Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 5, 2017

National Teachers Day – 5 sep.

  • Observed every year on 5th September in India to commemorate birthday of country’s first Vice President and second President
  • Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Prakarti Khoj

  • On this occasion, Environment Ministry launched Prakarti khoj, an environment awareness initia
  • It is an online environmental quiz competition conducted at national level.
  • The objective of quiz was to generate interest among school children about the science related to environment.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

  • Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September 1888 in Thiruttani in then Madras Presidency of British India (now in Tamil Nadu).
  • He was Indian philosopher and statesman and one of best known scholars in field of comparative religion and philosophy in India in 20th century. He had tremendously contributed towards new contemporary Hindu identity in eyes of the ill-informed Westeners.
  • He held great respect for teachers and always believed that teachers are real nation builders
  • He was the first Vice President of India (1952–1962), Second President of India (1962 to 1967).
  • He was first recipient Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award along with politician C. Rajagopalachari, scientist C. V. Raman
  • He was also awarded British Royal Order of Merit (1963)

Intellectual Property Rights

CIPAM-DIPP launches social media campaign to promote Geographical Indications

  • The Cell for IPR Promotions & Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a social media campaign to promote Indian Geographical Indications (GIs) with #LetsTalkIP which is an ongoing movement initiated by CIPAM to make more people aware about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights.

Enlighten about G.I

  • A Geographical Indication or a GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
  • Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Banarasi Sarees and Tirupati Laddus are some of the GIs.

Benefits of G.I

  • GIs are of utmost importance to the country as they are an integral part of India’s rich culture and collective intellectual heritage.
  • The promotion of GIs is in line with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.
  • It’s an area of strength and optimism for India, whereby the GI tag has accorded protection to a number of hand-made and manufactured products, especially in the informal sector.
  • Certain GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen.
  • Our rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.
  • In the recent past, the government had launched similar initiatives such as

#IWearHandloom and
#CottonIsCool
to promote and revive traditional handwoven textiles.

National

Cabinet reshuffle

Important facts

  • 1st full time and overall 2nd woman to become defence minister: Sitharaman is the second woman to take charge of the crucial ministry as Indira Gandhi, as the prime minister, had also held the portfolio in the ’70s.resuffle
  • Members of the Cabinet Committee on Security include the prime minister, home minister, external affairs minister and the finance minister.
  • FIRST TIME two woman in the cabinet committee on security
  • Smt. Sushma swaraj
  • Smt. Sitharaman

India’s First – World Heritage City – Ahmedabad

By -

  • UNESCO

WHEN & WHERE –

  • In July, the UN agency had inscribed Ahmedabad as India’s first World Heritage City at a meeting held in Poland.

WHY

  • The honour makes the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India, and the third in Asia, to be on the list.
  • The other two cities are- Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.
  • India is second after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, and overall seventh in the world.
  • India now has a total of 36 World Heritage Inscriptions — 28 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed site.

Some more facts about Ahmedabad

  • Founded in the 15th century by Sultan Ahmad Shah, the walled city of Ahmedabad, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage.
  • It has 28 Archaeological Survey of India’s centrally protected monuments.

World heritage cities Programmes -

  • The World Heritage Cities Programme is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the World Heritage Committee.
  • It aims to assist States Parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage
  • The programme is structured along a two-way process –
  • 1. the development of a theoretical framework for urban heritage conservation, and
    2. the provision of technical assistance to States Parties for the implementation of new approaches and scheme

International

Asia –Africa Corridor

Why in news –

  • China has initiated a move to persuade India to go slow on the Asia Africa Growth Corridor, which New Delhi has formulated along with Japan.
  • Beijing is now trying to persuade India and South Africa to merge the project with the BRICS platform and keep its rival, Japan, out of it.
  • Once merged into BRICS, India’s influence on Africa through the project will also get diluted.

Enlighten about Asia- Africa Corridor -

  • The Asia Africa Growth Corridor project was planned by India and Japan with the active support of the African Development Bank and several African countries including South Africa who wish to reduce their dependence on Beijing.
  • The idea is to “create a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific region’ by rediscovering ancient sea-routes and creating new sea corridors” by integrating the economies of South, Southeast, and East Asia with Oceania and Africa.
  • It primarily focuses on Development Cooperation Projects, Quality Infrastructure and Institutional Connectivity, Enhancing Skills, and People-to-People Partnership.

China’s point of concern -

  • It is seen by many as an alternative Silk Road to tap the African market.
  • China sees the move as a source of major competition that will reduce its economic and political influence over the African continent.

Where –

  • Smart Agriculture Conclave in New Delhi.

What china is doing –

  • China is now trying to persuade both India and African countries to merge the initiative with the BRICS agenda so it can have better control over it.
  • China is also pushing the New Development Bank, the Shanghai based financial institution, which has been created by BRICS countries to expand its lending to different African countries even though they may not be members of the organization.

5 banks of BRICS nations sign pact for credit lines

Five banks of the BRICS Bank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish credit lines in the national currencies and cooperate on credit ratings.

  • Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)
  • Vnesheconom bank
  • Export-Import Bank of India
  • China Development Bank and
  • Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA)
  • Signed an agreement to establish credit lines in the national currencies, as well as a memorandum of cooperation on credit ratings.

Enlighten about the pact

WHAT

  • The agreement on credit ratings allows the ICM members to share information about internal credit ratings assigned to clients, as well as rating assessment and assignment methodologies.
  • The use of local currencies will help promote mutually beneficial economic cooperation, mitigate currency risks, increase trade, and facilitate companies in accessing the BRICS markets.

The BRICS interbank cooperation mechanism -

  • In order to develop and strengthen economic ties and investment cooperation between BRICS countries, in 2010 state financial institutions for development and export support of the BRICS nations entered into a Memorandum on cooperation, thus creating the BRICS interbank cooperation mechanism.
  • One of the main purposes of cooperation is to set up a scheme designed to provide financing and banking services for future investment projects that could be beneficial for the economic development of the BRICS countries.
  • On the basis of agreements that have been signed within the framework of the BRICS interbank cooperation mechanism, the member banks have taken steps towards developing multilateral financial cooperation within the BRICS countries and created basic mechanisms for settling payments and financing investment projects in local currencies.

Economics

Advance Pricing Agreements

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into four more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs),
  • Pertaining to sectors like telecom, banking, manufacturing and education
  • Out of these four agreements, three were unilateral and one was bilateral.
  • The bilateral APA was for international transactions between an Indian company and UK-based company.
  • The APA scheme of CBDT aims to provide certainty to taxpayers in domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing and setting prices of international transactions in advance.
  • The APA provisions were introduced in Income Tax Act in 2012 and `rollback` provision to pull out was introduced in 2014

Objective of APA scheme –

  • To strengthen government`s resolve of fostering non-adversarial tax regime.
  • Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in fair and transparent manner
  • It endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing and setting prices of international transactions in advance.
  • Under BAPA, certainty in tax treatment is provided for next 5 years while rollback provides dispute redressal for maximum of four past years preceding