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Daily Current Affairs – 28th Dec. 2020

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 28th Dec. 2020. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.

POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

Inner-Line Permit: Manipur

Context:

  • The Inner Line Permit was granted to Manipur in 2019.

Details:

  • The concept of Inner Line Permit (ILP) originates from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.
  • A concept drawn by colonial rulers, the Inner Line separated the tribal-populated hill areas in the Northeast from the plains.
  • To enter and stay for any duration in these areas, Indian citizens from other areas need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram are protected by the Inner Line, and lately, Manipur was added.

ILP

  • The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the concerned state government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
  • The ILP keeps an account of people entering the state (good for security issue), can help people with permits move freely, can protect indigenous culture and identity.
  • However, the issue of ILP is questionable in the context of a democratic system of governance. Also, several studies have stated that it is not effective for economic growth and case studies have revealed that it has not helped the Nagaland state.

Conclusion:

  • It is often said that the present ILP system is based on the archaic laws of the country, and the states with ILP system have not shown any significant performance with regard to the protection of identity and property rights of the indigenous people.
  • Apart from that, there seem to be some dilemmas between the market economy, democracy and ILP system.
  • Experts have called for discussion over the implementation of the ILP system involving all stakeholders.

ECONOMY

Businesses with monthly turnover of over Rs 50 lakh to pay at least 1% GST liability in cash

Context:

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has introduced Rule 86B in Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules which restricts use of input tax credit (ITC) for discharging GST liability to 99 per cent.

  1. As per the new rule, Businesses with monthly turnover of over ?50 lakh will have to mandatorily pay at least 1 per cent of their GST liability in cash.

Exceptions under the new rule:

This restriction will not apply where the managing director or any partner have paid more than ?1 lakh as income tax or the registered person has received a refund amount of more than ?1 lakh in the preceding financial year on account of unutilised input tax credit.

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Rationale behind this move?

The idea remains to prevent misutilisation of credit by businesses taking fake credits.

What’s the issue now?

There are fears that the mandatory cash payment would adversely affect small businesses, increase their working capital requirement and make GST a more complex indirect tax system.

What is Input Tax Credit (ITC)?

  1. It is the tax that a business pays on a purchase and that it can use to reduce its tax liability when it makes a sale.
  2. In simple terms, input credit means at the time of paying tax on output, you can reduce the tax you have already paid on inputs and pay the balance amount.

Exceptions: A business under composition scheme cannot avail of input tax credit. ITC cannot be claimed for personal use or for goods that are exempt.


HEALTH

Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT

What’s in News?

The Prime Minister launched the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • SEHAT scheme stands for Social, Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine, a health insurance scheme for the Union Territory.

Details:

  • The Scheme provides free of cost insurance cover to all the residents of the UT of J&K.
  • The beneficiaries would get free treatment up to 5 lakh rupees under this scheme.
  • The treatment is not limited to government and private hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir only. Rather, treatment can be availed from thousands of hospitals empanelled under this scheme in the country.

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate vaccine

Context:

The first indigenous vaccine against pneumonia, developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), will be launched.

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  1. In July, India’s drug regulator had granted market approval for the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate vaccine.

How the disease is spread?

Infectious agents may include bacteria, viruses and fungi.

  1. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children, and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia.
  2. Air sacs in an infected individual’s lungs (alveoli) become inflamed due to deposits of fluid and pus, making it painful and difficult for them to breathe.

About pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23):

It protects against pneumococcal infections.

  1. PPSV23 protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

Helpful Terms:

  1. Conjugate: A type of vaccine that joins a protein to an antigen in order to improve the protection the vaccine provides.
  2. Polysaccharide: A type of vaccine that is composed of long chains of sugar molecules that resemble the surface of certain types of bacteria in order to help the immune system mount a response.

ENVIRONMENT

New species of sun rose found in the Eastern Ghats

Context:

  • Botanists have discovered a new species of the wild sun rose from the Eastern Ghats in India. The new species, named Portulaca laljii, discovered from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh

Details about the new specie

  • It has unique features such as a tuberous root, no hair in its leaf axils, a reddish-pink flower, prolate-shaped fruits, and copper brown seeds without lustre.
  • The flowers are very attractive and bloom for months from June to February. The plant can have a rich horticultural value
  • The succulent nature of tuberous roots allow the plant to survive on rocky crevices

INFRASTRUCTURE

Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

Context:

PM to inaugurate the New Bhaupur- New Khurja section and the Operation Control Centre of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

About the eastern corridor:

Length: 1856 km.

Consists of two distinct segments: an electrified double-track segment & an electrified single-track segment.

Starts from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) and will pass through the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

Constructed by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), that has been set up as a special purpose vehicle to build and operate Dedicated Freight Corridors.

Significance:

Eastern Corridor is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams-coal for the power plants in the northern region of U.P., Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan from the Eastern coal fields, finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, lime stone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east and general goods.

Why do we need DFCs?

Increased burden: Covering a total of 10,122 km, these corridors carry the heaviest traffic and are highly congested. The route carries 52% of passenger traffic and 58% of freight traffic, according to the Make-in-India report of 2017. Also, these routes are highly saturated, with line capacity utilisation reaching as high as 150%.

Rise in demand: Considering increased transport demands, overtly congested routes and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with road transport, these freight corridors will help reduce the cost and allow faster transportation.

Revenue generation: They will open new avenues for investment, as this will lead to the construction of industrial corridors and logistic parks along these routes.


MISCELLANEOUS

LAC hotspots turn brand buzzwords in Valley

For a Delhi-based shoe company, volatile locations between India and China across LAC have become money-spinners; a range of winter shoes named after them is flying off the shelves across the Kashmir Valley.

Sahi Fasal Campaign

Launched by National Water Mission in 2019 to nudge farmers in the water stressed areas to grow crops which are not water intensive, but use water very efficiently; and are economically remunerative; are healthy and nutritious; suited to the agro-climatic-hydro characteristics of the area; and are environmentally friendly.

  1. Creating awareness among farmers on appropriate crops, micro-irrigation, soil moisture conservation etc; weaning them away from water intensive crops like paddy, sugarcane etc to crops like corn, maize etc which require less water;etc ultimately  leading to increase in the income of farmers are the key elements of “Sahi Fasal”.

Monpa handmade paper

  1. It is a 1000-year-old heritage art of Arunachal Pradesh.
  2. The art of making handmade paper originated among the Monpas over 1000 years ago.
  3. Gradually this art became an integral part of local custom and culture of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  4. The fine-textured handmade paper, which is called ‘Mon Shugu’ in the local dialect, is integral to the vibrant culture of the local tribes in Tawang.
  5. The Monpa handmade paper is made from the bark of a local tree called ‘Shugu Sheng’, which has medicinal values too.

Context:

The KVIC has commissioned a Monpa handmade paper making unit in Tawang which not only aims at reviving the art but also in engaging the local youths with this art professionally so that they can earn from it.

Kisan Rail

What’s in News?

Prime Minister will flag off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal.

What is Kisan Rail?

  • Indian Railways has come up with Kisan Rail for the development of a national cold supply chain for the transportation of perishable traffic.
  • In the general budget (2019-20) the Finance Minister announced, “Indian Railways will set up ‘Kisan Rail’ through PPP arrangements. There shall be refrigerated coaches in express and freight trains to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk and meat”.

Details:

  • The Indian Railways will set up ‘Kisan Rail’ through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
  • Kisan Rail has been a game changer in ensuring fast transportation of agriculture produce across the nation. It has ensured that perishable goods are transported quickly.
  • The multi-commodity train service will carry vegetables as well as fruits. Loading and unloading of perishable commodities will be permitted at all enroute stoppages with no bar on size of consignment.
  • The Government of India has extended a subsidy of 50% on transportation of fruits and vegetables.

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