ias-toppers-United-States-House-of-Representatives
Current Affairs Analysis

15th July 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018; Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM); National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF); Mahadayi River Water Dispute; Kalasa-Banduri Nala project; Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM); Customer Satisfaction Index Survey; Government at a Glance 2017 report
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 15, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Directorate set up under CBEC for data analytics and nabbing evaders
  • Centre to grant NIIF ₹20,000 cr.
  • Mahadayi Water Dispute- Goa open to out-of-tribunal settlement

Bilateral & International Relations

  • EU, India set up fund for investments
  • US House passes Bill for strengthening defence ties with India

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Raipur Airport Ranked First in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey
  • Government at a Glance 2017 report: India tops OECD list of countries

For IASToppers’ Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here

Polity & Governance

Directorate set up under CBEC for data analytics and nabbing evaders

The government has set up a new wing, Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM), under the indirect taxes body to provide intelligence inputs and carry out big data analytics for taxmen for better policy formulation and nabbing evaders.

ias toppers Central Board of Excise and Customs

Key facts:

  • The DGARM will be under the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)
  • It will also do big data analytics for taxmen for better policy formulation.
  • The DGARM was set up on 1 July 2017, coinciding with rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • It will function as an apex body of CBEC for data analytics and risk management and will report to the chairman of CBEC.
  • It will utilize internal and external data sources for detailed data mining and analysis to generate outputs for focused and targeted action by field formations and investigation wings of the CBEC.
  • The field formations of CBEC are also expected to gainfully and effectively utilise the data and other inputs shared by the DGARM.
  • The data analytics and processing coupled with intelligence inputs by DGRAM will provide the CBEC the national and sub-national perspective for policy formulation.

Four verticals:

DGARM has four verticals headed by an official of rank of Additional Director General (ADG) or Principal ADG.

  1. The first vertical is the National Targeting Centre that has been set up for application of a nationally coordinated approach to risk analysis and targeting of risky goods and passengers crossing the borders of the country.
  2. The second vertical is Centre for Business Intelligence and Analytics (CBIA) that will be responsible for identification of information requirements of the CBEC. It will utilise data feeds from internal sources.
  3. The third vertical is the Risk Management Centre for Goods and Services Tax which will institutionalise mechanism to collect necessary inputs, adopt coordinated approach and share the outcome for risk-based identification.
  4. The fourth vertical is the Risk Management Centre for Customs that will be responsible for assessment and targeting of risky cargo crossing the borders through sea, air and land.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Centre to grant NIIF ₹20,000 cr.

The Department of Economic Affairs has signed an agreement with the NIIF for a ₹20,000 crore contribution to the Fund.

About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF):

Proposed in Union Budget 2015, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has been set up in last month of 2015.

ias toppers National Investment and Infrastructure Fund info

  • The objective of NIIF is to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, NIIF would solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners.
  • The Fund aims to attract investment from both domestic and international sources.
  • The objective of NIIF is to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, NIIF would solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners.
  • NIIF has been structured as a fund of funds and set up as Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations.
  • It is a Rs. 40000 crore fund to provide long term capital for infrastructure projects.
  • The government’s contribution would be limited to 49% of the subscribed capital.
  • The government will seek participation from strategic investors such as sovereign fund, quasi sovereign funds and multilateral or bilateral investors, which can help leverage this fund to many times.
  • Cash-rich PSUs, pension funds, provident funds, National Small Saving Fund will be able to pick up stake in the fund.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Mahadayi Water Dispute- Goa open to out-of-tribunal settlement

Goa has said that it is open to talks with Karnataka and Maharashtra to explore an out-of-tribunal settlement on Mahadayi issue.

What is the dispute?

Mahadayi

  • The Karnataka government and Goa government are fighting on sharing of waters of the Mahadayi river (called Mandovi in Goa).
  • In order to divert 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha river basin, Karnataka government proposed to build canals to link Kalasa and Banduri, the tributaries of Mahadayi.
  • However, objecting the move, Goa government argued that if Karnataka implemented the Kalasa-Banduri project, it would prove disastrous for the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats as the proposed project was deep inside the forest.
  • Karnataka had petitioned the tribunal seeking release of 7.56 tmcft of water for Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
  • The tribunal, which gave its interim order after hearing arguments from both Karnataka and Goa, had rejected the state’s plea citing various grounds including ecological damage that the project may cause.

About Mahadayi river:

The Mahadayi River also known as Mandovi or Mhadei river, is described as the lifeline of the Indian state of Goa.

mhadhai-river-goa

  • The river has a length of 77 km, 29 km in Karnataka and 52 km in Goa.
  • It originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belgaum district of Karnataka.
  • The river has a 2,032 km2 catchment area in Karnataka and a 1,580 km2 catchment area in Goa.

What is the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project?

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala is a canal project undertaken by the Government of Karnataka to divert water from the Mahadayi river to the Malaprabha.

Kalasa-Banduri Nala project

  • The project aimed to improve drinking water supply to the Districts of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag.
  • It involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha river, which supplies the drinking water needs of the said 3 districts, i.e., Dharwad, Belagavi and Gadag.
  • The region is part of Karnataka’s arid area, which is second only to Rajasthan in water scarcity.
  • The project has been delayed for over a decade during which the state has seen two of the worst droughts in 40 years.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

EU, India set up fund for investments

India and European Union (EU) have established Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) for EU Investments in India.

ias toppers India and European Union

  • The mechanism will allow for a close coordination between EU and India with an aim to promote and facilitate EU investment in India.

About the IFM:

The key objective of IFM is to pave the way for identifying and solving problems faced by EU companies and investors with regard to their operations in India.

  • It will cover both new investors as well as those already present in India.
  • It will also serve as a common platform for discussing general suggestions from the point of view of EU investors and companies with regard to ease of doing business in India.
  • Invest India, the official Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, will also be part of the mechanism.
  • It will create a single-window entry point for EU companies that need assistance for their investments at the central/state level.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry will also facilitate participation of other relevant ministries and authorities on a case-to-case basis.
  • Under it, the EU Delegation to India and DIPP will hold regular high level meetings to assess and facilitate “ease of doing business” for EU investors in India.
  • It will also include identifying and putting in place solutions to procedural impediments faced by EU companies and investors in establishing or running their operations in India.

Significance of the IFM:

  • The establishment of the IFM is considered as a right step in the direction of strengthening the trade and investment ties between the EU and India.
  • This initiative will help ensuring a more robust, effective and predictable business environment for the EU investors.

Background:

  • Trade and Investment are key elements of the EU-India Strategic Partnership launched in 2004.
  • The EU is the India’s first trade partner in goods and services and also largest foreign investor with a stock exceeding US$ 81.52 billion as of March 2017.
  • There are more than 6,000 EU companies currently present in India, providing direct and indirect employment to over 6 million people.
  • The IFM builds on the Joint Statement of the 13th EU-India Summit held in Brussels in March 2016, where the EU had welcomed India’s readiness to establish such a mechanism.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

US House passes Bill for strengthening defence ties with India

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India.

ias-toppers-United-States-House-of-Representatives

  • Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

What is the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA)?

  • The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.
  • They are authorization bill that determines the US agencies responsible for defence, establishes funding levels and sets the policies under which money will be spent.
  • The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence.
  • The NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner of US. This designation had brought India at par with closest partners of US in terms of defence trade and technology transfer.

About the NDAA 2018:

  • As passed by the House, NDAA-2018 asks the State Department and the Pentagon to develop a strategy that addresses common security challenges, the role of American partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative.
  • Following the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act, the Secretary of Defence and Secretary of State have 180 days to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between the United States and India.
  • It also asks them to address how to advance the communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Raipur Airport Ranked First in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey

ias-toppers-Raipur-the-most-customer-friendly-airport

  • Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was once again ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey among 49 airports in the country.
  • Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017, followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports.
  • Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of Airport Authority of India (AAI) which is evaluated through CSI survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by AAI.
  • The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, passenger facilities, cleanliness and parking etc.

 

Government at a Glance 2017 report: India tops OECD list of countries

ias toppers Government at a Glance 2017 report

  • The latest edition of the OECD’s Government at a Glance report states that 73 per cent Indians have faith in the Narendra Modi led NDA coalition, the highest in the world.
  • India is followed by the Canadian government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (62 per cent).
  • Turkey, which witnessed a failed coup attempt in 2016, is in third place (58 per cent).
  • Russia and Germany rounded off the top 5, with confidence levels at 58 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.
  • On the other hand, the United States government led by President Donald Trump secured only 30 per cent of the peoples’ confidence.
  • In the United Kingdom, which is in the midst of a bitter ‘Brexit’ following a divisive referendum last year, trust in the Theresa May government stands at 41 per cent.
  • Greece, which had to bear the brunt of the EU migration crisis while struggling with a failing economy, is at the bottom of the table with a mere 13 per cent of the people’s confidence.

 

Topics
Current Affairs Analysis
Tags

Comments

My Favourite Articles

  • Your favorites will be here.

Calendar Archive

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31