IASToppers-Current-Affairs-Analysis-3rd-Dec-2015
Current Affairs Analysis

3rd December 2015 Current Affairs Analysis

December 03, 2015

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Govt. approves the introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015

Economy

  • Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) signed between India & Japan

International Relations

  • MoU between India and Israel in the field of water resources
  • MoU between India and Germany for Solar Energy

Also in News

  • Cabinet approves six new IITs
  • 3rd December: United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Polity & Governance

Govt. approves the introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015 for establishment of a Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, Haryana.

The objective of the Bill is to provide a legal status to the Centre so as to function independently as an autonomous body and also an Institution of National Importance for education, training and research in the areas of biotechnology.

Background:

The Centre has already been established by an executive order of the Government of India in November, 2008 after the approval by the Union Cabinet. It is currently operational at the NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad and the enactment does not involve any financial implications at this stage.

 Key Features:

  • The Centre is a regional hub for interdisciplinary education, training and research in biotechnology.
  • The Centre would emphasis on novel education programmes relevant to industry, including bio-drug discovery science, nano-science and medicine, imaging techniques, designer crops, bioengineering and biomaterials, intellectual property, technology transfer and regulation to fulfil and overcome the acute shortage of skilled human resources in India.
  • It would be a hub of biotechnology expertise in the countries in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region, and more generally in the Asia region, and to address human resources needs in the region.
  • It would also address designing of new and novel programmes for education & training which could then be assimilated by the existing universities in India and the Region.

Economy

Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) signed between India & Japan

The Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratification of Protocol between India and Japan for amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).

It was signed between the two countries in 1989 for avoidance of double taxation and for prevention of fiscal evasion, through a protocol.

Key Features:

  • The Protocol will facilitate exchange of information, as per accepted international standards, on tax matters including bank information and information without domestic tax interest.
  • Sharing of any information received from Japan, with authorization of the competent authority in Japan and vice versa, in respect of a resident of India, with other law enforcement agencies.
  • India and Japan will lend assistance to each other in collection of revenue claims, as well as for exemption of interest income from taxation in the source country, with respect to debt-claims insured by the Government or Government-owned financial institutions.

International Relations

MoU between India and Israel in the field of water resources

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel in the field of water resources management and development cooperation.

It should be noted here that India has already entered into agreements with Australia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, Fiji, China and Bahrain in the field of water resources management and development cooperation.

The bilateral cooperation will benefit both the countries in:

  • Strengthening the techniques in efficient use of water,
  • Micro-irrigation,
  • Recycling/re-use of waste water,
  • Desalination,
  • Aquifer recharge and
  • In-situ water conservation techniques.

Background:

  • The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management through sharing of policy and technical expertise, conducting of training courses, workshops, scientific and technical symposia, exchange of experts and study tours.
  • Keeping in view the success of Israel in water use efficiency, micro irrigation, reuse of waste water, desalination, aquifer recharge, etc., it has been decided to have an agreement with Israel to benefit from their experience and expertise.

MoU between India and Germany for Solar Energy

The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which has been signed in October, 2015, between Indian and Germany, to expand bilateral development cooperation in the field of Solar Energy by increasing use of solar energy in India through technical as well as financial cooperation.

The MoU would lead to:

  • Cooperation in the field of solar rooftops
  • The development of solar parks or solar zones (if possible in close proximity to the Green Energy Corridors financed by KfW under Indo-German Financial Cooperation) and
  • Solar off-grid applications to improve the access to clean and sustainable energy.

Under the agreement, Germany would provide concessional loans in the range of one billion Euros over the next five years i.e. 2020 through Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW). Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) is a German government-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt.

The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries and also help India achieve its ambitious target of having 100 GW solar power generation capacity by 2022 under the National Solar Mission.

Also in News

Cabinet approves six new IITs

The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu, Kerala and Karnataka.

In order to give a legal status to them the Cabinet gave its approval for operationalisation of these IITs initially by forming of Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 till the amendment for their incorporation in The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 is enacted.

  • Each new IIT will have an initial intake of 180 students in its first year from temporary / transit which would increase to 450 in the second year and to 928 (840 Undergraduates, 80 Postgraduates and 8 Ph.D.) in the third year of their operation.
  • The new IITs will be operated from their temporary campuses for the initial period of three years before shifting into their permanent campuses in the 4th year.
  • Each IIT will have a sanctioned strength of faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 1:10.

Why setup as Society?

  • The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, contains no provision to enable establishment of new IITs.
  • Every new IIT commenced since its enactment has required an amendment to the Act itself.
  • In light of this, it would be appropriate to establish the new IITs through the formation of Societies as it has not been possible to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to make provision for establishment of new IITs, before the admissions to academic session 2015-16 in these new IITs.

 

3rd December: United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992.

  • The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.
  • It was originally called “International Day of Disabled Persons” until 2007.
  • Theme of the year 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities

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