Questions for the Day :-
Which of the following group represents right combination of Triratnas of Jainism?
[A] Right Faith, Right Knowledge, Right Thought
[B] Right Thought,, Right Action, Right Conduct
[C] Right Faith, Right Knowledge , Right Conduct
[D] None of the above
2)Which of the following does not come under Fundamental Duty?
[A] To promote harmony
[B] To safeguard public property
[C] To protect freedom of speech and expression
[D] To protect and improve the natural environment
3)What is water gas?
[A] mixture of CO and H2
[B] mixture of CO and H2O
[C] mixture of CO2 and H2
[D] Carbon mono-oxide
1)New Delhi announces $450 mn to Colombo :-Line of credit of $50 million for strengthening Sri Lanka’sabilities to counter terrorthreats. This was in addition to the $400 million Line of Credit that India announced for infrastructure development in the island nation.
What is Line of Credit :-
The Line of Credit is not a grant but a ‘soft loan’ provided on concessional interest rates to developing countries, which has to be repaid by the borrowing government.
The LOCs also helps to promote exports of Indian goods and services, as 75% of the value of the contract must be sourced from India.
2)GDP growth plunges to4.5%, lowest since 2012 :–
Reasons :- Less Public Consumption, Due to less Consumption —-} Less Demand, Due to Less Demand —-} Less Production, Due to less Production —-} Less Manufacturing , Thus Slowdown.
GDP :- The Gross domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. The GDP is the officially recognized totals. The following equation is used to calculate the GDP:
Written out, the equation for calculating GDP is:
GDP = private consumption + gross investment + government investment + government spending + (exports – imports).
The nominal GDP is the value of all the final goods and services that an economy produced during a given year. It is calculated by using the prices that are current in the year in which the output is produced.
The real GDP is the total value of all of the final goods and services that an economy produces during a given year, accounting for inflation. It is calculated using the prices of a selected base year.
The GDP Deflator:-
The GDP deflator is a price index that measures inflation or deflation in an economy by calculating a ratio of nominal GDP to real GDP.
3)Cess poorly utilised for welfare schemes in Odisha: CAG report :- The Comptroller andAuditor General of Indiahas detected poor utilisation of cess collectedfor the welfare of construction workers in Odisha.
What is a cess? How it differs from surcharge
A cess imposed by the central government is a tax on tax, levied by the government for a specific purpose. Generally, cess is expected to be levied till the time the government gets enough money for that purpose.
For example, a cess for financing primary education – the education cess (which is imposed on all central government taxes) is to be spent only for financing primary education (SSA) and not for any other purposes.
A cess is different from the usual taxes like excise duty and personal income tax as it is imposed as an additional tax besides the existing tax (tax on tax). For example, the education cess of 3% on personal income tax of 30% is imposed as a tax on the prevailing 30%. As a result, the total tax rate goes up to 30.9% (30% basic rate + 3% (cess) of the 30%).
But the tax revenue from Cess are first credited to the CFI and the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by Parliament, utilise the money for the specified purposes.
What is surcharge?
Surcharge is a charge on any tax, charged on the tax already paid. As the name suggests, surcharge is an additional charge or tax. .
A surcharge of 10% on personal income tax when the basic personal income tax rate is 30%. Effectively this surcharge of 10% raises the combined tax burden to 33%.
A common feature of both surcharge and cess is that the centre need not share it with states.
Cess and Surcharge both go to Consolidated fund of India.
Surcharge can be spent for any purpose but Cess only for specific Purpose.
4) Constitutional Provisions Regarding CAG :-
Article 148 broadly deals with the CAG appointment, oath and conditions of service.
Article 149 deals with Duties and Powers of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
Article 150 says that the accounts of the Union and of the States shall be kept in such form as the President may, on the advice of the CAG, prescribe.
Article 151 says that the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the accounts of the Union shall be submitted to the president, who shall cause them to be laid before each House of Parliament.
Article 279 – Calculation of “net proceeds” is ascertained and certified by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India, whose certificate is final.
Third Schedule – Section IV of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of India prescribes the form of oath or affirmation to be made by the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India at the time of assumption of office.
According to Sixth Schedule the accounts of the District Council or Regional Council should be kept in such form as CAG, with the approval of the President, prescribe.
There are several provisions in the Constitution for safeguarding the independence of CAG.
CAG is appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and provided with tenure of 6 years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
CAG can be removed by the President only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution that is the manner same as removal of a Supreme Court Judge.
He is ineligible to hold any office, either under the Government of India or of any state, once he retires/ resigns as a CAG.
His salary and other service conditions cannot be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.
5)Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, popularly knownas Akkitham, has been chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award.
6)DRDO defends Nag missiles:- The stateoftheart indigenous Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Nag is in advanced stages of development the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has said in a sharp response to statements that raised questions on the programme.
A new Man Portable ATGM(MPATGM) was also in advanced stages of trials, it noted.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India.
It was formed in 1958
Ministry: Ministry of Defence.
1)Bringing back treasures:-
ISSUE: CONSERVING CULTURAL ARTEFACTS
BACKGROUND: It is expected that Australian PM will bring with him three stolen artefacts during his visit in January 2020.
The sculptures, including a pair of dwarapalas or door guardians from Tamil Nadu and one nagaraja or serpent king from either Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh, will come back to their place of origin after the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) voluntarily de-accessioned and returned them to India after establishing that they were, in fact, stolen.
At the heart of the most extensive and ruthless of smuggling rings is one man, Subhash Kapoor, who allegedly has taken the illicit trade in antiquities to a truly global scale.
Editorial highlights that major problem is due to lack of inventory documentation of idols.
Southern Tamil Nadu, for instance, has many ancient temples, most situated in small, abandoned premises of a village, where even local residents have no recollection of what idol was originally within the temple, leave alone questions of safeguarding the structure.
Major institutional reforms are therefore required to end the operations of smugglers.
Meanwhile in the global arena, India would do well to leverage the power of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
Editorial 2: Getting organ donation to tick again:-
ISSUE: HOW TO INCREASE THE ORGAN DONATION IN INDIA?
BACKGROUND: Organ Donation Day is celebrated on 30th November.
Author says that for increasing the rate of organ donation we need to counter the negative perception that hospitals are deliberately declaring many patients as brain dead even when they are not.
This misconception has led to decline of organ donors from 76 in 2015 to 8 in 2018.
Author highlights that while an organ comes free, as donated to society, transplanting it to another person costs anywhere between ₹5 lakh and ₹25 lakh, including profit to the hospital. Hence the unavoidable suspicion that unethical practices may take place — as highlighted in a recently published book, Healers or Predators? Healthcare Corruption in India
CAN PUBLIC HOSPITALS HELP?
Author says that government hospitals cannot help as they do not have the required infrastructure. Very few public hospitals in the country do kidney transplants and less than five do liver and heart transplants.
Author says that the best solution would be to take steps to decrease the rate of organ failures.
Another solution offered by the author is that it is time to revisit the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 , which is 25 years old.
Substitution of bureaucratic procedures for hospital and transplant approval by self-declaration and mandatory sample verification involving civil society will improve compliance — as proved in other countries — and will also help get more hospitals involved.
Further amendment is needed to ensure full State autonomy in this area, avoiding the Central government’s interference in organ distribution, which is now demotivating many hospitals.
Apart from this, all State organ distribution agencies need to make their operations fully transparent.
Steps such as making online organ distribution norms and the full details on every organ donation will help build public confidence in the system.
In order to assess the inequality issue government should mandate that every third or fourth transplant done in a private hospital should be done free of cost to a public hospital patient.
This will amount to cross-subsidisation, with the hospital, the doctor and the recipient footing the bill for free surgery to the section of the population that donates a majority of organs.
7)Plea to stay electoral bond scheme:– A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the implementation of the Electoral Bond scheme 2018, saying it has opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indianand foreign companies thatcan have serious repercussions on democracy.
What are electoral bonds? Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary.
Key features: Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.
Eligibility: As per provisions of the Scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a citizen of India, or entities incorporated or established in India. A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Only the registered Political Parties which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha elections or the State Legislative Assembly are eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
The move could be misused, given the lack of disclosure requirements for individuals purchasing electoral bonds.
Electoral bonds make electoral funding even more opaque. It will bring more and more black money into the political system.
With electoral bonds there can be a legal channel for companies to round-trip their tax haven cash to a political party. If this could be arranged, then a businessman could lobby for a change in policy, and legally funnel a part of the profits accruing from this policy change to the politician or party that brought it about.
Electoral bonds eliminate the 7.5% cap on company donations which means even loss-making companies can make unlimited donations.
Companies no longer need to declare the names of the parties to which they have donated so shareholders won’t know where their money has gone.
They have potential to load the dice heavily in favour of the ruling party as the donor bank and the receiver bank know the identity of the person. But both the banks report to the RBI which, in turn, is subject to the Central government’s will to know.