Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Starred Articles

Government to liberalise Arms Act Rules with conditions
India > Arm Act Rules > May 02
While the government loosens restrictions on obtaining gun licenses, certain new safety rules are likely to be introduced to keep the gun holders in check. With a view to ensure people handle licensed arms responsibly, some of the safety measures include carrying a firearm in a holster and ban on firing in the air at marriages, fairs and public events. Failure to abide by the guidelines will lead to cancellation of weapon license.

Bharti and Future group to come together for retail business
Corporate > Bharti-Future Group Merger > May 05
The Kishore Biyani led Future Group and Sunil Mittal led Bharati Group entered into a joint venture of Rs. 750 crores to start a retail chain of more than 570 stores across India. Both the groups Future and Bharti own convenience stores Big Bazaar and Easyday respectively. The Bharti group has been looking for a partner since 2013 when their deal with Walmart could not get through. The Future Group will roughly hold a 47% stake in the partnership, while the Bharti group will hold a 20% stake.

GST bill for uniform tax regime approved by Lok Sabha
India > GST Bill > May 06
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill was passed in Lok Sabha by 352 votes against 37 after the rejection of opposition's demand of referring it to Standing Committee. Government has assured that following the implementation of the bill, the new uniform indirect tax rate will be much less than
27 per cent recommended by an expert panel. GST is proposed to be implemented from April 1 2016 and will subsume excise, service tax, state VAT, entry tax, octroi and other state levies.


Union cabinet allows the continuation of a minimum pension of Rs. 1000
Economy > Pension > Apr 30
The union government approved the continuation of the minimum Rs. 1000 pension. The decision comes as a relief to over 20 lakh retired employees in the organised sector, covered under the pension scheme of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The Employees' Pension Scheme, which was effective from September 2014, had expired on March 31, 2015, after which EPFO had restored to the earlier provision that had led to widespread protests from trade unions. A large number of member pensioners under the EPS received low pensions, because it was calculated on the basis of either pensionable service or on average of last sixty months' wages.

Kashmiri pandits fight for separate townships
India > Kashmiri Pandits > May 04
Displaced Kashmiri pandits staged a protest in a fit of anger over the incapability of state and central government to facilitate their return to the valley. The protesters demanded immediate steps for their rehabilitation in the valley and a separate township for themselves. They also demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir Government reopen prosecution cases against all those involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley in 1990s.

Asaduddin Owaisi objects to conferring Bharat Ratna on Vajpayee, Padma Vibhushan on Advani
India > Asaduddin Owaisi > May 04
All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi objected to conferring Bharat Ratna on former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Padma Vibhushan on BJP veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani. Speaking about L K Advani, Owaisi said state honours cannot be given to a person facing criminal cases for his involvement in the Babri Masjid demolition. As to Vajpayee, Owaisi alleged that the BJP stalwart had made some controversial comments on the Ayodhya issue.

Permanent Account Number now mandatory for Central Excise Registration
Economy > PAN > May 04
The government has made Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory for private firms seeking Central Excise Registration. According to the new simplified rules formed by the Finance Ministry, the registration will be granted within two working days after an online application. However, Government entities are exempted from mentioning their PAN on the application form.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Texas cartoon attack
World > Texas Attack > May 05
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for a recent attack in Texas, where cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed were displayed. An audio tape from the terrorist group's Al Bayan radio station claimed two soldiers of the organisation carried out the attack.

Arvind Kejriwal's government to monitor content of news channels
Politics and Government > AAP > May 05
Delhi government has decided to keep a close tab on all news channels after accusing media of conspiring against AAP. Directorate of Information and Publicity (DIP) officials have been asked to monitor the content broadcast by the news channels from 9 AM to 11 AM. Kejriwal recently said that their win at the Delhi elections has resulted in certain 'defame' AAP campaigns run by a section of the media with an aim to finish off AAP.

Demand to raise criteria of 'creamy layer' from Rs. 6 lakhs to Rs. 10.5 lakhs
India > Reservation > May 05
The National Commission for Backward Classes has asked the central government to raise the present criteria of 'creamy layer' OBC (other backward class) candidates from the present Rs. 6 lakhs per annum to Rs. 10.5 lakhs per annum. The 'creamy layer' separates the poor OBC's from the well-off ones, who are ineligible for government reservation. The commission has also demanded that the evaluation criteria for selection be toned down to fill the 27% quota, which is well short of the target.

Bollywood star Salman Khan sentenced to 5-yr jail term in hit-and-run case
India > Supreme Court > May 06
Bollywood actor Salman Khan was found guilty of all the charges in the 2002 hit-and-run case by a sessions court. Following this, the actor has been sentenced to five years in prison as the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder were proved.
On September 22, Salman's car had rammed into a roadside bakery in Bandra West which left four people sleeping outside injured. One of them died later. Khan has the option to appeal in the Bombay High court against the sessions court’s verdict.

Government takes a U turn on its stand, says Dawood is in Pakistan
Politics and Government > Dawood Ibrahim > May 06
Deviating from its initial stand about the unawareness of Dawood Ibrahim's whereabouts, the government on Tuesday said that the underworld don is indeed hiding in Pakistan. The government also said that it is serious about extraditing the fugitive gangster to India, where he is the most wanted criminal. The government further said that, despite of giving information about the location of Dawood, the Pakistani government has been non-cooperative to extradite him to India.

Protests in Assam over government’s decision over land swapping with Bangladesh
Politics and Government > Land Swapping Deal > May 06
Protests erupted in Assam after the union government included the state along with three others in a bill called as the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) to initiate land swapping deal with Bangladesh. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) staged the protests where effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were burnt. Initially, Assam was kept out of the LBA, but the government had to bow down before the opposition's demand to include Assam in the bill as well. The LBA was signed in the year 1974 itself but could not be implemented till date. The LBA includes legislation to pass enclaves from the states of Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya and to acquire enclaves from Bangladesh.


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