DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS
02 MAY 2022
|S. No.||Topic Name||Prelims/Mains|
|1.||GST Collection to an all time high||Prelims & Mains|
|2.||Hate Speech in India||Prelims & Mains|
|3.||Wheat Cultivation in India||Prelims & Mains|
|4.||Portable Device to convert sea water into drinking water||Prelims Specific Topic|
|5.||Eco Adventure Tourism Park in Delhi||Prelims Specific Topic|
1 – GST Collection to an all time high:
- The GST Collection in April 2022, has reached an all time high of Rs 1.68 Lakh Crore recently.
What are the causes of the GST’s increase?
- The substantial increase is due to anti-evasion measures, “particularly action against phoney billers,” as well as an increase in economic activity.
- The GST Council has implemented rate rationalisation procedures to address the ‘inverted duty structure.’
- In an inverted tax structure, the rate of tax on inputs, such as GST, is higher than the rate of tax on output supplies or finished items.
- Domestic consumption has increased as a result of the economic recovery.
- Despite being a shorter month, the total number of e-way bills created in February was 6.91 crore, up from 6.88 crore a month earlier, indicating a “rapid recovery of corporate activity.”
What exactly is the Goods and Services Tax (GST)?
- The 101st Constitution Amendment Act of 2016 enacted the GST.
- It is one of the country’s largest indirect tax revisions.
- ‘One Nation, One Tax’ was the slogan used to promote it.
- Indirect taxes such as excise duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), service tax, luxury tax, and others have been absorbed into the GST.
- It is effectively a consumption tax, imposed at the moment of final consumption.
- This has aided in the reduction of double taxation, the cascading effect of taxes, the multiplicity of taxes, classification challenges, and other issues, and has resulted in the creation of a common national market.
- The GST paid by a merchant to obtain goods or services (i.e. on inputs) can later be offset against the tax on the supply of final goods and services.
- The GST prevents the cascading effect, or tax on tax, that would otherwise raise the tax burden on the final consumer.
GST Taxation Structure:
- Excise duty, service tax, and other taxes will be covered by the central GST.
- VAT, luxury tax, and other taxes are covered by the state GST.
- Inter-state trade will be covered under the Integrated GST (IGST).
- The IGST is not a tax in and of itself, but rather a framework for coordinating state and federal taxes.
- It features a four-tier tax structure for all products and services, with rates of 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% for each slab.
- Source: The Hindu
2 – Hate Speech in India:
- A Kerala politician was recently arrested on charges of hate speech.
- It refers to remarks made with the intent of inciting hatred toward a specific group, such as a community, religion, or race. This speech could be significant or not, but it will almost likely result in bloodshed.
- According to a guidebook published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development for investigating agencies on cyber harassment cases, hate speech is defined as language that denigrates, degrades, threatens, or targets an individual based on their identity or other qualities (such as sexual orientation or disability or religion etc.).
- According to the Law Commission of India’s 267th Report, hate speech is defined as an incitement to hatred directed primarily against a group of individuals based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, or other considerations.
- When deciding whether or not a statement is hate speech, the context is critical.
- One of the most challenging challenges is avoiding exploiting the concepts of autonomy and free speech in ways that hurt any sector of society.
- When hate speech is an exception to Article 19(1)(a), free expression is necessary to foster a diversity of perspectives (Freedom of Speech and Expression).
The Roots of Hate Speech:
- Superiority complex: People have preconceptions that drive them to believe that a certain class or group of people is inferior to them and so cannot have the same rights as them.
- Stubbornness to a Specific Ideology: Stubbornness to a Specific Ideology that disregards the right to peaceful coexistence fuels hate speech.
The Legal Status of Hate Speech:
- Acts that encourage hatred and hostility between two communities are punishable under sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code.
- Acts that intentionally or maliciously offend a group’s religious sensitivities are criminal under Section 295A of the IPC.
- It is prohibited to publish or disseminate anything that may provoke hate or violence among various populations, according to Sections 505(1) and 505(2).
- A person convicted of illegally exercising their right to freedom of speech is barred from contesting an election under Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 (RPA).
- Sections 123(3A) and 125 of the RPA make it illegal to promote hatred based on race, religion, community, caste, or language during elections, and designate it as a form of corrupt electoral conduct.
- The Viswanathan Committee proposed adding Sections 153 C (b) and 505 A to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to criminalise incitement to commit an offence on the basis of religion, race, caste or community, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, place of birth, domicile, language, disability, or tribe.
- It recommended a maximum punishment of two years in prison and a Rs. 5,000 fine.
- Section 153 C of the Indian Penal Code (promoting or attempting to promote acts prejudicial to human dignity), which is punishable by five years in prison and a fine or both, and Section 509 A of the Indian Penal Code (using words, gestures, or acts to insult members of a particular race), which is punishable by three years in prison and a fine or both, were proposed by the Bezbaruah Committee.
Recent Cases of Hate Speech:
- In a recent ruling on the boundaries of free speech and what constitutes hate speech, the Supreme Court (SC) stated that “historical truths must be depicted without in any way revealing or inciting hostility or enmity between various classes or communities.”
- Concerns were raised about Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000, which dealt with the fundamental right to free speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and in which the Supreme Court distinguished between discussion, advocacy, and incitement, concluding that the first two were the essence of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution (1).
- The Supreme Court decided in Arup Bhuyan vs. State of Assam that a single act could not be punished unless the culprit used violence or incited others to commit violence.
- The Supreme Court stated in S. Rangarajan Etc vs. P. Jagjivan Ram that freedom of expression cannot be suppressed unless the situation created is dangerous to the community/public interest, and that this risk cannot be remote, speculative, or implausible. There should be a close and direct link between the expression in issue and the expression in question.
Steps to Take Next:
- The most efficient way to reduce enmity is through education. Our educational system plays a critical role in the development and understanding of compassion for others.
- The fight against hate speech can’t be carried out in a vacuum. It should be taken into account on a larger scale, such as at the United Nations. All responsible countries, regional organisations, and other international and regional actors should address this issue.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can be used to deal with hate speech situations, which suggests moving away from lengthy court procedures and toward the settlement of conflicts between parties through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and/or conciliation.
- Public officials must also be held accountable for failing to fulfil their duty of care and failing to follow this court’s orders by failing to take action to prevent vigilante groups from inciting communal strife and spreading hate against citizens of the country, as well as taking the law into their own hands.
- Source : The Hindu
3 – Wheat Cultivation in India:
- Amid rising demands in the market, the wheat farmers in MP are approaching private mandis instead of the Government backed procurement.
What are the most crucial aspects:
- More than a fifth of the world’s wheat is exported by Russia and Ukraine.
- Russia is the world’s leading wheat exporter, accounting for over 18% of global exports.
- Russia and Ukraine exported about a quarter of the world’s wheat in 2019. (25.4 percent).
- In terms of dollar value, Russia, the United States, Canada, France, and Ukraine are the top five wheat exporters.
- Egypt imports the most wheat in the world.
- Turkey is also a big buyer of Russian and Ukrainian wheat, with 74 percent of Turkey’s imports coming from those two nations in 2019.
- India is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat, accounting for around 13.5 percent of worldwide output.
- India produces approximately 107.59 MT of wheat per year, the majority of which is used domestically.
- India only exports a fraction of the world’s wheat. However, it has increased its market share from 0.14 percent in 2016 to 0.54 percent in 2020.
- India presently has a central pool of 24.2 million tonnes, which is more than twice the buffer and strategic requirements.
- This is India’s second most significant cereal crop, behind rice.
- It is the main food crop in the country’s north and north-western regions.
- Wheat is a rabi crop that needs a chilly growth season and plenty of sunlight as it matures.
- The success of the Green Revolution boosted the growth of Rabi crops, especially wheat.
- The Macro Management Mode of Agriculture, the National Food Security Mission, and the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana are a few government initiatives aimed at increasing wheat production.
- Under full sunlight, temperatures should range from 10-15°C (sowing period) to 21-26°C (ripening and harvesting season).
- Rainfall of 75-100 cm.
- Fertile loamy and clayey loamy soils with good drainage (Ganga-Satluj plains and black soil region of the Deccan).
- The top wheat-producing states are Uttar Pradesh > Punjab > Haryana>Madhya Pradesh > Rajasthan> Bihar>Gujarat.
- Source: The Hindu
4 – Portable Device to convert sea water into drinking water:
Prelims Specific Topic
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has created a portable desalination machine that weighs less than 10 kg and can remove particles and salts from water to produce potable water.
What does it do:
- The device, which is the size of a suitcase, uses less energy than a cell phone charger.
- According to MIT, it can also be powered by a small, portable solar panel that can be purchased online for around $50. (around Rs 3,800 at current currency rates).
- According to the manufacturer, the technique produces drinking water that meets or surpasses WHO quality criteria. The device is turned on by pressing a single button.
- Unlike previous portable desalination machines, which required water to pass through filters, this device removes particulates from drinking water using electricity.
- Long-term maintenance requirements are greatly lowered by eliminating the need for replacement filters.
- This, according to the press release, might allow the unit to be deployed in distant areas with minimal resources.
- It might be used to help refugees fleeing natural disasters or soldiers on long-term military missions.
- Source : The Hindu
5 – Eco Adventure Tourism Park in Delhi:
Prelims Specific Topic
- Eco Adventure Tourism Park has been opened recently in New Delhi.
- The Delhi government’s tourism department has built a “eco-adventure tourism” park on the outskirts of Kanganheri Village near Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi to boost night tourism and provide Delhiites a “countryside experience.
- With 20 air-conditioned cottages, the city’s first-ever’staycation’ facility is featured.
- Haritima adventure eco-tourism park is 16 acres in size and is called Haritima.
- On Wednesday, it will be open to the public.
- This park’s main purpose is to bring people closer to nature and offer them a taste of rural life.
- Guests would not believe they are in Delhi when they visit this venue.
- Source : The Indian Express
UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 2nd May 2022
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