Daily Current Affairs and GK
The Budget for 2023-24 kept its focus on expanding Capex showing that the Modi government's priorities are building roads, highways, and railway lines. The middle class has been given some relief in terms of tweaks in the new income tax regime clearly pointing out that the government wants a shift towards the new regime from the older one. The FM stuck to the fiscal deficit roadmap in the Budget with a target of 5.9% in FY 24 and adhering to the target for the current.
Budget 2023: Big bonanza for senior citizens
- Budget 2023 has increased the maximum permissible investment in the senior citizen savings scheme, a popular investment among the elderly. The post office monthly income scheme, too, has been made more attractive.
- Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman doubled the maximum limit under the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) to Rs 30 lakh from Rs 15 lakh. The scheme offers assured interest of Rs 8 percent per annum. The interest is pa
The geological regions broadly follow the physical features and may be grouped into threeregions: the Himalayas and their associated group of mountains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain and thePeninsular Shield.
The Himalayan mountain belt to the north and the Naga-Lushai mountain in the east, are theregions of mountain-building movement. Most of this area, now presenting some of the mostmagnificent mountain scenery in the world, was under marine conditions about 60 crore yearsago. In a series of mountain-building movements commencing about seven crore years ago, thesediments and the basement rocks rose to great heights.
The weathering and erosive elementsworked on these to produce the relief seen today. The Indo-Ganga plains are a great alluvial tractthat separate the Himalayas in
The mainland comprises four regions, namely, the great mountain zone, plains of the Gangaand the Indus, the desert region and the southern peninsula.
The Himalayas comprise three almost parallel ranges interspersed with large plateaus andvalleys, some of which, like the Kashmir and Kullu valleys, are fertile, extensive and of greatscenic beauty. Some of the highest peaks in the world are found in these ranges. The highaltitudes allow travel only through a few passes, notably the Jelep La and Nathu La on the mainIndo-Tibet trade route through the Chumbi valley, north-east of Darjeeling and Shipki La in theSatluj valley, north-east of Kalpa (Kinnaur). The mountain wall extends over a distance of about2,400 km with a varying depth of 240 to 320 km. In the east, between India and Myanmar andIndia and Bangladesh, hill ranges are much lower. Garo, Khasi, Jaintia and Naga Hills, running almost east-west, join the chain to Mizo and Rakhine Hills running north-south.
INDIA is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother ofhistory, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable andmost instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”—Mark TwainIndia has a unique culture and is one of the oldest and greatest civilizations of the world. Itstretches from the snow-capped Himalayas in the north to sun drenched coastal villages of thesouth and the humid tropical forests on the south-west coast, from the fertile Brahmaputra valleyon its east to the Thar desert in the west. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km. It has achievedall-round socio-economic progress during the last so many years of its Independence. India is theseventh largest country in the world and ranks second in population.
Uttarakhand Public Service Commission (UKPSC) has released the 2022-23 exam calendar for various posts. The notice regarding publication of advertisement and proposed examination date for various examinations is available at the official website psc.uk.gov.in.
Here’s UKPSC exam calendar 2023
According to the exam calendar, UKPSC will release the Uttarakhand Police recruitment 2022 (PAC/ IRB/ Fire Safety Officer) notification on October 7 and the exam will be held on December 18.
The exam calendar features dates for Sub Inspector/ Lekhpal, Forest Guard, Assistant Accountant, Jail Warden, Junio
Union Public Service Commission has newly launched their mobile application. The new mobile app has been launched for accessing all the exam and recruitment related information through mobile.
The android app is available on the Google Play store. Candidates through this app can check the exam and job related details but will not be able to fill application forms using mobile. To download it online, candidates can follow these simple steps given below.
- Go to mobile app Google play store.
- Type UPSC official app on the search bar.
- The newly launched app will be displayed.
- Click on install and in installation
The Centre on 5.06.21 (Tuesday) said mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will come into force from June 16 in a phased manner and initially will be implemented in 256 districts of the country.
A decision in this regard was taken after a meeting chaired by Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal with industry stakeholders.
In November 2019, the government had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021.
Currently Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is running hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000.
But the deadline was extended for four months till June 1 and later till June 15 after the jewellers sought more time in view of the pandemic. Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and has been voluntary in nature so far.
“Continuing our government’s endeavour for better protection & satisfaction of custo
The Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement, officially the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement:
Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel, was initially agreed to in a joint statement by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 13, 2020, officially referred to as the Abraham Accords.
The UAE thus became the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to agree to formally normalize its relationship with Israel, as well as the first Persian Gulf country to do so. Concurrently, Israel agreed to suspend plans for annexing parts of the West Bank. The agreement normalized what had long been informal but robust foreign relations between the two countries. The agreement was signed at the White House on September 15, 2020. It was approved unanimously by the Israeli cabinet on October 12 and was ratified by the Knesset on October 15. The UAE parliam
What are the benefits of fertigation?
In general, a correct and rational management of fertigation leads to an improvement of yields, compared to the traditional fertilization. For example, yields can improve up to 15-30% for tomatoes, compared to the traditional fertilization with sprinkling irrigation.
The main benefits of fertigation are:
• better nutrients’ absorption by plants thanks to the mixing of fertilizers and water;
• more efficient use of water, with no waste;
• optimization of manpower for all fertilizing operations;
• soil less wrecked by agricultural machines during cultivation operations and fertilizations allowed even when the crops are not accessible to farm equipment;
• better fertilizers’ application and absence of nutrients and water’s loss;
• absence of dust dispersion in the air during fertilizers’ distribution.
What you need to know about fertigation
The “Startup India” campaign of the Government of India recognizes entrepreneurship as an increasingly important strategy to fuel productivity growth and wealth creation in India. Given this initative, this chapter examines the content and drivers of entrepreneurial activity at the bottom of the administrative pyramid – over 500 districts in India. The analysis employs comprehensive data on new firm creation in the formal sector across all these districts from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)-21 database.
First, using the World Bank’s Data on Entrepreneurship, this chapter confirms that India ranks third in number of new firms created. The same data shows that new firm creation has gone up dramatically in India since 2014. While the number of new firms in the formal sector grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 3.8 per cent from 2006-2014, the growth rate from 2014 to 2018 has been 12.2 per cent. As a result, from about 70,000 new firms created in
Wealth creation happens in an economy when the right policy choices are pursued. For instance, wealth creation and economic development in several advanced economies has been guided by Adam Smith’s philosophy of the invisible hand. Despite the dalliance with socialism – four decades is but an ephemeral period in a history of millennia – India has embraced the market model that represents our traditional legacy. However, scepticism about the benefits accruing from a market economy still persists. This is not an accident as our tryst with socialism for several decades’ makes most Indians believe that Indian economic thought conflicts with an economic model relying on the invisible hand of the market economy. However, this belief is far from the truth.
In fact, our traditional economic thinking has always emphasized enabling markets and eliminating obstacles to economic activity. As far as half-a-century back, Spengler (1971) wrote that Kautily
The register is meant to be a list of Indian citizens living in Assam. For decades, the presence of migrants, often called “bahiragat” or outsiders, has been a loaded issue here. Assam saw waves of migration, first as a colonial province and then as a border state in independent India.
The first National Register of Citizens was compiled in 1951, after the Census was completed that year. The Partition of the subcontinent and communal riots had just triggered vast population exchanges at the border.
Since 2015, the state has been in the process of updating the 1951 register. One of the stated aims of the exercise is to identify so-called “illegal immigrants” in the state, many of whom are believed to have poured into Assam after the Bangladesh War of 1971.
In 1979, about eight years after the war, the state saw an anti-foreigners’ agitation. Assamese ethnic nationalists claimed illegal immigrants had entered electoral rolls and were taking away the right
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution was an article empowered the Jammu and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954, under Article 370.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir defined these privileges to include the ability to purchase land and unmovable property, ability to vote and contest elections, seeking government employment and availing other state benefits such as higher education and health care. Non-permanent residents of the state, even if Indian citizens, were not entitled to these 'privileges'.
On 5 August 2019, the President of India issued a Presidential Order, whereby all the provisions of the Indian Constitution are to apply to the State without any special provisions. This would imply that
As the government abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Article 371, which has special provisions for other States, mostly from the Northeast, has invited some attention.
Most of the States that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.
Article 371(A) states that no act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland in respect of the religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
It shall apply to Nagaland only after the State Assembly passes a resolution to do so, it says
Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir—a state in India, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947—allowing it to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.
The government of India revoked this special status in August 2019 through a Presidential Order and the passage of a resolution in Parliament.
The article was drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, after its establishment, was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state or to abrogate the Article 370 altogether. After consultation with the state's Constituent Assembly, the 1954 Presidential Order was issued, specifying the articles of t
India has joined the elite group of nations when the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) was commissioned into the Indian navy at INS Hansa in Panaji. India has become the third country to have such facility in the world after United States and Ukraine.
Recently India has become the third country in the world to have Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) in the world.
The Indian Navy's SBTF is located at INS Hansa in Goa, and is used to train and certify navy pilots of the Mikoyan MiG-29K for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, and for the developmental trials of the naval HAL Tejas. This SBTF was designed by Nevskoye Design Bureau (NDB) of Russia for Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
The ski-jump resembles part of a parabola and has an inclination of 14 degrees. The highest point of the ski-jump is at 5.71 metres from the ground.
A Shore Based Test Facility or the SBTF (also known as Land Based Test Facility) is used for the flight testing of
On 5th of August 2019, the President of India promulgated the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has not been revoked. Rather, the President of India has made modifications to it, which is allowed by certain provisions in the article itself. On August 5, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Rajya Sabha that the Government had scrapped the special status granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by modifying Article 370 of the Constitution. (The same day, the Rajya Sabha also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, which proposes the bifurcation of the state into two union territories-Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir.)
1. The order effectively abrogates the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under the provision of Article 370 - whereby provisions of the Constitution which were applicable to other states were not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The United Nations (UN) was established on October 24, 1945, as the peacekeeper of the world with the purpose of resolving conflicts and making sure another World War doesn’t take place. Here are 14 important United Nations (UN) agencies and their roles.
Currently, the UN has 193 countries as its members and it is headquartered in New York, USA. The UN not only focuses on peace but also aims at promoting sustainable development, upholding international laws and protecting human rights.
Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as:
Peace and security
Humanitarian and health emergencies
Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) or Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a special status given in trade by various countries. In the United States, it is designed to promote economic growth in the developing country, the agreement provides duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974, mentioned US government. India government, however, thinks the plan has been proliferating since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994.
List of India's trade agreements
1. Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) : A PSA allows countries to trade in a small number of goods, making the scope minimal.
2. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) : A free trade agreement is a preferential arrangement in which members reduce tariffs on trade among themselves while maintaining their own tariff rates for trade with non-members.
3. Customs Union (CU) : A cu
The issue of publication of second and final draft of National Register of Citizens in Assam continued to dominate political scenario. After BJP President Amit Shah, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has also asked Congress Party and TMC to clarify their stance on illegal migrants.
The issue again reverberated in the upper house as vociferous opposition created an uproar. Despite requests from the chair, the pandemonium continued and the proceedings had to be adjourned.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju termed Mamata Banerjee's remarks on NRC and her comparing it with civil war as condemnable. He said that it is the duty of the CM to maintain law & order in the state and not incite violence.
Earlier, the issue of publication of second and final draft of National Register of Citizens in Assam continued to send political temperatures soaring for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.
The BJP accused Congress of a
The Union Cabinet on 22 Nov 2017 gave its nod to set up the 15th Finance Commission that will decide on the distribution of taxes between the Centre, states and local bodies.
The Finance Commission is set up every five years, and the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission are expected to be implemented from April 1, 2020.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission are keenly awaited as it will have an impact on the way the income from taxes is shared among Centre, states and local bodies.
"The exercise will be different as it will have to take into account the changes in tax sharing after the implementation of GST," Jaitley said.
After the Cabinet decision, the government will have to issue a notification constituting the 15th Finance Commission and announcing its terms of reference.The recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission were implemented from April 1, 2015.
It had changed the fiscal relationship between t
The report of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, chaired by Y.V. Reddy, was tabled in Parliament on February 24, 2015. The Finance Commission is a constitutional body that is formed once in five years, and provides recommendations on centre-state financial relations.
Recommendations of the 14thCommission include:
Devolution of taxes to states: Tax devolution should be the primary source of transfer of funds to states. The share of taxes of the centre to states is recommended to be increased from 32% to 42%.
Additional budgetary needs of the states will be filled by grants-in-aid to the states. The total revenue deficit grant to states in the 2015-20 period is recommended to be Rs 1,94,821 crore.
Weights of indicators for share in taxes: The weights of various indicators in the calculation of states’ share of taxes have been fixed at the following: (i) 1971 population: 17.5%, 2011 population: 10%, (ii) are
The Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) recognizes that certain investment measures can restrict and distort trade. It states that WTO members may not apply any measure that discriminates against foreign products or that leads to quantitative restrictions, both of which violate basic WTO principles. A list of prohibited TRIMS, such as local content requirements, is part of the Agreement. The TRIMS Committee monitors the operation and implementation of the Agreement and allows members the opportunity to consult on any relevant matters.
GATT and Foreign Investment
Prior to the Uruguay Round negotiations, the linkage between trade and investment received little attention in the framework of the GATT.
The Charter for an International Trade Organization
The carbon fertilization effect will cause changes in crop yields at least half as large as those due to alterations in climate, a US-based simulation has shown. Although the simulation is not comprehensive enough to provide definite estimates of the regions that will be most affected by the carbon fertilization effect, it does suggest that vegetation models ought to take the phenomenon into account on a regional level.
The carbon fertilization effect (CFE) is in principle simple: the larger amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has resulted from rising anthropogenic emissions should help the growth of plants, which use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. The effect ought to increase crop yields – and that is some good news for farmers, amid the overwhelmingly gloomy forecasts for other aspects of climate change.
In detail, however, carbon fertilization is not so simple. It tends to have a greater effect on plants whe
The Union government has given a green signal for setting up India's first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra to increase manufacturing activities and create more jobs in the country.
Close to 45 companies from the telecom, auto and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to start manufacturing units in the zone. The move will see an investment of Rs 15,000 crore in the first phase and will create more than 1.5 lakh jobs, the Economic Times reported.
The first mega CEZ will stretch along north Konkan region spread across Nashik, Thane, Mumbai, Pune and Raigarh.
"The idea is to attract large firms interested in serving the export markets as they would bring with them technology, capital, good management and links to the world markets," said an official aware of the development.
The official also said that the move would also help to create an ecosystem around them that will help small and medium term companies to emerge and gro
The merchant discount rate is the rate charged to a merchant for payment processing services on debit and credit card transactions. The merchant must setup this service and agree to the rate prior to accepting debit and credit cards as payment.
The merchant discount rate is a fee merchants must consider when managing the overall costs of their business. Local merchants and e-commerce merchants will typically have varying fees and service level agreements. Most merchants can expect to pay a 1% to 3% fee for payment processing of each transaction. Payment processors have well established infrastructures and fee schedule arrangements in place to support all types of merchant payments.
1. MDR is a fee charged from a merchant by a bank for accepting payments from customers through credit and debit cards in their establishments.
2. MDR compensates the card issuing bank, the lender which puts the PoS terminal and payment gateways such as Mastercard or Visa for their services.
The NITI Aayog (Hindi for Policy Commission), also National Institution for Transforming India, is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
The Union Government of India announced the formation of NITI Aayog on 1 January 2015, and the first meeting was held on 8 February 2015.
The Prime Minister is the Ex-officio chairman. The permanent members of the governing council are all the state Chief Ministers, along with the Chief Ministers of Delhi and Puducherry, the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar, and a vice chairman nominated by the Prime Minister. In addition, temporary members are selected from leading universities and research institutions. These members include a chief executive officer, four ex-official members and two part-ti
Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices. The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). MSP is price fixed by Government of India to protect the producer - farmers - against excessive fall in price during bumper production years. The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government. The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution. In case the market price for the commodity falls below the announced minimum price due to bumper production and glut in the market, government agencies purchase the entire quantity offered by the farmers at the announced minimum price.
Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI.
SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems. NITI will work in close collaboration with their state machinery to design a robust roadmap of intervention, develop a program governance structure, set up monitoring and tracking mechanisms, hand-hold state institutions through the execution stage and provide support on a range of institutional measures to achieve the end objectives. The program will be implemented by NITI along with McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium, who were selected through a competitive bidding process.
To select the three model states, NITI
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund project to develop quantum computers in order to tap into the next big advance in computing technology. In India, Physics departments at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, so far have only forayed into theoretical aspects of quantum computing. Experts from across country are expected to gather in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such computer.
Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, has been launched at UNSW to advance the development and commercialisation of the University’s world-leading quantum computing technology.
The NSW Government is the latest partner to join the $83 million venture, pledging $8.7 million from its recently announced Quantum Computing Fund.
The commitment builds on earlier investments from UNSW and its quantum computing researchers ($25 million), Commonwealth Bank of Australia ($14 mil
In line with the scheme objectives, the scheme is applicable to any candidate of Indian nationality who:
- an unemployed youth, college / school dropout
- Has a verifiable identity proof - Aadhaar / Voter id and a bank account.
For more information, contact Call Centre Number : 088000 - 55555, Timing : 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, or write to email@example.com .
The Government of India has reportedly granted citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees after the Supreme Court asked it to expedite their requests. They, however, cannot own land and will have to apply for Inner Line Permits, the Times of India reported, citing the government.
In 2015, the apex court had directed the Centre to confer citizenship on them.
Chakmas and Hajongs had migrated from Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts after they were displaced by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s.
They also faced religious persecution, since they are Buddhists and Hindus.
Some one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees are believed to staying in India.
A home ministry survey in 2010-11 had found that over 53,000 refugees had been been living in the three districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
According to TOI, a new group of 45,000 Chakmas had crossed over to Tripura from Bangladesh in 1987.
In a significant step in 2005, the Election Commission issued guide
India has been placed at 103 rank on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Human Capital Index, which is topped by Norway. Among the South Asian countries, India falls behind Sri Lanka (70) and Nepal (98), and is just ahead of Bangladesh (111) and Pakistan (125).
The country has the lowest rank among the BRICS nations -- the Russian Federation is at 16th place, followed by China at 34th, Brazil at 77th and South Africa at 87th place, the WEF said.
India stands at the bottom of the heap among the G20 nations, the report said.
India also ranks poorly on labour force participation, due in part to one of the world's largest employment gender gaps.
However, it received solid rankings on education quality, staff training and economic complexity.
India was on 105 position on the list last year, while the top spot was taken by Finland, pushed to second place this year.
The Global Human Capital Index 2017 has ranked 130 count
The approval to the genetically-modified seed is shrouded in secrecy while ecological and societal risks are too high to ignore. GM Mustard may soon become India’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop. On May 11, 2017, the environment ministry's genetic engineering approval committee (GEAC) had recommended the commercial use of GM Mustard seed, DMH 11, developed by Delhi University.
While GM crops are grown in a few countries, including Canada and the US, many more have rejected or are undecided because of the possible health and ecological risks linked to this technology. In India, the issue gains more complexity as agriculture here is known to involve millions of farmers with small but independent landholdings. Introduction of GM seeds, as was seen in the context of Bt Cotton, leads to monocropping and the monopolistic control of these farms by big corporates.
Currently, Rapeseed-Mustard, also known colloquially as Rai, Sarson, Toria, Taramira etc., is grown on around 5.5
India is all set to whoosh through a tube at the speed of flight. And Andhra Pradesh will likely be the first state to do it. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has signed an agreement with the AP govt to connect the two cities of Vijayawada and Amaravathi. The 43km drive between the two cities takes a little over an hour. With the hyperloop, it will come down to just six minutes.
Starting October this year, the company will first conduct a six-month feasibility study to find the best possible route between the two cities. Construction begins thereafter, though the launch date isn’t known yet.
What is the hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a radical, yet untested means of travel proposed by maverick entrepreneur Elon Musk. It involves travelling in pods through a sealed pipe at speeds that could touch 1,200km/hr, making it faster than a jet aircraft. These speeds will be possible due to a largely frictionless environment, minus any physical con
One popular macroeconomic analysis metric to compare economic productivity and standards of living between countries is purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP is an economic theory that compares different countries' currencies through a "basket of goods" approach.
According to this concept, two currencies are in equilibrium—known as the currencies being at par—when a basket of goods is priced the same in both countries, taking into account the exchange rates.
KEY TAKEAWAYSPurchasing power parity (PPP) is a popular metric used by macroeconomic analysts.PPP compares economic productivity and standards of living between countries.
Some countries adjust their gross domestic product (GDP) figures to reflect PPP.
Absolute poverty has been seen as a matter of acute deprivation, hunger, premature death and suffering. This captures an important understanding of poverty and its relevance remains widespread in parts of the world today. It focuses attention on the urgent need for action. However, while there are some circumstances, such as starvation or unsafe water, which do lead to immediate death, most of these criteria require judgements and comparisons. What is classed as acute deprivation will vary from society to society and through time, and what is counted as premature death will depend on average life expectancies. So while there is a core to ideas of absolute poverty relating to the severity of deprivation and the need for immediate action, in practice, it is part of a continuum of a measurement of poverty, indicating it is deeper and worse.
As such, in 1995 the United Nations adopted two definitions of poverty.
Absolute poverty was defined as:
"a condition characterised by sev
Eminent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honoured with the Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel Hawthan.
The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.
The 74-year-old writer's novel was shortlisted from 22 regional language books.
Best known for his work, 'Paltadcho Munis', which inspired a film by the same name, Sail is a renowned bi-lingual writer based in Goa. He has four Marathi dramas and seven Konkani novels to his credit.
He has also written short stories and a novel in Marathi.Published in 2009, 'Hawtha' is a work of fiction presenting the cultural map of the traditional potter community of Goa.
Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018. This will improve India’s position in ocean research field. Shri M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences announced today.
Secretary was speaking through video conference in the workshop arranged by National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula. Shri M S Nagar, Member Standing Committee, Ministry of Earth Science, Dr VSN Murthy, Director, National Institute of Oceanography were also present at the inauguration of the workshop on ‘Three decades of India acquiring Pioneer Investor Status- Achievements and way forward’. India achieved a lot in the field of ocean research; still it is long way to go, said Secretary M Rajeevan on this occasion.
The program on Poly metallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first Research Vessel Gaveshani on 26 January 1981. India was th
Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. Early on, having nuclear weapons was seen as a measure of scientific sophistication or military might, with little consideration given to the devastating effects of testing on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.
The human and environmental tragedies that are the result of nuclear testing are compelling reasons for the need to observe the International Day against Nuclear Tests – a day in which educational events, activities and messages aim to capture the world’s attention and underscore the need for unified efforts to prevent further nuclear weapons testing.
The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testi
The Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) launched the world's first diamond futures contracts on Monday to provide exporters with a hedging tool. India is a global diamond polishing hub where 14 out of every 15 rough diamonds in the world are polished. At the launch, the first diamond contract for delivery in November was traded at Rs 3,279/cent. One cent is the one-hundredth of a carat (ct).With over 103 registered members so far, ICEX has launched 1 ct diamond futures contract for delivery in November and followed by contracts with monthly settlements. 50 cents and 30 cents contracts will be introduced after making the initial contract successful. The 1-carat contract for expiry in November, December and January will have delivery centre at Surat.
The merger of Ahmedabad-based National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE) into ICEX was also announced on Monday. ICEX will soon approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Ahmedabad, to initiate the merger procedure. After merger clearance, ICEX w
Since the invention of computers or machines, their capability to perform various tasks went on growing exponentially. Humans have developed the power of computer systems in terms of their diverse working domains, their increasing speed, and reducing size with respect to time.
A branch of Computer Science named Artificial Intelligence pursues creating the computers or machines as intelligent as human beings.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
According to the father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy, it is “The science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs”.
Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently, in the similar manner the intelligent humans think.
AI is accomplished by studying how human brain thinks, and how humans learn, decide, and work while trying to solve a problem, and then using the outcomes of t
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 21st July 2017 formally launched a pension scheme for senior citizens with an assured return rate of eight percent, favouring efficiency with social security.
"Banks have to lend at feasible rates, while senior citizens want secure, reasonable, unfluctuating return on their investment," Jaitley said here launching the pension scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY).
The PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above, which is open for subscription between May 4, 2017 and May 3, 2018.
It provides an assured return of eight per cent per annum payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30 percent per annum effectively) for 10 years.
The scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme.
Under the scheme, the pension returns are payable at the end of each period,
The first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in the country was formally launched today by Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan here.Biopharma mission can bring major change in the healthcare technologies, he said.
'It is time for India to capitalise now on our unique strengths and overcome any hurdles to ensure success in the bio-pharmaceutical market,' Dr Vardhan said.The first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in India has been approved by the Government.
The program named Innovate in India (i3) will witness an investment of USD 250 million with USD 125 million as a loan from World Bank and aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.This Mission of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) - a Public Sector Under
Under the plan scheme ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASAD’ the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, for various tourism projects subject to availability of funds, liquidation of pending utilization certificates and adherence to the scheme guidelines.
Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, thirteen thematic circuits have been identified, for development namely: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit. Under the PRASAD scheme thirteen sites have been identified for development, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna. Under the ‘PRASAD’ scheme the focus is on de
In an official statement, NITI Aayog informed that it will work collaboratively with state machinery to prepare a blueprint of the program and achieve the objectives.
Indian government has launched a new program - SATH (Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital), on 10 June 2017, to trigger a transformation in the education and health sectors.
In an official statement, NITI Aayog informed that it will work collaboratively with state machinery to prepare a blueprint of the program and achieve the objectives.
The program will focus on the concerns of technical support from various states to NITI Aayog.
McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium will help NITI Aayog in the implementation of the program. The selections of companies were made through a bidding process.
NITI Aayog has designed a three-stage model for the program which includes ‘expression of interest, presentations by the states and assessment of commitment to
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive tax levy on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services at a national level. One of the biggest taxation reforms in India — the Goods and Service Tax (GST) — is all set to integrate State economies and boost overall growth.
How Will GST Work?
In India, GST would work on dual model which will include – C-GST collected by Central Government + S-GST collected by State Government on intra-state sales. GST reform would also feature an Integrated GST (IGST) collected by Central government on inter-state sales, which is to-be divided between Central and States Government in a manner decided by the Parliament on recommendations by GST Council.By doing away with several Central and State Taxes, GST would diminish the cascading effect of tax (or double taxation, whereby the same product is taxed at the stage of manufacturing as excise, then as VAT/ sales tax on sale and so on..), which is prevalent in the c
Soil Health Card, a revolutionary scheme, was initiated for farmers and it has made a huge difference to farming and farm produce. It has helped in increasing the productivity and reduced the cost of production. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had inaugurated the scheme on February 19, 2015, in Suratgarh, Rajasthan.
Soil Health Card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients for improving soil health and its fertility. This also gives farmers information about the nature of the soil. And post recommendations, the farmers use fertilisers and other chemicals accordingly.
This reduces cost and increases production. In the first two-year (2015-17) of the Soil Health Card scheme, 2.53 million samples were collected and so far 93 percent samples have been tested. About 14 crore Soil Health Cards are being created by the State Governments and till May 31 it has been distributed among 8 crore f
India and Russia have linked 5 pacts after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Prime Minister's visit to Russia.
Agreements between the countries:
1. An agreement on cultural exchanges for a period of two years (2017-2019) has been signed between the two nations.
2. An agreement for the construction of the third stage of the Kudankulam NPP (KK5 & KK6) along with the Credit Protocol has been signed between NPCIL and ROSATOM.
3. An agreement between the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) and the Council of India on Scientific and Industrial Research has been signed to provide access to Rospatent experts to the Indian Digital Library of Traditional Knowledge (TKDL).
4. Contract between JSC (Russian Railways) and the Ministry of Railways on the preparation of the justification for the implementation of the high-speed service at the Nagpur-Secunderabad section has been
Chitale committee on Desiltation of Ganga has recommended a slew of measures which include study of reach wise sediment transport processes along with establishing annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities, Preparation of annual reports (Sand registry) describing the previous de-silting/ dredging activity and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget, morphological and flood routing studies that would examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration. The committee was constituted in July 2016 by the Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).
Shri Madhav Chitale (Expert Member, NGRBA) was appointed as Chairman of the committee. The other members of the committee were: Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Secretary, Ministry of Environm
India has been unanimously elected as the President of the UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) that promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world, after 10 years. UN-Habitat reports to the United Nations General Assembly.
Further to today’s election, Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu will chair the four day meeting of the 58 member Governing Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya from today. Shri Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat for the next two years. Since the UN-Habitat came into being in 1978.
It is only the third time that India has been elected to lead this important organization after 2007 and 1988.
As an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body, the Governing Council of UN-Habitat seeks to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the
The centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s first Satyagraha in India is being marked this April. It was undertaken in the erstwhile undivided Champaran district in northern Bihar. He went there in April, 1917 on learning about the abuses suffered by the cultivators of the district, forced into growing indigo by British planters/estate owners. ‘The Champaran tenant’, informs Gandhi, ‘was bound by law to plant three out of every twenty parts of his land with indigo for his landlord’. This system was called Tinkathia. Agrarian issues rarely formed the part of the political discourse in those days. Even Gandhi was reluctant to commit himself to task in the beginning. But he was so thoroughly persuaded by Rajkumar Shukla, an indigo cultivator from Champaran that he decided to investigate into the matter.
Gandhi’s plan was to carry out an extensive inquiry in the district and demand action based on its findings. It was barely two years that he had returned from his two dec
British scientists exploring an underwater mountain in the Atlantic Ocean have discovered a treasure trove of rare minerals. Their investigation of a seamount more than 500km (300 miles) from the Canary Islands has revealed a crust of "astonishingly rich" rock. Samples brought back to the surface contain the scarce substance tellurium in concentrations 50,000 times higher than in deposits on land.
Tellurium is used in a type of advanced solar panel, so the discovery raises a difficult question about whether the push for renewable energy may encourage mining of the seabed.The rocks also contain what are called rare earth elements that are used in wind turbines and electronics.
Known as Tropic Seamount, the mountain stands about 3,000m tall – about the size of one of the middle-ranging Alpine summits – with a large plateau at its top, lying about 1,000m below the ocean surface.
Using robotic submarines, researchers from the UK's National Oceanography Centre found that the
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, or 'Mother of All Bombs', is a 21,600 pound, GPS-guided munition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb. It's a weapon that justifies the use of the word 'terrifying' to describe its power and marks a deadly ramping up of America's military initiative abroad. Almost 20 feet long, it truly is the queen of the so-called 'bunker busters'.
The MOAB has been used once in combat, in a 13 April 2017 strike against ISIS forces in Afghanistan. Several news organizations called it the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat, but the 22,000-pound Grand Slam earthquake bombs dropped during World War II may have been even heavier.
Deployed from as high as 20,000 feet, the MOAB races to the ground at supersonic speed before slamming its way toward a hardened target through layered subterranean defenses such as native rock, reinforced concrete, and steel plates.
The 11-tonnes of TNT warhead then bursts about 6 fee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina his hopes for an "early solution" to the Teesta waters dispute. But West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee may prove to be a hard nut to crack. Water is a state issue, so a deal cannot be inked without the state CM's approval. Here are ten points that explain what the dispute is about.
The Teesta river originates in Sikkim and flows through West Bengal as well as Bangladesh. India claims a share of 55 percent of the river's water.
Bangladesh wants a higher share than it gets now. Currently, its share is lower than that of India's.Negotiations on how to share the water have been going on since 1983.
A 2011 interim deal - that was supposed to last 15 years - gave India 42.5 percent of the Teesta's waters and gave Bangladesh 37.5 percent. Banerjee opposed this deal so it was shelved and remains unsigned. In fact, she was scheduled to accompany the then PM Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh to sign that deal in 2011, but
The Supreme Court banned the sale of vehicles that are not compliant with Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) fuel from April 1, 2017.
This would be applicable to all two wheeler, three wheeler, four wheeler, and commercial vehicles.
The Court also directed all vehicle registering authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to not register vehicles that do not comply with BS IV fuel standards from April 1, 2017, unless these vehicles were sold before March 31, 2017.
As compared to BS III fuel, BS IV fuel has lesser emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and sulphur oxide.
Bharat stage emission standards (BSES) are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and Spark-ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate cha
The central government has decided to merge the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with the State Bank of India (SBI).
Earlier in February 2017, the Cabinet had approved the acquisition of five of its subsidiary banks by the SBI.
According to the Ministry of Finance, in the three years since its establishment, the BMB has dispensed lesser loans to women and has a lower number of exclusive women branches, as compared to SBI. The administrative and managerial costs of the BMB, to reach the same coverage, are higher than SBI. A merger of the two banks would allow for providing a larger volume of loans to women through SBI.
The government on 25 March 2017 argued for a plan for sustainable development balancing the need to protect the environment and continued growth at the third World Conference on Environment organized by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi. Finance minister Arun Jaitley pointed out that the Indian society was at a “critical juncture” with challenges like pulling out 25-30% of population from below the poverty line, urbanization, creation of physical infrastructure across the country.
Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi took the example of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms introduced 25 years ago. He highlighted that these regulations disabled creation of appropriate infrastructure around the coasts, making neighbouring countries like Thailand, Vietnam more tourism friendly than India.
Chief justice of India J.S. Khehar, however, countered this by saying that courts interfered only when industrialisation was allowed without adequa
The Centre is contemplating an institutional mechanism to improve safety in India’s 5300-odd dams. Currently, guidelines in this regard are not effectively enforced by the States. The new law, which has been vetted by the Union Law Ministry and will now go to the Union Cabinet for approval, proposes a Central authority and State-level bodies that will enforce regulation. Dam and project proponents falling short could face a fine, though they are unlikely to face imprisonment.
There are around 4900 large dams in India and several thousand smaller ones. About 300 are in various stages of construction. However, large reservoirs and water storage structures, in the past few decades, are not seen as a model of safety. Kerala, for instance, continues to fight with Tamil Nadu over threats posed by the Mullaperiyar dam on the river Periyar. More recently, the Chennai floods of 2015, due to unusually-heavy winter rains, were thought to have been compounded by an unprecedented release of water from the
Recognizing the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, Government of India has envisaged a program named ‘’Blue Revolution’’ to unlock the country’s latent potential through an integrated approach. The Blue Revolution, in its scope and reach, focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of the fishers and fish farmers. Thrust areas have been identified for enhancing fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt in 2020-21.
Greater emphasis will be on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers. Productivity enhancement shall also be achieved through employing the best global innovations and integration of various production oriented activities such as: Production of quality fish seeds, Cost eff
Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that would propel a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at more than airline speed. The alpha version of the proposal, published on the SpaceX website, describes design claims of the system, as well as its function. The pods would accelerate to cruising speed gradually using a linear electric motor and glide above their track using passive magnetic levitation or air bearings. The tubes could also go above ground on columns or underground, eliminating the dangers of grade crossings. It is hoped that the system will be highly energy-efficient, quiet and autonomous.
The concept of high-speed travel in tubes has been around for decades, but there has been a resurgence in interest in pneumatic tube transportation systems since the concept was reintroduced, using updated technologies, by Elon Musk after 2012, incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction moto
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Urja Ganga gas pipeline project seems on course to achieve the target of meeting the energy requirements of 40 districts and 2,600 villages across five eastern states by December 2020. After steady progress in Section 1 of the project — between Phulpur and Dobhi with spurlines to Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Patna and Barauni — construction work on sections 2 and 3 is expected to commence by December this year.
Launched in October 2016 to supply gas to Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, the 2,539-km-long pipeline project, also known as the Jagdishpur-Haldia/Bokaro-Dhamra Pipeline (JHBDPL), is estimated to cost Rs 12,940 crore. Urja Ganga would create enabling infrastructure for city gas distribution (CGD) in seven cities — Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Kolkata, Patna, Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
It would also revive three large fertiliser units at Gorakhpur (UP), Barauni (Bihar) and Sindri (Jharkhand) and help industrial
The West Bengal government gave official status to Kurukh language, listed as an endangered language by the UNESCO, to mark the International Mother Language Day, which is observed to mark the language movement in the then East Pakistan in 1952.
Announcing this at a function to celebrate the day, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that official recognition would also be given to Rajbangshi/Kamtapuri language spoken in parts of north Bengal.
She said that around 16 lakh Oraon people spoke Kurukh language in Bengal and that the language had been identified as a vulnerable language in the UNESCO's list of endangered languages.
Marking the movement in Bangladesh in 1952 for recognition of Bengali as an official language when it was part of Pakistan, February 21 has been recognised as the International Mother Language Day by the United Nations.
The Assam Cabinet’s decision to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject till Class VIII has evoked sharp criticism from students organisations and opposition political parties in the State.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has criticised the decision to make Sanskrit compulsory instead of promoting Assamese in schools.
Moreover, there can be no compromise with the teaching of Assamese in schools and the language has to be a part of the syllabus in the State, he added.
Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) also alleged that the move was a “well-orchestrated conspiracy are being micro managed and monitored from Nagpur (the RSS headquarters)”.
The State government was preparing to “recruit Sanskrit teachers from outside since the State now lacks the required strength but we won’t allow teachers from outside the State to be recruited in our schools.
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabh unveiled ‘Mission 41K’ to save Rs. 41,000 crore on the Indian Railways’ expenditure on energy consumption over the next 10 years. This target will be achieved by taking a slew of measures which include moving 90 per cent of traffic to electric traction over diesel. Presently, this is at 50 per cent of the total rail traffic.
The ministry plans to achieve this target by doubling the current pace of electrification, Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal said in an official statement. The railways also aim to procure more and more electricity at cheaper rates through open market instead of sourcing it through DISCOMs and thereby hopes to save as much as 25 per cent on its energy expenses.
New technologies are also being explored to bring down electric consumption.
In the last Budget the railways have already set a target of generating 1000 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind energy. Indian Railways consumed over 18.25 billion units o
India may be able to meet all its energy requirements from resources from the Moon by 2030, said Dr Sivathanu Pillai, a professor at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). ISRO recently launched a record 104 satellites to space in a single launch.
Elaborating on ISRO's future programme plans, Pillai, who was formerly the chief of BrahMos Aerospace, said all of India's energy requirements could be met through Helium 3 mined from the Moon.
"By 2030, this process target will be met," he said while delivering the valedictory address at the three-day ORF-Kalpana Chawla Space Policy Dialogue, organised by Observer Research Foundation here on 18 Feb, 2017.
Pillai said that mining lunar dust, which is rich in Helium 3, is a priority programme for his organisation. He added that other countries are also working on this project and that there was enough Helium in the Moon to meet the energy requirements of the whole world.
He said that ISRO was planning the whole of process
Barren Island volcano is India’s only active one, and was dormant for 150 years before it showed signs of ‘intermittent activity’ in 1991.
The only active volcano in India, Barren Island volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is spewing ash again. Researchers from the National Institute of Oceanography said that the volcano, which was dormant for 150 years, had begun showing signs of activity in 1991.
“On the afternoon of January 23, 2017, the scientific team on board CSIR-NIO’s research ship R V Sindhu Sankalp were busy collecting sea floor samples in the Andaman Basin near the Barren volcano when it suddenly started spewing ash,” the NIO said. “Clouds were seen at the crater mouth where the smoke was bellowing out in otherwise clear sky.”
The statement added that the team, led by Abhay V Mudholkar, did not land on the volcanic island as it would have been unsafe. In the evening, the team also saw “red lava fountains spewin
In the Supreme Court, the hearing on Satluj Yamuna Link Canal issue has been adjourned till 22nd February as Punjab sought more time to file reply. The apex court directed Punjab to file reply by 20th February.
Satluj Yamuna Link Canal (SARYU) or SYL as it is popularly known, is a proposed 214-kilometer (133 mi) long canal in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. However, the proposal met obstacles and was referred to the Supreme Court of India. It defines river water sharing between the states of Punjab and Haryana.
The canal is 85% complete with Haryana government completing its part of the Canal. It has completed 92 km of canal in its land. Haryana would benefit enormously by gaining water from Ravi-Beas from Punjab.
The dispute regarding sharing of river water emerged after Punjab was reorganised in 1966, and the state of Haryana was created. Haryana demanded 4.8 MAF out of Punjab's total 7.2 MAF share of water from the rivers, while Punjab claimed the entire
Chief Minister Pema Khandu has introduced the ‘Arunachal Civil Service Awards’ for excellence in public administration.In a release, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) informed that this has been started to encourage good governance in the state and to recognize the extraordinary services rendered by the government employees in the state.
Nominations for the awards will be considered on the basis of implementation of innovative schemes or projects, showing innovation and adaptation to meet the stakeholders’ requirement, building up perceptible system changes and institutions.It also aims to honour civil servants and government employees who make public service delivery system efficient, corruption free, including speedy and judicious execution of work. Extraordinary performance in emergent situations like floods, earthquakes etc shall also form the basis of being eligible for this award.
The awards will be given for setting high standards of leadership quality, improv
South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states within the region, namely the Nation of Brunei, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, Indonesia, the Republic of the Philippines, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. As a high proportion of the world's trade passes through the South China Sea, there are many non-claimant nations that want the South China Sea to remain as international waters, with several nations (e.g. the United States of America) conducting "freedom of navigation" operations.
The disputes include the islands, reefs and banks of the South China Sea, including the Spratly and Paracel islands, the various boundaries, including those in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is a further dispute in the waters near the Indonesian Natuna Islands which by most definitions are not part of the South China Sea. The interests of the nations include retaining or acquiring the rights to fishing areas; the exploration and p
After over 50 years of military rule, Myanmar is finally making the long-awaited transition to elected government. Its second liberation is brought about by Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and the daughter of Aung San, the man who is known for engineering Myanmar’s first liberation from the British. Yet, as foreign media converges on the nation, coverage in recent months has been focused on one issue: the Rohingya.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been forcibly confined in deplorable conditions in Sittwe, whilst there is evidence that the ethnic cleansing perpetrated under the military government amounts to genocide. In May 2015, stranded Rohingya off the coast of Thailand elicited humanitarian outrage from the international community. Ever since, foreign commentators have called for an end to what appears to be government inaction or lack of accountability for extreme human rights abuses in Rakhine state.
But international attention
Addressing investors' concerns ahead of GAAR implementation from April 1, 2017 the tax department today said it will not interplay with their right to choose a method of transaction and won't apply if routing of funds through a jurisdiction is "based on non-tax commercial considerations". The General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR), which seek to prevent companies from routing transactions through other countries to avoid taxes, can be invoked through a two-stage process involving a nod at the level of principal commissioner of income tax and a panel headed by a high court judge.
Seeking to assuage concerns of investors, CBDT said GAAR provisions shall be effective from assessment year 2018-19 onwards and "shall not be invoked merely on the ground that the entity is located in a tax efficient jurisdiction". "If the jurisdiction of FPI is finalised based on non-tax commercial considerations and the main purpose of the arrangement is not to obtain tax benefit, GAAR will not apply.