Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 FEBRUARY 2019
Finance ministry assures 100% energy access by April 2019,praises health
- Finance Minister PiyushGoyal has said, by March-April this year,
India will take energy access to every single home in this country, about a
decade ahead of the deadline of the Strategic Development Goals 2030.
- He said,Ayushman Bharat initiative will cater to about 40 per cent
of all the people of India. He was addressing India Showcase event of Global
Fund 6th Replenishment Meeting organised by Ministry of Health in New Delhi
- He said, the Government is working to provide free health care to
500 million Indians. He said, it will define the efforts to achieve
Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 much faster than the slated time
- Mr Goyal said, with massive scale-up of Ayushman Bharat in last
four months, a million people have benefited from free health care
initiative. He said, Government is aiming at creating a healthy society,
with an environment of health assurance and support of necessary health
- Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Health and Family Welfare J
P Nadda said, India has made significant progress in combating Malaria,
Tuberculosis and HIV AIDS. He said, WHO World Malaria Report of 2018
validated India’s recent strides against Malaria.
- He said, India witnessed a 24 per cent decrease in 2017 compared
to 2016. The Health Minister said, India has targeted to eliminate
Tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of Sustainable Development Goal
Centre to give Angel tax exemptions to start ups
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)
and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Friday agreed to compile a
list of startups eligible for angel tax exemption, based on their audited
financial statements and income tax returns of the previous year.
- The government also decided to raise the maximum time limit below
which a firm would be deemed eligible for angel tax exemption to 10 years
from the earlier seven, a member of the committee set up to look into the
issue said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
- This tax usually impacts startups and the angel investments they
attract. While aimed at curbing money-laundering, the angel tax has also
resulted in a large number of genuine startups receiving notices from the IT
- Startups would have to furnish three types of documents in order
to be registered with the government:
(i) audited financials for the previous year,
(ii) IT returns for the previous year, and
(iii) a self-certified declaration.
- The CBDT, however, said that it could not halt the proceedings in
cases where the startups had already been sent a notice by the Income Tax
GoM favours lowest GST for under construction building materials
- A panel of State Ministers on Friday, February 8, 2019, favoured
lowering GST on under-construction residential properties to 5%, from
- The Group of Ministers, under Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin
Patel, was set up last month to analyse tax rates and issues/challenges
being faced by the real estate sector under the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- In its first meeting, the GoM also favoured slashing GST on
affordable housing from 8% to 3%. Officials said the report of the GoM would
be finalised within a week and would be placed before the GST Council in its
- Currently, GST is levied at 12% with Input tax credit (ITC) on
payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats
where completion certificate has not been issued at the time of sale.
- The effective pre-GST tax incidence on such housing property was
15-18%. GST, however, is not levied on buyers of real estate properties for
which completion certificate has been issued at the time of sale.
- There have been complaints that builders are not passing on the
ITC benefit to consumers by way of reduction in price of the property after
the rollout of GST.
- The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister and comprising
his State counterparts, had on January 10 decided to set up a GoM to look
into ways to boost housing sector under GST.
Government to help more banks to come out of PCA
- After Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lifted restrictions under prompt
corrective action (PCA) on three public sector banks last week, Finance
Minister PiyushGoyal said the government will try to help lift the
restrictions on other public sector banks too.
- There are eight more public sector banks (PSBs) that are under the
PCA framework after restrictions were lifted from Bank of India, Bank of
Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce.
- While interacting with the business community at an event
organised by industry body CII, Mr.Goyal said, “we will try to lift
restrictions on other PCA banks soon,” when one industry body pointed out
loan growth was impacted since many banks were under PCA.
- The government had infused capital in banks that was used to
increase provisions and lower the net NPA ratio enabling RBI to lift
restrictions on the three banks.
- Breaching net NPA ratio of 6% is one of the conditions that
India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting held
- The 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting was
held in New Delhi today.
- External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj and Foreign Affairs
Minister of Bangladesh Dr Abdul Momen co-chaired the meeting.
- In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar
said MrsSwaraj and Mr Momen took stock of progress in security, defence,
trade and connectivity, development partnership, water, power and energy
sectors and consular and cultural cooperation.
- The Rohingya issue dominated meetings that the Bangladesh Foreign
Minister held here on Thursday with the Indian leadership.
- Interacting with Prime Minister NarendraModi, A.K. Abdul Momen,
who is on his maiden trip to India, sought continued support in resolving
the humanitarian disaster that has brought more than a million refugees to
- “The Prime Minister said that India-Bangladesh relations have been
on an upward trajectory in the last few years. He reaffirmed India’s
commitment to work with Bangladesh to build on this momentum during the new
term in office of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” a press statement from the
Thailand princess enters politics, to contest for PM post
- In Thailand, a princess will run for the Prime Minister post in
March 24 elections in an unprecedented entry by a royal into frontline
politics. This will pit her against the chief of the ruling junta and
redrawing the nation's political landscape.
- Sixty-seven year old Princess Ubolratana, the older sister of Thai
King MahaVajiralongkorn, was announced as a candidate for the Thai Raksa
Chart party steered by the Shinawatra political clan.
- Thai Raksa Chart party leader PreechapolPongpanich told reporters
that the board agrees that the name of Princess Ubolratana, an educated and
skilled person, is the most suitable choice.
- The Thai monarchy, a revered institution shielded from criticism
by a tough defamation law, has traditionally been seen as above the
political fray, although royals have intervened in moments of political
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
New Research claims pills could replace injections
- Here was the challenge for bioengineers: find a way for patients
to take drugs like insulin or monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancers
and other diseases without injections.
- The medicines are made of molecules too big to be absorbed through
the stomach or intestines; in any event, the drugs would be quickly degraded
by the body’s harsh digestive system.
- Now, a team of scientists may have found a solution that delivers
these drugs in a capsule a person can swallow.
- The test device, called Soma, is shaped like the tortoise’s shell.
Inside is a miniature post made of insulin. After the tiny device positions
itself against the stomach wall, the post pops out and injects insulin. The
device then travels through the colon and eventually is eliminated by the
- The researchers knew that if they could get a drug through the
wall of the stomach, the medicine would enter the bloodstream. Because the
stomach does not have many pain receptors, a prick from the tiny post would
not even be felt.
- The engineers decided to imitate the tortoise’s shape with a tiny
device that would always land on the wall of the stomach.
Fire break at Brazilian football camp puts fans in despair
- In n Brazil, 10 people were killed when a fire ripped through the
training ground of Flamengo football club, in Rio de Janeiro. Three people
were also injured in the fire.
- Rio's Deputy Governor, Claudio Castro said, preliminary
information indicates there were young players and staff amongst the dead.
- According to a local newspaper, witnesses alleged that the fire
started in the air conditioning system. An investigation has been launched
into the cause of the blaze.
- Flamengo is one of Brazil's biggest and best-known clubs
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