Daily Current Affairs 27th April, 2017
US President Donald Trump has introduced biggest tax reform plan in the history of United States.
- As per the proposals of the new plan, major cuts have been made in the income tax rate. the income tax rates have been slashed from 39.6% to 35%. The new plan has also sharply slashed the business taxes.
- Steep discounts have been announced on corporate profits that are brought back into the US. The new plan proposes for a 15% corporate tax rate which is a sharp drop from the existing 35%. In addition, the new reforms aim to move to a territorial tax system that provides relief to both small and large businesses.
- It is also proposed to repeal the estate tax, the alternative minimum tax.
- In addition, tax relief will be provided to the families with child and dependent care expenses. Further, the number of tax brackets is expected to be brought down to three from seven. However, under the US law, only the Congress is empowered to make major changes to the tax laws.
- These reforms are hailed as the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of the United States. According to the economists, the new tax reforms are likely to add trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade. As far as India is concerned, the reforms are expected to further push up stock markets which have already responded positively.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
e-SOT and e-PRAN card launched for Atal Pension Yojana subscribers
- With a view to digitally empower the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers and improve the quality of service, the facility of online viewing of the statement of the transaction (e-SOT) and also the e- Permanent Retirement Account Number (e-PRAN card) have been launched.
- More than 45 lacs APY subscribers will be benefitted with this initiative.
Over Rs.one lakh cr investment approved for housing of urban poor
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has sanctioned 1,00,537 more houses for urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) with an investment of Rs.4,200 cr taking the total investment so far approved to Rs.1,00,466 cr.
- With the latest sanctions, the Ministry has so far approved construction of 18,75,389 houses for Economically Weaker Sections under PMAY(Urban) in 2,151 cities and towns in 34 States/UTs as against 13.80 lakh houses sanctioned during 2004-15 with an approved investment of Rs.32,009 cr.
- The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
- Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.
- Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
- Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.
- Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.
Centre Takes 10 New Swachh Iconic Places under Swachh Bharat Mission Phase II
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission, was held recently at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, in Jammu & Kashmir.
- On this occasion, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar announced 10 new Iconic places to be taken under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. These ten new iconic places which are to be brought to a higher standard of swachhta and visitors’ amenities are-
- Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain
- Char Minar, Hyderabad
- Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi, Goa
- Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam
- Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola
- Baijnath Dham, Devghar
- Gaya Tirth in Bihar and
- Somnath temple in Gujarat.
India successfully test-fires Agni-III ballistic missile
- India successfully carried out a fresh user trial of 3,000-kilometer range Agni-III ballistic missile from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.
- The Strategic Forces Command with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the test from launch pad No. 4 of the Integrated Test Range.
India to host 18th World Road Meeting
- India is set to host the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017) on November 13, 2017 according to the International Road Federation (IRF).
- The WRM is the biggest global platform for road engineers, safety and transport experts and companies engaged in road safety products.
- The theme of this year’s edition is ‘Safe Roads and Smart Mobility: The Engines of Economic Growth’. The WRM is held every four years.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft successfully travels between Saturn and its rings
- Recently, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft completed its final close flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan and has now started its final set of 22 orbits before plunging into Saturn on September 15, 2017, and thus completing its 20-year long journey.
- Already, Cassini has dived successfully through the space between Saturn and its rings, a region no spacecraft has been before. It will perform another 21 dives through the same gap and will send more detailed information about Saturn and its rings.
- These series of 22 manoeuvres that brings Cassini closer to Saturn’s surface before plunging into it is called as the spacecraft’s “grand finale.”
- The spacecraft will provide the radar team with the final set of new images of the hydrocarbon seas and lakes that are present in Titan’s North Polar Region.
ISRO launches solar calculator app
- ISRO has launched a solar calculator app that can calculate the benefits of installing solar panels in different regions of the country.
- The app has been created by the Space Application Center (SAC) facility of ISRO following the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s request.
- The app comes handy for installation of Photovoltaic (PV) for tapping of solar energy.
UNESCO to screen Indian short film as part of World Press Freedom Day
- UNESCO to screen Rahul V. Chittella’s short film “Azaad” as a part of World Press Freedom Day event that is scheduled to be held from May 1-4 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- The movie is about the dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son. World Press Freedom Day is celebrated by UNESCO to celebrate the principle of freedom of the press
- The theme for this year’s edition of World Press Freedom Day is “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies“.
- May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day every year to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom as well as to evaluate the freedom of press around the world. It serves as an occasion to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who died while doing their profession.
Veteran actor Vinod Khanna passes away
- Veteran actor and politician Vinod Khanna has expired at the age of 70.
- He was said to be suffering from cancer.
- Khanna is married twice and is survived by four children.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe pageant
- Srishti Kaur of India has been crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017 at Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.
- She won after beating 25 contestants from across the world. In addition, she also bagged an award for the best national costume. Her costume featured a peacock, the Indian national bird.
- She succeeds Nieveles Gonzalez of Puerto Rico as the Miss Teen Universe.
- Kaur had also won the title of Miss Teen Tiara International at the beginning of this year beating 29 contestants
Nita Ambani made member of IOC’s Olympic Channel Commission
- India’s first woman International Olympic Committee member Nita Ambani has made it to two important commissions of the global sports governing body, including the prestigious Olympic channel.
- Besides the Olympic Channel, Ms. Ambani has also been made a member of Olympic education Commission as IOC announced the composition of 26 commissions for 2017.
- Ambani has replaced International Paralympic Committee President Philip Craven. She will serve the position till she turns 70.