INDIAN AFFAIRS


Monthly Current Affairs September 2016 “INDIAN AFFAIRS” key points to Remember.
The Goods and Services Passage and Implementaion:
With Tripura becoming the 23rd state to ratify the goods and services tax (GST) bill, the legislation has got
presidential assent. The approval from 16 states has come far ahead of the Centre’s targeted deadline of
rolling out the new taxation system from April 1, 2017
The constitutional 122 nd amendment bill was first ratified by Assam State Assembly.
As on date 22 states are ratified the GST bill – Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh ,Gujarat , Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Haryana, Sikkim , Mizoram,Telangana , Goa , Odisha, Rajasthan, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Pradesh , Meghalaya, Punjaband Tripura.
First State Ratified the Bill: Assam
First Union Territory Signed: New Delhi
President -Assent
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the GST constitution amendment bill .
• The enactment of the bill sets the stage for setting up of the all-powerful GST council—a representative body comprising state finance ministers and the Union finance minister—which will finalize the design of GST.

• The council will decide on contentious issues such as the tax rates and sharing of administrative control between the centre and the states, as well as the revenue threshold for traders below which they will be exempt from GST.

• The States and the Centre are working overtime and talking to stakeholders to draft theCentral GST,State GST and Integrated GST laws, which are to be passed in the winter session of Parliament.

• The CGST and IGST will be drafted on the basis of the model GST law. The States will draft their respective GST (SGST) laws with minor variation, incorporating State-based exemptions. The IGST law would deal with inter-State movement of goods and services

Creation of GST Council
The Cabinet approved setting up of the GST Council, which would decide on the rate of tax under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime likely to start from April 1, 2017.

1.Creation of the GST Council as per Article 279A of the amended Constitution

2.Creation of the GST Council Secretariat, with office at New Delhi

3.Appointment of the Secretary (Revenue) as the Ex-officio Secretary to the GST Council

4.Inclusion of the Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as a permanent invitee (nonvoting)
to all proceedings of the GST Council.

5.Create one post of Additional Secretary (at the level of Additional Secretary to the Government of India), and four posts of Commissioner(at the level of Joint Secretary to the Government of India).

THE GST COUNCIL:
 Union Finance Minister – Chairperson

 Revenue Secretary- Hasmukh Adhia –Ex Offcio Secretary

 Arun Goyal — Additional Secretary

 The Union Minister of State,in-charge of Revenue of finance – Member

 The Minister In-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State Government – Members
Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council hold its first meeting in the national capital.

The Central Government has proposed that small traders, having annual turnover of up to 20 to 25 lakh rupees, could be exempted from the GST, but state Governments have demanded that the limit be kept at 10 lakh rupees

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurates/ launches various facilities/ services as mentioned in the Budget Announcements 2016-17.

a. The slew of facilities includes nominating train superintendent who will be the single person responsible for all facilities on train.

b. retiring rooms hourly booking

c. expanded commodity basket for container traffic

d. liberalized siding policy

e. optional travel insurance for train passengers

The Ministry of Defence, Government of India has sanctioned the construction of a National War Memorial and National War Museum in New Delhi. The National War Memorial will honour the memory of all soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation
Kerala has decided to enter into joint venture agreement with Railways for rail projects in the state under the 51:49 equity partnership arrangement
The Allahabad High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 1 Crore on Uttar Pradesh government in a land acquisition matter of Loni, Ghaziabad.
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi launched Shramdaan movement as part of Swachh Bharatand Swachh Puducherry initiative at Seliamedu village in Bahoor
Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress has been granted national party status by the Election Commission of India. The party becomes the seventh national political party in India.
Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, launched and dedicated a number of services to the nation during a function held at Rail Bhawan as a part of fulfilment of Budget Announcements 2016-17.
Various Services,
 Liberalized station to station special freight rates policy

 Policy providing sub quota of 33 % to women within reserved categories for the allotment in catering units.

 Policy giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations.

 New system of allocating vacant berths after final charting to wayside stations.

 Launch of the new “Train at a Glance” and new Time Table effective from 1st October 2016.

 The 10 Humsafar Express trains and 7 Antyodaya express trains will run between various cities announced.The 3 Tejas trains and The three UDAY Trains also announced.

CM & Union Petroleum Minister launch Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in J&K
CSIR’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations kicked off by PM Narendra Modi. During the event, Prime Minister Modi released seven new plant varieties developed at CSIR laboratories and also interacted with farmers of five states through video conferencing. The plants include new varieties of lemongrass, citronella, vetiver and canna lily plant
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates Krishi Unnati Mela in Mathura
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated six major Railway projects in Kerala including the dedication of the newly-built 9.6-km long Tiruvalla-Chengannur double line which would ease the heavy rail traffic congestion in the Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam section.
The Spice Route Culinary Festival held in Kochi from September 23 to 26, 2016 .This festival was organised by the Tourism Department in association with the UNESCO and the the Union Tourism Ministry
The Second meeting of High Level Group of Eminent Experts from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries held on September 22-23, 2016 in New Delhi.
Rajasthan became the first state to adopt centre’s Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) in all its urban local bodies (ULB). Almost 5 lakh conventional street lights were replaced with LED street lights across the state.
Uttar Pradesh and Bihars populations have the lowest median ages — or youngest populations — in India while Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the highest median ages, according to Census 2011 data, compiled by Bengaluru-based think tank Takshashila Institution.
PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the day long INDOSAN – India Sanitation Conference, which is meant for taking stock of the progress made under the Swachh Bharat mission. 19 States and the Union Territory of Chandigarh were rewarded with performance incentive for promoting urban reforms under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) during 2015-16.
Rs.400 cr was earmarked for reform incentive during 2015-16. 23 States/UTs applied to the Ministry of Urban Development. After verification of claims States/UT scoring 70% marks were identified for giving reform incentive. Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and A & N Islands could not qualify.
The Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation and Panchayati RajShri Narendra Singh Tomar addressed that by 2nd October, 2016, one lakh villages will become Open Defecation Free, ODF and 40 Districts will achieve the status of ODF Districts in this financial Year.Sikkim is the only State which has achieved the ODF status, and Kerala, Haryana, Gujrat and Maharashtra will soon achieve the ODF status.
A two-day international conference on empowering handloom and Khadi held in Vadodara. This two day conference is organised by Consortium of Green Fashion (CGF) in association with the department of clothing, textiles of Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) of Baroda.
The 18th edition of World Congress of Criminology would be held in India from December 15-19 in Sonipat, Haryana.Theme : ‘Urbanization, Globalization, Development and Crime: Opportunities and Challenges of the XXI Century’
Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across LoC
The West Bengal Chief Minister Ms.Mamata Banerjee has decided to install monorail from Budge in South 24-Parganas to Ruby Connector in Kolkata at a cost of 4,216 crore rupees. The 14-kilometrelong monorail route would connect Budge Budge to Ruby via Taratala, New Alipore and Prince Anwar Shah Road and would come up at a cost of 4216 crore rupees.
The Centre would launch ‘Progress Panchayat’, an outreach campaign to create awareness about its programmes for the welfare of religious minorities and remove their“fear and misconceptions” about the NDA government
The Patna high court quashed the government notification completing banning liquor in the state by saying it was ultra vires to the Constitution.The government decided to suspend Indus water commission talks with Pakistan. This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan amid a heightening tension between the two countries
The 16 trees located in Aravali and NCR to be notified as “protected” natural heritage, on the lines of recognising special monuments in Delhi, announced by Delhi Cabinet Minister Kapil Mishra. Some of the tree in the list are banyan, ailanthus, mango, arjuna, and ashok.
Union governmnet approved the name change of Gurgaon. This city as well as the district of Gurgaon would be known as Gurugram, which is located in the state of Haryana.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved the inclusion of Gosai/Goswami, Yadav/Aahir
and Rabari Communities in the list of Backward Classes of the state on the recommendations of the
state Backward Classes Commission
The government approved signing of an MoU with Singapore in order to give boost to innovation,
creativity and technological advancement in both countries.
Union Cabinet approves an Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of
Certificates for Seafarers, 1978.
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its expost
facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY). This scheme was launched on
14th July, 2003 and Varistha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2014 launched on 14th August, 2014.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has
approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’.
Parliamentary panel led by Veerappa Moily to examine merger of budgets. Besides the budget, the
panel has also selected to review the disinvestment policy, banking sector in the country, Reserve
Bank of India’s emerging role and its framework
The Indira Gandhi International Airport had become Asia-Pacific’s only and one of the world’s few
airports to achieve a “carbon neutral” status.
BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting held in New Delhi. Ministers would deliberate to
adopt the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Declaration. The Two day Meeting dedicated
sessions on key thematic areas, Employment Generation, Social Security and Inclusive Development
Including Formalization.
Department of Information Technology, Electronics & Communication of the Telangana government
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ISRO’s Development & Educational
Communication Unit (DECU) to improve services of its educational channel ‘Mana TV’.
Narendra Modi unveils a special package worth Rs. 200 crore for sporting activities in J&K.
Goa is all set to host three-day bird festival from November 11 to 13, in the view of attracting
audiences from both national and international.
The Postal Department released a commemorative stamp to honor the Mother Teresa’s canonization in
Mumbai. Union Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha released the stamp at a function
organised at Divine Child High School in Mumbai. The commemorative’s Vaswani’s design
represents the classic pose of Saint Terasa.
The Adi community dwelling in the Arunachal Pradesh has celebrated their annual socio-religious
festival Solung with traditional gaiety. The CM Pema Khandu took part in the celebration and also
announced the sanction of Rs 600 crore which would be equally spread to all the 60 Assembly
constituencies of the state to carry out development works.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated first Wifi hotspot Service from Chandigarh
With this Haryana’s Gumthala Garhu village became the first Wifi hotspot in the Haryana telecom
circle under the bulk plan of BSNL.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cleared the file for use of Pelargonic Acid Vanillyl Amide
(PAVA) also called Nonivamide as an alternative to the pellet guns. The recommended chilli-filled
grenade which will be used in the rarest of rare cases. A seven member committee headed by Joint
Secretary in the Home Ministry T.V.S.N. Prasad was constituted by the centre to find alternative to the
Pellet guns which was introduced by the state police in 2010.
Haryana Government has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the US-based Apio Inc.
for processing and packaging of horticultural products.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the ‘Bharat Ratna Dr A P J Abdul Kalam
Learning Resource Centre’ in NIT, Silchar and start up centre in NIT Silchar under the start up India
campaign launched by Prime Minister. The world class library is established with the help
of University of Illinois, USA.
The Central Government launched the biggest Leprosy case detection campaign in India.32 crore
people, across 19 states and union territories, will be screened under the campaign.The objective is to
detect the disease early so that those affected can be saved from physical deformity.
Himachal Pradesh cabinet decided to amend the Hydropower Policy 2006 in respect to transfer of
shares by Himachalis to non-Himachalis. So that now Himachalis can sell or transfer 49% equity
shares to non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects upto 2 MW capacity and full
disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects.
People across western Odisha are celebrating Nuakhai – the agrarian festival of the region – with
religious fervor and devotion.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region – DoNER has gone live on e-office following a
innovative initiative by the department. The e-office platform would not only digitize the entire office
correspondence and file noting but also ensure an audit trail of all entries and correspondence, thus
providing an unprecedented level of accountability.
Centre launches National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)for nurturing
ideas & innovation into start ups worth $15 Mn
(INR 100 Cr) programme to support startups in India.
Vasundhara Raje lead Rajasthan government signed MoU with an educational institutes, which will
adopt 50 Adarsh and Utkarsh Vidyalayas in the state for developing education sector infrastructure.
United Nations, has included Sanskrit, the most ancient and traditional language of India into its
charter. A charter binds the assembly of nations. The charter being translated into the Sanskrit
language is the first of its kind attempt to make it to such an important international document.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the ‘Gas4India’ campaign, aimed at promoting the
use of natural gas in the country and aim towards a gas-based economy.The campaign includes social
engagement via Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and its official blogsite, as well as hyper local,
offline events to directly connect with consumers through discussions, workshops and cultural events.
Government launches dedicated pan-India Urja Mitra Helpline – 14401 launched by Department of
Telecom (DoT) to provide theinformation about outages from power distribution companies to
customers.In future consumers can also get the information through the Urja mobile app.
Bihar School Examination Board(BSEB) become the first state board in India to link students’
examination forms with their Aadhaar numbers to avoid duplication and facilitate easy access to
documents announced by BSEB chairman Anand Kishor.
Railways to implement Flexi Fare system in Rajdhani, Shatabdi & Duronto trainsunder the new ‘flexi
fare system’, usually which is followed by airlines, the base fare of tickets will increase with the rising
demand. The new fare structure will, however, not be applicable to 1 AC and executive class coaches.
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu formally launched his new political front ‘Awaaz-ePunjab’in
Chandigarh.
The Central government agreed to provide special assistance for five years along with full funding of
the Pollavaram irrigation project and tax concessions to Andhra Pradeshannounced by Finance
Minister Arun Jaitely.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya inaugurated the first phase of Tele-medicine services of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) for providing specialist medical services at a distance to insured workers.
Sikkim has been awarded the cleanest state in the list depend on the condition of sanitation in rural
areas of 26 states in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat is ranked 14th and
Jharkhand comes last.The survey carried out last year by National Sample Survey Office
(NSSO) under the words of Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Sindhudurg in
Maharashtra emerged as the cleanest district in the country.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani dedicated 2 mbps downloadand 512 kbps upload digital
connectivity through BSNL to 6,000 villages in Gujarat.
Union Government launched a new service – integration of DigiLocker with Driving Licenses (DL) &
Vehicle Registration Certificates (RC) in New Delhi.
The 5-day Youth Voters’ Festival held in Nagaland under the directives of the Election Commission of
India (ECI).It aims at increasing the electoral participation through voter registration and turnout to
increase the qualitative participation in terms of ethical and informed voting and to provide a
continuous electoral and democracy education to the people.
Government of India has launched a registration module for them so that they can be reached in an
emergency. Student’s Registration Module has been started on madad.gov.in/ for Indian students
studying abroad.
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry sanctioned Rs.359.52 for the welfare ofdalits as part of
its special assistance scheme under the scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled
Class Sub Plan(SCSP) for the year 2016-17, the amount of Rs.359 crore has been released to 18
states.
Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma declared that there would be a complete ban on use of polythene
in all national monuments and tourist destinations to carry forward the Swachh Bharat Mission, the
government chose the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi from 2nd October.The ban would be
applicable to the protected zone or 100-m radius of the monuments.
All – women PCR(Police Control Room) Vans flagged off by Delhi Police commissionerAlok Kumar
Verma in five primary areas –Vigyan Bhawan, Jesus & Mary College, Khan Market Metro Station,
American Centre at Kasturba Gandhi Marg, and Moti Lal Nehru Marg .
The Department of Post (DoP) has launched a toll free helpline number ‘1924’ that will allow users
across the country to register their grievances.
Union Cabinet, chaired by the PM Narendra Modi, has approved the creation of the Higher Education
Financing Agency (HEFA) to give a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier
educational institutionswith an authorised capital of Rs.2,000 crore and the Government equity would
be Rs.1,000 crore.
Himachal Pradesh government had notified the guidelines for transparent auction and scientificmining
and hiked the penalty for offences under mining act. Imprisonment up to two years or fine up
to Rs.25,000 orboth has been made for those involved in illegal mining of minerals, their
transportation and holding.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs led by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has
approved the proposal for initiation of the Third Phase of Technical Education Quality Improvement
Programme (TEQIP).
Haryana government approved a Rs 143 crore project for re-construction of Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN)
Canal system to achieve the goal of ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’ (water to every field).
India offers additional developmental assistance of one billion dollars to Afghanistan.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a website to provide information on the celebration
of 350th Prakash Utsav of the Sikh guru in 2017. The website has been developed by tourism department. Guru Nanak Gurpurab, also known as Guru Nanak’s Prakash Utsav and Guru Nanak Jayanti, celebrates the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak
The possession of Aadhaar number of an individual by Agencies should not be allowed to publish or
display the information publicly and would have to ensure security and confidentiality of the 12-digit
resident identification number under the Aadhaar Act. Based on the offence, the penalty could go up
tothree years imprisonment or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or both. The Act specified a severe penalty of
at least Rs.10 lakh for unauthorized access to CIDR.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar launches re-designed website of Department of Defence
Production (DDP) which is more user friendly, universally accessible and less vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the water supply and irrigation projects worth ofRs 4800
crore under the Gujarat Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna at Limkheda in Dahod district, Gujarat on his 66th
birthday anniversary celebrations.
Indian Railways marked the ‘Swachh Paryavaran Diwas’ (Clean Environment Day) by launching
the SwachhtaSaptah (Cleanliness Week). The programme was launched by Union Railway Minister
Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has announced funds for renovation of churches and mosques
under the Waqf board. She has ordered release of Rs. 3 crore for the corpus fund.
A petition asked Centre to take steps to declare Hindi as India’s national language. This was
withdrawn from Delhi High Court after it declared that the constitution did not provide for a national
language.Under Article 351 (of the Constitution), Union Government is duty bound to promote and
propagate Hindi language so that it might serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the
composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment.
This judicial innovation, formalised by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the Rajiv
Gandhi killers’ case in December 2015, helped get rid of death penalty and addressed the genuine
concerns of the society. A three-judge Bench led by Justice J. Chelameswar observed the judgment.
The innovation involved substituting death penalty with a special category of life
imprisonment without the benefit of release on remission for prolonged periods ranging from 25 to 30
years, if not more.
The Union Cabinet decided to merge the Railway budget with the General budget and agreed inprinciple
to advance the date of its presentation in Parliament from the usual February end.
Cabinet approves provision of submarine optical fiber cable connctivity between Chennai and
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of Ministry of Shipping to enact Admiralty
(Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016 and to repeal five archaic admiralty
statutes.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved shutting down of Hindustan Diamond
Company Pvt Ltd (HDCPL). This company is a joint venture between the Centre and De Beers
Centenary Mauritius Ltd (DBCML) which supplies rough diamonds to the processing industry.
Government approves highway projects worth Rs 2,600 crore in 5 states. The states namely Uttar
Pradesh ,Nagaland, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa announced the ‘Amma Two-Wheeler Service Training Centre’ across
the state.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals in association under the project title Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi
Yojana (PMJAY) ensured the availability of generic medicines at affordable prices for all by
with Central Pharma Public Sector Undertakings.
Lutyens’ Delhi’s iconic Race Course Road, where the Prime Minister’s residence is located, would be
known as Lok Kalyan Marg.A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the New
Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), presided by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. A notification would
be issued to complete the process of renaming the road.
The Gujarat High Court rejected the government’s notification granting 10 percent quota for
EBCs (economically backward classes) in educational institutions. The Anandiben Patel government
had approved the reservation to placate the Patidar community.
Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bhartireleased Rs 315
crore to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for building toilets under Swachh Bharat campaign
(Gramin) during 2016-17 along Ganga river. Till date 14,500 toilets have been constructed under this
scheme