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Operation Sunrise and Kaladan Project

Why in news?

India and Myanmar jointly carried out military strikes codenamed ‘operation sunrise’ against terror groups threatening the Kaladan Project

About Operation Sunrise

  • It is the joint military strikes carried out by Myanmar and Indian military against the terror outfit the Arakan Army.
  • The Indian Army while did not cross into the Myanmar side but there was a massive mobilisation along the border and provide surveillance and equipment support to Myanmar.
  • About 10 terror camps were destroyed in the operation.

About Kaladan Project 

  • It is a Multimodal Transit project connecting the state of Mizoram with the Sittwe port of Myanmar.
 
  • It is joint initiative of India and Myanmar to create a multi-modal transit for shipments from India’s eastern ports to Myanmar.
  • It also seeks to give last mile connectivity and port access for the landlocked North East regions of India through Myanmar.
  • The project has three different stretches involving shipping, Inland Water and road transport stretches.
    • Shipping: Kolkata port to Sittwe port (across Bay of Bengal)
    • Inland water transport: Sittwe port to Paletwa (through River Kaladan)
    • Road stretches: From Paletwa (Myanmar) to Lawngtlai (India)
  • Government of India is funding this project which started in 2010, to be completed in 3 phases:
    • Dredging and modernizing of Sittwe port
    • Dredging sections of the Kaladan River
    • Linking Paletwa to Mizoram by road

Significance of the Project

  • It is largest and most strategically important Indian investment in Myanmar.
  • It will give sea connectivity and promote economic development in the North-eastern states.
  • The project will enhance the economic, commercial and strategic ties between India and Myanmar. 
  • It will reduce India’s dependence on transport through the narrow Siliguri corridor and reduce the distance between Mizoram and Kolkata.

Economy

Country-by-country (CbC) Report and BEPS Action 13 report

Why in news?

India and the US finalized a bilateral competent authority arrangement for exchange of Country-by-country (CbC) Reports.

About Country-by-country (CbC) Report

  • It is a report required to be published by multinational enterprises (MNEs) annually and for each tax jurisdiction in which they do business.
  • The template for the same was provided by the BEPS Action 13 report.
  • The Income Tax Act requires Indian subsidiaries of multinational companies to provide details of key financial statements from other jurisdictions where they operate.
  • This helps the IT department to better monitor such companies, and track its revenue and tax compliance or evasion.

About BEPS Action 13 Report

  • It is a report under the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting policy of OECD.
 
  • It contains the revised standards of transfer pricing documentation and a template for country-by-country reporting of revenues, profits, taxes paid and certain measures of economic activity.

Significance of the Exchange Agreement

  • It will enable both the countries to exchange CbC reports filed by the ultimate parent entities of international groups in the respective jurisdictions.
  • This will ease the procedures for the subsidiaries of multinational entities for compliance.

About Base Erosion and Profit Shifting

  • It is a form of tax evasion achieved by multinational enterprises by shifting the profits made in a higher-tax jurisdiction to lower-tax jurisdictions (tax havens); hence, significantly reducing (eroding) the tax base of the higher tax jurisdiction.

Environment

United Nations Environment Assembly

Why in news?

The fourth United Nations Environment Assembly was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

About United Nations Environment Assembly

  • It is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment which addresses the critical environmental challenges.
  • It succeeded the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and currently is the governing body.
  • It was formed in 2012 in a bid to strengthen and upgrade the UNEP.
  • It meets biennially to develop environmental policies and law globally.
  • The theme was “Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.”
  • The theme for the third assembly (also in Nairobi in 2017) was “Towards a pollution-free planet.”

Polity and Governance

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)

Why in news?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has for the first time agreed for limited association with the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

About National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)

  • It is the national organisation responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control program in sports in all its forms in India.
  • It was formed by the Union Government under the societies Registration Act.
  • NADA adopts and implements anti-doping rules and policies which conform to the World Anti-Doping agency (WADA).
  • NADA includes scientists and representatives from the Indian Olympic Association.

About World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

 
  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.
  • It is based in Montreal, Canada.
  • It was established in 1999 as an international nonprofit independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world.
  • Its key activities include
    • Scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and
    • Monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries.

Science and Technology

Chitosan

Why in news?

While IIT Guwahati modified chitosan to selectively remove either an oil or water phase from an oil-water mixture, researchers in Bengaluru have developed a gel for the skin to protect agricultural workers from harmful pesticide sprays.

About the news

  • The researchers of IIT Guwahati have made it possible to switch the chitosan-based material’s property — from being extremely water-repelling to extremely oil-repelling and vice-versa — by treating it with certain chemicals.
  • The gel against pesticides developed does not just act as a simple physical barrier; it chemically deactivates pesticides.

About Chitosan

  • Chitosan is a natural polymer obtained from chitin shells of crustaceans and shell-fishes.
  • Chitosan has a number of commercial and possible biomedical uses.

Applications

  • As a seed treatment and bio-pesticide in agriculture
  • As a fining agent and preservative in winemaking
  • As a self-healing polyurethane paint coating in industry
  • Useful in bandages and as an antibacterial agent as well as drug delivery through the skin

Current Affairs Capsules

You Only Need One (YONO) Cash
  • It is a card less cash withdrawal service launched by the State Bank of India to withdraw cash from ATMs without their debit cards.
  • SBI customers can place a request for cash withdrawal to receive a 6-digit code via SMS which needs to be entered into the ATM or YONO Cash Point.

Map Aided Programme

Sittwe – Location
  • Sittwe -- western coast of Myanmar,
  • Mouth of the Kaladan River.
  • capital of Rakhine state of Myanamar.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2012)

  1. Which of the following is the chief characteristic of ‘mixed farming’?      
  • Cultivation of both cash crops and food crops
  • Cultivation of two or more crops in the same field
  • Rearing of animals and cultivation of crops together
  • None of the above