Seven new countries join BEPS agreement Seven new countries Lithuania, Gabon, Hungary, Indonesia, Malta, Mauritius and Russia – have signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement for Country-by-Country Reporting (CbC MCAA). With this, the total number of signatories has increased to 57 including India (signed in May 2015). CbC MCAA is a tax co-operation agreement to enable automatic sharing of country-by-country information. The CbC MCAA aims to boost transparency by multinational enterprises (MNEs) by allowing signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange country-by-country reports. India Post gets payments bank licence from RBI India Post under Department of Posts (Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) received final payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). With this, India Post became the third entity after Bharti Airtel and Paytm to receive final payments bank licence to roll-out of banking operations commercially under the permit. As per the initial road map, each post office in the country will offer the post bank services. The department of post has an existing network of around 1,55,000 post offices currently. India Post Current Affairs: January 2017 www.talentsprint.com 90 plans to open 650 new branches for the payment bank. These branches will be co-located with the existing post offices. Government launches Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign The Union Government has launched nationwide ‚Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC)‛ on the occasion of Anti-Leprosy Day (observed on the last Sunday of January). The day is observed every year on January 30 in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi who attained martyrdom on this day in 1948, to remember his selfless efforts and care for the people affected with Leprosy. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and it usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves. The mode of transmission of leprosy is still not known. According to WHO, the diseased had affected 2,12,000 people globally in 2015. India alone reported 1,27,326 new cases, accounting for 60% of new cases globally. SC appoints Committee of Administrators headed by Vinod Rai to run BCCI The Supreme Court has appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of four-member Committee of Administrators to run Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Other three members of the committee are noted historian Ramachandra Guha, former Indian women’s cricket team captain Diana Edulji and managing director of IDFC Limited Vikram Limaye. They will function as the interim bosses of the BCCI and run the day-to-day administration of cricket body till the Lodha Committee reforms are fully implemented and elections held. Current Affairs: January 2017 www.talentsprint.com 91 Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State. State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature. Karnatak state government is going to follow the model of the Tamil Nadu government and bring changes to the PCA. The Bill passed by the legislature will require an assent from the President. Atomic clocks on indigenous navigation satellite IRNSS-1A develops snag The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), the indigenously built satellite-based positioning system, has developed a technical snag. One of the three crucial rubidium timekeepers (atomic clock) on IRNSS-1A satellites failed six months ago and the other two followed subsequently. ISRO will soon launch one of its back up navigation satellites as a replacement to IRNSS-1A satellite. Remaining satellites of NavIC constellation (having total 7 satellites) are performing their core function of providing accurate position, navigation and time.