Decriminalisation of offences under GST
Context:The 48th GST Council meeting was recently conducted, and it was proposed that certain offences under Section 132 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017, be decriminalised.
There were also some additional recommendations which included for the facilitation of commerce, include an increased threshold of the amount of tax for prosecution, decreasing the compounding amount in GST etc.
What was previously criminalised under GST?
- Since the adoption of GST, there has been a considerable surge in tax evasion with countless incidents of people utilising diverse tactics to evade indirect tax coming to light.
- Tax officials are actively combating evasion using technology and data from e-way bills and GST filings.
- The GST legislation imposes strict penalties and rules on taxpayers in order to ensure seamless intrastate or interstate commerce of products, eliminate corruption, and maintain an effective tax collecting system.
The GST Law provides for two different types of penalties:
- Monetary fines: As a penalty for breaking legislative restrictions, the department authorities have the ability to levy monetary fines and seize property.
- Criminal penalties include imprisonment and fines, which are likewise authorised by GST Law, but which may only be granted in a criminal court following a prosecution.
- Sections 122 to 131 of the CGST Act of 2017
- It comprises fines provisions, whereas Sections 132 to 138 contain prosecution and compounding requirements.
- The duration of the prison sentence is determined by the amount of tax avoided, the amount of Input Tax Credit (ITC) unlawfully claimed or utilised, or the amount of refund wrongly claimed.
Cognisable and non-cognisable offences:
- The provision further categorises offences as either cognisable and bailable or not cognisable and bailable.
- It is found that many non-compliances fall under both kinds of sanctions, prosecution, and compounding.
- Offences under GST law which attract IPC and CrPC provisions.
Under the CGST Act:
- Criminal conspiracy: When two or more people agree to do an illegal act like as tax evasion or fraud, they are held guilty under the act of criminal conspiracy.
- Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines criminal conspiracy.
- Section 120B deals with punishment for it.
- Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with how the arrest is made.
- Section 69 of the CGST Act provides the power to arrest a person by an order of a commissioner when he believes that a person has committed any offence under Section 132.
- Section 67 of CrPC states that if a summons is issued outside the local authority, a duplicate copy of that summons should be sent to the Magistrate of that outside authority to serve the summons.
- Section 165 of CrPC deals with the search by the police officer.
- Section 67 of the CGST Act defines that only an officer not below the rank of joint commissioner can authorise in writing an inspection or search.
What are the recommendations of the 48th GST Council meeting?
- It has recommended various measures to decriminalise the GST offences such as:
- Raising the minimum tax amount for commencing a GST prosecution from one crore to two crore, except for the infraction of issuing bills without supplying goods, services, or both.
- Reducing the compounding amount from 50 to 150% of the tax amount to 25 to 100% of the tax amount.
- Certain offences outlined in Section 132 of the CGST Act, 2017, such as impeding or stopping any official from doing his responsibilities, purposeful tampering with material evidence, and failing to submit information, would be decriminalised.
- The legislation is still growing and is in its infancy which makes the same tough and unpredictable to execute.
- There are times where judicial judgements and rulings clash. The administration is continuously attempting to simplify the legislation.
- It is critical to recognise that applying punitive measures in an ambiguous ecosystem greatly changes how firms perceive risk and uncertainty, which has a direct influence on their capacity to do business.
- The legislation already includes enough sanctions to act as a deterrence to tax avoidance. The term “responsibility” refers to the act of determining whether or not a person is responsible for his or her own actions.
- It involves refunding unregistered individuals and enabling e-commerce for small businesses.
- There was no method for claiming a tax refund for unregistered customers.
- It also gave preliminary authorisation for unregistered suppliers and composition taxpayers to make intra-state supplies of commodities through E-Commerce Operators (ECOs), subject to specific criteria.
- Fewer arrests only: If the above-mentioned decriminalisation of GST offences is implemented with proper inspections, prosecution, arrest, and imprisonment in GST cases would be reserved for the most extreme situations of hard, habitual, purposeful defaulters and flagrant specialised fraudulent acts.
- Minor issues may be resolved by other processes such as Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), private ruling and mediation, anonymous adjudication and appeals, and so on.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Context:At the United Nations biodiversity conference (COP-15) in Montreal, Canada, India has advocated for a new fund to offset biodiversity loss.
Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF):
- The draught Global Biodiversity Framework, which will replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, has 22 targets and four goals for 2030, as a step toward the 2050 goal of Living in Harmony with Nature.
- Among the Global Biodiversity Framework aims are reductions in pollution, pesticides, environmentally detrimental subsidies, and the pace of introduction of invasive alien species.
- It will address a new set of goals and targets aimed at halting and reversing biodiversity loss.
- As the 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) finish discussions for a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, there have been proposals for the inclusion of the CBDR concept in finance-related commitments.
Fund at present:
- Presently, the Global Environment Facility caters to many agreements, including the UNFCCC and UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
- It is now the only source of financing for biodiversity protection.
- Subsidies that are damaging to the environment, such as those for fossil fuel production, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, should be reduced by at least $500 billion (one billion = 100 crore) every year.
- This money will be utilised towards biodiversity protection.
- It aspires to achieve a historic agreement to prevent and reverse biodiversity loss on par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, in which all countries pledged to limit global average temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- A new and dedicated fund is urgently needed to assist poor nations in successfully implementing a post-2020 global framework to prevent and reverse biodiversity loss.
Implementation of Global Biodiversity Framework:
- The ways and means that countries put in place for an equally ambitious ‘Resource Mobilisation Mechanism’ will determine the success of a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
- The Global Biodiversity Framework’s aims and ambitions should be ambitious, but also realistic and achievable.
- India is opposed to eliminating agricultural subsidies and transferring the proceeds to biodiversity protection.
- The majority of India’s rural population is dependent on agriculture and allied sectors, and the government provides a variety of subsidies, including seed, fertiliser, irrigation, power, export, credit, agriculture equipment, and agriculture infrastructure, to support the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers.
- When food security is of paramount significance for poor nations, imposing numerical objectives in pesticide reductions is superfluous and must be allowed to countries to determine, depending on their conditions, priorities and capacities.
- Existing multilateral sources are incapable of achieving the Global Biodiversity Framework’s standards.
- Greater ambition in Global Biodiversity Framework equals greater expense and the weight of this cost falls disproportionately on the countries who can least afford them.
- Agriculture is a vital economic driver for rural people in developing countries, and the crucial support provided to these sectors cannot be shifted.
- A new and dedicated method for providing financial resources to developing-country parties is required.
- To guarantee that all nations execute the post-2020 GBF effectively, such a fund should be operationalized as soon as possible.
- Ecosystem methods to biodiversity protection must be used rather than nature-based solutions.
- The GBF must be formulated with science and equality in mind, as well as countries’ sovereign rights over their resources.
- The GBF must recognise developing nations’ responsibilities for poverty eradication and long-term development.
Source: Down to Earth
Context:The 2022 Nobel Prize for physics was given for work that thoroughly tested and prepared the road for its applications in computing which illustrates the relevance of Quantum computing in modern times.
About Quantum Computing:
- Quantum computers imitate the behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles to greatly boost computing speed.
- These particles may exist in numerous states simultaneously, a confusing phenomenon called quantum superposition.
- Superfluid: quantum computers need to be very cold – around a tenth of a degree above absolute zero. To do this, we generate superconductors out of super-cooled superfluid.
- Superposition: In superposition, groups of qubits may build complex, multidimensional computing landscapes. Complex issues can be portrayed in novel ways in these areas.
- Entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon that connects the actions of two distinct entities. When two qubits are entangled, changes to one have an immediate influence on the other. Quantum algorithms harness those linkages to discover answers to complicated issues.
There are many interpretations of the laws of quantum physics:
- Erwin Schrödinger popularised the Copenhagen interpretation with a thought experiment he devised in 1935.
- It said that probing the volume forces the superposition of electron states to collapse to one based on the probability of each state.
- Entanglement: When two particles are entangled and separated by an indefinite distance (even more than 1,000 km), observing one particle and causing its superposition to collapse would instantly cause the other particle’s superposition to collapse as well.
- The term “electronic commerce” refers to the sale of goods and services through the internet.
How would a computer use superposition?
- The bit is the fundamental unit of a classical computer.
- It has a value of 1 if the relevant transistor is turned on and 0 if the transistor is turned off.
- The transistor may be in one of two states at a time – on or off – therefore a bit can have one of two values at a time, 0 or 1.
- A QC’s fundamental unit is the qubit.
- It is usually a particle, such as an electron.
- Transmons, in which pairs of bound electrons bounce between two superconductors to indicate the two states, have been used by Google and IBM.
- Some information is directly encoded on the qubit: if the spin of an electron is pointing up, it indicates 1; while the spin is pointing down, it means 0.
- However, rather than being either 1 or 0, the information is contained as a superposition: for example, 45% 0 + 55% 1. This is a different sort of state from the two distinct states of 0 and 1.
- A single qubit can represent two states. Five qubits can encode 32 states. A computer with N qubits can encode 2 N states, but a computer with N transistors can encode just 2 N states.
- As a result, a qubit-based computer may access more states than a transistor-based computer, providing additional computational routes and solutions to more difficult problems.
Quantum Computer vs Classical Computer
- Financial Services: Quantum computers have the ability to shed light on bigger challenges if limitations are eased and additional possibilities are attainable.
- Cybersecurity: The World Economic Forum has highlighted that “quantum computing could make today’s cybersecurity obsolete.” This is because the technology behind current cryptography involves combinatorics.
- Chemical engineering: Because there are so many different atom combinations and methods for them to connect, developing new functional compounds involves combinatorics.
- Advanced manufacturing: Artificial intelligence aids in the efficiency of manufacturing by detecting the source of uncommon faults in their production processes.
- These are challenging combinatorial issues relating to locating a single flaw in systems with numerous potential sequences.
- Improved machine learning through quicker structured prediction. Boltzmann machines, quantum Boltzmann machines, semi-supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and deep learning are some examples.
- Healthcare: DNA gene sequencing, for example, radiation treatment optimization/brain tumour diagnosis, might be done in seconds rather than hours or weeks.
- Because of their sensitivity to environmental disturbances, quantum computers today are exceedingly unstable and must be stored in costly freezers chilled to near-absolute zero temperatures.
- Quantum AI techniques, for example, can give enhanced sensing, navigation, and location capabilities to autonomous weapons and mobility platforms such as drones in GPS-denied environments. Equipped with quantum AI technologies, such systems may also change course independently to evade adversary countermeasures.
- Quantum also has the potential to greatly boost the connection, security, and speed of the internet. This quantum cryptography-based architecture might usher in a super-secure communications infrastructure that protects internet-connected objects, especially vital infrastructure, from assaults.
- As a result, calculations may be unreliable. Because qubits are not digital data bits, they cannot benefit from traditional error correction procedures employed by traditional computers.
- Developments like a specific database search algorithm that assures the act of measurement causes the quantum state to decohere into the right response hold promise.
- The Indian government announced a National Mission to explore quantum technologies with an allocation of 8,000 crore.
- The army built a quantum research centre in Madhya Pradesh and the Department of Science and Technology co-launched another one in Pune.
- The Department of Science and Technology unveiled the Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) programme, which would spend INR 80 crores in infrastructure and research.
- It offers India’s academics, industry experts, students, and scientific community the country’s first quantum development environment.
- Several institutes, corporations, and governments have made investments in building quantum-computing systems, ranging from software to tackle various issues to electromagnetic and materials research to enhance their hardware capabilities.
- While quantum computing has immense potential to transform how real-world problems are addressed, there are still several challenging engineering difficulties to overcome first, leaving firms without a timetable for when it will be employed in the workplace.
Source: The Hindu
The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in IOR
Context:The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is a linking centre for global energy and commodities commerce, including key Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) and major choke points. The IOR has become key to the geostrategic goals of significant nations with strong interests in the area. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) located in the Western Indian Ocean such as Maldives, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles, are being drawn into the great power struggle as a result.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS):
- SIDS are a distinct collection of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of United Nations regional bodies who suffer particular social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities.
- The three geographical regions in which SIDS are located are:
- At the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SIDS from the Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea (AIS) were acknowledged as a particular situation for their environment and development.
Significance of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of IOR:
- Since the Indo-Pacific architecture took shape, the geographical placement of SIDS islands has been of strategic importance.
- The islands give easy access to the choke points, are positioned near to critical SLOCs, and can serve as a base for the replenishment of resources for maritime powers conducting surveillance in the region.
- The stronger countries have begun interacting with the islands on a broader scale to increase their presence in this nautical region.
Challenges faced by SIDS:
- Because of their distant locations, size, fragile ecosystems, tiny population, and limited resources and capacities, the SIDS confront several problems. The majority of SIDS are categorised as middle-income states, while others, such as Comoros, are classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
- The economies of these states are hardly diversified and are mainly dependent on a few sectors like tourism and fishing.
- Climate change exacerbates their problems, putting an additional strain on their already fragile economies. SIDS account for two-thirds of the states with the biggest proportional losses (1 percent to 9% of GDP per year) from natural catastrophes.
- Aside from the prospect of low-lying islands becoming submerged in the future, increasing sea levels have a direct influence on the SIDS’ economic sectors. Saltwater intrusion, for example, has an impact on freshwater supplies and reduces the quality of agricultural land.
- The SIDS are already heavily reliant on food imports, with 50% of the SIDS importing more than 80% of their food. Another decrease in food output will increase their reliance on food imports. Self-sufficiency is a faraway goal for SIDS in this regard.
- Fish exports contribute significantly to these states’ revenue. The fisheries sector confronts issues of loss of Exclusive Economic Zones owing to shifting baselines, and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
- Rising sea temperatures also have a deleterious impact on marine biomass in SIDS’ resource-rich zones.
- The tourist industry, which has been hindered by the epidemic, accounts for over half of the GDP of SIDS like as the Maldives and Seychelles.
Powerplay and China’s maritime development strategy in SIDS of IOR:
- Powers such as the US, Japan, Australia, and India are primarily concerned about the expanding influence of China in the area.
- Islands play a crucial part in China’s maritime security strategy, as is shown by its island development efforts in the contentious South China Sea and cooperation projects with island nations in diverse geographies.
- The SIDS have welcomed the development and assistance measures from China owing to their vulnerabilities. From a port development project in Madagascar to large infrastructure development projects in the Comoros islands, as well as a Free Trade Agreement with Mauritius and development aid to the Maldives, China has firmly established its presence in the area.
- When the Maldives owing China about US$1.5 billion in 2018, it had to turn to its longstanding partner, India, for help to avoid an economic disaster.
- Madagascar is similarly tightly encircled by Chinese influence and participation in its economy and is apprehensive about getting caught in debt. Chinese-funded businesses account for 90 percent of the island’s GDP. Chinese migrants created limited work possibilities for locals, disrupted trade and commerce, and formed a market monopoly for Chinese items. With China’s extensive participation in Madagascar, the country faces a high danger of instability and political turmoil. This is a vivid illustration of how major countries’ geopolitical goals may push SIDS to the verge of collapse.
Opportunity to discuss and maintain stability through various forums:
- The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway is an international mechanism under the UN umbrella that has launched a greater international response to assist fragile islands. Goal Post (SDGs).
- Similarly, the Alliance of Small Island Governments is a 39-member representative group that provides a forum for small island states to air their issues.
- Another international group is the Indian Ocean Commission, which is made up of the islands of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Réunion (French overseas region).
What SIDS must do?
- IOR SIDS must enhance their cooperation with one another.
- They must make a joint effort to make their concerns and issues known to the other actors.
- The SIDS should seize this chance to ensure that the larger countries understand their security concerns and incorporate them into the wider security architecture.
- In most cases, decisions about security in the region have been determined by the prominent, and larger countries without the SIDS.
- The SIDS of the IOR can exploit their strategic location to force the larger countries to recognise their security interests and concerns.
- Stronger coalitions and regional groups are needed now, with major participation from SIDS, so that other players do not discount or dismiss their challenges and interests.
- The SIDS have been pushing for support and assistance at many international venues to tackle their resource, development, climate change, and, most importantly, survival concerns. Rather than being perceived as puppets in a geopolitical game, the SIDS must be regarded as key stakeholders in the area. This is the major shift in the thinking, policies and tactics that are essential for safe and stable area.
Source: Indian Express
Personal freedom and the panel on Intercaste/Interfaith Marriages
Context:Following a report in this publication, the Maharashtra government has decided to confine the scope of the recently created Intercaste/Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee (state level) to gathering information on interfaith weddings.
Intercaste/Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee:
- The state Women and Child Development Ministry will oversee the renamed Interfaith Marriage-Family Coordination Committee.
- In addition to offering help and rehabilitation, the committee ostensibly tracks fraud perpetrated in the name of love jihad.
- The development occurred after the Shraddha Walkar case was made public in November. AaftabPoonawalla, Walkar’s live-in lover, killed her in May 2022.
- States such as Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have already enacted anti-conversion legislation.
What is Love Jihad?
- “Love jihad” is a term widely used by activists to imply a scheme by Muslim males to attract Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.
How will the initiative function?
- This effort will give a venue for women and families in intercaste/interfaith marriages to get counselling and communicate or resolve concerns.
- The committee has been tasked with meeting with district authorities and reviewing work on seven factors, including acquiring information regarding interfaith or inter-caste weddings from stamp duty and registrar offices, as well as collecting information on such registered or unregistered marriages.
What are the concerns raised?
- Such monitoring is another another indicator of the State’s disproportionately increasing and absolutely inappropriate interest in, and demand for, control over the lives of individual citizens.
- But is not merely violative of one’s rights of freedom and equality, it also stinks of sexism in its stubborn denial of a woman’s choice of partner as her own free will and not an act of compulsion.
- Because there is an IPC for every legitimate concerns, the committee might be weaponized.
- In every way, monitoring a citizen’s life for her own alleged good is a cautionary tale, a limitation of men’s and women’s liberties meant to discourage them from leading richer, freer lives.
Right to Marriage:
- Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that the freedom to marriage is part of the right to life.
- As a component of the Ability to Life: Various courts around the nation have regarded the right to marry as a component of the right to life under Article 21.
- Established in the Human Rights Charter: The right to marry is also stated in the Human Rights Charter as part of the right to start a family.
- Universal right: The right to marry is a universal right that is available to all people, regardless of gender.
- Forced marriage is prohibited:Forced marriage is prohibited by several personal marriage laws in India, with the right to marry recognised under both Hindu and Muslim laws.
How is religious freedom protected under the Constitution?
- Article 25(1) of the Constitution provides the “freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and promote religion”.
- It is a right that ensures negative liberty, which implies that the state must ensure that there are no impediments to exercising this freedom.
- However, like with all basic rights, the state has the authority to limit the right in the interests of public order, decency, morality, health, and other state interests.
- The union of politics and communalism is not a new phenomena but to try to limit that sense of openness and potential by casting community aspersions on personal decision may be a mockery. To address the challenges that come from interfaith marriages, a creative and inclusive strategy is required.
Source: The Hindu
Private Member’s Bill for women’s reservation
Context:As ardent proponents of higher participation of women in politics,looking at the number of women elected in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly has been saddening. According to the latest Inter-Parliamentary Union report, India ranks 144 out of 193 nations in terms of women’s participation in parliament, with just 14.9% elected to our Lok Sabha. India trails Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal among our near neighbours.
Background: Recent elections and women’s participation:
- Gujarat: In its 182-member assembly, just 8% of the members were women.
- National Mean: The national average of women in state legislatures is about 8%. The figure is dismal
- Women’s representation in municipal administrations has increased: After the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, the proportion of women in local governments climbed from a modest 3-4 per cent to approximately 50 per cent currently.
History of Women’s Reservation Bill:
- The Deve Gowda administration initially sponsored the Women’s Reservation Bill in 1996. The Bill, however, expired with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha and had to be reintroduced.
- The Bill was reintroduced in the 12th Lok Sabha by PM Vajpayee’s NDA administration in 1998. It failed to attract support once more and expired. The NDA administration reinstated it in the 13th Lok Sabha in 1999.
- The Bill was then proposed again in Parliament in 2003. The government included it in the Common Minimum Programme in 2004, which said that the government will take the lead in introducing legislation for one-third reservations for women in VidhanSabhas and the Lok Sabha.
- In 2008, the government submitted the Bill in the Rajya Sabha so that it does not expire again. In December 2009, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice recommended that the Bill be passed. The Union Cabinet approved it in February 2010. After extensive debate, the Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2010 with 186-1 votes. History was made.
- The Bill then made its way to the Lok Sabha, where it was never debated. When the House was dissolved in 2014, it expired. We’ve returned to square one.
- During the current Winter Session of Parliament, most Opposition parties are renewing their drive to approve the Women’s Reservation Bill.
The case study: Women’s representation in political parties:
- Only two regional political organisations in India, Odisha’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress (TMC), have reserved seats for women to run for election.
- TMC and BJD filed 40% and 33% female candidates, respectively. Interestingly, 65% of the TMC’s female candidates won compared to 44% of their male candidates, while 86% of the BJD’s female candidates won compared to 43% of their male candidates.
Private Member’s Bill for women’s reservation in all legislative bodies:
- Historically, women have suffered as a result of systematic discrimination and restrictions. Women’s representation would remain marginal without a gender quota, resulting in a major gap in our democracy.
- Understanding this fact, there is a need to file a Private Member’s Bill requesting women’s reservation in both legislative bodies Lower and Upper Houses, and also reserved seats within that for women who hail from historically marginalised areas.
- It is a single step that will, if enacted, instantly secure at least 33 per cent representation of women.
What is Private Member’s Bill?
- A private member’s Bill differs from a government Bill in that it is piloted by a Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister. A private member is a Member of Parliament who is not a minister.
- Individual MPs may present private member’s bills to attract the government’s attention to matters that they believe require legislative response.
- The justification for women’s reservation stems from their lack of representation in legislative bodies. We cannot rely on gradual changes.
- We cannot allow another generation to battle for what is basic to participation in a democracy: the freedom to be heard and make decisions.
- The reservation of women will kick-start the democratic process. It will provide a sizable majority of people a say in how their lives are controlled.
- “No force on earth can halt an idea whose time has come,” Victor Hugo famously declared. Most political parties have considered, argued, and agreed on the reserve of seats for women in legislatures. It is now time to see it through. With its vast women population, India has a great reservoir of potential which, if unleashed, will move the country considerably forward.
Source: The Hindu
Facts For Prelims
- Global Minimum Tax
- The European Union has proposed a plan for a worldwide minimum 15% tax on large corporations GMT was developed under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework (by OECD and G20 countries)
- The unprecedented agreement between almost 140 nations aims to put an end to governments rushing to slash taxes in order to recruit businesses.
- Corporation tax is generally dependent on a company’s earnings. However, depending on where their offices are located or how they invest in their firm, they may be able to pay less (known as BEPS).
- Bharat (BH) Series Registration Mark
- As part of efforts to broaden the reach of the BH series ecosystem, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has permitted the conversion of standard vehicle registrations into Bharat Series (BH) numbers.
- Previously, only new automobiles could have the BH series designation.
What is the BH licence plate?
- In August 2021, the Government of India launched the BH Number Plate or Bharat Series Registration Number for non-transport cars. The BH Series number plate eliminates the need to transfer car registration while travelling from one state to another.
- Odd Radio Circles (ORC)
- As to the recent discovery by Indian experts, ORC might have emerged from Supernova Explosions or Massive Black Holes.
- Odd Radio Circle (ORC) is a very enormous, (Over 50 thousand times the width of our very own Milky Way ~ 3 Million Light-years) unexplained astronomical phenomenon that, at radio frequencies, is very circular and brighter at its edges.
- They were 1st discovered in 2019 using Australian Square KM Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). The ORCs, however, have not been discovered using visible, infrared, or X-ray telescopes.
- Genes responsible for the long lifespan of banyan, peepal trees identified
- Whole genome sequencing of banyan (Ficusbenghalensis) and peepal (Ficusreligiosa) leaf tissue samples was performed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal.
Reasons for long life:
- The research assisted in the identification of 17 genes in the case of the banyan and 19 genes in the case of the peepal with multiple signals of adaptive evolution (MSA) that play a critical role in the long-term survival of these two Ficus species.
- Ficusreligiosa Facts: Ficusreligiosa, sometimes known as sacred fig, is a Moraceae family fig endemic to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina.
- The lifetime of the banyan tree is predicted to be 200 – 500 years. Peepal trees, on the other hand, may live for up to 2500 years.