February 1 Current Affairs

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1. Highlights of Union Budget 2018-2019

  • No changes in personal income tax slabs.
  • Salaried tax-payers to get a standard deduction of40,000 in lieu of transport allowance and “other medical expenses”.
  • 2,000-crore fund for development of agri markets.
  • All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of a deduction of 50,000 for any medical insurance.
  • For critical illnesses, the deduction has been increased to1,00,000.
  • Free power connections to 4 crore homes under Saubhagya Yojana.
  • Eight crore free gas connections for poor women through Ujjwala Yojana.
  • Govt. to implement minimum support price for all crops; It is hiked to 1.5 times of production costs.

  • Govt. to contribute 12% of wages of new employees for all sectors.
  • New flagship National Health Protection Scheme, providing a health insurance cover of 5 lakh per family per year announced.
  • Railway capex for 2018-19 set at 1.48 lakh crore.
  • Disinvestment target for this year set at 80,000 crore.
  • Automatic revision of emoluments parliamentarians every five years, pegged to inflation.
  • Union Budget 2018-2019

Takeaways

  1. Union Budget   – Annual financial statement
  2. Three types of government budgets   
  • Balanced Budget
  • Deficit Budget
  • Surplus

2. Govt to contribute 12% of wages in EPF for new employees in all sectors

  • Government will pay the 12 per cent of wages to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution on behalf of new employees in all sections for the next three years.Mr. Jaitley also said the Employees Provident Fund Act will be amended to reduce contribution of women to eight per cent from 12 per cent with no change in employer’s contribution.
  • This would effectively mean women employees will be able to get a higher take-home pay.According to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), 36.8 lakh new members in the age group of 18-25 years were added as of November 2017

Takeaways

  1. Founded  –  4 March 1952
  2. Website    –  www.epfindia.gov.in

3. Indian pugilists win eight gold medals

  • Sanjeet Singh and Mary Kom led the host to eight gold medals in the Spicejet India Open international boxing championship on Thursday.
  • It was a fine success rate for India to win eight out of the 18 finals, with three gold medals emerging out of all-India finals. The host collected 40 medals to sweep $41,000 of the $100,000 at stake, with gold medallists getting $2500, silver $1000 and bronze $500.

Takeaways

  1. Country of origin  –  Prehistoric
  2. Olympic sport      –   688 BC (Ancient Greece) 1904 (modern)

4. customs duty  hike to spike mobile prices

  • Reversing the trend in Budget 2018, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has increased customs duty on several imported products, a move that would adversely impact a segment of consumers.
  • The higher customs duty would make the products expensive. The Finance Minister also proposed to increase customs duty on mobile phones from 15% to 20%, on some of their parts and accessories to 15% and many other items.The prices of imported high end mobile phones like iPhone would be costlier by 4 to 5%

5. Graduates from IIT, NIT to teach in rural areas

  • More than 1,200 youngsters with Ph.D and M. Tech degrees from institutions like Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and National Institutes of Technology will spend the next three years teaching at 53 government engineering colleges in rural areas of districts lagging behind in technical education,Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Takeaways

  1. IIT – Indian Institutes of Technology
  2. NIT – National Institute of Technology

6. crypto currencies splits opinion

  • The Finance Minister’s statement in his Budget speech on crypto currencies does not mean that it is illegal to hold these currencies, but only means it is illegal to transact using them in place of legal tender, according to industry players and analysts.
  • “The Government does not consider crypto currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Mr Jaitley said during his speech. “The Government will explore use of block chain technology pro-actively for ushering in digital economy,” he added.

Takeaways

  1. A cryptocurrency is a digital asset
  2. cryptocurrency – decentralized currency

7. Personal Tax 

  • Personal tax proposals There have been no changes in the personal tax slab rates in the final pre-election Budget announced by the Finance Minister

Takeaways

  1. Finance Minister – Arun jaitley (26 May 2014-till now)
  2. Former  Finance Minister   – P. Chidambaram (31 July 2012)

8.Relay fast continues for reopening NSF

  • Sugar factory was closed 2 years ago .The relay hunger strike launched for the second time under the banner of the Nizam Sugar Factory Protection Committee (NSFPC) comprising different political parties, people’s organisations and trade unions demanding the reopening of the sugar factory in Bodhan

Takeaways

  1. Bodhan is a town in Nizamabad district
  2. Location – Indian state of Telangana

9. Engine-less ‘trainsets’ from ICF

  • Sources from the ICF said that in the new trainsets, the locomotive will be replaced with driver cabins at either end of the train. They will travel at 160 kms per hour, which is known as semi-high speed in railway parlance.
  • “These are made in India, self-propelled, best-in-class trainsets for Indian Railways. The conventional train with an engines will have to slow down when it enters the platform. It also accelerates slowly. Due to this, a lot of time is wasted in every station,” said a ICF source.“It is in the initial stages and the train is expected to be rolled out by June this year. The Railway Board will decide on where the trains will be rolled out first,” the official said.

Takeaways

  1. ICF –   Integral Coach Factory
  2. ICF also exports rail cars to other countries including Thailand , Burma, Taiwan, Zambia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Angola and Sri Lanka.

10.  KTPS Unit 12 boiler light-up test proves successful

  • The Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TS-Genco) has successfully conducted the boiler light up test for the unit 12 (1X800 MW) at the Kothagudem Thermal Power Station (KTPS) in Palvancha townThe event marked a significant milestone towards commissioning the KTPS’s ambitious 800 MW supercritical unit under Stage-VII.

Takeaways

  1. Chief Minister – K. Chandrasekhar Rao
  2. Managing Director  of KTPS -Mr. Prabhakar Rao

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