“JIGYASA” – Student-Scientist connect programme launched
On July 6, 2017, ‘JIGYASA’, a student- scientist connect programme was officially launched in New Delhi. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme.
i. MoU signing ceremony was held in the presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan – Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Mr. Prakash Javadekar – Minister of Human Resource Development.
ii. Focus of ‘JIGYASA’ programme is to connect school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning.
Health Ministry holds 4th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems
On July 6, 2017, Ms. Sumitra Mahajan – Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha inaugurated the 4th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices and Innovations in Public Health Care Systems at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
i. C K Mishra, Secretary (Health) mentioned that the summit has been held in the backdrop of two important events, one, shifting of goals from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the other is announcement of National Health Policy, 2017.
ii. During the Summit, the Health Ministry also gave away awards to the States and UTs on the basis of Health Indicators and Service Delivery.
Punjab unveils new transport policy to ‘overhaul system’
Private bus operators in Punjab, including the Badals, may run into financial troubles with the Congress Government’s “new” transport policy which was approved on 5th July,2017. It also abolished the system of district transport officers (DTO) and restructuring the transport department.
i. A special task force of the vigilance department has been set up and the state police to crack down on all illegall buses. It will complete its function in two phases.
ii. Permits issued under this scheme will be valid for a period of five years from the date of issue and shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of renewal
India’s tough anti-hijacking law comes into force
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, piloted the anti -hijacking law on 5th July .The new Anti-Hijacking Act replaces a 1982-vintage law.The new law covers offences against an aircraft or personnel even when it is on ground.
i. The defaulters of hijacking would now be punishable with death penalty where such an act results in the death of “any person”.
ii. The definition has been expanded to include death of “security personnel on board” or “ground support staff” as well.
iii. In other cases of hijacking, guilty will be punished withimprisonment for life and fine.
iv. Those who direct others to commit such offence will also be considered under the offence of hijacking.
v. The new law mandates the central government to take strict actions against any officer of the central government or National Investigation Agency (NIA) in such case.
Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres to be established in 100 districts of the country: Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on 6th July said that Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres will be established in 100 districts of the country which will effectively ensure employment oriented skill development of youth belonging to Minority communities.
i. In next six months, job oriented skill training centres in various fields, will be established in Hyderabad, Noida, Lucknow, Jaipur, Nagpur, Aurangabad and in many more states.
ii. Along with this ,Ministry of Minority Affairs will launch a mega education campaign Tahrik-e-Taleem. The campaign will be launched on 15th October, the birth anniversary of former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
iii. About 100 Navoday Vidyalaya type schools will be opened in Minority concentrated areas.
iv. The Ministry of Minority Affairs is in the process to establish 5 world class educational institutions to provide better education to students belonging to Minority communities in technical, medical, Ayurved, Unani
“No detention policy” to go away from next academic year: HRD ministry
Union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said on 6th July in Agartala that the government has decided to do away with the no-detention policy for students from the next academic session.
i. The decision was taken as the standard of education has deteriorated because of the policy.
ii. The no-fail provision has been laid down under Section 16 of the RTE Act 2009, and prohibits schools from detaining or expelling any student up to Class VIII.
iii. The minister said the state governments will decide if they want to continue with the policy or remove it.
iv. Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey is a Minister of State for Human Resource Development in Government of India(Higher Education)
Trilateral Malabar exercise begins in chennai
The Trilateral Malabar exercise begins in Chennai on 7th July 2017. The U.S., Indian and Japanese maritime forces will be participating in the Malabar Naval Exercise 2017
i. Naval ships, aircraft and personnel from India, Japan and the United States will participate in exercise Malabar 2017.
ii. Malabar naval exercise 2017 will continue till 17th July and will address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
iii. The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training.
iv. While ashore in Chennai, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, and many other important factors.
v. At sea portions will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal and are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment.
vi. This exercise helps to advance the level of understanding between Sailors and continuing to strengthen our bonds and personal.
vii. The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships JS Izumo (DDH 183) and JS Sazanami (DD113) will be participating in the exercise.
viii. Participants from the U.S. Navy include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Air Wing 11; the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59); guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), and USS Kidd (DDG 100); a P-8A Poseidon aircraft; and a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries established GST Facilitation Cell
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has established a four member GST Facilitation Cell on 7th of July 2017.
i. It has been established to guide the industry about the new tax rule.
ii. The members of the GST Facilitation Cell can be accessed through Toll Free No 1800111175 or on #AskonGSTFPI.
iii. The cell will be headed by Shri Bijaya Kumar Behera, Economic Advisor and Shri G Srinivasan, senior marketing officer, Shri S N Ahmed, Assistant Director, Shri Bikram Nath, Assistant Director as its Members.
iv. The ministry’s main purpose of creating GST cell to implementing and facilitating the rollout of GST with immediate effect.
v. The GST facilitation cell will provide all possible support for the rollout of the levy to the major industry and business associations related to MoFPI.
vi. This cell will address any issue being faced by any sector related to the ministry.
vii. The GST cell will be equipped with the complete knowledge of the relevant GST Act, rules, rate structure etc.
viii. The ministry has also planned to conduct seminars to disseminate information about the new tax regime.
India ranks 23 of 193 countries on Global Cyber security Index 2017 – UN
As per UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU),Cyber-Security Index, India ranks 23rd out of the 193 countries with a score of 0.683 . ITU is a specialised ICT agency under the United Nations that is responsible for allocation global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, along with developing technical network standards.
The top 5 most committed countries to cyber security are
BANKING & FINANCE
India likely to clock 6.9% GDP growth this fiscal – BMI Research
According to a report by BMI Research, Indian economy is expected to clock a real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.9% in this financial year.
i. India’s growth is expected to pick up in coming quarters by overriding the negative effects from the demonetisation drive in November 2016.
ii. The report outlined that Real GDP growth slowed substantially to 6.1% year-on-yearin the fourth quarter of 2016-17.Owing to structural slowdown in China, poor policy mix in Japan, and policy
India to be base to economic pole of global growth – Harvard study
As per a study presented by researchers at Centre for International Development (CID) atHarvard University, India will be the base to the economic pole of global growth over the coming decade, remaining ahead of China.
i. The study mentioned that India and Ugandatop the list of the fastest growing economies to 2025, at 7.7% annually.
ii. The study has warned of a continued slowdown in global growth over the coming decade.The projections are optimistic about new growth hubs in East Africa and new segments of South-East Asia, led by Indonesia and Vietnam.
RBI notifies norms to limit liability of consumers hit by transaction fraud
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6th July directed banks to credit the amount involved in the unauthorised electronic transaction within 10 working days to the account holder from the date of such notification by the customer (without waiting for settlement of insurance claim, if any).
i. RBI also said that banks need to ask their customers to mandatorily register for SMS alerts and e-mail alerts for electronic banking transactions.
ii. Reserve Bank of India has capped the customer liability at Rs 25,000 if they report unauthorised transactions within seven working days.
iii. Banks shall ensure that the resolution of a customer complaint does not exceed 90 days from the date of receipt of the complaint.
iv. Customers will have zero liability if there is a breach of the security architecture and systems of the bank, provided it is reported within three working days after receiving a communication from the bank .
v. The longer the time taken to notify the bank, the higher will be the risk of loss to the bank/ customer.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
♦ Headquarters- Mumbai
♦ Governer- Urjit Patel
RBI allows NBFCs to offer new pension scheme
The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has allowed Non Banking Finance Companies to sell and market the new pension scheme ( NPS).
♦ Those NBFCs which have asset size of Rs 500 crore and above that and have made a net profit in the preceding financial year are permitted to sell NPS to their clients after registration with the pension regulator.
♦ According to the RBI NPS subscription collected by them from the public is deposited on the day of collection itself with the trustee bank
i. Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 of India.
ii. NBFC is engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares, stock, bonds hire-purchase, insurance business or chit business.
iii. It does not include any institution whose principal business includes agriculture, industrial activity or the sale, purchase or construction of immovable property.
iv. The working and operations of NBFCs are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) within the framework of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 .
Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance ties up with Dhanlaxmi Bank for marketing bancassurance
Private life insurance company Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, has tied up with Dhanlaxmi Bank for marketing bancassurance on 7th July 2017.
i. All the life insurance products of Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance would be made available to customers of Dhanlaxmi Bank and would be sold by the licensed staff of the bank.
ii. As part of the agreement, the bank will be a corporate agent for 3 years.
iii. Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance has access to around 115 million customers and a pan-India network of over 9500 branches of the three shareholder banks.
iv. Dhanlaxmi Bank has a network of 260 branches and 371 ATMs covering 129 cities across India in 15 states and 1 union territory and a customer base of over 2 million.
v. Customers of Dhanlaxmi Bank will get access to bouquet of products that would cover their core financial needs and deliver good value through the range of solutions that the company offers.
Some More Points:
♦ Chief executive officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company Limited : Anuj Mathur.
♦ MD and CEO, Dhanlaxmi Bank: G. Sreeram.
MRP to be sole price decider from Jan 1, 2018
The Consumer Affairs Ministry has amended the rules that govern packaged commodities from 1st Jan. 2018. The price of a packaged good would no longer depend on where you bought it be it a local kirana store, a mall, a five-star hotel or an airport.
i. The Centre has clarified that the retail sale price shall be the maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes, with the provision to round off the price to the nearest rupee or 50 paise.
ii. A new legal provision has been inserted that no person shall declare different MRPs on an identical pre-packed commodity.
iii. The new norms also require sellers to enhance the size of letters and numerals for making declarations about the packaged goods, such as their “best before date, month and year” to indicate their shelf life.
iv .For e-commerce marketplaces, declaring the month and year in which a commodity is manufactured or packed is not mandatory.
v. If they fulfill certain conditions, they will not be held liable for whether the declarations were correct or incorrect
NALCO, IDCO to set up Aluminium Park in Angul, Odisha
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) have launched a joint venture company to set up an aluminium park at Angul.
i .The total investment will be Rs 180 crore will be made on infrastructure of the project which is expected to generate 15,000 jobs.
ii. Odisha currently contributes about 54% of India’s total aluminium smelting capacity.
iii. It is jointly developed by the Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco).
iv. Angul Aluminium Park will be the first project in the subcontinent with a facility to directly obtain molten aluminium from the smelter.
v. According to the report the new company, Angul Aluminium Park Pvt, will set up a aluminium downstream and ancillary complex over 200 acres of land adjacent to the Nalco’s smelter plant at Angul.
vi. Idco is reported to hold 50.5% stake in the new company, the rest 49.5% shares will be held by Nalco.
Odisha GK facts :
♦ National Park: Simlipal and Bhitarkanika
♦ Airport : Biju Patnaik International Airport
India slips to be fourth largest investor into UK
According to the official figures released on 6th July, India became the fourth-largest foreign investor into the UK. It slipped one position from 3rd to 4th.The data was based on the number of projects set up by various countries in UK.
i. The US remains on the top, investing in 577 projects in the UK
ii. China (including Hong Kong) remaining in second place with 160 projects . The third position is secured by france which set up 131 projects .
iii. India set up 127 new projects in Britain last year and safeguarded 7,645 existing jobs as a result and created 3,999 new jobs in 2016-17.
iv. India shares the fourth spot with Australia and New Zealand, which also set up 127 projects collectively.
v. Figures published by the Department for International Trade revealed that the UK attracted more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects than ever before for 2016-17. With more than 2,200 projects recorded, the post-Brexit figures show an increase of two per cent on the previous year. Overall, the UK claims the number one destination for inward investment in Europe.
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound sterling
♦ Prime minister: Theresa May
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Indian-origin man Guruswamy Jayraman awarded Australia’s highest civilian award
An Indian-origin man Guruswamy Jayraman was awarded Order of Australia for community work on 6th of July 2017. It is Australia’s highest civilian award.
i. Guruswamy Jayraman is a resident of Glenwood who migrated from Delhi to Australia in 1991.
ii. He holds a graduate diploma in health counselling and in medical terminology and counselling.
iii. He works as a senior accountant with Woollahra Municipal Council and spend most of his time in community work from last 25 years.
iv. Jayraman has received many awards like:
(a) Outstanding Services to Older Citizens Award from the Auburn Council in 2011.
(b) Service to the Indian Community and Seniors by the India Independence & Australia Day Celebration Committee in 2010.
(c) Community Services award from GOPIO Sydney in 2012.
v. He has also represented various community organisations like Auburn Diversity Services as chair, Hindu Council of Australia as treasurer, Sri Om Adi Sakhi Ashram – a non-for-profit health support system for the elderly.
vi. He was also awarded for his contributions for seniors in Western Sydney by the Minister for Ageing & Disability.
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian Dollar
♦ PM: Malcolm Turnbull
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Sanjiv Goenka picked again as IIT-Kharagpur chairman
Sanjiv Goenka, has been selected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Kharagpur. He will serve for three years.
i. This will be his second allotted period of work as the Chairman of Board of Governors. His previous stint being between 2002 and 2007.
ii. Goenka’s name was nominated by the President, Pranab Mukherjee.
Indian Ambassador to Peru Sandeep Chakravorty appointed New York Consul General
India’s Ambassador to Peru Sandeep Chakravorty has been appointed as the head of the Indian consulate in New York on 7th of July 2017.
i. Chakravorty was India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka, before being appointed as Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia.
ii .He also served in India’s missions in Madrid and Bogota.
iii. In the Ministry of External Affairs of India, he served on several desks including working as Press Relations Officer and to the minister of state for external affairs.
iv. Chakravorty also served in the Eurasia Division dealing with Central Asia and in the East Asia Division dealing with China, Japan, Koreas and Mongolia.
v. The 1996 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer will replace Riva Ganguly Das as Consul General in one of the busiest Indian diplomatic missions overseas.
♦ Capital: Lima
♦ Currency: Sol
♦ PM: Fernando Zavala Lombardi
♦ President: Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
Scientists discover reasons behind 2015 Chennai Floods
A study by the University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay suggests that the extreme El Nino that occurred in 2015 played an important role in Chennai’s heavy rainfall. After 1982 and 1997, the 2015 event also turned out to be an extreme El Nino event.
i. El Nino generally causes less than normal rainfall in the case of the southwest monsoon. In contrast, it brings about above-normal rainfall during the northeast monsoon. This is because of the difference in seasonal wind patterns between the two monsoons.
ii. Another factor that seems to have played an important role is the consistent warming of the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
India among 5 countries using wastewater for irrigation
India among top 5 countries using dirty wastewater farms the report has been published on 5th of July 2017.
i. India and four other countries are China, Pakistan, Mexico and Iran. These countries account for the most cropland in the world irrigated by dirty wastewater according to the new research has found.
ii. Researchers analysed data with geographic information systems (GIS).
iii. According to the study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the global use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50%.
iv. The study relies on advanced modelling methods to provide a comprehensive estimate of the global extent to which farmers use urban wastewater on irrigated cropland.
v. In most cases it is found that farmers’ use of this water is motivated by basic needs they simply do not have alternatives, the study showed.
vi. Results showed that 65% of all irrigated areas are within 40 km downstream of urban centres and are affected by wastewater flows to a large degree.
vii. Of the total area of 35.9 million hectares, 29.3 million hectares are in countries with very limited wastewater treatment, exposing 885 million urban consumers as well as farmers and food vendors to serious health risks.
Some More Points:
Global Forgiveness Day– July 7 2017
Global Forgiveness Day is observed on 7th July 2017. It is a day to forgive, and a day to be forgiven!
i. It was created in 1994 by the Christian Embassy of Christ’s Ambassadors. The date has been moved from August 27th to July 7th.
ii. Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments.
iii. Forgiveness is granted without any expectation of restorative justice, and without any response on the part of the offender.
iv. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven.