Insights Daily Current Affairs, 31 March 2018
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.
Context: As the country prepares for the nationwide mandatory rollout of the e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods from April 1 under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, Karnataka will be an exception having notified the e-way bill for both inter-state as well as intra-state movement of goods.
Karnataka was the first state to operationalise the e-way bill system in September 2017, using the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure available with the state.
What is e-way bill?
An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. When goods are transported for less than 10 km within a state, the supplier or the transporter need not furnish details on the GST portal.
The e-way bill mechanism has been introduced in the GST regime to plug tax evasion loopholes. Tax evasion was one of the reasons cited by the government for the fall in revenue collection in October.
Are there concerns from industry?
Trade and industry have raised concerns about the system being a possible route for the re-emergence of supply chain bottlenecks, and discretionary power to tax officials. The industry views the e-way bill as a system that will check tax evasion to some extent, but may not be able to stop it completely. Also, it adds another layer of compliances for GST payers and, in case of technical glitches, may result in supply chain bottlenecks.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Diplomatic Tussle between India and Pakistan
Context: India and Pakistan have agreed to solve the diplomatic tussle over the allegations of harassment of the diplomats in each other’s countries. The two countries have mutually decided to resolve matters as per the 1992 code of conduct (COC) ensuring the diplomats and their families are not harassed.
1992 Code of Conduct:
As per the 1992 code of conduct, the two countries would ensure “smooth and unhindered functioning of their diplomatic and consular officials in conformity with recognised norms of international law and practice.”
- The two governments will also ensure that there is “no violation of the privileges and immunities of their diplomatic and consular officials” and there should be “no offences against their dignity and person”.
- It also states that intrusive and aggressive surveillance and actions such as verbal and physical harassment, disconnecting of telephone lines, threatening telephone calls, pursuit in cars and unauthorised entry into residences shall not be resorted to.
What’s the issue?
The diplomatic ties of India and Pakistan took a hit over the harassment of the diplomats in each other’s countries. Both the countries have accused each other of harassing and intimidating their diplomats.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Interstitium: The latest organ discovered in human body
Context: Scientists have discovered a new organ in the human body which they have dubbed the ‘interstitium’.
The new organ is known as the Interstitium and it is found everywhere in our bodies, acting as a shock absorber in all places where tissues are moved or subjected to force.
- It lies beneath the top layer of skin, but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles. The organ is a network of interconnected, fluid-filled spaces all over the body.
- Scientists say, it may even be one of the largest organs in the body. The organ acts like a shock absorber in all places where tissues are moved or subjected to force.
WHAT IS THE ORGAN MADE OF?
The organ is a network of interconnected, fluid-filled spaces all over the body and is made up of both strong (collagen) and flexible (elastin) connective tissue proteins, with interstitial fluid moving throughout.
Functions of the organ:
- Interstitial spaces are organized by a collagen “mesh”, can shrink, expand, and “may thus serve as shock absorbers.”
- These “dynamically compressible and distensible sinuses” act as thoroughfares to transport critical fluids within organs and around the body.
- The Interstitium plays an important role in carrying lymph, the clear fluid that also travels through lymphatic vessels and supports immunity.
Significance of the discovery:
The discovery of the fluid ‘highway’ could help to explain how cancer spreads in the body, and pave the way for new ways to detect and treat the disease.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space.
BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)
Context: China has successfully launched two satellites with a single rocket to strengthen its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). The two satellites are coded as the 30th and 31st members in the BDS.
About BeiDou Satellite System:
Named after the Chinese term for Big Dipper, the BeiDou system started providing independent services over China in 2000. It is being projected by Beijing as a rival to the American Global Positioning System (GPS).
- It has total 22 Operational satellites in orbit and the full constellation is scheduled to comprise 35 satellites.
- BeiDou has two separate constellations, BeiDou-1 and BeiDou-2. BeiDou-1 also known as first generation was a constellation of three satellites. BeiDou-2, also known as COMPASS, is the second generation of the system. It became operational in the year 2011.
What are the various GNSS systems?
The four global GNSS systems are – GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China). Additionally, there are two regional systems – QZSS (Japan) and IRNSS or NavIC (India).
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project:
Context: Construction works on 60 MW Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project have begun.
About the project:
- The Naitwar Mori Project with a generation potential of 60 MW is located on River Tons, a major tributary of River Yamuna on the Ganga basin, in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state in North India.
- This run-of-the river project was allocated to SJVN Ltd by the Government of Uttarakhand. SJVN Ltd is a Mini Ratna PSU under administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi:
Who is Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi? She was India’s first female doctor and first woman to obtain a degree in western medicine.
Why in news? Google Doodle celebrated her 153rd Birthday on March 31st. Anandi Joshi was born on 31st March 1865 in Maharashtra.
What is it? It is Russia’s most advanced nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile. It was flight-tested recently.
The Sarmat is a heavy ICBM intended to replace Russia’s aging, Soviet-era missiles that form the basis of its nuclear deterrent.
The chief innovation of the Sarmat is its ability to carry a large number of guided warheads.
The missile is believed to be able to fly 16,000 miles and is capable of flying over the South Pole to strike the U.S.
NATO has named this missile as ‘Satan 2’.