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Showing posts from May 21, 2017

Evidence of water from Persian Gulf and Red Sea found in the Bay of Bengal ( downtoearth,)

In a finding that could help in better understanding the future global climate scenario, scientists have found evidence that waters from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea make their way into the Bay of Bengal.

While signals of the presence of Persian Gulf water was found at the depth range of 200 to 400 metres in the Bay, that of Red Sea water was found at depths between 500 and 1000 metres.

Researchers have also found that the waters of the marginal seas bordering the Arabian Sea are transported into the Bay by the Summer Monsoon Current, which is seen to be a deep current extending to a depth of around 1 km. The waters were traced all over the Bay including the Andaman Sea.
The findings are significant as deep circulations of the oceans are key elements of the global climate system and are invoked in the context of both past climate and climate change studies. An ocean’s circulation, which is the circulation of its water mass, affects the movement of other properties such as heat, s…

New tax regime under GST discourages aerated beverage consumption (downtoearth,)

As aerated drinks are in the category of demerit goods, they come under the highest GST slab of 28 per cent. Credit: Max PixelAs aerated drinks are in the category of demerit goods, they come under the highest GST slab of 28 per cent. Credit: Max Pixel
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) council agreed on May 18 to fix the compensation cess rate at 12 per cent for aerated beverages. As they are in the category of demerit goods or sin goods and luxury goods, they come under the highest GST slab of 28 per cent. It means, aerated beverages will attract a total tax of 40 per cent (28+12).

“The changed tax structure is likely to have an incremental impact on the price of aerated beverages overall in the country. Impact will vary from one state to another on account of difference in the prevailing tax structure in the states,” says Rajat Mittal, an Indirect Tax lawyer and Senior Associate at Advaita Legal.

In the existing tax regime, two taxes: central excise (central tax) and VAT, which is s…

A history of histories (.hindu )

The past is not one singular thing, but an interpretation that has a history of its own

Before 1498, when Vasco da Gama made landfall on the beaches near Kozhikode, India was a bestiary of impossible truths to the European mind. Women with beards, gold-eating ants, and mythical Christian kings were supposedly to be found in India. After the 1770s, when the British colonialism had inexorably acquired a life force of its own, India had been traduced into something less fantastical. It had become a site of plunder, commerce, and opportunities for enrichment. Between these two shifts of imagination is a period not just of great political turmoil — loosely, from the first coronation of Humayun to impeachment of Warren Hastings — but also an age of gradual reassessment of India in Western (and global) imagination which is the subject of historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s new book Europe’s India. Out of this age’s expanding intellectual horizons — from which emerged the European mind’s impress…

Should Hindi be the sole official language? (hindu )

Hindi zealots, while ostensibly acting for the greater good of the nation, actually end up alienating others, writes A.R. Venkatachalapathy

Subramania Bharati, the great Tamil nationalist poet, is presumably known to every educated Indian, even Hindi zealots. Not so his childhood friend Somasundara Bharati, who was V.O. Chidambaram Pillai’s associate in his great anti-British Swadeshi shipping venture. In 1937, to protest against the C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji)-led Madras government’s attempt to make Hindi compulsory in schools, Somasundara Bharati left the Congress to join the anti-Hindi agitation led by Periyar E.V. Ramasamy.

This is how Hindi zealots, ostensibly for the greater good of the nation, actually end up driving them away.

Overenthusiasm that harms

In time, Rajaji himself warned, in 1965, “Let us not make the sixty million people in the south seditious, by one stroke.” But it seems Hindi enthusiasts have simply not learnt the lesson.

The Congress got a drubbing in the 196…

Ending India's nuclear dependency (hindu )

The government’s go-ahead to 10 indigenous reactors is a timely step towards nuclear energy self-sufficiency

India now has 22 nuclear power units. The first pair, located in Tarapur, Maharashtra, uses enriched uranium and incorporates U.S. nuclear technology. These two reactors have operated safely and reliably for the past 47 years and supply the lowest cost non-hydro power. The second pair, located in Rajasthan, uses natural uranium and is based on Canadian technology.

The first unit of this pair has been out of service for some years due to deficiencies in some key equipment; the second unit has been operating satisfactorily. Commencing from 1983 and over a span of two and a half decades, India built 16 nuclear power units using its own technology, materials and equipment. These reactors use natural uranium as fuel. Fourteen of them have a size of 220 MW and two are of 540 MW.

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Nuclear push in the 2000s

During the period 2000-2010, India designed a nuclear power unit of…

Putting out a fire with more smoke (.hindu )

Donald Trump may not face imminent impeachment, but he may find it difficult to get past Russiagate

In December 1987, Pat Nixon, the former First Lady, told her husband Richard, the disgraced former President of the United States, about the “great” performance of Donald Trump on the popular Phil Donahue TV show. Mr. Trump was then thinking of entering politics. Richard Nixon then sent a typewritten note to Mr. Trump, saying: “I did not see the program, but Mrs. Nixon told me you were great. As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office, you will be a winner!” Nobody knows if Mrs. Nixon was serious in her prediction. But in less than 30 years, she was proved right when Mr. Trump was elected the 45th President of the U.S. And history is so roguish that when it happened, it has with inescapable parallels with the second Nixon administration.

Four months into the chaotic Trump presidency, influential voices in Washington have…

GST rates: welcome clarity, at last (.hindu )

The challenge now will be to prevent the imposition of additional taxes

The long wait for the new indirect tax rates that will apply to thousands of goods and services is finally over. The Goods and Services Tax Council that met in Srinagar has released details of the rates at which over 1,200 goods will be taxed when the GST regime takes effect. The rate fitment process has been a subject matter of speculation for months now, accompanied by fears that the new tax rates and slabs would be influenced by special interest lobbies. So it is welcome that the government has offered better clarity. The July 1 rollout of the tax also looks more likely now with the GST Council showing its intent to get things going. Under the new structure, judging from the initial list of 1,211 items, the predominant share (43%) of goods will be taxed at 18%, while 17% and 14% of the notified items will fall under the 12% and 5% tax rate slabs, respectively. Around 7% of the items, which include essential go…