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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 18 November 2022

 

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) With reference to the Carbon border tax, consider the following statements:

  1. It aims to restrict the trade of goods manufactured using non-renewable sources of energy.
  2. The European Union has implemented a five percent tax on carbon-intensive products under Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 17  November 2022

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Carbon border tax is an idea of imposing an import duty on a product manufactured in a country with more lax climate rules than the one buying it. In many developed countries, high costs have been imposed on carbon-intensive businesses in order to cut carbon emissions. These businesses have tried to avoid the measure by moving production to a country with less stringent rules, a practice called carbon leakage. India and several other countries have opposed the carbon border taxes policy at the COP27.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The European Union proposed(not yet implemented) the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in 2021. EU importers need to buy carbon certificates based on the carbon price that would have been paid, had the goods been produced under the EU’s carbon pricing rules. The amount of certificates required would be yearly defined by the quantity of goods and the embedded emissions in those goods imported into the EU. The CBAM will equalize the price of carbon between domestic products and imports, ensuring that the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined by production relocating to countries with less ambitious policies. Initially, the CABM would apply to imports of cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizers and electricity.

Q) With reference to the Artemis Mission, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a mission to explore the rare-earth metals found in the asteroid belt.
  2. The Orion spacecraft used in the mission will serve as a deep space exploration vehicle.
  3. Artemis 1, the first spaceflight in Artemis mission, was recently launched by NASA.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Artemis programme aims to land humans on the moon by 2024, and it also plans to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon. The Long-term goal of Artemis mission is to establish a permanent Artemis Base Camp on the Moon surface and a gateway in lunar orbit to aid exploration by robots and astronauts and ultimately facilitating human missions to Mars.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Major Components of the Artemis mission are: The Space Launch System (SLS), Orion spacecraft, Lunar Gateway space station and the commercial Human Landing Systems, including Starship HLS. Named after one of the largest constellations in the night sky and drawing from more than 50 years of spaceflight research and development, the Orion spacecraft is designed to meet the evolving needs of deep space exploration program. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during their missions and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Artemis 1, formerly known as Exploration Mission-1, is an uncrewed Moon-orbiting mission and the first spaceflight in NASA’s Artemis mission. It is also the first flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the complete Orion spacecraft.

Q) With reference to Inflation targeting, which of the following statements is/are not correct?

  1. The Monetary Policy Committee determines the inflation target in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  2. To check inflation, the policy repo rate is increased to ensure a decreased money supply in the economy.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Under Section 45ZA of the RBI Act, the Central Government, in consultation with the RBI, determines the inflation target in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), once in five years and notifies it in the Official Gazette. Accordingly, on August 5, 2016, the Central Government notified in the Official Gazette 4 percent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation as the target for the period from August 5, 2016 to March 31, 2021 with the upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent and the lower tolerance limit of 2 per cent. On March 31, 2021, the Central Government retained the inflation target and the tolerance band for the next 5-year period – April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026.
  • Statement 2 is correct: When the repo rate rises, the borrowing cost for banking institutions rises as well, which is passed on to account holders in the form of higher loan and deposit interest rates. Borrowing money from a bank becomes more expensive as a result, slowing investment and money supply in the market.  All sorts of loans like Home loan, vehicle loan, education loan, personal loan, business loan, credit cards, and mortgages are affected by repo rate hike. Also, an increase in borrowing cost discourages the unnecessary spending of common man thereby reducing the demand for goods and services. This further disrupts the demand and supply chain. However, increased rates are beneficial for such consumers who have savings and fixed deposits

Q) With reference to National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), Consider the following statements,

  1. NAA is a statutory body that ensures that the benefits of Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate reductions are finally passed on to consumers.
  2. NAA has the power to impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity.
  3. The orders of NAA can be challenged only before the High Court.
  4. NAA does not have any suo-moto powers and can only act on a consumer’s complaint.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 1 and 4 only
  3. 2 and 4 only
  4. 1, 3 and 4 only

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: NAA is a statutory body set up under Section 171 of the Central GST Act, 2017 to check the unfair profiteering activities by the registered suppliers under GST law. The Authority’s core function is to ensure that the commensurate benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods and services done by the GST Council and of the Input tax credit are passed on to the recipients by way of commensurate reduction in the prices by the suppliers.
  • Statement 2 is correct: In extreme cases, NAA can impose a penalty on defaulting business entity and even order cancellation of its registration under GST.NAA also has power to cancel registration of any entity or business if it fails to pass on benefit of lower taxes under GST regime to consumers, and empowers consumers to approach it in case of any complaint.
  • Statement 3 is correct: If NAA finds that company has not passed on benefits of tax reduction, it can direct entity to pass on benefits to consumers along with interest from the date of collection of the higher amount till date of return of such amount. If the beneficiary cannot be identified, NAA can ask company to transfer amount to the ‘Consumer Welfare Fund’, as provided under Section 57 of CGST Act. The orders of the NAA can be appealed against only in the high court.
  • Statement 4 is incorrect: NAA will be headed by senior officer of level of a Secretary to Union Government and shall have four technical members from Centre and/or States. The chairman and four members will be less than 62 years of age. In terms of Rule 137 of the CGST Rules, 2017, the NAA shall cease to exist after the expiry of two years from the date on which the Chairman of the Authority enters upon his office unless the GST Council recommends otherwise. The NAA has suo-moto powers and can take note of any instance of anti-profiteering even without a complaint from a citizen.

Q) Recently seen in news, the LeadIT Summit is best related to which one of the following:

  1. It a consortium of leading Tech-giants on the emerging technologies.
  2. It is a platform to attract private investment in the hydrogen-based transport systems.
  3. It is an initiative for transitioning of industrial processes to low-carbon pathway.
  4. It is a collaboration of various information technology companies to develop 5G technology.

Explanation:

  • Option (3) is correct: Recently, LeadIT Summit 2022 hosted by India and Sweden at COP27, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) brings together countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement. The initiative was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 and is supported by the World Economic Forum. LeadIT members believe that energy-intensive industry can and must progress on low-carbon pathways, aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. India emphasized that the low carbon transition of the industrial sector will not only contribute towards low greenhouse gas emissions, it has several co-benefits such as enhanced energy security, innovation, socio-economic development and job creation.Activities of LeadIT, with a special focus on the road mapping exercise, was undertaken for India’s cement and steel sector.

 

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