potentially threat

Indian Economy Current Affairs 2019 | ECONOMY AND FINANCE Current Affairs for All Competitive Exams

PETROTECH-2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition
◗  PETROTECH-2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition, was organised in Greater Noida under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India

 ◗ India’s flagship hydrocarbon international conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India.

◗ Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries have been invited by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas to participate in the Conference.

India improves its global corruption ranking in 2018
  ◗ India has improved its ranking on a global corruption index in 2018 by three points & moved to 78th position with a score of 41.

◗ In the list of 180 countries, China and Pakistan lagged far behind at 87th and 117th position, respectively.

◗ According to the rankings released by an anticorruption watchdog, Denmark is the least corrupt country followed by New Zealand while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are the most corrupt countries in the world.

India replaces Japan to become the second top steel producer in the world
◗ India has replaced Japan as world’s second largest steel producing country. According to World Steel Association’s report, India’s steel production was at 106.5 MT in 2018. It went up by 4.9 % from 101.5 MT in 2017.

 ◗ Japan produced 104.3 MT in 2018, down 0.3 % compared to 2017. China is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 % of production.

UAE, Saudi central banks launch common digital currency called ‘Aber’
◗ The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia have launched a common digital currency called “Aber”, which will be used in financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.

◗ Through this digital currency, both the United Arab Emirates Central Bank (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) are studying the impact on the improvement and reduction of remittance costs and the assessments of risks.

Railways gets Rs. 1.59 lakh cr., the highest-ever allocation
◗ Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed a capital expenditure of Rs. 1, 58,658 crore for the Railways Ministry for the year 2019-20 in the Interim Budget. This is the highest-ever allocation for the national transporter, surpassing last year’s allocation of Rs. 1, 48,528 crore.

◗ Vande Bharat Express, indigenously developed semi-high speed (train), will give Indian passengers world class experience. Goyal also announced that the operating ratio for the current fiscal has improved to 96.2 per cent, and in the next financial year the aim will be to have it at 95 per cent. The practice of a separate Railway Budget was started by the British in 1924 under the recommendation of a 10- member Acworth Committee headed by British economist William Mitchell Acworth in 1920-21. On 21 September 2016, Govern ment of India approved the merger of the Railway Budget with the Union budget of India, and thus came to end a 92-year-old practice of separate rail and general budgets. In the past, every year the Railway Budget was presented in the Parliament by the Railway Minister few days prior to the general budget. On 25 February 2016, Suresh Prabhu became the last railway minister to present a separate Railway Budget in the parliament

EAC approves individual trade pacts with EU in absence of joint deal
◗ East African countries can individually sign separate trade agreements with the European Union (EU) if a joint deal is not reached within the next four months, according to a statement from a meeting of regional leaders.

◗ The East African Community (EAC) and the EU have been at loggerheads for years over signing the socalled Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), designed to replace preferential trade deals struck down by the World Trade Organization. The agreement was reached at the summit in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.

◗ The bloc launched a common market in 2010 but missed its target of having a common currency in place in 2012. The stated goal was a political federation, although analysts say that is likely to be many years off if it happens at all.

No income tax on individuals with income up to Rs. 5 lakh
◗ Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has proposed that individuals with income upto Rs 5 lakh will not have to pay any income tax for FY2019-20. As per the Budget speech, “Individual taxpayers having taxable annual income up to Rs 5 lakh will get full tax rebate and therefore will not be required to pay any income tax.”

◗ However, such taxpayers will still need to file their tax returns unless their income is below the taxable threshold of Rs. 2.5 lac ( 3 lac for senior citizen and 5 lac for super senior citizen).”

◗ In the previous budgets also, the Narendra Modi led-government provided tax relief to taxpayers. In Budget 2014, the minimum tax-exemption limit was raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. Along with that deduction, limit under section 80C was hiked by Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh.

◗ The Constitution of India has given the power to the Central Government to levy a tax on any income other than agricultural income, which is defined in Section 10(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Income tax is a direct tax.

◗ The Income Tax Department is the biggest revenue mobilizer for the Government.

Indian Online Companies rank 11th for overseas expansion
◗ Singapore and Hong Kong are the number one countries when it comes to online companies doing business abroad. India fell just outside the top ten but still ahead of the UK and US.

◗ This was revealed in a study conducted by San Francisco – based online payment processing firm Stripe which specialises in helping internet companies do business online.

◗ With 43 percent of the world’s population or about 3.2 billion people using the Internet, global expansion which was once the domain of giant multinationals is now within the reach of small companies and start-ups.

◗ In its study, Stripe surveyed 9,000 founders and senior executives of online businesses across 15 global markets and 10 industries. India is ranked at 11th when it comes to online companies doing business abroad.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2018-19 (Series 6) opened
◗ The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2018-19 (Series 6) was opened.

◗ The issue price of the Bond during this subion period will be three thousand three hundred twenty-six rupees per gram with the settlement date of 1st of February.

◗ The Centre in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow discount of 50 rupees per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and make the payment through digital mode.

◗ Union Government had launched the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme on 5th November, 2015. The main objective of the scheme is to reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the gold imported every year for investment purposes, into financial savings through Gold Bonds. Sovereign Gold Bonds are issued by RBI on behalf of the Government of India on payment of the required amount in rupees and are denominated in grams of gold. The Bonds are restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, trusts, Universities, charitable institutions. Minimum permissible investment is 2 grams of gold to be paid in rupees. The maximum amount subscribed by an entity will not be more than 500 grams per person per fiscal year (April-March).

Smriti Irani launches India Size project in Mumbai
◗ Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai.

◗ A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.

◗ India size project will benefit manufacturers, consumers and generate data which will help tap into the potential of the sector. The Minister also launched a Study of Apparel Consumption in India.

◗ Smriti Irani is a Member of Parliament, being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state of Gujarat. She is the current Textiles Minister in the Government of India. On 26 May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed her as the Minister of Human Resource Develop ment in his cabinet. In July 2016, the Ministry of Human Resource Develop ment was taken away from Irani, and she was given the Ministry of Textiles instead, in a cabinet reshuffle.

App of world’s largest health insurance, PM-JAY, launched
◗  The world’s largest cashless health insurance scheme the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), popularly known as the Ayushman Bharat is now active on Google Play Store and one can download the PM-JAY app to access scheme details.

◗ The scheme received an INR 6,400 Cr commitment from the government in the interim budget of 2019.

◗ The app was created by the National Health Authority (NHA), the app was launched by PM-JAY’s CEO Indu Bhu shan. The app offers users easy access to information on the scheme, besides allowing them to check eligibility, find hospitals nearby, and receive help.

◗ Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Ayushman Bharat, world’s largest government – funded healthcare scheme in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi in September 2018 and the scheme has become operational from September 25, 2018 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. The scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database.

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