Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - February 3, 2018

Cultural

Surajkund International Crafts Mela 32nd edition

Where -

  • at Faridabad, Haryana.

Inaugurated by

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the presence of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.

Implementing bodies –

  • SurajkundMela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs Ministry

Enlighten about the festival

  • It is annual cultural festival hosted since 1987 to showcase richness and diversity of the handicrafts and cultural heritage of India. This year Uttar Pradesh is theme state and Kyrgyzstan is the partner nation.
  • The 15-day festival showcases richness and diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and cultural heritage of the country.

Bilateral Agreements

Cochin Shipyard and Russian Firm signed MoU

  • Cochin Shipyard and the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) of Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Why -

  • To collaborate and engage in design, development, and execution of contemporary, state-of-the-art vessels for inland and coastal waterways.

Enlighten about the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC)

  • It is the largest shipbuilding holding in Russia incorporating around 40 enterprises including shipyards with more than 300 years experience which have been key contributors to the growth of inland waterways in Russia.

State Specific

Assam government agreement with National Building Construction Corporation

  • The Assam government inked a deal with National Building Construction Corporation for setting up a 65-storey twin tower trade centre in earthquake-prone Guwahati.
  • The agreement for building the trade centre was made ahead of the two-day Global Investors’ Summit – dubbed Advantage Assam

Tax Reforms

E-way bill Implementation on 1 feb postponed

Why –

  • Due to the “technological glitches” faced by the businesses and the transporter community on the first day of the rollout
  • The government has deferred the implementation of the e-way bill system
  • It has been decided to extend the trial phase for generation of the e-way bill, both for inter- and intra-State movement of goods

Enlighten about E-Way bill

  • Under the GST regime, all consignments worth over ₹50,000 moving over 10 km from their origin will require prior registration and generation of an e-way bill
  • This has to be done through the GST network
  • It is not necessary to generate e-Way Bill if the mode of transport is non-motor vehicle
  • The system is aimed at helping authorities keep track of all taxable goods and detect potential tax evasion

Budget 2018-19

Infrastructure

  • Allocation of Rs 5.97 lakh crore for infrastructure

Why -

  • for connecting the nation with a network of roads, airports, railways, ports and inland waterways

Funding Through

  • The finance ministry will leverage the India Infrastructure Finance Corporation Limited (IFCL) to help finance major infrastructure projects

Bharatmala Pariyojana

  • For seamless connectivity of interior and backward areas and borders of the country, about 35,000 kms road construction would be carried out in Phase-I
  • Target of completing National Highways exceeding 9,000 kilometres during 2017-18

Government Schemes

KUSUM Scheme KisanUrja Suraksha evamUtthaanMahaabhiyan (KUSUM)

Why –

  • To promote solar farming

Budget allocation –

  • Union Budget 2018-19 has allocated Rs. 48,000 crore for the scheme for the ten-year period.
  • The Union Government has announced Rs.1.4 lakh-crore KisanUrja Suraksha evamUtthaanMahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme for promoting solar farming i.e. decentralised solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to help farmers.

Enlighten about KUSUM scheme

  • Establishment of10,000 MW solar plants on barren lands and providing 1.75 million off-grid agricultural solar pumps.
  • It will provide extra income to farmers, by giving them an option to sell additional power to grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands.
  • It will help in de-dieselising the agriculture sector as India had about 30 million farm pumps that include 10 million pumps running on diesel.
  • The surplus electricity generated by farmers will be bought by state electricity distribution companies (discoms).
  • Distributing 17.5 lakh solar pumps.
  • Government will provide 60% subsidy on solar pumps to farmers.
  • It will be shared between Centre and States while 30% will be provided through bank loans. The balance cost will be borne by farmers.

Sources – PIB,The Hindu, livemint