Govt sets up Council to bring consistency in tax policies
In order to bring consistency and streamline the direct and indirect tax policy and administration, Finance Ministry has set up two new committees namely Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU) and Tax Policy Council (TPC). These committees have been constituted based on the recommendation of the Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC) on taxation reform.
Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU) Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU) will function under Revenue Secretary and will be a multi disciplinary body. It will carry out studies on various topics of fiscal and tax policies and assist the TPC in taking appropriate policy decisions. It will have noted officers from CBEC, CBDT and a galaxy of economists, researchers, statisticians and legal experts who will prepare an analysis covering three broad areas - legislative intent behind the proposal; expected change in tax collection; and the likely economic impact through the proposal.
Tax Policy Council (TPC) The Council will be advisory in nature, which will help the Government in identifying key policy decisions for taxation. It will look at all the research findings coming from TPRU and suggest broad policy measures for taxation. It will have nine more members including Ministers of State for Finance and Commerce and Industry, Deputy Chairman, NITI Aayog, Chief Economic Adviser, Finance Secretary as well as Secretaries to the Departments of Revenue, Economic Affairs, Commerce and Industrial Policy and Promotion. The Chairpersons of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will be special invitees.
Current Scenario : Under the present scenario, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) are assisted by a Tax Research Unit (TRU) and Tax Policy and Legislation (TPL), respectively. Taxation proposals of the two boards are sent to the Finance Minister separately. In order to bring consistency, multidisciplinary inputs and coherence in taxation policy making, TARC had suggested that a Tax Council supported by a common Tax Policy and Analysis (TPA) unit should be established to cater to needs of both direct and indirect taxes.>Login To Save for Revision
- Maharashtra rolls out Deradicalisation Programme in wake of IS threat
Maharashtra which is facing both home-grown extremism and the global Islamic State (IS) threat, has rolled out Deradicalisation Programme for the minority community.
The deradicalisation programme is based on the recent decision of the Union Home Ministry which has asked three States to frame comprehensive counter-strategy programme in wake of attempts made by international terrorist outfits to propagate jihadi ideologies.
State Home Department has rolled out a 50-point socio-economic strategy which aims at ‘bringing youth of the minority community into the mainstream’ by making coordinated efforts and policies in 13 sectors, including education, sports, urban planning, law and order, skill development, women and child, social justice, and health.
Highlights of the Programme
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- The State Education Department will launch a mid-day meal scheme in Urdu schools and provide textbooks at subsidised rates. Urdu will be taught as optional subject in 300 Marathi schools.
- The programme includes opening vyayam shalas in minority areas, making National Cadet Corps (NCC), Bharat Scouts and Guides (BS&G) compulsory in minority schools.
- Under the plan the religious texts from all sects will be taught in minority schools. The merits of democratic states and demerits of dictatorships will be taught as a seperate chapter in the Urdu textbooks.
- It also seeks to create an environment of solidarity and trust among the minority community and envisages that various government schemes to reach out to them. Independent media outlet will be set up which will deliver ‘mainstream thoughts and values’ to the minority youth in the State
- US General John Nicholson named NATO commander in Afghanistan
US General John Nicholson has been appointed as the new commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan. His appointmentwas confirmed by the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee during Congressional hearing on Afghanistan. He will succeed US General John Campbell who has been leading the Afghan operations for nearly 18 months.
Currently he is serving as the US Army commander of NATO land forces. Earlier he has served in multiple capacities including chief of staff of operations for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US Forces – Afghanistan. He has also served as the director of Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination Cell for the Joint Staff, and deputy commander - Stability of ISAF Regional Command - South.
US forces in Afghanistan
After the 9/11 attack on America by al-Qaeda in which about 3,000 people were killed, The U.S forces led war in Afghanistan to dismantle al-Qaeda and deny it a safe-haven in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also became involved, and started combat operations, under the direction of a U.S. commander and finally on 28 December 2014 the NATO forces ended combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government.
Presently, there are around 10000 US troops in Afghanistan who advise local security forces and conduct counter-terrorism missions. The forces are the part of NATO Training and Support mission which had replaced the US-NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission after NATO had formally ended its war in Afghanistan in December 2014.>Login To Save for Revision
- WHO certifies Indian vaccine maker GreenSignal Bio
Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) has accorded PQP (Pre-qualification of Medicines Programme) certification to Chennai based GreenSignal Bio Pharma for manufacturing a BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guerin) vaccine. GreenSignal is the second Indian company to get PQP certification from WHO.
PQP certification awarded by WHO will help GreenSignal to participate in the global immunisation programme, which is facilitated through international procurement agencies such as UNICEF and others.These international institutions prefer WHO list of pre-qualified pharmaceutical products while making a decision on procurement for distribution in resource-limited nations.
Vaccine manufacturer is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswamy. It has a full-fledged BCG vaccine production facility at Gummidipondy in Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu having production capacity of 60 lakh vials. Currently it is supplying BCG vaccine to the Government of India and Indonesia.>Login To Save for Revision
- India becomes associate member of European Molecular Biology Organisation
In a bid to strengthen interaction between India and Europe in the field of molecular biology, Ministry of Science and Technology has signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). India has become the second country, outside the European region, to be an Associate Member State.First one being Singapore which had signed such agreement with European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) in 2015.
Benefits of being a member state :
Indian Researchers will now be eligible to participate in all EMBO programmes and activities taking place across the world. Indian scientists now can apply for its programmes, such as long-term fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, courses, short-term fellowships and workshops etc.
European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)
EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. Its goal is to promote research in life science and enable international exchange between scientists. It organizes courses, workshops and conferences, publishes four scientific journals and supports individual scientists and projects.
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- Founded in : 1964
- Headquarters: Heidelberg, Germany.
- Current director : Maria Leptin
- India ratifies Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
In a significant move aimed at putting an end to the contentious nuclear liability issue and assuage suppliers' concerns, India has submitted the Instrument of Ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, 1997 to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It marks an important step in addressing matters related to civil nuclear liabilities.
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)
Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) was adopted on 12 September 1997. It establishes a uniform global legal regime for compensation of victims of a nuclear accident.
The convention will enter into force on the 90th day after date of ratification by at least five States who have a minimum of 400,000 units of installed nuclear capacity.
All states are free to participate in the convention regardless of their involvement in existing nuclear liability conventions or the presence of nuclear installations on their territories. India had signed it in 2010 for delivering its commitments for signing the landmark 2005 nuclear agreement with the United States.
CSC provides for establishment of an international fund to increase the amount available to compensate victims and allows for compensating civil damage occurring within a State's exclusive economic zone, including loss of tourism or fisheries related income.
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- Maharashtra rolls out Deradicalisation Programme in wake of IS threat