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Daily Current Affairs IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th July 2019

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  • July 6, 2019
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IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 6th July 2019

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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Step by step Nirmala’s maiden Budget is all about incremental measures

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news


Budget proposes higher income tax on rich

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • The Union Budget has  propose to increase surcharge on individuals having taxable income from ₹2 crore to ₹5 crore and ₹5 crore and above so that effective tax rates for these two categories will increase by around 3% and 7% respectively.
  • According to the government, this increase in the surcharge is expected to earn the government an additional ₹12,000 crore a year.
  • The direct tax collections are now growing in double digits every year.
  • Companies with a turnover of up to ₹400 crore a year would now have to pay tax at 25%. This turnover limit was earlier ₹250 crore a year. The new limit will now cover 99.3% of companies.
  • This is a welcome move towards bridging the gap of corporate tax with the ASEAN countries.
  • A number of measures were announced, such as electronic face-less assessments, to improve transparency in income tax assessment process and also to ease the return filing process for tax filers.
  • To start with, such e-assessments are to be carried out in cases requiring verification of certain specified transactions or discrepancies.

Aadhaar can be interchanged with PAN for filing tax returns

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • More than 120 crore Indians now have Aadhaar. Whereas, according to data with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), 42 crore PAN cards have been issued, of which only 23 crore have been linked with Aadhaar. 
  • The Union Budget 2019-20 has proposed to make Aadhaar interchangeable with PAN, thereby allowing people without PAN to file income tax returns using only their Aadhaar.
  • The Income Tax Department shall allot PAN to such persons on the basis of Aadhaar after obtaining demographic data from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
  • It has been made clear that the intent is not to replace PAN with Aadhaar as the primary identity proof when it comes to income tax.
  • It has been proposed allotting Aadhaar to non-resident Indians, arriving in India, on an expedited basis.
  • So far, non-resident Indians with an Indian passport had to wait for 180 days after their arrival in India before they can apply for Aadhaar. The Budget proposed to remove this waiting time.

Government eases angel tax norms

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • To encourage start-ups in the country, a series of measures has been announced for the sector, including easing of the much-debated angle tax.
  • Now, the start-ups who file requisite declarations will not be subject to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums.
  • Additionally, the issue of establishing identity of the investor and source of his funds will be resolved by putting in place a mechanism of e-verification.

Angel Tax

  • Angel tax is applicable to unlisted companies that have raised capital through sale of shares at a value above their fair market value. 
  • This excess capital is treated as income and taxed accordingly. This tax predominantly affects start-ups and the angel investments they attract.

Channel for start-ups

  • The Finance Minister has also proposed to start a television programme within the DD bouquet of channels exclusively for start-ups.
  • The proposed programme on start-ups will serve as a platform for promoting start-ups, discussing issues affecting their growth, matchmaking with venture capitalists and for funding and tax planning, etc.
  • The channel will be designed and executed by start-ups themselves. 

Fiscal deficit target revised downwards to 3.3%

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • The government is estimating a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP in financial year 2019-20, lower than the 3.4% estimated earlier in the interim Budget presented in February.
  • The main reason for this is an increase on the revenue side, while expenditure is being controlled.
  • To achieve this goal(of 3.3%), it is relying on one-off disinvestment income, as well as higher taxes on the rich, and increased excise duties on petrol, diesel, precious metals and tobacco products.
  • Also, the government had budgeted a dividend from the Reserve Bank of India amounting to about ₹90,000 crore.
  • The government has cut the allocations for several major schemes. Most significant of these is the ₹4,334 crore cut for the Swachh Bharat scheme.

Slew of steps to boost digital payments

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • To push digital payments, multiple measures has been announced including levying 2% tax deducted at source on cash withdrawals exceeding ₹1 crore in a year from a bank account.
  • The business establishments with an annual turnover of more than ₹50 crore shall offer low-cost digital modes of payment such as BHIM UPI, UPI-QR Code, Aadhaar Pay, certain Debit cards, NEFT and RTGS, to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.
  • These measures would help create a robust payments infrastructure in the country. But there is need for sufficient Internet penetration and data reach to achieve the aspirations.

RBI can supersede NBFC board

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • Non-banking finance companies that are facing a crisis of confidence saw a slew of measures from the Budget to restore investor confidence.
  • The Reserve Bank of India also stepped in as it announced additional liquidity support to the sector through banks to the tune of ₹1.34 lakh crore.
  • The government has decided to give more powers to the Central bank to regulate the non-banking finance companies.
  • According to the Finance Bill, if the RBI is satisfied that in the ‘public interest’ or to prevent the affairs of an NBFC being conducted in a manner detrimental to the interest of the depositors or creditors, the board can be superseded for a maximum five years and an administrator can be appointed.
  • The RBI will also regulate housing finance companies which are under the purview of the National Housing Bank.
  • The budget also proposed that foreign institutional investors and foreign portfolio investors will be allowed to invest in debt securities by shadow banks, which help NBFCs to raise more funds.
  • The budget also provided some tax incentives to the NBFCs by treating them on par with banks.

Big boost for disaster management

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Security and disaster management 

In news

  • Budgetary allocation for Home Ministry up by 5%, special focus on disaster management, cybercrime infrastructure and freedom fighters’ pension. 
  • An amount of ₹100 crore has been allocated for the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, compared to ₹6 crore in the last fiscal.
  • Total funds for disaster management have been earmarked at ₹577.93 crore, a jump from ₹284.82 crore last year. Of this, the component for National Cyclone Risk Mitigation has been increased from ₹3.03 crore to ₹296.19 crore.

Private funds needed for Swachh Bharat

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy, GS II Governance

In news

  • 99.2% of rural India is now open defecation-free & therefore the next goal of the Swachh Bharat should be to have 100% safe and scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste.
  • The safe and scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste would include improvement in working conditions for sanitation workers and manual scavengers, sewer construction and water availability, treatment of industrial effluence, drain bio-remediation, river surface cleaning, apart from other measures.
  • Government must also allocate adequate resources to undertake such measures and apart from this, private partnerships such as through corporate social responsibility, crowd funding aligned with local government financing, among other measures can be undertaken to finance scientific disposal of waste.

Reward top taxpayers, shame defaulters

Part of Prelims and mains GS III Indian Economy

In news

  • The Economic survey highlights the usage of behavioural economics to bring a social change among people in India. 
  • The economic survey highlights the Swachh Bharat Mission, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and other government schemes and policies that have been successful in changing the social mindset within India. 
  • Similarly, the economic survey intends to ensure a social change or a change in mindset of people in India to achieve three main goals: Gender equality, Healthy India and increase in tax compliance. 
  • Using behavioural economics, Economic Survey proposes for social change: 
    • From BBBP to BADLAV (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay Lakshmi); 
    • From Swachh Bharat to Sundar Bharat; 
    • From “Give it up” for the LPG subsidy to “Think about the Subsidy”; and 
    • From tax evasion to tax compliance.
  • An example in Economic Survey is to provide services to high tax paying individuals that honors them such as expedited boarding privileges at airports, fast-lane privileges on roads and toll booths, special ‘diplomatic’ type lanes at immigration counters, etc. 
  • It added that the highest taxpayers over a decade could be recognised by naming important buildings, monuments, roads, trains, initiatives, schools and universities, hospitals and airports in their name.
  • Apart from this, tax evaders can be publicly shamed to nudge them and make other tax evaders fearful of tax evasion.

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL

TOPIC: General studies 3

  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space

Expanding India’s share in global space economy

Introduction

From a modest beginning in the 1960s, India’s space programme has grown steadily, achieving significant milestones. These include fabrication of satellites, space-launch vehicles, and a range of associated capabilities.

ISRO’s thrust areas

Since its establishment in 1969, ISRO has been guided by a set of mission and vision statements covering both the societal objectives and the thrust areas. 

First Thrust Area: Satellite communication

  • It is to address the national needs for telecommunication, broadcasting and broadband infrastructure.  
  • INSAT and GSAT are the backbones of India’s satellite communication.
  • Gradually, bigger satellites have been built carrying a larger array of transponders to provide services linked to areas like telecommunication, telemedicine, television, broadband, radio, disaster management and search and rescue services.

Second Thrust Area: Earth Observation 

  • It is to use space-based imagery for a slew of national demands, ranging from weather forecasting, disaster management and national resource mapping and planning.
  • These resources cover agriculture and watershed, land resource, and forestry managements. 
  • With higher resolution and precise positioning, Geographical Information Systems’ applications today cover all aspects of rural and urban development and planning. 
  • Beginning with the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) series in the 1980s, today the RISAT, Cartosat and Resourcesat series provide wide-field and multi-spectral high resolution data for land, ocean and atmospheric observations.

Third Thrust Area: satellite-aided navigation

  • The GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation (GAGAN) is a joint project between ISRO and Airports Authority of India.
  • It augmented the GPS coverage of the region, improving the accuracy and integrity, primarily for civil aviation applications and better air traffic management over Indian airspace. 
  • This was followed up with the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a system based on seven satellites in geostationary and geosynchronous orbits.
  • IRNSS is also named as NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation).

Fourth Thrust Area: space science and exploration missions

  • It includes the Chandrayaan and the Mangalyaan missions, with a manned space mission, Gaganyaan, planned for its first test flight in 2021. 
  • These missions are not just for technology demonstration but also for expanding the frontiers of knowledge in space sciences.

Launch Vehicle Technology

  • Beginning with the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) and the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), ISRO has developed and refined the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) as its workhorse for placing satellites in low earth and sun synchronous orbits. 
  • The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme is still developing with its MkIII variant, having undertaken three missions, and is capable of carrying a 3.5 MT payload into a geostationary orbit. 

ISRO and Industry

  • Over the years, ISRO built a strong association with the industry, particularly with Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited, etc. and large private sector entities like Larsen and Toubro, Godrej and Walchandnagar Industries. 
  • However, most of the private sector players are Tier-2/Tier-3 vendors, providing components and services. The Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) role is restricted to ISRO.
  • ISRO set up Antrix, a private limited company, in 1992 as its commercial arm to market its products and services and interface with the private sector in transfer of technology partnerships.
  • Today, the value of the global space industry is estimated to be $350 billion and is likely to exceed $550 billion by 2025. 
  • Despite ISRO’s impressive capabilities, India’s share is estimated at $7 billion (just 2% of the global market).

New Space and New developments 

  • Developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data analytics has led to the emergence of ‘New Space’ — a disruptive dynamic based on using end-to-end efficiency concepts. 
  • A parallel is how the independent app developers, given access to the Android and Apple platforms, revolutionised smartphone usage.
  • The New Space start-ups discern a synergy with government’s flagship programmes like Digital India, Start-Up India, Skill India and schemes like Smart Cities Mission.
  • They need an enabling ecosystem, a culture of accelerators, incubators, Venture Capitalists and mentors.
  • Another revolution under way is the small satellite revolution. Globally, 17,000 small satellites are expected to be launched between now and 2030. 
  • ISRO is developing a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) expected to be ready in 2019.
  • Ministry of Defence now setting up a Defence Space Agency and a Defence Space Research Organisation, ISRO should actively embrace an exclusively civilian identity. 

Conclusion

A new Space law for India should aim at facilitating growing India’s share of global space economy to 10% within a decade which requires a new kind of partnership between ISRO, the established private sector and the New Space entrepreneurs.

Connecting the dots:

ISRO has completed 50 years of its journey in India’s space research and explorations. Explain briefly its achievements. Suggest some measures for its way ahead.


(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  1. Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  2. IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the following statements regarding The Union Budget 2019-20 

  1. It has proposed to make Aadhaar interchangeable with PAN, thereby allowing people without PAN to file income tax returns using only their Aadhaar.
  2. It has proposed to replace PAN with Aadhaar as the primary identity proof when it comes to income tax.

Select the correct statements

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) Consider the following statements about total fertility rate in India,

  1. The government is estimating a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP in financial year 2019-20.
  2. For the year 2018-19, fiscal deficit target was 3.4%

Select the correct statements

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) Consider the following statements

  1. India’s satellite launching vehicle GSLV MK III is in developmental stage.
  2. GAGAN and NavIC are the satellite sytems related to navigation system in India.

Select the correct statements

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

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