- The word DRONE has a very innocent roots
- The real boost to drone tech came when the US military started a comprehensive UAV programme after Russians shot down a U-2 reconnaissance plane in 1960.
- MQ-9 Reaper drone launched Hellfire R9X missile at Qassem Soleimani
- Less lethal drones monitored crowds of student protesters rocking India.
- Today drones are largely used for military or policing purposes.
- Chinese company DJI uses drones for recreation and sports.
- Amazon developing last-mile drone delivery.
- In New Zealand, Domino’s is using it for pizza delivery.
- Drones, however, are best used in agriculture, aerial photography, rescue missions and insurance.
- Terraview uses drones with advanced image processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality to increase the productivity of vineyards.
- Tata Steel has used drones quite effectively to measure mining output.
- Inspection and repair at remote wind farms on an island, or pipelines in the remote tundra, or equipment in a rainforest can be done more cheaply and precisely.
- Insurance industry is using it in the aftermath of floods or pest inspections.
- 360-degree view of the status of any construction project and its assets.
- Flyability Elios uses drones for sewer inspections and cleaning in Barcelona.
- The WingtraOne VTOL drones are used to survey wildlife and detect poaching in the jungles of Africa.
- Botswana uses it for uses it for delivering blood and life-saving drugs.
- Newer business models like “drones-as-a-service” will emerge soon.
- Drones will mutate into swarms, where multiple, intelligent, small drones act as one vast network.
- Retail inflation rose to about five-and-half year high of 7.35 per cent in December 2019.
- It has breached RBI’s comfort level, mainly due to rise in prices of vegetables as onions.
- The overall retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.11 per cent in December 2018 and 5.54 per cent in November 2019.
- The previous high in retail inflation was witnessed at 7.39% in July 2014, the year Narendra Modi led Government assumed office for the first term.
- The inflation in ‘pulses and products‘ was recorded at 15.44 per cent, while in case of meat and fish it was nearly 10 per cent.
- The RBI, which mainly factors in the CPI-based inflation, is scheduled to announce its next bi-monthly monetary policy on 6th of February.
Fraudulent GST refund claims
- Revenue Department has identified 931 cases of fraudulent Goods and Services Tax refund claims through Data Analytics.
- The Department has tasked the GST Data Analytics Wing to scrutinize all the pending refund claims filed all over the country in the past.
- Refunds of over 28 thousand crore rupees have been filed by over 27 thousand taxpayers so far in the current year.
- Such identified taxpayers who have purchased goods from tax evading non-filers would face verification and scrutiny.
- It is being weekly reviewed and monitored by the Revenue Secretary Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
- Department has booked 6,641 cases involving 7,164 entities till November last year and have recovered around 1,057 crore rupees.
- The maximum number of GST frauds cases has been booked in Kolkata zone followed by Delhi and Jaipur.
FPIs pull out
- Adopting a cautious approach amid the US-Iran tensions, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) have pulled out around sum of 2,416 crore rupees from the Indian capital markets in January so far.
- As per latest depositories data, FPIs invested a net amount of 777 crore rupees in equities and pulled out around 3,193 crore rupees from the debt segment between January 1-10.
- This translates into a cumulative net outflow of 2,416 crore rupees.
- Overseas investors have turned net sellers in January after remaining buyers for four consecutive months since September 2019.
- However, both the US and Iran have shown their intentions to de-escalate military tensions.
- This may result in the rebuilding of risk-on sentiment which may be positive for foreign flows into Indian equity markets going ahead.
- Iraqi officials fear economic “collapse” if Washington imposes threatened sanctions, including blocking access to a US-based account where Baghdad keeps oil revenues that feed 90% of the national budget.
- US President Donald Trump was outraged by the Iraqi parliament voting on January 5 to oust foreign forces, including some 5,200 American troops, who have helped local soldiers beat back jihadists since 2014
- The Central Bank of Iraq’s account at the Fed was established in 2003 following the US-led invasion that toppled ex-dictator Saddam Hussein.
- Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483, which lifted the crippling global sanctions and oil embargo imposed on Iraq after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, all revenues from Iraqi oil sales would go to the account.
- Iraq is OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer and more than 90 per cent of the state budget, which reached USD 112 billion in 2019, derives from oil revenues.
- To this day, revenues are paid in dollars into the Fed account daily, with the balance now sitting at about USD 35 billion.
- Every month or so, Iraq flies in USD 1-USD 2 billion in cash from that account for official and commercial transactions.