December 29

1) Aviation:

  • Tending towards passenger centric
    • Putting cap on cancellation fee
    • Lower additional baggage charge
    • Increasing compensation on delays and boarding denial
  • Airfares are getting reduced due to competitive environment and dip in Aviation Turbine Fuel prices
    • With increase in fuel prices there is a speculation that in future the airfares may increase
    • Suggestion:
      • The govt has to take measures in bring the ATF price to the global average
      • India ATF is 70% higher than global average
  • Problem:
    • Air congestion is unsustainable due to infrastructure bottlenecks
    • Suggestion:
      • Give top 30 international airports to private operations
  • Regional connectivity Scheme:
    • 50 No-frill airports in the next 3 years
    • Loss obtained will be subsidised to the operators in regional ways


2) Ratan P Watal (former financial secretary) committee recommendations to promote digital transactions:

  • Levy cash handling charges on cash payments more than certain threshold limit
  • Use this charges for the promotion of digital transactions
  • Reduce PAN proof attachment limit
    • Currently 50,000/- for  banking transactions and 2lac for merchant transaction
  • Accept Aadhaar instead of PAN for KYC
  • Transactions permitted through cash without KYC should also be permitted digital payments without KYC
  • Tax payments should be promoted through debit cards and eWallets (currently it is permitted only through netbanking)
    • For that, the CBDT and CBEC departments should adopt e-commerce based model, where payments are accepted in all electronic modes
  • Amendments to General Financial Rules 2005 and Central Govt Account (Receipt and Payment) rules, 1983 should takes place to include digital mode payments
  • The govt as a merchant should not pass digital transaction cost on the consumer
  • Should promote low value transactions like Parking charges, toll fee etc
  • The govt utility bills above certain limit should be avail in only digital transaction mode
  • Convenience and service charges on digital transactions should be withdrawn
  • Customs and Excise duty on several machines that are imported which is used for the promotion of digital transactions must be cut
  • We should wait and see whether these all recommendations will be implemented in the coming Budget.


3) Fibroin:

  • Is a protein from silk
  • Uses:
    • Food wastage can be reduced
      • Its can be used as food preservative
      • Its coating will increase the fruits shelf life by reducing the cell respiration rate and water evaporation


4) Birds that survive in the harsh climate will have larger brain when compared to the birds in stable climatic conditions

  • Birds in highly seasonal environments have significantly larger brains than the birds in equatorial
  • Birds that are in harsh climate zones will have larger brains than their body size and will survive even in the rapid climate changing conditions


5) Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremist (LWE) affected areas scheme:

  • This Scheme comes under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
  • All weather roads will be developed to operate year long
  • Under this scheme, 60% of fund comes from centre remaining from states and for NorthEast, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand 90% of fund comes from centre and remaining from respective states


6) International Solar Alliance ratification has been approved by Union Cabinet:

  • Formally named as International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (IASPA)
  • It is for the Union of countries which fall under tropical region, P.M named these countries as Surya Putra
    • 121 countries fall under tropics
  • These countries association to harness the solar energy for energy needs
  • Objectives:
    • Forcing countries to bring down the prices of solar energy
      • Grid parity is the main aim to bring down the cost of generation of solar power at par with other sources
    • Standardisation
      • Keep standards in manufacturing of solar equipments, this again to bring the cost of equipments
    • Research and Development
      • Where we are still in nascent stage in the field of storage of energy
  • Analysis:
    • Very big platform initiated by India as major part with france after NAM
    • The success will make India to initiate similar platforms for other renewable energy sources using Wind and Ocean currents which are safe and environment friendly
    • This initiative will foster south south cooperation

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