ias-KELT-9B
Current Affairs Analysis

7th June 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

KELT-9B: Hottest giant planet of the solar system; Inclusive India Initiative; National Trust; ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative; Rules on capital gains tax; Office of Copyrights; India- Sri Lanka line of credit; 20th anniversary of the formation of BIMSTEC; World's first hybrid 'aeroboat'; ‘Green protocol’ for weddings
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
June 07, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Inclusive India Initiative
  • ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative

Economy

  • Centre notifies rules on capital gains tax

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India, Sri Lanka sign pact for $ 318 million line of credit
  • 20th anniversary of the formation of BIMSTEC

Science & Technology

  • World’s first hybrid ‘aeroboat’
  • Hottest giant planet of the solar system – KELT-9B discovered

Key Facts for Prelims

  • ‘Green protocol’ for weddings

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Polity & Governance

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

Hoshiar Singh, an officer of the Indian Telecom Service has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights for a period of five years as per the recent order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

ias-toppers-Office-of-Copyrights-cert-logo

About the Office of Copyrights:

  • The Office of Copyrights works under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • The office falls under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights.
  • The Copyrights Office was established under Section 9 of the Copyright Act.
  • The Office of Copyrights is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others.
  • The Registrar of Copyrights will be appointed by the Central Government, who would be required to function under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

Inclusive India Initiative

Union government has launched a new initiative — Inclusive India — to include differently-abled persons in mainstream education, employment and community opportunities.

ias toppers Inclusive India Initiative

  • The campaign was unveiled by the National Trust under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in collaboration with key partners.

Objective of the initiative:

  • To include persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the mainstream and in all important aspects of social life, namely education, employment and community ‘Inclusive India’ in about changing the attitudes.
  • The initiative is an attempt to facilitate the realisation of equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the fabric of society.

Focus areas:

The three core focus areas of Inclusive India would be

1) Inclusive Education:

  • Largescale awareness campaigns would be executed on pan-India basis, making schools and colleges inclusive for the children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
  • Association with government and private organisations will be explored for making the infrastructure of educational institutes accessible by providing necessary mobility aids, assistive devices, accessible information and social support.

2) Inclusive Employment:

  • The government would engage 2,000 corporate sector organisations; public and private, for creating awareness towards inclusive employment for persons with intellectual disabilities.

3) Inclusive Community Life:

  • The efforts towards accomplishing Inclusive community life can be made successful, only when the people with intellectual and development disabilities, their families, civil society organisations and state government connect.
  • The Inclusive India Initiative was born out of this very need of creating awareness among public, ensuring that the people become sensitive.

About National Trust:

ias toppers National Trust

  • The National Trust is a statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It was set up under the “National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Retardation and Multiple Disabilities” Act (Act 44 of 1999).
  • The National Trust was envisaged with a core mission of providing opportunities for capacity development of Persons with Disabilities and their families, fulfilling their rights, facilitating and promoting the creation of an enabling environment and an inclusive society.
[Ref: PIB]

 

‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative

The government has launched the ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative.

ias-toppers-Skill-for-Life,-Save-a-Life’-initiative

Aim:

  • The initiative aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system.
  • Under this initiative various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for general public.

Significance:

  • The potential for skilled healthcare workers and professionals is immense in the country.
  • Such courses ensure that the health sector gets the adequate skilled health workers.
  • Skilling the youth enhances the employability and skilled India will help the nation reap rich dividends. This shall reduce the gap between expectations of employment of the youth and the actual job they get.
  • Skill enhances economy of the country, too by reducing the gap between demand and supply of trained and skilled manpower in every field.

Background:

  • More than 65% youth are below the age of 35 years in India and the country should seize this opportunity by providing adequate skills and employability to the youth for a strong foundation for continued and sustainable growth.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Economy

Centre notifies rules on capital gains tax

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has come out with a final notification specifying the securities transactions that would attract capital gains tax where the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) hasn’t been paid.

ias-toppers-capital-gains-tax

  • This notification shall come into force with effect from April 1, 2018, and shall accordingly apply to assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent assessment years.

Background:

  • The move comes after the Finance Act 2017 that aimed to curb the practice of declaring unaccounted income as exempt long-term capital gain by entering into sham transactions.
  • The Finance Act, 2017 amended the provisions of Section 10 (38) of the Income-Tax Act to provide exemption from long-term capital gains tax for income from transfer of equity share acquired on or after October 1, 2004, provided that the transaction had been charged for STT. All stock market transactions attract STT in the range of 0.017 per cent to 0.125 per cent.

Key facts:

  • The amendment notification specifies the transactions on which the tax would apply and those on which tax would be exempt.
  • According to the notification, the CBDT has specified transactions where payment of STT would be mandatory to get the benefit of exemption from capital gains tax. These include
  1. Acquiring existing listed equity shares through a preferential issue in a company whose shares are not frequently traded,
  2. Transactions off the stock exchange, and
  3. Acquisition during the delisting period of the company.
  • However, other genuine transaction, such as acquisition of equity shares by venture capital or investment funds, employee stock options, foreign direct investments by non-resident Indians and off-market transactions in schemes approved by the Supreme Court, high court, National Company Law Tribunal, SEBI and RBI, continue to be exempt.
  • Further, acquisitions through preferential issues such as conversion of loan to equity, allotment to financial institutions pursuant to a debt restructuring scheme, acquisitions by banks and securitisation companies and also by modes such as gifts, holding subsidiaries, mergers and conversions would also be exempt from the new rules.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

India, Sri Lanka sign pact for $ 318 million line of credit

India signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to provide fresh assistance of USD 318 million as a line of credit for the development of the nation’s railway sector.

ias-toppers-India-line-of-credit-to-Sri-Lanka

Need:

  • According to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Transport, improving passenger transportation facilities is urgently required to attract passengers towards railways, which is a cost-effective mode of transportation.

Background:

  • The credit line was declared by Narendra Modi during his first visit to Sri Lanka as the Prime Minister of India in 2015.
  • China has been investing heavily in Sri Lanka, developing mainly ports that could potentially be used as a base for its navy, though Beijing says the investments are part of its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to link it with Europe and Africa via the Indian Ocean.
  • India has previously provided four lines of credit to Sri Lanka to develop its railway sector, amounting to approximately USD 966 million.
  • These credit facilities have been utilised to improve the southern and northern railway lines and for the procurement of rolling stocks for the Sri Lanka Railways.

India-Sri Lanka relations:

ias toppers India Sri Lanka relations

  • India has been Sri Lanka’s major development partner in the South Asian region for more than 40 years.
  • Over the past years Indian foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka has expanded considerably.
  • Presently Indian development assistance mainly focuses on improvement of infrastructure, livelihood development, education, healthcare, and capacity building.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

20th anniversary of the formation of BIMSTEC

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is celebrating 20th anniversary of its formation.

ias-toppers-20th-anniversary-BIMSTEC

About BIMSTEC:

iastoppers-bimstec

  • The BIMSTEC is a sub-regional group of seven countries in South Asia and South East Asia lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal viz. Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • It was established on 6th June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • It is headquartered at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • The whole region which constitutes the BIMSTEC is home to over 1.5 billion people. The population counts for around 22 percent of the total world population. These countries have a combined GDP of $2.7 trillion.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Science & Technology

World’s first hybrid ‘aeroboat’

The world’s first hybrid “aeroboat” capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand was unveiled in Moscow, Russia.

ias-toppers-World's-first-hybrid-'aeroboat'

  • It has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture (IIAAT Holding), between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics.

Key features of the aeroboat:

  • The aeroboat is designed to access difficult terrain, such as flooded or marshy areas where the use of regular boats is made impossible because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation.
  • The Aeroboat is also more robust than hovercrafts, and with estimated maintenance costs of $400-$600 per year, is cheaper to maintain and fuel.
  • It runs on a “hybrid” engine, meaning it can run on either petrol or electricity, enabling users to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Hovercrafts vis-à-vis aeroboat:

  • Hovercrafts work on static air-cushion, whereas aeroboats work on dynamic air-cushion. This feature gives aeroboats a huge advantage in terms of speed and manoeuvrability.
  • Hovercrafts are very expensive to operate and also have speed limitations, whereas aeroboats can provide high-speed year-round navigation, even when bodies of water are frozen like in Russia.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Hottest giant planet of the solar system – KELT-9B discovered

Astronomers have discovered the hottest planet ever known, with a dayside temperature of more than 4,300 degrees Celsius.

ias-KELT-9B

Key facts:

  • This planet, called KELT-9b, is hotter than most stars.
  • KELT-9b is 2.8 times more massive than Jupiter, but only half as dense.
  • The Jupiter-like planet, KELT-9b, is tidally locked, which means it’s always showing the same face or its “dayside” to its even-hotter host star, dubbed KELT-9.
  • The planet’s “dayside” reaches a balmy 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2,000 degrees cooler than our sun.
  • The side of the planet facing KELT-9 is bombarded with stellar radiation and is so hot that water, carbon dioxide and methane can’t form.
  • KELT-9 radiates so much ultraviolet radiation that it may completely evaporate the planet.
[Ref: Business Standard]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

‘Green protocol’ for weddings

ias toppers ‘Green protocol’ for weddings

  • Kerala state government is coming out with a green protocol to make auspicious occasions more nature-friendly.
  • With the implementation of the protocol, plastic and other non-biodegradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will be kept at bay from marriage functions.
  • Instead of this, people would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals.
  • The core objective of the initiative is to reduce the use of plastic in daily life. With the effective implementation of green protocol, the amount of plastic could be reduced in the long run.
  • Inspections will be held at marriage halls, convention centres and hotels and other venues of the wedding ceremony in this regard and action would be taken if the protocol is violated.
  • The protocol has been released as a part of the government’s anti-plastic drive and Green-Kerala Mission.
  • Suchitwa Mission which is the state nodal agency for sanitation, has already launched the initiative on a pilot basis.

 

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