All India Radio News Summary: 27 and 28 DECEMBER 2017

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All India Radio News Summary: 27 and 28  DECEMBER 2017


  1. Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill- 2017

The Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill- 2017 amid uproar by the opposition.

Impact:

  • The Bill will replace Ordinance which was promulgated in September this year. It amends the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017.
  • The Act allows the central government to notify the rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Compensation Cess on items such as pan masala, coal, aerated drinks, and tobacco, subject to certain caps.
  • The amount received by levying the GST Compensation Cess is used to compensate states for any loss in revenue following the implementation of GST.
  • The bill will enhance the cess from 15 percent to 25 percent on luxury vehicles.

FM said hike in cess was necessitated to match the loss arising due to GST rate cuts on different items.

 

  1. Parliament has passed the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017 with Rajya Sabha approving it.

The bill will replace the ordinance promulgated by the President on 23rd of November this year.

  • It seeks to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from definition of tree, thereby dispensing with the requirement of felling and transit permit for its economic use.  
  • 24 States and Union Territories have supported this bill.
  • It will promote the cultivation of bamboo in non-forest areas; improve the income of the farmers besides providing green cover in the country. 

 

  1. Parliament has also passed the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill

Parliament has also passed the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Bill with the Rajya Sabha approving it.

  • The bill establishes the Institute at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and declares it as an institution of national importance.
  • The Institute aims at providing high quality education and research focusing on the themes of petroleum, hydrocarbons and energy.

 

  1. External Affairs Minister hits out at Pakistan in Parliament for humiliating Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife during their meeting

External Affairs Minister strongly criticized Pakistan for, what she called its obnoxious behaviour during the meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his mother and wife in Islamabad.

  • She said it could have been a step forward, but Pakistan used it as a tool for propaganda.
  • The Minister criticized the neighbouring country for not allowing the family members to speak in their mother tongue.
  • She also came down heavily on Pakistan for not returning the shoes of Jadhav’s wife and said Islamabad is now levelling baseless allegations that there was something hidden inside her shoes.

Cutting across party lines, members in both Houses supported the government on the issue.

 

  1. Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017 

The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriages) Bill 2017 making instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband.

  • The bill has a three-year jail term and a possible fine for any Muslim man who indulges in the practice.
  • The law will also apply to instant Triple Talaq in any form as in writing or by electronic means, such as e-mail, text message and WhatsApp.
  • The government’s move comes after the Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling in August, said Triple Talaq was unconstitutional and violated the fundamental rights of women.

The Minister said the practice of triple talaq has been curbed and regulated even in many Islamic countries and a secular country like India will have to ensure justice to Muslim women.

  • The government had to bring this bill because instant triple talaq has continued despite the Supreme Court order terming it illegal.

The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for adoption before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into a law.

 

  1. India and Afghanistan have launched their second air cargo route, linking Kabul with Mumbai

India and Afghanistan have launched their second air cargo route, linking Kabul with Mumbai, after the first service between Kabul to New Delhi June this year.

 

Objective:

  • The objective of air corridor is to boost the export of fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan was historically our window to the Central Asian land locked countries and was connected through long distance trade with the western part of India.
  • The air connectivity now established through the air freight corridor will provide Afghanistan greater access to markets in India, and will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage India’s economic growth and trade networks for its benefit.

 

  1. The US and Russia have agreed to continue to work towards a diplomatic solution to achieve a denuclearized Korean peninsula

Secretary of State of US and Russian Foreign Minister spoke over phone to discuss concerns related to North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear programme and emphasized that neither the United States nor Russia accepts Pyongyang as a nuclear power.

The US Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on two North Korean officials for their role in Pyongyang’s ballistic missile program.

 

  1. India successfully carried out an interceptor missile test, validating the reliability of its two layered Ballistic Missile Defence

The indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile is capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.

  • The interceptor was engaged against a Prithvi missile launched from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha.
  • The interceptor positioned at Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast roared through its trajectory after getting signals from tracking radar and destroyed the incoming hostile missile mid-air in about two minutes.
  • With this effective anti-ballistic missile system, India is the fourth country in the world to have a ballistic missile defence programme.
  • This home-grown high-speed weapon system can eliminate incoming enemy ballistic missiles at an altitude of 30 kilometres.
  • Other countries which have developed a ballistic missile defence system include the US, Russia and Israel.
  • This Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile is critical to protect the country from the long range ballistic missiles proliferating in the neighbourhood.