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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis: 06-02-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

When 2 adults marry, none should interfere



  • The court is hearing a petition filed by Shakti Vahini, an NGO, to make honour killing a specific crime.
  • When two people get into wedlock, no one should interfere. Neither parents, society, khap or panchayat... no one at all,” said Chief Justice Misra
  • Two adults are free to marry and “no third party” has a right to harass or cause harm to them
  • The petitioner argued that honour killing” was “too soft a word” for such crimes against young people. “They should be called hate crimes
  • A senior counsel, who represented the khap panchayats, objected to them being portrayed as “inciters” of honour killings.
  • The counsel said such panchayats were age-old traditions and they did encourage inter-caste marriages now.
  • He argued that the objection of khaps to marriages between people from the same gotra was upheld in Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955.
  • Marriage within the same gotra led to genetic deformity in children, the counsel argued.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


For more equity

Long-term gains tax on shares sold after April 1


  • The Centre’s decision to bring back the long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) on equities, which was scrapped in 2004-05, seems to be a hasty move to plug the widening fiscal deficit ahead of an election year.
  • With investors in equities enjoying terrific returns over the last few years, it is not a surprise that they have become targets for the government to secure additional revenue.
  • The decision to announce the imposition of 10% tax on gains of over ₹1 lakh made on any form of investment in listed equities and mutual funds with a holding period of over one year will hit the average middle class investor.
  • Not surprisingly, the sharp fall in both the Nifty and the Sensex after Budget day has been linked to the new tax, along with the government’s abandonment of fiscal goals.
  • But given that the sell-off was part of a wider correction in global stock indices, it may be hard to draw a definite conclusion on the exact impact of the LTCG.
  • The Centre has justified the new tax arguing that it helps avoid the erosion of its tax base and levels the playing field between financial assets and investment in manufacturing.

Legitimate concerns:

  • One legitimate concern is whether raising the tax burden on equities, rather than lowering the tax and other barriers to investing in alternative assets, is the right way to address the distortionary effect of taxes.
  • Further, the smaller differential between short and long-term capital gains tax itself will discourage the long-term holding of stocks in favour of short-term trading activity.
  • While this might serve to improve liquidity in Indian markets and add to the government’s revenue, it is also likely to discourage to some extent the growing culture of investing in equities for the long run.
  • Besides, the securities transaction tax (STT), which was introduced in lieu of the LTCG in 2004 and penalises the buying of stocks for purposes other than just intra-day trading, has been left untouched by the government.
  • The double whammy of the STT and LTCG will further privilege short-term trading in stocks over long-term investment.
  • Being the only country in the world to impose both the STT and LTCG, India is also likely to become a little less attractive to foreign investors when compared to its peers.



Way Forward:

  • Despite the constraints, the government would do well to at least soften the negative impact of the new tax by allowing indexation (allowing a set-off based on inflation rate) of capital gains and removing the STT on equity investments.
  • Tough love for the well-off is not a bad strategy for a pre-election Budget, but it is important to be careful about maintaining India’s credibility in the global money markets in the process


Source-The Hindu,Tribune

General Studies-III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Rasagola battle in Orissa HC




  • The battle between Odisha and West Bengal for Geographical Indication (GI) tag on “Rasagola” is not yet over.
  • Two months after the Chennai-based Intellectual Property Office reached a conclusion that the syrupy sweet had its geographical origin in West Bengal, a trust based in Jajpur district and another individual on Monday moved a PIL in the Orissa High Court seeking a direction to the authority concerned to withdraw the tag from West Bengal.
  • The petitioners — Punya Utkal Trust and Santosh Kumar Sahoo of Jankia in Khurda district — also urged the High Court to direct the Odisha government to stake claim to the GI tag for Rasagola as the famous sweet had its origin in the State.
  • The sweet is also associated with the Jagannath culture and is being offered as prasad to the Trinity for over 400 years now
  • The petitioners assailed the “inaction” of the State of Odisha in taking needful steps for applying and obtaining GI registration of Rasagola as per the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act of 1999


Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


‘Procedural fairness must in govt. procurement’

Image result for govt. procurement



  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the Centre would have to ensure procedural fairness in matters of public procurement as well as in award of contracts, and warned that a ‘pick-and-choose’ system in commercial activities of the State would lead to allegations of corruption and nepotism.
  • Inaugurating the South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference, the Minister said transparency and fairness enable a State to act in the best interest of its citizens in terms of price, quality and service delivery and help avoid elements of nepotism and corruption in public procurement.
  • Referring to a series of measures taken by the government in this regard, including the introduction of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for online purchases of common use items, he said in addition to having its own rules and regulations relating to public procurement, the layers of accountability at various levels in the government had also been tightened.

The conference aims to help South Asian Governments to consider enhancements and innovations in their public procurement systems and enable efficient utilisation of public resources, ensuring quality and timeliness in delivery of services

Source-The Hindu

International News:

General Studies-II : India and its neighborhood- relations.

Maldives government declares emergency

Image result for maldives emergency


  • The Maldives government on Monday declared a state of emergency for 15 days, amid a spiralling political crisis that followed a surprise Supreme Court ruling last week.
  • The emergency rule in the Maldives follows the Yameen administration’s refusal to comply with a recent Supreme Court order that dissident leaders be freed from prison and 12 expelled legislators be reinstated in Parliament.
  • The development comes five days after the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of nine Opposition leaders, including exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.
  • The court also ordered that 12 MPs, expelled earlier, be reinstated. Emergency rule gives security officials extra powers to arrest dissidents
  • The government has come under criticism worldwide for its refusal to obey the court order.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests

U.S. Energy Secretary to visit India



  • U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will visit India this month to further enhance a recently added component in bilateral ties — energy trade.
  •  While the original marker of the turnaround in India-U.S. relations, the civil nuclear deal, has almost become redundant due to changed market conditions and new technologies, trade in fossil fuels has become the focus area for the U.S. under the Donald Trump administration.
  • Energy trade had prominently featured in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with President Donald Trump in June 2017 in Washington D.C and India placed a series of orders for American crude in the following months.
  • Public sector Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited are now continuously buying crude from America.
  • The Trump administration has removed regulations that had restricted oil and coal production, leading to a ramping up of fossil fuels production in the last year.
  • Indian public and private sector companies have invested approximately $5 billion in shale assets in the U.S.
  • Natural gas imports from the U.S are also on the rise.
  • Mr. Trump himself pointed to energy trade as an instrument to bring down U.S trade deficit with India and called Mr. Modi

Source-The Hindu

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