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Current Events 9 January 2017

 

NEWS

9 JANUARY 2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III: ECONOMY

Fuel outlets to stop accepting cards

2.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

New ginger species with medicinal properties found in Andamans

3.

GS II :GOVERNMENT POLICIES

Come April, Aadhaar is must for MGNREGS work

4.

GS II: POLITY - LEGISLATURE

PAC to quiz RBI Governor, officials

5.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll

6.

GS III : ECONOMY -INFRASTRUTURE

Road safety week to begin

7.

GS III :  DEFENCE

Army enthused by new indigenous artillery gun

8.

GS II: POLITY – INDIAN DIASPORA

A promise to heirs of indentured labourers

9.

GS II: POLITY – INDIAN DIASPORA

Illegal recruitment will be done away with: Minister

10.

GS III : ECONOMY

TReDing’ the path to quick payments

11.

GS III : INFRASTRUCTURE- POWER

‘Mini grids can power rural economic activity

12.

GS III : ECONOMY

Anti-avoidance tax rule to kick in from April 2017


GS III: ECONOMY

Fuel outlets to stop accepting cards

  • All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA) announced that its members would not accept payments by credit and debit cards.
  • The decision came after “HDFC and other banks...quoted [an] RBI circular... [to charge] 1 per cent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9,” which would eat into the dealers’ profits.
  • The association cites they have a very thin margin and cannot afford this deduction.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

New ginger species with medicinal properties found in Andamans

  • Scientists of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have found a new species of Zingiber (commonly referred as ginger) from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The species Zingiber pseudosquarrosum, new to science, belonging to genus Zingiber, was already used by the local Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of the Andamans for its medicinal values.
  • After collecting and systematically analysing the species, scientists found that the new species indeed possesses ethno-medicinal uses.
  • The fresh extract [juice] of fleshy tuberous roots is used to treat abdominal pain and anti-helminthic troubles by Nicobarese and certain other tribal communities.
  • This pseudo stem of the new species is predominantly red in colour. Flowers have a vermilion tinge and dehisced fruit [fully mature fruits] are lotus shaped. The morphological features of this species makes it distinct from other species belonging to the genus Zingiber.

Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG)

  • It is a government of India classification created with the purpose of enabling improvement in the conditions of certain communities with particularly low development indices.
  • The Dhebar Commission (1960-1961) stated that within Scheduled Tribes there existed an inequality in the rate of development.
  • During the fourth Five Year Plan a sub-category was created within Scheduled Tribes to identify groups that considered to be at a lower level of development.
  • This sub-category was named "Primitive tribal group".
  • The features of such a group include a pre-agricultural system of existence, that is practice of hunting and gathering, zero or negative population growth, extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.
  • Groups that satisfied any one of the criterion were considered as PTG.
  • These communities were identified on the basis of recommendations made by the respective state governments.
  • Total 75 groups are identified as PTG
  • The 75th group recognised as PTG was the Maram in Manipur in 1993-94.
  • No new group was declared as PTG on the basis of the 2001 census
  • In 2006 the government of India proposed to rename "Primitive tribal group" as Particularly vulnerable tribal group".
  • PVTGs from Andaman and Nicobar Islands are: Great Andamanese, Jarawas, Onges, Sentinelese and Shompens.


GS II :GOVERNMENT POLICIES

Come April, Aadhaar is must for MGNREGS work

  • From April 1, workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which mandates 100 days of work for a household a year, must have an Aadhaar card.
  • However, till an Aadhaar card is obtained, ration card, driving licence, voter identity card, Kisan passbook with photo, job card issued under the MGNREGS and a certificate issued by a gazetted officer or a tehsildar will be admissible as proof of identity to get the benefits.
  • The government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Subsidies, Benefits and other Services) Act, 2016, which mandates that when the government gives subsidy, benefit or service from the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), an individual can be asked to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar.

In  2009, NREGA was remnamed Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)


GS II: POLITY - LEGISLATURE

PAC to quiz RBI Governor, officials

  • The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has sent a questionnaire to RBI Governor Urjit Patel and other top finance-related officials on demonetisation.
  • The committee is headed by Congress leader K.V. Thomas.
  • They will appear before the PAC on January 20.
  • Mr. Patel apart, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das will attend the meeting.
  • The PAC, which scrutinises the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, takes suo motu note of important matters.
  • The development is crucial as questions have been raised about some aspects of demonetisation: how many people were involved in the decision-making; is there a law that can restrict people’s access to their money; how much money has come back into the banks after demonetisation and how much black money has been extinguished; what was the need to demonetise if counterfeit currency estimates did not necessitate it and if an advanced country like Japan has a higher cash-to-GDP ratio than India; and how much much money has been pumped back into the system?
  • Sources say the committee is expected to quiz the officials on these issues, as several details about demonetisation and new notes put into circulation have not been made public.


GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

SC wants paper trail in EVMs for fair poll

  • Even as five States go to the polls, the Supreme Court has reiterated the necessity to implement the Vote Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure 100 per cent transparency in elections.
  • In the VVPAT system, when a voter presses the button for a candidate of his choice in the EVM, a paper ballot containing the serial number, name of the candidate and poll symbol would be printed for the voter.
  • The VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their votes were cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
  • This is the second time the Supreme Court is insisting on the implementation of VVPAT in EVMs. In 2013, the apex court, on a petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, had directed the Election Commission to introduce the paper trail in EVMs in a phased manner for the general elections in 2014.
  • The EC had, at the time, informed the apex court that the VVPAT could be introduced in a phased manner.

GS III : ECONOMY -INFRASTRUTURE

Road safety week to begin

  • The 28th Road Safety Week begins, as is observed each year in January, to spread awareness, especially among the youth.
  • This year’s theme is ‘Accident is painful, safety is gainful’.
  • Highest road deaths - India accounts for 11 percent of global road accident deaths, with about 1.46 lakh fatalities — a number that  is among the highest in the world.

GS III :  DEFENCE

Army enthused by new indigenous artillery gun

  • The Army has given the thumbs-up to a heavy artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with the private sector.
  • Bharat Forge Ltd. Of the Kalyani Group, Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Mahindra Defence Naval System from the private sector are involved in a big way, along with the Ordnance Factory Board(OFB), in the project.
  • ATAGS is a 155-mm, 52-calibre towed artillery gun being developed in mission mode for the Army’s artillery modernisation programme.
  • Sources said that by the present sequence, it could tentatively be inducted in the Army between 2022-24. 

 

GS II: POLITY – INDIAN DIASPORA

A promise to heirs of indentured labourers

  • Bringing joy to Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) living in countries where Indians had worked as indentured labourers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said new procedures and documents would be put in place to help them get the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card.
  • Thousands of PIOs whose families migrated to several countries as indentured labourers four to five generations ago, currently have difficulties in obtaining the OCI card as they are unable to furnish proper documents and the family tree to secure the card.
  • Indentured workers from India were taken to Suriname, Reunion Island, South Africa, Guyana, Mauritis, Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago to work in sugar cane plantations.
  • Girmit is a corrupt form of the English word agreement, and Mahatma Gandhi had called himself the first Girmit.
  • “We have a special bond with Girmitya countries and are aware of the difficulties that PIOs are facing in getting the OCI card. Starting with Mauritius, new procedures and documents will be put in place so that PIOs from these countries get their cards,” Mr. Modi said.

 

GS II: POLITY – INDIAN DIASPORA

Illegal recruitment will be done away with: Minister

  • The Union government made it clear that it will take strict action against illegal agencies that hire people for jobs abroad, especially in West Asian countries.
  • The Centre has launched an online portal called e-Migrate and ‘MADAD’ platforms to address the grievances of migrant workers.


GS III : ECONOMY

TReDing’ the path to quick payments

  • The objective of TReDS (Trade Receivables Discounting System) is to create Electronic Bill Factoring Exchanges that could electronically accept and settle bills so that MSMEs could encash their receivables without delay.
  • Noting that the TReDS will give MSMEs greater access to finance and put greater discipline on corporates to pay their dues on time, the RBI in November 2015 granted in-principle nod to three applicants, NSE Strategic Investment Corp-SIDBI, Axis Bank and Mynd Solutions to establish and run TReDS.
  • Since the TReDS will not be allowed to assume any credit risk, its minimum paid up equity capital shall be ₨.25 crore, the RBI had said.


GS III : INFRASTRUCTURE- POWER

‘Mini grids can power rural economic activity

  • A mini grid, as defined by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is an offgrid power system with a generation capacity of between 10 KW and 500 KW.
  • Mini grids can spur economic activity in rural areas and accelerate the process of expanding mobile phone network across the country due to their large capacities and the ability to connect to the national grid.


GS III : ECONOMY

Anti-avoidance tax rule to kick in from April 2017

  • Tax anti-avoidance rule GAAR will kick in from April 1, 2017, the tax department said.
  • General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) was part of the 2012-13 Budget speech of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to check tax evasion and avoidance.
  • GAAR was originally to be implemented from April 1, 2014.
  • It contains provision allowing the government to prospectively tax overseas deals involving local assets.
  • There have been fears that the government may use it to target P-Notes, which could attract a tax rate of up to 15 per cent.

 

 

 


 

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