ias-prelims-2019-important-mcq

(Notes) IAS Prelims 2019 GS Paper-1

Important Topics/Notes for UPSC IAS Prelims Exam-2019

1. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)

• Launched on 9th May, 2015.

• These schemes are offered/administered through both public and private sector insurance companies, in tie up with scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks.

PMJJBY:

• It offers a renewable one-year term life cover of Rupees Two Lakh to all account holders in the age group of 18 to 50 years, covering death due to any reason, for a premium of Rs. 330/- per annum per subscriber, to be auto debited from subscriber’s bank account.

PMSBY:

• It offers a renewable one-year accidental death cum disability cover to all subscribing bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 70 years for a premium of Rs. 12/- per annum per subscriber to be auto debited from subscriber’s bank account.

• It provides a cover of Rs. Two Lakh for accidental death or total permanent disability and Rs One Lakh in case of permanent partial disability

• The above schemes are on self-subscription basis and involve no Government contribution. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):

• Ministry of Agriculture implements PMFBY and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS).

• It provides comprehensive crop insurance cover against non-preventable natural risks at an affordable rate to farmers.

• It    is compulsory    for    loanee farmers availing crop    loans for notified    crops    in     notified   areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers.

• Uniform maximum premium of only 2%, 1.5% and 5% of the sum  insured to  be paid by  farmers  for all Kharif crops, Rabi crops and commercial/horticultural crops.

• The difference between premium and the rate of insurance charges payable by farmers is provided as subsidy and shared equally by the Centre and State.

2. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) – Ayushman Bharat

• A centrally sponsored scheme.

• An entitlement-based scheme. It covers poor and vulnerable families based on deprivation and occupational criteria as per SECC data.

• It provides health coverage up to Rs. 5 lakh per family, per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families.

• It provides cashless and paperless services for the beneficiary at the point of service in any (public and private) empanelled hospitals across India.

• The ratio of premium under PMJAY is 60:40 between Centre and State except North Eastern States and 3 Himalayan States where the ratio is 90:10 with an upper limit for Centre.

• In the case of Union Territories, the Central contribution of premium is 100% for UTs without legislature, while it is 60:40 for those with legislature.

Source: PIB

3. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is the flagship placement linked skill- training programme under the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).

• There are several challenges that are preventing India’s rural poor from competing such as the lack of formal education and employability skills. DDU-GKY bridges this gap by funding training projects with an emphasis on placement, retention, career progression and foreign placement.

• The mission of the flagship scheme of MoRD is to ensure rural poor youth are skilled in market relevant trades and job-relevant competencies.

Champion Employers policy:

• The Champion Employers are the industry leaders who have the potential to provide training and captive employment to the DDU-GKY candidates.

• The policy seeks a strategic alignment of objectives of DDU-GKY with the HR strategy of organizations, which have a large potential to absorb trained manpower.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY):

• The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) announced the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) Antyodaya Diwas, on 25th September 2014.

• DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

• DDU-GKY is uniquely focused on rural youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years from poor families. As a part of the Skill India campaign, it plays an instrumental role in supporting the social and economic programs of the government like the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Start-Up India, Stand- up India campaigns.

Source: PIB

4.  National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) made its effort to reduce pollution in river Ganga when PM inaugurated projects in Prayagraj including 175 KM of sewerage network.

The project will now carry 7.8 Cr litres sewage water per day to existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) at Salori, Kodra & Ponghat for treatment earlier ended up in Ganga.

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):

It was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

It acted as implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), 1986.

The Act envisages five-tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga and to ensure continuous adequate flow of water so as to rejuvenate the river Ganga as below:

1. National Ganga Council under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

2. Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

3. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).   

4. State Ganga Committees, and

5. District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.

5. Who are Rohingyas?

India has handed over to Myanmar the first 50 houses built by the country for the displaced minority Rohingya Muslims in the restive Rakhine province.

Background:

• India signed a development programme for Rakhine State in Myanmar late last year which was designed to assist the Myanmar government in Rakhine State to build housing infrastructure for displaced persons.

• More than 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017 after a military crackdown, triggering a massive refugee crisis.

• They are an Ethnic group, mostly Muslims. They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar. They were classified as “resident foreigners or associate citizens”.

• They speak a dialect of Bengali and not Burmese. Ethnically they are much closer to Indo-Aryan people of India and Bangladesh than to the Sino-Tibetans of the Country.

What’s the issue?

• Few years ago, religious and ethnic tensions between the Rohingya Muslims and the Rakhine Buddhists (who make up the majority of the population in Myanmar) escalated into widespread, deadly rioting. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee. Since then, ongoing violent attacks have forced even more people to leave their homes.

• The Myanmar Government says that Rohingya people are not Burmese citizens – but the Rohingya have been living in Myanmar for generations. Today, they are a people with no home or citizenship.

• Rohingya people are being widely abused and exploited. They are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

Sources: the Hindu.

6. What are Golden Visas, Who can avail them and why they have become Controversial

The UK government has put on hold plans to suspend “Golden visa” category in reference to its use by super-rich foreign nationals, including Indians, to acquire fast-track settlement rights in Britain.

What are Golden Visas or Tier 1 Visas?

  • They provide a faster route for wealthy investors coming from outside the European Union and Switzerland to settle in Britain. The program was introduced in 2008 to attract wealthy foreign nationals willing to invest large amounts of capital in Britain.
  • To qualify, foreign nationals must put down a minimum of 2 million pounds (around $2.5 million) as an investment in Britain. Such an investment in United Kingdom bonds, share capital or companies allows investors to apply for permanent residency within five years.
  • For a £5 million investment, they can apply for permanent residency after three years.
  • An investment of £10 million can open the door to permanent residency after two years. After that, the nationals theoretically could apply for citizenship.
  • Billions of pounds have poured into London over the past decade, following an influx of global elites who have benefited from the program. The visa program has always had its critics, with anticorruption campaigners railing against Britain’s openness to ill-gotten riches from overseas and the foreigners who invest them.
  • A survey found that the scheme brought limited economic benefits because most of the investors had bought fixed-interest loan securities known as gilts, meaning that they were effectively loaning the government money instead of investing in the country.

Sources: the Hindu.

7. India has signed the ascension agreement to the Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN). The multilateral construct comprises of 30 countries and is steered by Italy.

  • India already has bilateral White Shipping Agreements with 36 countries.

About the Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN):

The network facilitates information exchange on the movement of commercial traffic on the high seas.

  • The information is available primarily through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) fitted on merchant ships with more than 300 gross registered tonnages as mandated by the International Maritime Organisation.
  • The AIS information comprises name, MMSI number, position, course, speed, last port visited, destination and so on. This information can be picked up through various AIS sensors including coastal AIS chains and satellite based receivers.
  • Significance:
  • Such multilateral agreements are necessitated due to the large traffic in the Indian Ocean which cannot be entirely monitored by any one nation.
  • This is a significant move as it will help the Indian Navy keep a watch over the vast Indian Ocean and boost maritime security of the country.
  • India is part of several such agreements, which help the nations to coordinate and share information to keep tabs on suspicious activities and illegal trade across the oceans.

Sources: the Hindu.

8. OPEC, Why Qatar is leaving?

Qatar has announced that it would leave OPEC on January 1, 2019. The decision comes just days before OPEC and its allies are scheduled to hold a meeting in Vienna, Austria. Qatar said it is leaving OPEC in order to focus on gas production.

What’s the issue?

• The decision to pull out after more than five decades comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics, with Doha under a boycott by former neighbouring allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months.

• Since June 2017, OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia — along with three other Arab states — has cut trade and transport ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and its regional rival Iran. Qatar denies the claims, saying the boycott hampers its national sovereignty.

Background:

• Qatar’s oil production is around 600,000 barrels per day, making it the world’s 17th largest producer of crude. It also only holds around two percent of the world’s global oil reserves.

About OPEC:

• The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a group of oil-producing nations that was first established in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1961.

• OPEC is one of the most powerful international organizations in the world and was a major player in the shift towards state control over natural resources.

Membership:

• The OPEC Statute distinguishes between the Founder Members and Full Members – those countries whose applications for membership have been accepted by the Conference.

• The Statute stipulates that “any country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of Member Countries, may become a Full Member of the Organization, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of Full Members, including the concurring votes of all Founder Members.”

• The Statute further provides for Associate Members which are those countries that do not qualify for full membership, but are nevertheless admitted under such special conditions as may be prescribed by the Conference.

• Currently, the Organization has a total of 15 Member Countries. The current OPEC members are the following: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea,

• Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the Republic of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

• Indonesia is a former member, and Qatar will no longer be the member of OPEC starting on 1 January 2019.

Sources: the Hindu.

9. Australia has recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. With this, Australia has become one of the few countries that officially recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Background

• Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their Capital and this despite is not resolved yet.

• United States President Donald Trump’s administration had also announced recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017.

• The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in opposition to declare the US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”. India also supported the resolution, which was approved with a majority of 127-9 at the UN General Assembly calling for the US to withdraw its decision.

Sources: the Hindu.

10. The 7th round of India – South Korea Comprehensive   Economic   Partnership   Agreement  (CEPA) negotiations were held in South Korea from 11th to 13th December, 2018.

Highlights of the Meeting:

The discussions were positive, and subject to Indian sugar industry meeting the quality standards and specifications prescribed by the South Korean Government.

Background:

  • South Korea imports around 15 lac tones of raw sugar annually and the Indian sugar industry is making efforts to export raw sugar from India during 2018-19 sugar seasons.
  • India and South Korea will reduce duties on 11 tariff lines in a bid to expand bilateral trade by updating their existing free-trade agreement, called the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
  • In 2017-18, India exported goods worth $4.4 billion to South Korea while imports from the latter were worth $16.3 billion.

Difference between CECA and CEPA –

  • CECA – Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
  • CEPA – Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
  • The major “technical” difference between a CECA and CEPA is that CECA involve only “tariff reduction/elimination in a phased manner on listed/all items except the negative list and tariff rate quota (TRQ) items. CEPA also covers the trade in services and investment and other areas of economic partnership”.
  • So CEPA is a wider term that CECA and has the widest coverage.
  • Usually CECA signed first with a country and after that negotiations may start for a CEPA.

Source: PIB

11.  Chabahar port.

Iran formally handed over the port to India during a first meeting of the follow-up committee for the implementation of the Chabahar Agreement between Iran, Afghanistan, and India held recently in the port city Tehran.

chabahar-port-ias-prelims-2019-GS-paper-I

Background:

The Chabahar Agreement was signed in June 2015 and approved by Iran’s Guardian Council in November 2016. Chabahar is being seen as a gateway for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with Central Asian countries

Where is Chabahar port?

Iran’s Chabahar port is located on the Gulf of Oman and is the only oceanic port of the country. The port gives access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf nations’ southern coast.

Why Chabahar port is crucial for India?

The first and foremost significance of the Chabahar port is the fact that India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan. Chabahar port will boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.

Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.

With Chabahar port being developed and operated by India, Iran also becomes a military ally to India. Chabahar could be used in case China decides to flex its navy muscles by stationing ships in Gwadar port to reckon its upper hand in the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Middle East.

With Chabahar port becoming functional, there will be a significant boost in the import of iron ore, sugar and rice to India. The import cost of oil to India will also see a considerable decline. India has already increased its crude purchase from Iran since the West imposed ban on Iran was lifted.

Chabahar port will ensure in the establishment of a politically sustainable connectivity between India and Afghanistan. This will in turn, lead to better economic ties between the two countries.

From a diplomatic perspective, Chabahar port could be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated.

Sources: the Hindu.

12. CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor)

Clarifying about a recent U.S. media report that alleged that China had hatched a secret plan to build fighter jets and other military hardware in Pakistan as part of the CPEC project, Pakistan has said that the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a bilateral economic project and has no military dimensions.

About CPEC:           

  • The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China- funded infrastructure projects.
  • The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consisting of highways, railways, and pipelines is the latest irritant in the India–China relationship.
  • CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
  • The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banking giants such as Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

But, why is India concerned?

  • It passes through PoK. Any Indian participation would inextricably be linked to the country’s legitimate claims on PoK.
  • CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
  • Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.

Sources: the Hindu.

13. Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)

India will Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) from 1st January 2018. It was handed Chairmanship by the European Union during KPCS Plenary 2018, which was held in Brussels, Belgium.

What is the Kimberley Process?

  • The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds. It aims to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds, while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds.
  • The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) outlines the rules that govern the trade in rough diamonds.
  • The KP is not, strictly speaking, an international organisation: it has no permanent offices or permanent staff. It relies on the contributions – under the principle of ‘burden-sharing’ – of participants, supported by industry and civil society observers. Neither can the KP be considered as an international agreement from a legal perspective, as it is implemented through the national legislations of its participants.

What are Conflict diamonds?

  1. “Conflict Diamonds” means rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments.
  2. It is also described in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. 

India is founding member of KPCS. Who is involved?

The Kimberley Process (KP) is open to all countries that are willing and able to implement its requirements. The KP has 54 participants, representing 81 countries, with the European Union and its Member States counting as a single participant.

KP members account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds. In addition, the World Diamond Council, representing the international diamond industry, and civil society organisations, such as Partnership-Africa Canada, participate in the KP and has played a major role since its outset.

How does the Kimberley Process work?

  • The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as ‘conflict-free’ and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade.
  • Under the terms of the KPCS, participating states must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and also commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data.
  • Participants can only legally trade with other participants who have also met the minimum requirements of the scheme, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free.

Sources: the Hindu.

14.  The Union Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan participated in the inauguration of Indian Pavilion at the 24thmeeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held at Katowice, Poland.

•          Theme of India Pavilion – “One World One Sun One Grid”.

Minister’s Statement:

  1. The Ministry has launched a nationwide campaign in preserving and protecting the environment called the Green Good Deeds Movement.
  2. This campaign was prepared to inspire, encourage and involve each and every individual of the society to realize people’s participation in accomplishing the goals.
  3. India’s leadership in global climate action has been recognized and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been bestowed with “Champion of Earth  Award” this year by the United Nations in promoting International Solar Alliance and resolve to make India plastic free by 2022.

UNFCCC:

• UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty, entered into force on 21 March 1994. Now, it has near-universal membership. The UNFCCC has 197 parties as of December 2015.

Aim of the UNFCCC:

• To prevent ‘dangerous’ human interference with the climate system.

Source: PIB

15. What is the ‘Champions of the Earth award’?

  • It was launched in 2005.
  • “Champions of the Earth”, the UN’s highest environmental honour, celebrates outstanding figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.
  • In 2018, the award was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron for their leadership in promotion of solar energy.

What is COP 24?

  • COP24 is the informal   name   for   the   24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The COP takes decisions to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention and regularly reviews the implementation of these provisions.

16. Maldives has applied to rejoin the Commonwealth.

Two years ago, the country’s former leader Yameen withdrew the Maldives from the Commonwealth after it mounted pressure on him to protect human rights and ensure the rule of law amid a ferocious crackdown on dissent.

About Commonwealth of Nations

  • The Commonwealth of Nations, at one time known as British Commonwealth, is an organisation of fifty three states that were principally below the colonial rule of British Government. They came into existence with the proclamation of sovereignty of the state from the colonial rule of British Empire and were later given self-governance.
  • It proclaims that the Commonwealth nations are “free and equal.” The insignia of this Commonwealth Association is Queen Elizabeth II who is considered the Supreme of the Commonwealth nations.
  • The member states of the commonwealth are not legally liable or bound to each other. They are rather united by language, history, culture, likeness of the democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
  • Their values are listed down within the Commonwealth Charter and the hands of harmony towards the member states are extended by the Commonwealth Games held every four years.
  • Former British mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, British Palestine, Sudan, British Somaliland, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Key facts:

  • Former name — British Commonwealth.
  • Composition: intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
  • It operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states.
  • Established in 1949 by the London Declaration.
  • Structure: Head of the Commonwealth — Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. The position is symbolic.

Sources: the Hindu.   

17. The fourth Partners’ Forum was recently held in New Delhi. It was hosted by the Government of India, in association with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).

  • The previous chapters were held in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014), New Delhi, India (2010) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2007). This is the second time India is hosting the Partners’ Forum.

What is Partners’ Forum?

  • Partners’ Forum is a global health partnership launched in September 2005 to accelerate efforts to reduce child and maternal mortality, improve adolescent, child, newborn and maternal health.
  • An alliance: This partnership is an alliance of more than 1,000 plus members, across 10 constituencies in 92 countries: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; global financing mechanisms and the private sector.
  • PMNCH’s mission is to support the global health community to work successfully towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the health related SDGs.
  • The programme of the Partners’ Forum will be framed around the objectives of the Global Strategy of Survive – Thrive – Transform.

Sources: toi.

18. Japan is considering pulling out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Such a move would spark international criticism against Japan over whale conservation and deepen the divide between anti- and pro-whaling countries.

Tokyo currently observes the moratorium but exploits a loophole to kill hundreds of whales every year for “scientific purposes” as well as to sell the meat.

About IWC

  • It is an international body set up under International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW).
  • ICRW governs the commercial, scientific, and aboriginal subsistence whaling practices of fifty-nine member nations. It was signed in Washington, D.C., United States, in 1946.
  • Headquarters — Impington, near Cambridge, England
  • In 1986, it adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling. This ban still continues.

Whale sanctuary:

  • In 1994, it created the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounding the continent of Antarctica. Here, the IWC has banned all types of commercial whaling.
  • Only two such sanctuaries have been designated by IWC till date. Another is Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary by the tiny island nation of the Seychelles.
  • Objectives:
  • To provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks.
  • For orderly development of the whaling industry.

Sources: the Hindu.

19. What is Angel Tax and who are angel investors?

Over the past few weeks, several startups have reportedly been receiving notices from the I-T department asking them to clear taxes on the angel funding they raised, and in some cases, levying a penalty for not paying Angel Tax.

However, this is not the first time that this issue has come up. Startups have been raising the issue of Angel Tax for years, requesting the government to do away with it.

What is Angel Tax?

  • Angel Tax is a 30% tax that is levied on the funding received by startups from an external investor. However, this 30% tax is levied when startups receive angel funding at a valuation higher than its ‘fair market value’. It is counted as income to the company and is taxed.
  • The tax, under section 56(2) (viib), was introduced by in 2012 to fight money laundering. The stated rationale was that bribes and commissions could be disguised as angel investments to escape taxes. But given the possibility of this section being used to harass genuine startups, it was rarely invoked.

Why is Angel tax problematic?

  • There is no definitive or objective way to measure the ‘fair market value’ of a startup. Investors pay a premium for the idea and the business potential at the angel funding stage. However, tax officials seem to be assessing the value of the startups based on their net asset value at one point. Several startups say that they find it difficult to justify the higher valuation to tax officials.
  • In a notification dated May 24, 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had exempted angel investors from the Angel Tax clause subject to fulfilment of certain terms and conditions, as specified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). However, despite the exemption notification, there are a host of challenges that startups are still faced with, in order to get this exemption.

Sources: the Hindu.

20. Indian Ports Association (IPA) under the guidance of Ministry of Shipping launched the Port Community System ‘PCS1x’.

  • The platform has the potential to revolutionize maritime trade in India and bring it at par with global best practices and pave the way to improve the Ease of Doing Business world ranking and Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks.

About PCS 1x:

  • ‘PCS 1x’ is a cloud based new generation technology, with user-friendly interface.
  • This system seamlessly integrates stakeholders from the maritime trade on a single platform.
  • The platform offers value added services such as notification engine, workflow, mobile application, track and trace, better user interface, better security features, improved inclusion by offering dashboard for those with no IT capability.
  • Another major feature is the deployment of a world class state of the art payment aggregator solution which removes dependency on bank specific payment eco system.

Other Features:

  1. It is an initiative that supports green initiatives by reducing dependency on paper.
  2. It has been developed indigenously and is a part of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’        

Indian Ports Association (IPA):

  • IPA was constituted in 1966 under Societies Registration Act, with the idea of fostering growth and development of all Major Ports which are under the supervisory control of Ministry of Shipping.

Sources: the Hindu.

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