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Daily current affairs 12 July 2017

Startup India’s slow pace worries Govt.

In News:

  • In order to obtain tax benefits, a start-up should be a private limited company or a limited liability partnership incorporated on or after April 1, 2016.
  • The concern is that only minuscule number of start-ups became eligible for tax benefits under the Startup India Initiative programme.
  • Only 39 start-ups have qualified for tax sops even 18 months after its introduction.

 

Norms relaxed

  • The recent relaxation in norms that include doing away with the requirement of ‘letter of recommendation’ from an incubator/industry association for recognising a company as a start-up or for tax benefits will also help increase the number of start-ups that will qualify for tax benefits.
  • With the changes in norms, which include broadening the scope of the definition of start-ups to include ‘scalability of business model with a potential of employment generation or wealth creation,’ the Centre has decided to reappraise all rejected applications to give all applicants a “fair chance,” the official said.
  • The aim is to cross 100 by end September.

 

Startup India Initiative programme:

 

  • To build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country which will drive economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
  • Simplification and Handholding: With the intention of reducing the regulatory burden on start-ups, they have been exempted from six labour laws and three environmental laws for a period of three years
  • Start-ups will also be provided free legal support in filing intellectual property rights (IPR). Patent applications filed by startup will be fast tracked at lower costs.
  • Funding support and Incentives:
  • Funding support of worth 10,000 crore rupees for next four years.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund – The initiative provides for creating a credit guarantee fund for startups through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with a Corpus of Rs.500 crore per year for the next four years.

 


 

SC stays cattle sale rules across nation

In News:

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre’s May 2016 notification banning cattle sale in livestock markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices.

 

Related Acts:

    • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017
    • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act, 2017
  • “We realised that certain aspects need tweaking,” Mr P. Narasimha – Additional Solicitor General submitted in respect of the above-said acts.

courtesy the hindu cattle sale


Sensor network to map and predict pollution, effluents in the Godavari

 

In News:

 

  • A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari, India’s second longest river.
  • Researchers are developing a cost-effective forecast system using cloud networking remote sensors.
  • The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.
  • The project started eight months ago and has so far identified two “hot spots” of pollution.
  • Measuring parameters include total dissolved salts, nitrate, pH, temperature, turbidity and electrical conductivity.
  • The exercise is part of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project to support the programme of the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) to provide city-wide sanitation improvements in urban Andhra Pradesh.

Civils360 Daily current events

 

About Godavari River:

  • The Godavari is the second longest river in India after the river Ganges having its source at Tryambakeshwar, Maharashtra.
    • It starts in Maharashtra and flows east for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi) emptying into Bay of Bengal draining the Indian states Maharashtra (48.6%), Telangana(18.8%), Andhra Pradesh (4.5%), Chhattisgarh (10.9%), Madhya Pradesh (10.0%), Odisha (5.7%), Karnataka (1.4%) and Puducherry through its extensive network of tributaries.
    • Important tributaries include Pravara, Purna, Manjira, Pranhita, Indravati and Sabari.

 


 

Earth facing sixth mass extinction

In News:

  • Scientists warn that humans are spurring a ‘biological annihilation’ that is coming faster than feared
  • More than 30% of animals with a backbone — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — are declining in both range and population.
  • The mammal species that were monitored have lost at least a third of their original habitat, the researchers found. Forty percent of them — including rhinos, orangutans, gorillas and many big cats — are surviving on 20% or less of the land they once roamed.
  • The loss of biodiversity has recently accelerated.

Wide impact

  • The mass extinction – deemed to be sixth in the last half billion years – is the worst since three-quarters of life on the Earth, including the non-avian dinosaurs, were wiped out 66 million years ago by a giant meteor impact.
  • On an average, two vertebrate species disappear every year.
  • Tropical regions have seen the highest number of declining species, fewer species are disappearing in temperate zones.
  • In South and Southeast Asia, large-bodied species of mammals have lost more than four-fifths of their historical ranges.
  • The main drivers of wildlife decline are habitat loss, overconsumption, pollution, invasive species, disease, as well as poaching in the case of tigers, elephants, rhinos and other large animals prized for their body parts.
  • Climate change is poised to become a major threat in the coming decades.

 

Mothers as monitors

In News:

  • India still has an unenviable track record when it comes to tackling malnutrition among children and pregnant women.
  • Ready-to-eat fortified meals are not the best solution to tackle malnutrition among children

Two States, two examples:

    • Bihar’s Bettiah district (also known as West Champaran)
      • The district administration decided to enrol mothers, who kept a watch on what their children were fed in mid-day meals at school.
      • The logic: which mother would cheat on feeding her own?
      • The quality assured.
    • A similar approach was followed in Thane district of Pune
  • If Bihar and Maharashtra districts can show the way, is it that difficult to replicate the example in the rest of the country?
  • World Hunger Day on May 28

MDM scheme:

    • To enhance enrolment, retention and attendance
    • Improve nutritional levels among children

 

  • Intended beneficiary:
    • Every child in every government and government-aided primary school
    • Scheme also available in government aided and local body schools, schools under education guarantee scheme (EGS) and Alternative & Innovative Education (AIE) centres, recognised as well as unrecognised Madarsas / Maqtabs supported under SSA
  • Salient features
    • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which will be fully sponsored by the Union Government.
    • Aadhaar Linking: The schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries.
    • Recently, TSR Subramaniam Committee has also recommended extending Mid-Day meal scheme to students of secondary level.

 

 


Getting GST right – Why tax exemption on personal hygiene products for women is crucial?

Concern:

  • The Constitution does recognise women’s rights. Yet, girls have to drop out of school because menstruation is a stigma; they have to stay away from education because they have no restroom in school, and there is female foeticide because a girl is considered to be a liability. 
  • In India, 70% of women say that their families cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
  • Distribution of free or subsidised napkins in schools by States is a good step but cannot solve the problem.
  • There are more girls out of school in India than that covered in the social campaign ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’(BBBP).

 

GST effective?

  • With GST, ultimately, every manufacturer shifts the burden of cost to the consumer.
  • If a huge budget of the NRHM and its network can’t ensure last-mile delivery to the women of rural India or the urban poor, it could have been achieved at a lesser cost by reducing the tax on sanitary napkins, where only 12% of women use sanitary napkins. This could have worked as an incentive for private manufacturers. It could have been a significant intervention.
  • The government should have realised that commercial, private sector entities can deliver better in rural and remote markets if the product becomes cheaper and within the purchasing power of the economically weaker sections.

 

GST:

 

  • The GST’s introduction (122nd Constitutional amendment) will ensure that all central, state level taxes and levies on all goods and services are subsumed within an integrated tax having two components – central GST and a state GST. Thus there will be a comprehensive and continuous mechanism of tax credits.
  • There are four tax slabs of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% and various items and sectors have been categorised under these slabs.
  • GST is one indirect tax for the whole nation, which will make India one unified common market.
  • GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer.
  • Credits of input taxes paid at each stage will be available in the subsequent stage of value addition, which makes GST essentially a tax only on value addition at each stage.
  • The final consumer will thus bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain, with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.

 


BBBP:

    • Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination
    • Ensure survival & protection of the girl child
    • Ensure education of the girl child focuses on challenging mindsets and deep-rooted patriarchy in the societal system, the focus is on issues of women empowerment on a life cycle continuum.

 

  • Joint Initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

 


Prelims Facts

 

NGT bans Chinese nylon, synthetic manja

 

  • The use of ‘Chinese’ kite strings, made of nylon or any synthetic material which is non-biodegradable, banned by the National Green Tribunal on the grounds that it posed threat to life and the environment.
  • It directed State governments to prohibit the “manufacture, sale and storage” of synthetic manja.

 

India to celebrate Falun Gong

  • Falun Gong, the ancient Chinese holistic system that is banned in China, will be celebrated in India on July 15 with a parade and Human Word Formation in the capital.

 

Minimum qualifications for coop. societies’ polls

  • Rajasthan has become the country’s first State to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies.