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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th June 2022

  • IASbaba
  • June 30, 2022
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(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Appointment of Attorney-General (A-G)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity

In News: Attorney-General (A-G) K.K. Venugopal has been reappointed the country’s top law officer for a period of three months.

  • Venugopal was appointed the 15th AG of India in 2017. He succeeded Mukul Rohatgi who was AG from 2014-2017.

Attorney General Of India

  • Article 76 of the Constitution provides for the office of AG of India
  • AG is the top legal officer in the country & part of Union Executive
  • AG is assisted by 2 Solicitor Generals & 4 Additional Solicitor Generals.
  • AG is not considered as a government servant

Eligibility

  • S/He must be a person who is qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court .i.e.
  • he must be a citizen of India and
  • he must have been a judge of some high court for five years or an advocate of some high court for ten years or an eminent jurist

Tenure:  not fixed by the Constitution

  • The remuneration of the AG is not fixed by the Constitution. He receives such remuneration as the president may determine

Removal:

  • The Constitution does not contain the procedure and grounds for his removal. He holds office during the pleasure of the president.
  • He may also quit his office by submitting his resignation to the president.

Functions

  • Advise Government on legal matters.
  • Perform legal duties assigned by President.
  • Appear on behalf of Government in all cases in SC or HC.
  • Represent Government under Article 143.
  • Discharge functions conferred by Constitution or law.

Rights

  • Right to speak & take part in proceedings of both Houses of Parliament/joint sitting/any committee of Parliament of which he/she may be named a member.
  • Enjoys privileges & immunities of a Member of Parliament.
  • S/he is not debarred from private legal practice.

Limitations

  • No Right to Vote in House proceedings/committees.
  • Should not advise against or hold a brief against Government.
  • Should not defend accused persons in criminal prosecutions without the permission of the Government of India.
  • Should not accept appointment as a director in any company or corporation without the permission of the Government of India.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) With reference to the Union Government, consider the following statements: (2021)

  1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.
  2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and by-elections.
  3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognized political parties.

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 3 only

Government hikes GST for household items

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: GST Council hikes tax on over two dozen goods and services from July 18.

  • Tax hikes will kick in for over two dozen goods and services, ranging from unbranded food items, curd and butter milk to low-cost hotels, cheques and maps.
  • At the same time, tax rates will be lowered for about half a dozen goods and services, including ropeways and truck rentals where fuel costs are included, and scrapped for products imported by private vendors for use by defence forces.
  • In its 47th meeting, the GST Council discussed recommendations of four ministerial panels — on rate rationalisation, on movement of gold and precious stones, system reforms, and casinos, horse racing and online gaming.
  • The GoM headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has been given a three-month extension for rate rationalisation measures including tweaking the tax slabs.
  • On the valuation mechanism for taxing casinos, a Group of Ministers headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has been asked to consider submissions of stakeholders again and submit its report by July 15.
  • Modifications in GST’s IT systems to bolster compliance and crack down on tax evasion have been agreed, based on recommendations of a GoM led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
  • Suggestions by another GoM led by Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal on the movement of gold and precious stones were also accepted by the Council, enabling States to decide on the best way to implement an e-way bill system for intra-State movement of gold worth over ₹2 lakh.
  • To resolve the long-pending issue of constituting a GST Appellate Tribunal, the Council has decided to form a fresh Group of Ministers whose report will be taken up at its next meeting

On GST Compensation extension

  • At the meeting, over a dozen States wanted the GST compensation to continue for some more time.
  • About 16-17 State representatives in the Council spoke on the GST compensation issues, of which about 12-13 sought an extension of the assured compensation period, while three-four spoke about the need to wean themselves away from the dependence on assured revenues.
  • Union Finance Minister assured that issue to be discussed.

GST Council

  • The 101st Amendment Act of 2016 paved the way for the introduction of a new tax regime (GST) in the country
  • The amendment provided for the establishment of a GST Council.
  • The amendment inserted a new Article 279-A in the Constitution of India.
  • This article empowered the President to constitute a GST Council by an order.

Composition of GST Council

  • The Union Finance Minister of India will serve as the chairperson of this council.
  • The respective states will nominate the State Finance Ministers/ or any other Minister as a member of the council.
  • The Union Minister of State in charge of revenue or finance will also be a member of this council.
  • The representatives of the states shall choose amongst themselves one “Vice-president”.

Working of the council

  • The decisions of the Council are taken at its meetings.
  • One-half of the total numbers of members of the Council is the quorum for conducting a meeting.
  • Every decision of the Council is to be taken by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting at the meeting.
  • The vote of the central government shall have a weightage of one-third of the total votes cast in the meeting.
  • The votes of all the state governments combined shall have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast in that meeting.

Functions of the Goods and Services Tax Council

The Council is required to make recommendations to the center and the states on the following matters:

  • The taxes, cesses, and surcharges levied by the center, the states, and the local bodies would be merged in GST.
  • The goods and services that may be subjected to GST or exempted from GST.
  • Model GST Laws, principles of levy, apportionment of GST levied on supplies in the course of inter-state trade or commerce, and the principles that govern the place of supply.
  • The threshold limit of turnover below which goods and services may be exempted from GST.
  • The rates include floor rates with bands of GST.
  • Any special rate or rates for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster.
  • Special provision with respect to the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Any other matter relating to GST, as the Council may decide.
  • In addition, the council shall also recommend the date on which the GST may be levied on petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, petrol, natural gas, and aviation turbine fuel.

Source: The Hindu

Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following items: (2018)

  1. Cereal grains hulled
  2. Chicken eggs cooked
  3. Fish processed and canned
  4. Newspapers containing advertising material

Which of the above items is/are exempted under GST (Good and Services Tax)?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1, 2 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4


Primary agricultural credit societies (PACS)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

In News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved computerisation of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) with the aim of increasing efficiency of PACS, bringing transparency and accountability in their operations.

  • This project proposes computerization of about 63,000 functional PACS over a period of five years with a total budget outlay of Rs 2,516 crore with the central government’s share of Rs 1,528 crore.

Primary Agricultural Cooperative credit societies (PACS)

  • The PACS constitute the lowest tier of the three-tier short-term cooperative credit (STCC) in India comprising of nearly 13 crore farmers as its members.
  • Through computerization PACS will become nodal service delivery point for interest subvention scheme (ISS), PM Fasal Beema Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfer and provision of inputs like fertilisers, seeds etc.
  • It will ensure speedy disposal of loans, lower transition cost, faster audit and reduction in imbalances in payments and accounting with State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCBs)
  • PACS account for 41% of the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans given by all entities in the country and 95 % of these KCC loans through PACS are to the small and marginal farmers.
  • The other two tiers viz. SCBs and DCCBs have already been automated by the NABARD and brought on Common Banking Software (CBS).

Source: Indian Express


CAPSTONE

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: NASA’s new satellite will test a unique lunar orbit that will be used by future missions.

  • NASA launched CAPSTONE, a microwave oven-sized CubeSat weighing just 55 pounds (25 kg).
  • CAPSTONE, short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, is designed to test a unique, elliptical lunar orbit.
  • The satellite, launched on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, is heading toward an orbit intended in the future for Gateway, a Moon-orbiting outpost that is part of NASA’s Artemis program.
  • CAPSTONE aims to help reduce risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative navigation technologies, and by verifying the dynamics of the halo-shaped orbit.
  • The orbit is known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO).
  • It is significantly elongated, and is located at a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon. This offers stability for long-term missions like Gateway.

Artemis mission

  • NASA’s Artemis mission is the next generation of lunar exploration, and is named after the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology.
  • With the Artemis programme, NASA aims to land humans on the moon by 2024, and it also plans to land the first woman and first person of colour on the moon.
  • NASA will establish an Artemis Base Camp on the surface and a gateway (the lunar outpost around the Moon) in lunar orbit to aid exploration by robots and astronauts.
  • The gateway is a critical component of NASA’s sustainable lunar operations and will serve as a multi-purpose outpost orbiting the moon.

Artemis I Mission

  • It will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Systems
  • Orion spacecraft: Orion spacecraft is going to remain in space without docking to a space station, longer than any ship for astronauts has ever done before.
  • Space Launch System (SLS) rocket: It is the most powerful rocket in the world — and travels 2,80,000 miles from the earth for over four to six weeks during the course of the mission.
  • Newly upgraded Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • It is an uncrewed space mission where the spacecraft will launch on an SLS rocket.
  • The primary operating goal of the mission is to assure a safe crew module entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery.
  • Artemis II will be the first crewed flight test and is targeted for 2023.
  • Artemis III will land astronauts on the Moon’s South Pole in 2024.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “The experiment will employ a trio of spacecraft flying in formation in the shape of an equilateral triangle that has sides one million kilometres long, with lasers shining between the craft”. The experiment in question refers to (2020)

  1. Voyager
  2. New Horizons
  3. LISA Pathfinder
  4. Evolved LISA

Q.2) With reference to the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), consider the following statements: (2018)

  1. IRNSS has three satellites in geostationary and four satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
  2. IRNSS covers entire India and about 5500 sq. km beyond its borders.
  3. India will have its own satellite navigation system with full global coverage by the middle of 2019.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. None

Places in News

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography (Map)

Mortara

  • Italy
  • The worst drought Italy has faced in 70 years is thirsting paddy fields in the river Po valley and jeopardizing the harvest of the premium rice.
  • Italy’s largest river is turning into a long stretch of sand due to the lack of rain, leaving the Lomellina rice flats — nestled between the river Po and the Alps — without the necessary water to flood the paddies.
  • The lack of rainfall has brought governors of various Italian regions to declare a state of emergency in order to conserve water and coordinate the management of minimal resources.
  • The region’s main water sources, the rivers Po and Dora Baltea, are eight times lower than the average seasonal levels.

Po River Basin

  • The Po River is the longest river in Italy (661 km)
  • It originates from Pian del Re of Monte Viso, and flows eastward till the Adriatic Sea near Venice
  • The basin population is close to 17 million inhabitants, almost 1/3 of the population of Italy.
  • The main land use of the Po plain is intensive agriculture.

Source: Apnews

Kremenchuk, Ukraine

  • Two Russian missiles slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk

Mykolaiv, Ukraine

  • Russian forces struck targets in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine and intensified attacks on fronts across the country as NATO members met in Madrid to plan a course of action against the challenge from Moscow.

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2020)

River Flows into

  1. Mekong – Andaman Sea
  2. Thames – Irish Sea
  3. Volga – Caspian Sea
  4. Zambezi – Indian Ocean

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2 and 4 only

India-UAE relations

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: Prime Minister visit to the UAE on June 28 was his fourth visit, given the fact that no Indian PM had visited the UAE for 34 years since the visit of Indira Gandhi in 1981, the transformation in India’s engagement with this Gulf state has been quite extraordinary.

India-UAE relations

  • India and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1972.
  • India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations.

Economic Co-operation

  • The UAE was India’s third-largest trading partner in 2021-2022, and second-largest for both exports ($28 billion) and imports ($45 billion)
  • The UAE accounted for 6% of India’s total exports and 7.3% of imports in the last financial year
  • The UAE’s investment in India is estimated to be around U.S. $11.67 billion, which makes it the ninth biggest investor in India.
  • Under India’s revamped FTA strategy, the Government has prioritised at least six countries/regions to deal with, in which the UAE figures at the top of the list for an early harvest deal (or Interim Trade Agreement)
  • Recently, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was signed.
  • CEPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.

Energy Partner

  • The UAE accounts for 8 percent of India’s oil imports and was fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India.

Indian Diaspora

  • Around 3 million Indians are living harmoniously in the UAE.
  • The remittances from the UAE in the first half of 2020 accounted for US $21 billion.

India’s West Asia policy: 

  • The UAE occupies a key place in India’s West Asia policy.
  • The high-level visit from both sides has given a new impetus to this partnership.

Strategic Importance

  • The UAE, due to its strategic location, has emerged as an important economic centre in the world.
  • In 2017 the two sides signed the agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
  • The region is home to important strait like Strait of Hormuz – which plays important role in ensuring energy security of east Asia

Space Cooperation

  • Space cooperation between India and the UAE gained quick momentum during Prime Minister visit to the Emirates in 2015.
  • Together, the two space agencies have developed the nano-satellite, Nayif-1, which was launched from the Satish Dhavan Space Centre, Sriharikota in India.
  • The two countries are likely to work together on Emirates’ ‘Red planet Mission’.

Co Operation at Multilateral Forums like United Nations, West Asia Quad that includes India, Israel, UAE and USA

Challenges

Non Tariff Barriers (NTBs):

  • Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) have mostly been covered by Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
  • The UAE has 451 SPS notifications and 534 TBT notifications.
  • The SPS notifications are mainly related to live poultry, meat, and processed food. In addition, the TBT notifications are mainly related to fish, food additives, meat, rubber, electrical machinery, etc.
  • These measures hamper India’s exports to UAE.

Arab – Iran Conflict:

  • The differences between Iran and the Arab world hinder India’s engagement in the Middle-east region. Balancing the relationship sometimes results in reluctance of some strategic agreements.

Kafala System:

  • The inhuman conditions imposed by the Kafala system on immigrants sometimes create differences between the two countries.

Growing Intolerance in India:

  • The recent crack caused due comments on Prophet Mohammed by members of ruling party spoils the positive atmosphere between two countries.

Way forward

  • India should take steps to fight growing intolerance in the country and make sure that such incidents do not affect its relationship with other countries
  • The countries should focus on completing their MOUs in order to take their relationship to the next level.
  • They should establish more strategic dialogues between them like the 2+2 dialogue.
  • India-UAE must try to bring more transparency and predictability in the use of NTBs so that their compliance becomes less cumbersome.
  • In recent years, the UAE, through its ‘Vision 2021’, has sought to diversify its economy and reduce its dependency on oil. This provides an opportunity for India to engage with it in new areas of renewable energy, start-ups, fintech, etc.

Shared economic visions and geopolitical outlooks have spurred the two sides to seek to expand cooperation across multiple domains. Both nations should come together to further engage with each other, bilaterally as well as on multi-lateral fora, based on mutual trust and confidence. The recent visits by high delegation have created a fresh opportunity for even greater India-UAE coordination and cooperation.

Source: Indian Express


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements

  1. Article 74 of the Constitution provides for the office of Attorney General of India
  2. Attorney General is debarred from private legal practice
  3. Attorney General has the right to speak & take part in proceedings of both Houses of Parliament
  4. Attorney General holds office during the pleasure of the president

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1, 3 and 4
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 2, 3 and 4
  4. 3 and 4

Q.2) Consider the following statements about GST Council

  1. GST council is a constitutional body
  2. Union Finance Minister of India will serve as the chairperson of this council
  3. One-half of the total numbers of members of the Council is the quorum for conducting a meeting
  4. The votes of all the state governments combined shall have a weightage of one-third of the total votes cast in that meeting

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 and 4
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Q.3) With reference to CAPSTONE – Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, a CubeSat designed to test a unique, elliptical lunar orbit is a satellite launched by?

  1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  2. Indian Space Research Organisation
  3. European Space Agency
  4. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’30th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 29th JUNE 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – b

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – b

 

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