Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs Nov 4th Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India host the golden jubilee celebrations of UNCITRAL in New Delhi
  • In celebration of the 50th anniversary of United Nations Commission on International Trade uncitralLaw (UNCITRAL), UN organised the two day 
  • conference “Global Standards for Rule-based Commerce” at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi from November 28, 2016.
  • Global Standards for Rule-based Commerce conference is hosted by the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee India (UNCCI) and the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific, with the support of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • The conference was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee then it is followed by five sessions
  • Session 1: Redefining Arbitrability: To Expand or Not To Expand
  • Session 2: 50 Years of UNCITRAL: Experience from the Asia-Pacific Region
  • Session 3: Tackling the Next Level: Emerging Legal Standards for Electronic Commerce across Borders
  • Session 4: Call for Consistency: The Future of Cross-Border Insolvency
  • Session 5: Innovation and Reform for Efficiency and Legitimacy in Investment Arbitration
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) 
  1. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law”.
  2. Headquarters : Vienna
2) Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016 introduced in Lok Sabha
  • In the Ongoing Winter Session Union Finance Minister ArunJaitly has introduced a bill in the LokSabha to amend the Income Tax rules levying a tax of 60 per cent on undisclosed income or unaccounted credits in the bank accounts.
  • The amended bill introduced comes with a new ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016’ (PMGKY) which allows people to deposit money in their accounts till April 1, 2017
  • Under this Scheme the declarant will be levied 50 per cent of the total amount — 30 per cent as tax, 10 per cent as penalty and 33 per cent of the taxed amount– that is 10 per cent — as Garib Kalyan Cess on the tax payable.
  • The bill comes with additional provision that besides taxes penalty and cess which totals up to around 50%, the declarant will have to deposit 25% of undisclosed income in a deposit scheme that will be called Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016. The 25 % amount has to be locked up for four years in interest-free.
  • The Proposed Garib Kalyan cess will be make use of for irrigation, housing, construction of toilets, infrastructure, primary education, primary health, livelihood, etc.
  • The amended bill text also reads that incase the undisclosed income found during search seizure cases a penalty of 30 % shall be enforced by the Income Tax Department in addition to the regular tax on the money. However the person has to provide evidence for the income that has arrived if he/ she fails to justify up to 60% penalty plus a surcharge of 25 percent of tax (15 percent), which will amount a levy of 75 percent.
  • Besides, if the assessing officer decides he can charge a 10 percent penalty in addition to the 75 percent tax.The current provisions of penalty on under-reporting of income at 50 percent of the tax, and misreporting (200 percent of tax) will remain and no changes are being made to them
3) NGO starts 16-day campaign ‘Every 8 Minutes’ against child trafficking
  • Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), a Bengaluru based NGO, has NGO starts 16-day campaign `Every8Minutes`against child 
  • traffickinglaunched a 16-day campaign ‘Every8Minutes’ to create awareness against child trafficking and missing children in the city.
  • The step was taken after a report released by National Crime Records Bureau showed that a child goes missing in India every eight minutes and 40 per cent of these children remain untraced.
  • The NGO is spreading awareness through street plays, mimes and messages on radio channels.
4) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas sign MoU to boost to skill initiatives in the 
Hydrocarbon Sector 
  • MSDE Secretary Rohit Nandan and MoPNG Secretary K. D. Tripathi signed a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to scale up skill development initiatives in the Hydrocarbon and allied sectors among other areas of cooperation.
Objectives of MoU :
  • To develop comprehensive skill development plans for existing and potential workforce in alignment with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF)
  • To certify existing workforce in the hydrocarbon sector for Recognition of Prior Learning under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • To promote and scale-up apprenticeship training under National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
  • To facilitate the setting-up of Skill Development Institutes/Centres of Excellence for vocational training to meet sectoral needs
Key People :
  1. Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas (Independent Charge): Shri Dharmendra Pradhan
  2. Minister of State for Development & Entrepreneurship(Independent Charge) : Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy. 
5) 47th Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2016 held in Goa
  • The 47th Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2016 was held from 20-28 November, 2016 at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee indoor stadium at Talegao on the outskirts of Panaji, Goa.
  • The festival screened over 300 films including 4 premieres, 6 international premieres, 26 Asian premieres 104 Indian premieres and Oscar-winning entries from nearly 90 countries. The Republic of Korea was the focus country of IFFI 2016.
  • IFFI 2016 also featured the National Film Archives of India’s (NFAI) exhibition with theme: “Azadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Qurbani” (70 Years of Independence, Remember the Sacrifices) to commemorate 70 years of Indian Independence.
  • South Korean film director and writer, Im Kwon Taek conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI 2016
6) ICICI Bank’s Adopted Akodara Village becomes India’s first Digital Village
  • A tiny village Akodara in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has become the first Digital Village in India.
  • The village, located 90 km from Ahmedabad, was adopted by the ICICI Bank under Digital Village project in 2015 that developed it as a digitized village with a rural branch of the bank.India’s First Digital Village
  • The campaign was committed to connect rural India with high speed internet networks, create a digital infrastructure, and improve digital literacy in the country.
  • The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence.
  • All 250 households in village and 1,191 populations have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch.
  • The bank has provided training to villagers to use digital technology to reduce dependence on cash. The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless.
  • The banks also launched other initiatives, like school automation, WiFi connectivity, a village website, a digital screen for commodity prices at the bank branch and skills development workshops for women to learn tailoring and office administration free of cost.
  • The village has its own website:
  • There’s a community-owned reverse osmosis-based water treatment plant and a WiFi tower for internet connectivity to those who want to subscribe to the service and three micro ATMs — at the gram panchayat, the village-level cooperative society and RO plant.
7) Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to head CMs Committee on Demonetisation
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has been nominated by the Central Government to head the sub-committee of Chief Ministers of five States constituted to deal with the situation arising out of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley requested Chandrabab Naidu to head the committee which would study various aspects after demonetization and how it has affected different sections of the people.
  • Chief Ministers Sivaraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Narayana Swamy (Puducherry) and Manik Sirkar (Tripura) will be the other members. The five-member committee will study the public problems due to demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes and would submit its report to the Centre for taking required steps.
  • The move aims to stop the Opposition’s attack on the Centre’s demonetization decision. The Opposition organised ‘Jan Aakrosh Diwas’ on November 28 to protest against the move.
8) Asia’s first cycle highway inaugurated in UP
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has inaugurated India’s first and Asia’s longest bicycle highway between Agra and Etawah in UP.
  • A rally of 90 cyclists from five countries and across India followed the inauguration ceremony at the Lion Safari in Etawah.
  • The track begins from the lion safari in Etawah. On its way to Agra are tourist destinations like Naugava ka Quila, Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, and 
  • Bateshwarnath Temple. It ends at the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
9) Losar Festival being celebrated in J&K
  • 10 day long festival named Losar festival has begun in Ladakh region of J&K to mark the beginning of New Year in this Himalayan region. Losar is Tibetan word for ‘new year’ and this festival is an important social and religious celebration in Ladakh.
  • Losar celebrations in the Ladakh district can be regarded as the most elaborate and convoluted of the different social and religious events and festivals of Ladakh.
  • In India, Losar is also celebrated by Yolmo, Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, and Bhutia communities residing in different regions in the country.
10) 78 schemes covered under DBT system so far
  • As many as 78 schemes including Jhan Dhan and MGNREGA being implemented by 17 ministries and departments are covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system.
  • The government has decided to introduce DBT system for fertilizer subsidy payments.
  • It is slightly different from the normal DBT being implemented in LPG subsidy.
  • Under the proposed system, 100% subsidy on various fertilizer grades shall be released to the manufacturers and importers on the basis of actual sales made by the retailer to the beneficiaries. 
11) Manipur hosts WWII Vintage Jeep Rally
  • Manipur Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh flagged off World War II Vintage Jeep Rally from Koirengei Old Air Field as a part of the Manipur Sangai Festival on November 27, 2016.
  • Objective: To spread a message of peace and reconciliation and evils of war.
  • Nine vintage jeeps, 30 to 35 motorcycles and cycles were took part in this rally.The participants from Japan and UK were participated in this event.
  • The rally was organised by the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation and Manipur Tourism Forum and the Department of Tourism. Manipur hosts WWII Vintage Jeep Rallyv. The rally will culminate at the India Peace Memorial, Maibam Lotpa Ching.
Manipur :
  1. State Tree – Uningthou
  2. State Flower – Siroi Lily
  3. State Animal – Sangai
  4. State Bird – Nongyeen
12) Telangana village renamed ‘Kavithapuram’ after CM’s daughter, TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha
  • Villagers of Khanapur in Telangana’s Nizamabad district have renamed their village as ‘Kavithapuram’ after the daughter of CM K Chandrasekhar Rao.
  • The residents of Khanapur gram panchayat passed the resolution as a “token of reverence” towards TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, who helped the villagers when they were displaced by the Sri Ram Sagar reservoir on Godavari Rive Son irrespective of his marital status has no legal right in parents’ house, can stay at their mercy: Delhi high Court
  • The Delhi High court on November 29, 2016,  directed that a son, irrespective of his marital status does not have any legal right to live in his parents’ house.
  • Justice Pratibha Rani directed, where the house is self-acquired by the parents, son could reside in his parents’ house only at their “mercy” up to the time the parents allow, as they have cordial relations and not because they have to bear his “burden”.
  • The High court gave this judgment after a senior citizen parents had filed a law suit seeking the court’s orders for their son and daughter-in-
  • law to vacate the house in their possession as they had made their parents “life hell”.
  • The jugement had gone in the favour of the parents who had filed complaints at the police station and also issued public notices in 2007 and 2012 about debarring the son and his wife from their self-acquired property.
  • Both the sons and daughters-in-law had contested the suit before the trial court while denying the allegations and also claimed that they were the co-owners of the property as they had contributed towards its purchase and construction.
  • The trial court had however ruled the decision in the favour of the parents, following which the son and his wife had moved to the High court.
  • The High Court Justice, Pratibha Rani noted that the son and his wife had failed to prove that they too had contributions in the purchase of the house, while the parents had established their contention by revealing the necessary documents.
13) India Switzerland Signs MoU to extend Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) by five years
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Switzerland for a joint project on energy efficiency of buildings in November 2011, for duration of five years.
  • Based on the excellent results achieved by the project in the first phase the ambassador of Switzerland to India, Andreas Baum, and Raj Pal, economic adviser at the Indian Ministry of Power, signed a pact to extend the Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) by five years till 2021,
  • The objective of the collaboration has been to reduce the overall energy consumed in buildings through sharing of best practices between the two countries in energy efficient design, construction and technologies.
  • The extended MoU was exchanged between the two governments at the international conference – Energy Efficient Building Design: Experiences and Way Forward, on November 28, 2016.
  • The three-day international conference discussed the results and experiences from BEEP’s first phase and to bring together 200 building energy experts from both India and overseas to exchange knowledge and experience on some of the key aspects of building energy efficiency.
  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) were designated as implementing agencies for the project.
14) Supreme Court Mandates Playing National Anthem in Theatres Before Movies.
  • The Supreme Court on November 30, 2016, made it mandatory for cinema halls to play National anthem before screening of a film in theatres across the country.
  • Aim: to instill a sense of committed patriotism and nationalism in citizens.Supreme Court Mandates Playing National Anthem in Theatres Before Movies.
  • A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy said that “People must show respect to the national anthem and the national flag and pay respect to the anthem. People now-a-days don’t know how to sing national anthem and people must be taught.
  • The Centre and States have been given a week’s time to implement the court’s order.SC ordered that nobody can print or display the Anthem on any undesirable object, and also barred it from being played on variety shows.
  • The court order came after a PIL filed was by Shyam Narayan Chouksey, a retired engineer in Bhopal. Chouksey questioned the bench to illustrate a set of parameters that amounts to abuse of the anthem under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. 
  • The petition sought the anthem to be played in cinema halls across the country before screening of films and also issue a protocol for the 
  • playing or singing of the anthem at functions where constitutional dignitaries are in attendance.
  • The national anthem is already played before movies in some states – such as Maharashtra since 2003. It was mandatory for cinema halls to play the National Anthem after every movie in the 1960s, but the practice faded away.
15) NIT Agartala signs 3 MoUs with ONGC, NEEPCO business
  • National Institute of Technology (NIT) Agartala has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) and iBuild
  • The MoU would be valid for five years in the sector of knowledge updating, collaborative research in oil sectors, imparting training and 
  • conducting short term courses, which will facilitate a better atmosphere for research and development
  • NEEPCO will provide internship training, joint collaborative research to mitigate industrial problems related to power generation
  • ONGC will provide space for the students’ in hand on experience in exploration works and iBuild will support for incubation, mentoring and 
  • funding to develop business models based on feasible innovation
16) Mumbai poetry festival to feature 51 poets from 5 countries
  • The ‘Poets Translating Poets’ festival held in Mumbai from November 25-27,2016 to transcend boundaries of language and culture, through the act of translation and poetry
  • Nearly 51 poets from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Germany participated in the festival.
  • It was the culmination of a two-year-long Indo-German literary exchange project to address the issues of identity politics.