Essential Facts (Prelims): 20 December, 2018

NITI Aayog report

  • ‘Strategy for New India @75’ document has been released by NITI Aayog.
  • In the report NITI Aayog said the target should be 8% growth over the period 2018-23.
  • Present rate of investment (gross fixed capital formation as a share of GDP) is about 29%.
  • India’s tax-GDP ratio of around 17% is half the average of OECD countries (35%) and is low even when compared to other emerging economies like Brazil (34%), South Africa (27%) and China (22%).

Commercial Surrogacy

  • The Lok Sabha passed a Bill banning commercial surrogacy.
  • It provides with penal provisions of jail term of up to 10 years and fine of up to ₹10 lakh.
  • The Bill allows only close Indian relatives to be surrogate mothers and purely for “altruistic” reasons.
  • An Indian infertile couple, married for five years or more, can go in for ‘altruistic surrogacy’ where the surrogate mother will not be paid any compensation except medical expenses and insurance.


  • GSLV-F11 rocket carried communication satellite GSAT-7A.
  • GSLV-F11 has indigenous cryogenic stage
  • GSAT-7A meant to enhance the communication infrastructure of the Indian Air Force.
  • GSAT-7A is the heaviest satellite till date. It weighs 2, 250 kg.


  •  The Centre has mandated the packaging of 100% of foodgrain and 20% of sugar in jute bags for 2018-19.
  • While West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are the two largest jute goods producers, Punjab is the largest procuring State.

Angel tax

  • The angel tax is a 30.9 % tax levied on investments made by external investors in startups or companies.
  • The entire investment is not taxed – only the amount that is considered above “fair value” valuations of the startup, classified as ‘income from other sources’ in the Income Tax Act of India.
  • This can cause differing interpretations of “fair value” and leave startups vulnerable to unduly high taxes because the taxman feels the investment is too high over their valuation.


  • Japanese scientists have detected evidence of water on 17 asteroids for the first time using data from the infrared satellite AKARI.
  • Researchers found that water is retained in asteroids as hydrated minerals, which were produced by chemical reactions of water and anhydrous rocks that occurred inside the asteroids.


45% elephant mortality is caused due to unnatural reasons in Odisha.