Current Affairs 2017 (December)

President inaugurats Andhra Pradesh Fiber Grid Project

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Andhra Pradesh Fibre Grid project, aimed at providing affordable high-speed internet service to every household in the state at a nominal rate.

Fibre Grid project also termed as Triple Play2 Services envisages to provide internet, television and telephone services to more than one lakh households in the state at a nominal price.

Key Facts

The Fibre Grid project aims to connect over 1.45 crore households, 60000 schools, 12198 Panchayats, 10000 government offices, 670 mandal Offices, 96 municipalities, 14 corporations, 6000 Public Health Centres (PHCs) with high speed internet.

The internet services provided under this project will be available at very high speed of 15Mbps to 100Mbps, television services will provide infotainment with 250 plus channels and telephone services will be completely rental-free.

Through the fibre grid, state government will also provide state-wide surveillance, using more than 20,000 closed-circuit cameras and 16 integrated district command control and data centres. It will also power digital classrooms in over 4,000 government schools and offer telemedicine services at over 6,000 public health centres. It will power the smart cities initiative.

It has also been proposed to set up cloud-based virtual classroom systems using fibre grid to enhance learning skills and knowledge through qualitative digital and multimedia content in 4,678 government high schools across AP in a phased manner,

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Lok Sabha passes GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017 and replaces an Ordinance promulgated in September 2017.

The amendment bill increases maximum rate at which Compensation Cess can be levied from 15 to 25% on motor vehicle for transport of not more than 13 persons (mostly luxury vehicles ), including the driver and motor vehicles falling under mentioned sub-headings

GST (Compensation to States) Act, 2017

The purpose this law is to provide compensation to state for a period of five years from the date on which the state brings its State GST Act into force. It allows the Union Government to notify rate of the GST Compensation Cess on items such as pan masala, coal, aerated drinks, and tobacco, subject to certain caps. The amount received by levying GST Compensation Cess is used to compensate states for any loss in revenue following the implementation of GST. The receipts from the cess will be deposited to a GST Compensation Fund. The receipts will be used for compensating states for any loss due to the implementation of GST.

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