Daily Current Affairs (19-07-19)

Super-Rich Tax On FPIs

Why in News: Replying to a debate in loksabha, Finance Minister (FM) dismissed the criticism that tax would lead to a flight of FPIs.

News in Detail

  • Union Budget 2019 levied an additional surcharge on the super rich (An increase of 3% for individuals with annual income between Rs.2 crore and Rs.5 crore & 7% for those earning above Rs. 5 crores.)
  • Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) functioning as trusts in India will have to pay the tax surcharge proposed in the budget.
  • FPIs setup as association of persons or trusts have to get converted to companies to avoid surcharge  increase.

Why this additional taxation?

  • While the tax concessions are being given to the middle class for buying affordable homes and for small to medium businesses and sunrise industries to promote growth, the affluent have to contribute more in taxes for nation building.

Critical Aspect

  • The decision drew criticism from FPIs and economists predicts that additional surcharge of FPIs would result in an outflow of foreign funds from India
A Chance to know Moths Better

Why in News : National Moth week is being held from July 20 to 28 this year.

News in Detail

  • Moths, comprise a group of insects related to butterflies belonging to order Lepidoptera.
  • hey are one of the most diverse and successful organism, but much remains to be learned about ecology and distribution of its species.
  • They are among nature’s most important pollinators
  • Many mistake moths for Butterflies.
  • Butterflies are active during the day whereas moths are active during the night.

About National Moth Week

  • It was founded in u.s in 2012 by the friends of the East Brunswick enviornmental Commission, a non profit organisation.
  • It is a world wide citizen service project to study and record population of Moth.
  • WWF – India has joined hands with Nature-Watch Foundation in the upcoming National Moth Week, which focuses on increasing the appreciation, study and data collection on moths to learn more about their distribution and potential threats to their population.
Man-made Highlands in Kaziranga National Park (KNP)

Why in News : Floods drive animals including rhinos and tigers out of Kaziranga park.

News in Detail

  • The National  park, famous for its one horned rhinos is on the verge of getting inundated by flood waters.
  • Over 95% of the park is submerged, rendering animals shelterless and forcing them to look for refuge in human habitations.

Man-made Highlands

  • KNP’s  man-made highlands have turned into islands of relative safety for animals.
  • Two decades ago, Assam Forest Department constructed 111 highlands as an experiment.
  • It helped to keep a few animals above water level, but served little purpose when 75% or more of the park was flooded.
  • In 2017, park authorities constructed 33 more highlands, which were bigger in dimension and was designed scientifically with provision for adequate grass and plants yielding fruits.
  • These highlands have helped to reduce the animal casualty during flood this year.
Extra-Judicial Killings in Manipur

Why in News : SC agreed to reconstitute bench to continue monitoring a CBI probe into alleged extra judicial killings by the Army, Assam Rifles and Police in Manipur.

News in Detail

  • In 2017, the court ordered a CBI probe into the alleged 1528 extra judicial killings from 2000 to 2012.
  • The case has been on the back burner since Justice Madan.B.Lokur, who led the earlier two-judge bench retired in last December.
  • Earlier, Army had told the apex court that it cannot be subjected to FIRs for carrying out anti-militancy operations in insurgency prone areas like J & K and Manipur while alleging local bias in judicial inquiries conducted against it.

Government’s stand

  • Every judicial inquiry cannot be against Army.
  • Alleged extra judicial killing cases in Manipur are not cases of massacre, rather these are cases of military operations.

Supreme Court’s stand

  • Principle of Accountability is an essential part of rule of law.
  • Killing of person who was possibly innocent cannot be overlooked by any reason.
  • The apex court directed a thorough probe into the alleged extra judicial killings, saying the use of “excessive or retaliatory force” by the armed forces or police was not permissible in ‘disturbed areas’ under the controversial Armed  Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

      Trivia : Chief Justice of India (CIJ) alone has the administrative power to constitute benches to hear cases in Supreme Court.

Child Labour in Film and Television

Why in News : Union Labour Ministry expressed concern over violation of child labour rules in film and TV.

News in Detail

  • Labour Ministry urged Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to ensure “strict compliance” by the industry with the norms on working conditions for children
  • It also urged for the inclusion of mandatory disclaimers when children appear on screen.

Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017

  1. Under this rule, child artistes are supposed to work for a maximum of five hours a day and not more than three hours without rest.
  2. Permission is required from the District Magistrate and an undertaking by the producer, as well as deployment of one person each for ensuring safety and security of a maximum of  five children.
  3. Children should not be away from schooling for not more than 27 days and 20% of their income should be deposited in  a fixed deposit in their name.
  • Labour Ministry observed that Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act and the rules  framed there under are not being strictly adhered into in the audio-visual Industry.
Sri Vyasaraja Thirta

Why in News : Brindavana (tomb) of Sri Vyasaraja Thirta, renowned saint of Madhwa tradition was vandalised by suspected treasure hunters.

About Sri Vyasaraja Thirta

  • He was the ‘Raja Guru’ of Sri Krishnadevaraya, the Vijayanagar Emperor.
  • He was buried at Nava Brindavana, which is located at Anegundi; near Hampi.
  • Nava Brindavana contains the tombs of nine Hindu Madhwa saints, which is located on an island in Tungabhadra River
Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) and its Curious record on Xinjiang

Why OIC is in news

  • India became the ‘Guest of Honour’ at the 46th session of council of Foreign Ministers of OIC held in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.
  • It is for the first time that India has been invited to a meeting of OIC.

Significance of  OIC

  • It represents 57 member states and a population of about 1.8 billion people.
  • It is the world’s second largest Intergovernmental organisation after United Nations
  • It is committed to protect the interests of the Muslim World.
  • It routinely express solidarity with Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Boshia, as well with people of Turkish Cypriot state, Kosovo and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)

Why OIC should re think on its reference to J & K

  • India is a democratic and secular country, where every citizen is protected by constitution and is free to practise one’s religion.
  • India regularly holds state and general elections including in J & K.

Criticism against OIC

  • OIC has turned a blind eye to the human rights violations by its own members, like the actions of  Pakistani state in Baluchistan.
  • Abu Dhabi declaration of OIC made no reference to China or its Muslim minorities.
  • It even passed a resolution to “commend the efforts of the people’s Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens”.
  • This appears as curious case, especially after a review held by UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial  Discrimination had turned the Uighur autonomous region into “something that resembles a massive internment camp”.
  • China claims that so called ‘internment camps’ are actually vocational centres meant “to educate and save local people of Xinjiang who were influenced by religious extremism.”
  • While OIC remains critical of India, it is not showing courage in case of China.
  • OIC remains mindful of how far it can go with its criticism of Beijing, considering that China is a major power, permanent member of UNSC, a large market for hydrocarbons and a source of arms and investments.
  • Continued Import of Oil from Iran by China, suggests, countries under U.S. Pressure and sanctions often turn to China for relief.

Way forward

  • OIC countries under the influence of Pakistan usually supports resolutions against India.
  • India should use its excellent bilateral ties with OIC countries to counter this and to build a consensus
  • With mushrooming concerns like Islamophobia, cross border terrorism, extremism and instability in the world order, India should enhance its relation with OIC.
  • Active engagement in the grouping by India, home to around 10% of Muslims in the world can add more substance to the existence and working of the OIC.
LIBRA – New Crypto currency by Facebook

Why in News: G7  Ministers agreed that cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra risked destabilising the International monetary system and were not ready to be implemented.

About Libra

  • It is a digital currency announced by Facebook.
  • It will allow the platform’s billions of users across the globe to make financial transactions online.
  • Facebook says Libra is a “global currency and financial infrastructure” powered by a new Facebook created version of block chain, the encrypted technology used by bitcoin and other crypto currencies.
  • Facebook has also announced a digital  wallet service named Calibra.
India May have to revise downwards ‘potential’ growth rate from 7-8%

Why in News : ex- CEA Arvind Subramanian published a paper as a follow up to one, which he published last month regarding growth of Indian Economy.

News in Detail

  • In previous paper, he argued that India’s GDP growth in 2011-17 period has been over estimated by 2.5% points and annual growth rate was about 4.5%.
  • He raises the question that how India can right now, grow at the same rate as it did in the pre 1980 hindu rate of growth period, when the economic condition was much worse.
  • In the pre-1980s era, the GDP growth rate was about  3-3.5% and population growth rate was about 2%, yielding a per capita  growth rate of 1-1.5%.
  • So, Todays 4.5% growth rate is impressive as size of the economy now is five times of 1980 levels.
  • If we take all the large major economics of the world, India at 4.5% real GDP growth rate would be second fastest growing economy in the 2012-16 period, just as it was in 10 years preceding.
  • Cognitive benchmark during India’s boom years was 8% growth and this has not changed over the years.
  • This bench mark failed to take into account, a number of factors that took effect in the years following boom years such as,

   Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) Problem

  •       Export Collapse
  •       Rising Oil Prices
  •       Loss of Macro economic Stability during UPA-II
  •       Demonetisation
Jaitu Ka Morcha

Why in News : A prison cell in Jaitu where Jawaharlal Nehru was lodged in 1923 collapsed due to incessant rains.

News in Detail

  • Jaitu Ka Morcha was launched by the Akalis against the British
  • Nehru came to Jaitu after a resolution was passed in  1923 congress session supporting the rally.
  • Nehru along with two congress leaders were sent by the party to get information on political developments.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Why in News : WHO has declared the Ebola Virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic Congo, a Public  Health Emergency of International concern.

News in Detail

  • WHO defines a global emergency as an “extraordinary event” which constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response.
  • EVD, is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human to human transmission.
  • Fruit bats of pteropodidae family are natural hosts of Ebola virus
U.S bar Turkey from F-35 Programme over S-400 deal

Why in News : U.S. confirmed that Turkey would be excluded from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme after it purchased a Russian missile defence system.

News in Detail

  • U.S. said that F-35 Joint Strike Fighter cannot coexist with a Russian Intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.
  • U.S. action will lock out a number of Turkish manufactures that were producing parts and components for the F-35.

About S-400 Missile Defence System

  • The system developed by Russia can destroy hostile aircraft, stealth  fighters, missiles and drones at 400 km range.
  • Radars can track hundreds of targets simultaneously.
  • It can intercept even ballistic missiles with velocity of 4,800 meters per second.
  • Russia boasts S-400 can even ‘radar lock & shoot down’ 5th  Gen stealth fighters like American F-35 jets.

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