09-04-2021 Current Affairs Summary

09-04-2021 Current Affairs Quiz

Net Tax Collection exceeds revised estimates in FY21

The tax collections in the fiscal year 2021 exceeded the revised target by 5%. The tax collected in 2021 was 10% lower than the direct tax collected in the previous year. In the Union Budget 2020-21, the Government of India predicted that Rs 13.19 lakh crores will be collected from direct taxes. However, this was before the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, the estimate was reduced to Rs 9.05 lakh crores. The Net Corporate tax collection for the year 2020-21 was RS 4.57 lakh crores. The net personal income tax collected was Rs 4.71 lakh crores. In 2020-21, the issuance of refund has grown by 42%. In the financial year 2019-20, the direct tax collected was Rs 10.49 lakh crores. In the year 2020-21, the direct tax was Rs 9.45 lakh crores. The target of direct taxes for the fiscal year 2021-22 has been set at Rs 11.08 lakh crores. The scheme was launched to settle cases of disputed tax, penalty, interest. It will benefit the taxpayers whose tax demands are locked in multiple disputes solving forums. The Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme aims to settle 483,000 direct tax-related disputes that are pending in appellate forums. It provided a complete waiver on interest to the taxpayers who paid their taxes by March 31. So far, the scheme has collected Rs 54,000 crores of tax. The last date for payment under the scheme has been extended to April 30, 2021.

PM Modi releases Hindi Translation of Odisha Itihaas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the Hindi translation of “Odisha Itihaas”. The book is available in Odia and English so far. It was translated to Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit. The book was written by Utkal Keshari Dr Harekrushna Mahatab. He wrote the book Odisha Itihaas in Ahmednagar Fort Jail. He was imprisoned here for two years between 1942 and 1945.

Harekrushna Mahatab-He was the first Chief Minister of Odisha. He served as the Chief Minister of Odisha between 1946 and 1950 and again between 1956 and 1961. He was popularly known as Utkal Keshari.

Utkal Keshari was the leader of the Indian National Congress.

He was born in the Bhadrak district of Odisha. He joined the Independence struggle in 1921. He was the chairman of the Balasore District Board between 1924 and 1928. He joined the Salt Satyagraha Movement and was imprisoned in 1930. He participated in the untouchability movement and opened his ancestral temple to all. He participated in Quit India Movement and was imprisoned again for two years. He founded the Prajatantra Prachar Samiti. He started the weekly magazine Prajantantra in 1923. It later became the Daily Prajatantra. He acted as the Governor of Bombay from 1955 to 1956. He played a significant role in the merger and integration of princely states. Dr Mahatab wanted to integrate twenty-six Oriya speaking princely states with the Odisha province in 1946 and took several steps to achieve it. He shifted the capital of Odisha from Cuttack to Bhubaneshwar. It was Mahatab who sanctioned the construction of Hirakud Dam. He was imprisoned in 1976 for protesting against the emergency rule.

Tika Utsav: COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appealed to the Chief Ministers of the States to organise “Tika Utsav”. Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021, and April 14, 2021. The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, three states are receiving a maximum number of COVID-19 doses. They are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two major COVID-19 vaccines that are currently administered in India. So far, India has shipped 64 million doses of vaccines to 84 countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The major recipient countries of the Indian COVID-19 vaccines are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil. The GoI has planned to cover 250 million people included in the “high priority” category by July 2021 under its vaccination programme.

US Navy conducted Freedom of Navigation Operation in Indian Ocean Region

The US Navy recently conducted a Freedom of Navigation Operation in the Indian Ocean Region near Lakshadweep. During the operation, the US warship entered the Exclusive Economic Zone of India without seeking prior consent from India. The warship that entered Indian EEZ was an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones.

According to the UNCLOS, countries cannot prevent ships from using the Exclusive Economic Zone. However, according to Indian laws, any foreign military must inform before conducting any activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India. The US Government said that the US forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on daily basis. All such operations are designated by international law. Also, the US Government stated that US Forces will continue such operations in the future.

Article 87 of the UNCLOS says that the high seas are open to all the states whether landlocked or coastal. It mentions “Freedom of Navigation” as the right for all states.

What is KVIC’s RE-HAB Project?

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari recently announced that the project of Khadi and Village Industries (KVIC) called RE-HAB has become a huge success. Thus, it is to be implemented in other states as well. This includes Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

Project RE-HAB is Reducing Elephant Human Attacks using Bees. It was launched at four spots in the Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka. The project aims to prevent elephant human conflicts without creating harm to either of them. The project is highly cost-effective. The bee boxes were provided as a part of Honey Mission.

Jal Jeevan Mission: State-Wise Planning Exercise started for 2021–22

The Ministry of Jal Shakti recently announced that it is to roll out an annual planning exercise with the States and Union Territories. The exercise is to be conducted by a committee chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The Committee will take up two states or Union Territories per day. The Committee is to do rigorous scrutiny of the proposed Annual Action Plan for the year 2021-22 prepared by the States and the Union Territories. The plan will then be finalised. The Jal Jeevan Mission was announced in 2019. The main objective of the mission is to provide a functional household tap connection to every home in India by 2024. The mission envisages supplying 55 litres of water per person per day. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Government of India exponentially increased the level of implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission. This was done to boost Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) working hours. The GoI supported the livelihood of migrant workers and workers of the unorganised sector through MGNREGA. Also, the wages of MGNREGA were increased. Therefore, a greater number of working hours as needed. This was provided by Jal Jeevan Mission. The working hours of MGNREGA were used to implement Jal Jeevan Mission (pipe laying, plumbing work, digging, establishing rain harvest systems, etc). Apart from Jal Jeevan Mission, the Indian Railways also supported MGNREGA by providing work hours during the lockdown.

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute get Drone Use Permission

The Ministry of Civil Aviation recently granted permission to the Central Mine Planning Design Institute to survey the coalfield areas of Coal India Limited. According to the permission granted, the drones shall be deployed to monitor the mapping and surveying activity, an inspection of the coalfield. This is a conditional exemption and is valid till April 4, 2022. The Standard Operating Procedure to the Central Mine Planning Design Institute for flying the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in the coalfield areas says that exemption from the Ministry of Civil Aviation must be obtained from UAS Rules, 2021 before operation. UAS Rules, 2021-No Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) shall carry payload except as permitted by DGCA. No person shall drop from a UAS in motion. Only Nano class drones can operate in India. However, a qualified remote pilot will be permitted to operate heavy drones. 

IMF: India’s Debt to GDP increased to 90%

The International Monetary Fund recently announced that the debt to GDP ratio of India increased from 74% to 90% due to the COVID-19 crisis. This is to increase to 99% in 2021. The international financial organisation has also stated that this is to reduce to 80% after economic recovery.

  • At the end of the third quarter of 2020, the Debt to GDP ratio of the USA was 127.3%.
  • During the same period, it was:
    • 246.1% in Japan
    • 46.7% in China

Three-branded Rosefinch: New bird species in India

A team of scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society recorded a new species of bird. It has been identified as the three-banded Rosefinch. The new bird species were identified while exploring the high-altitude coniferous forests of Arunachal Pradesh. The three branded Rosefinch is a resident of southern China and a vagrant in Bhutan. 

ADB approves 484 million USD for CKIC Project

The Asian Development Bank recently approved 484 million USD for CKIC (Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor) in Tamil Nadu. The project will upgrade 590 km of state highways in the CKIC influence areas. The Climate Change adaptation measures are to be incorporated in the highway upgrades. This includes improved drainage, resizing of bridges and culverts, raised road embankments in critical sections. The project is to strengthen road safety programmes through advanced technologies for road monitoring. The project will also improve the planning capacity of the Tamil Nadu Highway and Minor Ports Department. 

Committee: 3 out of every 1,000 pregnant women in Meghalaya test positive for HIV

The Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment recently submitted its report to the Meghalaya Government. The Committee was led by Ampareen Lyngdoh. The Committee has found that three out of every thousand pregnant women in the state are testing positive for HIV in the state.

According to the Committee, there are five thousand plus cases of HIV/AIDS in Meghalaya. The number of cases in the state is increasing alarmingly. With the discussions made with the police department and social welfare department, the committee has identified that there is an urgent need to address the issue of commercial sex workers. The Government of Meghalaya has been suggested framing a policy to address the issue of HIV/AIDS. The committee has recommended conducting a study to find out the reason why HIV is more prevalent among pregnant women in the state. The major concern that needs immediate action is the prevalence of HIV among sex workers in the East Khasi hills. According to MACS (Meghalaya AIDS Control Society), there are more than two hundred sex workers in the state that test HIV positive.

There are schemes of the Central Government that try to rehabilitate sex workers in the state. However, it is currently not functioning due to the very slow flow of funds from the centre.

Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently notified Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021. The amendment has been made to bring the existing Copyright rules in the country with parity with the other relevant legislation.

What are the amendments made?

  • The Copyright societies will have to make an Annual Transparency Report for each financial year.
  • The amendments have harmonised the Copyright rules with the provisions of the Finance Act, 2017. This has been achieved by merging Copyright Board with the Appellate Board.
  • The compliance requirements of registration works have been largely reduced. The applicant now has the liberty to file the first ten and last ten pages of source code with no blocked out or redacted portions.
  • The time limit of the Central Government to respond to an application has been extended. When an applicant applies to get registered as a copyright society, the central government shall now respond in one hundred and eighty days. This has been done to provide enough time so that the application can be comprehensively examined.

French Open 2021 tournament postponed by a week due to COVID-19 pandemic

The French Tennis Federation on April 08, 2021, announced that the 2021 Roland Garros tournament has been postponed by one week. The decision came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide restrictions in France.

The 2021 Roland Garros tournament, also called the French Open and the only ‘clay-court Grand Slam tournament, will now run from May 24 till June 13, 2021. The qualifying rounds will be conducted from May 24 to May 28, 2021, followed by the main draw starting from May 30till June 13, 2021.

Britain's Prince Philip passes away at 99

Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 years on April 9, 2021. The Buckingham Palace confirmed the same through a statement that read, "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

The Royal Family's statement further read, "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle." The statement concluded by saying, "The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu sworn in as post-war Kosovo's second Female President

Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu was sworn in as post-war Kosovo's second Female President and seventh overall on April 4, 2021. She was sworn in for a five-year term period. 

Osmani-Sadriu, the former parliamentary speaker of the Balkan nation, took the oath after she received support from 71 lawmakers in the 120-seat parliament in the third round of voting during the two-day extraordinary session of the Parliament.

While 11 votes were declared invalid, two opposition parties and the ethnic Serb minority party decided to boycott the voting. 

CJI SA Bobde launches Supreme Court’s first AI-driven research portal ‘SUPACE’

The Supreme Court of India launched the first Artificial Intelligence-driven research portal (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE) on April 06, 2021.

What is SUPACE?

•SUPACE stands for Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency.

•On April 06, 2021, the Chief Justice of India S A Bobde launched the AI-driven research portal SUPACE for the Indian Judiciary system.

•SUPACE will assist the judges with the collection of data, the discovery of facts, processing words and figures in turn saving time and improving efficiency.

•The AI-driven tool is designed to only process information and make it available to the Judges to take a decision. It will not take any part in the decision making.

•In the initial phases, only the Judges of Delhi and Bombay High Courts dealing with criminal cases will use on an experimental basis.

Vietnam National Assembly elects new Prime Minister, President

The Vietnam National Assembly on April 5, 2021, voted to make Pham Minh Chinh the next Prime Minister of Vietnam. He is a Communist Party member with a history as a security official.

While the outgoing Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has been appointed as the new President of the country.

Dutee Chand to be honoured with Chhattisgarh Veerni Award

Dutee Chand will be honoured with the Chhattisgarh Veerni Award at the inaugural edition of the awards that are scheduled to be held on April 14, 2021.

The Chhattisgarh Government had earlier announced that the first edition of the Chhattisgarh Veerni Awards will be held on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, April 14th. The ceremony will take place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Jakarta Asian Games silver-medalist in 100 and 200 metres is one among a diverse group of women achievers and leaders from Chhatisgarh and other parts of India who are being recognised with the honour.

The Chhattisgarh state government established the Chhattisgarh Veerni Awards to recognise the contribution of Indian women in different fields including sports, literature, education, law, music, history, social work and business. 

Full List of Winners

1. Dutee Chand                       Sports

2. Amita Shriwas                    Sports

3. Shubha Mudgal                  Music, art, and culture

4. Teejan Bai                          Performing Arts

5. Sabbah Haji                        Education

6. Lakshmi Karyare               Education & Literature

7. Budhri Taati                       Social Service

8. Rebecca Mammen John     Law

9. Savita Awasthi                   Law and legal literacy

10. Ameera Shah                    Healthcare and women’s entrepreneurship

11. Keshkunwar Panika         Entrepreneurship and women’s financial empowerment

12. Ankita Gupta                   Women empowerment and public service

13. Rana Safvi                       History

14. Yashica Dutt                    Journalism

Four Indian sailors qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2021

Four Indian sailors, in a historic first for the country, have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The pair of Ganapathy Chengappa, Varun Thakkar, and Vishnu Saravanan cut an ongoing Asian Qualifiers in Oman on April 8, 2021.

This was after Nethra Kumanan on April 7 became the first Indian woman sailor for qualifying for the Olympics in the laser radial event in Mussanah Open Championship. It is an Asian Olympic Qualifying event.

It will also be the first time that India will be competing in three sailing events in the Olympics. So far, the country had competed in only one event in all the earlier Olympic games though two Indian sailors had represented the country on four occasions.

RBI increases the limit of maximum balance for payment banks

The Reserve Bank of India on April 7, 2021, enhanced the limit of maximum end-of-day balance for the payment banks from Rs. 1 lakh per individual to Rs. 2 lakh with an immediate effect.

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