PM asks scientists to create roadmap for a decade at science
Prime Minister NarendraModi has asked the scientists to
prepare a definite roadmap for the new decade to set the direction and pace
of scientific research in various fields in country.
Mr Modi was speaking after dedicating to the nation five Young
Scientists Laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
in Bengaluru yesterday.
These laboratories will work on key advanced technologies of
importance to the development of futuristic defence system. The Prime Minister
said these labs would help in shaping the pattern of research and development in
the field of emerging technologies in the country.
Earlier in the day, speaking at Tumakuru, the Prime Minister
lashed out at the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and said, the
protest must be against Pakistan's continuous atrocities on minorities. He said
that Pakistan has always persecuted religious minorities and India is duty bound
to help these minorities.
The Prime Minister electronically disbursed 12,000 crore rupees
to six crore farmers as third installment of PradhanMantriKisanSammaanNidhi
He expressed hope that those states who have not implemented the
scheme, will implement it this year. The Prime Minister also awarded the Krishi
Karman Award to the progressive farmers from 21 states.
MHA to bring in amendments in IPC, CrPC to curb henious crimes
Aimed to curb henious crimes like rape which have shaken the
country on many occasions with brutal assaults on minor girls as well as on
adult women, and to instill fear of law, the Union Home Ministry has
expedited its procedure of seeking suggestions to amend the British-era
Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Once the opinion sought from departments concerned in the
Ministry of Home Affairs, including the Bureau of Police Research and
Development (BPRD), the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and Ministry of
Law and among others, are received, a proposal to change certain sections will
be sent to the Union Cabinet seeking it approval to put it in Parliament for a
new strict law to deal with such gruesome crimes.
It is learnt that the proposal for a new law could be moved in
Parliament during the upcoming Budget Session 2020, which is expected soon,
officials in the know told IANS, adding the Home Ministry has "expedited" its
work in this direction in consultation with the BPRD.
The suggestions include diluting the right to file an appeal or
seek legal remedies in henious crimes against women, and making forensic
evidence compulsory in criminal cases where punishment is seven years or more,
so that the amended law could be as strict as it "instill fear among criminals",
the official said.
The Ministry began its work to amend sections in IPC and CrPC
after Union Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned the need for such changes in the
47th All India Police Science Congress summit in Lucknow in November.
Report suggests India could tap the export potential of around
82bUSD in China
India can explore an annual USD 82-billion export potential
in twenty products, including electrical equipment and ferro alloys, in the
world's second largest economy China, according to a report. Indian
exporters have a competitive advantage as far as these twenty goods are
Currently, India meets only 3.3 per cent or USD 2.7 billion of
the total annual import demands of USD 82 billion for these 20 products in
India's exports of these 20 products are worth around USD 15
billion to the world, which is 4.5 per cent of the country's annual outward
India can substantially reduce its trade deficit with China,
which stood at USD 53.56 billion in 2018-19, by enhancing its market share for
these products in that country, the report added.
Electrical equipment, tobacco, iron and steel, ferro alloys,
parts of aircraft, engines and other auto-components, benzene, frozen boneless
bovine meat are some of the product segment out of the 20 in the list.
Increasing India's market share for these products in China will
add further momentum to the growing exports of India in this country, she added.
India's overall exports to China grew 5.39 per cent to USD 11.57
billion in April-November 2019, even as our total exports to the world declined
2 per cent during this period.
The country's overall trade deficit with China declined 5 per
cent to USD 35.3 billion in the first eight months of the current financial
year, compared to USD 37.3 billion in the year-ago period, the report added.
Centre to use AI technology to track GST evaders
The government plans to increase the use of artificial
intelligence and data analytics to track down tax evaders, and improve
compliance with the Goods and Service Tax in order to augment revenue.
Top tax officials are scheduled to participate in a
brainstorming session to be chaired by revenue secretary Ajay BhushanPandey next
week to firm up this plan.
The discussions will include assessing the wider use of data
analytics and AI in the process of enforcement and red-flagging tax evaders and
fake refund claimants without overreach or harassment to genuine taxpayers.
The meeting comes on the heels of the government notifying
changes to GST rules to prevent frauds and fake invoicing, besides setting up
grievance cells to ensure that genuine taxpayers are not harassed and the
overall tax base increases.
The government last week reduced input tax credit to 10% from
20% of eligible credit if invoices or debit notes were not reflected in filings.
There’s growing concern over revenue shortfall, with slowing
consumption demand adversely impacting GST collections. The corporate tax cut
amounting to a loss of revenue of Rs 1.45 lakh crore, along with recent GST
compensation of over Rs 35,000 crore to states, have increased the stress on the
Centre’s fiscal position.
The proposed free trade agreement between India and
Mauritius is nearing finalisation as both the sides have concluded the
negotiations for the pact, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.
The proposed India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation
and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) seeks to mutually benefit both the countries
in the area of trade in goods and services, it said in a statement.
Negotiations were held across several sectors including goods,
services, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and
phyto-sanitary measures, trade remedies and dispute settlement.
Mauritius was the second top source of foreign direct investment
(FDI) into India in 2018-19. India received USD 8 billion (about Rs 56,000
crore) foreign inflows from the country.
The bilateral trade between the countries increased marginally
to USD 1.2 billion in 2018-19 from USD 1.1 billion in 2017-18.
The island nation's exports to New Delhi include iron and steel,
pearls, precious/semi-precious stones and optical, photographic and precision
It also said that in order to promote India-Africa trade and
economic relations, the ministry regularly reviews trade ties through
institutional mechanisms like Joint Commission Meetings, Joint Trade Committees
and Joint Working Groups.
China approves home grown vaccines as an alternative to global
China has approved a pneumonia vaccine developed by Chinese
drugmakerWalvax Biotechnology's unit, its National Medical Products
Administration saidoffering an alternative to one of Pfizer's best-selling
products Prevnar 13.
Pfizer's Prevnar 13, which was approved in China in 2016, was
the only pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine available around the world
before Walvax's product, the notice said.
With more than 15 million newborn babies in 2018, China has huge
demand for vaccines targeting pneumonia, which is the major cause of death of
children under the age of five, the authority said.
A total of 27 cases of viral pneumonia in the central city of
Wuhan were discovered and investigated by Chinese health authorities, local
health commission said on Tuesday.
Cecolin, an HPV vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm
Innovax, has also notched approval for sales, the administration said in a
separate notice issued on the same day.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
WII to conduct Asiatic lion census in May this year
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is to conduct Asiatic
Lion Census in May 2020. The Institute will use 10,000 cameras to conduct
In 2015, the WII counted 523 lions in Gujarat. It is expected
that the numbers have risen phenomenally and the population must have crossed
1,000. Thecensus is to adopt the technology of National Tiger Conservation
Authority. The entire census area is to be divided in to 3-km grid. Officers
will collect hair, nails, teeth, etc.
The collection process is to be carried out using scientific
methods laid out by NTCA. Around 1,000 to 2,000 officers are to be employed. In
the second phase, 10,000 cameras are to be used to capture the lions.
The Asiatic Lions in Gujarat are restricted to Gir National Park
in the state. The lions are listed as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List.
Initially the lions were spread from the east of Indus river to West Bengal and
also to Narmada river in Central India. However, today they are restricted to
The lion is one among the 5 Pantherine Cats inhabiting in India.
The other 4 pantherine cats in India are Bengal Tiger, Snow Leopard, Indian
Leopard and Clouded leopard.
Under IUCN red list, Bengal Tiger has been listed as Endangered,
and the three leopards snow leopard, clouded leopard and Indian leopard have
been listed as Vulnerable.
National ice hockey championships begin at Leh
The 5th Ice Hockey Association of India (IHAI) National Ice
Hockey Championship -2020 has begun in Leh today. In the inaugural match in
Under-20 Boys category between Chandigarh and Haryana, the contest ended in
a draw with 4 goals each.
Similarly, the second match between Ladakh Scouts Regiment
Centre and Delhi also ended in a draw with 2 goals each.
Later in the afternoon Under-20 Girls match will be played
between home team Ladakh and Maharashtra.
The tournament will continue till 7th January in Karzoo Ice
Hockey Rink in Leh, where the Army, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and
home team Ladakh are fighting for the championship in U-20 boys category.