Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:
D. GS4 Related
4. ‘A higher rate will be inflationary’ (Interview excerpts – P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister,discusses why the Congress dropped its demand of a constitutional cap of 18 per cent on the standard GST rate, and how the provision on the dispute resolution mechanism may not pass the constitutional test)
Useful News Articles
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here today folks!
B. GS2 Related
- A combination of scientific skill, political will and farmer’s participation in pulses production can help achieve Zero Hunger, said agriculture scientist M. S. Swaminathan at the inauguration of the consultation on Pulses for Addressing Food and Nutrition Security at the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
- The Zero Hunger challenge was launched by the United Nations in 2012
- Addressing experts during the inauguration of the consultation, he said there were three kinds of hunger that needed to be dealt with – calorie inadequacy, protein deficiency and micronutrient deficiency. There was a need for India to look at enlarging the food basket and include millets in the public distribution system, Mr. Swaminathan said(Cling on to every word he said)
- India currently depends on exports to fill the gap of around seven million tonnes in pulses annually
- A Genetic Garden for biofortified plants/crops will soon be established by MSSRF and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. It will contain the germplasm of naturally biofortified crops as well as through plant breeding
- The garden, to come up initially on one acre of land provided by the University at Thirurkuppam near Avadi, will also serve as a centre for conservation and education
- It would have plants and crops that help supplement micronutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate, zinc and selenium. The garden would be a place where the public can visit and learn about the advantages of the plants in bringing down nutritional deficiencies
2. All eyes on Irom SharmilaTopic: Federal Relations
- On July 26, Ms. Sharmila had announced that she planned to end her 16-year-fast for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Manipur on August 9 and contest Assembly elections as an Independent candidate
- While fringe groups think the time is not ripe for the decision, mainstream parties welcomed it
Category: India’s Neighbourhood
- The ease with which municipalities can use off balance companies like Local Government Finance vehicle (LGFVs) to finance infrastructure — some needed, some not – is rapidly boosting China’s already high debt burden
- Beijing’s drive to make the nation a leader in robotics through its “Made in China 2025” initiative launched last year has set off a rush as municipalities up and down the country vie to become China’s robotics centre
- LGFVs first gained popularity in China in the 1990s as a way to fund municipal projects without running afoul of new restrictions on cities’ official borrowing
(For a command economy, China has a decentralized fiscal system with local governments responsible for about 85 per cent of fiscal spending but receiving only 50 per cent of tax revenues. Officials turn to debt to fill the gap)
C. GS3 Related
Category: S & T
- IBM’s Watson Supercomputer can throw up several treatment options and gathered evidence specific to a health need by combining Artificial Intelligence and analytical software to perform as a question answering machine (Watson Supercomputer gets hidden insights from 15 million pages of medical content, including more than 200 medical textbooks)
- It is being used at the Oncology department at the Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Center in Bengaluru
- Rob Merkel, vice president, oncology and genomics for IBM Watson Health said that around the world on average a physician has 15 minutes with the patient to understand three smartphone worth of data and 15 million pages of medical literature.IBM wants to bridge the gap through Watson
- ‘CANScript’ is another technology that allows doctors to predict the effect of drugs on a cancer patient, based on patient’s own tumour microenvironment in vitro. It also measures multiple functional parameters to determine whether a tumour is responding. It was developed at Mitra Biotech, a Bengaluru-based start-up founded by a team of Harvard and MIT researchers
(Cancers of all type claim approximately 6,80,000 lives each year in India, making it the leading cause of death in the country after heart diseases, according to the World Health Organization)
2. Raghuram Rajan to flag last independent monetary policy update by RBI governor TuesdayTopic: Monetary Policy
- The RBI Governor will on Tuesday conduct what will be his last monetary policy update for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and also, perhaps, the last that a central bank governor can henceforth undertake independently
- The policy update comes against the backdrop of the government fixing on Friday the inflation target for the next five years at plus or minus four per cent — a task which will be entrusted with the soon-to-be-constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MCP) to realise by mandating it to fix policy rates
- Finance Ministry officials said the committee — which will fashion the contours of the monetary policy once it is in place — would be finalised before the next bi-monthly policy review, due in October
- Given this backdrop and the fact that India’s retail inflation in June stood at 5.77 per cent — and as high as 6.20 per cent in rural India — the possibility of a rate cut has been virtually ruled out, as the current price-line is precariously close to the upper tolerance level of six per cent
- Under the RBI Act, the Central Government, in consultation with the RBI, determines the inflation target in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), once in every five years. This target would be notified in the Official Gazette.The amended law requires the Reserve Bank to also state the reasons if it fails to meet the inflation target, along with the remedial actions the estimate time-period by which it hoped to achieve the same
3. Coal India to hold e-auction for power plants this monthTopic: Power sector
- Coal India (CIL) will this month hold special forward e-auction for power producers(phase III), amid government’s plans to provide round-the-clock electricity to all
- The Coal Ministry had earlier said power producers being supplied coal through the MoU route by CIL will now have to take it via special e-auction being conducted for the power sector as the government has decided not to extend the pact beyond June 30
4. Karnataka emerges as investors’ favouriteTopic: Investment
- Gujarat, which was ranked first among all States in 2015 for attracting maximum ‘investment intentions’ in value terms, has lost its position to Karnataka halfway through this calendar year
- Gujarat received investment intentions worth only Rs.21,309 crore during January-June 2016, while Karnataka — which topped the list — received over thrice that amount, or Rs.67,757 crore, during the same period, government data showed
- Other leading States in terms of ‘investment intentions’ during January-June 2016 were Maharashtra (Rs.15,688 crore), Telengana (Rs.13,600 crore) and Chhattisgarh (Rs.8,514 crore)
- Even in the latest ‘Business Reforms Action Plan’ index (or measures taken by states to improve ease of doing business), Gujarat was sixth with a score of 53.98 per cent. Uttarakhand topped that dynamic ‘implementation scorecard’ with 63.72 per cent, followed by Rajasthan, Telengana, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh
5. U.S. tax hunt overseas causes global headachesTopic: World Economy
- The United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA has caused a lot of anxiety for banks, funds and individuals in India
- Signed into law in the U.S. in 2010, FATCA affects not just financial institutions in the U.S. and ‘U.S. persons’, i.e., citizens and residents of the U.S. and companies, trusts and other entities controlled by them, but also what the U.S. defines as ‘Foreign Financial Institutions’ or FFIs (‘foreign’ is with regard to the U.S.)
- These institutions, which include banks, mutual funds, PE and hedge funds, among others, are required to collect information on U.S. persons who are depositors or investors. Failure to do so would entail a 30 per cent withholding tax on the FFI’s U.S. source income
- To overcome any country specific hindrances to sharing information on investors and depositors, the U.S. has entered into Inter Governmental Agreements (IGAs) with partner countries. An IGA was signed with India in 2015
- The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that imposes citizenship based taxes — so American entities everywhere are normally required to file U.S. tax returns regardless of their residence or the source country of income.Until the U.S. changes its tax laws and moves to residence and source-based taxation, FATCA-type situations are unlikely to go away
- The Common Reporting System (CRS) on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) was developed by the OECD and G20 together and, “requires the financial institutions of the ‘source’ jurisdiction to collect and report information to their tax authorities about account holders ‘resident’ in other countries
- Some 98 countries, including India, have signed up for this and reporting starts in phases from 2017 onwards
D. GS4 Related
E. Important Editorials: A Quick Glance
- The 71st survey round of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) shows that India’s poor patients would rather opt for paid private health service rather than public health care
- It is well known that the entire public healthcare system, from tertiary care hospitals in large cities to Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in rural areas, is riddled with manpower shortages and inadequate supply of critical drugs and blood
- One option would be to pump in more money. Between 1995 and 2014 India’s public expenditure on healthcare rose only from 1.1 per cent of GDP to 1.4 per cent
- It is also a “design problem,” because in some cases nearly 70-80 per cent of the people in tertiary care do not have to be there
- India’s public healthcare policy has performed remarkably well in specific areas that it has chosen to focus upon, principally in bringing down maternal and infant mortality, and ensuring that an overwhelming proportion of births are from institutional deliveries
- The broader issue facing policymakers, however, is how to get patients to use PHCs and other primary treatment options optimally, and avoid rushing to tertiary care units which are overwhelmed and struggle to treat priority cases
- Systemic reforms could help. Medical graduates spend vast sums acquiring degrees and opt to recoup costs in the private sector through specialisation, even if it is the public system and general practice areas that need them more.
- Legislation akin to the Affordable Care Act of the U.S. could curb runaway costs in the private sector, which seems geared towards providing expensive diagnostics and treatment
- India could learn from the experience of Thailand, where health outcomes such as life expectancy have far outperformed India’s based on a universal healthcare coverage scheme that, since 2002, was built on a successful social insurance model
- A state that seems to be doing well in terms of providing public healthcare to many at minimum costs is Tamil Nadu
Note: Looks incomplete because the article is the first one of a series
From what we have heard so far, the GST doesn’t really seem like a “one nation, one tax.” Isn’t it true that there won’t be a single national tax across states and goods and services and instead a central tax plus 29 state taxes? Plus, in all probability, cesses by States and the Centre approved by the GST council?
- It is not correct to say that GST is not “one nation one tax.” The taxes which are already slated to be subsumed in GST are more than 10 in number. These taxes include – excise duty, VAT, service tax, additional excise duty, Countervailing Duty – a special additional duty of customs, entertainment tax, luxury tax, octroi, entry tax, purchase tax, taxes on lottery, betting and gambling etc. Also, it is not true to say that there will be one tax of the Government of India and 29 different taxes of different States
- A person has to pay only one GST Tax — a portion of which will automatically go to the State concerned and a portion will go to the Central Government. In the case of inter-state movement of goods, the share of SGST will automatically transfer to the consuming State even if the transaction has taken place in more than three-four States. Regarding the cesses, it is yet to be decided by the GST Council and so it may be too premature to predict which all cesses will still remain. On the whole, it is going to be a huge simplification in taxation regime
What will stop the States or Centre from imposing cesses? Will they have to seek the GST Council’s approval? Will the GST Council’s decision be binding?
- The powers of the State and Centre to levy taxes are clearly defined in the Constitution. These powers are rearranged in the Constitutional Amendment Bill. The State or the Centre cannot impose taxes other than for which specific powers are available. For example, other than GST the powers of taxation which now remain with States are excise as well as VAT on potable alcohol, VAT on petroleum products i.e. crude oil, natural gas, LNG, petrol and diesel, stamp duty on property transactions. Even though GST Council’s decision is recommendatory in nature no State will be able to arbitrarily levy any cess or taxes because that might attract the ire of GST Council which can take that State to Dispute Resolution Mechanism
Will it be possible for GST to be collected also on Indian Railways tickets that currently attract a service tax of about 15 per cent, and other user charges that are currently tax-exempt?
- Railways currently attract a service tax of 4.5 per cent (after abatement of 70 per cent). What rate it will attract in GST regime is to be decided by GST Council. Toll charges are at present in negative list(not taxed) for service tax. For GST, a decision will have to be taken.
How much lower is the 2013-14 tax base (on the basis of which the CEA had given his Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) and standard GST rate recommendations) from the current one?
- We will have to recalculate the taxes base of State and Centre as per the latest figures available. I would not be able to give any estimate how much will be the difference between 2013-14 figures and the latest figures
Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR):Taxing procedure that allows the government to still receive the same amount of money despite changes in tax laws. The government may lower taxes for one particular group of people, but raise taxes for another group. This allows the revenuethat they receive to remain unchanged (neutral)
Has the CEA been asked to revise his recommendations?
- The Committee chaired by CEA has already given their recommendations. Now it is for the Government and GST Council to take further decisions based on the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) Report and report of Committee chaired by CEA
- If states don’t agree to 2-4 per cent GST on gold, as recommended by the CEA, won’t the burden of higher standard GST rates fall on poor people, who don’t consume gold as much?
- The decision on the rate of taxation for gold jewellery will have to be taken by the GST Council. Apart from the desirability of putting a higher tax on jewellery, which is an item of consumption for the rich, it is also an item which is prone to tax evasion, being a very high-value item. The incentive to not report the transactions in order to avoid higher taxation will be higher if the tax rate on jewellery is very high
Can GST be a game-changer unless applied to a comprehensive base at moderate rates?
- The full benefit of GST can only come when there are minimum exemptions and minimum slabs of taxation. However, in a country like India where there are different items of consumption for the poor, the middle class, and the rich, a single rate GST may not be a possibility now. However, the gains from the proposed GST are enormous. It will have ease of compliance
The NIPFP’s calculations had shown that there is no way the rate can be below 24 per cent. Why didn’t the Centre take the suggestions on record earlier?
- Government has on its record both the recommendations – NIPFP’s as well as the CEA’s report. Both the reports would be discussed in the meeting of GST Council and a final decision would be taken
3. Keeping the vigil in KokrajharTopic: Insurgency
- Militants have struck again in Assam after a lull. On Friday, 14 people were killed and over 20 injured in firing by three gunmen in a rural weekly market in Kokrajhar district. All indications are that the I.K. Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, or NDFB(S), is behind the attack
- Known hitherto for targeting mostly Muslims and Adivasis in the Bodo areas, including in the December 2014 attacks on Santhals in which 76 people were killed, the group took to indiscriminate firing on a crowd this time, which meant the casualties included six Bodos
- The killings are being seen as the group’s attempt to retaliate in the face of a sustained crackdown by security forces since 2014, as also to open a new front and divert attention from an ongoing operation against it along the Assam-Bhutan border. This it attempted to do with a three-man team ostensibly operating independently of each other and reportedly covering their faces to give it the semblance of a jihadist attack in an area which has witnessed numerous arrests of people suspected of links with the terrorist outfit Jamat-ulMujahideen Bangladesh. But one of the trio engaged and felled by the Army has been identified as being an NDFB(S) commander
- The objective is apparently two-fold. Carrying out an attack in the run-up to Independence Day has been a time-tested method employed by insurgent groups to signal that they aren’t a spent force
- More insidious is the attempt to shift the blame on to jihadist elements which, had it not been called out swiftly, could have vitiated the atmosphere in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts where wounds of the recent past are yet to fully heal — notably the Bodo-Muslim violence of July 2012, that claimed 77 lives. The May 2014 killings of 32 Muslims were, in fact, alleged to have been the handiwork of the NDFB(S)
- The challenge for the BJP-led government of Chief Minister SarbanandaSonowal, as also the Bodoland Territorial Council controlled by its ally HagramaMohilary, is to remain alert to such potential attempts to deepen the schism
- At another level, the attack also proves that the project of securing peace in Assam — and the Northeast at large — is still a work in progress. Groups such as the NDFB(S), the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom, and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Khaplang) remain outliers even as others have arrived or are in the process of arriving at an amicable understanding with the Central government. Having chosen to deal with these holdouts with force, there must be no let-up on the part of the Indian state
4. ‘A higher rate will be inflationary’ (Interview excerpts – P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister,discusses why the Congress dropped its demand of a constitutional cap of 18 per cent on the standard GST rate, and how the provision on the dispute resolution mechanism may not pass the constitutional test)Topic: Insurgency
Are you suggesting that the provision for the GST Council to set up a dispute resolution mechanism could be challenged in courts? What’s the constitutional provision on disputes and how is the proposed provision in conflict with it?
- I am saying that the provision may not pass the constitutional test. Even if it passes, you cannot avoid a judicial review of the decision by a higher court. Articles 131, 226 and 227 — the Bill does not amend these articles. It cannot amend these articles. Therefore, when judicial review is inevitable, what kind of dispute resolution authority should you set up? In my opinion, the only dispute resolution authority that will pass muster is one that has the trappings of a judicial authority. It must have legally trained people. Which is why Mr. [Pranab] Mukherjee’s Bill suggested a dispute resolution authority chaired by a retired judge; they have not accepted that either. I believe they will set up a purely executive body. I think it is constitutionally suspect. I can’t say whether the provision will be struck down unless I see the final provision
- The provision may pass constitutional muster. Nevertheless, the power of judicial review will still be there with the High Court and the Supreme Court. States think, or they have been persuaded to think, that they can resolve these disputes among themselves. It is only when an actual dispute arises between State A and State B, and one of them is dissatisfied with the verdict, they will begin to put on their thinking caps. The dissatisfied State will go to the High Court or the Supreme Court
Dr. Subramanian’s report assumes higher tax rates on gold to 2-4 per cent and uses the 2013-14 tax base which did not include the cesses imposed in the last two years, the government says.
- No, the tax on gold is 2 per cent now — 1 per cent for the Centre and 1 per cent for the States. The cesses imposed after 2013-14 add up to no more than 1 per cent to the tax rate. He has already provided a cushion. With RNR [revenue neutral rate] at 15 to 15.5 per cent, if the standard rate is 18 per cent, there is still a cushion of 2-2.5 per cent
Will you accept a higher rate, if he suggests a higher rate now?
- All I can say is that a higher rate will be inflationary. And the CEA has — even after he said, “I may update my report” — reiterated that anything more than 18 per cent will be inflationary. I am all for progressively reducing indirect taxes, which is what I did in 1997, which is what we did between 2004 and 2014. I would never support an increasing rate of an indirect tax. That is a policy approach. Indirect taxes, which are regressive, must be progressively lowered. Direct taxes, which are progressive taxes, must be gradually increased
It seems that the Central legislations for the GST will most probably come as money bills now. The Rajya Sabha may not get to have a say on this cap.
- If we are making a law that will occupy the field for at least the next 50 years, if I were in government, I would offer a debate in both Houses. I would offer a vote in both Houses. They have a majority in the Lok Sabha, they can pass it. I presume they have a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha. If they bring it as a money bill, then that indicates that they do not think they have even a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha. If a government is [implying] that it does not have a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha, I think the government no longer represents the people!
From what we have heard so far, the GST being readied doesn’t really seem like a ‘one nation, one tax’. Isn’t it true that there won’t be a single national tax across States, and goods and services? It will actually be a Central tax plus 29 State taxes. There could be 3-4 bands for these taxes for different types of goods and services, plus, in all probability, GST Council-approved cesses by States and the Centre.
- Bands are not inconsistent with the concept of one tax. As long as there are wage goods and demerit goods, it is perfectly right to have a standard rate and a standard minus rate and a standard plus rate. That doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a standard rate. The standard rate will fall on, say, 70-75 per cent of the goods and services, which doesn’t derogate from the principle that there is ‘one nation, one tax’. But if each State begins to depart wildly from the standard rate and the GST Council allows that, that will be a great setback, a great pity. The GST Council must enforce the rule that there can only be three rates: a standard rate, a standard minus rate, and a standard plus rate. Yes, the GST Council can take a second look at the standard minus or a second look at the standard plus, but, if there are 29 standard minuses and 29 standard pluses, I am afraid the GST Council would have lost control over the subject
How can States be convinced that the GST won’t lead to loss of their financial autonomy?
- Because, by definition, RNR means that they are not going to lose money. Add to that the efficiency gains that the GST will bring, the reduction in tax evasion, the fact that GST will promote growth and trade — all that should give the confidence that, in the medium to long term, the GST will actually bring them more revenues than the current multiplicity of rates brings them. This is exactly the kind of fears they had with the VAT, but those fears were disproved in a matter of 3-4 years. If you believe in GST, then you must also believe that the GST is a more efficient tax. You must also believe that it will promote growth and trade. I believe that. If the finance ministers of States don’t, then that means they don’t believe in the concept of the GST.
Will the GST translate into an altered federal relationship between the Centre and the States?
- I don’t think it changes anything. It only means that instead of every State imposing a tax, they will sit together and decide what that tax rate should be. I don’t think it is a great loss of sovereignty.
Iran has executed a nuclear scientist convicted of handing over “confidential and vital” information to the United States, a judicial spokesman said on Sunday.The scientist, Mr. Amiri had disappeared in Saudi Arabia in June 2009 and resurfaced a year later in the United States.He then walked into the Iranian interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington and demanded to be sent home. He returned to Iran in July 2010.
2. SC ruling on Lodha panel unconstitutional, says Katju“The Supreme Court could have no doubt forwarded the Lodha Committee’s recommendations to Parliament with their own recommendation that they be enacted as a law by Parliament, but to direct itself that the recommendations be implemented is clearly a legislative act not within the court’s domain.”The judgment has not only violated the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act but also the Constitution,” Justice Katju said. Justice Katju said the Supreme Court plainly ignored the law that any change in the rules of the BCCI should have been made through a special resolution initiated under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. Complaints against the BCCI should have been filed before the Registrar of Societies, the competent authority under the Act. (Note: A possible case of judicial outreach)
3. GST Bill to be taken up in Lok Sabha todayThe Goods and Services (GST) Bill will be taken up by Lok Sabha on Monday.The GST Bill will replace a raft of different state and local taxes with a single unified value added tax system. This will in effect turn the country into the world’s biggest single market. The GST Bill will replace a raft of different state and local taxes with a single unified value added tax system. This will in effect turn the country into the world’s biggest single market.The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha last year. It now has to go back to the Lower House to incorporate amendments approved by the RajyaSabha.The GST Bill has to be ratified by at least 16 states in 30 days after it is passed by the Parliament.( Note: GST is historic. Also note the procedure for amending the constitution in this case)
3. After Rajnath, will it be Jaitley’s turn in Pak?The government is considering whether to send the Union for the next SAARC ministerial meeting later this month.After the Home/Interior Ministers’ meet, the Finance Ministers will meet to set the economic agenda for the SAARC summit in November which the Prime Minister is expected to attend.
4. New weave: skilling through correspondenceThe National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Union Ministry of Textiles have tied up to provide education to weavers and their children through a specially designed curriculum.The initiative will focus on identified weavers’ clusters such as Varanasi, Sivasagar, Murshidabad, Tiruchi, Prakasam and Guntur. The MoU signed on Sunday between NIOS, which focuses on education in open and distance mode, and the Textile Ministry requires them to collaborate to “offer secondary and senior secondary level education with specialised subjects on design, marketing, business development, etc., for handloom weavers and their families through knowledge sharing, resource optimisation, and synergy of institutions” through open schooling, an NIOS note said.
The number of people engaged in hand weaving and allied activities in India is 43 lakh. A census conducted in 2009-10 revealed that “the level of education of 83.3 per cent among adult handloom workers is below high school/secondary,” the official note said.
5. Thai junta’s Constitution wins people’s approvalThailand voted on Sunday to approve a new Constitution drawn up by the ruling junta, preliminary results showed, in a major victory for the army and a blow to the stuttering pro-democracy movement.Sunday’s referendum was the first time Thais have been able to go to the polls since Army chief-turned-Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha toppled the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014. The kingdom is split after a decade of political turmoil that has damaged growth, seen democracy shunted aside and left scores dead in rival street protests.Thai military has successfully seized power 12 times since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 and this Constitution will be the kingdom’s 20th.
6. IS claims responsibility for Belgium attackIslamic State claimed responsibility on Sunday for an attack by a machete-wielding man in Belgium that left two women police officers seriously injured, the group’s Amaq news agency said
7. US declassifies its ‘playbook’ for drone attacksThe Obama administration has disclosed its rules and procedures for targeting individuals for killing outside conventional war zones — including with drones — further lifting the secrecy surrounding one of its most disputed tactics for fighting terrorism.
The newly declassified document shows that if the top lawyers and leaders of the departments and agencies on the National Security Council agree that a proposed strike would be lawful and appropriate, the Pentagon or the CIA can proceed.
If they disagree, or if the person to be targeted is an American citizen, the matter must go to the President for a decision.
F. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn:
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA
- Zero Hunger Challenge
- Supercomputer Watson Health
- Monetary Policy Committee
- Common Reporting System
- Automatic Exchange of Information
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
Question 1: Which of the following statements is/are correct about IBM supercomputer Watson Health?
- It combines Artificial Intelligence and analytical software to perform as a question answering machine
- It can be used to diagnose and suggest treatments for cancer
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Question 2: Which of the following statements is/are correctabout the Genetic Garden for Biofortified plants recently in news?
- Genetic Garden for Biofortified plants is to come up initially on one acre of land at Avadi to serve as a centre for conservation and education
- It is a joint initiative of M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
- It would have plants and crops that help supplement micronutrient deficiencies, including iron, iodine, vitamin A, folate, zinc and selenium
- The garden would be a place where the public can visit and learn about the advantages of the plants in bringing down nutritional deficiencies
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 2,3 and 4
d) All the above
Question 3: Which of the following statements is/are correct?
- The Monetary Policy Committee would have 6 members excluding the RBI governor who would be the chairman
- RBI has moved to an inflation-targeting framework following an agreement signed with the government
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) 1 Only
(b) 2 Only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Question 4: Which of the following is/are correct regarding the mechanisms instituted by countries to bring money hidden in off-shore accounts to the tax net?
- The Common Reporting System (CRS) on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI), developed by the OECD and G20 is one such mechanism
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA is another developed by the U.S.A
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
(a) 1 Only
(b) 2 Only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Question 5: Which of the following is/are among the five elements of the Zero Hunger Challenge of the U.N?
- Sustainable and climate-compatible agriculture practices
- Double Small-scale Producer Incomes & Productivity
- Adapt All Food Systems to Eliminate Loss or Waste of Food
- Access to Adequate Food and Healthy Diets, for all People, all Year Round
- An End to Malnutrition in all its forms
Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1,3 and 4
c) 1,3,4 and 5
d) All the Above
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