UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Nov 16

PM greets media persons on National Press Day

  • National Press Day – The 16th of November – is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India.
  • This was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors. 

 

 

 

Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority under GST 

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST
  • It is aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.

What is anti-profiteering?

  • The “anti-profiteering” measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.
  • This institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC). 

Grievance Addressal

  • Affected consumers who feel the benefit of commensurate reduction in prices is not being passed on when they purchase any goods or services may apply for relief to the Screening Committee in the particular State.
  • However, in case the incident of profiteering relates to an item of mass impact with ‘All India’ ramification, the application may be directly made to the Standing Committee.
  • After forming a prima facie view that there is an element of profiteering, the Standing Committee shall refer the matter for detailed investigation to the Director General of Safeguards, CBEC, which shall report its findings to the NAA. 

What would be done?

  • In the event the NAA confirms there is a necessity to apply anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the supplier / business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed by it along with interest to the recipient of the goods or services.
  • If the undue benefit cannot be passed on to the recipient, it can be ordered to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund.
  • In extreme cases, the NAA can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST. 

Significance

  • The constitution of the NAA shall bolster confidence of consumers as they reap the benefits of the recent reduction in GST rates, in particular, and of GST, in general.

 

 

Cabinet approves agreement between India and Belarus on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture

Significance

  • The Agreement is aimed at identifying, assessing, developing and commercializing globally competitive technologies from India and Belarus.
  • It will support institutions in both countries by way of research, technology transfers, exchange of visits and joint workshops leading to scientific and economic benefit. 

 

 

 

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Poland for the promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation 

  • The MoU would be for a term of five years. 
  • The objective of the MoU is to recognize the mutual benefit of Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation having particular significance in establishing and improving Regional Air Connectivity in India. 

The main areas of this Memorandum of Understanding to promote ad facilitate mutual cooperation are as under:

  • Support in the civil aviation market by reviewing any legal and procedural issues which may adversely affect cooperation between India and Poland.
  • Exchange of information and expertise between the Ministries and respective Civil Aviation Authorities related to aviation regulations, regional air operations, airworthiness requirements and safety standards to enhance safety and security of air transport; and / or
  • Collaboration on or joint development, organization and/or conduct of training programmes on aviation safely, on topics such as safety oversight, airworthiness, flight operations, licensing, legislation and enforcement; and / or
  • Aviation associated consultations, joint organization and/or conduct of conferences and professional seminars, workshops, talks and other such activities on aviation safety with the participation of representatives from the Parties related to the field of civil aviation; and / or
  • Regular dialogue or meetings for exchange of information; knowledge, expertise and experiences between Ministries and respective Civil Aviation safety related development of mutual interest to the parties;
  • Collaboration on research and studies on aviation safety interest topics and issues of mutual interest.

 

 

 

North East Business Summit

  • Two-day 12th North East Business Summit was inaugurated in New Delhi 
  • The summit aims to explore the scope for business opportunities in the North-Eastern region of India.
  • Focus areas are Infrastructure and Connectivity with Public Private Partnerships, Skill Development, Financial Inclusion, Services Sector Development- Particularly in Tourism, Hospitality & Food Processing.
  • The Summit is being organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), with Manipur being the state partner for the event.
  • The event was organized for the first time in 2002 in Mumbai

 

 

 

Exercise Sampriti 

  • Joint Indo-Bangladesh Training Exercise SAMPRITI 2017, which is being conducted at Counter Insurgency & Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram 
  • It is the seventh such exercise in the SAMPRITI series. 

Aim

  • The exercise has been aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies.
  • Besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two Armies, it further helped in strengthening bilateral ties.

 

 

 

INS Sarvekshak

  • INS Sarvekshak (J22) is a hydrographic survey ship in the Indian Navy, under the Southern Naval Command
  • Built by Goa Shipyard Limited and commissioned into the Naval service at Kochi naval base in 2002, Sarvekshak is the Indian Navy’s eight hydrographic survey and perhaps the last ship under Sandhayak-class to have been indigenously designed and constructed.
  • The Sarvekshak is powered by two diesel engines and is capable of sustained speeds.
  • INS Sarvekshak is a specialised survey ship of the Indian Navy presently based at Kochi and is fitted with state-of-the-art survey equipment like Deep Sea Multi beam echo sounder system, Side Scan Sonars and a fully automated digital surveying and processing system.
    • In addition, the ship carries an integral Chetak helicopter which would be extensively deployed during the survey.
  • The ship is second ship of  the Darshak class of ships and has a complement of 15 officers and 175 sailors

Context

  • In an initiative to bolster bilateral relations with friendly foreign countries and navies in the Indian Ocean region, INS Sarvekshak, arrived at Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania 15 for undertaking joint Hydrographic Survey along with the Tanzanian Navy.
  • The joint survey will be conducted with the Naval personnel of Tanzania who have been trained in India in National Institute of Hydrography, Goa.

 

 

 

Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS) 

  • The Indian Navy sealed a deal with Tata Power SED for supply of portable diver detection sonar which are fitted on ships to detect underwater threats.
  • It is in consonance with the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy for the defence sector
  • Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division has partnered with Israel’s DSIT Solutions Ltd for manufacturing the sonars under technology transfer at its facility in Bengaluru.

Details

  • This is the second contract to be signed by the Indian Navy under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category to boost government’s defence indigenisation effort
  • The first contract under this category was signed earlier this year by the Navy for supply of surface surveillance radar for IN warships.

 

 

 

Global Conference on Cyber Space 

  • India, for the first time ever, is going to host the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), one of the world’s largest conferences in the field of Cyber Space and related issues
  • Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) is a prestigious global event where international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks, cyber wizards etc gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space.
  • Themed on Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development, this is the fifth edition of GCCS wherein international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts will gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space.

Goals

  • The overall goals of GCCS 2017 are to promote the importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy, to defend the status quo of an open, interoperable and unregimented cyberspace, to create political commitment for capacity building initiatives to address the digital divide and assist countries, and to develop security solutions in a balanced fashion that duly acknowledge the importance of the private sector and technical community.

History

  • First edition in 2011 in London,
  • second GCCS was held in 2012 in Budapestwith focus on relationship between internet rights and internet security, which was attended by 700 delegates from nearly 60 countries.
  • The third edition of GCCS was held in 2013 in Seoulwith commitment to Open and Secure Cyberspace.
  • The fourth version GCCS 2015 was held in The Hague, Netherlands

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