· HIV cases in Bihar go down, activists fear under-reporting
ð Bihar reported a sudden decline in the number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and those dying of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 2017 after registering a steady increase between 2007 and 2016.
ð The number of NGOS implementing various HIV/AIDS projects shrank to 30 covering 24 of the total 38 districts in 2017-18 from 64 in 34 districts in 2010-11, giving rise to fears of under-reporting of such cases in the state.
ð According to sources with Bihar State AIDS Control Society (Bsacs), the number of people living with HIV (1,15,448) and AIDS victims (3,304) in 2017 was the lowest in Bihar in the last 10 years.
ð The National AIDS Control Organization (Naco),which works under the Union health ministry, mandates 51 targeted intervention (TI) NGOS , 26 link worker schemes (LWS) partners and 14 source implementing agencies (SIA). However, the state has only 27 TI and three LWS partners and no SIAS
ð According to Naco, Bihar’s adult prevalence of HIV reduced from 0.26% in 2007 to 0.25% in 2016, while the number of HIV cases jumped to 1.51 lakh from1.22 lakh in same period. Similarly, the number of children living with HIV soared to 14,548 in 2016 from 6,391 in 2007, while AIDS related deaths jumped to 7,183 from 4,722 in the same period.
· 2 February: World Wetlands Day
- World Wetlands Day was celebrated on February 2nd with the theme of “Wetlands and Climate Change”. The theme signifies the importance of healthy and intact wetlands to one of the most pressing challenges of our times, climate change. The theme has been chosen to initiate action against the drainage of wetlands.
- The theme Wetlands and Climate Change is aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of wetlands, such as swamps, marshes, mangroves or peatlands, to help us cope with and mitigate global warming.
- World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February 1971 to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention at the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The two-fold objectives of the Ramsar Convention are Conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands and stop the encroachment and loss of wetlands.
· Union Budget 2019 highlights
ð Individual taxpayers with annual income up to 5 lakh rupees to get full tax rebate.
ð Individuals with gross income up to 6.5 lakh rupees will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
ð Tax slabs for those with income over Rs 5 lakh remain unchanged
ð Standard tax deduction for salaried persons raised from 40,000 rupees to 50,000 rupees.
(It is a fixed amount of deduction – in this case, an amount of Rs 50,000 which can be reduced by salaried taxpayers, from their gross salary.
They are usually deducted from the gross salary and claimed as an exemption.)
- TDS threshold on rental income raised from 8 lakh to 2.4 lakh rupees.
- Gratuity limit increased from 10 lakh to 30 lakh rupees.
- TDS on interest income from deposit in banks and post-offices up to Rs 40,000 against Rs 10,000 earlier.
(TDS is calculated at a rate and is directly related to one’s income level. The govt. has fixed a certain level of income which is not taxable. Any income earned post that level is chargeable and taxable.)
ð Benefit of rollover of capital tax gains to be increased from investment in one residential house to that in two residential houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains up to 2 crore rupees; can be exercised once in a lifetime.
ð Benefits under Sec 80(i)BA being extended for one more year, for all housing projects approved till end of 2019-2020.
ð Businesses with less than Rs. 5 crore annual turnover, comprising over 90% of GST payers, will be allowed to return quarterly returns.
- Two per cent interest subvention on loan of 1 crore for GST registered MSME units.
- Cost of data and voice calls in India is now possibly the lowest in the world; mobile and mobile part manufacturing companies have increased from 2 to 268
· 10 dimensions of Vision 2030
The 10 dimensions of Vision 2030 listed in the interim budget 2019 are:
Physical & Social Infrastructure
- Building next-generation infrastructure in all sectors comprising roads, railways, seaports, airports and inland waterways together with social infrastructure is the first dimension to provide ease of living.
- Building a “Digital India” that reaches every corner of the economy and every citizen.
Clean & Green India
- An India that drives electric vehicles, with renewables becoming a major source of energy, bringing down import dependence and increasing energy security for our people is the vision of Clean & Green India.
- Expanding of rural industrialization using modern industrial technologies, based on the ‘Make in India’ approach, using grassroot MSMEs and startups across the country.
- Clean Rivers with safe drinking water to all Indians using micro-irrigation techniques is the fifth dimension.
Oceans & Coastline
- Exploitation of the Blue Economy, to ensure better standards and quality of life for a large number of people living in the coastal areas. Exploiting the potential of India’s long coastline for becoming the strength of the economy.
- India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022 (Project Gaganyaan) is the seventh dimension.
Self-sufficiency in Food Production
- Attaining self-sufficiency in food and improving agricultural productivity with an emphasis on organic food.
- A healthy India, with a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all, is the ninth dimension.
Minimum Government, Maximum Governance
- Minimum Government, Maximum Governance with proactive, responsible, friendly bureaucracy and electronic governance is the tenth dimension.
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