‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Indian culture – salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
‘NCERT being used to tarnish vedas
- Delegates at the ongoing national Hindu convention organised here by right wing Hindu outfits alleged a plot to portray the Vedas in a bad light through the the National Council for Educational Research (NCERT).
- Speaking on the topic, ‘Futility of Democracy’ said, totally false information such as existence of tradition of slavery in Vedas is being passed on to the students through the medium of this Central Government level curriculum.
- Speaker also mentioned that there was a plot to ‘tarnish’ the Vedas through the NCERT. The convention demanded that Hindu organisations and political parties in India take the lead in getting justice for Hindus in Sri Lanka.
- Due to persistent conflict going on since last 30 years in Sri Lanka, the population of Hindus in Sri Lanka is reducing very fast. The population of Hindus which was earlier 30% has now remained 15%, that is, 20 lakhs only.
- Hindus are constantly pressured for getting religiously converted. As such Hindu organisations and political parties in India need to take the lead in getting justice to Hindus in Sri Lanka.
- All this was discussed in the conviction and seeing the declining population in Sri Lanka firm steps need to be taken and as soon as possible.
Source: Hindustan Times
‘’Paper 4-GS-IV, Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Disability rights groups protest GST
- Disability rights organisations have written to Finance Minister, Prime Minister and Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment protesting the decision of the GST Council to impose taxes on a range of aids used by persons with disabilities (PWDs) that were hitherto exempt from any tax.
- The Disability Rights Organisations Forum (DROF) said, all devices and products such as Braille typewriter, hearing aid, crutches, etc. are currently exempt from sales tax/VAT/excise/customs, but they are not exempt from GST.
- The GST Council has proposed to levy GST ranging from 5% to 18% on a range of equipment used by PWDs.
- Pointing out that many of the items are beyond the reach of the common PWD, the note stated that levying GST on them.
- Militates against the spirit and mandate of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which obliges the State to provide all aforesaid assistive devices, equipment and Braille books to persons with disabilities either free or at affordable cost.
- A book in Braille even at present costs not less than five times more than the cost of a print version of the same book. Imposition of 12% GST on Braille paper will hike the costs of Braille books manifold.
- The government has proposed a GST of 18% on Braille typewriters, 12% on hearing aids, 12% on Braille watches, and 5% on wheelchairs, crutches, and artificial limbs.
- Imposing GST on products such as Braille paper, hearing aids, and wheelchairs is a threat to the basic rights of PWDs, such as the right to education and freedom of mobility.
Call for withdrawal:
- The DROF urged the Finance Minister to prevail upon the GST Council to withdraw the proposal to impose GST on aids and appliances used by persons with disabilities.
- Disability rights organisations protesting the proposed GST rates include following organizations:
- NPRD, National Federation of the Blind, National Association of the Blind, All Indian Federation of the Deaf, Human Rights Law Network, Sense International, Federation of Disability Rights, and Association of People Affected by Leprosy.
Source: The Hindu
‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions
Government unveils tit-for-tat public procurement policy
- Entities from countries where Indian suppliers are not allowed to participate or compete in bids for government procurement, may be restricted or excluded from public procurement tenders in India.
- Such a provision, relating to reciprocity, has been included in the Indian government’s new policy to encourage Make in India by granting preference to local suppliers in public procurement.
According to the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017:
- If a nodal ministry is satisfied that Indian suppliers of an item are not allowed to participate and/or compete in procurement by any foreign government, it may, if it deems appropriate, restrict or exclude bidders from that country from eligibility for procurement of that item and/or other items relating to the nodal ministry.
- A five-member committee has been set up to oversee the implementation of the policy.
Role of committee:
- The committee “may assess issues, if any, where it is felt that the manner of implementation of the order results in any restrictive practices, cartelisation or increase in public expenditure and suggest remedial measures.
- The policy was approved by the Cabinet last month.
- Policy is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and services, thereby creating employment and enhancing income, as well as to stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services.
Source: The Hindu