Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 July 2018

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 July 2018


GST compensation to states lower than estimate: CEA

  • The compensation payable to the States for revenue loss arising due to GST is just Rs. 5,000 crore, far lower than was estimated, according to Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.
  • Consistent with the revenue neutral report and against other reports, the GST compensation requirements are only about Rs. 5,000 crore for the entire first year lower than the estimated figure.
  • He also added that while it is difficult to ascertain its exact contribution, demonetisation “certainly did” contribute to the deceleration in the economy.
  • He mentioned that the success of the GST, one important lesson from that is that cooperative federalism has to be a method, an instrument, a kind of technology as it were, for many of the reforms going forward.

India to sign MoU with Bangladesh to ease visa norms

  • India will sign a pact with Bangladesh to ease visa restrictions for citizens from the neighbouring country.The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “revised travel arrangements” will be signed during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s three-day visit to Dhaka beginning Friday.
  • Bangladesh has demanded that travel restrictions for senior citizens be eased and further concessions be given to Muktijoddhas — those who participated in the 1971 Liberation War.
  • Last year, India announced five-year multiple entry visa to the 1971 war veterans from Bangladesh. They could walk into the Indian High Commission in Dhaka and eight other consulates in Barisal, Rajshahi, Chittagong, Khulna, Rangpur, SylhetMymensingh and Jessore without prior appointment and submit their visa applications.
  • In 2014, India decided to relax visa restrictions for Bangladeshis above the age of 65 and below the age of 13. They were allowed five-year multiple entry visas.

Use of Aadhar not mandatory for availing benefits of Ayushmanbharat scheme says health minister

  • The use of Aadhaar Card is desirable but not a must to avail benefits under the Ayushman Bharat —National Health Protection Mission, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
  • In a release, it said that the notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act merely enabled the implementation agencies to ask for authentication of identity.
  • The guidelines on beneficiary identification clearly state that beneficiaries can bring Aadhaar or any other valid government ID(s) if they did not have an Aadhaar card.

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NPPA fixes price of drugs

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the retail prices of 56 formulations, excluding GST, stated a notification issued recently.
  • These formulations include those used for treating diabetes, cardiac conditions and hepatitis C, among others.
  • The prices have been fixed/revised under the Drug (Prices Control) Order, 2013, the order added. The order further said the manufacturers may add GST only if they have actually paid it or it is payable to the government on the retail price mentioned as per the order.

RBI cautions states increasing gross fiscal deficit

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has pointed to the fiscal stress that States are facing due to several factors including farm loan waivers, and said higher borrowing by them could crowd out private investment.
  • In a report ‘State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2017-18 and 2018-19,’ the central bank noted that States’ consolidated gross fiscal deficit (GFD) overshot the budget estimates in 2017-18 due to shortfalls in own tax revenues and higher revenue expenditure.
  • While States budgeted a gross fiscal deficit to gross domestic product (GFD-GDP) ratio of 2.7% in 2017-18, revised estimates reveal GFD-GDP ratio of 3.1%, the RBI said. “The deterioration was located in the revenue balance. In contrast, the capital account has helped to contain the GFD.”


Pakistan to give reply at ICJ for India’s plea in kulbushan case

  • Pakistan will file its second written reply to India on July 17 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the conviction of Indian national KulbhushanJadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.

India –Indonesia maritime cooperation

  • Taking forward the India-Indonesia shared vision on maritime cooperation in Indo-Pacific, an Indian team visited Sabang in Indonesia on Wednesday to “discuss steps for mutual collaboration.”
  • The hosting of the India-Indonesia investment forum in Aceh and the visit of the Indian delegation and INS Sumitra port call at Sabang, were important follow-up outcomes flowing from the understanding reached during the recently concluded visit of Prime Minister NarendraModi to Indonesia, Indian Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement.
  • INS Sumitra sailed from Port Blair to Sabang, where it will take provisions and fuel before going for further deployment in the Indian Ocean.
  • Indonesia has recently agreed to give India access to its port for operational turnaround which will increase the Navy’s footprint in the region.

Trump urges members to increase commitment to NATO

  • Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump jolted the NATO summit Wednesday by turning a spotlight on Germany’s ties to Russia and openly questioning the value of the military alliance that has defined American foreign policy for decades.
  • Mr. Trump demanded by public tweet that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “must pay 2% of GDP Immediately, not by 2025” for their military efforts.
  • He then rattled U.S. allies further by privately suggesting member nations should spend 4 percent of their gross domestic product on the military more than even the United States currently pays, according to NATO statistics.


Hima Das wins country’s first gold in world athletics championship

  • Hima Das, who virtually went into the final as the top seed, lived up to that billing, taking the women’s 400m gold at the World under-20 athletics championships here on Thursday.
  • The Indian was slightly behind the leader around the 300m mark but as the others appeared to fade away, Hima — whose personal best stands at 51.13 — proved that she had enough gas in the tank to take the medal that mattered.

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