Daily GK Update 28th & 29th February 2016 Important Current Affairs

1. Resul Pookutty becomes first Asian to win Golden Reel Award
i. Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty has won the prestigious American Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) Golden Reel Award.
ii. He won the best sound for documentary “India’s Daughter” directed by Leslee Udwin. It is based on the Delhi gangrape incident of December 2012. 
iii. Government has banned public screening airing of the documentary. With this, he becomes the first Asian to win the coveted award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) of United States for best sound.

2. Oscar Awards: 88th Academy Awards
i. The 88th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. 
ii. The Academy Awards (commonly referred as Oscars) were presented in twenty four categories.  They are Best Picture: Spotlight. Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant). 
iii. Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room). 
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). 
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl). 
Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant). 
Best Original Screenplay: Tom McCarthy (Spotlight). 
Best Adapted Screenplay: Adam McKay (The Big Short). 
Best Original Song: Writing’s on the Wall (Spectre). 
Best Original Score: The Hateful Eight (Ennio Morricone).
 Best Production Design: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson (Mad Max: Fury Road). 
Best Editing: Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road). 
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant). 
Best Sound Editing: Mark A. Mangini and David White (Mad Max: Fury Road). 
Best Sound Mixing: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo (Mad Max: Fury Road).
 Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul (Hungary). 
Best Documentary Feature:
Best Documentary Short Subject: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. 
Best Live Action Short Film: Best Visual Effects: Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris and Andrew Whitehurst (Ex Machina).
 Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out. 
Best Animated Short Film: Bear Story. 
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka (Mad Max: Fury Road). 
Best Costume Design: Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road). 
Most awards: Mad Max: Fury Road (6 Awards) followed by The Revenant (3) and Spotlight (2). 
Most nominations in 88th Academy Awards: The Revenant (12), Mad Max: Fury Road (10) and The Martian (7).

3. Twitter launches Position of Strength Campaign to Empower Women
i. Micro blogging site Twitter for first time has launched #Positionofstrength campaign in India to empower women to raise voices against any form of discrimination. 
ii. The campaign seeks spread awareness to bridge the gender equality gap online in India and inspire the of women leaders next generation to have an influential voice in society. It was launched by taking cue from a study showcasing a prevailing male dominance over both online and offline space.

4. Stan Wawrinka wins 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title
i. Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the men’s singles category. In the final match played in the United Arab Emirates, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) by 6-4, 7-6 (15/13) score.
ii.  It was his ninth straight final and overall 13th title of his career and second of the 2016 season after winning Chennai Open.

5. Dinesh Sharma elected as Chairperson of IFAD
i. Dinesh Sharma has been unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). 
ii. He was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD for a period of two years in its 39th Session held in Rome, Italy. 
iii. Currently, he is serving as Additional Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs under the Union Ministry of Finance and is also India’s Governor to the IFAD, Rome.

6. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh chosen for 2016 Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh chosen for 2016 Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
i. Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Ranveer Singh have been chosen for the prestigious 2016 Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award.
ii. The award will be bestowed upon them by Lata Mangeshkar at a function to be held in Pune on 24 April to commemorate Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar’s death anniversary.

7. East coast of India to get sixth Doppler Radar for weather forecasting
i. The cycloneprone eastern coast of India will get a new doppler radar to boost the weather forecasting system. It will be commissioned by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Gopalpur in Odisha which had faced the severe cyclonic storm Phailin in October 2013. 
ii. It will be the sixth such radar on the country’s east coast and the other such 5 radars are located in Kolkata, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam and Paradip. 
iii. The move to set up additional radar assumes significance as it will help authorities in taking timely action against cyclones prone to the eastern coast and also help better forecast Earlier in November 2015, the IMD had installed a doppler radar in Paradip which is another coastal district in Odisha that was ravaged by a super cyclone in 1999.

8. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Kerala Tourism’s Muziris Heritage Project
i. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase Kerala Tourism’s Muziris Heritage Project (MHP) at Trissur in Kerala to reinstate the historical and cultural significance Muziris. 
ii. The project is Kerala Government’s first green Project and India’s largest heritage conservation project. 
iii. President also launched the website of the MHP. MHP is supported by the Union Government and seeks to conserve ancient seaport of Muziris and showcase its culture of 3000 years. 
iv. The project also will play important role in the Spice Route initiative launched by Kerala Tourism with the help of UNESCO to revive state’s historic trade ties with 41 countries of the world.

9. Union Government releases Seismic Microzonation reports for Delhi and Kolkata
i. Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan has released Seismic Microzonation reports for Delhi and Kolkata. 
ii. These reports highlight vulnerability of specific areas in these megacities and help in minimizing the effects of earthquakes by (i) Proper assessment of Seismic Hazard (ii) Implementation of safe building construction codes (iii) adopting appropriate land-use planning. 
iii. Seismic Microzonation Report for National Capital Territory (NCT) Delhi was prepared by the Earthquake Risk Evaluation Centre (EREC). It was under the IMD and now has been merged with National Centre for Seismology of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. 
iv. The seismic microzonation project of Kolkata was undertaken by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur in consortium with a few other organizations under the aegis of the Geosciences Division of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.

10. Alok Kumar Verma takes charge as Delhi Police Commissioner
i. Senior IPS Officer Alok Kumar Verma has taken charge of new Police Commissioner of Delhi on February 29, 2016. He has replaced B. S. Bassi. 
ii. His appointment was cleared by Union Home Ministry on February 17 and was sent to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for issuing the appointment order.

11. Rozle Prezelj elected Chairman of IAAF Athletes’ Commission
i. Slovenian high-jumper Rozle Prezelj was elected the Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes' Commission in Monaco.
ii. Prezelj took over as Chairman of the commission from Frank Fredericks with immediate effect.
iii. On the other hand, Britain’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated Vice Chairwoman of the commission.

12. Former Maharashtra Minister Nihal Ahmed Maulavi Mohammed Usman died
i. ocialist leader Nihal Ahmed Maulavi Mohammed Usman died in Nashik. He was 90.
ii. He was popularly known as Nihalbhai and was the first mayor of the Malegaon Municipal Corporation.
iii. He was the state president of Janata Dal (Secular). He was a former Minister of technical and higher education of Maharastra.
iv. He was elected as legislator in the state Assembly for nearly three decades. he contested to the State assembly elections for 10 times from 1960 to 1995 and was elected all the times But in 1999, he contested for Loksabha and was defeated.
v. He was associated with veteran socialist leaders like SM Joshi, NG Gore, former prime ministers VP Singh, Deve Gowda, veterans like Madhu Dandavate, Bapusaheb Kaldate and George Fernandes.

13. Resul Pookutty became first Asian to win Golden Reel Award
i. Famous sound designer Resul Pookutty became the first Asian to win the award for Best Sound for documentary India’s Daughter at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) 63rd annual Golden Reel Awards.
ii. The competing films/ television documentaries in the list includedBeware BaltimoreChef’s Table,Deadliest Catch, and The UndraftedMad Max: Fury RoadThe MartianStar Wars: The Force Awakens and The Revenant among others.

14. Union Budget 2016-17: Highlights
i. Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. This was the second full year Budget of the NDA government and the third budget of Jaitley.
ii. The finance minster announced nine pillars of the budget and they are Agriculture and farmers' welfare, rural sector, social sector including healthcare, education, skills and job creation, infrastructure, financial sector reforms, ease of doing business, fiscal discipline, tax reforms to reduce compliance burden.
Union Budget 2016-17: Highlights
Highlights of the Union Budget 2015-16
• Agricultural policy will be reorganised to double farmer income in five years
• For gas connections, new scheme to be launched for BPL families
• Law will be enacted to confer benefits on deserving sections on Aadhar Platform
• Government to work for passage of insolvency and bankruptcy laws
• Incentive for deepwater gas exploration will be provided
• Government to enhance expenditure for social, rural and agricultural sector
• 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana
• A dedicated long term irrigation fund will be created in NABARD with a corpus of 20000 crore rupees
• 35984 crore rupees allocation done for the farm sector
• Agricultural credit target of 9 lakh crore rupees
• Unified e-platform for farmers to be inaugurated on Ambedkar's birthday
• Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana to bring 5 lakh acres under organic farming
• 300 rurban clusters to be set up under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission
• 38500 crore rupees allocated to MNREGA
• Quantum jump of 228% in grants to gram panchayats and urban local bodies in accordance with FFC recommendations
• Allocation to PM Fasal Bima Yojana for 2016/17 is 5500 crores rupees
• 87765 crores rupees for rural development as a whole have been allocated in the budget
• 100 % village electrification to be achieved by 1 May 2018
• Allocation of Pradhanmatri Gram Sadak Yojna to be increased to 19000 Crore rupees
• 65 eligible habitats to be connected via 2.23 lakh kms of road
• 300 'rurban' clusters will be developed
• As per recommendation of 14th finance commission, 2.87 lakh crore rupees will be given as grants-in-aid to village panchyats and municipalities to boost rural economy.
• Government to spend 850 crore rupees in a few years on animal husbandry, cattle and livestock breeding
• Four schemes for animal welfare announced
• States will be encouraged to take up decentralised procurement of food grains
• 5500 crore rupees allocated for crop insurance scheme
• Hub to support SC/ST entrepreneurs
• National dialysis service programme under PPP model to come up
• LPG connection for women members of rural homes to be provided
• Health insurance of up to 1 lakh rupees per family, top up of Rs 35,000 for people above 60 years
• 3000 generic drugs stores to be opened
• Two schemes for digital literacy for rural India to cover 6 crore households in the next three years
• 9000 crore rupees allocated for Swachch Bharat Abhiyan
• 1700 crore rupees allocated for 1500 multi-skill development centres
• 10 public and 10 private educational institutions to be made world-class
• Digital repository for all school leaving certificates and diplomas
• 1000 crore rupees provided for LPG connection to rural households in name of women; scheme to go on for 2 yrs to cover 5crore BPL households
• 500 crore rupees allocated for Stand Up India scheme
• Certain parts of dialysis machines to be exempt from all forms of customs duty; national dialysis service programme to be launched in all districts
• At least one crore youth to be skilled over next three years
• 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas to be opened in next two years
• 160 airports and airstrips to be revived at a cost of 50-100 crore rupees each
• To enable entrepreneurship in the road transport sector, Motor Vehicles Act to be amended
• Total outlay for infrastructure is at 2.31 lakh crore lakh rupees
• 97000 crore rupees sanctioned for all roads
• Total outlay on roads and rails will be 2.80 lakh crore rupees, under which 10000 km of national highways in 2016-17 and 50000 km state highways to be converted to NH roads.
• Small shops should be given the choice to remain open on all 7 days a week
• In the power sector, the government is drawing up a plan for 15-20 years to augment investment in nuclear power. 3000 crore rupees per annum for this.
• 1700 crore rupees to be spent for setting 1500 multi-skill training institutes
• 1500 multi-skill training institutes to be opened to train youths under Skill Development programme; for this 1.7 thousand crore earmarked
• 8.33% will be paid towards employee pension fund
• Shopping malls to be allowed to open on all seven days of week; a model shops and establishment bill to be circulated to states
• Abolition of permit law will be medium-term goal in public transport
• RBI Act to be amended to set up monetary policy committee
• 100% FDI through FAPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India
• 8000 crore rupees provided for Sagarmala project
• Department of Disinvestment renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management
• Direct Benefit Transfer for fertilisers
• 25000 crore rupees sanctioned for recapitalisation of public sector banks
• General insurance companies owned by the government to be listed in stock exchanges
• Amendments to boost Asset Reconstruction Companies to manage NPAs of public sector banks
• A bill on targeted delivery of financial services using Aadhar to be introduced
• Amendment to the Companies Act to ensure speedy registration and boost start-ups
• 900 crore rupees for buffer stock of pulses
• To boost stagnant domestic output, government considering providing calibrated market freedom to new gas production from deep sea, ultra deep sea 
• A Public Utility Resolution of Disputes Bill to be passed to solve problems in infrastructure contracts, PPP and public utilities
• Duty drawback scheme widened and deepened to include more products and countries
• A new credit rating system for infrastructure will be developed
• More FDI reforms proposed in insurance, pension, asset restructuring companies and stock markets
• Relief will amount to 3000 rupees per annum; 1 crore tax payers to benefit
• Ceiling of tax rebate for tax payers with up to Rs 5 lakh annual come to be raised to 5000 rupees from 2000 currently
• SEBI Act to be amended to provide for more benches for Securities Appellate Tribunal
• SEBI to develop new derivatives products as well as products for corporate bond market
• RBI Act to be amended to provide statutory backing for monetary policy framework and monetary policy committee (MPC)
• A comprehensive bankruptcy code to be enacted as part of financial sector reforms
• 100 percent FDI will be allowed through FIPB in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India
• Policy for strategic sale of CPSE assets to be brought 
• To benefit those living in rented houses, deduction for rent paid will be raised from Rs 20000 rupees to 60000 rupees 
• The Banking Boards Bureau will be operationalised fiscal year 2016-17 
• Presumptive income tax scheme to be extended to all professionals with income of 50 lakh rupees with a presumption of 50 percent profit
• Consolidation roadmap for public sector banks to be spelt next year
• Government is open to reducing its stake in PSBs below 50%
• Accelerated depreciation to be limited to 40% wef from 1 April 2017 as part of phasing out of exemptions to industry
• ATMs, micro-ATMs to be increased in post offices in next three years
• In 2016-17, credit target of 180000 crore rupees set up through Mudra bank
• Tax holiday for startups for three of five years of setting up the company. Tax holiday for startups for three of five years of setting up the company. Start-ups to get 100% tax exemption for 3 years except MAT which will apply from April 2016-2019 for creation of jobs
• Lowering of Corporate IT rate for companies not exceeding 5 crore rupees turnover to 25% plus surcharge
• 100 crore rupees sanctioned for Deendayal Upadhyay's birthday celebrations and Guru Gobind Singh 300th birth anniversary
• Classification of expenditure as plan and non-plan to be done away with
• Fiscal deficit at 3.5% of GDP in 2016-17
• Service Tax to be exempted on general insurance schemes under NIRMAYA Scheme
• Target delivery of financial, other intermediary services to be introduced using Aadhar 
• 1% service charge on purchase of luxury cars over 10 lakh rupees and in-cash purchase of goods and services over 2 lakh rupees
• Additional exemption of 50000 rupees for housing loans up to 35 lakh rupees, provided cost of house is not above 50 lakh rupees
• 40% of withdrawal at the time of retirement under 
• Long term capital gains period for unlisted companies to be reduced from 3 to 2 years
• DBT to be used to transfer subsidy on fertilizer in select districts on pilot basis
• Service tax on single premium annuity to be reduced to 1.5 percent from 3.5 percent
• For ease of doing business and enabling registration of companies in a day, Bill to amend Companies Act to be introduced
• Fiscal deficit target for 2015-16 and 2016-17 retained at 3.9%and 3.5% respectively.
• Plan to spend 19.78 lakh crore rupees in 2016-17 - 5.5 lakh crore rupees under plan head, 14.28 lakh crore rupees under non-plan head
• Revenue deficit target improved from 2.8 %to 2.5% in current fiscal
• Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act to be reviewed and for this purpose a committee to be constituted 
• New manufacturing companies incorporated after March 2016 will be given option of being taxed at 25% plus cess plus surcharges
• Clean energy cess increased from 200 rupees/ton to 400 rupees/ton on coal, lignite and peat
• High level committee headed by Revenue Secretary to oversee creation of fresh liability using retrospective tax legislation
• One-time dispute resolution scheme introduced for retro tax cases, payment of tax arrears to lead to waiving of penalty and interest 
• Plan and non-Plan classification of Budget will be done away with from Fiscal 2017-18
• Levying heavy penalty for non-payment of tax has led to high litigation, thus Proposes to modification in penalties scheme proposed 
• 13 different cesses levied by various ministries with collections less than 50 crore rupees a year to be done away with.
• No Service Tax for houses built in less than 60 square metres
• Excise duty on tobacco increased by 10-15 percent.
• Committed to stable taxation regime and for that reason no more retrospective amendments to be introduced 
• 4% high capacity tax for SUVs
• Limited period compliance window for domestic taxpayers to declare undisclosed income
• Declarations to have immunity from prosecutions
• No changes have been made to existing income tax slabs
• Infrastructure and agriculture cess to be levied
• GAAR (General anti-avoidance rule) to be implemented from 1 April 2017
• Tax exemption given to Braille paper 
• Service tax exempted for General Insurance Schemes under Niramaya Swasthaya Bima Yojana
• Dividend in excess of 10 lakh rupees per annum to be taxed at additional 10%
• TDS provisions to be rationalised. Non resident Indians providing alternate documents will not be subject to higher tax rate.
• Rate of securities transaction tax to be raised from 0.017% to 0.05%
• 0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess to be levied on all services
• Excise 1% imposed on articles of jewellery excluding silver
• Pollution cess of 1% on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars; 2.5% on diesel cars of certain specifications; 4% on higher
• 15% surcharge on income above 1 crore rupees 
• New grading system of imposing penalties to be introduced for under-reporting or concealment of income
• Tax on black money declared will be 30% plus 7.5% penalty and 7.5% surcharge
• One year limit provided for disposing of income tax cases relating to waiver of interest and penalty
• 11 new benches of Customs & Excise Services Appelate Tribunal to be introduced
• Customs baggage rules for international travellers to be simplified
• Government to pay interest of 9% if there is delay in giving effect to an appellate order

15. Hashim Thaci elected as President of Kosovo
i. Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci was elected as president of Kosovo by the Members of Parliament amid the protests. 
ii. He succeeded Atifete Jahjaga as head of state after winning the required simple majority in voting held in Pristina.


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