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14 April 2024 Daily Current Affairs

Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA)


A Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) is a treaty between two countries. It aims to prevent a situation where the same income is taxed in both countries. This can happen when a company or individual from one country invests or earns income in the other country.


How it Works:

  • The DTAA determines which country has the primary right to tax specific types of income (e.g., dividends, interest, capital gains).

  • This avoids double taxation and encourages cross-border investment.



Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)


Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) are investors from other countries who invest in a country's financial markets, such as stock exchanges and bond markets.


What they invest in:

  • FPIs typically invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other financial instruments.

  • They are not involved in controlling or managing companies in the host country.


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) vs. FPI

Here's a breakdown of the key differences between FPI and FDI:




2. Geroscience: A New Approach to Aging

  • Dr. Daniel Belsky from Columbia University coined the term "geroscience" to study aging.

  • He developed a blood test to measure aging rate by studying DNA methylation, a process called "gerozyme."


Targeting Aging with Drugs and Lifestyle Changes

  • Researchers are exploring drugs like metformin and rapamycin to target gerozyme and potentially slow aging.

  • Socioeconomic factors can influence aging rates, with disadvantaged individuals aging faster.


Promoting Healthy Aging

  • A balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, fruits, and vegetables supports brain health and cognitive function.

  • Regular physical activity combats various health conditions, improves mood, and boosts energy levels.


Music as a Potential Anti-Aging Tool

  • Studies suggest music may modulate gerozyme and improve cognitive function in dementia patients.

Key Takeaways:

  • Geroscience offers new tools to understand and potentially slow down aging.

  • A healthy lifestyle with proper diet, exercise, and even music can promote healthy aging.


3. Supreme Court Recognizes Right Against Adverse Effects of Climate Change


The Supreme Court of India issued a landmark judgement recognizing a citizen's right against the adverse effects of climate change.

Background:

  • The Great Indian Bustard, an endangered bird species, is declining due to collisions with overhead power transmission lines in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

  • Environmentalists petitioned the court to mandate burying these lines underground.

  • Power companies argued this would be expensive and hinder India's clean energy goals.


Court's Decision:

  • The court established a committee to determine which transmission lines should be buried.

  • The judgement emphasized that burying lines cannot be a reason to slow India's solar energy development.

  • It recognized the right against climate change as linked to fundamental rights to life, liberty, and equality.


Connection to Human Rights and Climate Change:

  • The court noted India's existing environmental laws, including those established in landmark cases like M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India, but highlighted the lack of a single law on climate change.

  • The M.C. Mehta case series, dating back to 1984, has been instrumental in shaping environmental jurisprudence in India. It has led to significant government action on issues like air and water pollution.

  • The judgement linked climate change to violations of the rights to life, liberty, and equality, especially for vulnerable communities.

  • This aligns with a growing international trend of recognizing the link between climate change and human rights.


Precedents and Implications:

  • The Paris Agreement (2015) mentions human rights in its preamble.

  • Activists like Greta Thunberg emphasize the impact of climate change on future generations' rights.

  • This judgement, like past environmental rulings including the M.C. Mehta cases, is likely to influence public discourse and government action on climate change in India.


Unresolved Issues:

  • India's commitment to expanding solar energy must be balanced with its continued reliance on fossil fuels.

  • The judgement may raise questions about how effectively the government protects citizens from climate change impacts.


4. India Battles Hepatitis Burden: Second Highest Cases Globally

WHO Report Highlights:

  • India has the world's second-highest burden of viral hepatitis disease, following China.

  • Hepatitis B and C are the leading causes, resulting in chronic liver disease, cancer, and death.

  • Globally, 1.3 million people die annually from hepatitis, similar to tuberculosis deaths.

What is Hepatitis?

  • Hepatitis is a liver inflammation caused by viruses (A, B, C, D, E) or other factors.

  • Types B and C are most concerning, leading to chronic illness and death.

  • An estimated 354 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis B or C.

Why is India Vulnerable?

  • High population density, low awareness, and poor hygiene practices contribute to the spread.

  • Many chronic infections remain undiagnosed, perpetuating transmission.

  • Non-viral causes like fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease are rising.

  • Men have a higher prevalence due to risky behaviors like sharing needles or having multiple sex partners.

Prevention and Treatment:

  • Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination (included in India's childhood immunization program).

  • Hepatitis C is curable with medication.

  • Treatment for both is available under India's viral hepatitis control program.

Report Significance:

  • This is the first comprehensive WHO report on viral hepatitis epidemiology and service coverage.

  • It reveals low diagnosis and treatment rates globally, falling short of 2030 targets.

Moving Forward:

  • Extensive treatment coverage, newborn immunization, and ending patient discrimination are crucial for eliminating hepatitis B in India.

  • Affordable generic medicines exist, but pricing disparities and out-of-pocket expenses remain barriers.

  • WHO calls for a public health approach to expand testing, treatment access, and prevention efforts.

  • Increased global and national funding is essential to reach the 2030 goal of ending the hepatitis epidemic.



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