1. Second border haat opens in Sipahijala district of Tripura
i. The second border haat (rural market) was opened for common people at Kamalasagar in Sipahijala district of Tripura bordering Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.
ii. The haat was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina by video-conferencing from Dhaka on June 6, 2015. This market is set up at the zero line of the international border with one part on the Indian side and the other in Bangladesh.
iii. Initially it will facilitate bilateral trade of 16 shortlisted locally produced goods. These goods include agricultural and horticultural crops, spices, minor forest products excluding timber, fish and dry fish, dairy and poultry products, cottage industry items, wooden furniture, handloom and handicraft items.
iv. People residing within a distance of 5 km from along the border are entitled to do business at the haat which will take place once in a week initially. No local taxes would be levied on the goods sold in the haats and currencies of both the countries would prevail.
v. First border haat was inaugurated on Srinagar- Purba border area in January 2015 by Union Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala along with her Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail ahmed.
2. Renewable energy targets quadruple globally in 10 years: IRENA
i. IRENA is an intergovernmental organization to promote adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy. It is a global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange within its member nations.
ii. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has announced that in past one decade renewable energy targets have quadruple globally.
iii. It was mentioned IRENA Renewable Energy Target Setting report which was released by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin on the side lines of IRENA’s 9th Council meeting in Dubai.
iv. As per report, 164 countries have adopted at least one type of renewable energy target compared to 43 countries in 2005. All nations are adopting renewable energy targets to meet multiple objectives including energy security, environmental sustainability and socio-economic benefits.
v. The majority of 150 countries have focused committed renewable energy targets on the electricity sector The numbers of countries setting renewable targets for the heating and cooling sector have increased to 47 from 2 countries in 2005.
3. RBI allows NRIs to subscribe chit funds
i. Reserve Bank of Indian has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in chit fund to encourage flow of capital into the country. Decision in this regard was taken after RBI had revised the extant guidelines for subscription to the chit funds in consultation with the government.
ii. Henceforth, NRIs on non-repatriation basis will be allowed to invest in chit fund without any ceiling. However, the subscription to the chit funds by NRIs will be mandatorily brought in through normal banking channel, including through an account maintained with a bank in India.
iii. The state government may permit any chit fund to accept subscription from NRIs on non-repatriation basis. It will be permitted by the registrar of chits or an officer authorized by the state government in accordance with the provisions of the Chit Fund Act, 1982.
iv. Earlier in May 2000, RBI had barred NRIs from investing in a company or firms engaged in the business of chit fund. Apart from this decision, RBI also extended the scheme allowing airline companies to raise external commercial borrowings (ECB) for working capital as a permissible end-use under the approval route. Now, the ECB scheme will continue till March 31, 2016.
4. Legendary actor Sir Christopher Lee passes away
i. Legendary English actor, singer and writer Sir Christopher Lee passed away in London, United Kingdom. He was 93. The veteran actor was famously known as the master of horror for his famous villainy acting roles in numerous movies such as Dracula, The Wicker Man, James Bond, Lord of the Rings trilogy etc.
ii. Christopher Lee was born in London in 1922 Film career: His on screen acting career began in 1947 after he had the Rank Organisation where he was trained as an actor. His career spanned more than 7 decades. His famous acting roles include Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003), The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), Count Dooku Star Wars trilogy (2002 and 2005) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).
iii. He also is known for his best performance portraying of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998). Music career: Lee was also known for his singing ability. He had recorded various opera and musical pieces between 1986 and 1998.
iv. He also had recorded symphonic metal album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross in 2010 after he had worked with several metal bands since 2005. Awards and Honours: He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011 and Spirit of Metal award (2010)
5. Union Government scraps import duties on AIDS drugs and test kits
i. Union Government has scrapped customs import duties for drugs and test kits used to treat Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).
ii. In this regard Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notice that will remain in effect till March 2016. This decision will help to cut prices of AIDS drugs across the country and thus help directly in Government’s national program to fight the disease.
iii. It will also make import raw materials that are used to make antiretrovirals under the national program cheaper. This tax exemption will be applicable to certain first-line and second-line antiretroviral drugs which are used to treat adults and children.
iv. Apart from drugs certain diagnostic kits and equipment are also exempted from tax. In India more than 2.1 million HIV/AIDS patients are provided with daily antiretrovirals for free from state-run distribution centres which are operated by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
6. C.S Verma steps down as SAIL CMD
i. State-owned SAIL on Thursday said C. S. Verma had relinquished the charge as Chairman and Managing Director on completion of his tenure and Steel Secretary Rakesh Singh has assumed the charge till a regular incumbent is appointed.
ii. Mr. Verma was appointed CMD of the country’s largest steel producer for a 5-year term in June 2010 by the previous UPA government, and was eligible for an extension till he attained the superannuation age of 60 years in September 2019.
iii. The government’s not extending his tenure to the top job makes him the first ‘Maharatna’ PSU head to be denied an extension during the current NDA regime.
7. TCS, Infosys face US probe for H-1B visa violations
i. The US government has opened an investigation against two of the biggest Indian outsourcing companies for possible violations of H1-B visa rules, according to a media report.
ii. The Department of Labour has opened the investigation against Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys for possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison
iii. The power company had recently laid off more than 500 technology workers amid claims that many of those laid off were made to train their replacements who were immigrants on the temporary work visas brought in by the Indian firms
iv. The move by the Labour Department comes days after the NYT had reported that hundreds of employees at entertainment giant Walt Disney were laid off and replaced with Indians holding H1-B visas.