Current Affairs Update 19th December 2015


Over 6,600 posts for SC/STs lying vacant in defence sector: Manohar Parrikar

SC ST vacancies in Armed Forces current affairs

  • Over 6,600 posts reserved for SC/STs are lying vacant in the defence sector, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
  • As per the data given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply, there are 3,430 Schedule Caste backlog vacancy in the defence establishment and 3,182 Schedule Tribe posts in the defence establishment.
  •  The maximum vacancy was in the Department of Defence Production with 2,572 posts lying unoccupied (as of April 28, 2015). It was followed by the Navy (defence civilians) with 1,971 cases, he said.
  • Parrikar said that the defence establishments have been instructed to put up their backlog vacancies of SC/ST on their respective websites.
  • De-reservation of SC vacancies is being discouraged and concerned defence establishments are advised to avoid de-reservation of SC/ST vacancies in accordance with the guidelines and provisions of DoPT.

Telcos have arrears to the tune of Rs 49,988.44 crore: Ravi Shankar Prasad

RAVI_SHANKAR_PRASAD current affairs

  • Telecom companies have arrears, including that from licence fee and spectrum charges, to the tune of Rs 49,988.44 crore, Parliament was informed today.
  • “The total amount under litigation is Rs 32,614.45 crore out of total arrears of Rs 49,988.44 crore. The cases are being defended vigorously in TDSAT, various high courts and in Hon’ble Supreme Court,” Minister of Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha today.
  • The demands are issued as per the terms and conditions of the Licence agreements to realise the revenue in time, he added.
  • Of the total arrears, Rs 16,200.76 crore was on account of licence fee, Rs 24,797.68 crore in spectrum charges, Rs 7,328.75 crore in Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF) penalty and Rs 1,658 crore in Customer Application Form (CAF) penalty, the Minister said.
  • Also, MNP testing fee arrears stood at Rs 0.49 crore and EMR testing fee arrears were to the tune of Rs 2.76 crore.
  • State-run telecom operator BSNL accounted for the highest arrear at Rs 11,193.91 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel/Bharti Hexacom at Rs 8,066.85 crore and Vodafone at Rs 7,693.73 crore.
  • The other state-run operator, MTNL, had arrears of Rs 3,475.53 crore.

Google may hold ‘bhoomi pujan’ of new campus in Q1 next year

Google to hold bhumi pujan current affairs

  • Search engine giant Google may hold groundbreaking ceremony for its proposed new campus here during the first quarter of next year, Telangana government said today.
  • “The land has been transferred (to Google). They are looking at the first quarter of next year for ‘bhoomi pujan’ (ground breaking ceremony). We have not got any official announcement from them. After Pichai has announced (about the new campus plans here), our IT minister has sent a congratulatory note to him,” Jayesh Ranjan secretary of IT department, Telangana, told reporters here.
  • Google Chief Executive Sunder Pichai, on his first official visit to India two days ago, had said that Google will set up a new campus in Hyderabad and invest both in engineering and business development in India as well as work to increase Internet access and develop products that are lighter and faster.
Law Ministry vetting Bill to amend EPF & MP Act
Law ministry current affairs

  • The proposal to provide an option to choose between EPF and NPS for over 5 crore subscribers of the retirement fund body EPFO has been sent to the Law Ministry for vetting.
  • The government, in its Mid-Year Economic Analysis for 2015-16, said: “The Cabinet note for amendment to the EPF & MP Act, 1952 has been sent to the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice.”
  • The government wants to amend the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (EPF & MP), 1952.
  • It also aims to amend the definition of wages, which would include basic pay and all allowances paid to workers.
  • The definition change would increase PF contribution by workers and employers, but result in higher savings for employees.

Will meet 3.9% fiscal deficit target: Jayant Sinha

Jayant Sinha

  • The Centre today said it is on course to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent of GDP for 2015-16, and 3.5 per cent next fiscal, despite pressure of additional outgo on account of the 7th Pay Commission and OROP.
  • “We will absolutely meet our fiscal consolidation roadmap. We have said that the 3.9 per cent fiscal deficit target this year is well in hand.
  • Next year we have said a fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent that took into account the impact of the 7th Pay Commission, One Rank One Pension (OROP), that was very much included in our modelling…,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told reporters outside Parliament.
  • In the mid-year analysis tabled in Parliament, the government lowered the economic growth forecast for 2015-16 to 7-7.5 per cent from 8.1-8.5 per cent projected in February