4th August 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "4th August 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

National Sports University Bill, 2018

Why such a bill is needed ?
The situation of sports administration in the country is bad, different officials has been found guilty of corruption on the one hand, while the sportsperson are not getting proper attention in respect of salary, steepened and food availability.

The funds allocated to the sports federations are not properly used.

In such a situation in order to encourage a sports culture and to improve the country's prospects in international competitions a comprehensive legislature was much needed.

National Sports University Bill, 2018

In a bid to set up first of its kind specialised varsity in Manipur to train athletes the Lok Sabha passed the "National Sports University Bill, 2018", the bill seeks to provide coaching, sports education and research in the proposed university to promote sports in the country.

An ordinance was also promulgated earlier this year to save interest of already enrolled students, the bill also seeks to replace it.

The proposed university will be set up at a cost of Rs 524 crore, where the vice-chancellor, and the university's academic council will consist of sportsperson.

According to National Sports University Bill, 2018, the university will be empowered to set up outlying campuses aimed to impart training to athletes, sports officials, referees, and umpires; throughout the country and also abroad.

The bill has a provision to hike the salary of the staff, while stipend and food allowances of sports persons will be increased by 100 per cent.

An agreement is also signed between Indian Government and two Australian universities ? University of Canberra and Victoria University, to make the university a world-class institution by developing curriculum, research facilities and laboratories.

Way ahead ?
The proposed bill is a welcome step taken by the government that seeks to establish an centre of excellence, sports university, but such a university should be autonomous in order to function properly while the current legislation indicates that the central government has the full authority and control over the institution.

There must be appropriate hike in the sports budget, and sports education should be made compulsory from school, doordarhan and other news channels should give proper attention to all the sports and provide advertisement space to all of them
Discuss: National Sports University Bill, 2018

Quota in promotion for SCs/STs members in public employment

To satisfy their need for adequate representation a total of 22.5 per cent (15 for SC+7.5 for ST) posts are proposed to be reserved for promotion for SC/ST in public employment.

Why promotion quota for SCs/STs ?

It has been anticipated that the SC/ST communities are presumed backward, they have faced centuries of deprivation at the hands of society including deprived of access to temples, schools and the basic facilities of life.

Even today, dalit grooms cannot ride horses. The government should take steps to provide equality of opportunity to all socially deprived classed in society including SC/Sts.

Proposed promotion quota for SCs/STs in public employment will help in to shorten the gap and inequality between different classes of Indian society.

SCs/STs promotion quota

In 2006 a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, restricted the government to introduce a quota in promotion for its SC/ST employees unless they prove that the particular Dalit community is backward, inadequately represented.

Moreover, the opinion of the government should also be based on quantifiable data, where such a reservation in promotion would not affect the overall efficiency of public administration.

Constitution Bench observed that: "Even if the state has compelling reasons to provide such a quota, provisions does not lead to excessiveness so as to breach the ceiling limit of 50 per cent and such a reservation should not extend indefinitely."

Article 16 (4) and Article 16 (4B), deals with the State's powers for providing for appointments or posts for "any backward class of citizens" and unfilled vacancies of a year reserved for SC/ST, these provisions empowered the government to provide quota in promotion with consequential seniority to SC/ST communities.

Way ahead
As the constitution provides the "right to life and personal liberty", the government should took steps for upliftment of socially deprived classed including SC/STs.

But while preparing such policies the lawmakers should not forget to provide the "right of equal opportunity in public employment", that is guaranteed by the constitution irrespective of caste creed and religion .

A stable equilibrium between justice to the backwards, equity for the forwards and efficiency for the entire system, should be taken into account while enacting policies.
Discuss: Quota in promotion for SCs/STs members in public employment

Tissue-cultured seedlings of dwarf hybrid Arecanut

Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (CPCRI), Kasaragod, Kerala is hoping to commercialize two dwarf hybrid varieties of Arecanut for farmers by 2019.

The two varieties both chali (white arecanut), named as VTLAH?1 and VTLAH?2 were developed by the institution more than three years ago, the tissue culture technology is transferred to a TN based company, which in likely to start its commercial seedling production from next year.

CPCRI in collaboration with ASPEE also developed a drone and a tractor-mounted blower for spraying prophylactic solution to control "kole roga", this highly positive technology will be released by 2019.

Benefits of Dwarf hybrid Arecanut

800 tissue-cultured seedlings of dwarf hybrid Arecanut can be planted in on an acre, whereas 600 units of traditional tall varieties occupies the same space, this will help farmers to plant more units per acre area and hence an increase in revenue.

These varieties grew up to 4 m in height and starts yielding in the fourth year, VTLAH?1 yielded 2.54 kg a palm while VTLAH?2 yielded 2.64 kg.

These varieties being short in height will eradicate the shortage of skilled labourers for harvesting arecanut from tall trees and spraying prophylactic solution to control "kole roga" or mahali (fruit rot disease) by climbing the trees.
Discuss: Tissue-cultured seedlings of dwarf hybrid Arecanut

Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate cut

In a bid to rationalise the tax rates the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council reduced the tax rates on more than 50 items, including sanitary pads, and white goods like washing machines, refrigerators and kitchen appliances.

GST rate cut

In a women-friendly and progressive move Sanitary pads earlier having 12 per cent tax rate are completely exempts from the GST, footwear of value up to 1,000 Rupee will be taken at 5 per cent, earlier this slab was reserved for footwear up to a value of 500 Rupee.

Hotel industry also got some relief from the council, the rate of tax on the accommodation service would be now calculated on the basis of the transaction value and not the declared tariff.

Returns filing process is also relieved for assesses with an annual income of less than 5 crore, comprising 90 per cent of GST filers, they can now file their returns on a quarterly basis. Two simplified forms named Sahaj and Sugam are also released for the large filers.

Does it solve the problem ?
A women friendly move to completely exempts the Sanitary pads from the GST is a positive move of the GST Council in rationalising the tax rates, but the items being exempt from GST are already not eligible for input tax credits. So, while the output tax has been slashed, the input tax burden on companies making these pads has increased.

The reduced tax rates on daily use items will release burden on common people, it is anticipated that the decreased prices around 5-7 per cent will attract more sale and hence the overall tax revenue from these products would remain largely unaffected.

But it is highly possible that the demand will not increase; because the while items included in the list are like refrigerator, washing machine etc, people will not buy more than their need even if the price is decreased substantially.

Way ahead ?
Government has reduced the tax rates largely on items including in 28 per cent slab, a welcome step because this could lead to wipe out this slab all together, hence simplified GST, the council should now think about the issue of including petroleum products in GST.
Discuss: Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate cut

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