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13 Feb, 2021

32 Min Read

India – China border disputes

GS-II : International Relations China

India – China border disputes

  • The disengagement on the south bank of Pangong Tso (lake) will see Indian troops moving to their post in Chushul and Chinese troops to the Moldo garrison.
  • In the next phase, additional Indian troops will move further down, around 40 km, to Tara-Rhongo post and Chinese troops to Dorjo, a senior government official told The Hindu.
  • The main phase of disengagement on both banks of the lake is expected to begin on Saturday. “We will verify each step by all means, physical as well as electronic. The next priority is Depsang and Gogra-Hot Springs, where the face-off continues,” the official said.
  • The official spoke in the background on a day the Defence Ministry said in a statement that the Line of Actual Control was at Finger 8 and not at Finger 4 at Pangong Tso. At the same time, the Ministry said India had not conceded any territory as a result of this agreement.
  • In August 2020, Indian troops had taken advantageous positions on the hills on the south bank following which China matched presence, leading to an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.
  • This incident followed China blocking Indian patrols at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh — north Pangong, Gogra-Hot Springs, Galway, Depsang and CNN sector in Demchok — followed by amassing of troops and armaments. The official said the moratorium on patrolling had been recorded in the agreement signed by the military commanders.

Source: TH

Digital Services Tax

GS-III : Economic Issues Tax

Digital Services Tax

Why in news?

United States Trade Representative (USTR) reported that India’s DST is discriminatory & inconsistent with international tax principles.

What is Digital service tax (DST)?

  • Digital companies are not adequately taxed because they don’t have a physical location in the markets where they operate.
  • DST aims to ensure that non-resident, digital service providers pay their fair share of tax on revenues generated in the Indian digital market.

How does India’s DST evolve?

  • In 2016, Akhilesh Ranjan Committee suggested to create a level-playing field between online businesses and brick-and-mortar businesses.
  • Since digital businesses don’t have a physical presence but enjoy a sustainable economic presence they need to be taxed.
  • In 2016, India became the first country to implement the equalisation levy, on advertising services at 6%.
  • In 2018, India introduced the term significant economic presence in Income Tax Act.
  • According to this, if a company had users in India, it sort of defined its economic connection with India and therefore gives India the right to tax.
  • In 2020, the new equalisation levy expanded its scope even to e-commerce.

Source: TH

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

GS-III : S&T Health

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

  • Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare genetic disease. The person suffering from this disease cannot control the movement of their muscles.
  • Caused By: It is caused by the loss of nerve cells that carry electrical signals from the brain to the muscles. The protein needed for this signalling is coded by a gene. Everyone has two copies of this gene- one from the mother and the other from the father. A child develops this disorder only if both copies are faulty.
  • Gene Therapy Treatment: There is also a gene therapy treatment named Zolgensma which replaces the faulty gene.
  • Zolgensma works by supplying a healthy copy of the faulty gene. It allows nerve cells to then start producing the needed protein. This halts the deterioration of the nerve cells and allows the baby to grow more normally.

Source: TH

India-China Disengagement

GS-III : Internal security Role of External State & Non State Actors

India-China Disengagement

  • Recently, both India and China have announced the start of disengagement between the two armies in Ladakh.
  • The current disengagement is limited to two places on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh:
    • One, the north bank of Pangong lake
    • Two, the Kailash range to the south of Pangong.
  • the disengagement in other regions is yet to be taken. The other three sites of contention on the Ladakh border are Depsang, Gogra-Hot Springs, and Demchok.

Source: TH

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

GS-II : International treaties and conventions Climate Change

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

  • CDRI is to be seen as an international knowledge platform.
  • Here, countries can collaborate to make their existing and new infrastructure strong enough to withstand natural disasters.
  • It tries to bring countries together to share and learn from one another’s experiences to protect their infrastructure against disasters.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is operating as the interim secretariat of CDRI as of now.
  • It is headquartered at Gurugram, India.

Source: TH

Coal Gasification

GS-III : S&T Bio technology

Coal Gasification

What is coal gasification?

• Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas [a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O)], from coal, water, air and/or oxygen.

What are its usages?

• Currently, this tech is primarily used for electricity generation, for the production of chemical feedstocks, or for the production of synthetic natural gas.

• The hydrogen obtained from coal gasification can be used for various purposes such as making ammonia, powering a hydrogen economy, or upgrading fossil fuels.

• Alternatively, coal-derived syngas & natural gas can be converted into transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel or into methanol which itself can be used as transportation fuel or fuel additive.

Source: TH

Fly Ash

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Environmental Pollution

Fly Ash

  • Definition: It is a byproduct of the burning of coal in electric power generating plants.
    • It is called fly ash because it is transported from the combustion chamber by exhaust gases.
    • It is collected from the exhaust gases by electrostatic precipitators or bag filters.
  • Composition: Fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3), ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO).
  • Properties:
    • Exhibit cement like properties.
  • Uses: It is used in concrete and cement products, road base, metal recovery, and mineral filler among others.
  • Harmful Effects: Fly ash particles are toxic air pollutants. They can trigger heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and stroke.
    • When combined with water they cause leaching of heavy metals in ground water.
    • It also pollutes the soil, and affects the root development system of trees.

Source: TH


GS-I : Art and Culture Art Forms


  • Kalaripayattu is a martial art based on the ancient knowledge of the human body.
  • It originated in Kerala from 3nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.
  • It is now practised in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu.
  • The place where this martial art is practised is called a 'Kalari'. It is a Malayalam word that signifies a kind of gymnasium. Kalari literally means 'threshing floor' or 'battlefield'.
  • The word Kalari first appears in the Tamil Sangam Literature to describe both a battlefield and combat arena.
  • It is considered to be one of the oldest fighting systems in existence.
  • It is also considered as the father of modern Kung - Fu.

Source: TH

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