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20October 2017 - Current Affairs

I-T dept launches 'online chat' to answer taxpayers' queries

  • Income Tax (I-T) Department has launched an online chat service for taxpayers so that they can seek answers to their basic queries and doubts relating to direct tax issues.
  • A window has been hosted on the main page of the department's website “incometaxindia.gov.in” with a prominent icon stating Live Chat Online- ask your query.
  • A person can enter the 'chat room' by furnishing an email-id and ask questions as a guest.
  • A team of experts from the department and independent tax practitioners has been deputed to answer the general queries of a taxpayer.

Maharashtra government releases Rs 4000 crore in phase 1 of loan waiver scheme

  • The Maharashtra Govt. has released the sum of 4,000 crore rupees under the first phase of the over 34,000 crore rupees farm loan waiver scheme.
  • A list of 8.4 lakh beneficiaries has been uploaded online and it would be sent to banks.
  • From a single bank account, money will be transferred to banks and they will be asked to deposit the money in farmers' accounts as per the list.

Centre reduces call rates on Satellite Phone used by armed forces

  • The Union Govt. has abolished the monthly charges on Digital Satellite Phone Terminal (DSPT) and reduced call rates to 1 rupee per minute to personnel of military and paramilitary.
  • The Defence, as well as paramilitary personel will be able to make calls to their families using the satellite phone for Rs 1 per minute (existing Rs 5 per minute).
  • Now, no monthly fee will be taken for using the service.
Note: DSPT service provided by BSNL is used by soldiers and officers of various army and para-military units deployed in remote and far-flung areas as no other means of communications are available in such areas.

Arunachal Assembly approves Kamle as 23rd district

  • The Arunachal Assembly passed a bill paving way for creation of a new district to be named Kamle (bifurcating Subansiri districts).
  • Now, the total number of districts in the state shot up to 23.
  • It consists of six administrative units, three under Lower Subansiri and three under Upper Subansiri.

Assam Government launches new Tourism policy

  • Assam state cabinet has launched a new Tourism policy- 'Tourism Policy of Assam 2017' with the aim of increasing tourist inflow in the state two to three folds within the next five years.
  • Its main focus to make Assam a filmmaking destination by offering a range of incentives to movie producers to come and shoot in the state.
  • The new policy will be effective starting January 2018 till December 2022.

Banks to provide funds at 7% to women SHGs under DAY-NRLM: RBI

  • According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banks will provide funds to women self help groups (SHGs) in rural areas at 7% under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) in the current fiscal.
  • The central bank issued the revised guidelines on interest subvention scheme under DAY-NRLM, as received from the Ministry of Rural Development for implementation by 21 public sector banks and 19 private banks.
  • All women SHGs will be eligible for interest subvention on credit up to 3 lakh rupees at 7 % per annum.
  • Banks will be subvented to the extent of difference between the Weighted Average Interest Charged and 7 % subject to the maximum limit of 5.5 % for the year 2017-18.
  • The interest subvention scheme on credit to women SHG during 2017-18 is applicable in 250 districts across the country.

Environmental scientist Schellnhuber receives Blue Planet Prize

  • The world’s most prestigious award for pioneers in environmental science has been given to Hans Joachim Schellnhuber in Tokyo.
  • The Blue Planet Prize honors outstanding thinkers who help to meet challenges of planetary dimensions.

India, Brazil & South Africa sign IBSA Trust Fund agreement

  • India, Brazil and South Africa signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to fight poverty in developing countries.
  • The agreement was signed by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh who led the Indian side at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban.
  • The IBSA Trust Fund brings together the three emerging economies of India, Brazil and South Africa to combat poverty in other developing countries.
  • Each country contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.

South Africa displace India from top of ODI rankings

  • India lost their number one status in ICC ODI rankings to South Africa.
  • Now, India and South Africa have identical 120 points against their name, India is placed second on the basis of decimal points.
  • Recently, India had claimed the top spot in the ICC rankings following their 4-1 win over Australia at home recently.
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