- International Day of Peace 2019: Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. The theme for 2019 is “Climate Action for Peace”
- Global Goalkeepers Goals Award 2019: The award is conferred by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The annual awards, in five categories, are presented to leaders and individuals for their efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The categories are Progress, Changemaker, Campaign, Goalkeepers Voice and the Global Goalkeeper.
Paper: General Studies 2
Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential
Why in News?
- Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah launched three citizen centric services of the Chandigarh Police, in Chandigarh today. The services include the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS – Dial 112), ‘E-Beat Book’ System and the ‘E-Saathi App’
- ERSS is one of the key projects of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under Nirbhaya Fund. It has been designed to play a pivotal role in mitigation or preventing escalation of crime, especially against women and children. ERSS provides a single emergency number (112), computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress. Citizens can send their emergency information through call, sms, email and through the 112 India mobile app
- The ‘E-Beat Book’ is a web and mobile based application which will ease the collection, updation and analysis of information related to crime and criminals in a real time
- The ‘E-Saathi’ App would help the general public, including senior citizens, to remain in touch with the police and also give suggestions to facilitate participatory community policing(‘Your Police at Your Doorstep’ initiative)
What is E-governance?
- e-Governance refers to the use by government agencies of Information Technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and various arms of government resulting in better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management.
- The goals of e-Governance are:
- better service delivery to citizens
- Ushering in transparency and accountability
- Empowering people through information
- Improved efficiency within Governments
- Improve interface with business and industry.
Benefits of E-governance:
- Increased reach of public services
- Accountability and transparency in public service delivery
- Increased citizen connect through continuous social audits and feedback mechanisms
- Increased efficiencies in public service delivery causing saving of government expenditure
- Reduced corruption
Challenges in E-Governance Implementation:
- Issues related to privacy of user data
- Digital Divide i.e. limited reach of internet infrastructure and digital literacy in the country
- Resistance to change the back end process of government departments
- E-governance has been limited mostly to digitization in most departments, limiting the benefits accrued
Corporate income tax reductions
Paper: General Studies 3
Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment
Why in News?
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced major changes in corporate income tax rates to revive growth in the broader economy. This has been achieved through an ordinance– the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2019
Major Changes made:
- A new provision which allows any domestic company an option to pay income-tax at the rate of 22% subject to the condition that they will not avail any exemption/incentive.The effective tax rate for these companies shall be 25.17% inclusive of surcharge & cess Such companies shall not be required to pay Minimum Alternate Tax.
- In order to attract fresh investment in manufacturing and thereby provide boost to ‘Make-in-India’ initiative, a new provision allows any new domestic company incorporated on or after 1st October 2019 making fresh investment in manufacturing, an option to pay income-tax at the rate of 15%. This benefit is available to companies which do not avail any exemption/incentive and commences their production on or before 31st March, 2023.
- In order to provide relief to companies which continue to avail exemptions/incentives, the rate of Minimum Alternate Tax has been reduced from existing 18.5% to 15%
Reasons for change:
- To revive the economy and making Indian corporate taxation regime competitive to other countries. After the changes:
- The new corporate income tax rates in India will be lower than USA (27 percent), Japan (30.62 percent), Brazil (34 percent), Germany (30 percent) and is similar to China (25 percent) and Korea (25 percent)
- New companies in India with an effective tax rate of 17 percent is equivalent what corporates pay in Singapore (17 percent)
- Increased competitiveness of Indian corporate sector
- More competitive manufacturing to improve profits and increase funds for research and development, leading to innovativeness and a virtuous cycle of growth
- The growth of manufacturing sector would increase employment opportunities
- The changes in tax rate can also translate to consumers leading to lower inflation
- Increase in exports from India as the new tax rates are at par with other Asian competitors, thus reducing earlier tax disadvantages from Indian products
- The revenue foregone for the government because of the latest corporate income tax cuts will be to the tune of Rs 1.45 lakh crore a year.
- This reduction in government’s revenue can cause deviation from fiscal consolidation path