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Daily Current Affairs (28th December - 2016)

National

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/P-Rama-Mohana-Rao.jpgFormer Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary terms raid a ‘constitutional assault’

  • Former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao lashed out at the Central and State governments calling the recent income tax raid on his house and official chamber in the Secretariat a “constitutional assault” on his high office, alleging procedural violations in the operation and debunking reports of large-scale seizures.
  • He denied any links with Sekhar Reddy, a businessman and public works contractor arrested by the CBI and whose properties were also raided by the taxmen the previous week.
  • On December 21, the Income-Tax department conducted extensive searches at the houses and offices of Mr. Rao and his family members in Chennai, Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh where they seized Rs. 30 lakh cash and five kg of gold.

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/Rahul-Gandhi.jpgRahul seeks white paper on demonetisation, raises 5 questions

  • Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi sought a white paper on demonetisation, posed five questions and put forth an equal number of demands to the government.
  • How much black money has been unearthed since November 8, 2016?
  • What is the economic loss to the nation? How many jobs and livelihoods have been lost since the announcement?
  • How many lives have been lost due to demonetisation? Why has the government not paid any compensation to the families of the deceased?
  • What was the process of consultation and preparedness followed prior to the implementation? Why were experts, economists or the RBI not consulted prior to the announcement?
  • Will the government place the names of all persons and entities that deposited Rs. 25 lakh or more in bank accounts in the six months preceding November 8?

Following are the demands:-
    All restrictions on withdrawal of money should be removed with immediate effect.
    The rate of rations under th PDS should be halved for the period of a year.
    Rs. 25,000 should be deposited in the account of at least one woman in each BPL family.
    Number of guaranteed workdays and the wage rate under MGNREGA should be doubled for a year.
    Small shopkeepers and traders should get income tax and sales tax rebate of 50 per cent.

International

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/Hua-Chunying.jpgChina calls for "strategic balance" in South Asia after Agni-V test-firing

  • Without referring to Pakistan, China advocated “preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia,” after India successfully test-fired Agni-V ballistic missile.
  • China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in response to a question.
  • Agni V , with a range above 5000 km, can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes, three times the minimum weight of an atomic warhead. It is also more survivable to a counterstrike, as it is mounted on a TATRA truck, which imparts mobility to the weapon-system. Missiles having nuclear warheads launched from fixed silos can be more easily targeted.
  • Ms. Hua pointed out that “China is willing to work alongside regional countries, including India, to maintain the long-lasting peace, stability and prosperity of the region.”
Economy

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/Cashless-Customers.jpgNew law needed to protect cashless customers: Expert panel on digital payments

  • The government’s cashless payment push needs to be urgently backed with legislative steps to protect customers and their data, allow open access payment systems and let the payments regulatory board function independently of the Reserve Bank of India’s central banking functions, the committee on digital payments led by former Finance Secretary Ratan Watal said.
  • The present law is also silent on data protection issues, which are becoming more relevant now, thecommittee said, mooting a regime where consumers shouldn’t be liable for losses arising out of unauthorised transactions or system malfunction.
  • All payment service providers, including banks, must not only stop restricting access to other payment options to allow an open-access system for digital payments, but also disclose upfront the terms and charges of their service while providing free regular account statements.
  • A new Payments Regulatory Board should be backed by law as independent of RBI and if there is any conflict between its policies and the central bank’s policies or regulations, the RBI’s decision shall prevail, the committee suggested.
Sports

http://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/PCB.jpgAustralia makes strong reply to Pakistan's 443 for 9

  • Australia were 278 for two after day three in the second Test in Melbourne Wednesday after Pakistan declared at 443-9.
  • David Warner slammed 144 off 143 balls with Usman Khawaja still at the crease on 95 with skipper Steve Smith on 10 to trail the tourists by 165 runs.
  • Earlier, Azhar Ali carved out an unbeaten double-century to set Pakistan up for a first innings declaration at 443-9 but a belligerent David Warner had Australia charging out of the blocks in response on day three of the second test.