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15th April, 2024 Current Affairs

15th April, 2024 Current Affairs

Justice Aniruddha Bose Appointed Director of National Judicial Academy

  • Supreme Court Justice Aniruddha Bose has been named the new director of the National Judicial Academy (NJA) in Bhopal, as announced by Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud during a ceremonial bench held on April 10. The NJA, established in 1993, operates under the guidance of the Supreme Court and aims to enhance the skills of judges and facilitate court administration.
  • Founded in 1993 as an independent society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • Fully funded by the Government of India and operates under Supreme Court instructions.
  • Governed by a Governing Council (GC) and General Body (GB), chaired by the Chief Justice of India.

Amendment to India-Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

  • The amendment to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Mauritius, incorporating a principal purpose test (PPT), indeed signifies a significant shift in tax policy aimed at curbing tax avoidance. This move raises valid concerns, especially regarding the potential impact on foreign portfolio investments routed through Mauritius and the implications for past investments.
  • The principal purpose test is designed to ensure that treaty benefits are granted only to transactions with a genuine economic purpose, thereby preventing their misuse for tax avoidance purposes. This implies that Indian tax authorities will now have the authority to scrutinize investments beyond the Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) issued by Mauritius tax authorities.
  • Furthermore, with the introduction of the PPT test, existing structures and investments from Mauritius may need to undergo rigorous examination to determine whether they pass the test. This could potentially lead to changes in the tax treatment of such investments in India.
  • However, it's crucial to note that the amended protocol is yet to be ratified and notified under section 90 of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Until this happens, any concerns or queries regarding the amended agreement may be premature. The Income Tax Department has assured that once the protocol comes into force, any queries will be addressed as necessary.
  • Overall, while the introduction of the PPT test reflects India's commitment to combatting tax avoidance, its implications for foreign investments via Mauritius warrant careful consideration by investors and stakeholders.

India Donates Ambulances and School Buses to Nepal

  • India has donated 35 ambulances and 66 school buses to various organizations in Nepal, bolstering infrastructure in the crucial sectors of health and education. Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava, officiated the handover ceremony alongside Finance Minister Barshaman Pun.
  • India’s donation of ambulances and school buses since 1994 underscores its enduring support for Nepal’s efforts to strengthen healthcare and education infrastructure. This initiative aims to facilitate easier access to these vital services, contributing to Nepal’s development journey.

World Cybercrime Index Unveiled

  • The unveiling of a World Cybercrime Index marks a significant development in the ongoing battle against cyber threats. Such an index could serve as a comprehensive tool for assessing and understanding the global landscape of cybercrime, including trends, prevalence, and impact across different regions and sectors.
  • The index is based on a comprehensive survey completed by 92 top cybercrime experts. Through expert focus groups and pilots, the survey refined insights into five categories of cybercrime: technical products/services, attacks/extortion, data/identity theft, scams, and cashing out/money laundering. Results highlight a concentration of cybercriminal activity in select countries, with China, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, Romania, and Nigeria consistently ranking among the top 10 across all categories.
  • Russia and Ukraine emerge as the top two hubs of cybercrime, according to the index.
  • India secures the 10th position, scoring notably in impact, professionalism, and technical skills.
  • China and the United States closely follow, showcasing their prominence in cybercriminal activities.
  • Certain cybercrimes are associated with specific countries, such as data/identity theft with the United States and technical products/services with China.

Also Read: Science & Technology: Weekly Current Affairs Bitbank (February 19 to 25, 2024): What type of missile is the SAMAR air defence system?

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Government Sets Coal Production Target at 170 Million Tonnes for FY25

  • The government aims to produce 170 million tonnes of coal from captive and commercial coal blocks in the upcoming financial year, as per the review conducted by M Nagaraju, the additional secretary of coal. Representatives from 74 coal mines participated in the review meeting, expressing confidence in achieving the set target.
  • Coal block allottees are optimistic about meeting the 170 million tonnes production target for 2024-25.
  • In the previous fiscal year (FY24), captive and commercial coal blocks collectively produced 147.12 million tonnes of dry fuel. Among these, power sector captive mines accounted for around 121.3 million tonnes, non-power sector captive mines produced 8.4 million tonnes, while commercial mines contributed 17.5 million tonnes to the total output.

Russia’s Successful Angara-A5 Rocket Test Launch

  • Russia successfully tested its Angara-A5 space rocket for the first time on April 11, 2024. The test launch was conducted from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Far East of Russia. In fact, rocket test launches on April 9 and 10 were cancelled due to a malfunction in the pressurization system and a problem with the engine launch-control system.
  • The Angara-A5 rocket reached an altitude of more than 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles) per hour within minutes of launch.
  • The Angara-A5 is a three-stage rocket that stands 54.5 meters (178.81 feet) tall and weighs about 773 tons, with a payload capacity of 24.5 tons.
  • The Angara-A5 is designed to replace Russia’s Proton launcher and maintain Russia’s access to space after the expiration of the lease on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in 2050.
  • Russia launched the Angara project in 1991, shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, to develop a domestically produced launch vehicle.
  • The first Angara-A5 test flight took place in 2014, and a second test was conducted in 2020 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.
  • A partial test of the Angara project in 2021 was unsuccessful.
Published date : 15 Apr 2024 04:22PM

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