List of Things after GST Rate Cut

The GST Council in its 28th meeting on Saturday reduced rates on a number of goods. From refrigerator to sanitary napkins, over 100 items became cheaper. After this reduction, only 38 items left in 28 percent tax bracket.

Here is the list of items for which rate has been reduced

Reduced to ZERO

  1. Sanitary Napkins
  2. Stone/Marble/Wood Deities
  3. Rakhi (other than that of precious or semi-precious material)
  4. Coir pith compost
  5. Sal Leaves, siali leaves and their products and Sabai Rope
  6. PhoolBhari Jhadoo (Raw material for Jhadoo)
  7. Khali dona
  8. Circulation and commemorative coins, sold by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL) to Ministry of Finance.

Reduced to Five

  1. Ethanol for sale to oil marketing companies for blending with fuel (earlier 18 %)
  2. Solid biofuel pellets
  3. Chenille fabrics and other fabrics under heading 5801
  4. Handloom dari
  5. Phosphoric acid (fertilizer grade only)
  6. Knitted cap/topi having retail sale value not exceeding Rs 1000

Reduced to Twelve

  1. Fuel Cell Vehicle (compensation cess will also be exempted)
  2. Bamboo flooring
  3. Brass Kerosene Pressure Stove
  4. Hand Operated Rubber Roller
  5. Zip and Slide Fasteners

Reduced to Eighteen

  1. Washing machines
  2. Vacuum cleaners
  3. Domestic electrical appliances such as food grinders and mixers & food or vegetable juice extractor, shaver, hair clippers etc
  4. Televisions up to the size of 68 cm
  5. Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment including water coolers, milk coolers, refrigerating equipment for leather industry, ice cream freezer etc.
  6. Storage water heaters and immersion heaters, hair dryers, hand dryers, electric smoothing irons etc
  7. Lithium-ion batteries
  8. Paints and varnishes (including enamels and lacquers)
  9. Glaziers’ putty, grafting putty, resin cements
  10. Special purpose motor vehicles. For instance, crane lorries, fire fighting vehicle, concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries
  11. Works trucks (self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment) of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short transport of goods.
  12. Trailers and semi-trailers
  13. Miscellaneous articles such as scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, powder-puffs and pads for the application of cosmetics or toilet preparations

Sangita Kalanidhi 2018 to Aruna Sairam

Madras Music Academy has selected Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam for prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi Award of 2018. She is Vice-Chair of Sangeet Natak Academy. She has various awards and recognition in her name including the Padma Shri and US Congress Proclamation of Excellence. She is Music Ambassador of India, for successfully taking Indian music to the global arena.

Sangita Kalanidhi

The title awarded yearly to Carnatic musicians by Madras Music Academy. The first title was awarded to T. V. Subba Rao and M. S. Ramaswamy Iyer in 1929.

Previous awardees in recent past

2017 - Chitravina N. Ravikiran (Chitravina / Composer)
2016 - A. Kanyakumari (Violinist)
2015 - Sanjay Subrahmanyan (Vocalist)

Aruna Sairam

Born in Mumbai, 65 years old, Aruna Sairam born into a family with a deep love of music. In her early age, she met her Guru Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. T. Brinda, who trained her in the style of her own mentor, Veena Dhanammal (torchbearer of the school of Carnatic music).

Aruna has performed at various prestigious venues and international events in the US, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Morocco, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore etc. International critics have compared Aruna's music to that of legendary Jazz saxophonist and composer, John Coltrane.

Georges Lemaître - Google celebrating 124th Birthday - Father of Big Bang Theory

Georges Lemaître was a Belgian priest, physicist, and cosmologist who made one of the greatest discovery in modern cosmology in 1927 — our universe is expanding. Four years later, he proposed that the universe began with a “single quantum” — what we now call the big bang.

A civil engineer, Lemaître served as an artillery officer in the Belgian Army during World War I. In 1923, he was ordained a priest.

He studied at the University of Cambridge’s solar physics laboratory (1923–24) and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (1925–27).

Today is 124th Birthday of Georges Lemaître. He was born on July 17, 1894, in Charleroi, Belgium and died on June 20, 1966, in Leuven. Yet the public and many scientists remain unaware of Lemaître’s seminal achievements.

Georges Lemaître Work on Timeline

1917 - Albert Einstein applied the new theory of Relativity to the universe as a whole. Einstein added the famous cosmological constant to the model - eternally static universe - one that has always been and will always be the same size. He later accepted this mistake as greatest mistake of life”

1922 - Alexander Friedmann (Russia) developed his own dynamic solutions to Einstein’s field equations.

1927 - Georges Lemaître published his paper in French in which he proposed a linear relationship between a galaxy’s distance and its redshift. In general, the further away a galaxy is, the greater its light is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum (lower frequency).

Lemaître reasoned that on its long journey to the Earth, a galaxy’s light is stretched in frequency by the expansion of space itself. The longer the light’s journey, the more the universe has expanded — thus the greater the light’s stretching or redshift.

1929 - Edwin Hubble — unaware of Lemaître’s paper — published same redshift/distance relationship using similar data.

1931 - Lemaître proposed an even more radical idea — the universe began as a “single quantum”. The expanding universe must have been smaller and smaller in the past, he reasoned. Thus it must have had a finite beginning. (Cosmic Egg)

1933 - Along with Einstein, Lemaître gave lectures in California.

Einstein now called Lemaître’s theory
 “The most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”

Lemaître also did research on cosmic rays and on the three-body problem, which concerns the mathematical description of the motion of three mutually attracting bodies in space.

President Nominated Four new Rajya Sabha Members

President has nominated four new members to Rajya Sabha. Article 80 of the Constitution gives the President right to nominate twelve members in Rajya Sabha from people who have special knowledge or practical experience in art, literature, science and social service. The rationale behind this principle is to provide eminent persons a place in Rajya Sabha without going through the process of election.

The current Rajya Sabha Nomination includes following four names:

Sonal Mansingh

Sonal Mansingh is a well-known Indian classical dancer and Guru Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style. She is a recipient of Padma Vibhushan (2003), Kalidas Samman, Sangeet Natak Academy Award among others. She is a highly respected choreographer, teacher, orator and social activist.

Raghunath Mohapatra

Internationally acclaimed sculptor, Mr. Mohapatra is an authority in stone carving because of his deep knowledge of the traditional style of sculpting in temple architecture. His long line of works includes beautification of Jagannath Temple, the Sun God statue in Parliament Hall, decorative central circle and pillars in Park Street Kolkata, Mukteswar gate in red sandstone at Surajkund Haryana, Wooden Buddha in Buddha Temple, Paris. He is also a recipient of Padhma Vibhushan (2013). He teacher of more than 2000 sculptors.

Rakesh Sinha

Mr. Sinha is RSS ideologue, a respected and widely read author, Shri Rakesh Sinha is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Delhi-based think-tank “India Policy Foundation.” A professor of Motilal Nehru College of Delhi University, he is also currently a member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research.

Ram Shakal

Ram Shakal is a Dalit leader from UP. He is widely respected for championing the cause of farmers, laborers and migrants. He has also been a three-time Member of Lok Sabha.

Wimbledon 2018 Winners All Five Categories

132nd edition of tennis tournament 2018 Wimbledon Championship held this July in All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. It was the 51st edition of the open era. 

Of the current four Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian and US Open use hard courts, French Open is played on clay, and Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam to have always been played on the same surface, is played on grass.

List of winners of Wimbledon 2018 Championship in all five categories:

Men's Single

Winner: Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
2nd Place: Kevin Anderson (South Africa)
Score: 6-2, 6-2, 7-6
It was Djokovic's 13th Grand Slam titles and Fourth Wimbledon Title.

Women's Single

Winner: Angelique Kerber (Germany)
2nd Place: Serena Williams (United States)
Score: 6-3, 6-3

Serena Williams holds 23 in singles, 14 in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

Men's Doubles

Winner: Mike Bryan and Jack Sock (United States)
2nd Place: Raven Klaasen (South Africa) and Michael Venus (New Zealand)
Score: 6-3, 6-7(7-9), 6-3, 5-7, 7-5

Women's Doubles

Winner: Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková (Czech Republic)
2nd Place: Květa Peschke (Czech Republic) and Nicole Melichar (United States)
Score: 6-4, 4-6, 6-0

Mixed Doubles

Winner: Alexander Peya (Austria) and Nicole Melichar (United States)
2nd Place: Jamie Murray (United Kingdom) and Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)
Score: 7-6(7-1), 6-3

France wins 2018 FIFA World Cup

France has won the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia after defeating Croatia by 4-2. France won this title second time after 20 years. In 1998, it defeated Brazil in home ground. Uruguay and Argentina are two other countries who won the title twice.
2018 FIFA World Cup France

Top 4 Countries at 2018 FIFA World Cup

  1. France
  2. Croatia
  3. Belgium
  4. England

32 countries divided into eight groups having four teams in each played league matches, followed by quarter-finals, semi-final, and final. Croatia came all the way to Final and surprised everyone to become the smallest country to reach play FIFA World Cup final.

2018 FIFA World Cup Awards

  • Harry Kane, Captain of the English team scored the highest six across six matches to win the Golden Boot
  • Luka Modric of Croatia won the Golden Ball
  • Thibaut Courtois of Belgium won the Golden Glove
  • Kylian Mbappe of France, 19 years old won the Young Player Award
In the 65th minute, Mbappe became the first teenager to score in a final since Pele in 1958 with a well-placed shot from outside the box.

Spain received the FIFA Fair Play Award for their highly disciplined performance. 

Panama and Iceland appeared at their first World Cup, although neither made it past the group stage.

The 2010 champions Germany finished bottom (fourth position) of Group F with three points after losses to Mexico and South Korea in the group stage.

It was third-place team Belgium, who netted 16 times, became the team to score the highest number of goals in 2018 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA stands Fédération Internationale de Football Association, started World Cup Tournament in 1930. 

So far 21 World Cup Tournaments held worldwide and only Eight national teams won became champion.

5 Times - Brazil
4 Times - Germany, Italy
2 Times - Uruguay, Argentina, France
1 Time - England, Spain

2022 World Cup Tournament will be hosted by Qatar. For the first time in the Middle East.

UN Arms Embargo and Civil War in South Sudan

UNSC accepted the resolution imposing the arms embargo on South Sudan. Now following this, UN members are called to prevent the sale, supply, transfer of arms and related and related material, and also withhold any training, technical or financial assistance related to the military. However, it exempts other humanitarian activities in this young countries.
South Sudan Position

Civil War in South Sudan

In 2013, tensions between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir, of the Dinka ethnic group, and those aligned with his former Vice President, Riek Machar, of theNuer ethnic group, exploded into fighting on the streets of Juba, the capital city. Since then, the civil war has ruined the country. Despite of several efforts to maintain peace, the International community and the UN has not gained any substantial achievement.

South Sudan Timeline

1956 - The Republic of Sudan gained Independence from British Empire
1972-83 - First Sudanese Civil War, Southern Sudan Autonomous Region formed
2005 - Comprehensive Peace Agreement Signed (after Second Sudanese Civil War)
2011 - Agreement allowed a referendum, residents of Southern Sudan voted for Independence.
2013 - Tension between President and former Vice President and their respective communities began another civil war which tore communities apart and left thousands dead.
2014 - Peace agreement between Governemnt and SSDM/A - Cobra Faction, Creation of the semi-autonomous Greater Pibor Administrative.
2015 - Peace agreement between Government and SPLM-IO; Riek Machar once again became Vice-President of Sudan again.
2016 -   Cobra Faction merges with SPLM-IO-allied Greater Pibor Forces
Post 2016 - Violence continues
2018 - UNSC Arms Embargo through UNSC Resolution 2428

Where is South Sudan?

The youngest country of world South Sudan is a landlocked country in Africa situated in the south of Sudan. Its population is around 30 million. It is surrounded by six other countries, Ethiopia in east, Uganda in South, Kenya in South-East, The Central African Republic in West, Republic of Sudan in North, and Democratic Republic of Congo in South-West.

How member countries voted for UNSC 2428:

The UNSC Resolution 2428 gained 9 votes in favor and none against, however, 6 members abstained.

  • United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Poland, Ivory Coast, France, Kuwait, Netherlands, and Peru voted YES
  • Bolivia, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Russia abstained from voting.

India's Stand

Currently, India is not a member of the UN Security Council so it has no vote. However, India has good diplomatic relation with South Sudan with respective embassies in other's capital.

President Salva Kiir attended the Third India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October 2015, and also held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first state visit by a South Sudanese President to India.

As many as around thousand Indians have their businesses and work in South Sudan, and also around 2000+ peacekeepers and police are stationed there. During civil unrest, India deployed to C-17 Globemaster of Indian Air Force to evacuate in Operation Sankat Mochan. 

Institute of Eminence - Jio Institute Controversy

The government has chosen six institutes including three public and three private institutes to grant the status of Institute of Eminence.

Among these three public institutes will be provided with Rs. 1000 cr. over next five years while other three private institutes will get academic and administrative autonomy (but no such fund).

Institute of Eminence (Public sector)

  1. The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  2. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai
  3. Indian Institute of Science, Bangaluru

Institute of Eminence (Private sector)

  1. Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  2. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani


  1. Jio Institute

What is Jio Institute?

The Jio Institute is yet-to-be-set-up by Reliance foundation and is going to receive a letter of intent instead of the title of eminence now. Only after establishment and delivering promises within three years, it will get the title.

Former NITI Ayog chairman Arvind Panagariya considers this move as a courageous decision he said “This is what you need. Because in a new university you can write the rules from scratch, from the beginning. In an existing institution bringing in change is much harder.”

Reliance foundation sees Jio Institute as Reliance groups’ ambitious educational project where diversified branches of studies various

Jio Institute controversy

Some of the administration critics viz. Ramchandra Guha, Prashant Bhushan, Ayesha Kidwai have raised question suggesting there is some foul play in the granting this status to a non-existent institute owned by a business conglomerate, while another deserving left behind.

Government's Stand

The decision of selection is made by a high power committee consisting of very highly qualified academician from India and abroad chaired by former CEC N. Goplaswami. There are different categories of institutions and 14 more are there to be selected. Jio Institute fulfills more the requisite criteria compared to other applicants, they are having 800 acres of land, Rs. 9500 crore invest in the project. There will be regular review and they will have to fulfill the promises and in three years they will have to establish of institution infrastructure.

Government is looking at the capacity of an institution other than its academic or research portfolio. Capacity to put up best infrastructure, fund future research works, capacity to get highly qualified researcher, capacity to create knowledge pool.

UPDATE (updated on 25/07/2018)

Govt has issued the notification but has excluded the name of BITS Pilani. The reason behind this hold attributed to the fact that BITS Pilani is court against UGC in Delhi High Court.