Current Affairs Roundup : 1-10 January, 2017

Here’s a quick round-up of major events that took place in the first 10 days of the new year.

1. 12 new coastal spots have been identified along the 121-kilometer coast of Sindhudurg, Maharashtra.
  • These spots will be developed for various sea activities like scuba diving etc.
2. 50-kilometre long floating walkway was opened on the Hongshui river in China’s Guizhou province.
  • The walkway is supported by more than 2,00,000 floating objects and is designed to rise and fall according to fluctuating water levels. The walkway was inaugurated on the new years’ eve. 
3. The Environment Ministry of India has proposed new rules to regulate dog breeding centers. Under this, medication, record keeping and sterilization of dogs will be monitored.
  • The draft rule known as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules, 2017) has prohibited from breeding, owning or housing (for breeding) of dogs and pups without registration.
  • The rules also prescribe requirements to be met by registered breeders for breeding and housing of dogs.
  • The Government has also laid down conditions for medical care, age, pet shop licenses, record keeping and sterilization for sale of these dogs.
4. Worlds’ football governing body, FIFA has approved plans to expand the World Cup from a 32-team to a 48-team tournament from the year 2026 onwards. 
  • There will be a total of 80 games under the new format. Currently, in the 32-team schedule, 64 matches are played overall. 
  • The FIFA Council unanimously approved the format at a vote in Zurich under the presidency of Gianni Infantino.

5. India and Singapore signed the third protocol for amending the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement).
  • The India-Singapore DTAA at present provides for residence based taxation of capital gains of shares in a company. The Third Protocol amends the DTAA with effect from 1st April, 2017 to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on transfer of shares in a company. This will curb revenue loss, prevent double non-taxation and streamline the flow of investments.
  • The Third Protocol also inserts provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. This is a taxpayer friendly measure.
  • It also enables application of domestic law and measures concerning prevention of tax avoidance or tax evasion.
6. Businessman Jovonel Moise (the Banana Man) has won the Haitian Presidential Elections and will presume office from 7 February, 2017. 
7.  Finland has introduced basic income for the unemployed. 
  • Finland has become the first country in Europe to pay its unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum, in a social experiment that will be watched around the world amid gathering interest in the idea of a universal basic income.
  • Under the two-year, nationwide pilot scheme, which began on 1 January, 2,000 unemployed Finns aged 25 to 58 will receive a guaranteed sum of €560 (£475). The income will replace their existing social benefits and will be paid even if they find work.
8. During the meeting of Indian Urban Development Minister M. Venkiah Naidu with the Japanese ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu, it was announced that Japan would assist India in building 100 smart cities in the country by 2020.
  • These smart cities would have facilities like proper water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, IT connectivity and e-governance, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, among others.
9. India and Kazakhstan signed a protocol to amend Double Taxation Avoidance Convention. 
  • The protocol aims at strengthening measures against fiscal evasion with respect to income taxes.
10. H1-B and L-1 visa reform bill has reintroduced in the US assembly in order to stop the misuse of these and to encourage companies to hire Americans instead of foreigners.
  • The H1-B and L-1 visas are non-immigrant visas issued by the US government which allow companies to hire skilled workers from other nations so as to compensate for the shortage of labor.  
11. India and Portugal signed 6 agreements to improve bilateral relations between the two countries (on 7 January, 2016). 
  • These MoUs were signed in various areas such as- IT and Electronics, Agriculture and Allied Sectors, Renewable Energy, Marine research and resources and defence.
  • These were signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa during his seven-day visit to India.
  • Both sides also agreed to accord priority to boost start- ups and creating favourable ecosystems for entrepreneurship. 
12. In an effort to engage African nations in a big way, the Modi government signed an MoU with Kenya in the agriculture and allied services sector.
  • This MoU will sets the expansion of bilateral trade, greater flow of capital between two countries and stronger developmental partnership as a priority.
  • The MoU also commits to strengthen cooperation against terror threats from extremist groups.
  • India invited Kenya to join the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and also offering its expertise in the area of LED smart street lighting and LED bulbs for domestic use.

That’s it for the first 10 days of the month. Stay tuned for more.





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