Sunday, 23 August 2015

Daily GK Update - 23rd August, 2015

R Gandhi committee of RBI recommends conversion of UCBs into regular banks 
i. A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee has recommended conversion of Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) with business size of 20,000 crore rupees or more into regular banks. 
ii. This recommendation was given by the High Powered Committee on UCBs headed by RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi in its report. 

  • Conversion of UCBs will not be compulsory for large UCBs and they can continue the way they operate currently in terms of asset size and balance sheet. 
  • Large UCBs can convert themselves into commercial banks in order to minimise the systemic risk. 
  • For conversion, smaller UCBs with business size of less than 20,000 crore rupees who are willing to convert to Small Finance Banks can apply to the RBI. 
  • Licenses for conversion to operate as UCBs will be issued to well-managed and financially sound cooperative credit societies having a minimum track record of 5-years. 
  • With the conversion, UCBs will be allowed to grow and proliferate further to meet the objective of financial inclusion. 

A P Shah Committee recommends MAT relief to FIIs 
i. Union Finance Ministry appointed committee chaired by retired SC judge A P Shah has recommended that Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) should not be imposed on FIIs retrospectively for the period preceding 1st April 2015.
ii. This recommendation is considered as a big relief to FIIs as government had exempted them from MAT starting April 1, 2015 in the Union Budget for 2015-16 but had not made the clarification retrospective imposition. 
iii. In its report committee has mention that there is no legal basis for levying 20 per cent MAT on past capital gains of FIIs. 

a. Union Finance Ministry had appointed this 3 member Committee on the issue of levying MAT on capital gains made by FIIs retrospectively. 

b. Members of Committee: 
  • A P Shah (Chairman), 
  • Dr. Girish Ahuja 
  • Dr. Ashok Lahiri. 
c. The committee was constituted after the tax department had sent legal notices to 68 FIIs demanding around six hundred crore rupees as MAT dues of previous years. This had raked up a MAT controversy within FIIs and they had moved to court challenging this tax imposition.

Eminent Sanskrit Scholar and Indologist NR Varhadpande passed away
i. Varhadpande was famously known for his book titled Aryan Invasion: A Myth that exposes fallacy of Aryan invasion and is considered as one of the most profound works in changing the course of ancient Indian history. 
ii. An ardent student of Psychology, Varhadpande worked as the Chief Psychologist with the Ministry of Defence and was instrumental in devising various Psychological tests for the armed forces personnel. 

Noted academician Amitabh Mattoo appointed as Advisor to J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
i. Noted academician and former Vice-Chancellor of the Jammu University Amitabh Mattoo was on 21 August 2015 appointed as Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister (CM) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Mattoo will have the status of a Cabinet Minister.
ii. Born in Srinagar, Mattoo has been the Chief Executive Officer and inaugural Director of the Australia India Institute and Professor of International Relations at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Golfer Aditi Ashok first Indian to win Ladies British amateur stroke-play Championship 
i. Ace Indian golfer Aditi Ashok won the prestigious Ladies British amateur stroke-play Championship 2015 at Leeds, United Kingdom. 
ii. With this victory she became first woman and youngest player from India to win this Championship. 
iii. In her wining game, Aditi shot a four-day total of 11-under 285 (comprising 71, 73, 70, 71) at the par 74 at the Moortown Golf Club, Leeds. 
iv. The 17-year-old Bengaluru based golfer earlier had won the prestigious St. Rule Trophy in July 2015. She also had finished second in the 2015 European Women’s Amateur Championship. She also had claimed the overall title called ‘The Nicholls Trophy’ and ‘Dinwiddy Trophy’ which are given for the under-18 golfer with lowest score.

Former Australian Cricketer Arthur Morris passes away 
i. Former Australian Cricketer Arthur Morris passed away. He was aged 93.
ii. He was an opener and is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest left-handed batsmen.
Morris is best known as member of Don Bradman’s 1948 ‘Invincibles’ team which made an undefeated tour of England.
iii. He had retired from international cricket at the age of 33.
iv. Morris was the first Australian batsman to score centuries in both innings of his first-class debut at the age of 18 years. He was born in Sydney on 19 January 1922.

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