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Today’s Daily Current Affairs in Hindi and English PDF | 12 July 2023
Expansion of SAMARTH Scheme: 43 New Implementing Partners and Increased Training Targets
43 new implementing partners have been added to SAMARTH, a capacity-building scheme in the textiles sector. An additional target of training 75,000 beneficiaries has been set. The funding pattern has been revised, increasing support to implementing partners by 5%. The Ministry of Textiles has partnered with various organizations for training programs under SAMARTH, benefiting different sections of society. The scheme aims to create jobs and improve skills in the textile industry, including upskilling and re-skilling programs.
Power Sector Review: Achievements, Reforms, and Progress Discussed in New Delhi Meeting
A Review Planning & Monitoring meeting on the power sector was held in New Delhi. The Minister of Power highlighted achievements, such as increasing power capacity and improving the distribution system. He also mentioned reduced power purchase dues and implementation of reform measures by states. The meeting discussed recent power sector reforms and emphasized the need for realistic tariff rates, subsidy accounting, and timely payments. The progress of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme was reviewed, and states were urged to expedite works under the scheme. The Minister expressed satisfaction and called for continued efforts to enhance power supply quality and reliability.
DPIIT Notifies Quality Control Orders for Potable Water Bottles and Flame-Producing Lighters to Enhance Public Health and Safety in India
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued Quality Control Orders (QCOs) for ‘Potable Water Bottles’ and ‘Flame-Producing Lighters’ in India. These QCOs, effective six months from notification, aim to enhance public health and safety by ensuring quality standards. The QCO for water bottles requires certification for bottles made of copper, stainless steel, or aluminum, while the QCO for lighters mandates certification for safety specifications. The DPIIT is working towards establishing a comprehensive quality control regime to improve manufacturing standards and promote ‘Make in India’ products. Violations can result in penalties and imprisonment. These initiatives align with the government’s vision of creating a self-reliant India.
14th Report on Central Ministries/Departments Performance: June 2023 Grievances Redressed, Pendency Reduced
The 14th report on Central Ministries/Departments performance on CPGRAMS for June 2023 was released by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). It highlights that 102,348 grievances were redressed during the month, with a decrease in the pendency to 57,848 grievances, the lowest ever recorded. The report also mentions the top performers in the Grievance Redressal Assessment and Index for June 2023: the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Cooperation (Group A), and NITI Aayog and Department of Public Enterprises (Group B). Additionally, it provides information on the average closing time of grievances and feedback collected by the BSNL Call Centre.
11th Report on States/UTs Grievance Redressal: Rankings, Performance, and Analysis – June 2023
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) released the 11th report on States/Union Territories’ performance on the Centralized Public Grievance Redressal and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) for June 2023. A total of 62,929 grievances were redressed, reducing the pendency to 188,275 grievances across the States/UTs.
The government of Sikkim topped the rankings among North Eastern States, while the government of Lakshadweep topped the rankings among Union Territories. The government of Uttar Pradesh ranked highest in states with more than 17,500 grievances, and the government of Telangana ranked highest in states with less than 17,500 grievances. The report also highlighted the deliberations made during a meeting between the Secretary of DARPG and the Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir. Overall, the report provides detailed information on the performance and rankings of different states and union territories in grievance redressal.
Chandrayaan-3: Opening New Moon Vistas and Mysteries of the Universe – Dr Jitendra Singh
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, expressed that Chandrayaan-3 will reveal new features and mysteries of the Moon and the universe. The mission signifies India’s progress in lunar exploration and its inclusion in the elite club of space-faring nations. India’s space technology has diverse applications across various sectors, and the space economy is expected to contribute significantly to economic development. Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized the importance of integration and public-private partnerships for greater outcomes in the space sector.
Upgrading and Strengthening Training Institutes for NSCSTI Accreditation: Hardeep Singh Puri’s Focus
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reviewed training institutes in the urban sector to upgrade them and meet the National Standards for Civil Services Training Institutions (NSCSTI) accreditation. The meeting focused on enhancing the institutes to address the challenges of the 21st century. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs reviewed eight training institutes to align them with Mission Karmayogi, an initiative to strengthen the capacity building framework in the Indian bureaucracy. Strengthening these institutes will empower civil servants and improve their capabilities. The meeting emphasized the importance of continuous improvement and aligning the institutes with the evolving needs of civil servants.
Rain-Related Incidents in Himachal Pradesh: Death Toll Reaches 80, Relief Operations Intensify
The death toll in rain-related incidents has reached 80 in Himachal Pradesh. Monsoon rains have continued for the fourth day, but the intensity has reduced, providing some relief. Rescue operations are underway, and 27 deaths have occurred in the last three days alone. The districts of Shimla and Kullu have reported the highest number of casualties. Many power transformers and drinking water schemes are closed, causing disruptions in electricity and communication services. Road links to the Kullu Valley are cut off, leading to a shortage of essential commodities. Evacuation efforts are being made for stranded tourists, and weather alerts have been issued for heavy rainfall and flash floods in certain districts.
JIMEX 23: Successful Conclusion of Japan India Maritime Exercise 2023 in Bay of Bengal
The 7th edition of Japan India Maritime Exercise 2023 (JIMEX 23) concluded in the Bay of Bengal. The exercise involved Indian and Japanese naval ships, conducting complex exercises in surface, sub-surface, and air domains. It aimed to enhance interoperability and validate common procedures between the Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).
IFSCA and IIML-EIC Sign MoU to Support FinTech and TechFin Entities
The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has signed an MoU with IIML-EIC to collaborate and support FinTech and TechFin entities. This partnership aims to provide a framework for cooperation and facilitate access to IFSCA’s Regulatory and Innovation Sandbox and the FinTech Incentive Scheme, 2022 for FinTechs registered with IIML-EIC.
South Eastern Coalfields Ltd to Develop 600 MW Solar Power Projects: A Step Towards Net Zero Energy
South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, plans to develop 600 MW solar power projects with an investment of over Rs. 1000 crores. The projects aim to expand SECL’s business and achieve the goal of “Net Zero Energy.” SECL has already commissioned rooftop solar projects and is working on ground-mounted solar projects in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The company is also exploring the installation of a floating solar power plant. Coal India Ltd has set a target of installing 3000 MW renewable energy projects by 2026. SECL aims to reduce its carbon footprint and support coal mining activities with the generated power.
India Makes Remarkable Strides in Poverty Reduction: UN Report
India has achieved a remarkable reduction in poverty, with 41.5 crore people lifted out of poverty in just 15 years, according to the United Nations. The UN’s report on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) highlights that 25 countries, including India, have successfully halved their MPI values in a relatively short period of time. The report also emphasizes that India has witnessed progress across all indicators, with the poorest states and groups experiencing the fastest improvements. Additionally, India recently surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation.
GST Council Recommendations: Tax Rates, Exemptions, and Compliance Measures
The 50th meeting of the GST Council made several recommendations, including:
- Taxing casino, horse racing, and online gaming at a uniform rate of 28%.
- Establishing the GST Appellate Tribunal from 1st August 2023.
- Exempting cancer-related drugs, medicines for rare diseases, and food products for special medical purposes from GST tax.
- Reducing tax rates from 18% to 5% on certain items such as snack palettes, fish soluble paste, LD slag, and imitation zari thread.
- Implementing measures to streamline GST compliance.
The meeting also marked the release of a video film and the presentation of a special cover and stamp. Various recommendations were made regarding changes in GST tax rates, facilitation of trade, and compliance measures. These recommendations will be implemented through circulars, notifications, and law amendments.
IFSCA and CPI Sign MoU to Boost Sustainable Capital Flows in India
The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) and Climate Policy Initiative – India (CPI) have signed an MoU to increase sustainable capital flows into India. Sustainable finance is crucial for transitioning to green and resilient economies. IFSCA aims to develop an ecosystem for global capital mobilization towards sustainable projects, while CPI supports climate investments in India. IFSCA plays a key role in enabling international climate investments through capital markets.
New Draft Notification: Air-Conditioning System Mandatory in N2 and N3 Category Vehicle Cabins from 2025
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a draft notification mandating the installation of air-conditioning systems in cabins of motor vehicles belonging to categories N2 and N3, manufactured from January 1, 2025 onwards. The notification also specifies performance testing requirements as per IS 14618:2022, and invites comments and suggestions from stakeholders within 30 days.
GST Exemptions: Cancer Drugs, Rare Disease Medicines, and Special Medical Foods; Snack and Thread GST Rates Reduced
The GST Council has exempted cancer-fighting drugs, medicines for rare diseases, and food products for special medical purposes from the GST regime. Additionally, the GST rates on certain snacks and items like fish soluble paste and imitation zari threads have been reduced. However, online gaming, horse racing, and casinos will now be subject to a 28 percent tax. The Council has also exempted GST on satellite launch services by private operators.
Strong Growth in Direct Tax Collections for FY 2023-24
Direct Tax collections for FY 2023-24 have shown a steady growth. The net collections are 15.87% higher than the previous year, and the gross collections are 14.65% higher. Refunds have also increased by 2.55%. Overall, the collections are 26.05% of the total budget estimates for direct taxes in FY 2023-24. Advance Tax collections have grown by 13.70% compared to the previous year.
Wimbledon Updates: Djokovic, Sinner, Svitolina, and Vondrousova Reach Semifinals
Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner, Elina Svitolina, and Marketa Vondrousova advance to the semifinals of Wimbledon. Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden reach the quarterfinals in Men’s Doubles. Svitolina defeats Swiatek, Vondrousova beats Pegula, Djokovic overcomes Rublev, and Sinner wins against Safiullin.
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