1) Amarjeet Sinha committee : It will suggest (within 3 months) what changes in focus and governance structures are required to make MGNREGA more effective.
- It will look at changes in the cost of providing work, the reasons and recommend ways to bring in a greater focus on poorer areas and whether it should focus more on community-based assets or individual works.
2) Cess and surcharge : A cess is a tax on tax in basic terms. It must only be applied to the purpose for which it is levied. While, the revenue coming from cess is first credited to the Consolidated Fund, and the government may then, after due appropriation from Parliament, utilise it for the specified purpose.
- Surcharge’ is an additional charge or tax levied on an existing tax. It applies to those persons whose income is more than Rs. 50 lakhs
- Unlike a cess, which is meant to raise revenue for a temporary need, surcharge is usually permanent in nature
- Surcharge only applies to the tax due, not the whole income. This collection also goes to the Consolidated Fund of India and can be used for any purpose.
- Both a cess and a surcharge are levied by the central government. Both are collected and deposited in India’s Consolidated Fund. None of these can be shared by state governments.
3) Insider trading : It is the malpractice of selling or buying securities (equity/bonds) by the insiders of a company using unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI) that can affect the stock price that has not been disclosed yet.
- The SEBI defines an ‘insider’ as someone who has access to price-sensitive information about a particular company’s shares or securities and who has been associated with the company during the 6 months preceding the insider trade.
4) Mycobacterium leprae : Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium Leprae, which is an acid-fast rod-shaped bacillus. Infection can lead to damage to the nerves, respiratory tract, skin and eyes.
- Though not very contagious, leprosy is spread by extensive contact between people and is cured with multidrug therapy.
- India achieved the goal set by the National Health Policy, 2002 of elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined as less than 1 case per 10,000 population in 2005.
- Research appears to show a link between contact with armadillos and increased risk of Hansen’s Disease in people. Armadillos are mammals with their back, head, legs and tail covered in bony plates.
5) Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant : Recently, the Russian state-owned Nuclear Energy corporation Rosatom has offered a more Advanced Fuel Option to India’s largest nuclear power station at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.
- It will allow its reactors to run for an extended two-year cycle without stopping to load fresh fuel.
- The TVS-2M FAs contain gadolinium-oxide which is mixed with U-235 enrichments.
- The core does not contain BARs (Burnable Absorbers Rods).
- (Kalpakkam) Madras Atomic Power Station is another nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.