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UPSC News Diary Today 13-09-2022

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UPSC News Diary Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.

 

Windfall Tax

 

Why in news?

The Indian government will once again slash windfall gain tax in the upcoming fortnightly review.

What is windfall gain tax?

  • A windfall gain tax is imposed by the government on a company When a corporate gains from something that it can’t control or are responsible for, that financial gain is windfall profits.
  • In simpler words, a windfall gain tax is a higher tax rate on gains that result from a sudden windfall gain to a particular organization or industry, usually as an aftermath of geo-political disturbance, natural disaster or war that creates uncommon spikes in demand or supply interruptions. Ukraine and Russia conflict is a prime example.
  • The Windfall gain tax counts to the government’s income.
  • For example, In May 2022, the government of India slashed the excise duty of Rs 8 and Rs 6 per litre of petrol and diesel, respectively to control inflation.
  • To compensate for the losses the windfall tax on crude production was gauged to generate Rs 650 billion in revenue and a tax of Rs 527 billion if implemented for a full year.

 

IBM Quantum Network

 

Why in news?

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has become the first Indian institution to join the IBM Quantum Network.

What is IBM Quantum Network?

  • Quantum computing marks an exponential advance in computing unlike any preceding it.
  • Since launching its Quantum Network initiative in 2017, IBM Research has been working with more than 40 Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, research labs and startups worldwide to advance the state-of-the art in quantum computing technology for commercial use.
  • The IBM Quantum Network partners with early adopter, innovative organizations, offering access to IBM’s most-powerful quantum computing systems through the cloud.
  • Only through this exchange of ideas, research and testing will quantum computing reach its full potential, powering breakthroughs that lead to new medicines and materials as well as advanced business and financial models.

 

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

 

Why in news?

India stayed out of the joint declaration on the trade pillar of the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ministerial meet in Los Angeles.

What is IPEF?

  • IPEF is a grouping of 14 countries which account for 40% of global GDP and marks the US’s pivot to the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s dominance.
  • Trade is one of the four pillars of this bloc that aims to enhance supply chain resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness and competitiveness.

What is IPEF Trade Pillar?

  • In the Trade Pillar, the IPEF partners will seek high-standard provisions in areas that are foundational to resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, including labour, environment, digital economy, agriculture, transparency and good regulatory practices, competition, inclusivity, trade facilitation, and technical assistance and economic development.

Why India stayed out of the trade pillar?

  • India’s decision is a step in the right direction as it is unsure of making binding commitments and hasty pledges on sensitive issues like the digital economy, data flows, labour and environment standards and public procurement which the trade pillar entails.
  • India’s concern is that it will undermine its still-evolving policies on the digital economy and data privacy.

 

IFSCA FinTech Incentive Scheme, 2022

 

Why in news?

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (“Authority” or “IFSCA”), with an overall objective to promote the establishment of a world-class FinTech Hub, at GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India, launched the IFSCA (FinTech Incentive) Scheme for providing financial support to FinTech activities in the form of specific grant(s).

What is IFSCA?

IFSCA is the unified regulator for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India.

What is GIFT City?

  • GIFT city (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) was envisaged as an integrated hub for financial and technology services not just for India but for the world.

What is IIBX?

  • India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX), India’s first international bullion exchange, is also there in GIFT-IFSC.

What is NSE IFSC-SGX Connect?

  • NSE IFSC-SGX Connect is a framework between NSE’s subsidiary in the GIFT International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX).
  • Under Connect, all orders on NIFTY derivatives placed by members of the Singapore Exchange will be routed to and matched on the NSE-IFSC order matching and trading platform.

Incentives under IFSCA FinTech Incentive Scheme, 2022

The types of incentives for eligible applicants are:

  1. FinTech Start-up grant
  2. Proof of Concept (PoC) grant
  3. Sandbox grant
  4. Green FinTech Grant
  5. Accelerator Grant
  6. Listing Support Grant

 

PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan

 

PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges– Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

UPSC News Diary Today 13-09-2022 -_3.1

 

PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in News

  • Recently, the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu virtually launched the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
    • President also launched the Ni-kshay Mitra initiative.

PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan

  • Background: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave the clarion call to end TB in the country five years ahead of SDG target of 2030 at the Delhi End TB Summit in March 2018.
  • About: The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan has been envisioned to bring together all community stakeholders to support those on TB treatment and accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination.
  • Objective: Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan aims to reinvigorate the mission of TB elimination from the country by 2025.
  • Participation: Under PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan initiative, individuals, organisations, corporates, cooperative organisations, elected leaders and NGOs can provide support by adopting persons with TB.
  • Significance: The launch event aims to highlight the need for a societal approach that brings together people from all backgrounds into a Jan Andolan to achieve the ambitious target of eliminating TB from the country by 2025.
    • Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan is a step towards garnering community support towards a patient-centric health system.

Ni-kshay Mitra Initiative 

  • About: Ni-kshay Mitra initiative forms a vital component of the PM TB Mukt Bharat
  • Ni-kshay Mitra Portal: It provides a platform for donors to provide various forms of support to those undergoing TB treatment.
  • Functioning: The Ni-kshay Mitra initiative provides three pronged support which includes-
    • Nutritional Support,
    • Additional Diagnostic Support, and
    • Vocational Support.
  • Ni-kshay Mitras: The donors, called Ni-kshay Mitras, could be a wide range of stakeholders from elected representatives, political parties, to corporates, NGOs, and individuals.

National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) 

  • About: Government has implemented the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) under the aegis of the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • Objectives: With the goal of achieving Sustainable Development Goals related to TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global targets, the programme has implemented a National Strategic Plan with the following objectives:
    • Early diagnosis of TB patients, prompt treatment with quality assured drugs and treatment regimens.
    • To engage with the patients seeking care in the private sector.
    • Prevention strategies including active case finding and contact tracing in high risk /vulnerable population.
    • Airborne infection control.
    • Multi-sectoral response for addressing social determinants.
  • Performance: Under National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) scheme, over 62 lakh TB patients have received financial support amounting to Rs 1,651 crore since 2018.
    • This includes a transfer of Rs 500 directly into the bank account of the patient.

World TB Report 2021

 

Alcohol laws in India

 

Alcohol laws in India- Relevance for UPSC

General Studies II- Health, Human Resource, Government Policies & Interventions.

UPSC News Diary Today 13-09-2022 -_4.1

Context

The most ambitious Delhi’s Alcohol Policy 2021-22 which brought in big discounts for consumers was scrapped amid allegations of corruption and irregularities in the drafting and implementation of the policy.

After scrapping the new policy, the Delhi government decided to bring back the ‘old excise regime’ that was in force before.

Alcohol laws in India: A background

  • The legal drinking age in India and the laws which regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol vary significantly from state to state.
  • In India, consumption of alcohol is prohibited in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram.
  • There is partial ban on alcohol in some districts of Manipur.
  • All other Indian states permit alcohol consumption but fix a legal drinking age, which ranges at different ages per region.
  • In some states the legal drinking age can be different for different types of alcoholic beverage.

Regulation

  • Alcohol is a subject in the State List under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
  • Therefore, the laws governing alcohol vary from state to state.
  • Liquor in India is generally sold at liquor stores, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, clubs and discos but not online.
  • Some states, like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, prohibit private parties from owning liquor stores making the state government the sole retailer of alcohol in those states.
  • In some states, liquor may be sold at groceries, departmental stores, banquet halls and/or farm houses.
  • Some tourist areas have special laws allowing the sale of alcohol on beaches and houseboats.

Dry days

  • Dry days are specific days when the sale of alcohol is not permitted.
  • Most of the Indian states observe these days on major national festivals/occasions such as Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (15 August) and Gandhi Jayanti (2 October).
  • Dry days are also observed during elections in India.

Taxation on Alcohol

  • Most states levy either Value added Tax (VAT) or Excise duty or both.
  • Excise duty is a tax levied to discourage the consumption of a product.
  • It is calculated on a per-unit basis. Meaning, if you buy 1 litre of liquor, you pay a fixed excise duty of Rs 15.
  • Value-added Tax is charged in the proportion of the product. If a bottle costs Rs 100, and the state levies 10 percent VAT, the price rises to Rs 110.

Tax rates in States

  • The 29 states/UTs in India approach liquor taxation differently.
  • For instance, Gujarat has banned its citizens from consuming liquor since 1961.
  • But outsiders with special licenses can still buy.
  • Puducherry, on the other hand, earns most of its revenue from alcohol trading.
  • Bihar has prohibited alcohol consumption entirely, meaning the state’s revenue from liquor consumption is nil.
  • Its neighbor, Uttar Pradesh, earns the most excise duty on liquor.
  • The state does not levy VAT but a special duty on liquor, collecting funds for particular purposes.

 

 

The Delimitation Of J & K

 

The Delimitation Of J & K: Introduction

  • After a long period of two years, the process of delimiting the assembly and parliamentary constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir has finally come to an end.
  • The Delimitation Commission was entrusted with the work of delimiting the Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of 2011 Census and in accordance with the provisions of Part-V of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 and the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • On 5 May 2022, the Delimitation Commission, assigned with the responsibility of redrawing the assembly and parliamentary constituencies in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), published its final report.

The Delimitation Of J & K: What is a Delimitation Exercise?

  • Delimitation is an apportionment of electoral constituencies aimed at securing representational parity between different member constituencies of a democracy.
  • It is supposed to be a periodic exercise conducted at regular intervals to ensure equitable representation of different population groups within a legislative body.
  • The Delimitation Commission in J&k was constituted by the Govt. of India, in exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of Delimitation Act, 2002 (33 of 2002), for the purpose of delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Delimitation Of J & K: Constitutional Provisions for Delimitation Exercise

  • In India, according to Article 82 of the Constitution, “readjustment” of electoral constituencies had to be a decennial exercise to be conducted after the publication of the national census data.
  • Accordingly, three delimitation exercises were conducted in 1952, 1962, and 1972.
  • The Constitution also autho­rised Parliament, through Article 327, Consequently, Parliament enacted the Delimitation Acts of 1952, 1962 and 1972, which was finally replaced by the Delimitation Act of 2002.

The Delimitation Of J & K: History of Delimitation Exercises in J&k

  • The delimitation in J&K earlier was different for assembly and parliamentary seats, on account of the special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state.
  • The delimitation of parliamentary seats was done under central laws but assembly seats were redrawn under the purview of the state constitution and the Jammu and Kashmir Representation of Peoples Act enacted in 1957.
  • Under the said structure, the delimitation of assembly seats in J&K was done in 1957, 1966, 1975 and 1995.
  • Hence, the latest delimitation of J&K was the first delimitation of assembly seats in J&K to be done under the provisions of central laws, the Central Delimitation Act of 2022, in consonance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019.

The Delimitation Of J & K: How J&k Reorganisation Act 2009 paved the way for Delimitation?

  • The commission was set up under the terms of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorga­nisation Act of 2019, which divided the erstwhile state of J&K into two successor union territories, after the withdrawal of the special status enjoyed by the erstwhile state under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
  • While the union territory of Ladakh, which emerged out of the bifurcation, was not provided with a legislature, the residual union territory of J&K was provided with a legislature, à la the union territory of Puducherry (Ministry of Law and Justice 2019: Section 13).
  • The Reorganisation Act stipulated a process of delimitation of the constituencies of the region, and the central government repeatedly called such an exercise imperative for the resumption of the electoral process in the region.

The Delimitation Of J & K: Know about the J&k Delimitation Commission

  • The J&k Delimitation commission was set up through an official gazette notification published on 6 March 2020. The commission was set up under the chairpersonship of Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The election commissioner of the Election Commission of India, Sushil Chandra, who went on to become the chief election commissioner, was appointed as the first ex officio member of the commission.
  • The second ex officio member was the state election commissioner, K K Sharma.
  • Furthermore, the five parliamentarians, members of the Lok Sabha (the lower house), from the erstwhile state of J&K, Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Jugal Kishore Sharma, and Jitendra Singh were the associate members of the commission.
  • Notably, associate members do not have any voting rights under law and their objections are not binding on the commission.
  • The commission was initially set up for a period of one year but was given a cumulative extension of 14 months under subsequent gazette notifications.

The Delimitation Of J & K: Key Recommendations

As per the final Delimitation Order, the following will come into effect from the date to be notified by the Central Government:

  • Out of the 90 Assembly Constituencies in the region, 43 will be part of Jammu region and 47 for Kashmir region keeping in view the provisions of Section 9(1)(a) of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 60(2)(b) of Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
  • After consultation with Associate Members, representatives of political parties, citizens, civil society groups, 9ACs have been reserved for STs, out of which,6 are in Jammu region and 3 ACs in the Valley.
  • There are five Parliamentary Constituencies in the region. The Delimitation Commission has seen the Jammu & Kashmir region as one single Union Territory.
  • Therefore, one of the Parliamentary Constituency has been carved out combining Anantnag region in the Valley and Rajouri & Poonch of Jammu region.
  • By this reorganisation each Parliamentary Constituency will have equal number of 18 Assembly Constituencies each.
  • Names of some ACs have also been changed keeping in view the demand of local representatives.

 

4IR

 

Introduction

  • 4IR is the use of different technologies to blur the boundaries between the digital, physical and biological worlds.
  • There are several innovations taking place in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, mobility (autonomous vehicles), retail stores and almost the entire services industry.
  • Such inventions, which often seem like science fiction becoming reality, are what make the ongoing 4IR different from the earlier three industrial revolutions.
  • India and most countries are hugely investing in 4IR technologies.

What is 4IR?

  • The ability to capture, store, disseminate and model data is fuelling the current revolution and most of the technologies associated with 4IR revolve around the application of data.
  • According to management firm Boston Consulting, 4IR is a collection of nine technologies: cloud computing, big data, augmented reality, system integration, autonomous robots, cybersecurity, simulation, additive manufacturing, and the internet of things (IoT).

Who coined the term 4IR?

  • The term 4IR was coined by Klaus Schwab, executive chairperson of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in 2016 when he described it as an industrial revolution that “does not change what we are doing but changes us”.
  • Ever since the concept has divided the world over its utility and its impact on our future.

What are Xenobots?

  • The Xenobots are a near-perfect example of the ongoing fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
  •  Xenobots, which are less than a milli – metre long, were created in 2020 from the stem cells of the African clawed frog and can be programmed using artificial intelligence.
  • When the researchers put the xenobots into a petri dish, they were able to gather hundreds of tiny stem cells inside their mouths and create new xenobots a few days later.
  • Once perfected, xenobots could be useful for tasks like cleaning up microplastics and regrowing or replacing dead cells and tissues inside human bodies.

What makes the ongoing 4IR different from the earlier three industrial revolutions?

  • The first industrial revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production (the 1800s).
  • The second used electric power to create mass production (the early 1900s).
  • The third used electronics and information technology to automate production (the late 1900s).
  • The 4IR, which is building on the third revolution, has data at its core.

How India is seeing 4IR?

The above examples prove that the urgency around embracing 4IR technologies is visible in India:

Smart Railway Coaches

  • In November 2020, the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) at Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, rolled out smart railway coaches that are fitted with a battery of sensors to provide a comfortable experience to passengers. The sensors monitor odour levels in toilets, check if the doors are safely closed, avoid fire outbreaks and stop unauthorised travel using CCTV cameras with face recognition capabilities, among other technologies.

SAMARTH Scheme

  • In May 2020, the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries launched the Smart Advanced Manufacturing and Rapid Transformation Hub (Samarth) scheme, which brings together manufacturers, vendors, and customers to make them aware of 4IR technologies.

Emphasis on 4IR in Budget

  • In this year’s budget speech FM announced a slew of new 4IR-driven projects, including Drone Shakti, to encourage start-ups that will facilitate the use of drone services(drones can be utilised in land surveying, spraying insecticides and digitisation of land records), In the field of education, the desh Stack ecosystem would be announced for skilling, re-skilling, and upskilling through online training. The proposed ecosystem will use blockchain technology to make the process of skill acquisition transparent and efficient.

4IR Centre

  • India even has a 4IR centre in Mumbai run by WEF, which is closely working with several state governments. The Centre has recently come up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Cancer Care model in which 4IR technologies would be used to provide better healthcare for cancer patients.

Digital Twin Technology

  • India is also exploring digital twin technology for creating models. A digital twin means creating a highly complex virtual model that is the exact counterpart (or twin) of a physical thing, which can be anything from a car, building or even a person.

Pan India 3D Maps

  • On February 19, the Union minister of state for science and technology, Jitendra Singh, launched the pan India 3D maps programme by Genesys International for the 100 smart cities.
  • The company plans to map an entire city in intricate detail so that many 4IR revolution technology-based projects, such as driverless cars, will become easier to implement. It is the first step towards completely connected living as envisioned under 4IR.

 

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