Insights Daily Current Affairs, 29 June 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 29 June 2017


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

CBDT entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement

 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement with Indian taxpayers. A Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement involving United Kingdom has also been signed.

  • The APAs signed pertain to healthcare, information technology and gaming/animation (media) sectors of the economy.

CBDT

 

Know about APAs:

The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for the maximum of five future years.

Further, the taxpayer has the option to rollback the APA for four preceding years, as a result of which, tax certainty for a total period of nine years is provided. Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest among Multi National Enterprises (MNEs). An APA can be unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral.

 

An APA provides the following Benefits:

  • Certainty with respect to tax outcome of the tax payer’s international transactions, by agreeing in advance the arm’s length pricing or pricing methodology (ies) to be applied to the tax payer’s international transactions covered by the APA.
  • Removal of an audit threat (minimize rigours of audit), and deliverance of a particular tax outcome based on the terms of the agreement.
  • Substantial reduction of compliance costs over the term of the APA.
  • For tax authorities, an APA reduces cost of administration and also frees scarce resources.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Swasth Saarthi Abhiyaan (SSA)

 

Swasth Saarthi Abhiyaan (SSA) was recently inaugurated.

 

What you need to know about Swasth Saarthi Abhiyaan (SSA)?

The SSA event is a unique initiative to address the major issues being faced by public transport drivers, with almost all of them being users of CNG.

  • It is a two month long mega campaign focusing on providing preventive healthcare to the auto, taxi and bus drivers of the region. It will provide free health checkup which includes blood test, sugar test, eye test.
  • SSA is an initiative of Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL).

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

APEDA refutes rumours about plastic rice

 

Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Agency (APEDA) has refuted rumours about plastic rice, attributing the videos on social media showing bouncing rice balls to a natural property of rice.

 

apeda

Why do they bounce then?

According to APEDA, the buoyancy of rice balls dropping on a hard surface is its natural property and it depends on the amylose content. Rice starch consists of two main components — amylose and amylopectine — generally in a proportion of 25:75. However, there exists a lot of variation in germ plasm with respect to proportion of amylose and amylopectine. If, amylose is low (<10%), the rice on cooking tends to become very sticky and the rice balls made of such cooked rice will have no buoyancy on dropping to a surface. However, the rice balls made up of cooked rice from intermediate to high amylose (22-30%) type rice, will have buoyancy and these balls will jump for three-four times when dropped on hard surface.

 

What you need to know about APEDA?

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985. The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).

 

APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the following scheduled products:

  • Fruits, Vegetables and their Products.
  • Meat and Meat Products.
  • Poultry and Poultry Products.
  • Dairy Products.
  • Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products.
  • Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products.
  • Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds.
  • Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Cereal and Cereal Products.
  • Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts.
  • Pickles, Papads and Chutneys.
  • Guar Gum.
  • Floriculture and Floriculture Products.
  • Herbal and Medicinal Plants.

 

Administrative set up:

  • Chairman – Appointed by the Central Government.
  • Director – Appointed by APEDA.
  • Secretary – Appointed by the Central Government.
  • Other Officers and Staff – Appointed by the Authority.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

GSAT 17

 

With French rocket Ariane-5 successfully launching the 3,477-kg satellite from French Guiana, India has added GSAT-17 to its existing fleet of 17 communication satellites. Besides GSAT-17, Ariance-5 also put into space Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN, a “condosat” for Inmarsat and Hellas Sat.

gsat-17

Key facts:

  • The satellite has been inducted into the Indian National Satellite (INSAT)/GSAT system. It carried payloads in the normal C, extended C and S bands, providing various communication services.
  • It was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • GSAT-17 also has equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites.
  • ISRO Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka has taken control and will perform the initial orbit raising maneuvers later. GSAT-17 has a life expectancy of 15 years.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 

In the lines of INTERPOL, Northeastern states to have NEPOL

 

What is NEPOL?

It is a proposed police organization by the North eastern states including West Bengal in the lines of International Police Organization(INTERPOL). It will facilitate cooperation between the states of the region in tackling insurgency, cross border crime and smuggling.

ne states

Need for NEPOL:

North eastern militants have come together and formed United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia (UNLFW), an umbrella organization comprising of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent), Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO) and National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit). This organisation has orchestrated several strikes on security forces.

  • Also, North eastern states share over 4500km long border with Bangladesh, China, Myanmar and Bhutan. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096-km-long border, of which 262 km falls in Assam.
  • Hence, cooperation among the police forces between the states is necessary.

 

Sources: et.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Niti Aayog moots new regulator for coal, gas

 

Niti Aayog has suggested creation of regulators for coal as well as oil and gas.

 

Need for regulators:

Coal and upstream petroleum sectors have lacked independent, statutory regulators. Due to several reasons, including strong presence of PSUs and limited number of private operators, it was so far not found useful to place the latter in position. But, now with increased private activity, the time is appropriate.

 

Why not have a single regulator for energy sources?

Indian energy market is not uniformly developed. And due to the large inherent complexities present in different fuel sources, it is pertinent that there ought to be sectoral regulators.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Govt. unveils new hydrocarbon policy

 

In what could mark a paradigm shift in the country’s hydrocarbon exploration policy, the government has launched the National Data Repository (NDR) along with the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP).

hydrocarbon policy

Know about Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP):

The OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government. The company then submits an application to the government, which puts that block up for bid. The new policy will open up 2.8 million square kilometres of sedimentary basins for exploration and eventual production.

 

About HELP:

The Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) opens up India’ entire sedimentary basin for investment from domestic and foreign players under a simplified, transparent and investor -friendly fiscal and administrative regime.

  • The new policy aims to provide Investors a ready access to huge amount of seismic data available in National Data Repository (NDR), flexibility to carve out exploration acreages through an open acreage licensing process and increased operational autonomy through a new revenue sharing model.
  • The National Data Repository (NDR) manifested through an open acreage licensing (OAL) process will be a key facilitator by providing seamless access to India’s entire E&P data process through a digital medium to all investors with the objective of harnessing the potential of India’s large basinal area.

 

The key features of HELP are:

  • Single, uniform license for extraction and exploration for all types of hydrocarbon prospects.
  • Open acreage licensing (OAL) which will permit investors to carve out interested blocks and submit Expression of Interest (EoI), which will be subsequently given through bi-annual bid rounds.
  • Simple and easy to administer Revenue Sharing Model.
  • Full marketing freedom and free pricing for crude oil and natural gas.
  • Exploration allowed during entire contract period.
  • Zero royalty rates for deep water & ultra-deep water blocks for first 7 years.
  • Equal weightage to work program and fiscal share.
  • No oil cess.
  • Custom duty exemption.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims:

 

NIFT Chairperson:

The Union Government has appointed Shri Rajesh V. Shah as Chairperson on the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Fashion Technology as per the provisions of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006.

What you need to know about NIFT?

  • National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is a fashion institute in India. It was set up in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
  • NIFT was granted statutory status in 2006, empowering it to award degrees and other academic distinctions.

 

QueSST:

NASA has completed the preliminary design review of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of the agency’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.