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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 01-07-2020

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July 01, 2020

Uniformity in Stamp Duties

  • The amendments to the Stamp Act, 1899 was introduced in the Finance Bill, 2019.
  • It has introduced the centralized system of stamp duty with a unified rate for all financial securities transactions with effective from July 1.
  • Union government has created the legal and institutional mechanism to enable states to collect stamp duty on securities market instruments at one place by one agency, through the stock exchange or clearing corporation authorized by it or by the depository on one instrument.
  • At present, market participants collect stamp duty at rates fixed by the state where the trade takes place and deposit it with the local government.
  • This created a complex system with multiple tax rates and differing regulations in different states, posing a challenge to settle deals.
  • The amendment was brought for ease of doing business and bringing in uniformity of the stamp duty on securities across states thereby building a pan-India securities market.

Finding on Fish landings

  • According to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) India’s marine fish production has registered a marginal increase of 2.1% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
  • Tamil Nadu took the first position in landings of fishes with 7.75 lakh tones.
  • It was followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh tones) and Kerala (5.44 lakh tones).
  • While States such as West Bengal (55%), Andhra Pradesh (34%), Odisha (14.5%), Karnataka (11%) and Tamil Nadu (10.4%) recorded increase in landings, the fish catch decreased in Maharashtra, Goa and Kerala compared to the previous year.

Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) 

  • It was established by Government of India in 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • Later, in 1967, it joined the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) family and emerged as a leading tropical marine fisheries research institute in the world ".
  • The Headquarters is in Kochi, Kerala.
  • Currently, the institute is maintaining the National Marine Fisheries Data Centre (NMFDC) with over 9 million catch and effort data records of more than 1000 fished species, from all maritime states of India.

State of the World Population 2020 Report

  • It was developed during the initial stages of the pandemic by UNFPA.
  • The report examines the issue of missing women by studying sex ratio imbalances at birth as a result of gender-biased sex selection as well as excess female mortality due to deliberate neglect of girls because of a culture of son preference.
  • According to the report
  1. One in 9 females below the age of 5 die due to postnatal sex selection
  2. One in 3 girls missing globally due to sex selection, both pre- and post-natal, is from India (46 million out of the total 142 million).
  • However, the advent of technology and increased access to ultrasound imaging ensured that parents didn’t have to wait for the birth of their girl child to kill her but could terminate a fetus upon knowing its gender.
  • This resulted in the number of girls missing due to female feticide exceeding those that were missing because of postnatal sex selection.

UNFPA

  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN organization.
  • It is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
  • Their work involves the improvement of reproductive health; including creation of national strategies and protocols, and birth control by providing supplies and services.
  • The organization has recently been known for its worldwide campaign against child marriage, obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation.

Namami Gange

  • Namami Gange Programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014.
  • It is to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • It is being operated under the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
  • The state counterpart organizations are State Program Management Groups (SPMGs).
  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council (set in 2016, which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NRGBA)).
  • It has a Rs. 20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects.
  • Recently, the World Bank has approved a five year loan (for the second phase) to the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) or Namami Gange Project worth Rs.3,000 crore to help stem pollution in the Ganga river basin.

Globba andersonii

  • A team of researchers from Pune and Kerala have “rediscovered” a rare and critically endangered plant species called Globba andersonii.
  • It is rediscovered from the Sikkim Himalayas near the Teesta river valley region after a gap of nearly 136 years.
  • The plant, known commonly as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’ was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection”, for the first time since 1875.
  • Classified as “critically endangered” and “narrowly endemic”.
  • The species is restricted mainly to Teesta River Valley region which includes the Sikkim Himalayas and Darjeeling hill ranges.
  • Globba andersonii are characterized by white flowers, non-appendage anthers (the part of a stamen that contains the pollen) and a “yellowish lip”.

 

Source: The Hindu

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