Startups to be listed for angel tax exemption
GS PAPER - 03 ECONOMY - Effects of liberalization on the economy
★ The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) soon will come up with a list of startups eligible for angel tax exemption, based on their audited financial statements and income tax returns of the previous year
Angel Tax Exemption:
★ Angel tax is imposed on the excess share capital raised by an unlisted firm, over and above the fair market value of its shares.
★ Angel tax impact investment and startup industries whether they are genuine or not.
★ While aimed at curbing money-laundering, the angel tax has also resulted in a large number of genuine startups receiving notices from the IT Department.
Criteria for Exemptions:
★ Recently the government has also decided to raise the limit for tax exemption for startups from 7 years to 10 years and paid-up share capital threshold for tax exemption has been raised from 10 crores to 25 crores.
★ Startups would have to furnish three types of documents in order to be registered with the government:
★ (i) audited financials for the previous year,
★ (ii) IT returns for the previous year, and
★ (iii) a self-certified declaration.
★ Firm has to certify it does not intend to deploy the angel investment in real estate holdings, including premium cars of value above Rs 10 lakh, precious jewelry, listed or unlisted securities directly or indirectly via equity mutual funds etc.
★ The declaration has to also acknowledge that if the company possesses any of these items, then the exemption granted from Section 56(2)(viib) would be revoked with retrospective effect.
Source:- The Hindu
Govt. grants divisional status to Ladakh
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
★ The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik on February 8, 2019 granted the Divisional Status to Ladakh Region, while exercising its powers under Section 5 of Land Revenue Act, 1996.
★ The Ladakh division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts with its headquarters at Leh.
★ Till now, the Ladakh region formed a part of the Kashmir Division of Jammu & Kashmir.
★ The State Government also approved creation of the posts of Divisional Commissioner (Ladakh), Leh and Inspector General of Police (Ladakh), Leh.
Ladak 3rd Division of Jammu And Kashmir:
★ Ladakh became the third Division in the state with the other two being Jammu, and Kashmir.
★ The Ladakh division is now the biggest division in the state with 86,909 sq. km of area, followed by Jammu division of 26,293 sq km at second and Kashmir Division of 15,948 sq km at third.
Significance of Divisional Status:
★ The Divisional status would facilitate the Ladakh Region in a great way to progress.
★ Ladakh has two Hill Councils for its administration, one in Leh and the other in Kargil. With the Divisional Status, both Leh and Kargil districts will get equal benefits.
★ Offices and the opportunities will be distributed to both the districts.
★ With this, the routine administrative clearances for Leh and Kargil can now be obtained at Divisional headquarters in Leh.
★ It also brings opportunities of employment of different levels in various departments for the locals.
★ For almost last three decades, Ladakh region has been demanding for Union Territory status with a proper legislation.
★ In 2018, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDC) of Leh and Kargil had unanimously passed a resolution demanding divisional status for Ladakh.
★ LAHDCs, which is vested with powers of local governance in Leh and Kargil, was established by the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act, 1997 (amended in 2018).
Source:- The Hindu
Vet institute, ambulances mooted in Rs 98 crore lion conservation plan
GS PAPER - 03 ENVIRONMENT - Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
★ Three months after at least 20 lions in Gujarat succumbed to a virus, the Centre and the Gujarat governments have announced a Rs 85 crore Asiatic Lion Conservation Project.
Need for Conservation Project:
★ There are close to 600 lions in Gujarat, according to State forest officials at the meeting. However, there has been no move yet to translocate lions to a location outside Gujarat.
★ Asiatic Lion, a pantherine cat, is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red List and is exposed to severe threats in the Gir region like
★ growing lion population and shrinking habitat,
★ vulnerability to diseases,
★ death from linear infrastructure such as road, rail and electric fences and
★ man-animal conflict.
Asiatic Lion Conservation Project:
★ A key outcome of the project is to have a dedicated veterinary institute, “lion ambulances”, and back-up stocks of vaccines that may be required.
★ Key aspects of the conservation project include undertaking “habitat improvement” measures, making more sources of water available, creating a wildlife crime cell, and a task force for the Greater Gir region.
★ The project also seeks to divide The Greater Gir Region that includes, area other than the existing Gir National Park, sanctuaries in Girnar, Pania and Mitiyala, into various zones and formulate various “zone plans and theme plans” for their management.
★ It would also involve having in place a GPS-based tracking system, which would look at surveillance tracking, animal and vehicle tracking.
★ There would also be an automated sensor grid that would have magnetic sensors, movement sensors and infra-red heat sensors.
★ In 2013, the Supreme Court had directed translocation of lions from Gujarat to Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh on the grounds that concentration in one area makes them vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events like epidemic or natural calamity.
Source:- The Hindu
TB survivors challenge patent extension for latest drug
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.
★ Two tuberculosis survivors from India and South Africa have challenged a patent held by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), to prevent the firm from extending its monopoly on bedaquiline, one of the two latest drugs, to combat the disease.
★ Mumbai’s Nandita Venkatesan and Cape Town’s Phumeza Tisile, both survived drug resistant TB but lost their hearing because of the toxicity of drugs used.
★ They are now advocating for a wider rollout of newer drugs like bedaquiline over older forms of treatment, including painful injections and drugs with severe side effects.
★ With this patent challenge, petitioners want to stop an extension of the patent monopoly that will continue to block people from accessing more affordable generic versions of bedaquiline
★ J&J recently announced a reduced price of $400 for six months of bedaquiline treatment for South Africa and countries procuring the drug through the Global Drug Facility, but this falls short of making the drug affordable in all countries affected by the DR-TB epidemic
★ The statement also said the J&J patent application being challenged is for the salt form of bedaquiline, which does not merit patenting under India’s patent law.
★ If granted, J&J’s monopoly on bedaquiline would be extended from 2023 to 2027, delaying entry of generics by four additional years.
Source:- The Hindu
Medical devices to be treated as drugs
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
★ The Centre in a notification said that medical devices — all implantable devices, CT Scan, PET and MRI equipment, defibrillators, dialysis machines and bone marrow separators — will be treated as drugs for human beings with effect from April 1, 2020.
★ The decision was taken in consultation with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board.
Why such Move?
★ Currently, only 23 medical devices are regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940
★ Majority of medical devices are completely unregulated in India.
★ With this move, all implantable devices and some diagnostic equipment will be brought into the regulatory framework which is important from a patient safety perspective.
Drugs Technical Advisory Board :
★ DTAB is highest statutory decision-making body on technical matters related to drugs in the country .
★ It is constituted as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
★ It is part of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Source:- The Hindu
Government introduces Bill on northeast
GS PAPER - GOVERNANCE - Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections.
★ The government has introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the NE region.
★ The amendment will impact one crore tribal people in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
★ The Bill is introduced in the wake of protests in the region following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha.
The Constitution (125th Amendment) Bill, 2019: Key Proposals
★ The proposed amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grassroot level.
★ The village councils will be empowered to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land improvement, implementation of land reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
★ The Finance Commission will be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to them.
★ The Autonomous Councils now depend on grants from Central ministries and the State government for specific projects.
★ At least one-third of the seats will be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura after the amendment is approved.
★ The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
★ The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts. Thus, he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries and so on.
★ If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.
★ Composition: Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise.
★ The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor.
★ Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
★ The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction.
★ They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.
★ Village councils: The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits and cases between the tribes. They hear appeals from them.
★ The jurisdiction of high court over these suits and cases is specified by the governor.
★ Powers and functions: The district council can establish, construct or manage primary schools, dispensaries, markets, ferries, fisheries, roads and so on in the district.
★ It can also make regulations for the control of money lending and trading by non-tribals. But, such regulations require the assent of the governor.
★ The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
★ The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
★ The governor can appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions. He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.
Source:- The Hindu
GeM and CCI Sign
GS PAPER - 02 GOVERNANCE - Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
★ Government e Marketplace (GeM) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on 6th February 2019 to enable a fair and competitive environment in the e-Marketplace.
More about the news:
★ Both CCI and GeM appreciate the importance of advanced analytical tools and processes for identification of malpractices like cartelization.
★ In order to pool their knowledge of the public procurement domain for detection of Anti-competitive practices the MoU has been signed.
★ GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries,
★ That has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.
Competition Commission of India:
★ Statutory body of the Government of India,
★ Responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002 throughout India
★ To prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition.
Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)
GS PAPER - 03 SECURITY - Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
★ Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile system from ITR, Chandipur, Odisha
Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) :
★ It will pave the way for development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country
★ The ramjet propulsion system used in the SFDR acts as an oxidizer and the solid propellant reacts as air flows through a solid propellant duct.
★ Unlike conventional rockets that carry propellant and oxidizer, Ramjet uses the air as an oxidizer just like a jet engine. Therefore the weight of the fuel required is eliminated.
★ The SFDR propulsion is designed in such a way that it allows for an up and down throttling.
★ This further lets the missile to amplify its speed until it reaches the terminal phase of the flight.
★ The speed increases until the point when sharp turns are required to search for highly manoeuvring targets.
★ The first flight of SFDR, developed under a joint Indo-Russian R&D project, was tested in 2018. It had achieved the speed of Mach 3.
★ The Indian SFDR will be used as variants of missiles such as the advanced version of ASTRA.
Cutlass Express 2019
GS PAPER - 02 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests
★ INS Trikand, a front-line warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multinational training exercise ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’
CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19
★ Cutlass Express is an exercise sponsored by S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) to assess and improve maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in eastern Africa, inform planning and operations, and shape security force assistance (SFA) efforts.
★ The aim of the exercise was to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations for the purpose of interdicting illegal maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.
★ During the exercise, Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Police personnel from a number of East African countries were jointly trained by mentors from USA, India, and Netherlands, with support of international organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Combined Maritime Force (CMF) and European Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR).
★ The participating nations will be testing their ability to combat illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, as well as conduct search and rescue operations.