Lok Sabha passes Anti-Trafficking Bill :-
- The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.
Features of the Bill :-
- The Bill lays down a stringent punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment for aggravated forms of trafficking, which include buying or selling of persons for the purpose of bonded labour, bearing a child, as well as those where chemical substances are administered, and a survivor acquires life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS.
- The Bill proposes establishing a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB) for coordinating and monitoring of trafficking cases.
- It also provides for a Relief and Rehabilitation Committee and Rehabilitation Fund with an initial allocation of Rs. 10 crore.
- It prescribes forfeiture of property used or likely to be used for the commission of an offence.
Concerns among the bill :-
- The Trinamool Congress’ Pratima Mondal and CPI’s Badaruddoza Khan raised questions about the provisions for confiscation of properties likely to be misused,
- The BJD’s Tathagatha Satpathy highlighted the need for community-based rehabilitation for survivors.
Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog & MyGov launches “Innovate India Platform” :-
- Govt launched the “Innovate India Platform”, a collaboration between the Atal Innovation Mission and MyGov, a citizen centric platform of the Government of India.
- The Innovate India portal will serve as the common point for all the innovation happening across the nation.
Some of the features of this platform are :-
- The platform is open to all Indian citizens
- The users can View, comment, share, and rate the innovations crowdsourced on the #InnovateIndia platform
- View the leaderboard which is calculated based on the votes on each innovation.
- Citizens can share their/organizations/someone else’s innovation on the platform by login to the MyGov website
- These innovations can also be shared on various social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.
With the launch of the platform Indians will be able to upload and rate their/organizations innovation on the platform.The citizens can access the platform on https://innovate.mygov.in/innovateindia/.
List of MoUs signed between India and South Africa during 10th BRICS Summit :-
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India and the Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa on Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Education.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of India regarding the Setting up of the “Gandhi Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills” in South Africa.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Space Research Organisation and the South African National Space Agency on Cooperation in the Exploration and uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
GST Council Approves New Appellate Tribunal Soon :-
- A Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) will come into effect soon, providing a higher judicial forum for businesses to redress disputes under the new tax framework.
- The GST Council approved creation of the tribunal with a national bench in Delhi and three regional benches in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, said a senior government official privy to the deliberations of the council.
The council also approved draft rules for the appointment of the tribunal’s president and members, and conditions of service. The president of the tribunal must have served as a judge of the Supreme Court or a high court for at least five years, according to the rules.
- The move is expected to bring about consistency on issues. The new body replaces the Central Excise and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal.
According to GST Law :-
- It provides for an appeal and review mechanism for dispute resolution under the framework, which was rolled out on July 1 last year.
- The tribunal is the second level of appeal where pleas can be filed against orders from appellate or revisional authorities.
U.S & EU agree to ease trade tensions :-
- U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday agreed on a plan to defuse the festering trade dispute between the two major economies.
- Germany’s Economy Minister described the agreement — which means Washington will not follow through with a threat to impose tariffs on autos that would hurt the dominant German car industry — as a “breakthrough” that “can avoid trade war.”
- The pair — who met for more than two hours of talks at the White House — also said they would work to “resolve” the existing duties on steel and aluminium imposed by Washington, which had angered key allies, including the European Union.
US takes on WTO :-
- Mr. Trump also won a commitment to work together to reform the World Trade Organization to address some of his complaints about China on theft of U.S. technology, the behaviour of state-owned enterprises, and overcapacity in steel.
- He has long complained that the WTO has been unfair to the United States, despite the fact that the U.S. has won most of the disputes against China and others.
- The U.S. and the EU account for about $1 trillion in transatlantic trade, and tensions spiked leading up to Wednesday’s high-stakes talks.
Google Unveils AI Chips :-
- At the Google Cloud Next ’18 conference in San Francisco, the Internet giant announced two new products aimed at helping customers develop and deploy intelligent connected devices at scale.
- The first one was ‘Edge TPU,’ a new hardware chip & ‘Cloud IoT Edge’ a software
- One of the companies using these new technologies is LG CNS, a subsidiary of LG. Shingyoon Hyun, the CTO of LG CNS, said with intelligent vision inspection, the company is eager to make a better working place, raise the quality of the product and save millions of dollars each year.
- Google also announced that it is making the new Gmail generally available to the customers of G Suite.
Edge TPU :-
- Edge TPU is Google’s purpose-built application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed to run AI at the edge.
- It delivers high performance in a small physical and power footprint, enabling the deployment of high-accuracy AI at the edge.
Cloud IoT Edge :-
- It is a software stack that extends Google Cloud’s powerful AI capability to gateways and connected devices.