Current Affairs : May 5, 2010

Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2010
Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2010 is passed in Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Thus, the parliament has approved the enhancing of gratuity limit for employees from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh as also the exemption threshold from income tax on it. The bill also provides that the income tax exemption limit has commensurately been increased to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 3.5 lakh earlier. The bill was brought following demands from trade unions and others to remove the ceiling or increase the maximum payable amount, which was fixed in 1997.

Karnataka: CRYSTAL
The Karnataka state government has launched the CRYSTAL, an E-waste disposal programme & in this context, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between e-waste Agency (EWA), Umicore (Precious Metal Refining) of Belgium and E-Parisaraa Pvt Ltd, Bangalore.

Tamilnadu Legislative Council Bill, 2010
Rajya Sabha has approved the Tamilnadu Legislative Council Bill, 2010 by voice vote. This have cleared the way for creation of Tamilnadu Legislative Council.

Tamilnadu Legislative Council was abolished in the state in 1986 by former chief minister M.G. Ramnachandran.

Shivaji Park is Silence Zone:
Shivaji Park in Mumbai has been declared silence zone by Bombay High Court. This has virtually banned noisy political rallies. The interim order was delivered over a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city-based Veckom Trust and Dadar residents Sharad Dixit and J.D. Udeshi.

Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project
Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project is being assisted by the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) with a loan amount of Rs 330.57 crore. It will be implemented within the time frame of 10 years.

5th World Telecommunication Development Conference
Hyderabad is the host of fifth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10) to be held from May 24 to June 4.

RTI plea by Bhopal Gas Tragedy:
Victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy have filed a Right to Information petition with the prime minister’s office in New Delhi. The plea wants to know whether the Central government took into consideration the disaster of gas leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal in 1984 while drafting the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill with the United States.

Doctorate for Sam:
Chicago’s University of Illinois has selected, Indian entrepreneur and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, Satyanarayan Pitroda, popularly known as Sam Pitroda for an honorary doctorate degree.

Kanshiram Award:
The Uttar Pradesh government renames the awards for the small scale and medium industries and handicraftsmen in the name of Dalit leader and BSP mentor Kanshiram.

Business & Economy:
Mid-Day merging with Jagran Prakashan:
Mid-Day Multimedia , publisher of Mid Day, most popular evening daily of Mumbai announces that it’s publishing business will be merging with Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL), publishers of ‘Dainik Jagran’.

India’s Tallest Commercial Building in Chandigarh:
Omaxe, a real estate firm launches the tallest commercial edifice of Punjab to be called as ‘India Trade Tower’ in Mullapur, Chandigarh. This building is a part of proposed Global Business Park, a business hub spread over 26 acres of land.

Tax Notice to HP India:
Computer-maker HP India, is slapped a tax notice of Rs 1,450 crore for allegedly evading Customs duty. The charge was refuted by the company. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) charged that HP India Sales Pvt Ltd undervalued components and spare parts imported from countries like Singapore and the US and thus evaded Customs duty.

RBI allowed UCB’s to open ATM at places other than branches:
Reserve Bank allows the well-managed urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to open ATMs at places other than their branches without its prior approval.These banks have to meet criteria like continuous net profit for the last three years and net non-performing assets should be under 5 per cent.

Danik Jagran is India’s Largest Selling Daily:
Dainik Jagran is India’s leading overall daily as well as Hindi daily as per the quarterly Indian Readership Survey by the Media Research Users Council (MRUC). IRS Q1 2010 has ranked Dainik Jagran No. 1 among the dailies with a Total Readership (TR) of 54,254,000. Following is list of India’s Top 10 Newspapers:
1. Dainik Jagaran
2. Dainik Bhaskar
3. Hindustan
4. Amar Ujala
5. Lok Mat (Marathi Daily)
6. Daily Thanthi (Tamil Daily)
7. Dinakaran (Tamil Daily)
8. Ananda Bazar Patrika (Bengali Daily)
9. Eenadu (Telugu Daily)
10. Rajasthan Patrika (Hindi Daily)
11. Times of India (Number 1 English Daily)
12. Hidustan Times (English Daily)
13. The Hindu (English Daily)
14. the Telegraph
15. Deccan Chronicle

Limit of Forex Increased for Travelers:
As per the latest notification by Reserve Bank of India, Indians traveling abroad can carry $3,000 worth foreign exchange in cash. The previous limit was $2,000.

Secretary General of UNASUR: Néstor Kirchner
Former Argentine President Néstor Kirchner is unanimously elected the first Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Times square car bombing: Faisal Shahzad arrested:
Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan is arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in connection with the attempted car bombing in Times Square.

Most expensive Art of the History: Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso, featuring his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, is one of a series of portraits that Picasso painted of his mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter from 1932.On May 4, the painting gets sold at Christie’s in New York City. It was sold for US$106 million thus, becoming the most expensive work of art sold at auction.

Nuclear free Middle East
Egypt leads a proposal for a nuclear arms free Middle East. The proposal receives support from the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China. The only country, which has nuclear weapons in Middle East is said to be Israel.

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