Current Affairs Update 16th December 2015


Government to notify mandatory quoting of PAN for cash transactions over Rs 2 lakh

pan card limit current affairs

  • You will have to flash your permanent account number (PAN) for any transaction of over Rs 2 lakh regardless of mode of payment. The government has issued a notification to give effect to the budget proposal, intended to check domestic black money, apart from modifying the rules for PAN requirement for other transactions as well.
  • The monetary limits for quoting PAN has raised to Rs 10 lakh from Rs. 5 lakh for sale or purchase of immovable property, to Rs 50,000 from Rs 25,000 in the case of one time hotel or restaurant bills and to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 50,000 for purchase or sale of shares of an unlisted company.
  • This was one of the measures proposed by the government in the budget to curb domestic black money.
  • Persons who do not hold PAN are required to fill a form and furnish any one of the specified documents to establish their identity, the statement said. The new rules will come into effect from January 1, 2016.

Jan Dhan Yojana: RuPay gaining currency irks US companies MasterCard & Visa

Rupay Jan dhan yojana current affairs

  • US card companies MasterCard and Visa have complained of an invisible mandate to keep them out of Jan Dhan Yojana, the government’s financial inclusion programme, and demanded a level playing field with government-backed card issuer RuPay.
  • Stung by a sharp rise in cards issued by RuPay, thanks to Jan Dhan, MasterCard and Visa say they have asked Reserve Bank and the government to consider their services, which are cheaper than that of the local card issuer.
  • Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific, MasterCard, said his company wants to get an equal opportunity to participate in Jan Dhan Yojana, touted by the government as the world’s biggest financial inclusion programme. He added that banks are aware of their cost but cannot do anything as there appears to be a mandate in favour of RuPay. He added that their pricing is 30% cheaper than the national scheme for 90% of the market comprising ATM transactions.
  • Sarker’s comments were echoed by rival Visa. “There is no official mandate from the government, but yes, there is a preference for RuPay for the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme,” said TR Ramachandran, group country manager, India and South Asia, Visa. “We have always been saying that we need a level playing field in India to build a scaleable, inter-operable network. Currently, on a basic ATM usage we are slightly cheaper than RuPay, and if there is more competition in India it will only help in reducing cash usage,” he said.

UN Secretary General election process kicks off

UN general secretary elections

  • The UN has kicked off the process to elect the next Secretary General, with the Security Council and General Assembly making an unprecedented call to member states to recommend woman candidates for the top job that has been held by a man for the past 70 years.
  • In a first, UN Security Council President for December US envoy Samantha Power and General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft circulated a letter yesterday to the 193 UN members soliciting names of candidates for the next UN chief and vowing to make the process more transparent and inclusive.
  • Lykketoft said that so far two candidates had been put forward for selection – Croatia’s woman Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and former UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia.
  • Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has served two five-year terms and his tenure as UN Chief will end next year. He has been a strong proponent of electing a woman as his successor and has said at several public venues that “it’s high time for a Secretary-General to be a woman”.
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle to launch 6 Singapore satellites today

ISRO Antrix PSLV to launch 6 Singaporean satellites

  • Indian Space Research Organisation’s PSLV rocket will today launch six Singaporean satellites which would help the city-state gather information on disaster monitoring and urban planning.
  • To be launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in the spaceport of Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota at 6.00 PM today, the satellites will be put into orbit by Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)- PSLV-C29 on reaching 550 kms from the earth’s surface.
  • The satellites would be launched one after another, 30 seconds apart, to avoid collision and set a distance of about 20 kilometres between them. The 59-hour-countdown for the PSLV-C29/TeLEOS-1 Mission began at 7.00 AM on Monday and was progressing normally, ISRO said.
  • “The satellites will be able to produce information at a much higher frequency. This will surely be very important when you use it for disaster monitoring in the region like Southeast Asia,” Project Director of the Satellite Programme at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Professor Goh Cher Hiang said.
  • “For urban planning, before you plan a township, you would want to take a look at the terrain, take a look at the area around it, see what you have there, what kind of obstacles you may face, where are the draining systems, main highway,” President of the Communication and Sensor Systems Group at ST Electronics Tang Kum Chuen said.
  • The satellite can capture images of Singapore once every 100 minutes and tracks threats in the sea and air as well as natural disaster across the region. The satellites are made by NUS, NTU and engineering- commercial company ST Electronics.
  • Of the six satellites, TeLEOS-1 is the primary satellite weighing 400 kgs whereas the other five satellites include two micro-satellites and three nano-satellites. TeLEOS-1 is the first Singapore commercial earth observation satellite. It would be launched into a low Earth orbit for “remote sensing” applications. Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO, has provided launch services in PSLV for 51 customer satellites from 20 countries so far.