- Sharp decline in Centre’s funding to rural local bodies
- The Centre’s funding for PRIs declined sharply from a high point of 48.45% in 1997-98 to 4.87% in 2015-16, while the Karnataka government’s share increased manifold from 55.29% to 95.13% during the same period, according to the study ‘Karnataka State’s fiscal transfers to local bodies: the current status and the State’s fiscal capacity’ .
- Out of the allocated funds of ₹26,576 crore in 2015-16, the Centre’s allocation was just about ₹1,350 crore and rest by the State government. Total allocation for PRIs in 2016-17 was ₹29,558 crore.
- The 14th Finance Commission recommendation to increase the share of States in Central taxes to 42% from the previous 32% and restructuring of the Centrally sponsored schemes by the Modi government were major reasons for the drastic reduction in allocation of funds by the Centre to the PRIs.
- The allocation to local bodies as a percent share in GSDP declined from 4.89% in 1998-99 to 4.5% in 2015-16 and dropped further to 3.18% in 2016-17.
· Japan becomes world’s first to land rovers MINERVA-II1 on asteroid Ryugu
- Japan became the world’s first countryto successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. This is the first time that the world will observe the surface of an asteroid via moving robots.
- MINERVA-II1separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, is a 3.3 kg compact rover consisting of two cookie-tin shaped rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B, which are now operating on the asteroid surface.
- Ryugu is a blackish coloured, diamond-shaped asteroid. It rotates on its axis once every 7.5 hours.
· India to organise ‘Gandhi March’ in Netherlands
- India will organise ‘Gandhi March’ from the iconic Peace Palace at the Hague to Grote Kerk on September 30, to launch the two-year long celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, marked as International Day of Non-Violence, five other events will be held in The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Zoetermeer.
The Netherlands has a special connection to India and Mahatma Gandhi. There are around thirty streets in the country named after Mahatma Gandhi.
- Cabinet approves National Digital Communications Policy-2018
- The Union Cabinethas approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.
- TheNDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and Communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable Digital Communications Infrastructure and Services.
- The key objectives of the policy are provisioning of Broadband for all; creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017; propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017; enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
- It aimed at providing a speed at 50 Mbps speed by the year 2022. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has planned to invest $100 billion in the country’s digital communications sector.
- These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.
- Finance Ministry Launches Mobile Application “ Jan Dhan Darshak”
- Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile app called Jan Dhan Darshak as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative .
- As the name suggests, this app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.
- While over 5 lakh FI touch points (Bank branches, ATMs, Post Offices) have been mapped on this App, approx. 1.35 lakh Bank Mitras would be on-boarded by 01.12.2018.
- Cabinet clears proposal to convert GSTN into govt entity
- The Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to convert GST Network (GSTN), which provides IT infrastructure for the new indirect tax regime, into a 100 per cent government-owned company.
- Currently, the Centre and states together hold 49 per cent stake in the GST Network.
- The remaining 51 per cent is held by five private financial institutions — HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd.
· Supreme Court scraps Section 497 IPC, says ‘Adultery not a crime’
- The Supreme Court on September 27 unanimously struck down Section 497of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that makes adultery a punishable offence for men.
- A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the 158-year-oldlaw was unconstitutional and fell foul of Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (Right to equality).
· SC approved live streaming of the court proceedings
- The Supreme Court approved thelive-streaming of the court proceedings as it observed the use of technology can virtually expand the court beyond the four walls of the courtroom.
- A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said that the live-streaming of the courtroom would help people who are in distant places to witness the proceedings
· Aadhaar Linking Must For PAN And Filing Income Tax Returns
- The linking of Aadhaar card to PAN cardis mandatory and is needed for filing income tax returns.
- The Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed private companies to avail Aadhaar data. Calling the section unconstitutional, the court asserted that private companies cannot insist on having Aadhaar number of customers.
- Successful Flight Test of Astra BVR Air-to-Air Missile
- Astra, the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), was successfully test fired by the Indian Air Force from Su-30 aircraft, from Air Force Station, Kalaikunda.
- The missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision meeting the mission objectives.
- In the series of trials held to date, Astra has been launched in the complete Su-30 flight envelope.
- The flight test assumes significance as it was part of the series of final pre-induction trials.
- Astra is the best in class weapon system and has undergone more than twenty developmental trials.
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