Feb 4 th, 2016
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3-February – Shorthand Notes – Current Affairs

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Issue of Section 377 and formation of five member constitution bench by SC

Section 377 > currently it criminalises sexual acts in LGBT category > but due to denial of right to privacy and dignity > a 5 judge constitution bench has been formed out > a curative petition has been filed – is filed after review plea is dismissed > curative petition is came into being in 2002 case of Rupa Ashok Hurra vs Ashok Burra case > Constitution bench is the name given to the benches of SC of India > CJI has power to form constitution bench and refer cases to it.

Tenth Anniversary of MNREGA

10th anniversary of MNREGA > in it’s 1st phase works done includes – mud works, clearing bushes & grasses, desilting etc. > creation of roads to improve rural connectivity, a variety of works in sunderbans, afforestation, plantation etc. > hence it showed some best practices, but need to study it’s cost-benefit analysis

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) a new agricultural insurance scheme by GoI > but tenant farmers and share croppers will not be eligible for it > hence they will remain it’s victim who always says that vagaries in policy making leads to problems in their life

Ongoing Threat of Zika Virus and WHO decalred Global emergency

WHO declared global emergency seeing the ongoing threat because of spreading Zika virus > it was found in the placenta and amniotic fluid of infected mothers > brain of fetuses and new borns > cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome > Zika is spread due to bite by Aedes aegypti mosquito and body fluid > also aedes the vector is widespread in India

Tax Policy Council and Tax Policy Research Unit by GoI

Government set up new tax policy council headed by FinMin to cater needs of both direct and indirect taxes > Tax policy Research Unit (TPRU) to carry studies on various topics of fiscal and tax policies referred to it by CBDT and CBEC > a special team of experts for both the boards

RBI eased norms for Start-Ups

Seeing the ongoing importance of start-ups RBI relaxed norms for it like > start-ups are now allowed to receive foreign venture capital investment irrespective of sector > easing cross-border transactions > penalty clause in case of delay in reporting of FDI > permitting start-ups to access rupee loans under ECB framework

RBI kept Interest Rate Unchanged in it’s bi-monthly policy

RBI left interest rate unchanged in bimonthly monetary policy review because of the stability in the macroeconomic indicators of India > secondly, they see that there are chances of increasing inflation after implementation of seventh pay commission > also high interest rates has helped in keeping rupee strong in recent years > thirdly, slowdown in China is affecting India’s external environment > lastly, if other currencies depreciate it will further affect India > Now to take care of cheaper imports as a result of currency depreciation, India can either take tariff measures or another good path that is by depreciating it’s own currency

TRAI recommended PPP model for BharatNet i.e. to Improve Broadband connectivity in India

TRAI recommended PPP model for the national broadband project BharatNet > aim of it is to provide affordable broadband connectivity nationwide by 2017 i.e. in 2-20 Mbps range > reason for BharatNet is delay in rolling out the NOFN > plus private sector involvement will give professional management > private sector will control the network for a concession period of at least 25 years > lastly contract will be given based on reverse bidding model >TRAI also said that right of way (RoW) is a necessary and non-negotiable pre-condition for successful deployment of BharatNet

APA b/w India and US in final Stage

US will accept Advance pricing agreement (APA) with India > advantages include – seeking information, means of settling transfer pricing disputes, providing greater predictability in taxation, removing double taxation etc. > transfer pricing – is the setting up of price for goods and services sold between controlled legal entities (i.e. subsidiary of same company) within an enterprise

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