Current Affairs – October 2016

Enter Your Email Address To Subscribe Current Affairs Daily Digest, Daily Quiz and other updates on Current Affairs:

NPL Scientists produce electricity from water without using energy

Scientists have developed a novel way using of producing electricity from water hydroelectric cell at room temperature without using any power or chemicals.

The major breakthrough was developed by team of scientists led by Dr. RK Kotnala from Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

How does it works?

  • In this new method, scientist had used zinc and silver as electrodes to make a cell that produces electricity. They had used nanoporous magnesium ferrite to split water into hydroxide (OH) and hydronium (H3O) ions.
  • As magnesium has high affinity for hydroxide, it spontaneously splits water into hydroxide and hydronium ions. The H3O ions get trapped inside the nanopores of magnesium ferrite and generate an electric field. The electric field helps in further dissociation of water.
  • To further enhance the activity of magnesium ferrite, about 20% of magnesium is replaced with lithium. The substitution of lithium at magnesium site increases the sensitivity of magnesium ferrite.
  • This is helpful in dissociating water at room temperature as the electrons get trapped in the oxygen deficient sites.

Significance: The hydroelectric cell using magnesium ferrite of 1 sq. inch size can produce 8 mA current and 0.98 volt. Further if these four cells [of 2-inch diameter] are connected in series the voltage increases to 3.70 volts and can operate a small plastic fan or a LED light of 1 watt.

Tags:

Union Government proposes 4 GST slabs

The Union Government has proposed a four-slab rate structure for the new indirect tax regime i.e. Goods & Services Tax (GST) ranging from 0 to 26 per cent.

It was proposed at the meeting of the GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and included representatives from all states in New Delhi.

Outcomes of Meeting based on consensus

  • Compensation of states due to loss of revenue after implementation of GST from 1 April 2017.
  • Secular growth rate of 14% will be taken into consideration for calculating the revenue of each state in the first five years of implementation of the GST.
  • Base year for calculating the revenue of states will be 2015-16. States getting lower revenue will be compensated by the Centre.
  • These states will be compensated fund to be created from the Cess on top of the GST on ultra-luxury items and demerit goods.
  • The rate structure will be revenue-neutral so that there is no need to burden consumers with additional tax. It will not lead to further inflation.
  • Good items along with other 50% items of common usage to be exempted from the tax to keep the inflation under check.

Proposed Four GST slabs

  • The GST is proposed to be levied at 6% (lower rate), 12% (Standard 1 rate), 18% (Standard 2 rate) and 26% (Higher rates) on the goods and services.
  • It will be 0% on host of goods and services, including food, health and education services, and 26% on luxury items, such as fast-moving consumer goods and consumer durables.
  • On consumption of ultra-luxury items and demerit goods, such as big cars and tobacco products, cess must be imposed over and above a 26% GST rate.

What is GST Council?

As per Article 279A of the Constitution, GST Council will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States. It shall consist (i) Union Finance Minister (Chairperson).  (ii) The Union Minister of State (MoS) in-charge of Revenue of finance (Member) and (ii) The Minister In-charge of taxation or finance or any other Minister nominated by each State Government (Members).

What are the functions of GST Council?

The functions of GST Council are mention in Article 279A (4) of the Constitution. The Council will make recommendations to Union and States on important issues related to GST, like (i) Goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST.  (ii) Model GST Laws.  (iii) Principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates.  (iv) GST rates will including the floor rates with bands and (v) Special rates for raising additional resources during natural disasters/ calamities, special provisions for certain States, etc.

Tags:

Government funds Ro Pax Ferry Service in Gulf of Cambay under Sagarmala Programme

The Union Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned the Capital Dredging Project of Ro Pax Ferry Services between Gogha & Dahej, in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat under Sagarmala programme.

The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 234 Crore of which 50% will be funded by the Union Government under the Sagarmala programme.

Significance of Project

  • This is first of its kind project in India as it will be executed in the area of world’s 2nd highest tidal range.
  • This project on completion will result in reduction in motorable distance of 231 kms between Gogha and Dahej in Gujarat to mere 31 kms.
  • It will pave way for launching India’s first roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) vessel passenger ferry services on this route by April 2017.
  • Besides, it will reduce the travel time to 1 hour from 7 hours. It will also result in savings in fuel, reduction in CO2 emission and reduction in road congestion.
  • The project will open up new avenues in coastal shipping & tourism and help in socio-economic development of proximate areas.
  • It will also help in utilisation of inland waterways through River Narmada for shipping goods from industries located upstream.

What is Sagarmala Programme?

  • The Sagarmala Programme is Union Government’s flagship strategic, customer-oriented initiative to achieve the broad objective of promoting port-led economic development in India.
  • The ambitious programme seeks to harness vast potential of India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
  • It envisages the growth of coastal and inland shipping as a major mode of transport for carriage of goods and people along the coastal and riverine economic centres.
  • Sagarmala when integrated with the development of inland waterways will help to reduce cost and time for transporting goods, benefiting industries and export/import trade.

Gulf of Cambay

The Gulf of Cambay (also known as Gulf of Khambhat) is an inlet of the Arabian Sea in the state of Gujarat along the west coast of India. It divides the Kathiawar peninsula to the west from the eastern part of Gujarat state. Narmada, Tapti, Mahi and Sabarmati rivers drain into it.

Tags:

Advertisement

1...1020...2627282930...405060...76