19 May 2017 Current Affairs is available now for the users to read.
19 May 2017 Current Affairs
1) Indian Army gets M777 Howitzers
Indian Army has received the first two howitzers from the US as part of an order for 145 long-range guns which will be mostly deployed along the border with China. Army waited 30 years after Bofors scandal.
The M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers (ULH), having a maximum range of 30 km and manufactured by the BAE Systems. These will be test fired in Pokran range in Rajasthan. India had struck a deal with the US in November last year for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly Rs 5,000 crore.
2) GST rates announced with staggered rates for different commodities
The Goods and Services (GST) Council has agreed on the fitment of almost all commodities in the various tax slabs under the new indirect regime to be rolled out on July 1.
Milk, cereals (unpackaged and unbranded) will be exempt from any GST, while sugar, tea, coffee (except instant), and edible oil will be taxed at 5%.
Common use items such as soap, toothpaste, and hair oil, which currently attract a tax rate of 22-24%, will be taxed at 18%. Coal, which is currently taxed at 11.7%, will attract a GST rate of 5%.
Consumer durables will come under the 28% tax bracket, down from the current 30-32% rate.
Capital goods and industrial intermediaries will be taxed at 18%.
Small petrol and diesel cars will be taxed at 28% with small petrol cars attracting a cess of 1% and small diesel cars 3%.
3) RBI directs to open One fourth of new bank branches in rural areas
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that 25 per cent of the total number of ‘banking outlets’ opened during a financial year should be located in unbanked rural centres.
Domestic scheduled commercial banks (other than RRBs) are permitted to open, unless otherwise specifically restricted in tier 1 to tier 6 centres without having the need to take permission from RBI in each case.
4) India’s Healthcare Ranks Below Bangladesh And Sri Lanka
India continues to be at the bottom in the ranking of countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare. According to the new Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet, while South Korea, Turkey, Peru, China and the Maldives have seen some of the greatest improvements in healthcare access and quality, India has failed to achieve most of the healthcare goals.
India ranked at 154 with an score of 44.8 in the list of 195 countries. Sri Lanka has scored 73 on the index, whereas Brazil and Bangladesh have score 65 and 52
5) Tata most valuable brand and Airtel is number Two
Tata Group has retained its position as India’s leading brand with a brand value of $13.1 billion in valuation firm Brand Finance’s annual study of the country’s top 100 names.
Among the other brands in the top 10 list for 2017 are Airtel at number two with a brand value of $7.7 billion.