PIB – January 10 , 2020


General Studies- II

Topic Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Context

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Hosted 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA).

About 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  • 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) is being held in New Delhi.
  • India is the President of International Solar Alliance.
  • Delegations from 78 countries are participating in this Assembly.
  • The Assembly also has participation from important ISA Partners, and other invitees.
  • Two countries – Eritrea and St. Kittis and Nevis, signed the framework agreement of ISA.
  • With this 83 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement.

About International Solar Alliance

  • International Solar Alliance was launched in 2015.
  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India.
  • ISA is a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to specifically address energy needs by harnessing solar energy.
  • The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
  • ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase.
  • It facilitates the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.

Secretariat

  • India and France jointly laid the foundation stone of ISA Headquarters.
  • They inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy campus, Gurugram, Haryana.

Objectives

  • The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.

General Studies- II 

Topic-  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications.

Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system

Context

The Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system of Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) will come into existence from 8th November 2019.

About Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has launched a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) to ensure greater transparency and accountability in tax administration.
  • Document identification number (DIN) is the new system of identification number that Income tax department has introduced for the taxpayers.
  • It will be applied to all kind of communications from Income Tax (IT) Department, whether it is related to investigation, assessment, rectification, appeals and penalty among other things.
  • The DIN system will enable every CBDT communication will have to have a documentation identification number.
  • This intends to insure proper audit trail of such communication.
  • Any communication from IT Department without a computer-generated DIN, be it a notice, letter, order and summon or any other correspondence, would be treated as invalid and shall be deemed as if it has never been issued.
  • Also, all such communications with DIN would be verifiable on e-filing portal and no communication would be issued manually without DIN.
  • The only exceptional circumstances is in the case if the communication is issued manually and it would have to be uploaded and regularised on the system portal within 15 days of its issuance.

Benefits

  • The DIN system would ensure greater accountability and transparency in tax administration.
  • Earlier there have been instances where it was not possible to maintain the audit trail of the manually issued communication which caused inconvenience to taxpayers sometime.
  • This development would also help taxpayers detect fake notices and letters as the notice would be verifiable on e-filing portal of department.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

  • CBDT is a statutory authority that functions under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
  • It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
  • CBDT provides inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.

General Studies-III

Topic- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system

Context

DRDO’s Air Independent Propulsion system gets boost with operation of land-based prototype.

About Air Independent Propulsion system

  • Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is a technology which allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen (by surfacing or using a snorkel).
  • Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.
  • AIP systems generate electricity, powering a submarine’s to operate and also generate oxygen, lighting and amenities for crew.
  • It enables conventional diesel-electric submarines to remain submerged for two to three weeks at a time.
  • Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) has a force multiplier effect on lethality of a diesel electric submarine.
  • It enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds.

Advantages of AIP System

  • AIP does not normally provide the endurance or power to replace the atmospheric dependent propulsion.
  • It allows it to remain submerged longer than a more conventionally propelled submarine.
  • A typical conventional power plant will provide 3 megawatts maximum, and an AIP source around 10% of that.
  • A nuclear submarine’s propulsion plant is usually much greater than 20 megawatts.
  • Another advantage is that the Non-nuclear submarines running on battery power or AIP can be virtually silent

Significance of AIP System

  • AIP significantly improves stealth because it enables a submarine to generate electricity for services and battery charging and propulsion while completely submerged.
  • A submarine’s diesel engines can only be started once the snorkel has cleared the surface to take in oxygen in the fresh ai
  • Snorkelling depth is about the same as periscope depth.
  • Without AIP, diesel-electric submarines have to come up to snorkelling depths just below the surface or surface at shorter intervals so that the diesel engines can recharge their batteries. This significantly increases the risk of detection.
  • It can be retrofitted into existing submarine hulls by inserting an additional hull section.

For Prelims

MILAN 2020

Highlights

  • The City of Destiny Gearing Up to Host MILAN 2020.
  • Visakhapatnam is known as the City of Destiny.
  • The City of Destiny Visakhapatnam successfully hosted the International Fleet Review (IFR) in Feb 2016.
  • MILAN 2020 is a multilateral naval exercise.
  • It aimed to– enhance professional interaction between friendly foreign navies and learn from each other’s strengths and best practices in the maritime domain.
  • Theme –The Exercise with the theme ‘Synergy Across the Seas’ would provide an excellent opportunity for Operational Commanders of friendly foreign navies to interact with each other in areas of mutual interest.

Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award

Highlights

  • Eminent Agricultural Scientist Dr M S Swaminathan and well-known social worker, Gutta Muniratnam were respectively chosen as the first recipients of ‘Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award for Excellence’ and ‘Muppavarapu National Award for Social Service’’
  • The National Award for Excellence was instituted by the Muppavarapu Foundation.
  • National Award for Social Service was launched by the Swarna Bharat Trust.
  • M.S. Swaminathan was awarded for his distinguished contributions to the field of agriculture.
  • Dr G Muniratnam, was awarded for his extraordinary contribution in improving quality of people’s lives through social service.