Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 20 May 2023

Israeli-Palestinian flashpoint

GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)

Israeli nationalists marking the 1967 capture of East Jerusalem were to march through the Muslim quarter of the Old City on 18 May 2023 in an annual parade that Palestinians see as a provocation. Here are details on “Jerusalem Day” and why it stirs fears of renewed violence:

What is Jerusalem Day?

  1. Israel fought a number of Arab armies in a 1967 war, during which it captured territories including East Jerusalem. The annual commemoration can draw crowds in the tens of thousands.
  2. Israel has since annexed East Jerusalem, in a move that has not won international recognition, and regards the entire city as its eternal and undivided capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.
  3. The day’s events culminate with a flag-waving march that cuts through downtown Jerusalem before entering the walled Old City, home to sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
  4. In recent years, the parade has increasingly become a show of force for Jewish nationalists, and for Palestinians a blatant provocation meant to undermine their ties to the city.

Why has it caused tensions with Palestinians?

  1. The heavily-policed procession passes through the Old City’s narrow streets, including areas that are popular among Palestinians such as Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter, forcing some Arab shopkeepers to close down. In the past, it has included some acts of racist incitement and violence.
  2. Another source of tension has been visits by large groups of Jewish pilgrims, including members of parliament, to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam that Jews revere as the Temple Mount, a vestige of two ancient temples.
  3. Palestinians say the visits and police enforcement around them are an Israeli attempt to encroach on one of the few places in the city where they sense a degree of sovereignty.
  4. Muslims say Jewish visitors are also increasingly violating a decades-old ban on non-Muslim worship on the compound. Israel says it prevents such prayer and maintains the status quo.

 

Isro to launch NVS-1

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), in the third launch of the year, will fly NVS-01 to augment the seven-satellite navigation constellation NavIC on 29 May 2023. Not only will it be the first launch of a navigational satellite under the new moniker NVS, but it will also beat the space agency’s record during the three pandemic years. There were only two Isro launches each in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

More about the news

  1. The two launches that have already happened this year were also significant as the first one resulted in the induction of the new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle into the existing Isro fleet and the second established the heaviest rocket LVM Mk3 as a dependable commercial launcher.
  2. In addition to the launch scheduled for May end, the space agency is also planning to launch big-ticket missions like its first solar mission Aditya-L1 during the third quarter of the year.
  3. Later this year, Isro is also likely to attempt two test vehicle missions as a precursor to the first unmanned flight of the Gaganyaan mission.
  4. The NVS-01 satellite will replace the navigational capabilities of another satellite IRNSS-1G in the constellation. It will retain its communication and messaging capabilities.
  5. The navigational capabilities of a couple of satellites were hampered after the atomic clocks on board malfunctioned.
  6. The location of objects for satellite-based navigation is determined by very precisely measuring the time it takes for the signals to return from the ground.
  7. After the failure of some of the imported atomic clocks, India decided to develop its own atomic clocks as well.
  8. One of the satellites IRNSS-1A was replaced by the space agency in 2018 – the first replacement satellite launched in 2017 was lost after the heat shield containing the satellite did not open when it was supposed to.

Flashback

  1. At present, there are four major global navigation systems—the US global positioning system, the Russian GLONASS, the European Galileo, and the Chinese Beidou.
  2. There are two regional navigational systems in the world—Japan’s Quasi-Zenith system and India’s Navic.

 

Credit Cards Put Under LRS: Govt

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

The government sought to clarify its decision to bring overseas credit card spends under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS) for forex outgo, stating some individuals were exceeding the $2.5 lakh annual limit set for the cards under the scheme.

Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS)

  1. It allows resident individuals to remit a certain amount of money during a financial year to another country for investment and expenditure and it was brought out by the RBI in 2004.
  2. While debit card spends were covered under the LRS, data collected from top money remitters under the scheme revealed that international credit cards were being issued with limits in excess of the norm, the Finance Ministry said,
  3. The Ministry assured that the scheme will not cover bona fide business visits overseas by employees and said the imposition of 20% tax collection on source or TCS for foreign remittances will primarily impact tour travel packages, gifts to non-residents and domestic high net-worth individuals investing in assets such as real estate, bonds, and stocks outside India.   
  4. There will be no change in the 5% TCS levied on medical or education expenses abroad, which are permitted up to 7 lakh a year

Restrictions under Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS)

  1. The buying and selling of foreign exchange abroad, or purchase of lottery tickets or sweep stakes, proscribed magazines and so on,or any items that are restricted under Schedule II of Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000.

Changes

  1. Budget 2023-24 and provisions related to Tax Collected at Source (TCS), not only foreign tour packages but 20 per cent TCS rule also applies to credit cards on international transactions.
  2. TCS is a direct tax levy, which is collected by the seller of specified goods from the buyer and deposited to the government.

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