Nirmala Sitharaman Current Affairs - 2020

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India, Sweden join hands to set up Healthcare Innovation Centre in India

India and Sweden has joined hands to set up a healthcare innovation centre to promote research, broadly in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and help scale-up Indian start-ups in the sector. Later, AIIMS, Delhi; AIIMS, Jodhpur, and Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office in New Delhi signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to cement cooperation, to set up a healthcare innovation centre. The signing of MoI marks 10 years of India-Sweden health cooperation.

Key Highlights

The announcement about cooperation was made earlier in presence of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The new cooperation among two AIIMS and Swedish side will be a broad-scoped one and work in areas of cancer and other NCDs, besides innovation.

Over the past decade, the cooperation between India and Sweden has grown in strength. The year 2019 marks Sweden-India Year of Health marking 10 years of India-Sweden cooperation in healthcare. This collaboration is built on quadruple-helix model with active participation of government, private enterprises, civil society and academia.

A ‘coordination cell’ will be set up at Swedish Trade Commissioner’s in New Delhi. It will look at entire ecosystem and will promote innovation broadly in NCDs and other disease areas, besides innovation in technology, processes, data, business models and skilling.

India-Sweden innovation centre collaboration will not only strengthen India’s efforts in finding innovative solutions for ‘affordable and accessible healthcare in India’ but will also strengthen healthcare delivery system by an outcome and result based approach.

Govt. launches ATITHI app for improved customs clearance

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘ATITHI’ app, an IT initiative to facilitate electronic filing of customs baggage and currency declarations by arriving international passengers.

About ATITHI app

ATITHI app is an easy to use mobile application for international travelers to file Customs declaration in advance. Passengers can use this app to file declaration of dutiable items as well as currency with Indian Customs even before boarding the flight to India.

The ATITHI app has been introduced by CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs). It is available on both, iOS and Android.

Benefits: ATITHI app will facilitate hassle free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and will enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at Indian airports. The app would also create a tech savvy image of India Customs and would encourage tourism and business travel to India

Way Forward: CBIC must strive to develop IT-based insights for focused policy making. It should also use technology in each sphere of its activity and while facilitating genuine business it must identify ways to detect and stop frauds especially in GST.