geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 1st June 2022

    1.   GOODS AND SERVICES TAX

    • News: The Centre on Tuesday paid the entire amount of Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation due to States up to May 31 by releasing an amount of ₹86,912 crore.
    • About Goods and Services Tax:
      • Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) used in India on the supply of goods and services. It is a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax: comprehensive because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes except a few state taxes.
      • Multi-staged as it is, the GST is imposed at every step in the production process but is meant to be refunded to all parties in the various stages of production other than the final consumer and as a destination-based tax, it is collected from point of consumption and not point of origin like previous taxes.
      • Goods and services are divided into five different tax slabs for collection of tax: 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
      • However, petroleum products, alcoholic drinks, and electricity are not taxed under GST and instead are taxed separately by the individual state governments, as per the previous tax system.
      • There is a special rate of 0.25% on rough, precious, and semi-precious stones and 3% on gold.
      • In addition, a cess of 22% or other rates on top of 28% GST applies on few items like aerated drinks, luxury cars and tobacco products.
      • Pre-GST, the statutory tax rate for most goods was about 26.5%, post-GST, most goods are expected to be in the 18% tax range.
      • The tax came into effect from 1 July 2017 through the implementation of the One Hundred and First Amendment of the Constitution of India by the Indian government.

    2.   AADHAAR

    • News: The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 states that Aadhaar authentication is necessary for availing subsidies and services that are financed from the Consolidated Fund of India.
    • About Aadhaar:
      • Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number that can be obtained voluntarily by the citizens of India and resident foreign nationals who have spent over 182 days in twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment, based on their biometric and demographic data.
      • The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority established in January 2009 by the Government of India, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits, and services) Act, 2016.
      • Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometric ID system. World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer described Aadhaar as “the most sophisticated ID programme in the world”.
      • Considered a proof of residence and not a proof of citizenship, Aadhaar does not itself grant any rights to domicile in India.
      • In June 2017, the Home Ministry clarified that Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians travelling to Nepal and Bhutan.
    • Aadhaar usage:
      • Aadhaar authentication is necessary for availing subsidies, benefits and services that are financed from the Consolidated Fund of India. In the absence of Aadhaar, the individual is to be offered an alternate and viable means of identification to ensure she/he is not deprived of the same.
      • Aadhaar has been described as a preferred KYC (Know Your Customer) document but not mandatory for opening bank accounts, acquiring a new SIM or school admissions.
    • About Masked Aadhaar:
      • ‘Masked Aadhaar’ veils the first eight digits of the twelve-digit ID with ‘XXXX’ characters.

    3.   INDUS WATER TREATY

    • News: Indian and Pakistani negotiators ended another round of talks as part of the Indus Water Treaty on “cordial” terms, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), describing the 118th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission that took place in Delhi on May 30 and 31.
    • About Indus Water Treaty:
      • The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, arranged and negotiated by the World Bank, to use the water available in the Indus River and its tributaries.
      • It was signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistani President Ayub Khan.
      • The Treaty gives control over the waters of the three “eastern rivers” — the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej with a mean annual flow of 33 million acre-feet (MAF) — to India, while control over the waters of the three “western rivers” — the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum with a mean annual flow of 80 MAF — to Pakistan.
      • India has about 20% of the total water carried by the Indus system while Pakistan has 80%.
      • The treaty allows India to use the western river waters for limited irrigation use and unlimited non-consumptive use for such applications as power generation, navigation, floating of property, fish culture, etc. It lays down detailed regulations for India in building projects over the western rivers.