Prospects brighten for breaking GST logjam - (Economics)
- Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha on Saturday expressed the hope that the Goods and Services Tax would be implemented soon, and prove to be one of the biggest game-changers in India’s history.
- The GST constitutional amendment bill is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, having been passed in the Lok Sabha in May.
Red sanders smugglers now move into Nallamala forests in Andhra Pradesh - (Environment)
- Facing heat from the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSATF) in the Seshachalam hills, smugglers have reportedly switched their focus to the Nallamala hills on the border between Kurnool and Kadapa districts.
- Red sanders of a high quality is said to grow in the Nallamala hills spread across 25,000 hectares.
Drug-resistant bug causes worry - (Health)
- A bug that doctors until about three years ago treated with moderate-class antibiotics is now causing worry in intensive care units of hospitals across the country. Doctors report that third-generation antibiotics — carbapanems — are failing to treat the Klebsiella pathogen, leading to higher mortality in patients and peg the resistance at up to 50 per cent. In Mumbai, the bug is being recorded in 10-20 per cent of the patients in ICUs of major public hospitals.
- Cases of colistin-resistant Klebsiella have started emerging, including four in Mumbai. Colistin is the last antibiotic available in the world for infections that the strongest antibiotics fail to treat.
All set for long-range missile launch from ship - (Defence)
- Close on the heels of the successful firing of a long-range surface-to-air-missile (LR-SAM), often referred to as Barak-8, from an Israel naval platform on Thursday.
- The missile jointly developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will now be test-fired from India’s new class of stealth destroyers under P15-A, INS Kolkata and INS Kochi.
A setback for surrogacy in India? - (Health)
- In India, the engine that drove the multi-billion surrogacy industry was globally falling birth rates, and over the past decade, India’s “liberal” laws further propelled the entirely unregulated sector to organise itself into a fast growing profitable venture.
- Now, the rules are set to change.
- On November 4, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on the customer in question — foreign nationals. Through the introduction of the proposed Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Bill, the Central Government now seeks to narrow surrogacy services to Indian couples or foreigners married to Indian citizens.
A vaccine boost to India’s polio fight - (Health)
- After nearly five polio-free years, and with the launch of the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) injection in the national immunisation programme tomorrow (November 30), India will be pushing for “endgame polio”.
- The injectable vaccine, which uses killed polio viruses, will be used alongside the oral polio vaccine (OPV).
Taking health care to tribal heartland - (Health)
- Earlier this month, a motley group of 50 academicians, government officials and activists gathered at Shodhgram village in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. This is an area known for malaria, malnutrition and Maoists, not necessarily in that order.
- Everyone left technology behind (mobile phones and gadgets) to ensure that there were no distractions to the flow of conversation over three uninterrupted days. It was to talk about an ‘x’ number of India’s 100 million tribal population.
‘Defence procurement policy will be flexible’ - (Defence)
- The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2015, to be released soon, will have several measures to ensure a level playing field for Micro, Small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.
- “I know the DPP 2015 has got delayed. It is now getting final touch-ups. I have mentioned in the preamble of the DPP that this is a not a static document. Within six months of the issuance of document, we can correct and improve upon it. It will be a dynamic document,” Mr. Parrikar said while speaking at a session on ‘self-reliance in defence’ during the annual general body meeting of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI).
Jaitley wants SC to revisit judgment on gay sex – (Indian Polity)
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that the Supreme Court should revisit its judgment on not decriminalising gay sex.
- Speaking at a literary festival, Mr. Jaitley, in contrast to the view taken by his party, the BJP and the Sangh Parivar said, “The Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict is not in accordance with evolving jurisprudence and the SC should reconsider it.”
India needs to grow at 8 % for creating more jobs: Sinha - (Economics)
- India needs to grow at 8 per cent for decades so as to create the required amount of employment for the country’s working-age population, the Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, said.
- “Our economic approach is fundamentally different from the previous government. We have the same philosophy as the Vajpayee government. What we are trying to do is build India’s production capacity so we can sustain high growth over long periods of time. This is a supply side view,” Mr. Sinha said while speaking at a session on removing India’s economic hurdles at the PHD Chamber’s 110th annual general meeting in New Delhi.
Transport of coal by inland waterways can save Rs.10,000 crore, says Gadkari - (Economics)
- Inland waterways can not only boost the movement of goods and passengers across the country but will also help in saving about Rs.10,000 crore annually in transporting coal, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
- The Minister, who also holds the charge of Road Transport and Highways, added that he is hopeful of Parliament’s nod on the bill to convert 111 rivers across India into National Waterways in the current Winter Session.
Aircraft import norms eased - (Economics)
- Carriers requiring to import aircraft will now only have to get the initial approval of the regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), instead of the ministry, according to a government statement.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation has delegated the power to grant initial No Objection Certificate or in-principle approval for import or acquisition of aircraft to the DGCA, two days after the RBI relaxed norms for remittances of money for import of aircraft, helicopters and other aviation-related purchases by airlines.