Daily GK Potion – 20th January 2016

  1. India slips to 89th rank on global talent competitiveness
    • Reflecting an acute shortage of skilled labour force and difficult business conditions, India has slipped 11 places to rank 89th on a global index of talent competitiveness, a list which has been topped by Switzerland.
    • Switzerland is followed by Singapore, Luxembourg, the US and Denmark in the top five positions on the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTC) released on Tuesday by INSEAD
    • India’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries, with China leading the pack with a global rank of 48.
    • Last year, India was ranked 78th on the index that measures a nation’s competitiveness based on the quality of talent it can produce, attract and retain.
  2. Bihar Cabinet Approves 35 Percent Job Reservation for Women
    • The Bihar cabinet has formally approved 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs in the state.
    • During campaigning for the Bihar assembly polls last year, Nitish Kumar, who was chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance of Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, had promised 35 percent reservation for women in all government jobs if he formed a government again.
  3. Maharashtra government, Tata Trust ink MoU for skill training of youth
    • The Maharashtra government and Tata Trust today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a skill training programme for the youth in the state.
    • This programme will help make one lakh youths employable
    • The programme has been undertaken under the state government’s “Kushal Maharashtra, Rojgaryukt Maharashtra” initiative.
    • Under the programme, skill development and vocational training centres will be set up in 10 districts in the state. Virtual classrooms will also be set up in 100 ITIs in Maharashtra.
    • The Trust will improve infrastructure in Industrial Training Institutes.
  4. Journalist Aroon Tikekar passes away
    • Senior journalist and scholar Aroon Tikekar, who authored over 20 books, passed away here today due to breathing-related complications. He was 72.
    • Tikekar, who worked as a college teacher for some years, had also been a Language and Literature Expert and Acquisitions Specialist at the US Library of Congress Office, New Delhi.
    • He is the recipient of several literary and journalism awards, and was a adjunct professor in the Department of Journalism and Communications, University of Pune.
  5. Easwar panel recommends lower capital gains tax
    • The RV Easwar Committee on simplification of income tax laws has suggested amendments to allow for lower capital gains tax on annual earning of less than Rs. 5 lakh from share trading rather than treating it as a business income
    • It has suggested taxing the gains at 15 per cent and not 30 per cent
    • On the issue of disallowance under Section 14A, it has proposed that the dividends received after levy of dividend distribution as well as income from shares that have already been taxed at the firm’s hands will not be treated as exempt income and no expenditure will be disallowed on them.
    • It has proposed raising the TDS rate on winnings from lotteries, horse races and crossword puzzles to 30 per cent.
  6. Cabinet approves new power tariff policy
    • The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new power tariff policy that aims at promoting clean energy, better regulation of discoms and faster rollout of investments.
    • Besides encouraging faster roll-out of investment, the new policy will reflect a concern for environment and encourage renewable energy.
    • Indicating that the policy will focus on clean energy, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had recently said: “Now that we have a challenge to add 1.75 lakh MW of renewable energy, we are also bringing in certain more elements in tariff policy which will promote renewable energy.”
    • Under the policy, the power plants will have to use processed municipal waste water available in their vicinity (in 100 km radius).
  7. Union Government sanctioned 33000 crore rupees for infrastructure projects in Tamilnadu
    • Union Government has sanctioned 33000 crore rupees for the development of infrastructure projects in Tamilnadu.
    • Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari announced the sanctioned amount and at his discretion, he announced additional 17000 crore rupees.
    • With this, the total amount sanctioned was raised to 50000 crore rupees.
    • The infrastructure projects include construction of Rail-Over-Bridges, upgradation of state highways into National Highways and major bridges in the state.
  8. Mamta Binani elected President of ICSI
    • Mamta Binani has been elected President of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) for 2016. She took charge on January 19.
    • A commerce and law graduate and a fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Binani was the all-India topper in the Intermediate examinations of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India, amongst all the lady candidates in India and had ranked 14th on an all-India basis.
    • She has been practising as a Company Secretary for over 19 years now.
    • Binani has been an empanelled trainer with ICICI Bank, and also with the mutual fund industry. She is also associated with the financial sector, the education sector, and is an experienced mentor and counsellor to young professionals and students. She also serves as an independent director on a few of the boards.

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