National Current Affairs 2020 (5th September 2020)
Centre Constitutes National Council for Transgender Persons (Current Affairs 2020)
The Centre has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons through a notification. The Social Justice and Empowerment Minister will be the ex-officio Chairperson and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment will be ex-officio Vice-Chairperson.
The National Council will advise the Centre on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons. It will monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons.
The National Council will also review and coordinate the activities of all the departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organisations which are dealing with matters relating to transgender persons.
Ministry of Culture Announces 7 New ASI Circles (Current Affairs 2020)
The Ministry of Culture has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India, ASI, to facilitate and strengthen the process of preservation and registration of archaeological monuments.
In Tamil Nadu which has thousands of temples and glorious memories of the Chola kings, Trichy has been made a new circle along with the circle of Chennai.
Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international importance from the point of view of archaeological heritage therefore the Hampi SubCircle now has been made a new full-fledged circle.
In West Bengal, Raiganj has been made as a new circle along with Kolkata, which will eliminate geographical inconvenience. In Gujarat, Rajkot has been announced as a new circle along with Vadodara.
Jabalpur has been announced as a new circle along with Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. Jhansi in Bundelkhand and Meerut in western UP have been announced as two new circles along with Lucknow and Agra. Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country.
General Awareness Column
Validity of Motor Vehicle Documents Extended till Dec 31
The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has decided to extend the validity of Motor Vehicle documents till the 31st of December. The Ministry had earlier issued advisories on 30th March and 9th June this year regarding extension of validity of the documents related to Motor Vehicles Act and Central Motor Vehicle Rules.
It was advised that the validity of Fitness, Permit, Licence, and Registration or any other concerned documents may be treated to be valid till 30th of September. The decision was taken after considering the situation due to COVID-19 across the country. Enforcement authorities have been advised to treat such documents valid till 31st of December. This step is likely to help out the citizens in availing transport related services.
Businesses with Annual Turnover of up to Rs. 40 Lakh Exempted from GST
The Ministry of Finance has announced that businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are GST exempt. Initially, this limit was Rs. 20 lakh. In a tweet, the Finance Ministry said, additionally those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1 per cent tax. It said, once GST was implemented, the tax rate on a large number of items was brought down.
As of now, the 28 per cent rate is almost solely restricted to sin and luxury items. Out of a total of about 230 items in the 28 per cent slab, about 200 items have been shifted to lower slabs.It said that the taxpayer base has almost doubled since the rollout of GST. The numbers of assessee covered by the GST at the time of its inception were about 65 lakh and now the assessee base exceeds 1.24 crore.
Economy Current Affairs 2020 (5th September 2020)
RBI Projects Country's Growth Rate at (-) 4.5 % for 2020-21 (Current Affairs 2020)
The Reserve Bank of India has projected India's growth rate at (-) 4.5 percent for 2020-21. In its annual report, RBI projected global growth rate between (-) 6.0 per cent and (-) 7.6 per cent. The report says that expected headline inflation will remain elevated in the current quarter, but likely to ease in the second half of the fiscal.
Stating that it is difficult to accurately assess the economic impact of COVID19 pandemic as the dynamics are still evolving, RBI said it looks like the decline in economic activity reaches its through in April-June quarter of 2020-21 and recovers thereafter, albeit at a gradual pace. It adds that the growth is likely to turn positive from January-March quarter 2020-21.
NITI Aayog Releases Export Preparedness Index 2020 (Current Affairs 2020)
NITI Aayog has released the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2020 that intends to identify challenges and opportunities; enhance the effectiveness of government policies and encourage a facilitative regulatory frame work. The structure of the EPI includes four pillars which are Policy, Business Ecosystem, Export Ecosystem and Export Performance.
It also includes 11 sub-pillars like Export Promotion Policy, Institutional Framework, Business Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Connectivity. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar said that the Indian economy holds immense potential to become a strong exporter on the world stage.
This edition of EPI has shown that most Indian states performed well on average across the subpillars of Exports Diversification, Transport Connectivity and Infrastructure.It also says, overall, most of the Coastal States are the best performers. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu occupy the top three ranks.
International Current Affairs 2020 (5th September 2020)
UN: Global Tourism Lost $320 Bn in 5 Months due to Coronavirus (Current Affairs 2020)
The global tourism industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with USD 320 billion lost in exports in the first five months of the year and more than 120 million jobs at risk, according to the United Nations. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing that tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy, behind fuels and chemicals, and in 2019 it accounted for 7 per cent of global trade.
It employs one in every 10 people on earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. But the UN chief said that in the first five months of 2020, because of the pandemic, international tourist arrivals decreased by more than half and earnings plummeted.
Guterres said this has been a "major shock" for richer developed nations "but for developing countries, it is an emergency, particularly for many small island developing states and African countries. Tourism for some of those countries represents more than 20% of their GDP, he explained.
COVID Plasma Treatment Still Experimental, Cautions WHO (Current Affairs 2020)
The World Health Organization has cautioned that using blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat other patients is still considered an experimental therapy. WHO's Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan during a press briefing said that preliminary study results are inconclusive and more rigorous research is underway.
She said the treatment is difficult to standardize: Plasma must be collected individually and people produce different levels of antibodies. Convalescent plasma is a century-old treatment that was used to fight off flu and measles outbreaks in the days before vaccines, and was tried more recently during the Ebola outbreak.