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Insights Daily Current Events, 10 July 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 10 July 2015


India, US ink pact on sharing account info

To curb overseas tax evasion and black money, India and the U.S. recently signed an inter-governmental agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

  • This agreement makes it obligatory on the part of the two nations to exchange information on offshore accounts of each other’s citizens in their respective territories.

About the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA):

  • The U.S. government enacted FATCA in 2010 to obtain information on accounts held by US taxpayers in other countries.
  • Under FATCA, foreign financial institutions in the U.S. will have to provide information about Indian account holders to the U.S. government’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which will forward the information to the Indian government.
  • The Indian government will provide similar information to the IRS.
  • As of now, the U.S. has such agreements with more than 110 jurisdictions and is engaged in related discussions with many other jurisdictions.
  • Financial institutions such as banks, brokerages or mutual funds that do not comply with this agreement will face a 30% withholding tax on all payments from the U.S.

This automatic exchange of information is scheduled to begin on September 30.

Sources: The Hindu.


Indians in The Royal Society

The names of two researchers based in Bengaluru are all set to be entered in a historic charter book containing the who’s who of the scientific world.

The two Researchers are:

  1. Professor of Biology Kamaljit Bawa, who founded the independent research organisation Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
  2. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) physicist Ajay Sood.

Some facts:

  • These researchers will join a select group of scientists from the country to be inducted as a fellow by London’s The Royal Society.
  • Sood is the only scientist whose work has been based entirely in laboratories in India.
  • Among the Indian and Indian-origin scientists inducted as fellows and foreign members, two have been intimately involved with research in Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).

About Royal Society, London:

  • It is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society still in existence.
  • It was founded in November 1660 and was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as “The Royal Society”.
  • The Society today acts as a scientific advisor to the British government, receiving a parliamentary grant-in-aid.
  • The Society acts as the UK’s Academy of Sciences, and funds research fellowships and scientific start-up companies.

The Hindu, Wiki.


NDDB launches mobile app for dairy farmers

The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has launched a mobile application that will recommend a balanced diet for cows and buffaloes to help boost dairy farmers’ income by raising milk yield and cutting feed cost.

About the app:

  • The mobile application is named ‘Pashu Poshan‘.
  • The application, which will be available on both web and android platforms, can be accessed by registering on the INAPH portal (
  • This application will benefit dairy farmers across the country. They will get information about balanced ration for their cows and buffaloes through this application. The use of this application is expected to boost milk output and income of dairy farmers.
  • To use this application, the farmer needs to provide complete animal profile, including breed, age, milk production, fat content in milk apart from food items being currently fed to the animal along with the cost in order to formulate the balanced ration formula.

India is the largest milk producer in the world, but the biggest challenge for the domestic dairy sector is low productivity of its bovine population as compared to developed countries.

Sources: The Hindu.


Digital India: MPEDA launches mobile-based apps

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), nodal agency for promotion of marine exports from India, has launched two mobile based applications, which would help farmers get prices on shrimp and capture data on aquaculture through mobile.

  • These initiatives were launched under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme.
  • Under these initiatives , MPEDA will provide price related market information of Vannamei and Black Tiger shrimp to farmers. The farmers have to give a missed call to a predetermined number and they will get the prices of various grades of these two shrimp varieties in major markets such as Japan, the U.S. and EU through an SMS.
  • The service will be provided free of cost to farmers all over India and would enable them to make an informed decision on harvest of their produce and get better price realisation.
  • The mobile app called mKrishi will enable farmers get expert guidance on all operations, besides helping with book keeping and weather information. mKrishi is under pilot in Gujarat and will be extended all over India in the next three months.

About the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA):

  • MPEDA is a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The role envisaged for the MPEDA under the statute is comprehensive – covering fisheries of all kinds, increasing exports, specifying standards, processing, marketing, extension and training in various aspects of the industry.
  • It acts as a coordinating agency with different Central and State Government establishments engaged in fishery production and allied activities.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA) Launched by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, former President of India recently launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA).

About the Abhiyaan:

  • Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan is a unique concept developed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development that aims to inculcate a spirit of inquiry, creativity and love for Science and Mathematics in school children.
  • It aims to encourage students to learn sciences beyond the classrooms. It is an effort to take forward the Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India, ‘Make in India’ and ‘Teach in India’.
  • Under Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, government schools will be mentored by Institutes like IITs/ IIMs/ IISERs and other Central Universities and reputed organisations through innovative programmes, student exchanges, demonstrations, student visits, etc to develop a natural sense of passion towards learning of Science and Maths.

Sources: PIB.

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