Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 07 JANUARY 2019
Centre reiterates commitment on research and development
- The Union Minister of Human Resource Development,
ShriPrakashJavadekar has said that only the research work in various
fields can pave way for innovations in the country.
- He said that it is the research only which helps countries to
overcome problems of any type in any field and that’s why the research
work is being strengthened and given top priority by the union
- Talking about the slogan of “Jai Anusandhan” given by the
Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi in the inaugural session of the 106th
Indian Science Congress, he said, “This shows the commitment of the
Centre towards the research and innovations. The NDA government had
carved out a fund of Rs 200 Crore this year for the innovative solutions
and 1000 colleges across the country are being equipped with innovation
- ShriPrakashJavadekar also mentioned the problems faced by the
country and gave clarion call to the women to come forward and join
science stream to resolve social and economic problems. He said union
government had set up a fund under Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)
to provide assistance to the research laboratories.
- This year ministry is spending nearly Rs 33,000 Crore for this
purpose while to encourage social science research Rs 250 Crore has been
earmarked. He said the major project of the government is SPARK which
was launched to assist and encourage students to carry on their
ambitious research projects within India instead of going abroad.
Finance ministry quotes good savings due to Aadhar implementation
- The Rs. 90,000-crore savings from the implementation of
Aadhaar is enough to fund three schemes the size of Ayushman Bharat,
Finance Minister ArunJaitley wrote in a blog post on Sunday.
- “The government estimates that Rs. 90,000 crore have been
saved in the past few years till March 2018 by the use of Aadhaar,”
- “Several duplicate beneficiaries, non-existent beneficiaries
and fake beneficiaries have been eliminated. The Digital Dividend Report
prepared by the World Bank estimates that India can save Rs. 77,000
crore every year by the use of Aadhaar.”
- Mr.Jaitley said that in the past 28 months, more than 122
croreAadhaar numbers had been issued, covering 99% of India’s population
above the age of 18.
- 22.80 crore of PAHAL and Ujjwala beneficiaries are given
cooking gas subsidies through DBT in their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.
58.24 crore ration card holders stand linked. 10.33 crore MGNREGA card
holders get wage payment through DBT in their bank accounts.
- So do the 1.93 crore beneficiaries and other beneficiaries of
the national social assistance programme. The Income Tax Department has
already linked 21 crore PAN card holders with their Aadhaar numbers.
- Mr.Jaitley said 63.52 crore bank accounts had been linked with
the unique identity as of December 15, 2018. The number of subsidy
transactions are about 425 crore. The total subsidies transferred
through Aadhaar now equal Rs. 1,69,868crore, he said.
Expert panel claims GST can boost tax collection
- The fact that the government is increasingly dependent on tax
revenue, especially indirect taxes, to meet its fiscal requirements is
not a cause for worry, according to tax analysts, who say that the real
benefits of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have not yet taken effect.
Once they do, government revenue from both direct and indirect taxes
will grow significantly.
- An analysis by The Hindu of the budget documents of the last
five years has shown that the government’s dependence on tax revenue has
steadily increased, with tax revenue making up a little more than 70% of
its total receipts in 2018-19, up from 65% in 2014-15.
- Correspondingly, the share of revenue from non-tax sources
(such as dividends from PSUs and the RBI) and capital receipts (such as
disinvestment proceeds) has been declining.
- The view among tax analysts is that the government cannot take
the risk of increasing tax rates, whether direct or indirect, for fear
of a backlash from the public. So, the only option it has to boost tax
revenues is to increase the tax base and stop evasion, both of which the
government has been trying to do.
- The other trend the government would be banking on is that
increased economic activity and a higher GDP growth rate will boost
consumption and hence, indirect tax collections, other analysts say.
- Despite this optimistic outlook of future growth in tax
revenue, the government has also been trying to improve its collections
from other sources such as dividends from public sector companies and
the Reserve Bank of India, and also through disinvestments.
- The analysis of budget data shows that PSU dividends as a
proportion of non-tax revenue have been growing over the years, from 16%
in 2014-15 to 21.4% in 2018-19. The government has reportedly been
pressurising the state-run oil companies to transfer larger dividends to
the Centre every year.
- It is also reportedly asking the state-run oil companies to
buy back shares, and is also pushing more PSUs to list on the stock
- However, this is an untenable source of revenue for the
government because they are based on finite resources.Notably, dividends
from the RBI, as a proportion of non-tax revenue, have been falling.
Norwegian PM arrives in Delhi to boost cooperation
- Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg has arrived in New Delhi
on a three-day state visit to India. She was accompanied by senior
officials from her government and a large business delegation. She will
participate in the Indo-Norwegian Business Conference.
- Tomorrow, Ms Solberg will be accorded ceremonial reception at
RashtrapatiBhavan. She will hold talks with Prime Minister NarendraModi.
She will also call on President Ram NathKovind and Vice President M
Venkaiah Naidu. External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj will call on the
- The Norwegian Prime Minister will deliver the Inaugural
address at the Raisina Dialogue.
- The visit of Prime Minister of Norway will provide an
opportunity to review the progress in bilateral cooperation between the
two countries and discuss ways to further expand the multifaceted
partnership in areas of common interest.
- India and Norway enjoy close and multifaceted ties and
economic and technical cooperation are important facets of the bilateral
relation. More than 100 Norwegian companies have invested in India in
areas such as ship-building, petroleum related services, hydropower,
clean energy and IT services. Several major Indian companies are also
present in Norway.
- India and Norway have shared the interest in sustainable use
of ocean resources for the growth of the economies.
U.S – North Korea next meeting under discussion
- President Donald Trump said on Sunday that negotiations are
under way on the location of his next summit with North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un, while remaining evasive on its timing.
- “We are negotiating a location,” he told reporters before
boarding a helicopter for the presidential retreat at Camp David,
Maryland, where he said he would be discussing a trade deal with China.
“It will be announced probably in the not too distant future,” he said
of a summit with Mr. Kim. “They do want to meet and we want to meet and
we’ll see what happens.”
- He also stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars to
fund a border wall with Mexico, claiming “tremendous” support inside his
camp on the contentious issue which has forced a government shutdown now
entering its third week.
- He also confirmed through a tweet that the U.S. military has
killed one of the architects of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole that
left 17 American servicemen dead.
- “Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost
and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
“We have just killed the leader of that attack, Jamal al-Badawi.”
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
New research reveals ISS members could grow beans by 2021
- After cultivating lettuce in space three years ago, crew
members aboard the International Space Station could be growing beans in
2021, new research suggests.
- The beans could be planted in high-tech planters developed at
the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).The planters
can regulate all the water, nutrients, gas and air the plants need.
- NTNU said it was collaborating with Italian and French
researchers in their quest to cultivate plant-based food for long space
journeys.The food grown in space could be crucial to sustain the crew in
future deep space missions.
- The longest stays at the International Space Station have been
six months, while people travelling to Mars will need to be prepared to
stay in space for at least a year.
- In the study, published in the journal Life , the researchers
performed three experiments — the first two experiments determined the
effect of restricted rooting and nutrient solution volumes, and based on
this a third experiment was performed to assess plant responses to
various nitrate nutrient solution concentrations.
- The next step is to grow beans in space to observe the effect
of no gravity on plants’ ability to transport water and absorb
nutrients. Simulating the absence of gravity cannot be done on Earth.