Current Affairs in Short: 16 September 2021
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirmed that the Central Government is planning to resume issuing tourist visas soon.
India chairs BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities meeting
•The heads of tax authorities of the BRICS countries held a virtual meeting on September 15, 2021, to discuss challenges faced by tax administrations of the member countries in the digital era amid COVID-19.
•The BRICS heads of tax authorities meeting was chaired by India. Revenue Secretary Tarun Baja presided over the meeting. The meeting of the tax experts of BRICS countries on September 13 and 14 was held before the meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities.
•The broad theme of the BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities was redefining the business processes of tax administration amid the challenges of COVID-19 in the digital era. The topics of discussion included digitation of tax administration, changing role of tax administration from enforcement to service, leveraging technology for tackling tax evasion, preparedness and strategies to deal with challenges of COVID-19, and evolution of tax administration to enhance voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
•Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are the five major emerging countries of the BRICS group.
India rejects remarks on J&K by OIC, Pakistan at UNHRC
•At the UN Human Rights Council, India exercised its right of reply and said that ‘Pakistan has made a habit to misuse platforms provided by the Council to propagate its false and malicious propaganda against India.’
•India while underlining Pakistan’s support to terrorism also noted that Pakistan has failed to protect the rights of its minorities, including women, girls, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, and Ahmadiyas. Pakistan is globally recognized as a country that openly supports, trains, finances terrorists, it highlighted further.
•India also rejected remarks made by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Jammu & Kashmir at the Council. ‘We reject the reference made by the OIC to Jammu & Kashmir. The OIC has no locus standi to comment on the internal affairs of India.
•The OIC had urged the UN Human Rights Council to address the ‘systematic’ human rights violations of people due to long-running disputes in J&K.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India, Italy on Cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction
•The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi on September 15, 2021, approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India and the Department of Civil Protection of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.
•The MoU between India and Italy on Cooperation in Disaster Risk Reduction will benefit both countries with the Disaster Management mechanisms of each other and aid to strengthen the level of preparedness, response, and capacity building in Disaster Management.
•The MoU between India and Italy in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management between the NDMA of India and the Department of Civil Protection of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic was signed in June 2021.
Centre to resume tourist visas as COVID-19 cases come down
•The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on September 15, 2021, confirmed that the Central Government is planning to resume issuing tourist visas soon in order to boost the Indian economy amid the COVID-19 situation improving.
•The issuing of tourist visas is expected to be resumed in a phased manner and as per the feasibility. The government is likely to allow only vaccinated people as of now to apply for tourist visas.
•Tourist visas have been suspended since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. Before the suspension of tourist visas due to COVID-19, approximately 7 to 8 lakh tourists used to visit India every month.
UNSC to hold an emergency meeting on North Korea on September 16
•The UN Security Council (UNSC) will hold an emergency meeting on September 16, 2021, regarding the recent ballistic missile launches. North and South Korea launched ballistic missiles within hours of each other.
•The UN resolutions ban North Korea from conducting any tests of ballistic missiles. North Korea launched a successful test-fire of a new type of long-range cruise missile in the East Sea on September 12. South Korea tested its first submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) hours later after North Korea fired ballistic missiles.
•UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that there is concern over the latest ballistic missile launches by North Korea. “Diplomatic engagement remains the only pathway to sustainable peace and complete, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” said Dujarric.
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