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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 13th November 2021

Today Current Affairs: 13th November 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

China handed Over The First Type 054A/P Frigate (warship) To Pakistan:

China handed over the first Type 054A/P frigate (warship) to Pakistan. It is named the PNS Tughril.

  • The PNS Tughril is the first hull of four Type 054 frigates being constructed for the Pakistan Navy.
  • The ship is a technologically advanced and highly capable platform with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air and underwater firepower, besides extensive surveillance potentials.
  • This warship has world-class stealth capability and can easily dodge any radar.
  • It also has long-range missiles and a state-of-the-art cannon capable of firing multiple rounds in a minute.
  • The warship is fitted with a state-of-the-art Battle Management System (BMS), which will increase the fighting capability of the Pakistan Navy manifold.
  • BMS basically helps communicate between the radar and the interceptor missile.

Destination NorthEast India:

A seven-day cultural festival of the northeast as part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence under the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav programme cocncluded at the National Museum, Delhi.

  • It is celebrating the rich heritage of North East India, under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region & North Eastern Council (NEC)’s initiative titled “Destination NorthEast India”.
  • Aim: To bring the rest of India closer to North East (NE) India.
  • It holds a special presentation of art and craft, textiles, ethnic products, tourism promotion etc. of the eight northeastern states.
  • Organisations Involved: Ministry of Development of North-East Region.
  • North Eastern Council (NEC): It is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the NE Region which consists of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. It was constituted in 1971 by an Act of Parliament.
  • National Museum: The blueprint for establishing the National Museum in Delhi was prepared by the Maurice Gwyer Committee in May 1946.
  • It was initially looked after by the Director General of Archaeology until 1957, when the Ministry of Education declared it a separate institution and placed it under its own direct control.
  • At present, the National Museum is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Culture.

Input Tax Credit:

The CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) issued guidelines on blocking of tax credit by GST (Goods and Services Tax) field officers, saying that such blocking should be on the basis of ‘material evidence’ and not just out of ‘suspicion’.

Input Tax Credit:

  • It is the tax that a business pays on a purchase and that it can use to reduce its tax liability when it makes a sale.
  • It means at the time of paying tax on output, one can reduce the tax that has already been paid on inputs and pay the balance amount.
  • Exceptions: A business under composition scheme cannot avail of input tax credit. ITC cannot be claimed for personal use or for goods that are exempt.
  • Composition Scheme is a scheme under GST which can be opted to get rid of tedious GST formalities.It can be opted by any taxpayer whose turnover is less than Rs. 1.5 crore.

New Guidelines:

  • It laid down some specific circumstances in which such ITC could be blocked by a senior tax officer.
  • These include availment of credit without any invoice or any valid document, or availing of credit by purchasers on invoices on which GST has not been paid by sellers.
  • The commissioner, or an officer authorised by him, not below the rank of assistant commissioner, must form an opinion for blocking of ITC only after “proper application of mind” considering all the facts of the case.
  • The government had introduced Rule 86A in GST rules in December 2019 giving powers to taxmen to block the ITC available in the electronic credit ledger of a taxpayer if the officer has “reasons to believe” that the ITC was availed fraudulently.
  • The reasons are to be on the basis of material evidence available or gathered in relation to fraudulent availment of input tax credit or ineligible input tax credit availed as per the conditions/grounds under sub-rule (1) of Rule 86A.
  • These guidelines have recommended monetary limits for the division of powers between commissions, joint commissioners, and assistant commissioners on blocking of the tax credit.
  • A deputy or assistant commissioner can block ITC up to Rs 1 crore, additional or joint commission above Rs 1 crore but not exceeding Rs 5 crore and principal commissioner or commissioner above Rs 5 crore.
  • In case an officer blocks the ITC under due procedure, the taxpayer will be informed about the action on the GST portal along with details of the officer who has blocked it.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum:

New Zealand is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

  • Continued outbreaks of the coronavirus and related travel restrictions have confined the meeting to the virtual realm for a second straight year.
  • As usual, the 21 APEC members will be seeking areas where members can cooperate on easing barriers to trade and economic growth instead of trying to settle longstanding feuds.

APEC:

  • It is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific.
  • Aim: to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.
  • APEC works to help all residents of the Asia-Pacific participate in the growing economy. APEC projects provide digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women export their products abroad.
  • Recognizing the impacts of climate change, APEC members also implement initiatives to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources.
  • The forum adapts to allow members to deal with important new challenges to the region’s economic well-being. This includes ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.
  • APEC’s 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.

Cord Blood Banking:

Cord Blood Banking Services Market was valued at $1,126 mn in 2016, & is estimated to reach at $2,772 mn by 2023, registering a CAGR of 13.8% from 2017 to 2023.

  • The rise in awareness related to the benefits of using cord blood stem cells for the treatment of chronic diseases, such as cancer, has led to an increase in the government initiative leading to an increase in number of cord blood banks, which is expected to fuel the market growth of cord blood banking services.

Cord Blood:

  • Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery.
  • It contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some types of diseases.
  • Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the cord blood and extracting and cryogenically freezing its stem cells and other cells of the immune system for potential future medical use.
  • Globally, cord blood banking is recommended as a source of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for haematological cancers and disorders where its use is recommended.
  • For all other conditions, the use of cord blood as a source of stem cells is not yet established.
  • The umbilical cord fluid is loaded with stem cells.
  • They can treat cancer, blood diseases like anemia, and some immune system disorders, which disrupt your body’s ability to defend itself.
  • The fluid is easy to collect and has 10 times more stem cells than those collected from bone marrow.
  • Stem cells from cord blood rarely carry any infectious diseases and are half as likely to be rejected as adult stem cells.

11th Defence Technology And Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting:

The 11th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting between India and the United States (US) was held virtually on November 09, 2021.

  • The DTTI Group meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the US. However, this DTTI meeting was held via Video Teleconferencing consecutively for a second time on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.
  • Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains.
  • The co-chairs were also pleased to note that since the last DTTI Group meeting in September 2020, the first Project Agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under the Joint Working Group Air Systems was signed which is a major accomplishment for DTTI.
  • To further encourage US and Indian industries to develop niche technologies under the DTTI Group, the Defence Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF) Virtual Expo was conducted on November 08, 2021.
  • This forum offers an opportunity for Indian and US industries to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration.

Privilege Motion Against Minister:

Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh has moved a privilege motion against Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy over the appointment of former MP Tarun Vijay as the Chairperson of the National Monuments Authority, a post for which, Mr. Ramesh said, Mr. Vijay was not qualified.

  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 says that the Chairperson of the NMA should have “proven experience and expertise in the field of archaeology, country and town planning, architecture, heritage, conservation architecture or law.”
  • However, the Government had appointed a chairperson whose educational and professional background does not meet the requirements o fa law passed by Parliament in March 2010.
  • Parliamentary Privileges are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions”.
  • Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.
  • Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process during the continuance of the meeting of the House or of a committee thereof and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.
  • When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded, the offence is called a breach of privilege and is punishable under law of Parliament.
  • A notice is moved in the form of a motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege.

eGCA (e-Governance in Directorate General of Civil Aviation):

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minster of Civil Aviation dedicated eGCA, the e-governance platform in Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to the nation.

  • DGCA has implemented its e-governance platform eGCA.
  • The project has been aimed at automation of the processes and functions of DGCA, with 99 services covering about 70% of the DGCA work being implemented in the initial phases, and 198 services to be covered in other phases.
  • This Single window platform will bring in bring in monumental change- eliminating operational inefficiencies, minimizing personal interaction, improving regulatory reporting, enhancing transparency and increasing productivity.
  • Directorate General of Civil Aviation is an attached office of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation primarily dealing with safety issues.
  • The headquarters are located in New Delhi.

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART):

 

NASA will launch its first planetary defense test mission named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).

  • The DART spacecraft will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
  • The mission is to test the new technology to be prepared in case an asteroid heads towards Earth in the future.
  • The aim is to test the newly developed technology that would allow a spacecraft to crash into an asteroid and change its course.
  • After the mission has collided with the asteroid, scientists will study its impact on the trajectory of the asteroid with a range of telescopes deployed on different regions of the planet.
  • DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space.
  • The target of the spacecraft is a small moonlet called Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”).
  • Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”).
  • It is a suicide mission and the spacecraft will be completely destroyed.
  • The collision is expected to take place between 26th September and 1st October, 2022.
  • DART is a low-cost spacecraft.
  • It has two solar arrays and uses hydrazine propellant for maneuvering the spacecraft.
  • It also carries about 10 kg of xenon which will be used to demonstrate the agency’s new thrusters called NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster–Commercial (NEXT-C) in space.
  • NEXT-C gridded ion thruster system provides a combination of performance and spacecraft integration capabilities that make it uniquely suited for deep space robotic missions.
  • The spacecraft carries a high-resolution imager called Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical Navigation (DRACO).
  • Images from DRACO will be sent to Earth in real-time and will help study the impact site and surface of Dimorphos (the target asteroid).
  • DART will also carry a small satellite or CubeSat named LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids).
  • LICIACube is expected to capture images of the impact and the impact crater formed as a result of the collision.

Abul Kalam Azad: National Education Day:

Every year, 11th November is celebrated as National education day, which commemorates the birth anniversary of independent India’s first education minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

  • In 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Now Ministry of Education) decided to celebrate Azad’s birthday as National Education Day. Educational institutions across India mark the event with seminars, essay-writing, workshops etc to highlight the importance of education.
  • Birth: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, originally named Muhiyuddin Ahmad, was born on 11th November 1888 in Mecca, Saudi-Arabia.
  • Azad was a brilliant debater, as indicated by his name – “Abul Kalam” which literally means “Lord of Dialogues”.
  • He donned many hats of being a journalist, freedom fighter, politician, and educationist.
  • He was a proponent of Hindu Muslim unity, opposed to Partition.
  • In 1912, he started a weekly journal in Urdu called Al-Hilal which played an important role in forging Hindu-Muslim unity after the bad blood created between the two communities in the aftermath of Morley-Minto reforms (1909).
  • Under the 1909 reforms, the provision of separate electorates for Muslims was resented by Hindu.
  • The government regarded Al- Hilal as a propagator of secessionist views and banned it in 1914.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad then started another weekly called Al-Balagh with the same mission of propagating Indian nationalism and revolutionary ideas based on Hindu-Muslim unity.
  • In 1916, the government banned this paper too and expelled Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from Calcutta and exiled him to Bihar from where he was released after the First World War 1920.
  • Azad supported the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22) started by Gandhiji and entered the Indian National Congress in 1920.
  • In 1923, he was elected as the president of Indian National Congress. At an age of 35, he became the youngest person to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress.
  • Maulana Azad was arrested in 1930 for violation of the salt laws as part of Gandhiji’s Salt Satyagraha. He was put in Meerut jail for a year and a half.
  • He again became the president of Congress in 1940 and remained in the post till 1946.
  • In the field of education, Maulana Azad had been an uncompromising exponent of universalism, a truly liberal and humanitarian educational system.
  • Azad’s ideal was a fusion of the Eastern and Western concepts of man, to create a fully integrated personality. Whereas the Eastern concept dwelt on spiritual excellence and individual salvation, the Western concept laid stress on worldly achievements and social progress.
  • He was one of the founding members of the Jamia Milia Islamia University, originally established at Aligarh in the United Provinces in 1920.
  • His Works: Basic Concept of Quran, Ghubar-eKhatir, Dars-e-Wafa, India Wins Freedom, etc.
    Contributions (Post-Independence):
  • In 1947, he became the first education minister of free India and remained at this post till his death in 1958. In his tenure, he did tremendous work for the upliftment of the country.
  • The first IIT, IISc, School of Planning and Architecture and the University Grants Commission were established under his tenure as the education minister.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations, for introduction of Indian culture to other nations.

US Joins International Solar Alliance:

The United States of America has become the 101st member country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

  • Earlier, the fourth general assembly of ISA was held.
  • The ISA is an intergovernmental treaty-based organisation with a global mandate to catalyse solar growth by helping to reduce the cost of financing and technology.
  • ISA is the nodal agency for implementing One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG), which seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others.
  • It is an Indian initiative that was launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30th November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-21), with 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn as prospective members.
  • Members: 101 members, after being joined by the US.
  • The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.
  • Objectives: To collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries.

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