Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam: January 07, 2021

[GS3 – Economy – Capital Market] Market Infrastructure Institutions (MIIs)

TH | Prelims | GS3 > Economy > Capital Market

  • Context: SEBI proposed norms to facilitate new entrants to set up market infrastructure institutions (MIIs).
  • Market infrastructure institutions (MIIs) are institutions like stock exchanges & depositories (banks/institutions that hold & assist trading of securities like bonds, equity shares, etc.).

Some of the Key proposals

  • A resident promoter setting up an MII may hold up to 100% shareholding.
  • It will be brought down to not more than (either 51% or 26%) in 10 years.
  • Foreign individuals may acquire or hold up to 10% in an MII.
  • Any person other than the promoter may acquire or hold less than 25% shareholding.
  • At least 50% of ownership of the MII may be represented by individuals with experience of five years or more in the areas of capital markets or technology related to financial services.

Stock Exchange

  • It is an organisation which facilitates buying & selling of shares of listed companies.
  • Listed companies are those companies which are registered with the stock exchange.
  • Only old shares are bought & sold because it is a secondary market. (IPO is done in a primary market)
  • Shares are auctioned: demand & supply of shares are constructed on the bidding of people.
  • Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) & National Stock Exchange (NSE) are the major stock exchanges in India.
  • Primary market (new issues market): deals with new securities being issued for the first time (IPO).
  • After IPO, the company’s shares are listed & traded in an open market (stock exchange).
  • Secondary market (stock market or stock exchange): existing securities are bought & sold.

Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

  • It is an autonomous statutory regulator of the securities & commodity market in India.
  • It was established in 1988 & given Statutory Powers through the SEBI Act, 1992.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai; it has four other regional offices.
  • SEBI is responsive to the needs of three groups, which constitute the market:
    • issuers of securities (companies)
    • investors
    • market intermediaries (stock & commodity exchanges)

[GS3 – Economy – Exports] Duty Drawback Incentive

TH | Prelims + Mains | GS3 > Economy > LPG Reforms > Measures introduced to promote exports

  • Context: CBI books six for duty drawback incentive fraud.
  • They were booked for allegedly claiming duty drawback incentives without eligibility.
  • Duty drawback (DBK) incentive schemes are issued by the Directorate of Drawback.
  • Directorate of Drawback functions under Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC).
  • DBK is the rebate (a partial refund) of any duty that is chargeable on imported (excisable) materials that are used to manufacture goods in India & then the finished goods are exported from India.
  • Duty drawback is the sum of the following amounts:
  • Customs duty (taxes on imported goods) that is paid on imported input goods. This includes Special Addition Duty (SAD — additional custom duty leviable on imported goods).
  • Excise duty (taxes levied on the manufacture of goods within the country) that is paid on indigenous input goods
  • Duty that is paid on packing material
  • Input goods that are obtained without paying customs or excise duty are not eligible for DBK.

[GS3 – Economy – Taxes] Entertainment Tax – an indirect tax subsumed by GST

TH | GS3 > Economy > Taxes > Indirect Taxes > GST

  • Context: More than 24 years! after a concert in Mumbai by Michael Jackson, Maharashtra cabinet retrospectively upheld the entertainment tax waiver granted for it.
  • A consumer rights organisation had moved the HC in 1996 challenging the entertainment tax waiver.
  • In 2011, the HC had ruled that the state government has a right to extend waiver under the state’s laws.
  • The cabinet’s decision will allow the organiser to get back the profit deposited with the govt decades ago!

Entertainment tax

  • Entertainment tax (amusement tax) is any tax levied on any form of commercial entertainment, such as movie tickets, exhibitions, circus, large festive celebrations, sport events, etc.
  • The entertainment tax is an indirect tax, which is levied by the state government on the buyer.
  • There is a demand to levy such a tax on online services like Netflix, Spotify, & others.

Laws that govern Entertainment tax

  • Entertainment tax is different for different states as it falls under the purview of the state governments.
  • Rules pertaining to entertainment tax are listed in the 7th Schedule, under Article 246 of the Constitution.
  • The 7th Schedule under Article 246  deals with the division of power between the Union & the States.
  • It demarcated the powers into 3 lists — Union List, State List, & the Concurrent List.
  • In 2017, the entertainment tax was subsumed by Goods & Services Tax.

Impact of GST on Entertainment tax

  • Prior to GST, municipal bodies had no share in entertainment taxes collected by states.
  • 101st Constitution Amendment (introduced GST) permitted levy & collection of ET by local bodies.
  • In the absence of a state law, it suggested that the State may compensate local bodies for the revenue loss & compensation may be made equal to 90% of the State GST collected on entertainment.
  • Some states have made provisions that require local bodies to charge entertainment tax.
  • In such states, entertainment tax is levied by local bodies over & above GST.
  • Overall, GST has a mixed effect on the entertainment industry, depending on the states.
  • For states where the entertainment tax was higher than GST rates, there is a shortfall in revenue & vice versa.

[GS3 – Envi – Conservation] Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres

TH | Prelims | GS3 > Conservation | Basics: Indian Vulture Crisis

  • Context: To increase the availability of food for vultures in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), the Forest Department is allowing dead cattle from a nearby cow shelter to be left for the scavengers.
  • In a bid to save endangered species of vultures from extinction, the National Board for Wildlife has approved a new plan that proposes setting up Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres in some States.
  • A captive breeding centre would come up in the buffer zone of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
  • Critically endangered Oriential White-backed Vultures, Indian white-rumped vulture & long-billed vulture are found here.

[GS3 – S&T – COVID] Covishield vs Covaxin

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

[GS3 – S&T – Diseases] Avian influenza (H5N8) – Bird Flu

TH | Prelims | GS2 > issues related to Health

  • Context: Avian influenza (H5N8) has been confirmed among ducks in Kottayam.
  • Bird flu/Avian influenza (H5N8) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.) as well as pet birds & wild birds.
  • While it can prove lethal for birds, the H5N8 strain of avian influenza has a lower likelihood of spreading to humans as compared to H5N1.
  • Human infections are primarily acquired through direct contact with infected poultry.
  • Avian influenza virus subtypes include A(H5N1), A(H7N9), & A(H9N2) A(H5N8)

Government Response

  • Directions have been given to enforce culling of sick birds as per the 2015 National Avian Influenza Plan.
  • The plan is prepared & revised by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (not MoEF).
  • The plan provides guidance to state govts in prevention, control, & containment of avian influenza.
  • Fishing will be banned in the affected region.

Influenza (Flu) in Humans

  • Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, & sometimes the lungs.
  • Influenza viruses are classified into subtypes based on two surface proteins, Hemagglutinin (HA) & Neuraminidase (NA). 
  • It can cause mild to severe illness, & at times can lead to death.
  • There are four types of influenza viruses namely A, B, C & D.
  • Influenza A viruses: These are the only influenza viruses that cause flu pandemics that is global epidemics of flu disease.
  • Influenza B viruses: They are not classified into subtypes & can be broken down into lineages.
  • Influenza C viruses: This type of virus is detected less frequently & usually causes mild infections & does not present public health risk. Or we can say that they do not cause human flu epidemic.
  • Influenza D viruses: They primarily affect cattle & does not infect or cause illness in people.
  • Influenza A & B viruses causes acute respiratory infection & the seasonal epidemic of disease.

Source & Credits

[Prelims – Envi Mapping – TR] Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

TH | Prelims | Mapping > Tiger Reserves

  • It lies on the north-western side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District.
  • It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka & Kerala.
  • Vegetation: tropical moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous forest, tropical dry thorn forests are in the east.
  • Major Fauna: Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, gaur, golden jackal, bonnet macaque, sambar deer, Indian muntjac, Indian giant squirrel, red giant flying squirrel, etc.
  • Major Avian Fauna: Indian white-rumped vulture (CR) & Indian Vulture (CR).
  • Threats: Tourism & invasive species such as lantana.
Tiger Reserves of India
Tiger Reserves of India
National Parks of India
National Parks of India
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