- International Farmers Strike
- Great Wall Motors
- Covid-19 Vaccine
Q.) Bharat Forge to manufacture armoured vehicles in India with which global company?
- Nexter Systems
- Paramount Group
- Lockheed Martin
- Raytheon Company
Q.) Which Chinese firm had won the bid to execute a renewable energy project in the northern islands of Sri Lanka?
- Sinosoar-Etechwin Joint Venture
- PowerChina-United Power Joint Venture
- Huaneng-Vestas Joint Venture
- Shenhua-Sinovel Joint Venture
Q.) Which majore e-commerce company had opposed Future Group and Reliance Industries multi crore deal?
- Ali Baba
Q. ) Recently, an Ambassador of ______ to the Democratic Republic of Congo was killed in an attack.
Q.) Who is the current Prime Minister of Mauritius?
- Prithvirajsing Poopun
- Anerood Jugnauth
- Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
- Eddy Boissezon
A new peak
- A spike in cases in a few States — Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
- In Kerala, the daily fresh cases have in fact been slowly declining for over a week.
- From a seven-day average of 11,100 cases in the second week of February to 12,900 cases in the last week
- In the last three weeks, from less than 3,000 daily cases, the numbers in Maharashtra have been increasing, particularly so in the past week to touch nearly 7,000 on February 21.
- No scientific explanation has been found to demystify this phenomenon; lack of targeted testing and/or integrity in reporting could be the only plausible reasons.
Keep it simple | ToI
- Walk-in enrolments instead of pre-registration on the Co-WIN app
- Govt plan is for a fivefold scale up to 50,000 daily sessions
- Instead, experts are suggesting a simpler walk-in process using Aadhaar to authenticate identity and age, take the jab, followed by a 30-minute wait at the site before leaving.
- A twin-track system where government offers free vaccination to priority groups while the private sector focusses on speed and scale with freedom in pricing and walk-in enrolment for all adult age groups will yield optimum results.
- India is the world’s top vaccine producer and has a vibrant private sector in healthcare.
- Rather than copying foreign models, it’s time to fully leverage these assets to end the Covid scourge.
A proper transfer policy needed
- Civil servants, no matter how dedicated, innovative and efficient they may be, need a stability of tenure to govern well.
- If the purpose of administering the region is to ensure peace and development, then it is unlikely to succeed till there is a proper transfer policy.
- As it stands presently, officers are transferred too often.
- This denies them the opportunity to settle down into an official role.
- At times, a particular administrative location is used as a testing lab where officers keep arriving and leaving, with a deleterious impact on officer morale, leading to a reduction in efficiency and effectiveness.
- The latter effect impacts development and governance and acts as a collective punishment to the population of that place.
- It has been a major reason for distrust, disconnect and alienation.
- Since Shopian’s district status in 2007, it has seen 13 Deputy Commissioners (DCs) at its helm.
- The last three DCs have had a stay of 378 days, 537 days, and 25 days, respectively.
- The story is similar in many other districts and government departments across J&K.
- Often, the frequent transfer of officials is blamed on the interference of local politicians.
- The analysis of the SUPREMO (Single User Platform Related to Employees Online) database of the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, shows that the average posting spell of civil servants in India is only about 15 months.
- Ashok Khemka (50 times) and Pradeep Kasni (65 times) are two Haryana-based IAS officers whose cases symbolise this issue.
- The Fifth Pay Commission had recommended that no premature transfer should be allowed and that there should be fixation of a minimum tenure for each post.
- The Hota Committee, which argued against frequent transfers, noted that “absence of a fixed tenure of officials is one of the most important reasons for tardy implementation of government policies, for lack of accountability of officers, for waste of public money because of inadequate supervision of programmes under implementation and for large-scale corruption.”
- Transfers often reflect administrative favouritism and create divisions among civil servants.
- If they are done on a political basis, this impacts the neutrality of the civil services.
- The core values of the civil services — neutrality, impartiality and anonymity — cannot be maintained without an efficient transfer policy.
Oil on the boil | ToI
- RBI’s monetary policy committee – unchanged policy interest rate
- The meeting’s minutes had a suggestion from governor Shaktikanta Das for governments, Centre and states.
- “unwinding of high indirect taxes” on petrol and diesel
- Taxes are the primary reason for the record highs in the retail price of petrol and diesel, which have already breached the Rs 100 per litre mark in some parts of India.
Petrol@100 | Ind Exp
- The Indian basket of crude cost $62 a barrel this week, an increase of at least 25% since the end of the last year.
- The real picture however emerges when the retail price is subdivided.
- The Indian crude oil price basket has risen from $40.66/bbl in October last year to $54.79 in January
- A quick rollout of the COVID vaccine could provide a fillip — crude oil prices may well harden further
- Notwithstanding that high fuel prices reduce households’ discretionary spending and are inflationary
- The retail price on February 16 stood at Rs 89.29 per litre.
- Of this, the basic fuel cost is Rs 31.82, while Rs 32 is on account of excise duty and Rs 20.61 is due to the levy of a value added tax.
- This implies that roughly 60 per cent (37 per cent on account of excise duty and 23 per cent on account of VAT) of the total retail price of petrol is due to central and state taxes.
- The Centre’s tax is higher than base price of petrol.
- Income from the petroleum sector now accounts for a significant source of revenue for both central and state governments
- The total contribution of the petroleum sector to central government coffers has risen from Rs 1.72 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 3.34 lakh crore in 2019-20.
- While for state governments, it has risen Rs 1.6 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2.21 lakh crore in 2019-20.
- According to the 15th Finance Commission, buoyancy in direct taxes fell to 1.1 during 2011-12 to 2018-19, from 1.8 in the previous decade.
- Collections through the goods and services tax have also been lacklustre — according to the Finance Commission, the gap between potential GST revenue and current realisations is around 2 per cent of GDP.
- A more prudent alternative would be for the government to focus on increasing revenue through better direct tax and GST compliance.
- PM Modi says world has noted strength of country's health sector during COVID-19 pandemic
- NDA government's flagship programme PM KISAN completes two years today
- BJP sweeps all six Municipal Corporation elections in Gujarat
- President Ram Nath Kovind to inaugurate world's largest stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad today
- UPSC adds Leh as exam centre for Civil Services candidates from Ladakh
- Prime Minister to visit Tamil Nadu, Puducherry tomorrow to inaugurate and lay foundation for several projects
- More than 1 crore 19 lakh COVID vaccine doses administered in country so far
- Govt sanctions over 56 thousand more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)
- CBI team reaches Abhishek Banerjee's residence to question his wife Rujira in coal smuggling case
- Union finance ministry disburses GST share of 11 thousand 5 hundred and 19 crore rupees to Maharashtra
- Nepal's Supreme Court reinstates Parliament dissolved by govt in December last year
- India only country on track among G20 to meet its climate change mitigation commitments, says Prakash Javadekar
- India calls for Somali leaders to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve election delay
- Bangladesh receives 2 million doses of COVID 19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India
- Chief of the Air Staff, Indian Air Force arrives in Dhaka on 3 day visit
- US golfer Tiger Woods hospitalized after a car crash.