Daily Prelims Notes 28 October 2020
- October 28, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- SARAL JEEVAN BIMA
- OUTSIDERS CAN BUY LAND IN J&K
- UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT
- VIVAD SE VISHWAS
- SCISSORS EFFECT
- WATER ON THE MOON
Context : The Non-Communicable Diseases-Covid link has led to a global focus on the use of trans fatty acids.
- Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent.
- These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
- Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter.
- In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO) / vanaspati / margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.
- TFAs pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats. While saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels, TFAs not only raise total cholesterol levels but also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect us against heart disease.
- Trans fats consumption increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
- It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, certain types of cancers and can also lead to compromised fetal development causing harm to the yet to be born baby.
Why they are increasingly being used?
- TFA containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture. These are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.
- WHO recommendation: Limited to less than 1% of total energy intake.
- WHO’s REPLACE Strategy called for the total elimination of TFAs in global food supply by 2023.
- FSSAI has proposed to limit TFA limit in foods to 2% and eliminate trans fats from foods by 2022.
Subject: Govt Schemes
Context: IRDAI has come out with guidelines for Saral Jeevan Bima and has laid that all life insurers must offer this product from January 1 ,2021.
- It will be a non-linked, non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan providing for payment of the sum assured in lump sum to the nominee in case of the insured’s death during the policy term.
- The plan will be for those in the 18-65 years age group.
- Policy term will be 5-40 years.
- It allows for a maximum maturity age of 70 years.
- Sum assured will be a minimum of ₹5 lakh and a maximum of ₹25 lakh. Insurers, however, have the option of offering sum assured beyond ₹25 lakh with all other terms and conditions remaining the same.
- The product shall be offered to individuals without restrictions on gender, place of residence, travel, occupation or educational qualifications.
- There will be only one exclusion under the policy – exclusion for suicide.
- There will be no maturity benefit. Neither will there be any surrender value nor can any loan be taken against the product.
- The policy will also offer optional Accident Benefit and Permanent Disability Rider.
- There are many term products in the market with varying terms and conditions. But, Customers who cannot devote adequate time and energy to make informed choices find it difficult to select the right product. Therefore, It was felt necessary to introduce a standard, individual life insurance product with simple features and standard terms and conditions.
- Mandatory pure life insurance will also help in inclusion and insurance penetration in the country.
3. OUTSIDERS CAN BUY LAND IN J&K
Subject : Polity
Context : The Union home ministry notified rules allowing outsiders to buy non-agricultural land in J&K more than a year after the region’s special status under Articles 370 and 35A was scrapped, and it was split into two Union territories.
- People from outside the state were barred from buying or owning immovable property there, settle permanently, or avail themselves of state-sponsored scholarship schemes before the nullification of Article 35A, which gave special rights to the Jammu & Kashmir’s permanent residents.
Present Change :
- Central Government has amended Jammu and Kashmir Development Act by ommitting the phrase ‘ Permanent resident of the state ‘ , paving the way for everone to buy land. This act deals with the disposal of land in J&K
- The notification also substitutes the “whole of the State” with the “whole of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. It also notifies to omit “being permanent resident of the State”, paving the way for everyone to buy land.
- Lieutenant Governor has said that agricultural land has been reserved for farmers.
4. UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT
Subject : Legislation
Context : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) designated 18 more individuals(all Pakistan based) as “terrorists” under the amended anti-terror law(UAPA) that was passed by Parliament last year.
- UAPA was passed in 1967. It aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
- Unlawful activity refers to any action taken by an individual or association intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India.
- The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.
- It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.
- Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged. It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
- Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.
- The 2004 amendment, added “terrorist act” to the list of offences to ban organisations for terrorist activities, under which 34 outfits were banned.
- Till 2004, “unlawful” activities referred to actions related to secession and cession of territory.
- In August, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists on certain grounds provided in the Act.
- The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
- The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
Subject: Govt Schemes
Context: Government extends deadline to make payment under Vivad se Vishwas scheme till March 31, 2021.
- The amnesty scheme, at present, covers disputes pending at the level of commissioner (appeals), Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITAT), high courts, the Supreme Court and those in international arbitration.
- It offers a complete waiver on interest and penalty to the taxpayers who pay their pending taxes by March.
- The scheme aims to benefit those whose tax demands are locked in dispute in multiple forums.
- If a taxpayer is not able to pay direct taxes by March 31st then, he will get further time till June 30th. However, in that case, he would have to pay 10 percent more on the tax.
- In case it is just the interest and the penalty which is in dispute, the taxpayer will have to pay 25% of the disputed amount till March, and subsequently, it will be 30%.
- The scheme aims to resolve 483,000 direct tax-related disputes pending in various appellate forums.
Context: COVID-19 will significantly erode the fiscal consolidation achieved by the State governments in the past three years, the RBI said in a report.
RBI has also said that Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) of the States would spiral during the current fiscal.
Fiscal consolidation implies reduction in debt accumulation and fiscal deficit. Governments undertake different policies to achieve fiscal consolidation.
- Better targeting of government subsidies and extending Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for more subsidies.
- Improving efficiency of tax administration by eliminating evasion of tax, increasing tax compliance, reducing tax avoidance, etc.
- Enhancing tax GDP ratio by widening the tax base and minimizing tax concessions and exemptions also improves tax revenues.
- Higher economic growth rate will help the government to get higher tax revenues as well. Augmentation of tax revenue is necessary to bring fiscal consolidation as there are limitations for reducing government expenditure in India.
Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act
- It was enacted in August 2003.
- It aims to make the Central government responsible for ensuring inter-generational equity in fiscal management and long-term macro-economic stability.
- The Act envisages the setting of limits on the Central government’s debt and deficits.
- It aims to limit the fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP.
- To ensure that the States too are financially prudent, the 12th Finance Commission’s recommendations in 2004 linked debt relief to States with their enactment of similar laws.
- The States have since enacted their own respective Financial Responsibility Legislation, which sets the same 3% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) cap on their annual budget deficits.
- It also mandates greater transparency in fiscal operations of the Central government and the conduct of fiscal policy in a medium-term framework.
- The Budget of the Union government includes a Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement that specifies the annual revenue and fiscal deficit goals over a three-year horizon.
- The rules for implementing the Act were notified in July 2004. The rules were amended in 2018, and most recently to the setting of a target of 3.1% for March 2023.
- The NK Singh committee (set up in 2016) recommended that the government should target a fiscal deficit of 3% of the GDP in years up to March 31, 2020 cut it to 2.8% in 2020-21 and to 2.5% by 2023.
- Under Section 4(2) of the Act, the Centre can exceed the annual fiscal deficit target citing certain grounds. They are ,
- National security, war
- National calamity
- Collapse of agriculture
- Structural reforms
- Decline in real output growth of a quarter by at least three percentage points below the average of the previous four quarters.
- The lockdown could cause severe contraction in economic output and the COVID-19 pandemic could be considered as a national calamity.
- Also, the government has already made the use of escape clause this year.
Context: A Research Paper by David Robinson argues that the problems facing the European electricity majors reflect a ‘scissors effect’.
- The paper highlights how structural trends and government intervention are damaging the major European electricity companies and affecting consumers.
- On the one hand, it argues that is a dynamic process whereby certain revenue streams fall, while costs rise, literally cutting profitability. On the other hand it extends that profitability is being hit – or will be soon – both upstream and downstream.
- The paper emphasizes underlying structural trends (stagnant demand, decarbonization and more active consumer participation) and government intervention as causes of the scissors effect.
- If the causes are structural, as argued here, these companies may be unable or unwilling to finance the investments required to meet the EU policy goals of energy security, environmental sustainability, and acceptable costs.
- According to this paper, the first priority should be the debate about future role of governments and competitive markets.
Context: NASA’s SOFIA Discovers water on sunlit surface of moon.
- There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published by NASA raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment and maybe even fuel on the lunar surface.
- Previous research including Chandrayaan-1 has found indications of water by scanning the surface but these were unable to distinguish between water (H2O) and hydroxyl, a molecule made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom.
- But a new study provides further chemical proof that the Moon holds molecular water, even in sunlit areas.
- Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Telescope, scanned the lunar surface at a more precise wavelength than had been used before — six microns instead of three.
- Another study looks at areas of the Moon’s polar regions, where water ice is believed to be trapped in lunar craters that never see sunlight.
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
- Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre.
- It is flown at approx 45,000 feet, where its observations are not impacted by interference from Earth’s atmosphere.
- SOFIA returns to Earth after every flight, allowing scientists to regularly update the instrument with the latest technology.