Three-day Modi fest begins in Andhra Pradesh
The three-day festival Making of Developed India (MODI) fest was launched in Andhra Pradesh on 2 June 2017. It begins to celebrate the successful completion of the three-year rule by the Modi government.
i. The festival was inaugurated by former minister K. Lakshminarayana.
ii. The festival would be held in three phases in three districts of Andhra Pradesh, at Government Ghantasala Music College in Vijayawada, Ambedkar Bhawan, Rajvihar Circle in Kurnool and at Gokul Park, Ramakrishna Beach in Visakhapatnam.
iii. The purpose of the festival is to show various welfare schemes launched by the NDA government during the past 3 years.
iv. The schemes were launched for the benefit of the common man, the farming community, the youth and especially the women for their empowerment in the society with the theme ‘sabka saath sabka vikas‘.
v. A separate section would also be created that will facilitate and help people in downloading the NamoApp.
vi. The festival would include an exhibition with a host of activities including setting up of stalls detailing the achievements of a 3-year rule of the NDA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
About MODI Fest
i. The three-day MODI Fest, (Making of Developed India Festival), organized by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
ii. MODI fest is being conducted throughout the country and will be held at 12 places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
iii. The achievements and initiatives of the central government in the last three years will be highlighted and it will be conducted till June 18 at various places.
iv. Public could give their suggestions and feedback on government schemes in the ‘Jan Ki Baat’ stall, put up in the MODI Fest.
v. The fest also provides the public an opportunity to get detailed information about the various schemes of the Central government like Skill development, Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Fasal Beema Yojana and Ujjwala Yojana.
vi. Various contests like Quiz, Selfie with PM, Guidance session by experts on various subjects and lucky draws would also be held to make the experience interactive and lively.
Gold costlier under GST, apparel, biscuits, footwear cheaper
Post roll-out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, 2017, Gold will be costlier, whereas biscuits, footwear up to Rs. 500/- and apparel up to Rs. 1000/- will become cheaper.
Important Decisions taken at the recent GST Council meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley:
i. Packaged and branded food items will be taxed 5%, tendu leaves at 18% and bidi at the highest rate of 28%. However, unlike cigarettes, there will be no cess on bidi.
ii. Biscuits will be taxed at a flat rate of 18%, footwear costing up to Rs 500 will be levied a 5% GST and for those above this would be taxed at 18%.
iii. Man-made apparel up to Rs 1,000 will attract a 5% tax, lower than the existing 7%. Those costing above Rs 1000/- will continue to attract 12 per cent.
Gold will become slightly costlier as the current incidence is 2%, whereas the GST Council has proposed to tax gold and gold jewellery at 3%.
States/UTs which have passed the GST Bill so far: Tripura, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Puducherry, Odisha, Mizoram, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Delhi.
Railways to reduce emission by 33 per cent by 2030
The Indian Railways is going to reduce emission by 33 per cent in the next 10-12 years. The Railways will going to involve with green initiatives undertaken by the public transporter.
i. It will reduce emission through sustained energy efficiency measures and maximum use of clean fuel.
ii. The Indian Railways is 12 times more energy efficient in freight traffic and three times more in passenger traffic compared to roadways.
iii. Railways will promote low carbon mass transportation system.
iv. The target of tree plantation on rail land is 5 crore trees in the next three years.
v. This year 1.2 crore trees have been planted against a target of 1.15 crore.
vi. The Railways will be using 5 per cent bio diesel and CNG/LNG for traction and use of renewables up to 10 per cent of its energy needs by 2030.
vii. A big target has been set to achieve 1000 MW of solar power and 170 MW of wind power installed capacities.
viii. Fitting bio-toilets in its entire 55,000 strong fleet of coaches by 2019 is another green initiative of the Railways.
Aadhaar mandatory for kerosene subsidy, Atal Pension Yojana
The Aadhaar card has been made mandatory for government subsidy on purchase of kerosene and benefits of Atal Pension Yojana. It was announced by PM Modi on 4th of June, 2017
i. Those who are availing kerosene subsidy or contributing for the pension scheme will now require Aadhaar number.
ii. It has been also decided to link the Aadhaar number with the ration card issued to households availing the benefits or with the bank account for cash transfer benefit.
iii. In case of Kerosene subsidy the last date to get the Aadhaar or enrolment for getting it will be September 30.
iv. The Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas has introduced Direct Benefit Transfer through which subsidy is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, who purchase the PDS kerosene at non-subsidised rate.
v. For the Atal Pension Yojana, the deadline for getting the Aadhaar is 15th June.
vi. Till an Aadhaar card is obtained, ration card, driving licence, voter identity card, Kisan passbook with photo, job card issued under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and a certificate issued by a gazetted officer or a tehsildar will be considered as proof of identity for the benefits.
vii. The decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for these two schemes will prevent leakages of subsidies and ensure that the beneficiaries get their due.
viii. For this, the central government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016
India slips to 45th Spot in IMD’s World competitiveness list
India has ranked 45th out of 63 countries in the World Competitiveness Rankings 2017, compiled by the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Center.
World Competitiveness Rankings 2017 – Top 10:
PM Narendra Modi visit to Germany, Spain, Russia and France – Overview
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook a four-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France from May 29, 2017 with an aim to strengthen relations with these countries and highlight India as a potential investment destination.
i. PM Modi participates in Indo-German inter-governmental consultations and India and Germany inks 12 Pacts
ii. As a part of his four-nation tour, PM Modi reached Spain on May 31, 2017. He thereby became 1st Indian PM to visit Spain in nearly 30 years after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Spain in year 1988.India and Spain inks Seven Agreements
iii. On June 1, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended 18th Indo-Russia Annual Summit in St. Petersberg, Russia.India, Russia to set up JVs to build aircrafts, automobiles – 5 MoUs signed
iv. India & France decide to cooperate in fight against terrorism, climate change
BANKING & FINANCE
India GDP Growth To Remain Flat At 7.1 Pc In 2017-18: HSBC
According to HSBC report India’s economic growth is expected to remain flat at 7.1 per cent in current fiscal.
i. According to official data, India’s growth rate slipped to 6.1 per cent in the January-March quarter and 7.1 per cent during 2016-17.
ii. According to HSBC Chief India Economist Pranjul Bhandari the growth will remain flat at 7.1 per cent in 2017-18.
iii. Regarding price rise, HSBC noted that a negative output gap is expected to keep inflation at low levels.
iv. Rural growth could come in high if rains are strong, but that would just about offset the weakness from other sectors.
v. According to the global financial services major, the GDP growth momentum is slowing since mid-2016 and this trend is expected to continue going forward.
Mumbai Metro collaborates with Google Maps for geographic details
Mumbai Metro has collaborated with Google Maps for geographic details.It has partnered with Google to display its services in Google Maps application.
i. It has been collaborated to bring convenience for the commuters.
ii. To publish authentic timetable information and associated geographic information of the Metro One stations in the app.
iii. The trip timings of each service operated by it are available in the Google Maps app.
iv. The commuters can get information of the train services which operate at a frequency of 4 minutes in peak hours and 8 minutes in non-peak.
RCom-Aircel merged company to be called Aircom, says Anil Ambani
Ambani has announced on 4th of june that RCom-Aircel merged company will be called Aircom.
i. After the completion of the proposed deal Reliance Communications has finally announced that the new RCom- Aircel merged entity will be called Aircom.
ii. The company also said that its lenders have agreed to a strategic restructuring plan under which it will get a 7-month to service loans amounting to Rs 45,000 crore.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
AP’s Vizianagaram bags MGNREGA National Award
The Ministry of Rural Development has selected Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh as one among the 17 districts across the nation for the MGNREGA annual award for effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act during 2015-16.
Achievements of Vizianagaram under MGNREGA:
i. Works for 361668 households were generated in 2015-16 and Rs. 483.42 crore as wages were disbursed.
ii. Over 5000 farm ponds, 240 rain water harvesting structures, and 440 water shed works were executed.
iii. 3,427 minor irrigation tanks were de-silted and restored to their original capacity
iv. Using MGNREGA convergence grants, 154 fish- breeding units and an equal number of vegetable pandals, besides fodder production, sericulture, and development of horticulture in 5,000 acres of land were taken up.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India successfully test-fires 1st all weather tracked-chassis QR-SAM
India has successfully test-fired its first all-weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) on 4th of June.
i. The test was carried out for validating various parameters of the sophisticated weapon system to strengthen its air defence system.
ii. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast at Chandipur at around 12:39 p.m. local time.
iii. The missile system has the potential to engage multiple targets within a range of approximately 30 km, with the configuration of two vehicles for area air defence.
iv. The missile is equipped for quick reaction and the system is all weather enabled, a network-centric one, which is also capable of search-on-the-move.
v. The missile is a truck-mounted one with 360 degree rotatable, electronic-mechanically operated, turret-based launch unit.
vi. The Maitri missile project is a next-generation quick-reaction surface-to-air missile (QRSAM).
SpaceX launches 1st recycled supply ship
On June 3, 2017, SpaceX successfully launched its first recycled supply ship to the International Space Station (ISS).
i. SpaceX’s Falcon rocket lifted off carrying Dragon capsule, which was loaded with nearly 6000 pounds of scientific research and station supplies.
ii. It will reach ISS on June 5, 2017. It is the second time the Dragon has been sent to ISS.
iii. SpaceX hopes to reduce launch costs by reusing its rockets and capsules.
iv. Dragon will stay connected to the ISS until early July 2017 and will allow astronauts to unpack the spacecraft and refill it with completed experiments and hardware no longer necessary onboard.
v. The Falcon was first expected to liftoff on June 1, 2017, but the date was pushed back due to unfavourable weather condition.
♦ Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company
♦ Headquarters: Hawthorne, California, United States
Praneeth wins Thailand Grand Prix Gold Title
B Sai Praneeth beat Indonesian Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 to win the Thailand Grand Prix Gold on 4th of June.
i. Match had lasted one hour and 11 minutes.
ii. The 24th-ranked Praneeth had reached the final by beating local lad Pannawit Thongnuam of Thailand.
iii. This is his second title in 2017.
iv. He had previously won the Singapore Super Series.He becomes the fourth Indian to win a Super Series title.
vi. He was also runner-up at the Syed Modi International Grand Prix where he lost to compatriot Sameer Verma in the final.
vii. He also won the Canada Open in 2016.
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed across the world on 4 June 2017.
i. It focuses on victims of the 1982 Lebanon War.
ii. It was established on 19 August 1982.
iii. This day provides an opportunity to the world to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.
iv. The day also affirms the commitment of the United Nations (UN) to protect the rights of children.