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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-2nd August 2023

Record-breaking GST Collection in July 2023: Stands at over Rs 1.65 lakh crore

The Ministry of Finance has released data showing that the gross goods and services tax (GST) collection for July 2023 has surpassed the Rs 1.65 lakh crore mark. This marks the fifth instance of GST revenue crossing this threshold since its inception. The revenue for July 2023 is 11 percent higher than the same month last year, reflecting a positive trend in the country’s economic growth.

I. Breakdown of July 2023 GST Collection:

Record-breaking GST Collection in July 2023: Stands at over Rs 1.65 lakh crore

  • The total gross GST revenue collected in July 2023 is Rs 1,65,105 crore.

  • CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) amounts to Rs 29,773 crore.

  • SGST (State Goods and Services Tax) stands at Rs 37,623 crore.

  • IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax), including Rs 41,239 crore from the import of goods, is Rs 85,930 crore.

  • Cess, including Rs 840 crore from the import of goods, accounts for Rs 11,779 crore.

II. Year-on-Year Growth in Domestic Transactions:

The data reveals that domestic transactions, including the import of services, have seen a significant YoY increase of 15 percent in July 2023, indicating a rise in domestic economic activities.

III. Distribution of Revenue:

The government has settled Rs 39,785 crore to CGST and Rs 33,188 crore to SGST from IGST in July 2023. After regular settlement, the total revenue for the Centre stands at Rs 69,558 crore, and for the States, it is Rs 70,811 crore.

IV. Comparison with Previous Months:

  • In June 2023, the GST collection reached Rs 1,61,497 crore, showing a YoY increase of 12 percent.

  • In April 2023, the revenues reached a record high of Rs 1.87 lakh crore, while in May 2023, it was Rs 1.57 lakh crore.

V. Implications for Rate Rationalization:

The continuous increase in GST collections signals a favorable environment for the consideration of rate rationalization for various goods and services. This move could ultimately benefit consumers by potentially reducing tax burdens on essential goods and services.

VI. Strengthening Tax Enforcement and Compliance:

The robust GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) has played a vital role in detecting tax evaders at early stages. The department’s crackdown on tax evaders and entities involved in fake invoicing has contributed to higher revenue collections.

VII. Clarity and Compliance:

Periodic clarifications provided by the GST Council on industry-related issues have ensured greater clarity in the tax laws and improved compliance by businesses, leading to increased GST collections.

Rishi Raj’s New Book “Kargil: Ek Yatri Ki Jubani” Released

Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Defence (MoD), released the book and illustrations titled “Kargil: Ek Yatri Ki Jubani” (Hindi Edition) authored by Rishi Raj at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi, Delhi. The book which pays tribute to the Martyrs of Kargil War was published by Prabhat Prakashan.

The essence of the book

The book portrays the lives of all the 527 soldiers, who laid down their lives for our nation in the Kargil War. The book highlights the importance of the Kargil Vijay Diwas and giving rich tributes to the brave soldiers.

The book and illustrations – “Kargil: Ek Yatri Ki Jubani” – authored by renowned writer Shri Rishi Raj, and published by Prabhat Prakashan, impeccably portrays the lives of the heroes of the Kargil War on the canvas of patriotism so that they could be a fountainhead of inspiration for children who could learn the values of the paramount sacrifice made by the Indian Army for the nation.

The book, “Kargil: Ek Yatri Ki Jubani“, fairly dwells on the braveness of soldiers who took back every inch of Indias land by giving a befitting reply to the enemies in the Kargil War which officially ended on July 26, 1999 leading India to the victory over Pakistan that ventilated a firm message to the whole world: Indian Army would not back down at any cost, when it comes to the national interests.

About the Author

Rishi Raj has authored as many as 21 books, out of which four bagged the Rahul The event was graced by Subedar Major (Then Rifleman) Sanjay Kumar, who was awarded Param Vir Chakra in the Kargil War. Sankrityayan Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (GoI).

Kargil War also refered as “Operation Vijay” was fought between India and Pakistan from May to July 1999 to 26th July 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K). July 26th has been observed as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, which annually commemorates the sacrifices made by soldiers in this war.

PM conferred Lokmanya Tilak National Award in Pune

The Lokmanya Tilak National Award was granted to the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in Pune, Maharashtra, during a ceremony that commemorated the 103rd death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak. The prestigious award, instituted by the Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust in 1983, aims to honor the lasting legacy of Lokmanya Tilak. Shri Narendra Modi became the 41st distinguished individual to receive this esteemed recognition.

The previous year saw the presentation of the Lokmanya Tilak National Award to Tessy Thomas, a renowned senior scientist often referred to as India’s “missile woman.” Ms. Thomas played a crucial role as the project director for Agni-4 and Agni-5 missile systems, contributing significantly to the nation’s defense capabilities.

List of some notable recipients of the Lokmanya Tilak National Award:

NamePosition/TitleYear of AwardIndira GandhiFormer Prime Minister _Atal Bihari VajpayeeFormer Prime Minister1994Dr Manmohan SinghFormer Prime Minister1997Rahul BajajChairperson of the Bajaj Group2000Pranab MukherjeeFormer President2009Sharad PawarFounder of Nationalist Congress Party2016Cyrus S. PoonawallaChairman of Cyrus Poonawalla Group2021

About Lokmanya Tilak National Award

In 1983, the Tilak Smarak Mandir Trust established the Award as a tribute to the enduring legacy of Lokmanya Tilak. This prestigious recognition is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the advancement and growth of the nation, with contributions that are nothing short of remarkable and extraordinary. Each year, on the 1st of August, coinciding with Lokmanya Tilak’s death anniversary, this award is presented to the deserving recipients.

Karnataka Leads with Most Billionaire MLAs, Uttar Pradesh Lags Behind: ADR Analysis

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) recently conducted a comprehensive analysis of the assets of MLAs from various political parties in India. The report sheds light on the average wealth of MLAs, the percentage of billionaire MLAs, and the representation of women in state assemblies. Karnataka emerges as the state with the highest average assets per MLA and the highest number of billionaire MLAs, while Uttar Pradesh lags behind in both categories.

Average Assets of MLAs in India:

Karnataka Leads with Most Billionaire MLAs, Uttar Pradesh Lags Behind: ADR Analysis

According to the ADR report, the average assets of an MLA in India stand at Rs 13.63 crore. This figure represents the collective wealth of MLAs across the country, indicating a significant financial standing.

Karnataka Leads with Highest Average Assets per MLA:

Here’s a table summarizing the key findings from the ADR analysis of assets of MLAs in different states:

StateTotal MLAsAverage Assets per MLA (in Rs. Crores)Billionaire MLAs (Percentage)Karnataka22364.3914%Andhra Pradesh17428.246%Maharashtra28423.514%Uttar Pradesh403–0.25%Tripura591.54–West Bengal2932.80–Kerala1353.15–

Among the analyzed states, Karnataka tops the list with 223 MLAs having an average wealth of Rs 64.39 crores. This substantial average asset value sets Karnataka apart from other states.

Tripura and West Bengal at the Bottom of the List:

Tripura and West Bengal have the lowest average assets per MLA. Tripura’s 59 MLAs possess an average wealth of Rs 1.54 crores, while West Bengal’s 293 MLAs have an average of Rs 2.80 crores.

Percentage of Billionaire MLAs:

Karnataka Leads with Most Billionaire MLAs, Uttar Pradesh Lags Behind: ADR Analysis

The ADR report highlights that 88 (2 percent) out of 4,001 MLAs from various state assemblies are billionaires. Karnataka leads in this category as well, with 32 (14 percent) out of its 223 MLAs being billionaires. Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, has only 1 (0.25 percent) billionaire MLA out of 403 analyzed.

Congress and BJP with High Number of Crorepati MLAs:

The report delves into the wealth distribution among political parties. Out of the 719 MLAs analyzed from the Congress party, 33 (5 percent) are billionaires, while 132 out of 134 winners are crorepatis (with assets over one crore) with an average declared wealth of Rs 67.13 crore. Similarly, out of the 1,356 MLAs affiliated with the BJP, 24 (2 percent) are billionaires, and 63 out of 66 winners are crorepatis, with an average wealth of Rs 44.36 crore.

Women Representation in State Assemblies:

The ADR analysis found that 378 (9 percent) out of 4,001 MLAs are women. Among states, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of women MLAs, with 48 (12 percent), followed by West Bengal with 41 (14 percent), and Bihar with 28 (12 percent).

Comparison with Previous Years:

The report also compares the current average assets of MLAs with data from previous years. It reveals a significant increase in the average wealth of MLAs over time, with the average assets rising from Rs 34.59 crore in 2018 to Rs 64.39 crore in 2023.

New record of over 6.77 crore Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed till 31st July, 2023

The Income-tax Department has witnessed a remarkable surge in the filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24. The department appreciates taxpayers and tax professionals for their timely compliance, leading to a new record of over 6.77 crore ITRs filed till 31st July 2023, representing a significant growth of 16.1% Year-on-Year.

Filing Milestones and Early Compliance

New record of over 6.77 crore Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed till 31st July, 2023

The data highlights that taxpayers filed their ITRs for AY 2023-24 earlier compared to the previous year, which can be attributed to targeted campaigns and awareness efforts.

ITR Filing MilestoneAY 2022-23 DateAY 2023-24 Date1 crore8th July 202226th June 20232 crore20th July 202211th July 20233 crore25th July 202218th July 20234 crore28th July 202224th July 20235 crore30th July 202227th July 20235.83 crore31st July 202230th July 20236 crore—30th July 20236.77 crore—31st July 2023

Distribution of ITRs by Type

Out of the total 6.77 crore ITRs filed for AY 2023-24, the distribution by type is as follows:

Type of ITRNumber of ITRs FiledPercentageITR-13.33 crore49.18%ITR-281.12 lakh11.97%ITR-375.40 lakh11.13%ITR-41.81 crore26.77%ITR-5 to 76.40 lakh0.94%

E-Verification and Processing

E-verification is an essential step for processing ITRs and issuing refunds. The department has received e-verification for 5.63 crore returns, with more than 5.27 crore verifications being done through Aadhaar-based OTP (94%). Out of the e-verified ITRs, over 3.44 crore (61%) ITRs for AY 2023-24 have been processed by 31st July 2023.

Seamless E-Filing Experience

The e-filing portal witnessed a record number of logins during the peak filing period, with over 32 crore successful logins from 1st July 2023 to 31st July 2023. On 31st July 2023 alone, there were 2.74 crore successful logins.

Introduction of TIN 2.0 Payment Platform

The new e-pay tax payment platform TIN 2.0 replaced the earlier system, providing more user-friendly options for e-payment of taxes. Over 1.26 crore challans were received through TIN 2.0 in July 2023, while the total challans filed since 1st April 2023 stands at 3.56 crore.

Helpdesk Support

The e-filing Helpdesk team played a crucial role in assisting taxpayers during the peak filing period, handling approximately 5 lakh queries in July 2023. They provided support through inbound calls, outbound calls, live chats, webex, and co-browsing sessions, ensuring a smooth and efficient filing experience.

Indian Army to now have common uniform for Brigadier and above ranks

The Indian Army has recently implemented a significant change in its uniform regulations for senior officers with the rank of Brigadier and above. The decision aims to foster a common identity and uphold the Indian Army’s character as a fair and equitable organization. This move comes after detailed discussions during the Army Commanders Conference and extensive consultations with various stakeholders.

Unifying Dress Code for Senior Flag Officers in the Indian Army

Army officials have announced that the headgear, shoulder rank badges, gorget patches, belt, and shoes of senior officers with flag ranks (Brigadier and above) will now be standardized and common across all units and services. Notably, these officers will no longer wear any lanyards (braid patterns worn on the shoulders of uniforms to denote the wearer’s qualification or regimental affiliation).

Strengthening Unity and Fairness: A New Uniform Regulation for Senior Officers in the Indian Army

By introducing a uniform regulation applicable to Brigadier and above officers, the Indian Army demonstrates its dedication to fairness and equality. The adoption of a standardized uniform for senior-rank officers instill the fundamental principles of the Indian Army. This progressive decision represents a significant stride towards fostering a more unified and cohesive leadership, transcending regimental affiliations and uniting these officers through a collective sense of duty and purpose.

Uniform Continuity for Colonels and Lower Ranks

While the uniform for senior officers with the rank of Brigadier and above undergoes standardization, there is no change in the uniform worn by Colonels and officers below that rank. This ensures that the essence of tradition and diversity within the Indian Army is preserved, even as a common identity is established for higher-ranking officials.

Microsoft appoints Puneet Chandok to lead India operations

Microsoft has appointed Puneet Chandok as the new Corporate Vice President of Microsoft India and South Asia, effective from September 1, 2023. He will take over operational responsibilities from Anant Maheshwari and will lead the integration of Microsoft’s businesses across South Asia, including countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Puneet aims to strengthen Microsoft’s presence in the region and focus on key industries through a customer-centric approach, with generative AI as a core technology.

This appointment comes during a period of significant market expansion for Microsoft, especially in cloud technology and digital innovation. With a massive partner ecosystem globally, including a substantial network in India generating high cloud revenue, and investments in local infrastructure, such as a new data center in Hyderabad, Microsoft’s growth aligns with India’s emergence as a global innovation hub. The company is dedicated to serving the market with transformative digital technology to contribute to India’s economic progress and inclusive growth agenda.

Puneet Chandok Experience

Puneet joins Microsoft after leading the India and South Asia business for AWS, where he worked closely with enterprises, digital businesses, startups, and SMBs to drive innovation and agility. Before that, he held senior roles at McKinsey and IBM. Puneet’s educational background includes an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, a bachelor’s degree in commerce, and diplomas in Computer Programming, Networking, and High-level Computer Systems.

About Microsoft India

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 20,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development, customer support, and industry solutions across 10 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.


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