Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 28 November 2017
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 28 November 2017
Aadhaar cases might go before Constitutional Bench
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said he will consider listing soon
the clutch of petitions against the Aadhaar scheme before a Constitution
Senior advocate Shyam Divan and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal made a
joint mention to the Chief Justice Bench. On October 30, the CJI indicated
that a Constitution Bench would hear the petitions against the validity of
the scheme from November last week.
The petitions have been in limbo since 2014. A five-judge Constitution
Bench is hearing petitions on the Centre-Delhi government tussle over the
administration of the national capital.
The Aadhaar cases may be listed after the hearing of these petitions are
wrapped up, probably next week.
The deadline for the Aadhaar-bank account linking is December 31. That
for Aadhaar-mobile phone linking is February 6. Both have been challenged as
a violation of the fundamental right to privacy.
CJI said he would not compel Govt to ratify the UN Convention against
The Supreme Court said it respected the government’s “political
compulsions” and would not compel it to ratify the UN Convention against
Torture, or command it to frame a standalone anti-torture legislation.
A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, refrained from
passing any positive order on a public interest litigation petition filed by
the former Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar for a standalone anti-torture
The court disposed of the petition almost a year after entertaining it.
At the weekend, the judiciary faced a barrage of criticism for its “judicial
At the Law Day and Constitution Day functions, Ministers said public
interest litigation petitions could not replace governance and policy
decisions of the executive.
“How can we compel the government to make a law? Can we ask the
government to ratify a treaty by way of a mandamus,” Chief Justice Misra
asked Mr. Kumar.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on the Bench, said the government “has to take
a political decision on whether or not it should ratify the treaty”.
Mr. Kumar said the government had given a commitment to the
international community to address torture, especially custodial torture.
“We would be crossing judicial limits if we issue a mandamus to the
government. We have to respect the political compulsions of the government,”
Justice Chandrachud said.
Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal intervened to submit that the government
was considering an anti-torture law.
The Law Commission has recommended that the Centre ratify the United
Nations Convention against Torture and frame a standalone anti-torture law,
making the state responsible for any injury inflicted by its agents on
The commission has said the state should not claim immunity for the
actions of its officers or agents.
Though India signed the convention in 1997, it is yet to ratify it.
Efforts to bring in a standalone law have failed. The National Human Rights
Commission has been urging the government to recognise torture as a separate
crime and codify the punishment in a separate penal law.
The Supreme Court, while hearing Mr. Kumar’s petition, termed torture an
instrument of “human degradation” used by the state. It was after the
court’s scathing remarks that the government referred the question of a law
on torture to the Law Commission.
In its 273rd report, the commission has proposed the Prevention of
Torture Bill, 2017, which gives a wide definition to torture, not limited to
physical pain but also including “inflicting injury, either intentionally or
involuntarily, or even an attempt to cause such an injury, which will
include physical, mental or psychological in nature”.
The government is looking to prepare a unified testing methodology
The government is looking to prepare a unified testing methodology to
ensure that all agencies that map air pollution use accurate instruments.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National
Physical Laboratory (NPL) is in the process of setting up ‘gas standards’,
or reference samples of Carbon Monoxide (CO), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrous
Oxide (NO2) and Particulate –Pb (lead), –As (Arsenic) and –Ni (Nickel).
Currently, the National Ambient Air Quality standards specify the upper
limits for pollutants and, based on this, the Air Quality Index — that
grades air quality in cities from ‘Good’ to ‘Severe’ — is prepared for
several Indian cities.
“However we have noticed several times that these measurement devices
are not calibrated and errors creep in,” said D.K. Aswal, Director, National
Physical Laboratory. “This month, we are ready with the standards for
CPCB has prescribed guidelines for the maximum permissible levels of 12
gases and pollutants, depending on residential, rural or industrial
Standards for PM2.5 were laid out in 2009, though CPCB is now mooting a
proposal to revise these standards, a senior official in the organisation
hadtold The Hindu earlier this year.
The NPL has also developed a custom air sampler that claims to measure
PM2.5 levels far more accurately than existing devices.
Delhi Heath Department of issued a health advisory
With the air quality in Delhi remaining “very poor”, the Delhi Heath
Department of issued a health advisory and appealed to citizens to join hand
and work towards improving the air quality The AQI score was 367.
In its advisory, the government said that the issue was a man-made
problem that can be reversed by taking proactive reversal measures.
The department has urged the public to carpool and use public transport
as much as possible and not to burn dry leaves, crop residue, wood, coal,
and other fuels.
High-risk groups such as small children, elderly and pregnant women have
been advise to wear a N95 mask if going outdoors during the peak pollution
The MeT has forecast mist/shallow fog with clear skies the rest of the
day. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover between 28 and
8 degrees Celsius respectively.
Revenue collections under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for October
slid to Rs. 83,346 crore, from more than Rs. 92,000 crore in September,
according to official figures released by the government.
“95.9 lakh taxpayers have been registered under GST so far, of which
15.1 lakh are composition dealers who are required to file returns every
quarter,” the government said in a release.
“50.1 lakh returns have been filed for the month of October till 26th
The Centre said several factors contributed to the drop including
additional Integrated GST (IGST) collections in July, August, and September,
the reduction in tax rates on some items, as well as lower compliance.
“Because of the first time requirement of paying IGST on transfer of
goods from one State to another State even within the same company, there
was an additional cash flow of IGST in the first three months,” it said.
“As and when the final transaction of these goods takes place, the
credit for IGST is being utilised for payment of SGST and CGST and
therefore, the inflow of new taxes is low.
Since the overall incidence of taxes on most commodities have come down
under GST, it would naturally have some implication” on revenues, it added.
With more wide-ranging rate reductions having been effected in November,
collections may dip further in the coming months.
The Centre also said tax compliance “may not be up to the mark” as
implementation of key steps like matching of returns, e-waybills and reverse
charge mechanism had been postponed.
India would allow mutual agreement procedures and advance pricing agreements
with all countries
In a move that could further improve India’s ease of doing business
rankings, the Income Tax Department on Monday issued a clarification saying
that it would allow mutual agreement procedures (MAPs) and advance pricing
agreements (APAs) with all countries
abandoning a stance that disallowed such agreements with major trade
partners like France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and South Korea.
India’s previously held stance was, if treaties with a particular
country did not contain a ‘corresponding adjustment’ clause, then the Indian
revenue department would not enter into bilateral advance pricing agreements
or mutual agreement procedures with those countries.
In other words, any transfer pricing disputes would be settled through
domestic litigation instead of bilateral arbitration.
APAs are meant to settle potential disputes in advance, while MAPs lay
out the procedure to settle a dispute once it has happened.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has decided to accept “transfer
Pricing MAP and bilateral APA applications regardless of the presence or
otherwise of Paragraph 2 of Article 9 in the DTAAs [double taxation
So, important trade partners, “treaties with whom did not have this
particular clause, such as France, Germany, Italy, Singapore and South
Korea, did not get the benefit of bilateral APAs or MAPs. That has now been
rectified. It is a very positive step.”
Ficci survey points out bottoming out of impacts of reforms
The slowdown in the economy due to demonetisation and the impact of the
Goods and Services Tax (GST) seems to have bottomed out, a FICCI survey
The GDP growth is expected to improve to 6.2% in the second quarter of
this financial year and to 6.7% in the third quarter.
“According to the results of FICCI’s latest Economic Outlook Survey, GDP
growth is expected to improve to 6.2% in Q2 of 2017-18 and further to 6.7%
in Q3 of 2017-18,” the report said.
“The slowdown in the economy due to demonetisation and the adjustment
impact of GST implementation seems to be bottoming out and as the new
indirect tax regime stabilises, the economy would see an improvement in its
“The steps taken by the government to reduce the compliance burden
related to GST and make its implementation smoother, the comprehensive plan
announced for recapitalisation of the banks.
And the thrust laid on the infrastructure sector have been acknowledged
by the survey participants as an indication of government’s clear resolve to
address key issues that are hobbling growth,” it said.
Fifteenth Finance Commission would be headed by N.K. Singh
The Centre announced that the Fifteenth Finance Commission would be
headed by former Secretary to the government of India N.K. Singh.
The panel, which is to make its recommendations for the five years
beginning April 1, 2020, will include Shaktikanta Das, former Economic
Affairs Secretary and Anoop Singh, adjunct professor at Georgetown
The panel is tasked with looking into tax collections and how they are
to be divided between the Centre and the States, the principles that should
govern the grants in aid to the States and to review the levels of fiscal
deficit, among other issues.