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Current Affairs 30 June 2022

CONTENTS

  1. Vice-President
  2. Primary Agricultural Credit Society
  3. Govt. hikes GST for household items
  4. PM Mega Investment Textiles Parks (PM MITRA) scheme
  5. CAPSTONE, NASA’s new satellite

Vice-President


Context:

The Election Commission has announced that the election to the post of the Vice-President (VP) will be held on August 6, as M. Venkaiah Naidu’s term was coming to an end on August 10.

Relevance:

GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Vice-President
  2. Election
  3. Qualification
  4. Oath or Affirmation
  5. Conditions of the Office
  6. Powers and Functions
  7. Removal of Vice President

About Vice-President:

  • The Vice-President occupies the second highest office in the country.
  • He is accorded a rank next to the President in the official warrant of precedence.
  • This office is modelled on the lines of the American Vice President.

Election

  • The Vice-President, is elected by the method of indirect election. He is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament.
  • Thus, this electoral college is different from the electoral college for the election of the President in the following two respects:
    • It consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament (in the case of president, only elected members).
    • It does not include the members of the state legislative assemblies (in the case of President, the elected members of the state legislative assemblies are included).

Qualification

To be eligible for election as Vice-President, a person should fulfil the following qualifications:

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He should have completed 35 years of age.
  • He should be qualified for election as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
  • He should not hold any office of profit under the Union government or any state government or any local authority or any other public authority.

The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of VicePresident must be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and 20 electors as seconders. Every candidate has to make a security deposit of 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.

Oath or Affirmation

  • Before entering upon his office, the Vice-President has to make and subscribe to an oath or affirmation. In his oath, the Vice-President swears
    • To bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India
    • To faithfully discharge the duties of his office.
  • The oath of office to the Vice-President is administered by the President or some person appointed in that behalf by him.

Conditions of the Office

The Constitution lays down the following two conditions of the Vice President’s office:

  • He should not be a member of either House of Parliament or a House of the state legislature. If any such person is elected Vice-President, he is deemed to have vacated his seat in that House on the date on which he enters upon his office as Vice-President.
  •  He should not hold any other office of profit.

Powers and Functions

The functions of Vice-President are two-fold

  •  He acts as the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. In this capacity, his powers and functions are similar to those of the Speaker of Lok Sabha. In this respect, he resembles the American vice-president who also acts as the Chairman of the Senate, the Upper House of the American legislature.
  •  He acts as President when a vacancy occurs in the office of the President due to his resignation, removal, death or otherwise. He can act as President only for a maximum period of six months within which a new President has to be elected. Further, when the sitting President is unable to discharge his functions due to absence, illness or any other cause, the Vice-President discharges his functions until the President resumes his office.

While acting as President or discharging the functions of President, the Vice-President does not perform the duties of the office of the chairman of Rajya Sabha. During this period, those duties are performed by the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Removal of Vice President

  • The Constitution states that the vice president can be removed by a resolution of the Rajya Sabha passed by an Effective majority (majority of all the then members) and agreed by the Lok Sabha with a simple majority( Article 67(b)).
  • But no such resolution may be moved unless at least 14 days’ notice in advance has been given.
  • Notably, the Constitution does not list grounds for removal.
  • No Vice President has ever faced removal or the deputy chairman in the Rajya Sabha cannot be challenged in any court of law per Article 122.

-Source: The Hindu


Primary Agricultural Credit Society


Context:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a proposal to digitise around 63,000 primary agricultural credit societies (PACS).

Relevance:

GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About primary agricultural credit societies
  2. Objectives of PACS
  3. Functions of PACS
  4. Why need digitization?

About primary agricultural credit societies:

  • PACS is the smallest cooperative credit institution in India and a basic unit.
  • The initial Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) was founded in 1904.
  • It has a grassroots effect (gram panchayat and village level).
  • PACS serves as the last point of contact between the primary borrowers, or rural residents, and the higher agencies, such as the Central Cooperative Bank, State Cooperative Bank, and Reserve Bank of India.
  • PACS are governed by the RBI and registered under the Co-operative Societies Act.
  • The “Banking Regulation Act-1949” and the “Banking Laws (Co-operative societies) Act 1965” are in charge of them.

Objectives of PACS

  • To raise capital for the purpose of making loans and supporting members’ essential activities.
  • To collect deposits from members with the goal of improving their savings habit.
  • To supply agricultural inputs and services to members at reasonable prices,
  • To arrange for the supply and development of improved breeds of livestock for members.
  • To make all necessary arrangements for improving irrigation on land owned by members.
  • To encourage various income-generating activities through supply of necessary inputs and services.

Functions of PACS

PACS typically offer the following services to their members:

  • Input facilities in the form of a monetary or in-kind component
  • Agriculture implements for hire
  • Storage space

Why need digitization?

  • PACS account for 41 % (3.01 Cr. farmers) of the KCC loans given by all entities in the country and 95 % of these KCC loans (2.95 Cr. farmers) through PACS are to the small and marginal farmers.
  • The other two tiers viz. State Cooperative Banks (StCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) have already been automated by the NABARD and brought on Common Banking Software (CBS).
  • Majority of PACS have so far been not computerized and still functioning manually resulting in inefficiency and trust deficit.
  • Computerization of PACS will increase their transparency, reliability and efficiency, and will also facilitate the accounting of multipurpose PACS.
  • Along with this, it will also help PACS to become a nodal centre for providing services such as direct benefit transfer (DBT), Interest subvention scheme (ISS), crop insurance scheme (PMFBY), and inputs like fertilizers and seeds.

-Source: The Hindu, PIB


Govt. Hikes GST For Household Items


Context:

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has decided to hike and lower GST on certain commodities.

Relevance:

GS III- Indian Economy

Dimensions of Article:

  1. Details
  2. What is GST?
  3. What are GST Slabs?

Details

  • From July 18, tax hikes will kick in for over two dozen goods and services, ranging from unbranded food items, curd and buttermilk to low-cost hotels, cheques and maps
  • Tax rates will be lowered for about half-a-dozen goods and services, including ropeways and truck rentals where fuel costs are included,
  • It scrapped GST for items imported by private vendors for use by defence forces.

What is GST?

  • GST is a destination-based indirect tax and is levied at the final consumption point.
  • Under it, the final consumer of the goods and services bear the tax charged in the supply chain.
  • GST is a transparent and fair system that prevents black money and corruption and promotes new governance culture.
GST Act
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act came into effect in 2017.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced by the Government of India to boost the economic growth of India. GST is considered to be the biggest taxation reform in the history of the Indian economy.
  • The power to make any changes in the GST law is in the hands of the GST Council. GST Council is headed by the Finance Minister. One hundred and first amendment act, 2016 introduced the GST in India in July 2017.

What are GST Slabs?

  • Over 1300 items and over 500 services are included in India’s 4 main GST slabs.
  • There are five general tax rates: 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28 %; in addition, a cess is imposed on select “sin” commodities in addition to the 28 % tax.
  • The GST Council reviews the products included in each slab rate on a regular basis to make adjustments for changes in market conditions and business needs.
  • The revised structure makes sure that necessities are subject to lower tax categories and that luxury goods and services are subject to higher GST rates.
  • Demerit goods, including alcoholic beverages, cars, and tobacco products, are taxed at a rate of 28 percent plus an additional GST compensation

Source: The Hindu, PIB


PM Mega Investment Textiles Parks (PM MITRA) Scheme


Context:

A proposal to set up a mega textile park in Punjab’s industrial hub, Ludhiana, has been red-flagged by locals, environmentalists and even some political leaders.

Relevance:

GS-III: Industry and Infrastructure (Textile Industry, Government Policies and Initiatives, Industrial Policy)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About PM Mega Investment Textiles Parks (PM MITRA) scheme
  2. Aims and Significance of MITRA
  3. Significance of Textile Sector in India

About PM Mega Investment Textiles Parks (PM MITRA) scheme

  • The PM Mega Investment Textiles Parks (PM MITRA) scheme was launched in 2020 with a plan to establish Seven textile parks which will have a world-class infrastructure over three years.
  • These parks will also have plug-and-play facilities (business facilities will be available ready-made) to help create global champions in exports in the textile sector.

Aims and Significance of MITRA

  • The Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) Scheme aims to enable the textile industry to become globally competitive and boost exports.
  • The scheme also aims to boost employment generation within the textile sector and also attract large investment.
  • The scheme was launched in addition to the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.
  • The scheme will create a level-playing field for domestic manufacturers in the international textiles market.
  • It will also pave the way for India to become a global champion of textiles exports across all segments.
  • MITRA will lead to increased investments and enhanced employment opportunities with the support from the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

Significance of Textile Sector in India

  • The Textile Sector accounts for 7% of India’s manufacturing output, 2% of GDP, 12% of exports and employs directly and indirectly about 10 crore people.
  • Owing to the abundant supply of raw material and labour, India is the largest producer of cotton (accounting for 25% of the global output) and second-largest producer of textiles and garments and man-made fibres (polyester and viscose).
  • The availability of a strong domestic market in India is a major reason that increases the importance of the sector.

-Source: Indian Express


CAPSTONE, NASA’s New Satellite


Context:

Recently, NASA launched CAPSTONE, a microwave oven-sized CubeSat weighing just 55 pounds (25 kg).

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

About CAPSTONE:

  • CAPSTONE, short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, is designed to test a unique, elliptical lunar orbit.
  • As a pathfinder for Gateway, CAPSTONE aims to help reduce risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative navigation technologies, and by verifying the dynamics of the halo-shaped orbit.
  • The satellite, launched on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, is heading toward an orbit intended in the future for Gateway, a Moon-orbiting outpost that is part of NASA’s Artemis program.
    • The orbit is known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO). It is significantly elongated, and is located at a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon. This offers stability for long-term missions like Gateway.
  • At the Moon, CAPSTONE will enter NRHO, where it will fly within 1,600 km of the Moon’s North Pole on its near pass and 70,000 km from the South Pole at its farthest.
  • The spacecraft will repeat the cycle every six-and-a-half days and maintain this orbit for at least six months to study dynamics.
  • CAPSTONE will gain experience with small dedicated launches of CubeSats beyond low-Earth orbit, to the Moon, and beyond.

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