Current Affairs Assam – April 2018
( Covers all important Assam Current Affairs & GK topics for the month of April 2018 )
India ranked as 10th in the Commonwealth Innovation Index 2018
As per the 2018 Commonwealth Innovation Index, India fetched 10th position in the index topped by the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Canada. The index was launched on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub.
The Commonwealth Innovation Index has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII). It is aimed at providing a tool that allows member states, organizations and citizens to benchmark themselves against 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
FACTFILE – Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)
- It is a biennial (every two years) summit meeting of the heads of government from all the Commonwealth nations.
- Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state and is chaired by that nation’s respective Prime Minister or President who becomes the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office until the next meeting.
- The first Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in 1971.
Samsung is India’s most Trusted brand, SBI in Banking: TRA Brand Trust Report
The TRA Brand Trust Report 2018 (BTR 2018) lists India’s 1000 Most Trusted brands in categories ranging from technology to FMCG to automobiles to personal accessories. Once again, Samsung has emerged as the brand Indians trust the most, topping the list second year in a row.
Two more conumer electronics brands Sony and LG finished second and third, respectively, retaining their 2017 rankings. Technology giant Apple, which grabbed the fourth slot in 2017, has slipped one rank, swapping its place with last year’s fifth rank holder Tata, India’s leading multinational conglomerate.
Also maintaining its position among the top 10 is Dell, which has risen two ranks to bag the 6th slot in 2018. Honda is at 7th position, followed by Nike which has taken a quantum jump from 37th rank in 2017 to 8th rank in 2018. Next on the list is Hewlett Packard, which has taken a two-rank jump over last year, while Maruti Suzuki settled for the 10th slot after a three-rank fall since 2017. Google has entered the top 20 list for the first time.
The State Bank of India was the most-trusted bank (both public and private sector) in the country and ICICI Bank topped the chart among the private ones. State Bank of India also tops the chart of BFSI (Banking and Financial Services Institutions) super-category.
GoM recommends uniform road tax structure for the entire country
The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by the Union road transport and highways ministry has recommended a uniform structure of road tax for vehicles across states. The GoM meeting was held in Guwahati, Assam. The GoM is headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan.
The meeting was attended by transport ministers from Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Jharkhand.
Recommendations of Group of Ministers (GOM)
- The group recommends that the motor vehicle taxes should be charged by all the states on the basis of invoice price of the vehicles. The rates of road tax across the states be harmonized.
- Uniform tax should be based on invoice price of the vehicles in three slabs. 8% tax on vehicles below 10 lakhs, 10% tax on vehicles below 10-20 lakhs, 12% tax on vehicles for above 20 lakhs and the tax on diesel vehicles by 2% while the tax on electric vehicles will be given 2% discount.
- Transfer of vehicles from one state to another will be allows without levying road tax.
Govt. to roll out initiatives prevention and control for viral hepatitis
The Union Health Ministry has decided to roll out an initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis. The National Health Mission (NHM) has decided to roll out ‘Integrated initiative for prevention & control of viral hepatitis’ with a budget of more than 517 crore rupees for a period of three years.
Under this initiative the ministry intends to scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over a period of next three years. The Ministry is also planning to set up 50 state laboratories for assisting in diagnosis and training of the district hospitals for screening of hepatitis.
FACTFILE – Viral hepatitis
- It is a liver inflammation due to viral infection, It may present in acute or chronic forms.
- The most common causes of viral hepatitis are the five unrelated hepatotropic viruses hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E.
- Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. Effective treatments for hepatitis C are available but expensive.
- Strict personal hygiene and the avoidance of raw and unpeeled foods can help prevent an infection.
The Madras HC became the 1st court in south India to introduce e-court fee payment facility
The Madras High Court became the first court in south India and eighth in India to introduce e-court fee payment facility. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Chief Justice Indira Banerjee jointly launched the facility at the principal seat of the High Court here as well as its Madurai Bench.
(i) The new system will enable litigants who file cases in High Court to pay judicial stamp duty to the government through e-stamps, which can be purchased both online and offline. (ii) It will pave way for easier and secured way of paying stamp duty. The e-stamp can be purchased online through website of stock holding corporation after simple registration process.
(iii) The user-manual for generating e-court fee is made available in the high court’s official website. Payments can be made through the website www.shcilestamp.com.
World Earth Day 2018 celebrated on 22 April
Every year Earth Day is being observed on 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around world and to encourage people to carry out activities that will benefit Earth.
The theme for 2018 Earth Day is ‘End Plastic Pollution’.
It also raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.
FACTFILE – Earth Day
- Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.
- On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries.This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
- In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere
- While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.
- Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on the environmental issues that the world faces. In 2017, the March for Science occurred on Earth Day (April 22, 2017) and was followed by the People’s Climate Mobilization (April 29, 2017).
Reserve Bank of India amends KYC guidelines
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI has revised “Know Your Customer” or the KYC guidelines. RBI has made linking of national biometric ID Aadhaar to bank accounts mandatory. The KYC norms have been revised following the government’s decision to update the ‘Prevention of Money Laundering’ rules in June 2017.
Till now, an Officially Valid Document (OVD) for address proof together with Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax department and a recent passport size photograph were the key KYC documents.
While, in the amended Customer Due Diligence (CDD) procedure the Aadhaar number, the PAN or Form No. 60″ need to be obtained from an individual who is eligible for applying for the biometric ID.