The Government of India recently waived the Integrated GST till June 30, 2021. This included Remdesivir, Beta cyclodextrin, medical grade oxygen, oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc.
The Government of India has provided exemptions under the following conditions:
It is one of the three components of Goods and Services Tax. IGST is Integrated Goods and Services Tax. It is levied on inter-state transfer of goods and services. According to the GST rules, IGST is shared between the centre and the state in the ratio of 50:50.
Under Article 279A of the Constitution, President forms the GST council to administer and govern GST. The chairman of GST council is Union Finance Minister of India. The council is planned in such a way that the states will have two-third voting power and the centre will have one-third voting power.
In India, every business with turnover more than forty lakh rupees is required to pay GST. The limit is more than ten lakh rupees for the North East and hilly states.
In India, the history of GST dates back to 2000. It was suggested by the Vajpayee Government. The then State Finance Ministers formed an Empowered Committee to create a structure of GST.
The Supreme Court of India recently struck down Maratha reservation in the state as it breaches 50% ceiling of reservation. This was done by striking down the Maharashtra law that guaranteed reservation for the Maratha community their quota in employment and public education.
In 2016, several Marathas came together under the “Maratha Kranti Morcha”. They joined hands to protest the rape and killing of a fifteen-year-old girl in Kopardi village, Ahmednagar. Though Kopardi incident was a trigger, it was later centred on reservation for the Maratha community in educational institutions and government jobs. In 2017, silent, massive rallies were held that consolidated more and more Marathas towards this cause. They also demanded for loan waiver to farmers, justice for the Kopardi girl.
In 2018, street protests turned violent. Some even committed suicides. “Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha” was their slogan.
The then CM Fadnavis (BJP) set a eleven member commission under retired justice N G Gaikwad. The commission recommended that the Marathas should be given reservation as it was a Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC). The commission did not specify quota percentage. It was left to the State Government to decide upon.
In 2018, the State Government of Maharashtra provided reservation to the Marathas under the Maharashtra Socially and Educationally Backward Act. The act was approved in both the assembly and the council.
A Public Interest Litigation challenged the reservation under SEBC in Bombay High Court. The High Court upheld the reservation and pronounced that the reservation should be 12% in education and 13% in jobs instead of 16%.
Marathas constitute 32% of population of Maharashtra. They are a major political force in Maharashtra. The SC’s order is to deepen the divide between OBCs and Marathas that was created by reservation politics.
As a part of Operation Samudra Setu II, INS Kolkata has reached Kuwait to collect Liquid Medical Oxygen from the country. Earlier it embarked 43 oxygen concentrators and two hundred bottles of oxygen from Qatar.
It is a stealth guided missile destroyer. In 2015, BrahMos missile and Barak 8 missiles were test fired from INS Kolkata.
Several countries have come forward to help India. Their aid is as follows:
The other countries that sent relief supplies were Germany, Thailand, Uzbekistan, France, Belgium, Romania, Ireland, UAE.
The Government of India has set an inter-ministerial group to clear the global relief material as early as possible and make sure if the aid reaches the concerned department on time.
SUTRA is Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive) and Removed Approach. SUTRA is used to chart the trajectory of COVID-19. It is used to predict the future of COVID-19 infections, susceptibility, undetected and positive persons in the country.
The SUTRA model predicted in March 2021, that the second wave of COVID-19 is to peak in the third week of April. Also, it is likely to add one lakh cases per day. There are reports claiming that attention was not paid to this. According to Ministry of Science and Technology, these predictions were incorrect. The scientists who developed the model have come forward to explain that these claims are incorrect for the following reasons:
Similarly, the model lags in several other things a well.
A group of astronomers have discovered 8 milli second Pulsars. These pulsars are located within the dense clusters of stars called the “Globular Clusters”. The Pulsars were discovered using the MeerKAT telescope located in South Africa.
The astronomers directed the telescope towards nine globular clusters and they discovered new pulsars in six of them. Of these, six of them orbit around another star.
Pulsar is a neutron star. It is packed with the mass of at least 1.4 times the mass of the sun. They are formed from the explosive deaths of their parent star. Due to their strong magnetic fields the Pulsar emits radio waves at each pole.
It is a Karoo Array telescope with sixty-four antennas. Also, it is a radio telescope. It is located in the Northern Cape of South Africa. It is soon to be expanded to MeerKAT+ by installing twenty more antennas.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a virtual bilateral summit. During the summit, the leaders adopted an ambitious “Roadmap 2030”. This will help to elevate the bilateral ties between the countries.
The 2030 vision was based on the re-energising trade, investment and technological collaboration between the countries.
Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for May 5, 2021:
Oktoberfest is an annual festival celebrated in the month of October for two weeks in Munich, Germany. Recently, the German Government announced that the celebrations of Oktoberfest have been cancelled due to COVID-19. This is the second consecutive year the celebrations are being cancelled in Germany.
The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the celebrations of King Ludwig I wedding with Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. King Ludwig later became King Louis I. He stayed in power till the March revolution or the 1848 revolutions. During the wedding, a parade took place and it has become an annual event sine then.
Mayflower 400 is the world’s first Artificial Intelligence ship.
After the launch, Mayflower will become the first unmanned vehicle to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the main advantages of launching Mayflower 400 is that it helps to overcome the major challenge in studying the underwater world, which is rough seas. Sailors get sick at sea or a storm might strike them down. The exploration area by a ship can be increased three-fold if it takes a voyage without people.
Cicadas are the world longest living insects. They are winged, red eyed insects that live underground feeding on the roots. They emerge from the underground once in 12-17 years. Recently, it has been predicted that a group of Cicadas called the “Brood X Cicadas” are to emerge across the mid-Atlantic for the first time since 2004.
In 1634, pilgrims in Massachusetts witnessed the insects springing from the earth. They called them to “locusts” as they emerged in swarms. However, they are not harmful like that of locusts. This is because they mainly feed on tree leaves. This was the first written record of Cicadas. Around seven species of Cicadas emerge every 13 to 17 years in the East coast and mid west of the US.
Brood X are the biggest of the fifteen known Cicadas. They are now to emerge in Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, Washington DC, Indiana. Cicadas molt as they emerge from underground. Molt is to shed skin or hair or feathers paving way for the new growth. The molts add up nutrients to he soil. The total biomass of cicadas is greater then the biomass of cattle the area can support if it were to turned into pastures.
There are more than three thousand Cicadas on the earth. However, only seven are periodical. Some believe that the long underground periods are to avoid predators.
As they emerge from the underground, they live in trees feeding on leaves. The desert Cicadas regulate their body temperatures by evaporative cooling. Evaporative coiling is similar to sweating.
The NASA Spacecraft Parker Solar Probe has discovered a natural radio signal from Venus. These signals were detected when the space probe flew over the upper atmosphere of Venus.
The Parker Solar probe has measured the Venusian atmosphere. This is the first direct measurement of the planet’s atmosphere in thirty years. According to the findings of Parker Solar Probe, just like the earth, planet Venus also has an electrically charged layer of gas in its upper atmosphere called the ionosphere. The radio signal was picked up by the probe from a sea of charged particles in this layer.
Also, the space probe has confirmed that the upper Venus atmosphere undergoes changes over a solar cycle.
Both the Earth and Venus are of similar size and structure and are called twin planets. However, unlike the Earth, Venus lacks magnetic field and its surface is hot enough to melt lead.
It was launched in 2018 to study about the outer corona of the sun. It is to reach to 9.86 solar radii, that is, 6.9 million kilometres from the centre of the sun by 2025. The three main objectives of Parker Solar Probe are as follows:
The sun is a huge ball of electrically charged hot gas. This gas moves generating powerful magnetic field. The magnetic field of the sun undergoes changes every eleven years. This is called solar cycle. Every eleven years, the magnetic field of the sun flips. That is, the north and south poles of the sun switch places.
Around eight Asiatic lions have tested positive for COVID-19 at Hyderabad Nehru Zoological Park. This is the first time that transmission of virus to animal has been detected in India.
It was undertaken to protect the surviving population. The project was proposed to reintroduce the Asiatic lions in Palpur-Kuno Wildlife sanctuary. However, it has currently been put on hold.
The stock of SAIL increased to a nine year high of Rs 135.60 on the BSE. In the last six weeks, the stocks of SAIL has increased by 85%. It has entered the hundred most valued Indian firms list.
SAIL is Steel Authority of Indian Limited. It operates under Ministry of Steel. The annual turn over of SAIL is around 10 billion USD.
It has five large integrated steel plants. They are Rourkela steel plant, Bhillai Steel plant, Durgapur steel plant, IISCO and Bokaro Steel plant. These plants are spread in four states namely Odisha, Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand. Also, it has three special steel plants namely Visvesvarya iron and steel plant, Salem Steel plant, Alloy steel plant and Ferri Alloy plant at Chandrapur.
It was approved by the union cabinet in 2017. Under the policy, the GoI aims to attain steel production of 300 million tonnes by 2030. The following are the main objectives of National Steel Policy. They are as follows:
China is the world largest steel producer of crude steel. More than 51% of the world steel production is from China. India became the second largest steel producer in the world overtaking Japan in 2019. The other top producers of steel are Russia, USA, South Korea, Brazil and Germany.
The researchers in the Geological Survey of India recently found fossil bone fragments of Sauropod dinosaurs. They were 100 million years old. These dinosaur bones were found in West Khasi hills in the district of Meghalaya. This is the first record of the Sauropods discovered in the region.
A big meteorite crashed into the earth changing its climatic conditions. The dinosaurs couldn’t survive under these climatic conditions. Ash and gas suffocated them and diseases wiped out the populations. Also the food chain imbalances created due to the meteorite impact led to the starvation of dinosaurs. The meteorite impact killed several animals and burnt most of the forest.
The Dinosaurs became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, that is, 201.3 million years ago. Their dominance continued throughout the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods.
The researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research recently showed that apart from spike proteins, the other proteins in the COVID-19 virus such as the Nucleocaspid protein or the N protein also play significant role in transmission (or infectivity) of the virus. Thus, it is not enough to develop antibodies, therapeutic drugs and entry inhibitors based on spike protein alone.
The COVID-19 has an RNA genome that is surrounded by a sphere-shaped structure. This structure comprises of various types of proteins. One amongst them is the spike protein. The spike proteins give the crown like look to the virus.
COVID-19 is the largest genome among all the RNA viruses. It is packed in a helical capsid. This capsid is made of Nucleocaspid protein. Further it is surrounded by an envelope. There are three proteins associated with the envelope. They are membrane protein, envelope protein and spike protein. The membrane protein and envelope protein are involved in virus assembly. The spike protein mediates the virus into the host cells.
The spike protein of COVID-19 has three segments called ectodomain, single pass transmembrane anchor and an intracellular tail. The ectodomain has a receptor binding subunit and a membrane fusion subunit.
The Department of Telecommunications recently allowed mobile operators to conduct 5G trials. The Chinese companies, however, have been kept out of the trials.
The 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates. The data download rates are to be five times faster than the 4G.
The issue around Chinese vendors entering 5G technology is that they may contain backdoors that might enable surveillance of Chinese Government.
The US, Vietnam and Australia have banned the Chinese companies from providing 5G network services. The Five Eyes International Intelligence Alliance of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and US have declared that the use of Huwaei telecommunications equipment especially in 5G networks carries high security risks.