Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2015-16 in the Parliament. It was the first full year Budget of the NDA government under leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi and the second budget of Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister.
Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16
Taxation No change in the Tax slab on personal income. Wealth tax abolished. Additional 2% surcharge for the super-rich with income more than Rs. 1 crore. For next 4 years, corporate tax has been reduced to 25 percent from present 30 percent. Service tax increased to14 per cent. Apart from CSR, 100% tax exemption for contribution to Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. New projects 5 more AIIMSs in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Assam. IIT in Karnataka. While, the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, Jharkhand will be converted into IIT. 2 more IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. Post-Graduation institutes of Horticulture in Amritsar, Punjab. University of Disability Studies will be established in Kerala. In Andhra Pradesh, Centre of film production, animation and gaming will come up. For Infrastructure sector Rs. 70,000 crores allocated. Projects in rail road and irrigation bonds will be tax free. Infrastructure development through PPP model will be revitalised and government will bear majority of the risk. Atal Innovation Mission will be established to draw on expertise of researchers and entrepreneurs to foster scientific innovations. For this mission Rs. 150 crore allocated. 5 ultra-mega power projects each of 4000MW proposed by Government Defence 2,46,726 crore allocated for Defence. It is 9.87 per cent greater than last year. Make in India campaign will take into consideration for speedy manufacturing of Defence equipment. Welfare Schemes and new programmes Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, six crore toilets across the country will be built. By 2020, housing for all. MGNREGA will get MGNREGA of Rs. 5,000 crore. It is highest allocation to this scheme. To improve quality of life of common man, GST and JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) will be launched. To encourage first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs, MUDRA bank will provide finance. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) will be further be expanded to 10.3 crore from 1 crore. Government will contribute 50% of the premium limited to Rs. 1,000 a year for the Atal Pension Yojana. 9,000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF will be used for Senior Citizens Fund. For all Indian, government will create universal social security system. For electric cars production Rs. 75 crore allocated. Renewable energy target for 2022: 60K MW in wind; 10K MW in biomass, 100K MW in solar and 5K MW in small hydro plants. Under the new tourism scheme, development of churches and convents in old Goa; Hampi, Elephanta caves, , Jallianwala Bagh, Forests of Rajasthan, Leh palace, Varanasi Qutb Shahi tombs at Hyderabad. Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to be increased for 150 countries from present 43 countries. As an alternative to purchasing gold, Sovereign Gold Bond will be launched. In order to facilitate depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts new scheme will be launched. Forward Markets Commission (FMC) will be merged with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Under SARFAESI Act 2002, NBFCs registered with the RBI having asset size of Rs 500 crore and above to be considered as financial institution for mid-corporate businesses and fund SME. For Rural Infrastructure Development Bank, Rs. 25,000 crore allocated. To support Micro Irrigation Programme, Rs. 5,300 crore allocated.
Indian Navy’s Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) exercise concluded on 27 February 2015.
TROPEX-2015 was a month long exercise aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations and the area of operations spanned the Arabian Sea and Northern Indian Ocean. It also encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare.
Key facts about TROPEX-2015
• In TROPEX-2015, around 50 ships and submarines, along with 70 aircrafts from the three Naval Commands participated. It also saw the participation of units from the India Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard.
• In the month long exercise, Indian Navy had deployed two Carrier Task Forces simultaneously at sea. It saw participation of both INS Viraat and INS Vikramaditya with their integral flights in an operational scenario.
• TROPEX 2015 also saw extensive deployment of the nuclear submarine INS Chakra, the recently inducted P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft.
• Recently commissioned guided missile destroyer Kolkata and Anti-Submarine Warfare corvette Kamorta also took part in it.
• TROPEX-15 provided a reinforce platform for Indian Navy’s offensive capabilities across all dimensions. It also included Network Centric Operations (NCO) by using indigenous satellite Rukmani.
• It also provided, Navy platform for its Op Logistics capability to effectively sustain Fleet Operations for extended period’s at large distances.
Acclaimed US actor Leonard Nimoy passed away on 27 February 2015 in Los Angeles. He was 83 and died of end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
He was best known for his half-human, half-Vulcan character of Mr Spock in the cult sci-fi series Star Trek.
About Leonard Nimoy
• Leonard Nimoy was born in 26 March 1931.
• In 1950s, he started his career in teaching acting classes at Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances.
• In 1965, for first time he appeared in rejected role in Star Trek as pilot The Cage. From 1966-69, he played the role of Spock in original Star Trek series.
• The character of Spock had a significant cultural impact and had garnered Nimoy three Emmy Award nominations. He also had appeared in multiple films, television series and video games.
• Autobiography- two volumes, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995).
Every year February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas (राष्ट्रीय विज्ञान दिवस). In 2015, the theme of the day is “Science for Nation Building”. This year’s theme has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation on scientific issues for the development of nation. Why National Science Day is celebrated? This day marks the epoch-making discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman) on February 28, 1928. In 1930, for this discovery he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1986, National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) demanded the Union Government to assign February 28 every year as the ‘National Science Day’ for India. In 2000, the first National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, 2000. In 2013, the American Chemical Society designated the ‘Raman Effect’ as an International Historic Chemical Landmark. Theme for the National Science Day 2013 – “Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security”. Theme for the National Science Day 2014 – “Fostering Scientific Temper and Energy conservation”. Days and
Haryana government has decided to increase the cash reward under the inter-caste marriage scheme from 50,000 to 1 lakh rupees. This decision was taken by state level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Chandigarh. The increased cash reward for inter-caste marriage will be provided through bank accounts opened under the Pradhanmantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY). About Inter-caste marriage scheme The scheme was constituted under Rule 16 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. It aims to remove caste discrimination from society by providing support to inter caste marriage scheme.
First Assamese dictionary for Science and Technology terms was released recently. It was released by Dr Alok Kumar Buragohain, Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University. Key facts This dictionary is prepared by Asomiya Jatiya Abhidhan (AJA) and consists of over 40,000 words compiled in total 160-pages. First of kind Science and Technology dictionary in Assamese language is considered as a milestone in development of this language. It also seeks to make scientific terminology simple and easily understandable by the people and particularly by students. This scientific terminology dictionary covers almost all streams of science, including Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Geography, Computer Science, Zoology, Mathematics, Geology, Statistics and Astronomy among others.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has partnered with e-commerce giant Amazon.in to provide convenient online shopping experience and sell various products. With this tie-up, IRCTC is going to offer its customers (especially Indian railways passengers) with seamless online shopping opportunities in addition to booking travel tickets and hotel accommodations. In this regard IRCTC is going to provide Amazon in a link on the IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in). Thus IRCTC customers and Indian railways passengers who access the IRCTC portal now can buy wide range of products from Amazon’s wide distribution network. The products will be consumer electronics, apparel, bags to toys, exotic food products, books, shoes. It will also include pet supplies, musical instruments, personal hygiene products and many more products.
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