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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Fiscal Cliff & Fiscal Drag

About the Fiscal Drag:

Fiscal drag happens when the government’s net fiscal position fails to cover the net savings desires of the private economy, also called the private economy’s spending gap.

  • The first point to remember about fiscal drag is that government will get more tax revenue (mainly income tax) at the time of fiscal drag.
  • Fiscal drag is the tendency of revenue from taxation to rise as a share of GDP in a growing economy. Fiscal drag may happen due to inflation or fiscal policies of the government.

Fiscal drag is normally associated with progressive tax rates. Because of progressive taxes, the government will get more taxes when the economy is booming. This also helps slow the rate of increase in demand, reducing the pace of growth, making it less likely to result in higher inflation.

Thus fiscal drag is an automatic stabilizer, as it acts naturally to keep demand stable.

Also note that fiscal drag means greater tax burden for people. And the greater tax burden can lead to less consumer spending.

About the Fiscal Cliff:

The fiscal cliff refers to a combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts that was scheduled to become effective December 31, 2012.

The story of Fiscal Cliff starts with the subprime crisis. Hence we covered that first.

  • US Congress (the legislative body, similar to Indian Parliament) had passed many laws during the recession period calling for tax cuts, in-order to boost economic activity.
  • But there was a time period specified for these exemptions. Many of these exemptions expired at midnight on December 31, 2012.

So period from Jan 1, 2013, was supposed to be a period of high taxes. A sudden condition of high taxes and reduced public expenditure after a long period of tax cuts and liberal public expenditure is known as Fiscal Cliff.

In the case of US, it was more a technical or policy issue, but to avoid this policy issue, the two houses of the US congress had to reach a consensus, which they didn’t reach initially.

Global Intellectual Property Index: 2020.

Why in News? International Intellectual Property Index is released by Global Innovation Policy Center or GIPC of the US Chambers of Commerce.

India has been ranked 40th out of 53 countries on a global intellectual property index 2020.

  • India was placed at 36th position among 50 countries in 2019.
  • India’s score, however, increased from 36.04 per cent (16.22 out of 45) in 2019 to 38.46 per cent (19.23 out of 50) in 2020, a 2.42 per cent jump in absolute score.
  • However, India’s relative score increased by 6.71 per cent.
  • Since the release of the 2016 National IPR Policy, India has improved the speed of processing for patent and trademark applications, increased awareness of IP rights among Indian innovators and creators, and facilitated the registration and enforcement of those rights.
  • The Index specifically highlights a number of reforms over the last year that strengthen India’s overall IP ecosystem.
  • According to GIPC’s report India also continues to score well in the Systemic Efficiency indicator, scoring ahead of 28 other economies in these indicators.
  • To continue this upward trajectory, much work remains to be done to introduce transformative changes to India’s overall IP framework and take serious steps to consistently implement strong IP standards.

GIPC has identified several challenges for India, prominent among them being-

  1. Patentability requirements,
  2. Patent enforcement,
  3. Compulsory licensing,
  4. Patent opposition,
  5. Regulatory data protection,
  6. transparency in reporting seizures by customs,
  7. Singapore Treaty of Law of TMs
  8. Patent Law Treaty.

Kala Kumbh

Why in News?

It is a Handicrafts Exhibitions for promotion of Geographical Indication (GI) Crafts and heritage of India has recently organized by Ministry of Textiles.

  • It is a thematic Exhibition in various parts of the country through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
  • The exhibitions are planned in various major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
  • The exhibitions sponsored by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).
  • The GI tag is used on handicrafts which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country).

As on August 2019, 178 GI handicraft products were registered from all over India.

Few of the exhibits are as follows

  1. Mysore rosewood inlay
  2. Channapatna lacquerware
  3. Dharwad kasuti embroidery
  4. Kolhapur chappal
  5. Bidriware
  6. Molakalmur handblock printing
  7. Ananthapur leather puppet
  8. Thrissur screwpine
  9. Vishakapatna lacquerware
  10. Sandur lambani embroidery
  11. Jodhpur terracota
  12. Jaipur handprinted textile
  13. Medinipur mat weaving
  14. Birbhum artistic leather


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