Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 21 July 2022
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 21 July 2022
Godavari floods spark war of words between Telangana
The latest floods to the Godavari river that created havoc in the temple town of Bhadrachalam and its surrounding areas have triggered a war of words between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The Telangana government is arguing that the increase in the height of the Polavaram dam being constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government in West Godavari district by three metres was responsible for the flooding of Bhadrachalam in the backwaters of the river during the recent floods.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Telangana special chief secretary (irrigation) Rajat Kumar said the state government had represented to the Centre several times to study the impact of the backwaters of Polavaram dam on the submergence of several villages.
“Apart from crops to the extent of one lakh acres in Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh, the backwaters would submerge historic places like 17th century Sri Sita Rama Swamy temple at Bhadrachalam town and also ancient “Parnashala” (hermitage) where Lord Ram had spent on the banks of Godavari river during his exile,” Kumar said.
Telangana transport minister Puvvada Ajay, who is overseeing rescue and relief operations in Bhadrachalam, said the increase in the height of Polavaram dam to the present level of 45.72 metres was responsible for the recent floods to the temple town, most parts of which are still reeling under flood waters.
He said once the Polavaram project was completed, the water level at Bhadrachalam would permanently remain at 45.5 ft, which is above the first warning signal of 43 feet. “Because water will be impounded at the dam, the water level in Godavari river will continuously rise due to massive inflows from upstream of the river,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu, however, refuted the argument of the Telangana government that the increase in Polavaram dam was responsible for submergence of Bhadrachalam and surrounding villages.
Andhra Pradesh education minister Botsa Satyanarayana strongly opposed the demand for demerger of villages from Andhra and their transfer to Telangana. “In that case, we may have to ask for the demerger of Hyderabad from Telangana and ask for its merger with AP,” he said.
Russia declares expanded war goals beyond Ukraine's Donbas
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow's military "tasks" in Ukraine now went beyond the eastern Donbas region, in the clearest acknowledgment yet that it has expanded its war goals.
In an interview with state media nearly five months after Russia's invasion, the foreign minister also said peace talks made no sense at the moment because Western governments were leaning on Ukraine to fight rather than negotiate.
Ukraine's foreign minister retorted that Russia wanted "blood, not talks".
When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, President Vladimir Putin explicitly denied any intention of occupying his neighbour. He said then that his aim was to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine - a statement dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a pretext for an imperial-style war of expansion.
But Lavrov said geographical realities had changed since Russian and Ukrainian negotiators held peace talks in Turkey in late March that failed to produce any breakthrough.
"Now the geography is different, it's far from being just the DPR and LPR, it's also Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and a number of other territories," he said, referring to areas well beyond the Donbas that Russia has wholly or partly seized.
"This process is continuing logically and persistently."
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded: "By confessing dreams to grab more Ukrainian land, (the) Russian foreign minister proves that Russia rejects diplomacy and focuses on war and terror. Russians want blood, not talks."
"That means the geographical tasks will extend still further from the current line," he said.
Russia could not allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy "or whoever replaces him" to threaten its territory or that of the DPR and LPR with the longer-range systems, he said - referring casually, and without any evidence, to the possibility that the Ukrainian leader might not remain in power.
After failing to take the Ukrainian capital Kyiv at the start of the war, Russia said in March it would focus on "achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbas".
Lavrov spoke a day after the White House said Russia was starting to roll out a plan to annex large parts of southern Ukraine under the cover of "sham referendums".
Russian-imposed officials in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia have outlined plans to hold plebiscites in the coming months. The Kremlin says it is up to people living there to decide their own futures.
Indian economy to grow 7-8% in next couple of decades: Panagariya
Indian economy, which has grown fairly rapidly in the last 17 years, will grow at 7-8 per cent in the next couple of decades, former Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya said.
He also rejected the idea of comparing India's economic situation with that of Sri Lanka, which is facing an economic crisis, and emphasised that India is a very stable economy.
"We have been growing fairly rapidly in the last 17 years... We will grow 7-8 per cent in the next couple of decades," Panagariya, who is currently a Professor of Economics at the Columbia University, said.
Speaking at an event organised by Columbia Global Centre here, he noted that the country's economy grew 7.4 per cent between 2014-15 to 2019-20.
The World Bank has cut India's economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.5 per cent.
A nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST), which subsumed 17 local levies like excise duty, service tax and VAT and 13 cesses, was rolled out in July 2017.
Under GST, a four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax of 5 per cent on essential items and top rate of 28 per cent on cars is levied. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 per cent.
On certain experts and politicians comparing the current situation in Sri Lanka with that of India, Panagariya said, "it is nonsense to compare the current economic situation in Sri Lanka with India. India is a very stable economy.
Panagariya calls for 2-rate GST structure, pruning of exemption list
Former Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya pitched for a two-rate Goods and Services Tax (GST) structure with a small exemption list.
Panagariya also said that the Indian economy has grown fairly rapidly in the last 17 years, and it will grow at 7-8 per cent in the next couple of decades.
"We should get to two GST rates(structure)....Also, we need to prune the GST exemption list," Panagariya at an event organised by Columbia Global Centers here.
The decision of the GST Council to impose 5 per cent tax on pre-packaged and labelled food items such as cereals, pulses and flour weighing less than 25 kg has generated political controversy.
A nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST), which subsumed 17 local levies like excise duty, service tax and VAT and 13 cesses, was rolled out at the stroke of midnight on July 1, 2017.
Under GST, a four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax of 5 per cent on essential items and top rate of 28 per cent on luxury goods and cars is levied. The other slabs of tax are 12 per cent and 18 per cent. In the pre-GST era, the total of VAT, excise, CST and their cascading effect led to 31 per cent as tax payable, on an average, for a consumer.
On India's macroeconomic situation, Panagariya said, "We have been growing fairly rapidly in the last 17 years...We will grow 7-8 per cent in the next couple of decades.
While noting that the Indian economy grew by 7.4 per cent between 2014-15 to 2019-20, the first five year of the Modi government, the eminent economist blamed reckless lending by banks during the previous UPA government from 2008-12, which led to rise in NPAs and plummeting of economic growth to 4 per cent in 2019-20
The World Bank has cut India's economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.5 per cent as rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions taper recovery.
India's economy grew 8.7 per cent in the last fiscal (2021-22) against a 6.6 per cent contraction in the previous year.
On some experts and politicians comparing the current situation in Sri Lanka with India, Panagariya said, "It is nonsense to compare the current economic situation in Sri Lanka with India. India is a very stable economy."
Neeraj Chopra headlines 37-member Indian team selected for CWG 2022
Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra headlined the 37-member squad named by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Thursday to compete in the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 this year.
AFI president Adille Sumariwalla expressed confidence that the squad would deliver quality performances.
The squad includes three men Javelin Throwers in Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav and three Triple Jumpers in Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul.
"We are requesting the Indian Olympic Association to increase our quota by one and to assist in securing accreditation for a couple of athletes. We have also selected a few subject to their proving their fitness and form before the Games," Sumariwalla said.
"Shot Puttter Tajinderpal Singh Toor will have to perform well in Kazakhstan while Amoj Jacob has been selected subject to his recovery and fitness level," the AFI President said.
Men: Avinash Sable (3000m Steeplechase); Nitender Rawat (Marathon); M Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya (Long Jump); Abdulla Aboobacker, Praveen Chithravel and Eldhose Paul (Triple Jump); Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Shot Put); Neeraj Chopra, DP Manu and Rohit Yadav (Javelin Throw); Sandeep Kumar and Amit Khatri (Race Walking); Amoj Jacob, Noah Nirmal Tom, Arokia Rajiv, Muhammed Ajmal, Naganathan Pandi and Rajesh Ramesh (4x400m Relay).
Women: S Dhanalakshmi (100m and 4x100m relay); Jyothi Yarraji (100mHurdles); Aishwarya B (Long Jump and Triple Jump) and Ancy Sojan (Long Jump); Manpreet Kaur (Shot Put); Navjeet Kaur Dhilllon and Seema Antil Punia (Discus Throw); Annu Rani and Shilpa Rani (Javelin Throw); Manju Bala Singh and Sarita Romit Singh (Hammer Throw); Bhawna Jat and Priyanka Goswami (Race Walking); Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, MV Jilna and NS Simi (4x100m relay).—IANS inj