Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Cadaver organ transplants / National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) guidelines
- Designated Terrorist
- Pangolin & TRAFFIC
- Facts for Prelims
1 . National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)
Context: In a major tweak to the organ donation policy, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the clause that people beyond 65 years could not receive cadaver organ transplants had been removed. The government has decided to do away with the ceiling. Now, people beyond 65 years in need of an organ donation will also be eligible to get one.
- According to data accessed from the Health Ministry, the number of organ transplants have increased by over three times from 4,990 in 2013 to 15,561 in 2022.
- Of the 15,561 transplants, a majority — 12,791 (82%) — are from live donors and 2,765 (18%) are from cadavers.
- Up to 11,423 of the 15,561 organ transplants are for the kidney, followed by liver (766), heart (250), lung (138), pancreas (24) and small bowel transplants (3).
- “Most of these transplants occur in private hospitals, the numbers in government hospitals are relatively lower,” the sources said.
Changes in the Guidelines
- The government has decided to do away with a clause in the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) guidelines as the clause violates the Right to Life, sources added. “Now an individual of any age can register for organ transplant
- Earlier an organ recipient could register for a prospective transplant in domicile State. States like Gujarat had made it mandatory for registered patients to furnish a domicile certificate to be eligible for a transplant. In November last year, the Gujarat High Court quashed the discriminatory policy of the State government. Indian government has decided to do away with the domicile policy and all States have been intimated about this decision. A patient irrespective of domicile State can register in any other State for a transplant. The patient will be allotted a unique ID by NOTTO on registering which will get carried forward even if the patient changes multiple hospitals in different States,
- Apart from this, certain States like Kerala and Maharashtra have been charging fees ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹10,000 for registering organ transplant patients. “The Health Ministry has intimated States to stop charging registration fees from patients,” said the sources.
What is National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO)?
- National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
- It has following two divisions:
- “National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network”
- “National Biomaterial Centre”.
- National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network – This has been mandated as per the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011. The network will be established initially for Delhi and gradually expanded to include other States and Regions of the country. Thus, this division of the NOTTO is the nodal networking agency for Delhi and shall network for Procurement Allocation and Distribution of Organs and Tissues in Delhi.
- Function/Activities – National Network division of NOTTO would function as apex centre for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country. The following activities would be undertaken to facilitate Organ Transplantation in the safest way in shortest possible time and to collect data to develop and publish National registry:-
- At National Level :
- Lay down policy guidelines and protocols for various functions.
- Network with similar regional and state level organizations.
- All registry data from States and Regions would be compiled and published.
- Creating awareness, promotion of organ donation and transplantation activities.
- Co-ordination from procurement of organs and tissues to transplantation when organ is allocated outside the region.
- Dissemination of information to all concerned organizations, hospitals and individuals.
- Monitoring of transplantation activities in the Regions and States and maintaining data-bank in this regard.
- To assist in data management for organ transplant surveillance & organ transplant and Organ Donor registry.
- Consultancy support on the legal and non-legal aspects of donation and transplantation.
- Coordinate and Organize trainings for various cadre of workers.
- National Biomaterial Centre (National Tissue Bank) – The Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act 2011 has included the component of tissue donation and registration of tissue Banks. It becomes imperative under the changed circumstances to establish National level Tissue Bank to fulfill the demands of tissue transplantation including activities for procurement, storage and fulfil distribution of biomaterials. The main thrust & objective of establishing the centre is to fill up the gap between ‘Demand’ and ‘Supply’ as well as ‘Quality Assurance’ in the availability of various tissues.
- In the area of Organ Transplantation, ‘cadaver’ refers to a brain-dead body with a beating heart, on life support system.
What is the Legal Framework related to Organ Transplantation? :
- Organ donation and transplantation is a government regulated activity in India as per the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 1994 (as amended in 2011)
- The Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA), 1994 was enacted in the year 1994 and was adopted in all States except erstwhile State of J&K and Andhra Pradesh which have their own legislation in this regard.
- Main purpose of the Act is to regulate the removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs
- Under THOA, source of the organ may be:
- Near Relative donor (mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse)
- Other than near relative donor: Such a donor can donate only out of affection and attachment or for any other special reason and that too with the approval of the authorisation committee.
- Deceased donor, especially after Brain stem death e.g. a victim of road traffic accident etc. where the brain stem is dead and person cannot breathe on his own but can be maintained through ventilator, oxygen, fluids etc. to keep the heart and other organs working and functional. Other type of deceased donor could be donor after cardiac death.
What is National Organ Transplant Program (NOTP)?
The Government of India is implementing National Organ Transplant Programme (NOTP) to promote organ donation and transplantation across all States/Union Territories (UTs)including. The provisions under the programme include:
- Setting up of State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisations (SOTTOs) in each State/UT.
- Setting up of National/ Regional/State Bio-material centres.
- Financial support for establishing new Organ Transplant/retrieval facilities and strengthening of existing Organ Transplant/retrieval facilities.
- Training to transplant experts including surgeons, physicians, transplant coordinators, etc.
- Financial support for hiring of Transplant Coordinators to medical colleges and trauma centres.
- Post-transplant immune-suppressant drugs to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients
What are the Objectives of the scheme?
- To organize an efficient mechanism for organ and tissue procurement/retrieval especially from deceased donors and their distribution for transplantation.
- To promote deceased organ and tissue donation including pledging for the same.
- To spread awareness about various aspects of organs and tissue transplantation among the public at large.
- To bridge the gap between the demand & supply of organs for transplantation.
- To establish new and strengthen the existing organ and tissue retrieval and transplant infrastructure facilities especially in public sector hospitals/institutions.
- To train required manpower for Organ & Tissue Donation, Retrieval & Transplant.
- To identify/establish skill centres for training of transplant & retrieval surgeons, physicians, Anaesthetists, immunologists, Nurses, Transplant Coordinator etc. in NOTTO/ROTTO/SOTTO/Medical Colleges/ Institutions as applicable.
- To monitor organ and tissue transplant services and bring about policy and programme corrections/ changes whenever needed.
- To establish and operationalize Digital National Organ &Tissue Donation and Transplant Registry.
What are the Issues and Challenges in the organ transplantation?
- High Burden (Demand Versus Supply gap)
- Poor Infrastructure especially in Govt. sector hospitals
- Lack of Awareness of concept of Brain Stem Death among stakeholders
- Poor rate of Brain Stem Death Certification by Hospitals
- Poor Awareness and attitude towards organ donation— Poor Deceased Organ donation rate
- Lack of Organized systems for organ procurement from deceased donor
- Maintenance of Standards in Transplantation, Retrieval and Tissue Banking
- Prevention and Control of Organ trading
- High Cost (especially for uninsured and poor patients)
- Regulation of Non- Govt. Sector
2 . LEPROSY
Context: With a renewed focus to tackle the scourge, the Union Health Ministry has devised a strategic road map for achieving zero cases of leprosy by 2030.
About the News
- Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in a written message of the National Strategic Plan and Roadmap for Leprosy 2023-2027 said that despite India being declared “Leprosy Eliminated” in 2005, the country still accounts for over half (52%) of world’s new leprosy patients.
What is Leprosy (Hansen’s Disease)?
- Leprosy also known as Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) is an infection caused by slow-growing bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae.
- It can affect the nerves, skin, eyes, and lining of the nose (nasal mucosa).
- With early diagnosis and treatment, the disease can be cured.
- People with Hansen’s disease can continue to work and lead an active life during and after treatment.
- Leprosy was once feared as a highly contagious and devastating disease, but now we know it doesn’t spread easily and treatment is very effective. However, if left untreated, the nerve damage can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness.
Symptoms of leprosy
- The main symptom of leprosy is skin lesions. Other effects of leprosy are due to its impact on the body’s nervous system.
- Leprosy does not affect the central nervous system. However, it can affect the peripheral nervous system (PNS) (sensory, motor and autonomic nerves) by:
- Sensory nerve damage – when the sensory nerves are damaged, they cannot register pain. This leaves the extremities of hands and feet vulnerable to burns and injuries that can result in loss of fingers, toes, hands and feet
- Eye nerve damage – when the eye is affected, it can lead to blindness, particularly if the person does not know how to prevent injury due to dust or other irritants
- Motor nerve damage – when the motor nerves are involved, various forms of paralysis can occur such as ‘dropped foot’, ‘dropped wrist’, ‘clawed hand’, or lagophthalmos (where the eye cannot close)
- Autonomic nerve damage – the autonomic nerves regulate the PNS body functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, sweating, bowel and bladder emptying, and digestion. Damage to the autonomic nerves can cause hair loss and can affect the ability to sweat, leaving the skin dry and cracked and exposed to secondary infection.
What are the treatments available for Leprosy?
- Leprosy is a curable disease. The currently recommended treatment regimen consists of three drugs: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine. The combination is referred to as multi-drug therapy (MDT). The duration of treatment is six months for PB and 12 months for MB cases. MDT kills the pathogen and cures the patient.
- Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help to prevent disabilities.
Is there any Vaccination against leprosy?
- There is no vaccine generally available to specifically prevent leprosy. However, the vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), called the BCG vaccine, may provide some protection against leprosy. This is because the organism that causes leprosy is closely related to the one that causes TB.
Government initiative to eradicate Leprosy
National Leprosy Eradication Programme?
- The National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is a Centrally Sponsored Health Scheme and it has been implemented with the major objective of reducing the disease burden, prevention of disability and to improve awareness among the mass about Leprosy and its curabilities
- This programme strives to detect and treat cases as early as possible, gives treatment free of cost to prevent the development of disabilities and deformities, medical rehabilitation of those with existing deformities
- It also spreads awareness and reducing stigma attached with the disease.
- Programme aims to Strengthen the Surveillance by introducing ASHA-based Surveillance for Leprosy Suspects (ABSULS) where grassroot level workers constantly engaged in examining and reporting suspects.
- Special emphasis under the Focused Leprosy Campaign (FLC) was given to areas that were difficult to access or had child cases and cases with disabilities.
- Programme Strategy:
- Integrated Leprosy services through General Health Care Services.
- Early diagnosis and prompt MDT treatment of new Leprosy cases through routine and special efforts.
- Carrying out household contact survey for early detection of cases.
- Strengthening of Disability Prevention and Medical Rehabilitation (DPMR) services.
- Information, Education and Communication (IEC), also called “Behavioral Change & Communication (BCC)” using local and Mass Media for reduction of Social Stigma and Discrimination, so that self reporting of the Leprosy disease to the Primary Health Centers (PHCs) is encouraged
- Programme Strategy:
National Strategic Plan & Roadmap for Leprosy (2023-27)
- This strategy and roadmap will aid in advancing the campaign against leprosy, to stop transmission, by speeding case detection efforts and maintaining a robust surveillance infrastructure.
- Nikusth 2.0 is an integrated portal for leprosy case management under National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP).
- It will aid in efficient data recording, analyzing and reporting of the data in the form of indicators and a real time dashboard at center, state and district levels.
3 . Current Account Deficit
Context: The data released by the government shows that India’s exports and imports declined by 6.59% and 3.63% respectively in January, there are indications that the current account deficit (CAD) – the difference between exports and imports of goods and services – will moderate despite the global slowdown triggered by the rising inflation and interest rates
What is Balance of payment?
- The balance of payments (BOP), also known as the balance of international payments, is a statement of all transactions made between entities in one country and the rest of the world over a defined period, such as a quarter or a year.
- It summarizes all transactions that a country’s individuals, companies, and government bodies complete with individuals, companies, and government bodies outside the country.
- The balance of payments includes both the current account and capital account.
- The current account includes a nation’s net trade in goods and services, its net earnings on cross-border investments, and its net transfer payments.
- The capital account consists of a nation’s transactions in financial instruments and central bank reserves.
What is Current Account Deficit?
- Current Account Deficit (CAD) is the shortfall between the money received by selling products to other countries and the money spent to buy goods and services from other nations. If the value of goods and services we import exceeds the value of those we export, the country is said to be in a deficit, and the difference in the two values is CAD.
- The current account includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid.
What is the significance of CAD?
- CAD and the fiscal deficit together make up the twin deficits. If the current account – the country’s trade and transactions with other countries – shows surplus, that indicates money is flowing into the country, boosting the foreign exchange reserves and the value of rupee against the dollar.
- These are factors that will have ramifications on the economy and the stock markets as well as on returns on investments by people.
- CAD is very important for the currency. The value of an economy hinges a lot on the value of its currency and thereby, it also supports the equity markets by keeping the fund flow intact.
4 . Designated Terrorist (UAPA)
Context: The Ministry of Home Affairs designated the Khalistan Tiger Force and the Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force as terrorist organisations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. A Punjab resident, Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda, who is presently based in Pakistan’s Lahore, was also designated as an “individual terrorist” under the anti-terror law.
About Unlawful Activities Prevention Act
- UAPA law is aimed at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
- Its main objective was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India
- The National Integration Council appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to look into, the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
- Pursuant to the acceptance of recommendations of the Committee, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 was enacted to impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India.
- In order to implement the provisions of 1963 Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill was introduced in the Parliament
Provisions and Amendments
- Main objective of the original bill was to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India
- In 2004, the government chose to strengthen The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. It was amended to overcome some of the difficulties in its enforcement and to update it in accordance with international commitments. By inserting specific chapters, the amendment criminalised the raising of funds for a terrorist act, holding of the proceeds of terrorism, membership of a terrorist organisation, support to a terrorist organisation, and the raising of funds for a terrorist organisation. It increased the time available to law-enforcement agencies to file a chargesheet to six months from three.
- The law was amended in 2008 after the Mumbai attacks, and again in 2012. The definition of “terrorist act” was expanded to include offences that threaten economic security, counterfeiting Indian currency, and procurement of weapons, etc. Additional powers were granted to courts to provide for attachment or forfeiture of property equivalent to the value of the counterfeit Indian currency, or the proceeds of terrorism involved in the offence.
- In 2019 Act was again amended to designate an individual as a “terrorist”
What is Unlawful Activity as per the Act
- Section 2(o) of UAPA as it stands today, defines “unlawful activity”
- Unlawful activity, in relation to an individual or association, means any action taken by such individual or association (whether by committing an act or by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise),—
- which is intended, or supports any claim, to bring about, on any ground whatsoever, the cession of a part of the territory of India or the secession of a part of the territory of India from the Union, or which incites any individual or group of individuals to bring about such cession or secession; or
- Which disclaims, questions, disrupts or is intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India; or
- Which causes or is intended to cause disaffection against India;
Who is designated as a Terrorist under the act
- Section 15 defines a “terrorist act” as any act committed with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security, economic security, or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country.
- Section 35 of UAPA: It seeks to empower the central government to designate an individual a “terrorist” if they are found committing, preparing for, promoting, or involved in an act of terror through a notification in the official gazette, and add his name to the schedule 4 0f theact.
- The government is not required to give an individual an opportunity to be heard before such a designation.
- At present, in line with the legal presumption of an individual being innocent until proven guilty, an individual who is convicted in a terror case is legally referred to as a terrorist, while those suspected of being involved in terrorist activities are referred to as terror accused. The act does not clarify the standard of proof required to establish that an individual is involved or is likely to be involved in terrorist activities.
- Insertion to schedule of treaties: The Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act. The Schedule lists nine treaties, including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997), and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979). Act has added another treaty to the list- International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).
What happens when an individual is declared a terrorist?
- The designation of an individual as a global terrorist by the United Nations is associated with sanctions including travel bans, freezing of assets and an embargo against procuring arms However UAPA act does not provide any such detail.
- The act also does not require the filing of cases or arresting individuals while designating them as terrorists.
- The act also seeks to give the central government the power to remove a name from the schedule when an individual makes an application. The procedure for such an application and the process of decision-making will also be decided by the central government.
- If an application filed by an individual declared a terrorist is rejected by the government, the act gives him the right to seek a review within one month after the application is rejected.
- Under the act, the central government will set up the review committee consisting of a chairperson (a retired or sitting judge of a High Court) and three other members. The review committee will be empowered to order the government to delete the name of the individual from the schedule that lists “terrorists”, if it considers the order to be flawed.
- Apart from these two avenues, the individual can also move the courts challenging the government’s order.
- Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above. The Bill additionally empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
- Prior approval of Director General of Police: The investigating officer has to take prior permission of the Director General of Police of a state for conducting raids, and seizing properties that are suspected to be linked to terrorist activities.
- Approval for seizure of property by NIA: If the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
Provision related to the Tribunal
- The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute, as and when necessary, a tribunal to be known as the “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal” consisting of one person, to be appointed by the Central Government: Provided that no person shall be so appointed unless he is a Judge of a High Court.
- All expenses incurred in connection with the Tribunal shall be defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund of India.
Prosecution Mechanism under the Act
- For prosecution under Section 13 of the UAPA, the permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is required. However, for prosecution under Sections 16,17 and 18, the permission of the respective State government is required.
- Section 25 allows the NIA to seize property, it considers to be proceeds of terrorism, with the written consent of the Director General of Police (DGP) of the State. However, it is possible for the NIA officer to obtain the consent of the DGP of the NIA thus bypassing the State DGP.
- The police normally have 60 to 90 days to investigate a case and submit a charge-sheet failing which the accused may obtain default bail. However, under the UAPA, this pre-charge sheet time is extended to 180 days. Further, normal bail rules do not apply to an accused under Section 43(d)5 of the UAPA.
Concerns about the Act
- The new changes undermine human rights as the central government can brand a person a terrorist without an adjudication by the judiciary and such sweeping power in the hands of the central government is troublesome.
- If an individual is wrongfully designated it could amount to social exclusion and deprivation of livelihood of the designated individual, which falls within the ambit of right to life and liberty under Art 21 of the Constitution.
- The updated law though is not anti-federal but has enough teeth to violate the basic human rights of the citizens.
5 . Pangolin and TRAFFIC
Context: On the eve of World Pangolin Day observed on February 18, a not-for-profit organisation working on the international trade of animals and plants, has brought out a fact sheet reporting that 1,203 pangolins have been found in illegal wildlife trade in India from 2018 to 2022.
- Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammals in the world and the Indian pangolin is the largest among eight pangolin species.
- Pangolins, or scaly anteaters as they are otherwise known, are unique mammals covered in hard scales, comprised of keratin. Their scales are made of keratin—the same material that makes fingernails and hair. They predate almost exclusively on ants and termites and are predominantly nocturnal and elusive, secretive mammals.
- There are eight extant species of pangolin. They comprise the Chinese pangolin, Indian pangolin, Sunda pangolin and Philippine pangolin, which inhabit Asia, and the white-bellied pangolin, black-bellied pangolin, giant pangolin and Temminck’s pangolin, which occur in Africa.
- Paleo-archaeological evidence suggests pangolins may have evolved in Europe but the extant species are found only in Asia and Africa. They fulfil a similar ecological niche to anteaters in South America, but are unrelated, each having evolved to fill similar ecological roles through convergent evolution.
- The word pangolin is derived from the Malay word ‘penggulung’ which means roller – representative of how pangolins behave when they feel threatened, rolling up into a ball.
- They are poached and illegally traded in huge numbers in Asia, while in Africa they are hunted for wild meat and use in traditional African medicine, though evidence now suggests African pangolins and their derivatives are being targeted for trade to Asian markets. Consequently, pangolin populations are in severe decline and are thought to be locally extirpated in parts of both Asia and Africa.
- Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin and the Chinese Pangolin are found in India.
- Both these species are listed under Schedule I Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Pangolin can curl itself into a ball as self-defense against predators such as the tiger.
- It acts as both predator and prey, feeding on insects and also preyed upon by other animals. Other than regulating the population of insects, the pangolin is an ‘ecosystem engineer’ that builds burrows that help circulate soil organic matter, increase soil moisture and aeration, and affect plant community succession.
Distribution: Pangolins are native to Africa and Asia.
- India is home to two species: the Indian Pangolin, found across the subcontinent; and the Chinese Pangolin, found across a larger area in south Asia. Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam see the presence of both.
Habitats: They can be found in woodland and savanna habitats. The tree-climbing species make homes for themselves in hollow trees, while the ground-dwelling species dig deep burrows to nest in.
Why are pangolins endangered?
- Pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world due to high demand for their scales and claws in traditional medicine. They are poached mainly for international markets in China and southeast Asia for their scales, which are used as an ingredient in traditional medicines. Pangolin meat is also considered a delicacy and consumed for its alleged medicinal properties
- Pangolins are among the most trafficked wild mammals globally. Both species are included under India’s Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act that could result in a jail term for those hunting animals listed here. They are also in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), meaning they are most endangered.
- All eight species are now threatened with extinction, and three species—the Chinese pangolin, the Philippe pangolin, and the Sunda pangolin—are listed as critically endangered.
- The Indian Pangolin has been classified as ‘Endangered’ and the Chinese Pangolin as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
- TRAFFIC (Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce), the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, is global non-governmental organization monitoring the trade in wild animals and plants that focuses on biodiversity and sustainable development.
- It was originally created in 1976 as a specialist group of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and evolved into a strategic alliance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the IUCN.
World Pangolin Day
- Every year e third Saturday of February is celebrated as World Pangolin Day. This year’s date is February 18. It is a gesture to remind the public of the need of bringing this endangered species back from the brink of extinction.
6 . Facts for prelims
Reverse Charge Mechanism in GST
- Reverse charge is a mechanism where the recipient of the goods or services is liable to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) instead of the supplier.
- Typically, the supplier of goods or services pays the tax on supply. Under the reverse charge mechanism, the recipient of goods or services becomes liable to pay the tax, i.e., the chargeability gets reversed.
- The objective of shifting the burden of GST payments to the recipient is to widen the scope of levy of tax on various unorganized sectors, to exempt specific classes of suppliers, and to tax the import of services (since the supplier is based outside India).
- When is Reverse Charge Applicable?
- Supply of certain goods and services specified by the CBIC
- Supply from an unregistered dealer to a registered dealer
- Supply of services through an e-commerce operator
Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation(FIPIC)
- Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation(FIPIC) is a multinational grouping developed in 2014 for cooperation between India and 14 Pacific Islands nations which include Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
- All Head of state/head of government of the above countries met in Suva, Fiji in November 2014 for the first time where the annual summit was conceptualised.
- India’s focus has largely been on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.
- The main objectives of the Forum is :
- Provide necessary information and facilitation to businessmen on both sides regarding prospects of Trade and Investment
- Facilitate meetings between the concerned businessmen from both sides
- Exchange of business delegations between India and Pacific Islands Countries (PICs)
- Online & Offline Match Making Services
- Organising Events/ Trade Fairs
- The Aadi Mahotsav is a tribal festival which is organized by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED) to honor the spirit of tribal traditional art, culture, crafts, gastronomy, and trade.
- The festival hosts nearly 200 stalls which will present the rich and varied legacy of the tribes from all around India.
- At the Mahotsav, almost 1000 tribal artisans will take part. Along with the customary attractions like handicrafts, handloom, ceramics, jewellery, etc., the Mahotsav will place a special emphasis on exhibiting Shree Anna grown by tribal people because 2023 is being observed as the International Year of Millet.
- A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more).
- In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs). G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.
A) Treasury Bills (T-bills)
- Treasury bills or T-bills, which are money market instruments, are short term debt instruments issued by the Government of India and are presently issued in three tenors, namely, 91-day, 182 day and 364 day.
- Treasury bills are zero coupon securities and pay no interest. Instead, they are issued at a discount and redeemed at the face value at maturity.
b. Cash Management Bills (CMBs)
- In 2010, Government of India, in consultation with RBI introduced a new short-term instrument, known as Cash Management Bills (CMBs), to meet the temporary mismatches in the cash flow of the Government of India. The CMBs have the generic character of T-bills but are issued for maturities less than 91 days.
c. Dated G-Secs
- Dated G-Secs are securities which carry a fixed or floating coupon (interest rate) which is paid on the face value, on half-yearly basis. Generally, the tenor of dated securities ranges from 5 years to 40 years.
EX DHARMA GUARDIAN
- This is the joint military exercise between India and Japan
- The 4th edition of joint military exercise, “EX DHARMA GUARDIAN”, between India and Japan will begin at Camp Imazu in Shiga province of Japan.
- This joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting tactical operations under a UN Mandate
- It will also help develop inter-operability, bonhomie, camaraderie and friendship between the two armies.
- The training will focus primarily on a high degree of physical fitness and sharing of drills at the tactical level.
- During the exercise, participants will engage in a variety of missions, ranging from joint planning, joint tactical drills, and basics of establishing integrated surveillance grids, including employment of aerial assets.
- “Exercise Dharma Guardian” will further enhance the level of defence co-operation between the Indian Army and the Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces, furthering the bilateral relations between the two nations.
- The annual training event with Japan is crucial and significant in terms of security challenges faced by both nations in the backdrop of the current global situation.