Current Affairs in Short: 19 February 2019

Myanmar has set up a committee to discuss reforming the country's military-drafted constitution. This pits Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government openly against the powerful armed forces for the first time over the incendiary issue.

Feb 19, 2019 16:46 IST
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RBI to give Rs 28,000 cr to Centre as dividend

• The Reserve Bank has announced that it will transfer an interim surplus of 28,000 crore rupees to the central government for the half-year ended December 31, 2018.
• In a statement, the RBI said the decision has been based on a limited audit review and after applying the extant economic capital framework.
• The decision follows the RBI Board meeting held in New Delhi, on February 18, 2019. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the board. Apart from RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, all the four deputy governors and others attended the meeting.

Suresh Prabhu clears proposal to encourage investments in Start-Ups

• Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu has cleared a proposal aiming at simplifying the process of exemptions for Start-ups under Section 56 (2) (viib) of Income Tax Act.
• The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will be issuing a gazette notification on February 19, 2019 to this effect.
• With this notification, the definition of Start-ups will be expanded. Now an entity will be considered as a Start-ups upto a period of ten years from the date of incorporation and registration in place of the earlier duration of 7 years.
• Similarly, an entity will continue to be recognised as a Start-ups, if its turnover for any of the financial years since incorporation and registration has not exceeded Rs 100 crore in place of Rs 25 crore earlier.
• A Start-ups will be eligible for exemption under Section 56 (2) (viib) of Income Tax Act, if it is a private limited company recognized by DPIIT and is not investing in any of the following assets:

Myanmar sets up committee to discuss reforming constitution

• Myanmar on February 19, 2019 set up a committee to discuss reforming the country's military-drafted constitution.
• This pits Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government openly against the powerful armed forces for the first time over the incendiary issue.
• Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a landslide in 2015 elections but was forced into an uneasy power-sharing agreement with the armed forces.
• Under a 2008 charter it drafted, the military controls all security ministries and is gifted a quarter of parliamentary seats. That hands the army an effective veto over any constitutional change. Suu Kyi's party has promised to reform the controversial document.

Mexico border wall: 16 US states sue Trump over emergency

• Sixteen US States have sued President Donald Trump over his plan to declare a national emergency to get funding for his controversial wall along the border with Mexico.
• The lawsuit came after Trump on February 15 declared that he would spend billions of dollars more on border barriers that Congress had granted him.
• The National Emergencies Act allows the President to declare a national emergency and unlock a stash of funds by invoking certain statutory authority.
• The coalition of 16 states in their lawsuit alleged that the Trump administration's emergency declaration and diversion of funds are unconstitutional and otherwise unlawful.
• The lawsuit seeks to block the Trump administration's emergency declaration, the unauthorised construction of the border wall and any illegal diversion of Congressionally-appropriated funds.

PM flags off 1st ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine at Varanasi

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, 2019 flagged off the first ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine of ten thousand Horse Power at DLW Varanasi.
• He also inspected an exhibition on locomotives at DLW campus. Such locomotives will be more economical and will increase the speed of goods trains.
• Laying the foundation stone of Ravidas Janmasthali area development project in Varanasi, the Prime Minister said all should get benefits of government schemes irrespective of caste, creed and other factors.

Climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker passes away in New York

• Climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker, who popularised the term "global warming" has passed away in New York.
• The eighty-seven-year-old Columbia University professor breathed his last at a New York City hospital on February 18, 2019.
• Broecker brought "global warming" into common use with a 1975 paper that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming.
• Broecker was also first to recognise what he called the Ocean Conveyor Belt, a global system of ocean currents circulating water and nutrients.
• He joined Columbia's faculty in 1959 and was known in science circles as the "Grandfather of Climate Science".

All Indian Cine Workers Association announces total ban on Pakistani artists

• The All Indian Cine Workers Association has announced a total ban on all the Pakistani artists working in the film industry.
• In a statement, the Association’s General Secretary Ronak Jain said that strong action will be taken against the organisation that continues to work with Pakistani artists.
• Condemning the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama, the Association has said that it stands united in confronting such terror and inhumanity.

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