Daily Current Affairs Capsule 9th Jan 2017

Ex-Pak army chief Raheel Sharif appointed head of Islamic anti-terror alliance.

Former Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif has been made the head of a 39-nation military coalition formed by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism- Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT).

The Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) was created by Saudi Arabia in December 2015 to combat the Islamic State and other groups.

Currently, it has 39 members, including Turkey and Malaysia. It is based at a command centre in Riyadh.

The coalition includes countries like Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Sudan, Malaysia, Egypt, Yemen among others.


 

China setting up highest altitude telescopes close to LAC.

China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India, with a budget of $18.8 million.

The telescope aims to detect the faintest of echoes resonating from the universe, which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.

The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere.


 

Anti-avoidance tax rule GAAR to kick in from April 2017.

The tax department has clarified that tax anti-avoidance rule GAAR will kick in from April 1 in India. GAAR, which was originally to be implemented from April 1, 2014, will now come into effect from April 1, 2017 (Assessment Year 2018-19).

General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) was part of the 2012-13 Budget speech of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to check tax evasion and avoidance. However, its implementation was repeatedly postponed because of the apprehensions expressed by foreign investors. It contains provision allowing the government to prospectively tax overseas deals involving local assets.


 

PM Modi announces scheme to skill Indian youth seeking jobs abroad.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the government will shortly launch the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY) which is aimed at skilling Indians seeking employment abroad. The prime minister was speaking at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Bengaluru.

PKVY will train and certify Indians, who are keen on overseas employment in select sectors, in line with international standards.


 

EPFO makes Aadhaar mandatory for pensioners, members.

Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it mandatory for its about 50 lakh pensioners and around four crore subscribers to provide either Aadhaar or a proof that they have applied for it till month-end to remain a beneficiary of its social security schemes.

Central government contributes 1.16% of the basic wages as subsidy to every members Employees Pension Scheme Account in addition to 8.33% deposited by their employers every month. Since the government provides subsidy to an EPFO member, it has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targetted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, for the purpose.

Section 7 of the Act provides that where government provides subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India, an individual can be asked to undergo authentication, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number.


 

Agra and Sikkim have bagged positions in New York Times’ top travel destinations list.

Agra and Sikkim featured in New York Times’ list of ’52 Places to go to in 2017′.

While Agra has ranked third in the list, Sikkim has bagged the 17th position among the top travel destinations for this year.

Canada, on the other hand, has been declared the top travel destination of the year.


 

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll.

The Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifier Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100% transparency in elections.

In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the EVM, a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol would be printed for the voter.

The VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their votes were cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.


 

New Ginger species with medicinal properties found in Andamans.

Scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have found a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as Ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The species Zingiber pseudosquarrosum belonging to genus Zingiber, was already used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values.


 

Qantas named world’s safest airline 4th year running.

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas Airways Ltd’s fatality free record in the jet age means it is the world’s safest airline, for the fourth year running.

Ratings website AirlineRatings.com announced the carrier atop its Top 20 list on Friday, ahead of Cathy Pacific, Middle-eastern giant Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and local rival Virgin Australia.

“Qantas has been the lead airline in virtually every major operational safety advancement over the past 60 years.


 

Velavan Senthilkumar wins British Junior Open Under-19 Squash title.

Velavan Senthilkumar created history by winning the first-ever all-Indian Boys’ Under-19 final at the British Junior Open in Sheffield.

India also secured the bronze medal in this category after 9/16th seeded Adhitya Raghavan finished third.


 

Novak Djokovic ends Andy Murray’s winning run to clinch Doha title.

Novak Djokovic brought world No 1 Andy Murray’s 28-match winning streak to an end in Doha on Saturday to retain the Qatar Open title in a three-set thriller.

Serbian Djokovic won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a high-quality, action-packed match between the two best players in the world lasting almost three hours.

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