Comprehensive News Analysis – 22 April 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. What is the logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory for filing I-T returns, SC asks Centre

2. Govt. plans home delivery of petrol

3. OBC benefits to be restored to Gujjars in Rajasthan

4. Be enablers, Modi tells civil servants

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, South Korea to sign MoU to boost defence ties

2. India, EU discuss next summit

3. China’s Arunachal move ‘illegal’

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMICS

1. Consumers get a free hand on hotel service charge payout

2. MPC warns of upside risks to inflation

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. After Mars, ISRO turns eye on Venus

INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Indian Navy test-fires land attack version of BrahMos missile

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs


A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for Today!!!

 

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. What is the logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory for filing I-T returns, SC asks Centre

What’s in news?

  • The Supreme Court: Questioned
  • The Central government’s’s logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns.
  • Whether such a move is a remedy to end the generation of fake PAN and ration cards.

Petition questions the constitutionality of Section 139AA of IT act:

  • The court was hearing a petition filed by former Kerala Minister Binoy Viswam, represented by senior advocate Arvind Datar and advocate Sriram Prakkat, challenging the constitutionality of Section 139AAUntitled inserted in the Income Tax Act by the Finance Act, 2017.
  • Section 139AA inserted in the Income Tax Act: Makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a PAN. Possession of an Aadhaar card is necessary for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and for filing returns under the income tax law.
  • Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961,
    The amendment to make Aadhar mandatory were included in a Finance Bill , the main intention was to avoid Rajya Sabha where the ruling party lacks majority.
    The said amendment is completely contrary to Article 110 of the Constitution, which defines a Money Bill.

Governments response:

  • Fake PANs and ration cards have flooded the market and jinxed financial transactions.
  • A person can get multiple PAN.

Statutory support to Aadhaar:

  • The The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act of 2016.
  • The enactment of this Act as a Money Bill is itself under challenge in the court on a petition by Congress MP and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.
  • Aadhaar Act does not make obtaining Aadhaar mandatory.

Earlier orders of Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court had asked the government to make Aadhaar optional until the very validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the basis of right to privacy was decided by the court.

2. Govt. plans home delivery of petrol

What’s in news?

  • The government is exploring the possibility of allowing all petroleum products — not just LPG cylinders — to be delivered at consumers’ doorstep.
  • Petro products may be door-delivered to consumers on pre-booking.
  • This would help consumers avoid spending excessive time and long queues at fuel stations

3. OBC benefits to be restored to Gujjars in Rajasthan

What’s in news?

  • Gujjar leaders decided to go ahead with a ‘Mahapanchayat’ planned in Sikandra to raise the issue of reservation.
  • Main demand: 5% separate quota within the 50% cap on reservation imposed by the Supreme Court.
  • BJP government has assured Gujjars and four other communities that the benefits of Other Backward Classes (OBC) category would be restored to them.

Issue:

  • The Rajasthan High Court had scrapped the Rajasthan Special Backward Classes (SBC) reservation Act 2015 that provisioned for 5% quota to five communities. The Act had provided 5% reservation in jobs and educational institutes to five communities: Gujjars (Gurjars), Banjara (Baldia, Labana); Gadia-Lohar (Gadolia), Raika (Rebari, Debasi), Gadaria (Gaadri, Gayari).
  • The court struck down the notification of October 2015, saying there were “no extraordinary circumstances” to allow the state’s overall reservation in government jobs and education institutes to go beyond the 50% cap. Following the notification, the overall reservation in the state reached 54%, which was in violation of the 50% cap set by the Supreme Court.

4. Be enablers, Modi tells civil servants

What’s in news?

  • Highlights of Speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Civil Service Day Function
  • Anonymity was one of the greatest strengths of civil services, cautioning government officials that the use of social media should not lead to a decline in this strength, even as social media and mobile governance were leveraged for connecting people to benefits and government schemes.
  • Assured the civil servants that he would stand by them if they took decisions with an honest intention and in public interest.
  • Focus should now be on improving quality, and making excellence a habit.
  • While “political will” was needed for reform, the “performance” part must come from civil servants and that “transformation” was enabled by people’s participation. 

 

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, South Korea to sign MoU to boost defence ties

  • India and South Korea signed two agreements:
    a. To build artillery guns for the Army – K9 Vajra-T tracked, self-propelledUntitled artillery guns.
    b. For collaboratb. ion in shipbuilding manufacturing.
  • One of them is an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the governments while the other is a manufacturing agreement between two private companies.
  • The MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both sides

2. India, EU discuss next summit

What’s in news?

  • India and the European Union firmed up plans for holding the 14th bilateral summit to be held in India later this year.
  • Common area of concerns between the two: trade, counter-terror cooperation, maritime security and defence cooperation.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMICS

1. Consumers get a free hand on hotel service charge payout

What’s in news?

  • The Guidelines on Fair Trade Practices Related to Charging of Service Charge from Consumers by Hotels and Restaurants-
  • The government approved new guidelines which gives consumers the right to decide service charge they wish to voluntarily pay on a hotel or restaurant bill.
  • While the new norms provide relief to those dining out, the hotel industry is not likely to take it lying down as they feel being singled out.
  • The new guidelines has been issued in public interest to protect consumers right
  • Mandatory levy of service charge amounts to unfair trade practice.
  • Hotels and restaurants should not decide how much service charge is to be paid by the customer and it should be left to the discretion of the customer.
  • The (food) bill presented to the customer may clearly display that the service charge is voluntary and the service charge column of the bill may be left blank for the customer to fill before making payment.
  • The guidelines made it clear that a component of service is inherent in provision of food and beverages ordered by a customer and pricing of the product is expected to cover both goods and service components.
  • Placing of an order by a customer amounts to his or her agreement to pay the prices displayed on the menu card along with the applicable taxes. Charges for anything other than the aforementioned without express consent of the customer would amount to unfair trade practices as defined under the Act
  • Tip or gratuity paid by customers is towards hospitality received by them beyond the basic minimum service already contracted between them and the hotel management.It is a separate transaction between the customer and the staff of the hotel or restaurant, which is entered into at the customers discretion.
  • Customers can assess quality of service and decide whether or not to pay tip only after having the meal, the order said it is “not correct” if a hotel or restaurant considers that entry of a customer to its premises amounts to his or her implied consent to pay service charge.
  • Any restriction on the entry into a hotel based on this amounts to restrictive trade practice as defined under the Act.

2. MPC warns of upside risks to inflation

  • In the first bi-monthly monetary policy review of 2017-18, the RBI decided to keep the policy interest rate unchanged at 6.25%.
  • While all the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that sets interest rate, voted in favour of a status quo,
  • One member discussed the possibility of increasing the rate to achieve the 4% retail inflation target over the medium-term.
  • According to him, a pre-emptive 25 basis points increase in the policy rate now would point MPC better at the target of 4% to which the Committee has committed explicitly.
  • It will also obviate the need for back-loaded policy action later when inflation is unacceptably high and entrenched.
  • Inflation outlook has many other risks.

 

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. After Mars, ISRO turns eye on Venus

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has invited scientists to suggest studies for a potential orbiter mission to Venus – somewhat similar to the one that landed in Mars in 2013
  • ISRO plans to send a spacecraft that will initially go around Venus in an elliptical orbit (500 km x 60,000 km) before getting closer to the ‘Yellow Planet’
  • The spacecraft will carry a set of instruments weighing 175 kg and using 500W of power
  • The scientific community has been given a month’s time to suggest space-based studies by May 19

When?

  • A formal mission may not happen before 2020 according to senior officials
  • A mission must be approved by ISRO’s Advisory Committee on Space Sciences, then the Space Commission and later by the government

Why?

  • The planet, described as Earth’s twin sister, is similar to our planet in size, mass, density, gravity and is also believed to be around 4.5 billion years old
  • About Venus: Venus, the second planet from the Sun, comes closest to Earth roughly every 583 days, or about 19 months
  • It is our closest planetary neighbour, and is similar to Earth in many aspects. However, it takes only 225 days to revolve around the Sun. Secondly, the surface is very hot due to nearness to the Sun

Previous Missions:

  • India’s previous and second planetary outing, the record-setting ₹450-crore Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) of 2013, continues to impress
  • The orbiter is going round the Red Planet even as you read this — well beyond its planned life of six months
  • MOM was sent on the light-lift PSLV launch vehicle. The more powerful GSLV rocket has started transporting regular communication satellites and may be an option for the Venus mission
  • An orbiter sent to the Moon in 2008 was delivering data until about three months before its estimated life span came to an end. A second Moon landing mission is planned in early 2018

International Missions: Ever since the then USSR sent the Venera mission to Venus in February 1961, there have been close to 30 missions to the planet, the last one being Japan’s Akatsuki in 2010. These comprised orbiters, landers, atmospheric probes and fly-bys

The erstwhile Soviet Union tops the list with 16 Veneras and two Vegas. The US had Mariner, Pioneer and Magellan missions. New missions are in the pipeline.

 

Category: INTERNAL SECURITY

1. Indian Navy test-fires land attack version of BrahMos missile

 
 
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for Today

 

PRELIMS WORTHY FACTUAL INFORMATION
1. UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property: The UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is an international treaty. It is the first international instrument dedicated to the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property. India is a signatory to this convention.

2. Deer musk: It is a substance with a persistent odor, obtained from a gland of the male musk deer situated in its back/rectal area. The substance has been extensively used as a perfume fixative, incense material, and medicine, since ancient times. It was and still is one of the most expensive animal products in the world. The name originates from the Persian word moshk meaning “deer’s navel”. Musk deer—more commonly known as Kasturi in India—of the Himalayas is one of the most endangered species in the region. Scent glands from these deer can fetch thousands of rupees and are used for manufacturing perfume and medicine.

3. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields.

 

PIB Articles    Editorials Roundup

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn 

 

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS

BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Article
Article 110. Definition of Money Bill

1. For the purposes of this Chapter, a Bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions dealing with all or any of the following matters, namely-
     a) the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax;
     b) the regulation of the borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India, or the amendment of the law with respect to any financial obligations undertaken or to be undertaken by the Government of India;
     c) the custody of the consolidated Fund or the Contingency Fund of India, the payment of moneys into or the withdrawal of moneys from any such Fund;
    d) the appropriation of moneys out of the consolidated Fund of India;
    e) the declaring of any expenditure to be expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund of India or the increasing of the amount of any such expenditure;
    f) the receipt of money on account of the Consolidated Fund of India or the public account of India or the custody or issue of such money or the audit of the accounts of the Union or of a State; or
    g) any matter incidental to any of the matters specified in sub clause (a) to (f)

2. A Bill shall not be deemed to be a Money Bill by reason only that it provides for the imposition of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment of fees for licences or fees for services rendered, or by reason that it provides for the imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purposes

3. If any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final

4. There shall be endorsed on every Money Bill when it is transmitted to the Council of States under Article 109, and when it is presented to the President for assent under Article 111, the certificate of the Speaker of the House of the People signed by him that it is a Money Bill

UDAN – Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik
  • Civil Aviation Ministry’s Regional Connectivity Scheme
  • Main motive: A major step towards making flying a reality for the small town common man. UDAN is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market. It is a market-based mechanism in which airlines bid for seat subsidies. This first-of-its-kind scheme globally will create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
  • Features:
  • The scheme UDAN envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.
  • UDAN has a unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity. Interested airline and helicopter operators can start operations on hitherto un-connected routes by submitting proposals to the Implementing Agency. The operators could seek a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) apart from getting various concessions. All such route proposals would then be offered for competitive bidding through a reverse bidding mechanism and the route would be awarded to the participant quoting the lowest VGF per Seat. The operator submitting the original proposal would have the Right of First Refusal on matching the lowest bid in case his original bid is within 10% of the lowest bid. The successful bidder would then have exclusive rights to operate the route for a period of three years. Such support would be withdrawn after a three year period, as by that time, the route is expected to become self-sustainable.
  • The selected airline operator would have to provide a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 40 UDAN Seats ( subsidized rates )on the UDAN Flights for operations through fixed wing aircraft and a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 13 Seats on the Flights for operations through helicopters. On each such route, the minimum frequency would be three and maximum of seven departures per week. Route networks would also be encouraged under the scheme to achieve economies of scale and optimal usage of aircraft.
  • The fare for a one hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would now be capped at Rs. 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths / flight duration.
  • This would be achieved through (1) a financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State governments and airport operators and (2) a Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines to kick-off operations from such airports so that the passenger fares are kept affordable.
  • Central Government would provide concessions in the form of reduced excise duty, service tax.
  • State governments will have to lower the VAT on ATF to 1% or less, besides providing security and fire services free of cost and electricity, water and other utilities at substantially concessional rates.
  • Airport operators shall not impose Landing and Parking charge and Terminal Navigation Landing Charges in addition to discounts on Route Navigation Facility Charges.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme. The RCF levy per departure will be applied to certain domestic flights.
  • The partner State Governments (other than North Eastern States and Union Territories where contribution will be 10 %) would contribute a 20% share to this fund. For balanced regional growth, the allocations under the scheme would be equitably spread across the five geographical regions of the country viz. North, West, South, East and North-east.
  • The States have a key role under the scheme. The selection of airports where UDAN operations would start would be done in consultation with State Government and after confirmation of their concessions.
  • The UDAN is likely to a give a major fillip to tourism and employment generation in the hinterland. Through introduction of helicopters and small aircraft, it is also likely to significantly reduce travel timings in remote and hilly regions, as well as islands and other areas of the country.

 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: Identify the correct statement with reference to K9 Vajra.
  1. It is a Submarine
  2. It is an artillery gun
  3. It is a naval ship
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 2: Section 139AA inserted in the Income Tax Act, which was in news 
recently deals with?
  1. Provision of Aadhaar being mandatory for getting a PAN.
  2. Provision of Aadhaar being mandatory for getting a GST number.
  3. Provision of Aadhaar being mandatory for getting IT rebates.
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 3: Recently government of India issued Guidelines on Fair Trade 
Practices Related to Charging of Service Charge from Consumers by Hotels 
and Restaurants, Identify the correct statement with reference to that guidelines.
  1. Consumers are not given the right to decide service charge.
  2. Hotels and restaurants to decide how much service charge is to be paid by the customer.
  3. It is mandatory for the consumers to give a tip to the waiter or waitress.
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 4: As per article 110 of the Constitution of India , who endorse the 
money bill?
  1. Speaker of Lok Sabha
  2. Chairman of Rajya Sabha
  3. President of Inida
  4. Finance Minister
See
Answer
Question 5: How many times money bill gets endorsed by the Speaker of the House?
  1. Once
  2. Twice
  3. Thrice
  4. None of the above
See
Answer

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