Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: January 6, 2017
Veteran actor Om Puri passes away at the age of 66
Actor Om Puri passes away at the age of 66 due to a cardiac arrest in Mumbai, on January 6, 2016. He was credited for being part of parallel, new-wave cinema along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil that brought change in the film industry back in the 1980s.
He was born on October 18, 1950 in Ambala, Haryana. He was one of the prominent names of parallel cinema that changed Indian cinema in the 1980s.
He made his debut in films in a marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal in 1972. He had studied acting in India’s two of the most prestigious acting schools of the country- National School of Drama (NSD) and Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
He is remembered for his outstanding performances in films like Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992). His last appearance was in a Pakistani comedy film, Actor in Law, which had released in September 2016.
He also had lent his voice for the character of Bagheera in The Jungle Book.
Earth like snow patterns found on Pluto, claim researchers
Using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices, scientists have found evidence of snow and ice features, known as “penitentes”, on Pluto. Until now, these had only been seen on the Earth.
Penitentes are snow and ice features formed by erosion that, on the Earth, are characterised by bowl-shaped depressions with blade-like spires around the edge that rise up to several metres. Until now no penitentes have been identified conclusively on planetary bodies other than the Earth.
The new research, published in the journal Nature, indicates that these icy features may also exist on other planets where environmental conditions are similar.
Though Pluto’s environment is very different from the Earth’s — it is much colder, the air much thinner, the sun much dimmer and the snow and ice on the surface are made from methane and nitrogen instead of water — the same laws of nature apply.
The identification of these ridges in Pluto’s informally named Tartarus Dorsa area suggests that the presence of an atmosphere is necessary for the formation of penitentes, which would explain why they have not previously been seen on other airless icy satellites or dwarf planets.
The research team compared its model to ridges on Pluto imaged by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Pluto’s ridges are much larger — about 500 metres tall and separated by about three to five kilometres — than their earthly counterparts.
This gargantuan size is predicted by the same theory that explains the formation of these features on the Earth.
First Wind Power auction to conducted in India
The country would have its first auction of wind power projects, but with no surety on power purchase and lack of evacuation infrastructure. Developers are likely to hedge risks by quoting higher tariff. Projects worth 1,000 Mw will go under hammer, but there is no surety of off-take the Centre has not tied up with any state for power sale. Some of the leading companies in the sector are Suzlon, Hero Future Energies, Sembcorp India, ReNew Power, Gamesa India.
According to industry estimates, the tariff will be around Rs 4.5-4.8 per unit against the government’s claim of Rs 4 per unit.
Till now, wind power projects were offered under the feed-in tariff model, with states signing for power procurement with the developer for a singular tariff for 25 years.
Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been designated as the nodal agency for implementing this scheme.
Power Trading Corporation of India has been selected by SECI for purchase and sale of wind power after entering into a power-purchase agreement for 25 years with the successful bidders.
The responsibility of getting the inter-state transmission system (ISTS) connectivity and long-term access (LTA) lie entirely with the wind project developer.
For getting LTA, a developer needs to submit the power injection and drawl point. In this case, however, there is no information on the drawl point as the developers don’t know which state will procure. Even taking the connection till the nearest sub-station is also not shared.
The tender document states the “Central Transmission Utility (CTU) may provide the details of ISTS substation of the windy states with indicative information on the total installed transformation capacity and capacity available in MVA which can be injected/evacuated from these substations at a particular time.”
PGCIL is also the CTU. Green corridors are an alternative transmission network for wind power projects.
India and Kazakhstan sign Protocol to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention
India and Kazakhstan signed a Protocol to amend the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between the two countries which was earlier signed on December 9, 1996 for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The Protocol provides internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters. Further, the information received from Kazakhstan for tax purposes can be shared with other law enforcement agencies with authorisation of the competent authority of Kazakhstan and vice versa.
The Protocol inserts a Limitation of Benefits Article, to provide a main purpose test to prevent misuse of the DTAC and to allow application of domestic law and measures against tax avoidance or evasion.
The Protocol inserts specific provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. This is a taxpayer friendly measure and is in line with India’s commitment under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to meet the minimum standard of providing Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) access in transfer pricing cases.
The Protocol inserts service PE provisions with a threshold and also provides that the profits to be attributed to PE will be determined on the basis of apportionment of total profits of the enterprise.
The Protocol replaces existing Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes with a new Article to align it with international standards.