Important Current affairs dated 17th March 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
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RBI Gets Government Approval To Print Rs 10 Plastic Notes
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been authorised to conduct field trials for printing plastic notes of Rs. 10 denomination. Plastic notes will have a longer life span.
The Reserve Bank for long has been planning to launch plastic currency note after field trials. In February 2014, the BJP government had informed the Parliament that one billion plastic notes of Rs. 10 denomination will be introduced in a field trial in five cities.
Approval for procurement of plastic substrate and printing of bank notes of Rs. 10 denomination on plastic banknote substrates has been conveyed to the RBI.
Substrate denotes the underlying substance or layer on which currency is printed.
The minister said the government had decided to conduct field trials at five locations of the country with plastic banknotes, which are expected to last longer than current cotton substrate-based banknotes.
Union cabinet approves National Health Policy
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in its meeting on 15.3.2017, has approved the National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP, 2017).
- The Policy seeks to reach everyone in a comprehensive integrated way to move towards wellness. It aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost.
- This Policy looks at problems and solutions holistically with private sector as strategic partners.
- It seeks to promote quality of care, focus is on emerging diseases and investment in promotive and preventive healthcare. The policy is patient centric and quality driven.
- It addresses health security and make in India for drugs and devices.
- The main objective of the National Health Policy 2017 is to achieve the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and to achieve universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.
- The NHP, 2017 advocates a positive and proactive engagement with the private sector for critical gap filling towards achieving national goals. It envisages private sector collaboration for strategic purchasing, capacity building, skill development programmes, awareness generation, developing sustainable networks for community to strengthen mental health services, and disaster management. The policy also advocates financial and non-incentives for encouraging the private sector participation.
- The primary aim of the National Health Policy, 2017, is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions- investment in health, organization and financing of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through cross sectoral action, access to technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism, building the knowledge base required for better health, financial protection strategies and regulation and progressive assurance for health.
Gilgit-Baltistan to be declared a Province
Pakistan is planning to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as its fifth Province, a move that may raise concerns in India as it borders the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan’s Minister for inter-provincial coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told Geo TV on Tuesday that a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had proposed giving the status of a Province to Gilgit-Baltistan. He also said that a constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passes.
Gilgit-Baltistan is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. It has a regional Assembly and an elected Chief Minister. It is believed that China’s concerns about its unsettled status prompted the move, which could signal a historic shift in the country’s position on the future of the wider Kashmir region.
It is believed that China’s concerns about its unsettled status prompted the move, which could signal a historic shift in the country’s position on the future of the wider Kashmir region.
Appointments & Resigns
New Chairman of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis
The newly appointed Chairman of National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Shri Manhar Valji Bhai Zala along with two members Smt. Manju Diler and Shri Dalip Kallu Hathibed assumed his office here today.
National Commission for Safai Karamcharis is an Indian statutory body was established through National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Act, 1993. It aims to promote and safeguard the interests and rights of Safai Karamcharis.
The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis seeks to study, evaluate and monitor the implementation of various schemes for Safai Karamcharis as an autonomous organisation and also to provide redressal of their grievances.
CAG Pulls up I-T Department on shell companies
The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) has pulled up the Income Tax Department for not putting to use the tools at its disposal for effective action against shell companies that conceal unaccounted-for income and generate black money, specifically with respect to Maharashtra Sales Tax Department findings.
What’s the issue?
In its latest report, the CAG said the Maharashtra State IT department’s website had a list of 2,059 suspicious dealers who had issued invoices involving tax evasion of over ₹10,640 crore. The auditor had sought details from the I-T Department in Mumbai on the assessees and the ultimate beneficiaries, but despite reminders, the data were not provided.
In 2008-09, the MSTD had informed the Bombay High Court that it had investigated 1,555 hawala operators involving 39,488 beneficiary dealers who had passed on an input tax credit of ₹1,333 crore in three years.
The accused claimed and got input tax credit against the declaration of fake tax invoices without actual transactions involving the sale and purchase of goods. To evade detection, payments were made against the invoices by cheque or bank transfers and the amounts were later withdrawn from the accounts of hawala operators.
The CAG relied upon the MSTD data for analysis and found that the Income Tax Department had not even scrutinised all the assessees featuring on the list.
The shell companies are used to generating bogus bills showing inflated expenses on various counts. They receive payments through the banking channel to project the transactions as genuine, and then return the rest to the ultimate beneficiaries after charging a commission. Unscrupulous tax consultants and chartered accounts are also involved in the setting up of such entities.
Sources: the hindu.
Start-up firms may soon find it easy to wind up
To enable faster exit for start-ups and to bring the winding up process in line with global best practices, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to notify start-ups as ‘Fast Track firms.’
Once this is notified, start-ups shall be able to wind up their business within a period of 90 days from making an application for the same.
Winding up in the U.K. can be initiated by downloading a simple form and calling for a shareholders meeting. In Singapore, a simple online application is needed to be made by a director or Company Secretary following which, the process is quite straightforward. Most economic zones in UAE allow for winding down of the business in two to three days.
However, the procedure for winding is complex in India: Several parties including start-ups and venture capital investors have expressed concerns that the process of winding up a company is extremely long and cumbersome, adding to the risk of starting up and operating an enterprise as well as wastage of invaluable human capital.
Also, the long process, paper work and costs involved in the closure are the main reasons why several companies remain dormant. In some instances, entrepreneurs may continue to run companies on paper, filing tax returns and preparing annual reports every year, even if it is no longer operational.
Science and Technology
U.K. grants Doctors first licence to create 3-parent babies
- Britain’s fertility regulator has granted doctors the first U.K. licence to create babies using a three-parent IVF technique designed to prevent inherited genetic diseases.
- The licence means the first child created in Britain using the mitochondrial pronuclear transfer technique could be born before the end of this year.
- Britain’s Parliament voted last year to change the law to allow the treatments if and when they were ready for licensing. But the regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), still had to approve each clinic and each patient on an individual basis before the treatment can be carried out.
- The world’s first and so-far only known mitochondrial transfer baby was born in 2016 after U.S. doctors working at a clinic in Mexico helped a Jordanian couple conceive using the treatment.
- The treatment is known as “three-parent” IVF because the babies, born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a woman donor.
- The technique involves intervening in the fertilisation process to remove mitochondria, which act as tiny energy-generating batteries inside cells, and which — if faulty — can cause fatal heart problems, liver failure, brain disorders, blindness and muscular dystrophy.
- It is designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases — incurable conditions passed down the maternal line that affect around one in 6,500 children worldwide.