Insights Daily Current Events, 22 March 2016
Paper 2 Topic: e-governance.
Rajasthan celebrates first IT Day, launches connectivity network
Rajasthan recently (21st May) celebrated its first IT day.
- The first IT Day was based on the theme ‘Promotion of IT Start-ups’, in line with the State’s focus on empowering start-ups.
On the occasion of Rajasthan’s first IT Day, the State government has launched RajNET — a wide area network connecting the State capital with all 9,894 gram panchayats and 183 municipal areas.
- RajNET aims to strengthen connectivity and allow the inclusion of remote areas through Information Technology.
- Built as a multimode connectivity network (through VSAT and terrestrial linkage), RajNET facilitates voice, video and data connection, enabling effective delivery of citizen services like Bhamashah, e-Mitra and MNREGA across the State, including its remotest areas.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Nepal, China sign first-ever transit treaty
Nepal and China have signed 10 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU), including the transit and transportation treaty during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s ongoing visit to the country.
New Rail and Port link:
New Rail link: China has agreed to Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli’s request to build a strategic railway link between the two countries through Tibet to reduce land-locked Nepal’s total dependence on India.
Port: With the latest agreement, Nepal will be able to use the Chinese sea port for third-country trade through the nearest Tianjin port that is 3,000 km from Nepal border. This will end the Himalayan nation’s total dependency on an Indian sea port for third-country trade links. India’s Calcutta port is 1,000 km from from Nepal.
Oli’s high-profile visit comes as Nepal seeks to open more supply routes from China amid fears of a repeat of recent nearly six-month long crippling blockade when the Indian-origin Madhesis blocked Nepal’s trade-routes with India, throwing normal life out of gear.
India at present has two rail lines under construction and three more are being planned to increase Nepal’s trade ties. India and Nepal have 25 crossing points, two integrated checkpoints and 2 more checkpoints were under construction.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
‘Google Tax’: Govt panel for levy on e-com through emails, blogs
A committee on e-commerce has recommended a tax on digital transactions such as emails, blogs and downloads.
- The committee was set up by the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
- The committee has recommended a tax of 6-8% on 13 services, in a bid to prevent tax avoidance by multinationals.
- The recommendations are based on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting guidelines of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – which provides economic solutions to member nations.
Some B2B services on which the committee has recommended equalisation levy of 6-8% include:
- Online advertising or any services, rights or use of software for online advertising, including advertising on radio & television.
- Digital advertising space.
- Designing, creating, hosting or maintenance of website.
- Digital space for website, advertising, e-mails, online computing, blogs, online content, online data or any other online facility.
- Any provision, facility or service for uploading, storing or distribution of digital content.
Paper – 1 Topic: Resources
World Water Day
World Water Day is being observed globally today (22nd March). It is to mark the importance of water to human civilisation and nature. It is part of Decade for Water (2005-2015) activity by the United Nations.
2016 Theme: “Water and Jobs”
The United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day in 1993 following a resolution taken in Rio, Brazil in 1992 when demands were made to designate a special day for water resources.
Facts for Prelims from “The Hindu”:
- The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard, ICGS Arnvesh, was recently commissioned. It is the 16th of the 20 in this category being built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
- The Indian navy has for the first time deployed the Boeing P 8I, one of its advanced maritime reconnaissance aircraft, to Seychelles for surveillance of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone. It is the first such deployment of the Boeing P 8I to a foreign country. P 8I is the military version of Boeing 737-800. India is one of the few countries, other than the US, that uses P 8I.