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Daily Current Affairs : 5-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. VIRTUAL CURRENCIES

  2. THE DIRECT TAX VIVAD SE VISHWAS BILL

  3. CHIPKO MOVEMENT

  4. COMPANIES (SECOND AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019

  5. DOING BUSINESS REPORT, 2020

  6. BACTERIA THAT CAN REPLACE FERTILIZERS AND FUNGICIDES IN TEA PLANTS


VIRTUAL CURRENCIES


Why in news?

  • SC has freed trade in cryptocurrencies and has annulled the RBI curb that prohibited banks and entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual currencies.


Highlights :


About Blockchain:

  • Blockchains are basically digital ledgers or decentralized database of financial transactions that are immutable and instantly updated across the world.

  • Distributed database: The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable.

  • Whenever a financial transaction happens, it is grouped in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions and sent out to the entire network.

  • The members in the network then validate the transactions by solving complex coded problems.

  • The new validated block is then added to the chain in a linear, chronological order and linked to older blocks making it a chain of blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain

  • Thus, the blockchain cannot be controlled by a single entity and has no single point of failure


Cryptocurrency:

  • A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Hence it is difficult to counterfeit. It is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

  • The first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009 by an individual or group known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin's success has spawned a number of competing cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Namecoin, PPCoin etc.

  • Advantages: easier to transfer funds with minimal processing fees, safety from hackers due to block- chain technology and difficult to counterfaeit

  • Disadvantages: well-suited for illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion due to anonymous nature of transactions, rate of exchange of cryptocurrencies fluctuate widely and a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash. Recently concerns are being raised on its immunity to hacks as well.

  • Various countries have adopted use of bitcoins with regulations such as China, South Korea, Japan etc.

  • Some countries are also coming up with their virtual currencies such as PETRO by Venezuela, SOV (Sovereign) by Marshall Islands etc.

  • India does not consider crypto-currencies as legal tender or coin.


Source : Hindu and Rajya Sabha TV


THE DIRECT TAX VIVAD SE VISHWAS BILL

Why in news?

  • The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha amid protests by the opposition parties that were demanding discussion on Delhi Riots.


Highlights :

  • The Bill is aimed at resolving direct tax related disputes in a speedy manner.

  • At present there are as many as 4,83,000 direct tax cases pending in various appellate forums i.e. Commissioner (Appeals), ITAT, High Court and Supreme Court

  • Under the proposed Vivad Se Vishwas scheme, a taxpayer would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get complete waiver of interest and penalty provided he pays by March 31, 2020. Those who avail this scheme after March 31, 2020 will have to pay some additional amount

  • The scheme will remain open only till June 30, 2020. The scheme also applies to all case appeals that are pending at any level.


Source : Hindu and Indian Express


CHIPKO MOVEMENT

Why in news?

  • Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ along with senior women officers of the Ministry planted a sapling in memory of Gaura Devi, Chipko Activist in New Delhi on the occasion of International Women’s day celebrations.


Highlights :