02 May ,2021 - Daily Current Affairs Analysis & MCQs - The Daily News Simplified from The Hindu

  • Record GST mop-up of 1.41 lakh crore in April (Indian Economy) taxation
  • USA clears sale of 6 P-8I patrol aircraft to India (defence deals) (naval surveillance)
  • Progress noted at envoy meet on the Iran nuclear deal (International Relation) (Nuclear deal)
  • Cotton production estimated to be lower at 360 lakh bales - cropping pattern - cotton crop
  • Scheme for revision (add-on) - Ayushmaan Bharat
  • Question for the Day

Prelims Quiz

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    UPSC Current Affairs:  Record GST mop-up of 1.41 lakh crore in April | Page 01

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II, III – economy, taxation and Budgeting

    Sub Theme:  Goods and service tax | UPSC

    Context: gross revenue from the GST has hit a record high of 1.41lakh crore rupees in the month of April. This is the seventh month in a row that GST has crossed 1 lakh crore mark.

    What does this shows: the economic recovery is far better than what was expected in the last four quarters.

     Why now: measures like economic recovery, anti-evasion measures such as e-invoicing, data analytics-led investigations, and also year-end audit and financial closure of the companies have helped to boost up the revenue.

    All about GST:

    What: unified and all-India based indirect tax that was imposed in July 2017. It is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition.

    GST has removed the cascading effect. Tax is calculated only on the value-addition at each stage of the transfer of ownership.

    Multistage means: An item goes through multiple change-of-hands along its supply chain: these stages include: Purchase of raw materials, Production or manufacture, Warehousing of finished goods, Selling to wholesalers, Sale of the product to the retailers, Selling to the end consumers. Current GST is levied on all these stages.

    GST is levied on these value additions, i.e. the monetary value added at each stage to achieve the final sale to the end customer.

    Destination-Based tax: Consider goods manufactured in Maharashtra and sold to the final consumer in Karnataka. Since the Goods and Service Tax is levied at the point of consumption, the entire tax revenue will go to Karnataka and not Maharashtra.

    Components:

    There are three taxes applicable under this system: CGST, SGST & IGST.

    1. CGST: It is the tax collected by the Central Government on an intra-state sale (e.g., a transaction happening within Maharashtra)
    2. SGST: It is the tax collected by the state government on an intra-state sale (e.g., a transaction happening within Maharashtra)
    3. IGST: It is a tax collected by the Central Government for an inter-state sale (e.g., Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu)

    In most cases, the tax structure under the new regime will be as follows:

    Transaction

    New Regime

    Old Regime

    Revenue Distribution

    Sale within the State

    CGST + SGST

    VAT + Central Excise/Service tax

    Revenue will be shared equally between

    the Centre and the State

    Sale to another State

    IGST

    Central Sales Tax + Excise/Service Tax

    There will only be one type of tax (central) in

    case of inter-state sales.

    The Centre will then share the IGST revenue

    based on the destination of goods.


    Taxes replaced by GST:

    • Central Excise Duty
    • Duties of Excise
    • Additional Duties of Excise
    • Additional Duties of Customs
    • Special Additional Duty of Customs
    • Cess
    • State VAT
    • Central Sales Tax
    • Purchase Tax
    • Luxury Tax
    • Entertainment Tax
    • Entry Tax
    • Taxes on advertisements
    • Taxes on lotteries, betting, and gambling

    What goods and services are not covered under the GST?

    Items that are exempted from GST are live fish, fresh fish, fresh milk, ginger, garlic, etc.

    Supplies that attract nil rate of tax (0%) include cereals, fresh fruits and vegetable, natural honey, salt etc.

    Along with this petroleum crude, high speed diesel, petrol, natural gas, aviation turbine fuel, electricity and alcohol is exempted from GST.

     

    Who are exempted from GST registration?

    Businesses that have turnover up to 20 Lakh are exempted from GST registration.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: USA clears sale of 6 P-8I patrol aircraft to India| Page 06

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims; security, Mains – GS Paper III – Indian security

    Sub Theme:  Defence deals | UPSC

    Background: original proposal was for 10 aircraft but due to budget constraints and reliance over un-manned aircrafts, it came down to 6. This purchase was approved by the Defence Acquisition council, Chaired by the Defence Minister.

    As India has signed Communication Compatibility and security agreement (COMCASA) with the US, these aircrafts would come up with fitted encrypted system.

    About P-8I:

    It is an American maritime Patrol aircraft developed by the Boeing Defense for US Navy. The addition of ‘I’ is for the Indian edition of the aircraft. An aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions

    Defence acquisition council:

    It is the highest decision making body of Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard.

    The Minister of Defence is the Chairman of the Council.

    It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on 'Reforming the National Security System', in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).

    Defence planning committee:

    It was notified in 2018 by the Ministry of Defence with National Security Advisor as its chairperson.

    Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff, and expenditure secretaries of Ministry of Finance being its members and the chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS) being its member-secretary.

    Committee is empowered to "analyse and evaluate all relevant inputs relating to defence planning", which consists of—amongst others—"national defence and security priorities, foreign policy imperatives, operational directives and associated requirements, relevant strategic and security-related doctrines, defence acquisition and infrastructure development plans, including the 15-year Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), defence technology and development of the Indian defence industry and global technological advancement.

    About COMCASA:

    It was signed in September 2018. It is the Indian specific version of Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and is valid for 10 years. 

    The agreement facilitates India to use the United States' encrypted communications equipment and systems. Indian and the US military commanders, aircraft and ships can communicate through secure networks in peace and war.

    In addition to the above, it also paved way for the transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India to facilitate interoperability.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Progress noted at envoy meet on the Iran nuclear deal | Page 09

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II- International relations

    Sub Theme: Nuclear deals I Maps | UPSC

    Context: China, Germany, France, Russia and Britain are trying to bring USA back in JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aka Nuclear deal) with Iran.

    Background: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a landmark accord reached between Iran and several world powers, including the United States, in July 2015. Under its terms, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in exchange for billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions relief.

    President Donald J. Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018. In retaliation for the U.S. departure and for deadly attacks on prominent Iranians in 2020, including one by the United States, Iran has resumed some of its nuclear activities.

    Iran had previously agreed to forgo the development of nuclear weapons as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which has been in force since 1970. However, after the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Iranian leaders secretly pursued this technology.

    In the late 1980s Iran reinstated its nuclear program, with assistance from Pakistan (which entered into a bilateral agreement with Iran in 1992), China (which did the same in 1990), and Russia (which did the same in 1992 and 1995), and from the A.Q. Khan network. Iran "began pursuing an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capability by developing a uranium mining infrastructure and experimenting with uranium conversion and enrichment". In 2007, U.S. intelligence analysts concluded that Iran halted its work on nuclear weapons in 2003 but continued to acquire nuclear technology and expertise.

    Prior to the JCPOA, the P5+1 had been negotiating with Iran for years, offering its government various incentives to halt uranium enrichment. After the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, who was viewed as a reformer, the parties came to a preliminary agreement to guide negotiations for a comprehensive deal.  

    Iran agreed not to produce either the highly enriched uranium or the plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon. It also took steps to ensure that its Fordow, Natanz, and Arak facilities pursued only civilian work, including medical and industrial research.

    The accord limits the numbers and types of centrifuges Iran can operate, the level of its enrichment, as well as the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium. (Mined uranium has less than 1 percent of the uranium-235 isotope used in fission reactions, and centrifuges increase that isotope’s concentration. Uranium enriched to 5 percent is used in nuclear power plants, and at 20 percent it can be used in research reactors or for medical purposes. High-enriched uranium, at some 90 percent, is used in nuclear weapons.)

    Iran agreed to eventually implement a protocol that would allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, unfettered access to its nuclear facilities and potentially to undeclared sites.

    The EU, United Nations, and United States all committed to lifting their nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.

    If any signatory suspects Iran is violating the deal, the UN Security Council may vote on whether to continue sanctions relief. This “snapback” mechanism remains in effect for ten years, after which the UN sanctions are set to be permanently removed.

    In April 2020, the United States announced its intention to snap back sanctions. The other P5 members objected to the move, saying the United States could not unilaterally implement the mechanism because it left the nuclear deal in 2018.

    Nuclear weapon:

    A nuclear weapon uses a fissile material to cause a nuclear chain reaction. The most commonly used materials have been uranium 235 (U-235) and plutonium 239 (Pu-239). Both uranium 233 (U-233) and reactor-grade plutonium have also been used.

    The amount of uranium or plutonium needed depends on the sophistication of the design, with a simple design requiring approximately 15 kg of uranium or 6 kg of plutonium, and a sophisticated design requiring as little as 9 kg of uranium or 2 kg of plutonium.

    Plutonium is almost non-existent in nature, and natural uranium is about 99.3% uranium 238 (U-238) and 0.7% U-235. Therefore, to make a weapon, either uranium must be enriched, or plutonium must be produced. Uranium enrichment is also frequently necessary for nuclear power. For this reason, uranium enrichment is a dual-use technology, a technology which "can be used both for civilian and for military purposes".

    Key strategies to prevent proliferation of nuclear arms include limiting the number of operating uranium enrichment plants and controlling the export of nuclear technology and fissile material

    Capability

    Before JCPOA

    After JCPOA
    (for 10-year period)

    After 15 years

    First-generation
    centrifuges installed

    19,138

    capped at 6,104

    Unconstrained

    Advanced centrifuges installed

    1,008

    0

    Centrifuge R&D

    Unconstrained

    Constrained

    Stockpile of
    low-enriched uranium

    7,154 kg

    300 kg

    Stockpile of
    medium-enriched uranium

    196 kg

    0 kg


    Prior to the JCPOA, Iran’s economy suffered years of recession, currency depreciation, and inflation, largely because of sanctions on its energy sector. With the sanctions lifted, inflation slowed, exchange rates stabilized, and exports—especially of oil, agricultural goods, and luxury items­—skyrocketed as Iran regained trading partners, particularly in the EU. After the JCPOA took effect, Iran began exporting more than 2.1 million barrels per day (approaching pre-2012 levels, when the oil sanctions were originally put in place). However, these improvements did not translate to a significant increase in the average Iranian household’s budget.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: The rising sun in India-Japan relations| Page 06

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper II- International Relations.

    Sub Theme: Indo-Japan | UPSC

    Context: Committee on Cotton Production and Consumption expects India’s cotton production to fall from 365 lakh bales last year to 360 lakh bales this year.

    During 1950-51, actual production was only 30 lakh bales.

    All about cotton in India:

    • At 18% of the total, India is the largest producer of Cotton crop in the world.
    • Cotton is the crop of tropical and sub-tropical areas and requires uniformly high temperature varying between 21°C and 30°C. The growth of cotton is retarded when the temperature falls below 20°C. Frost is enemy number one of the cotton plant and it is grown in areas having at least 210 frost free days in a year.
    • It is a Kharif crop generally. In Tamil Nadu, it is grown both as a kharif and as a rabi crop.
    • Water requirement annually is of 50- 100 cm.
    • Only, 1/3rd of the cotton producing area is irrigated.
    • About 80 per cent of the total irrigated area under cotton is in Maharashtra (29%), Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
    • It requires 6 to 8 months to mature.
    • Cotton cultivation is closely related to deep black soils (regur) of the Deccan and the Malwa Plateaus and those of Gujarat. As, the black soil is good in holding the moisture and also provide good clay and mineral content required by the plant.

     

    UPSC Current Affairs: Scheme for revision

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III – Indian Economy and Health

    Sub Theme:  Ayushman Bharat | UPSC

    Objective: to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage.

    It comprises of two inter-related components

    Health and Wellness Centre - National Health Policy, 2017 envisioned Health and Wellness Centres as the foundation of India’s health system. Under this, 1.5 lakh centres will bring health care system closer to the homes of people. The centres will provide comprehensive health care, including for non-communicable diseases and maternal and child health services. These will also provide free essential drugs and diagnostic services. Contributions through CSR and philanthropic institutions in adopting these centres are also envisaged. First 'health and wellness centre' has been inaugurated in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh.

    Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) - It aims to reduce out of pocket hospitalization expenses by providing health insurance coverage upto Rs.5 lakh/family/year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. The scheme will integrate two ongoing centrally sponsored schemes Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).

    A beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empaneled hospitals across the country.

    Coverage - The scheme will aim to target over 10 Crore families based on SECC (Socio-Economic Caste Census) database. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) beneficiaries in state where it is active is also included. To ensure that nobody from the vulnerable group is left out of the benefit cover, there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme. The insurance scheme will cover pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. All pre-existing diseases are also covered. It will also pay defined transport allowance per hospitalization to the beneficiary.

    Funding - The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between central and state governments in a specified ratio

    1. 60:40 for all states and UTs with their own legislature.
    2. 90:10 in NE states and the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and union territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
    3. 100% central funding for UTs without legislature.

    The State governments have the main responsibility of health service delivery.

    States will be allowed to expand the scheme both horizontally and vertically.

    Mode of funding

    In a trust model, bills are reimbursed directly by the government.

    In an insurance model, the government pays a fixed premium to an insurance company, which pays the hospitals.

     The scheme is creating a cadre of certified frontline health service professionals called Pradhan Mantri Aarogya Mitras (PMAMs). PMAM will be primary point of facilitation for the beneficiaries to avail treatment at the hospital and thus, act as a support system to streamline health service delivery.  Besides, 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by up-grading existing district hospitals in the country. This would ensure that there is at least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies.

    Also, at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country.

    Comments

    DHRITIMAN BARMAN 1 week ago

    National security advisor: Ajit Doval