By: D.K Choudhary
India and Singapore Signs Third Protocol for Amending Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)
i. India and Singapore signed a Third Protocol on December 30, 2016, for amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
ii. The decision follows India’s treaty policy to prevent double non-taxation, curb revenue loss and check the menace of black money through automatic exchange of information.
iii. The Third Protocol amends the DTAA to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on transfer of shares in a company. Presently the DTAA provides for residence based taxation of capital gains of shares in a company.
iv. The amended DTAA would come into effect from 1st April, 2017. It will help to curb revenue loss, prevent double non-taxation and streamline the flow of investments.
Mehbooba Mufti launches IT-Enabled Systems to Boost Education System of the State
i. Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti launched School Management Information System (SMIS) on December 30, 2016, to provide a complete database of Jammu & Kashmirall the government schools spread across the state.
ii. SMIS been developed by the J&K Education Department in collaboration with National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), ISRO, Digital India and MHRD.
iii. It is a comprehensive IT-enabled Database System to highlight important features of all Government Schools such as Staff strength, Student-Teacher ratio among others.
iv. Besides, the chief minister also launched a Unified Data Information System for Education (U-DISE) to provide the details about the enrolments and pupil-to-teacher ratios from school to school.
v. Mehbooba also inaugurated the GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping of schools, in which the geographical locations and 3D structures of the schools have been distinctly marked. It also informs about the school infrastructure and school cluster structure zone-wise in a district. As many as 28,000 schools are being taken up under GIS mapping in the state.
vi. The chief minister also launched, Vocational Monitoring Details, an online portal for monitoring the implementation of various vocational courses in the state.
vii .The Minister also launched an e-Office for online management of files in the
school education department to address the critical infrastructure gap and ensure time management.
viii. The Minister appreciated the launch of IT-Enabled Initiatives saying that it would enable the state’s students to get knowledge connectivity with the outside world along with promoting sports and cultural activities and giving a path to the schools to be converted into hubs of knowledge and excellence.
President Pranab Mukherjee Approves Promulgation of Specified Bank Notes Ordinance 2016
i .The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee approved the promulgation of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016 on 30th December, 2016.
ii. Aim: The Ordinance aims to extinguish the liability of the Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India towards the demonetized Bank Notes, provide an opportunity to those persons who were unable to deposit the SBNs within the time provided and declare holding, transferring or receiving SBNs as illegal with provisions for penalty for violating any provisions of the Ordinance.
iii. The ordinance provides for amending the Reserve Bank of India Act to provide legislative support for extinguishing the demonetized banknotes that are not returned.
iv .According to the Ordinance, holding of old 1,000 and 500 rupee notes after 31st of March 2017 will considered as an offence and attract a fine of Rs. 10,000 or 5 times the cash held, whichever is higher. Also not more than 10 notes of demonetized currency can be held after December 30.
v. The ordinance also provides an opportunity to those persons who were unable to deposit demonetized notes within time provided to deposit them with the RBI. Indian citizens still having the possession of old currency and who were outside India from November 9 to December 30 can deposit the notes at the specified offices of RBI till March 31, 2017.
vi. While Non-Resident Indians can deposit such notes in their possession till June 30, 2017, but this will be restricted to amounts of Rs 25,000 per person as per the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations of 2015.
vii. A wrong declaration would invite fine of Rs 50,000 or five times the seized amount, whichever is higher as per the ordinance.
Sikkim Adjudged India’s First Fully Organic State In 2016
i. Sikkim has emerges as the India’s first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land into sustainable cultivation.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally certified Fully Organic State Status to
Sikkim at a sustainable agriculture conference in Gangtok earlier in 2016.
iii. Around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land has been gradually converted to certified organic land by implementing organic practices and principles as per guidelines laid down in National Programme for Organic Production.
iv. Organic cultivation is free of chemical pesticides and chemical fertilisers to maintain a balance with ecosystems. Sustainable farming also helps in building the soil health resulting in sustainable increased crop production.
v. Organic Farming will also boost the tourism industry in the tiny landlocked Himalayan state of Sikkim.
vi. Besides, Sikkim was conferred with the overall best state in education in June. Kanchenjunga National Park in West Sikkim was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site by the world heritage site committee on July 17. The state was also adjudged as the cleanest state in India by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in September, while in October, Sikkim was adjudged the cleanest tourist destination in the country by the Ministry of Tourism.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Indian History Congress in Kerala
i. The 77th Indian History Congress was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on December 29, 2016 at the Kerala University Golden Jubilee Auditorium at Kariavattom campus.
ii. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam was the chief guest of the function while Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the agenda of the History Congress by handing it over to the President.
iii .The three-day event which began on December 28 was held across 11 venues on the campus. Education Minister of the state, C Ravindranath addressed the conluding function of the congress on December 30.
iv. Over 3,000 historians and research scholars attended the Congress including historian Romila Thapar, musician T M Krishna, actor Nandita Das, poet Sachidanandan and leader of the opposition Ramesh Chennithala.
v. As part of the congress, the campus hosted an exhibition that was free for students as well as the public. Beside a special cultural programme on Kerala’s art and culture was also organized on December 28 and 29.
vi. The President also gave away the Rajwade Award for the best historian.
Mori village in Andhra gets Smart Digital village tag
Mori village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh placed on India’s digital map by transforming completely into a Smart Digital Village said by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu
♦ Mori has bagged the Swachh Village award recently at the national level.
State Gov Initiatives :
i. AP FiberNet project that will provide internet for a total price of Rs 149 per month.
Moriii. Rs 4000 worth set-top box is being provided for a monthly installment of Rs 99.
iii. People transacts digitally through e-Banking, RuPay cards or SBI Buddy
iv. 650 Android-based smartphones distributed to the villagers to enable them go for digital transactions post-demonetisation.
v. Piped LPG supply work will be started shortly
Madhya Pradesh plans to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages
Madhya Pradesh has plan to develop 1,100 ‘climate-smart’ villages n a period of next 6 years to prepare farmers to manage the climate change risks timely and ensure good productivity said by state Farmer Welfare & Agriculture Development Department Principal Secretary Dr Rajesh Rajora
Highlights of the plan:
i. According to the plan, 100 villages in each of the 11 agro-climatic zones of the state would be taken up under the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) and Indian National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture with a cost about Rs 150 crore every year.
ii. Farmers would be encouraged to go for short duration variety of crops and Agro-forestry also would be adopted by them.
iii. Nutrients management will be implemented to help in soil fertility and plant nutrients supply through optimisation of all possible sources of organic, inorganic and biological components.
iv. The integrated pest management, zero tillage, raised bed gardening techniques and micro-irrigation would also be introduced in the climate smart villages.