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Insights Daily Current Events, 29 June 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 29 June 2015

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Nadia gets U.N. pat for achieving total sanitation

The district Magistrate of Nadia along with chief of Nadia Zilla Parishad in West Bengal was recently presented the United Nations Public Services Award 2015 for eliminating open defecation in the district.

Some facts:

  • Nadia district is located in south Bengal.
  • It had half of its population defecating in open till October 2013. The district administration, under a programme called Sabar Souchagar, built 3.56 lakh toilets in the district. As a result, the number of people continuing with the practice dropped to mere 0.2 per cent.

About the initiative:

  • The U.N. has described Sabar Shouchagar (Toilets for All) as a “unique model developed to generate awareness, improve access to sanitary toilets, and bring substantial health improvement through improved sanitation.”
  • The scheme has mobilised all stakeholders, especially women and schoolchildren and has seen involvement of faith-based organisations. The UN has said that this model has the potential to eliminate open defecation from across the world.

About the UN public service award:

  • The United Nations (UN) Public Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
  • It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide.
  • Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.
  • All Public organizations/agencies at national and sub-national levels, as well as public/private partnerships and organizations performing outsourced public service functions, are eligible for nomination.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

India, Thailand to sign double taxation avoidance treaty

India and Thailand will sign a double taxation treaty during the upcoming three-day visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

What is Double Taxation?

Double taxation is the levying of tax by two or more jurisdictions on the same declared income (in the case of income taxes), asset (in the case of capital taxes), or financial transaction (in the case of sales taxes). This double liability is often mitigated by tax treaties between countries.

What is Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)?

DTAA also referred as Tax Treaty is a bilateral economic agreement between two nations that aims to avoid or eliminate double taxation of the same income in two countries.

DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source country if the activities of an enterprise constitute a permanent establishment (PE).

Benefits of such agreements:

  • Deals with the black money menace.
  • Provides solutions to avoid double taxation of same income.
  • The agreements generally provide for other matters of common interest of the two countries such as exchange of information, mutual assistance procedure for resolution of disputes and for mutual assistance in effecting recovery of taxes.
  • It will provide tax stability to the residents of both the countries and will facilitate mutual economic.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

Rail line to link Jaigarh Port to Konkan Railway

JSW Jaigarh Port Ltd. recently signed a concession agreement with Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. (KRCL) for developing a 33.7-km railway corridor, connecting Jaigarh Port to the Digni station of Konkan Railway.

  • The port operator had won the competitive bidding to develop the project under a public-private partnership model.
  • The special purpose vehicle executing the project has been named Jaigarh Digni Rail Ltd.
  • The port operator holds a 63% stake in the company, and the KRCL and the Maharashtra Maritime Board hold the rest.

About the project:

  • The project, which will come up through the difficult terrain of the Sahyadris, requires an investment of Rs. 771 crore. The concession period is 30 years.
  • The main purpose of this project is to transport bulk commodities from the port to the Konkan Railway network and further to the hinterland.

Konkan Railway: Quick Facts

  • It is a railway line which runs along the Konkan coast of India between Mumbai and Mangaluru.
  • It was constructed and is operated by the Konkan Railway Corporation.
  • It runs from Roha in Maharashtra till Thokur in Karnataka for a total distance of 741 km, along the west coast of India and Western Ghats. It connects Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka States.
  • The Konkan is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east, and Arabian Sea on the west.

Sources: The Hindu, Konkanrailway.

 

SpaceX rocket with Dragon cargo ship to ISS explodes

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded less than three minutes after lift-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on June 28th, 2015. Falcon 9 Rocket was meant to propel the Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station on a routine supply mission, the seventh for SpaceX so far.

About the International Space Station (ISS):

  • The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.
  • The ISS is now the largest artificial body in orbit.
  • The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets as well as American Space Shuttles.
  • The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields.
  • The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.
  • The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft. It completes 15.54 orbits per day.
  • ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.
  • The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.
  • The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, NASA.

 

The Nabakalebar festival to be promoted through Incredible India campaign

Since Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebar festival is being observed after a gap of 19 years, the Centre has decided to promote the Hindu religious festival under ‘the Incredible India Campaign for its international branding’.

  • The preparations are on in Puri for Nabakalebar festival to be celebrated on 10th July this year.
  • As per tradition of the Puri temple, the old bodies of the deities at Puri temple will be replaced by the new ones made of Neem (Margo) wood logs called sacred Daru. This religious ritual is known as Banayaga Parba of the Nabakalevara ceremony.
  • On this occasion, the Union Culture Ministry will release a postal stamp and coin to mark the long-awaited festival.

About Nabakalebar festival:

  • The Nabakalebara is an ancient ritual associated with most of the Jagannath Temples when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of Idols.
  • A year with an extra Ashadha masa/month as per Hindu Calendar is considered auspicious for conducting the ceremony. This usually occurs every twelve to nineteen years.
  • The Deities are made from a special type of Neem wood known as Daru Bramha.
  • Preparations for the ceremony start in the month of Chaitra. Last ceremony was done in the year 1996.
  • This festival is celebrated at the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Insights Secure Prelims 2015

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