Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 07, 2021

Current Affair 1:
G7 deal on Minimum Global Corporate Tax

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Finance Ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations reached a landmark accord on backing the creation of a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15%, an agreement that could then form the basis of a worldwide deal. Now, countries around the world should tax their home companies' overseas profits at a rate of at least 15 percent. This 15 percent of global minimum corporate tax would deter the practice of using accounting schemes to shift profits to a few very low-tax countries.

With multiple branches spread across various jurisdictions, they transfer the bulk of their profit in accounts set up in countries that offer the lowest tax rate.

Often, these tax havens are the Caribbean Islands such as Bahamas or British Virgin Islands, or at times, countries like Ireland where the corporate tax rate is as low as 12.5 percent -- lower than the proposed minimum rate of 15 percent.


At the moment companies can set up local branches in countries that have relatively low corporate tax rates and declare profits there. That means they only pay the local rate of tax, even if the profits mainly come from sales made elsewhere.

The deal aims to stop this from happening in two ways.

  • Firstly, the G7 will aim to make companies pay more tax in the countries where they are selling their products or services, rather than wherever they end up declaring their profits.
  • Secondly, they want a global minimum tax rate so as to avoid countries undercutting each other with low tax rates.

Governments could still set whatever local corporate tax rate they want, but if companies pay lower rates in a particular country, their home governments could "top-up" their taxes to the minimum rate, eliminating the advantage of shifting profits.

For example, now, Ireland has tax rate of 12.5%. Now if minimum tax rates become 15 percent, the investment may decrease (As investments were mainly because of lower interest rate, i.e., 12.5%). And India who tax rate presently is around 22 percent less likely to be affected by this new global tax system. (It’s just for understanding now, more clarifications will come after implementation)


We will also learn about G-7 Countries.

G7 stands for “Group of Seven” industrialized nations. It used to be known as the G8 (Group of Eight) until 2014 when Russia was excluded because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Which countries are members of the G7?

The group includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, France and Italy. Together, the G7 countries represent 40% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population.

Why was Russia kicked out of the G8?

Russia was kicked out of the then G8 in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine, which was seen by leaders as a “violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Current Affair 2:
Performance Grading Index (PGI)

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The schemes initiated by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL) along with the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, have resulted in significant improvement in accessibility. As a logical next step, the focus has now shifted from access to quality of education.


The exercise, which is the first of its kind at such a scale, envisages that the Index will propel the States and Union Territories (UTs) towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions that will bring about the much-desired optimal education outcomes. The purpose of the PGI therefore is to help the States and UTs to pinpoint the gaps and accordingly prioritize areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.

The PGI for the States and Union Territories (UTs) was first published in 2019 for the reference year 2017-18. The PGI for reference year 2018-19 was published in the year 2020. The present publication, PGI 2019 20 at State/UT level, has been prepared with the same set of 70 parameters used for the two previous PGIs.


Not needed more than this.

Current Affair 3:
24 years of BIMSTEC


A small introduction:

  1. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.
  2. This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  3. It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.

  1. Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
  2. With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting (February 2004, Thailand), the name of the grouping was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC).

Importance of BIMSTEC:

It aims to accelerate economic growth and social progress among members across multiple sectors — trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries, agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change.

The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.

BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members. The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economy.

BIMSTEC Secretariat

After a span of 17 years of the founding of BIMSTEC as a regional organization, it’s long cherished Permanent Secretariat was established in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 13th September 2014 to serve the BIMSTEC Member States.

BIMSTEC Summit: Only four BIMSTEC Summits till now

This is the highest policy making body in the BIMSTEC process.

Ministerial Meetings

Ministerial Meetings cover the area of foreign affairs (MM) and the area of trade and economic affairs (TEMM). While the Foreign Ministerial Meeting acts as prime mover determining the overall policy, as well as recommendations for the Leaders’ Summit, Trade and Economic Ministerial Meeting monitors the progress in the Trade and Investment Sector as well as FTA policy.

17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on April 1, 2021.

Current Affair 4:
Tardigrades, glowing baby squid sent to the space station

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Nasa has sent glow-in-the-dark baby squids and tardigrades, also called water bears, to the International Space Station. The mission, called CRS-22, is currently in orbit and incudes 3,311 kg of research material and supplies to the ISS. They were part of the 22nd SpaceX cargo resupply mission (SpaceX sent its latest Dragon cargo capsule).

The mission is transporting living specimens for biological experiments, new high-tech solar panels to install outside the station, and regular supplies including food.

Why Oral bacteria, tardigrades, squid on board?

  1. The cargo contains samples of oral bacteria and saliva, along with toothpaste and mouthwash, which will make up a biological experiment to determine the oral health of astronauts.
  2. There is also a capsule containing over 20,000 microscopic tardigrades or water bears, which are extremophile organisms capable of surviving extremely harsh conditions. This experiment will aim to understand how these creatures survive in space and microgravity, and how they could reproduce in these environments.
  3. Newly hatched, bioluminescent bobtail squid have also been sent, which will make up an experiment that aims to study symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationships between animal hosts and microbes in space.
  4. Bobtail squid have bioluminescent bacteria living in their bodies that emit light, with whom the animals have a natural symbiotic relationship — the squid provides the bacteria sugar and amino acids, while the bacteria provide protection to the squid by lighting up so that predators below cannot spot it when looking up. Camouflaging tactics using light is called counter-illumination.
  5. The animals will also be monitored for kidney stones, and any issues relating to the digestive and immune system.

Results from animal and microbe experiments are expected to yield insights into keeping astronauts healthy and safe in space.

Current Affair 5:
Raimona – Sixth national park of Assam

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On the occasion of World Environment Day, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday declared Raimona as the sixth National Park of Assam.

Raimona National Park is located in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.

It is famous for Golden Langur, the pride of Bodoland.

Asian elephant, tiger, clouded leopard, Indian gaur, wild buffalo, spotted deer, hornbill, more than 150 species of butterflies, 170 species of birds, 380 species of plants and several species of orchids are available in this national park.

Other 5 National Parks in Assam,

  1. Kaziranga National Park
  2. Dibru - Saikhowa National Park
  3. Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park
  4. Manas National Park
  5. Nameri National Park

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