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National Current Affairs September 1st Week 2017
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National Current Affairs September 1st Week 2017

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate annual conference `Rajaswa Gyan Sangam`.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Rajaswa Gyan Sangam-2017 on September 1 at Vigyan Bhawan here. "Rajaswa Gyan Sangam” is scheduled to be held on September 1 and 2 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. In two-day conference, senior officers of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) & Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) will be participating. 

The valediction function of “Rajaswa Gyan Sangam” will be held on September 2. This is for the second time that a Joint Conference of the two Boards is being held under the umbrella of “Rajaswa Gyan Sangam”. According to a Finance Ministry official, for the first time ever, senior officers of the Finance Department of the States and Union Territories will be attending this event. 
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The objective of the Conference is to enable a two-way communication between the policy-makers and the senior officers in the field offices. This is with a view to increase revenue collection and facilitate effective implementation of law and policies in key result areas. Apart from the joint sessions, separate Technical Sessions of each Board will be held during the two-day Conference. 

Issues arising in implementation of policies and strategies to achieve targets in core functional areas will also be discussed. Such issues inter alia include HR issues,Litigation Management,Strategies for Revenue Maximisation,Tax Evasion, Taxpayer Services & GST etc. One of Plenary Sessions will be addressed by spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev where he will speak on “Inner Engineering–Technologies for Well Being". 

K V Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) will address the Joint Session on the second day of “Rajaswa Gyan Sangam”.
 
2. Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced 13 new railway bridges to be built in Pune district.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced 13 new railway bridges to be built in Pune district
The Union ministry for road transport, highways and shipping has finally given a green signal for the construction of 13 new Railway Over Bridges (ROB) in Pune district. The designing of the recently approved ROBs in the district, which is a part of 252 ROBs sanctioned for Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore, has been entrusted to College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP).

The decision was announced by Union minister Nitin Gadkari during his recent visit to the city. The announcement has come as a welcome decision, particularly because several proposals of constructing ROBs have been pending for long.

The ROBs will come up at Khadki, Pimpri and Talegaon along the old Mumbai-Pune highway. Some of the other routes where the ROBs have been finalised include Katraj-Kondhwa, Theur Phata- Lonikhand, Pune-Saswad, Talegaon-Chakan-Shikharapur, Lonavala-Pune-Shelarwadi and Pune-Daund. Sharing details of the same, BG Birajdar, Professor of Applied Mechanics at CoEP, said, “We are working on the design which will not only be innovative, but also ensure that the construction work is terminated within one year.”

The engineers are proposing to make extensive use of precast moulds of pillars, slabs and other components so that there will not be obstruction caused at the construction site.
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Officials are of the opinion that ROBs usually take longer time to be built as land acquisition is the major hurdle. In addition, the construction of ROBs was mostly delayed , escalating the cost by many folds. Works in rural areas, in particular, suffered due to the lack of basic amenities and limited availability supporting civil constructions adding to the transport cost of building materials. On an average, the cost of building an ROB is anywhere between Rs 25-30 crore.

“The proposed design will not only save construction time, but also be highly cost-effective as ready-to-be assembled concrete parts will be transported to the site. We are estimating the cost of ROBs built in this manner to be capped at Rs 15 crore per ROB.”Of the total cost of the construction estimated to be Rs 6,000 crore, the state and the central governments are expected to incur equal expenses. “The construction works of the ROBs will commence within a year and it will be carried out in a time-bound manner,” Gadkari stated. When asked about the status of the project, Birajdar said, “The design is ready and will be soon submitted to the state government. Once approved, the per-requisite works of civil engineering can be initiated.”
 
3. Central scheme for senior citizens launched in Gujarat.
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Union minister Thaawarchand Gehlot today launched a scheme that provides for physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens belonging to the BPL category. The centrally-sponsored scheme, `Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana’, was unveiled on April 1 this year and since then it has already been launched in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched the scheme at Savli town near here. Speaking on the occasion, Gehlot appreciated the efforts of the state government in helping senior citizens lead an independent and dignified life. Under the scheme, devices were distributed to senior citizens free of cost.
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These devices will help the elderly people overcome their age-related physical impairment and lead a dignified and productive life with minimal dependence on care givers or other members of the family, Gehlot said. “This ambitious scheme, first of its kind in the country, is expected to benefit 5,20,000 senior citizens over a period of three years.”

Under the scheme, aids and assisted-living devices like walking sticks, elbow crutches, walkers, tripods/quadpods, wheelchair, artificial dentures and spectacles are provided free of cost to eligible senior citizens. As per the Census figures of 2011, the population of senior citizens in India is 10.38 crore.

 4. Annual Conference ‘Rajaswa Gyan Sangam’ in New Delhi.

Annual Conference ‘Rajaswa Gyan Sangam’ in New Delhi
Standing firm despite the recent backlash, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government has taken steps such as demonetisation and implementation of stringent laws against black money and benami property to not only curb corruption, but also increase honest taxpayers’ confidence.

“The government is working to create an environment which shatters the confidence of the corrupt and instils confidence and trust amongst honest taxpayers,” he said at the Rajaswa Gyan Sangam, a two-day conference of tax officials of the Centre and the States.

His comments come at a time when the government is facing questions over the efficacy of the note ban, after the Reserve Bank of India said 99 per cent of the junked notes were returned.
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The Prime Minister also asked officials to use data analytics and proactively track and determine undeclared income and wealth.

Inaugurating the conference, he urged officers to keep the tax system friendly with minimum physical interface with taxpayers. The event was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior Ministry officials.

Modi asked for a push to be given to “e-assessment” and anonymity of proceedings using technology, so that vested interests do not impede the course of law, said an official release.

Given the large number of pending cases and huge amounts of revenue locked up in disputes, Modi asked tax officials to resolve them.

Underlining the benefit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said it had increased transparency and widened the tax base.
 
5. SAAB Ties up With Adani Group to Build Gripen E fighter jets in India.
SAAB Ties up With Adani Group to Build Gripen E fighter jets in India
Swedish defence major SAAB announced its tie-up with Adani Group to manufacture the Gripen E fighter jets in India under the Defence Ministry’s $10 billion single-engine fighter jet procurement programme.

The announcement comes within months of US’ Lockheed Martin announcing its joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems for producing the latest version of F-16 in India.

“SAAB is looking for long-term partnership and willing to transfer technology and skills. Gripen will be offered to the Indian government as one of the best solution for India’s single engine fighter aircraft,” said Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group, here on Friday announcing the joint venture.

In October last year, the Indian Air Force had floated a request for information (RFI) to leading aerospace players globally to come up with their offers.Subsequently, the Defence Ministry narrowed down its choice to SAAB’s Gripen E and Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70.

“We will be building a new fighter with the latest technology … We believe we have a strong partnership that could enable and fulfil the requirements of the government,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and President, SAAB.
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The $800-million SAAB Aeronautics, which has already bagged $5 billion worth of global orders for Gripen, is planning to set up an entire production and assembly line in India to co-produce the jets under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Gripen had lost out to Rafale in 2011 during a bidding process for medium multi-role combat aircraft.

However, the company has upgraded the Gripen since then. Gripen is now being used by the air forces of Hungary, Thailand, South Africa, Brazil and Czech Republic.

Apparently, talks were revived when Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year in February when the deal with Adani was also sealed.

 

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