Daily Current Affairs – 2020
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
India’s top trading Partner
31st Aug 2020
Why in News ?
As per the data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the USA remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal year in 2019-20.
- This indicates increasing economic ties between the two countries.
Trade with the USA:
In 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the USA and India stood at USD 88.75 billion as against USD 87.96 billion in 2018-19.
The USA is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus.
- India’s trade surplus with the USA increased to USD 17.42 billion in 2019-20 from USD 16.86 billion in 2018-19.
- In 2018-19, the USA surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner.
Trade with China:
- The bilateral trade between India and China has dipped to USD 81.87 billion in 2019-20 from USD 87.08 billion in 2018-19.
- Trade deficit between the two neighbours has declined to USD 48.66 billion in 2019-20 from USD 53.57 billion in the previous fiscal.
- China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 till 2017-18.
- Before China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the country’s largest trading nation.
- Further, India is considering certain steps like framing technical regulations and quality control orders for host of items with a view to cut import dependence on China and boost domestic manufacturing.
Recently, India banned 59 Chinese apps and made government approval mandatory for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from neighbouring countries.
- The app ban decision came amid tensions on the border.
Way Forward for the USA and India:
There is a huge potential to boost bilateral trade between the countries on account of increasing anti-China sentiment in both the nations.
- Because of the anti-China sentiment, several USA companies are exploring new suppliers in countries like India to cut dependence on China and if this happens, then it will greatly help India to boost exports to the USA.
- Presence of Indian diaspora in the USA is one of the main reasons for increasing bilateral trade. A balanced trade deal can further boost the economic ties.
- India and the USA are negotiating a limited trade pact with a view to iron out differences at trade front and boost commercial ties.
- However, India should be a bit cautious while negotiating the pact with the USA in areas such as agriculture, dairy and issues related to intellectual property rights.
- Recently, the USA administration has extended the ban on immigrant and non-immigrant visas till the end of 2020.
- India’s IT services exports to the USA, which depend significantly on the H-1B visa, has been an important constituent element of bilateral economic trade.
Topic: For Prelims and Mains
Why in News?
Recently Ministry of Corporate Affairs deployed a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’, replacing the existing SPICe form.
• The SPICe stands as Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically.
About SPICe :
It is an application form for incorporating/registering a company with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
• The initiative is a part of India’s effort to improve the Ease of Doing Business (EODB).
SPICe+ would offer 10 services by 3 Central Govt Ministries & Departments.
• Ministry of Corporate Affairs
• Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance)
• One State Govt. (Maharashtra)
Ten services are:
• Name reservation, incorporation of a new company, applying for Director Identification Number (DIN) allotment, PAN, TAN, EPFO, ESIC, Profession Tax (Maharashtra), Opening a Bank Account and GST Identification Number (GSTIN).
• It would be applicable for all new company incorporations.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
Barn Owls (Tyto alba):
The barn owl is the most widespread land bird species in the world, occurring in every continent except Antarctica. They are one of the most widespread owls in the Indian Subcontinent.
- These owls are medium-sized with long legs and wings and have a relatively shorter tail when compared to other similar sized owls.
- Barn Owl exhibits dark eyes, and a distinct heart-shaped facial disc.
- This owl doesn’t have the characteristic ‘woo-woo-woo’ hoot of owls and utters a screechy ‘shreeeeeeeee’ to protect its territory.
IUCN status- Least Concern.
The Lakshadweep Administration had embarked on the ‘Pilot project on Biological Control of Rodents (Rats) by Using Barn Owls (Tyto alba) in Kavaratti Island’.