The Hindu NOTES – 17th Nov 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)
📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 17th Nov 2017
Date:- 17-NOV, 2017
📰 GST rate cut: Centre doubles down on GST’s gains for consumers
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, following up immediately after the sharp reduction in the GST rates of a large number of items of mass consumption.
- The approval paves the way for the immediate establishment of the apex body NAA, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.
- The establishment of the NAA, to be headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India with four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States, is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.
- The “anti-profiteering” measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.
- This institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
📰 Govt. abolishes curbs on export of pulses
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has abolished all restrictions on export of pulses to allow farmers to seek remunerative prices for their output. Opening of exports of all types of pulses will help the farmers dispose of their products at remunerative prices and encourage them to expand the area of sowin
India produced 23 million tonnes of pulses in 2016-17 and the government has set a target to produce 22.90 million tonnes in 2017-18. The Centre has acquired 20 million tonnes at market rates or minimum support price.
While lifting restrictions on exports, the Cabinet’s economic panel decided that the export and import policy for pulses will be reviewed by a committee of top officials, which would also be empowered to consider changes in import duties and impose quantitative restrictions on trade based on domestic and international production and demand trends.
It is expected that pulses production will be sustained and our import dependence on pulses will come down substantially. This is also likely to provide higher levels of protein to the population and work towards nutritional security.
📰 Govt. will uphold freedom of press in all forms: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the role of a free media was a “cornerstone of a vibrant democracy” and its contribution in giving “voice to the voiceless” was commendable, while greeting the press on the occasion of National Press Day. He underlined his government’s commitment to “upholding the freedom of the press and expression in all forms.”
A free press is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. We are committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms. May our media space be used more and more to showcase the skills, strengths and creativity of 125 crore Indians
He flagged future trends in the media especially the growth of social media and the consumption of news via mobile phones due to changing technology, hoping that these would lead to making media spaces more democratic.
📰 Rajnath asks Bill Gates to adopt 1,000 Maoist-hit villages
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked Microsoft founder Bill Gates to adopt 1,000 villages affected by violence due to Left-wing extremism in Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand and make them “model villages” by focussing on sanitation and cleanliness.
- Mr. Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Gates Foundation, met Mr. Singh amid the Home Ministry’s recent order to cancel the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a health advocacy group, majorly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
- The licence, which lets an NGO or association receive foreign funds, was cancelled days after Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had brought out a ‘white paper’ on the BMGF’s influence in India’s health sector.
- A Gates Foundation spokesperson said the cancellation of the FCRA licence of the PHFI was not discussed in the meeting.
- “Mr. Gates’s meeting with the Union Minister of Home Affairs focused on the progress made in our partnership with the government across the foundation’s priority focus areas — health, urban sanitation, digital financial inclusion and agricultural development.
- “The Home Minister appreciated the welfare works being undertaken by the BMGF. He requested Mr. Gates to initiate health awareness programmes in India and suggested that the Foundation should concentrate on developing villages and make them Model Villages so that the local people get inspired,” a Ministry statement said.
📰 Why the Amish live longer
- Scientists have identified a genetic mutation — found in an Indiana Amish family — that may extend life by up to ten years, and are now testing an experimental “longevity” drug that recreates the effect.
- The genetic mutation, discovered by the Northwestern University in the United States in an extended family of Old Order Amish living in the vicinity of Berne, Indiana, appears to protect against multiple aspects of biological ageing in humans.
- Indiana Amish kindred with the mutation live more than 10 per cent longer and have 10 per cent longer telomeres (a protective cap at the end of our chromosomes that is a biological marker of ageing) compared to Amish kindred members who do not have the mutation.
- Amish with this mutation also have significantly less diabetes and lower fasting insulin levels.
- A composite measure that reflects vascular age also is lower — indicative of retained flexibility in blood vessels in the carriers of the mutation — than those who do not have the mutation, the research also found.
- These Amish individuals have very low levels of PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor), a protein that comprises part of a “molecular fingerprint” related to ageing or senescence of cells.It was previously known that PAI-1 was related to ageing in animals but unclear how it affected ageing in humans.
The community’s origins:
- The Amish kindred in Berne, Indiana, have been genetically and culturally isolated and most are at least distantly related.
- The ancestors of the Indiana Amish emigrated in the middle of the 19th century from Berne, Switzerland.
- The mutation was introduced into the Amish kindred by farmers from Switzerland, who moved into the area.
- Two of their descendants, who carried the mutation, married into the Amish community. The Amish community outside the Berne area does not carry this mutation.
- People with the mutation live to be 85 on average, significantly longer than their predicted average lifespan of 71 for Amish in general and which has not changed much over the last century.
📰 U.P. bans garbage burning in urban areas to tackle pollution
- As air quality in major cities of Uttar Pradesh hovers around “very poor” and “severe,” the State government has banned garbage burning in urban areas in a bid to reduce the pollution.
- The State government has also sought technological assistance from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, to create artificial rain.
- The government is also considering a review of old vehicles. It could remove them from roads, if necessary, to reduce vehicular pollution.
- Key Fact: The Air Quality Index of major cities in Uttar radesh like Moradabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Varanasi and Noida has consistently been in the higher range of 400. It even touched 500 on a few days leaving the residents worried.