Major News and Events of 30 April 2016
What Happened on 30 April 2016
Union Govt. Increases EPF Rate to 8.8 per cent
NADA launches anti-doping Programme to control doping among Indian Athletes
Lok Sabha lauds ISRO's Effort in launching 7th Navigational Satellite of India
$1Billion Valuation of Indian Healthcare IT Market by NASSCOM
Ex-Air Force Chief Tyagi summoned by ED, CBI on AgustaWestland Money-Laundering Probe
Penultimate Phase Poll starts in West Bengal under Sweltering Heat
The Centre has sent three companies of the National Disaster Response Force to combat the forest fires in Uttarakhand conduct rescue operations. According to media reports, around 135 personnel have been pressed into service. Governor KK Paul had asked for the NDRF's help to combat the fire.
With Finance Ministry initially announcing its decision to fix an EPF rate below 8.8 per cent, followed by strong protest by several central trade unions, Union government at last agreed to increase the EPF rate from the existing 8.7 per cent to 8.8 per cent for the financial year 2015-16. The decision is going to directly affect more than 5 crore subscribers of retirement body EPFO. This is the 3rd instance in 2 months government had to rollback initial decision regarding EPF.
After report published by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) showed that India had the 3rd highest ADRVs (Anti-Doping Rule Violations), NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) has launched an anti-doping programme for sensitising Indian athletes about the pitfalls of WADA-prohibited substances. Sports ministry believes that Program for Education and Awareness on Anti-Doping in Sports (PEADS), launched in October 2014, will help bring down the ADRVs. Government of India has also decided to enhance the outreach of sensitisation programme by establishing five regional outreach centers.
Science and Technology
Lok Sabha has lauded ISRO’s successful effort in launching 7th navigational satellite. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi christened the IRNSS-1G satellite as NAVIC, which will provide India its indigenous satellite navigation system. With the help of the satellite system, NAVIC will provide information of Indian region along with 1,500 kms around mainland. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan congratulated both scientists and technologists of ISRO on the successful launch as well as the upcoming endeavours of ISRO.
NASSCOM’s report points out that current valuation of the Indian healthcare IT market is around Rs. 6,650 crore or US$ 1 Billion. The report also expects the same to grow around 1.5 times by the year 2020 (with a compounded annual growth rate of 11 per cent in the coming 5 years). Revenues generated by healthcare software segment in 2014 was US$96.8 million and the deluge of health tech start-ups, which have cropped up recently, have attracted more than $100 million since 2014.
Former Air Force chief SP Tyagi has been summoned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) as well as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with investigation in the alleged Rs. 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. ED claims that they have already identified the beneficiaries of “choppergate” kickbacks. After allegations that PM Modi reached a deal with his Italian counterpart on AgustaWestland case, government issued strong statement rebutting the baseless allegation. With Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi’s name being dragged in the controversy, Congress put up counter offensive by asking union government to come out with the truth in two months. BJP’s National President Amit Shah said Congress is misleading country on the scam.
Penultimate phase of assembly election is going on in West Bengal in sweltering heat under strict management of election Commission (90,000 personnel deployed). Till 9 am, 19.64 per cent votes were polled. 20.10, 20.04, and 15.64 per cent polling is reported in Hooghly, South 24 Pargana, and South Kolkata constituencies respectively. Poll is taking place in 53 constituencies including 31, 18, and 4 seats in South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, and South Kolkata respectively. Most talked about contest during this poll is of CM Mamata Banerjee, contesting from South Kolkata’s Bhowanipur constituency, who is seen to be given tough fight by Congress candidate Dipa Dasmunshi.