Factly articles for 14th August 2020

1.Prime Minister launches “Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest” platform

News: Prime Minister has launched the platform called “Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest”.


  • Aim: To bring transparency in income tax systems and empower taxpayers.
  • Features: The main features of the platform are faceless assessment, faceless appeal and taxpayer charter.
  • Faceless Assessment: It aims to eliminate the interface between the taxpayer and the income tax department.
    • There will be no need for the taxpayer to visit the income tax office or the officer.
    • The selection of a taxpayer is possible through systems using analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
    • The system abolishes territorial jurisdiction.A taxpayer may belong to a particular city but the assessment order, review and the finalisation will take place in different cities.
  • Faceless Appeal: Under the system, appeals will be randomly allotted to any officer in the country.The identity of the officer deciding the appeal will remain unknown.
    • The taxpayer will also not be required to visit the income tax office or the officer and the appellate decision will be team-based and reviewed.
  • Taxpayer Charter: This outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

2.Odisha bags 1st position in AMRUT scheme

News: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has released the ranking of states under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation(AMRUT) scheme.


  • Odisha has continued to be the top performer in implementation of the AMRUT Scheme.It is followed by Chandigarh, Telangana, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Additional Facts:

  • AMRUT Scheme: It was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • Aim: To ensure universal coverage of drinking water supply and substantial improvement in coverage and treatment capacities of sewerage and septage along with storm water drainage, non-motorized urban transport and green spaces & parks.
  • Coverage: It covers 500 cities that includes all cities and towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities.

3.Indian Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel ‘Sarthak’ launched

News: Indian Coast Guard(ICG) has launched an Offshore Patrol Vessel named ‘Sarthak’.


  • Sarthak: It is an offshore Patrol Vessel(OPVs) designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art Navigation and Communication equipment, sensor and machinery.

Additional Facts:

  • Offshore patrol vessels(OPVs): These are patrolling vehicles which are deployed by Indian coast guards to patrol the maritime boundary of India.

4.NASA data suggests ocean of ‘salty water’ on dwarf planet Ceres

News: According to the data collected by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, dwarf planet Ceres reportedly has salty water underground.


  • Ocean World: These findings have given Ceres the status of an ocean world as it has a big reservoir of salty water underneath its frigid surface.
  • Subsurface Oceans on other Celestial Bodies: Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Neptune’s moon Triton and the dwarf planet Pluto are also known to have Subsurface Oceans.

Additional Facts:

  • Dwarf planet Ceres: It is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system.
    • It has a diameter of about 950 km which is more than one-fourth of Earth’s moon.
    • It does not have any moon or rings.It also has a 92 km wide crater named Occator located in its northern hemisphere.
  • Dwarf Planet: According to the International Astronomical Union, a dwarf planet is a celestial body that- orbits the sun, has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit and is not a moon.
  • Dawn Spacecraft: It is a retired space probe launched by NASA in 2007 with the mission of studying two of the three known protoplanets of the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres.

5.One Sun One World One Grid project put on hold

News: Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) has put calls for proposals to the One Sun, One World, One Grid(OSOWOG) initiative on hold till further notice.


  • One Sun, One World, One Grid(OSOWOG) initiative: It was proposed by India to build a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be easily shared.
  • Vision: The vision behind the initiative is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • Aim: To build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and South-East Asia.At a later stage, the project envisages getting this grid interconnected with the African power pools.
  • Phases: The initiative is planned to be completed in three phases:
    • Phase I (Middle East-South Asia-Southeast Asia(MESASEA) interconnection.
    • Phase II (Solar and other Renewable Energy resources rich regions’ interconnection).
    • Phase III (Global interconnection).
  • Significance: An interconnected grid would help all the participating entities in attracting investments in renewable energy sources as well as utilize skills, technology and finances.

6.Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system

News: Israel has successfully tested the Arrow 2 missile.


  • Arrow 2: It is an advanced missile defence system developed jointly by the U.S and Israel for defence against both short and mid-range rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon as well as Iran’s long-range missiles.

Additional Facts:

  • Iron Dome: It is a mobile all-weather air defence system developed by Israel to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from short distances.

7.Defence Minister launches Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation(NIIO)

News: Union Defence Minister has launched the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation(NIIO).


  • NIIO: It is a three-tiered organisation that aims to help end-users interact with academia and industry towards fostering innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence.
  • Three Tier Structure:
    • Naval Technology Acceleration Council(N-TAC): It will bring together the twin aspects of innovation and indigenisation and provide apex level directives.
    • Working group: It will work under the N-TAC to implement the projects.
    • Technology Development Acceleration Cell(TDAC): It has been created for induction of emerging disruptive technology in an accelerated time frame.

Additional Facts:

  • A compendium of Indian Navy’s Indigenisation perspective plans titled ‘SWAVLAMBAN’ was also released by the Defence Minister.

8.India announces $500 mn package for Maldives

News: India has announced a slew of connectivity measures for the Maldives in an effort to help Maldives deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Key Measures:

  • Greater Male Connectivity Project: It is a 6.7 kilometre bridge project connecting Male with Gulhifalhu Port and Thilafushi industrial zone that will help revitalise and transform Maldivian economy.
    • India will provide a $400 million Line of Credit and $100 million grant for the project.
  • Cargo Ferry Service: A regular cargo ferry service between India and Maldives will be started to boost trade and commerce.
  • Air Travel Bubble: India is starting an air connectivity “bubble” for travel with Maldives to sustain and promote the people-to-people ties between the two countries.
  • Submarine Cable: It is a communication cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.India will lay down a submarine cable for telecom connectivity in Maldives.