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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 17, 2017

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East Turkestan Independence Movement: Read Here

  • Chinese authorities are using detentions and data-driven surveillance to impose a police state over the region of Xinjiang and its 10 million Uighurs. Cutting-edge surveillance systems track the daily life of Uighurs.
  • Xinjiang’s published budget data shows public security spending this year is on track to increase 50% from 2016 to roughly 45 billion yuan ($6.8 billion) after rising 40% a year ago.
  • The government’s tracking efforts have extended to vehicles, genes and even voices. China has also turned to a familiar low-tech surveillance tactic: recruiting the masses.

Jerusalem Issue: Read Here

  • The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution affirming that any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed.
  • This comes as a response to the U.S. decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital. The draft resolution stresses that Jerusalem is an issue to be resolved through negotiations and expresses deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.
  • The draft resolution calls on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem, reflecting concerns that other governments could follow the U.S. lead. However, diplomats expect the United States to use its veto power to block the measure.

Education: Read Here

  • The latest Value of Education report from HSBC, after surveying the aspirations of parents across 15 countries, reiterates that Indian parents continue to pull out all stops when it comes to their offspring’s education.
  • The 2017 report found that Indian parents spent a hefty $18,909 (about Rs. 12.3 lakh) towards their children’s school and college education in tuition fees, books and transport.
  • Along with opportunities to learn foreign languages, gain international work experience and exposure to new ideas being the driving factors the main reason behind overseas education is because of the quality of foreign educational institutions, their faculty and research opportunities which are vastly superior to that of India.

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Economic Growth: Read Here

  • Rising prices of crude oil, higher local inflation and slim chances of lower interest rates threaten the revival of the economy. Unless the government keeps up spending in 2018-19, the economy may see middling growth in the next few quarters.
  • Many segments of the economy have not really reported improvements so far. Railway freight (in tonnage) has increased by just 4.7 percent till October. The M&HCV segment reported a growth of just 1.2 percent between April and November on a negative base.
  • Economists expect a slight deterioration in the current account balance, should oil prices move towards $70 per barrel. On the positive side, growth would normalise over the coming quarters as the impact of demonetisation and the GST rollout fades. While the liberalised rules will make it easier for firms to comply with the provisions, the cuts in the tax rates under GST and the higher level of cash in the system would stimulate demand.

GST: Read Here

  • GSTN, the information technology backbone of the new indirect tax regime is initiating the process of mining data to detect tax evasion and analyse taxpayer behaviour.
  • It will soon float a request for proposal (RFP) from data analytics companies to analyse data after meeting central and state government officials and understanding their requirements.
  • The data analytics providers will build an interface between the data and the tax authorities to help the GSTN detect tax evasion. The technology backbone of this tax requires all suppliers in the credit chain to upload their invoices onto GSTN for claiming input tax credit. This means that all suppliers are forced to document their sales and raise invoices. The government expects that the rollout of this tax will increase the taxpayer base, reduce the size of the informal economy and check tax evasion.