(Topic: Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources)
About— to improve the skills of the people, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has issued notice on setting up of Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS).
ISDS is believed to have been created on the lines of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and the Indian Police Services (IPS). ISDS will be a Group ‘A’ service in which the induction will take place through Indian Engineering Service Examination conducted by UPSC.
The main aim of the step is to attract young and talented administrators for Skill Development. It is looking primarily at engineers who will aid in skill development in various fields.
The knowledge recruited engineers will help to develop the initiative of the Centre for the skill development and also an efficient and effective implementation of the schemes.
Skill ecosystem is expected to get strengthened and modernised in line with the current scientific and industrial development in the country.
About- BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is a Mobile App developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), launched by Ministry of Finance. It has been named after Bhim Rao Ambedkar
Salient features of BHIM App
Instant money transfer at all times.
Direct transfer from one bank account to another.
Scan and pay option by scanning QR code to make payment
Generation and sharing of personalised QR code
If the 12-digit Aadhaar is listed as a payment ID on the BHIM app will not require any biometric authentication or prior registration with the bank or Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
Benefits of BHIM
BHIM will empower poorest of the poor, small business and the marginalised section.
Minimise the role of plastic cards and point of sale (POS) machines.
e-wallet app will feature fingerprint verification in future
What is UPI?
The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can be thought of like an email ID for your money. It will be an unique identifier that your bank uses to transfer money and make payments using the IMPS (Immediate Payments Service).
IMPS is faster than NEFT and lets you transfer money immediately and unlike NEFT, it works 24×7.
This means that the online payments will become much easier without requiring a digital wallet or credit or debit card.
UPI works both online and offline.
Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
(Topic: Science and Technology)
About– Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) -National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) is the custodian of Indian Standard Time (IST) and has the responsibility for realization, establishment, maintenance and dissemination of IST through an act of Parliament.
A leap second is a one-second adjustment that is occasionally applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time, or UT1.
Atomic clocks are very accurate and are stable within 1 second over a period of millions of years.
Since 1972, 36 “Leap Seconds” have been added at intervals varying from six months to seven years.
37th “Leap Second” added to UTC at the midnight of December 31, 2016 in the countries within this time zone. However, countries in other time zones will have “Leap Second” inserted according to their longitude.
The “Leap Second” adjustment is not so relevant for normal everyday life; however this shift is critical for applications requiring of time accuracies in the nanosecond e.g. astronomy, satellite navigation, communication networks etc.
Japan to assist in making Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi Smart Cities
(Topic: Infrastructure Development)
About– Japan has decided to be associated with the development of Chennai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi as smart cities.
Countries associated with development of 15 smart cities. These include:
United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) –Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad,
UK-Pune, Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh) and Indore,
France-Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur and
Germany –Bhubaneswar, Coimbattore and Kochi.
Agreement between India and Uruguay regarding Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.
About—The agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
India and Uruguay:
Uruguay is an important trading partner of India among members of the MERCOSUR, a trading block in Latin America.
India signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the MERCOSUR which came into effect from 1st June, 2009.
The Agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade.
Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.
Members countries– Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay
India and Kazakhstan sign Protocol to amend the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).
Salient features of the Protocol are:
The Protocol provides internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters.
The Protocol inserts a Limitation of Benefits Article, to provide a main purpose test to prevent misuse of the DTAC and to allow application of domestic law and measures against tax avoidance or evasion.
The Protocol inserts specific provisions to facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. This is a taxpayer friendly measure and is in line with India’s commitment under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to meet the minimum standard of providing Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) access in transfer pricing cases.
The Protocol replaces existing Article on Assistance in Collection of Taxes with a new Article to align it with international standards.
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