27, October 2016

1.Impacting Farmers lives through Science Biotech-Kisan & Cattle Genomics – Ministry of Science & Technology

Biotech- KISAN

Source: PIB

Biotech-KISAN was recently launched by the government. It is a new programme that empowers farmers, especially women farmers.

It is a Farmer centric scheme launched by of the Department of Biotechnology. 

Biotech-KISAN (Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) Scheme

  • Its purpose is to connect farmers, scientist and science institution across country.
  • Under it, fellowship will be given to women farmers for training and education in farm practice.
  • Under it scientists will spend time on farms and link communication tools to soil, water seed and market.
  • The main aim of the scheme is to understand individual problems of the small holding farmers and provide ready solutions.
  • It will be implemented in 15 agro-climatic zones of India in phased manner with objective of linking new technology to farm by understanding problem of local farmer.

Cattle Genomics Scheme

  • The scheme aims at boosting selective breeding of the native livestock more accurately to ensure high-yielding, disease-resistant, resilient livestock. Under it, government will undertake an ambitious project of genome sequencing of 40 registered indigenous cattle breeds of India.
  • Besides, a high-density DNA chips will be developed under this scheme to reduce the cost and time interval of breeding of the native livestock.
  • Genome selection will use information on variations in DNA sequences between animals to predict the breeding value more accurately. Thus, help to transform livestock breeding.

2.One-man judicial Committee on OROP submits report to Defence Minister

Source: PIB

  • The one-man judicial committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP) set up by the Union Government, has submitted its report to Defence Minister.
  • The committee had held hearings at around 20 cities and towns across the country and interacted with cross sections of ex-servicemen as well as their associations.
  • It also had received 704 representations from individuals and various ex-servicemen associations and had held extensive interactions with all stakeholders.

OROP:

The OROP scheme aims to provide ex-servicemen of same rank and same length of service uniform pension regardless of date of retirement, provided that the ex-servicemen concerned had retired from the same rank and they had served for an equal number of years. Under this scheme, pension will be re-fixed every five years of ex-servicemen and future enhancements in rates of pension will be automatically passed to the past pensioners.

3.Revised double-tax pact with Korea

Source: PIB

India has notified the revised double tax avoidance agreement with South Korea under which capital gains tax will be levied at the source with effect from April 1, 2017.

Key facts:

  • The revised DTAA aims to avoid the burden of double taxation for taxpayers of two countries in order to promote and stimulate flow of investment, technology and services between India and Korea.
  • In order to promote cross-border flow of investments and technology, the revised DTAA provides for reduction in withholding tax rates to 10% on royalties or fees for technical services from 15% and to 10% on interest income from 15%.
  • The revised DTAA provides for source-based taxation of capital gains arising from alienation of shares comprising more than 5% of share capital.
  • The treaty also allows investors to invoke Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) in transfer pricing disputes as well as apply for bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). It provides for exchange of information, including by financial institutions.
  • The reworked DTAA inserts new Article for assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities. It also inserts new Limitation of Benefits Article i.e. anti-abuse provisions to ensure the benefits of the agreement are availed only by the genuine residents of both the countries.

The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, which has been in vogue for three decades, provides for residence-based taxation of capital gains on shares, which means taxes were to be paid where the investor was a resident

4.NSG: New Zealand to play ‘constructive’ role

Source: The Hindu

New Zealand PM visit to India. Recently, a meeting was arranged between New Zealand PM and Indian PM to discuss on India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

During this meeting, New Zealand has indicated that it will continue to contribute constructively in India’s bid.

Significance

  • New Zealand’s “consistent support for India to become a member of the reformed United Nations Security Council
  • The visit comes in the run-up to a crucial NSG Consultative Group (CG) meeting to be held in Vienna specifically to consider whether countries that haven’t signed on to the NPT (like India and Pakistan) can be considered for membership.

New Zealand is part of a group called the New Agenda for Coalition which promotes the NPT and pushes for nuclear disarmament worldwide. Hence, New Zealand has failed to give an outright statement of support for India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

New Agenda for Coalition

  • Formed 1998 The New Agenda Coalition (NAC) is a geographically dispersed group of middle power countries seeking to build an international consensus to make progress on nuclear disarmament, as legally called for in the nuclear NPT.
  • In the past year, Mr. Modi has met leaders of all other members of the group including Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa (Egypt is not a member of the NSG, however) in an effort to soften their opposition to non-NPT members.
  • The New Agenda Coalition (NAC) is a group of geographically diverse, middle power countries which formed in response to the divide between nuclear weapon states (NWS) and non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) during negotiations regarding the indefinite extension of the NPT during 1995 Review Conference.
  • NNWS believed the NWS were not upholding their Article VI commitments sufficiently enough to warrant the extension of the NPT. The NAC’s joint declaration and following United Nations resolution outlined their new agenda for nuclear disarmament.

 

 



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