CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 25-August, 2017
Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams
1.To read and write better
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act’ or ‘Right to Education Act also known as RTE’, is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution.
India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
The Act makes education a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14 and specifies minimum norms in elementary schools. It requires all private schools(except the minority institutions) to reserve 25% of seats for the poor and other categories of children (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).
It prohibits all unrecognised schools from practice, and makes provisions for no donation or capitation fees and no interview of the child or parent for admission.
The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.
Why was this provision made?
It was made in the original Act because examinations were often used to hold back children who obtained poor marks. Parliament had no intention to demotivate a child by compelling him or her to repeat the same class or leave school altogether.
RTE (Second Amendment) Bill of 2017
- The new Bill has substituted Section 16 “in order to improve the learning outcomes in the elementary classes”.
- The Bill provides for a regular examination to be conducted in the fifth and eighth classes at the end of every academic year. If a child fails in the examination, he or she shall be given “additional instruction” and granted an opportunity for re-examination within the next two months.
- In case the child fails in the re-examination too, the appropriate State government would be empowered with the authority to allow schools to either hold back or not hold back the child in the same class.
Need for amendment of bill
- In the recent years have seen several States and Union territories raise the adverse impact of Section 16 on elementary education.
- Authorities claimed that there was a steady dip in the learning standards of students in elementary classes.
2.Tax, in the bigger picture
In this article debate over GST implementation, loopholes, and benefits have been discussed.
- India’s tax-GDP ratio is 18 per cent which compares miserably when with developed countries (between 30 per cent and 40 per cent) as well as comparable economies such as Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa (between 23 per cent and 26 per cent).
- India, on the launch pad of development, has to attain a thrust by improving upon this figure to reach a target of 25 per cent.
- Out of the total taxes collected in India, almost two-thirds come from indirect taxes while taxes on income and profits contribute only a one-third share. This is exactly in the opposite proportion when compared to other nations
Some positives of GST regime
- A greater convergence of direct and indirect tax departments and also due to the creation non-erasable automated electronic trails by GST, it will not be easy for the business class to default on direct taxes.
- With GST, there will be a tremendous pull and push to be a registered and tax compliant business unit rather than remain an unregistered seller due to the peculiar system of tax input credit.
Flaws in GST
India’s GST rate is broken down into four rates — 5, 12, 18, and 28 per cent — the reality shows that at least seven rates would be in operation. This will not only defy the basic winning point of GST — “one nation one tax” — but also increase the possibility of corruption and falsification due to a multiple-slab, loophole-prone tax system.
- Gold, which as a fully imported item creates nothing but current account deficits and acts as a frequent destination for black money, has been allotted only 3 per cent GST and diamonds, 0.25 per cent. Meanwhile, essentials like sanitary napkins and medicines are to attract 5, 12 or 18 per cent GST.
- Certain items such as petroleum, electricity and taxes on liquor — which constitute a major chunk of states’ income — are kept away from the purview of the almighty GST.
- In the last three years in particular, there has been a rise of 122 per cent in the indirect tax collection from the petroleum sector.
With GST, the fear is that a lack of preparedness may lead to near-term disruption for businesses and unnecessary chaos, as a large number of mid-size cities in India lack reliable internet access. Overall, internet penetration in India is at merely 32.8 per cent, out of which only 15.4 per cent is the rural population. Due to lack of infrastructural preparedness, there could be a temporary obstruction in small and medium businesses.
3.Towards an electric vehicles only future
India’s move towards an electric vehicles future has been backed up by a supportive tax structure and policies, and a potentially large local market
In a recent blog, the energy department said its aim is that by 2030, all vehicles sold in India should be electric vehicles.
Current scenario of electrical vehicles in India
- A look at the current numbers provides a good gauge of how ambitious a target this is.
- Electric vehicle sales stood at 22,000 units in the year ended 31 March 2016, according to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.
- Of these, only 2,000 units were four-wheelers.
- The electric vehicle market has reached an inflection point. Sales of electric cars grew at an exponential pace of 94% between 2011-15 the world over, led predominantly by the US, Europe and China.
The growth in the electric vehicle market will change the landscape of the Indian automobile industry significantly. It will also have a big impact on the overall Indian economy.
India has a thriving automotive industry serving the local and global markets, particularly in small cars
Requirements for shifting to electrical automobiles
- New, efficient vehicle components such as high-density batteries.
- They will need to collaborate closely, invest smartly, establish global tie-ups to get a leg up on technology and quickly build up scale.
Indian Government support for this regime
- India’s move to embrace an electric vehicles only future has been backed up by a supportive tax structure and policies, and a potentially large local market.
- India has announced the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of [Hybrid &] Electric Vehicles in India) to make all personal vehicles electric by 2030. Lower GST (goods and services tax) on electric vehicles at 12%, in comparison with 43% for hybrid vehicles, is also a step in the right direction.