June, 2018

Tata Steel approves JV with Thyssenkrupp

The board of Tata Steel has approved the terms to create a 50:50 joint venture of Tata Steel’s European steel businesses and Thyssenkrupp AG. The JV would create it second-largest steelmaker after steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal’s ArcelorMittal in Europe. The company plans to produce 35,000 million tonnes steel used in transformers for power sector against the current capacity of 10,000 mt.

Aadhaar Virtual ID to be started from July 1

UIDAI has recently declared to accept Virtual ID from their users from 1st July from service providers and agencies like banks and telecom companies. This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number.

Fiscal deficit hits 55% due to higher capex

30 : The Centre’s fiscal deficit for the first two months of the fiscal year 2018-19 stood at Rs 3.45 trillion, this is a sign of growing economy. The fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 is Rs 6.24 trillion, or 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit.

NITI Aayog releases first Delta ranking

NITI Aayog has launched the first Delta ranking (incremental progress) for the Aspirational Districts. The ranking is based on self-reported data of districts across 5 developmental areas of Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development & Basic Infrastructure. The ranking is a tool to identify sectors and indicator specific challenges.

GNFC: 1st in India to use Blockchain Tech

GNFC (Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals) crosses another milestone by using Fertilizer subsidy disbursement through blockchain technology. NITI Aayog & GNFC signed a statement of Intent to implement a proof-of-concept using the Blockchain technology. Farmers will be benefited as the process transparency is evident, transactions cannot be altered and digital fraud can be altered.

Dutee Chand sets new national record in 100m

Dutee Chand broke her 100m national record at 58th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships at Guwahati. The 22-year-old Dutee, representing Odisha, ran 11.29 sec in the semifinal race to better her national record of 11.30sec and later clinched the gold in 11.32sec. She has already qualified the 2018 Asian games which will be held in Jakarta and Palembang.

Mumbai is 5th-least punctual airport : Report

According to the British aviation intelligence firm OAG, Mumbai is the fifth-least punctual airport in the world in terms of on-time performance out of 513 airports. Japan’s Nagoya Komaki airport was ranked the best with 94.5% on-time performance during the 12-month period. The top Indian airport on the list was Port Blair, which recorded 84.6 per cent on-time performance and ranked 65.

IISc to boost science start-up incubation

The Indian Institute of Science plans to open a research park at its Bengaluru facility within the next three years to incubate sci-tech companies. These parks would include simulators used for endoscopy, microsatellites to access the Internet at lower costs, a medical diagnostic kit. The institute collaborations with companies such as TCS, Volvo, Google, General Motors, Boeing etc.

Agriculture JWG between Gujarat and Israel

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel and announced a joint working group in the fields of agriculture and allied sectors. The initiative is taken as a step to double the farmers’ income by 2022. This Agriculture Plan would also explore opportunities for using the hi-tech protective cultivation and precision farming methods of Israel.

World Bank: Maha most vulnerable to climate

Maharashtra is among the states where people’s standards of living are most vulnerable to climate change, says a World Bank study released, titled “South Asia’s Hotspots”. The study projects that India could shave off 2.8% of GDP by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions continue unmitigated. Many districts will see 9% – 11% decline in standards of living with Chandrapur district topping at 12.4%.

Suresh Prabhu launches Mobile App ‘ReUnite’

Union Minister of Commerce, Suresh Prabhu launched a mobile app called ReUnite which helps to track and trace missing children. The app provides facility to parents and citizens where they can upload pictures of children, and provide detailed description like name, birthmark. This initiative comes under Bachpan Bachao Andolan, the movement for the protection of children.

Govt notifies Electoral Bond Scheme 2018

Govt has recently notified Electoral Bonds, which may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. Political Parties registered under Section 29A of Representation of People Act, 1951 shall be eligible to receive Electoral Bonds. Electoral Bonds shall be valid for 15 days from the date of issue & no payment shall be made after the expiry date.

RIL acquire Radisys Corp for $74 million

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has entered into definitive agreement to acquire Nasdaq-listed Radisys Corp for $1.72 per share in cash. The deal size works out to be ?510 crore based on current outstanding equity share impact. This acquisition further accelerates Jio’s global innovation and technology leadership in the areas of 5G, IOT and open source architecture adoption.

India exports Rs 18,000-crore worth spices

India exported a record 10,28,060 tonnes of spices and spice products valued at Rs 17,929.55 crore in 2017-18. There is an increase of 8% in volume and 1% in rupee terms in the year ended March 2018, compared to the previous financial year. The export of value-added products like curry powder/paste, spice oils and oleoresins also increased in volume and value during the period.

Economic sanctions on Russia

European Union leaders have agreed at a summit in Brussels to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine for a further six months. The sanctions target whole sectors of the Russian economy including its oil businesses. The EU first imposed the sanctions on Russia in July 2014 after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014 was shot down over Ukraine.

Hyderabad to have UAE consulate

CM Rao has discussed with Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs to come up with a consulate in Hyderabad. The consulate will further strengthen ties between Telangana and UAE. The minister also lauded various achievements of Telangana government by creating Asia’s biggest lift irrigation project at Kaleshwaram.

Govt to link 22,000 rural markets to e-NAM

Centre has announced that 22,000 rural markets would be linked to Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) by 2020 as part of its drive to double the income of farmers. These rural markets will be upgraded to Gramin Agricultural Markets & linked with e-NAM to enable farmers to sell directly to potential buyers. e-NAM is an electronic unified national market for agricultural commodities

Arunachal to repeal anti-conversion law

BJP-ruled Arunachal Pradesh is likely to repeal the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act or the Anti-Conversion Law which was passed in 1978. The law was adopted to check Proselytism: an act of attempting to convert people to another religion or opinion. But now the govt thinks that it is undermining secularism. Arunachal was the 3rd State after Odisha and MP to enact this law.

Kerala govt signs MoU with Nissan

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Kerala government and Nissan officials to boost digital operations. The first phase of the digital hub will come up over 30 acres of land in Technocity, 20 kilometres outside Thiruvananthapuram. The company is looking at providing 500 direct jobs by the end of April 2019 with indirect employment for software development.

B.Sriram resigns as SBI MD

SBI managing director B. Sriram has resigned from his post after being appointed as the chief executive of IDBI Bank. The news assumes significance amid reports that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is weighing acquiring a majority stake in the debt-ridden IDBI Bank. Sriram is the longest-serving public sector bank MD and has wide experience, including in stressed assets management.

Climate change may cost India 2.8% of GDP

According to a World Bank report, changing monsoon patterns & rising temperatures driven by climate change could cost India 2.8% of GDP. Climate change could depress the living standards of nearly half of India’s population by 2050, which now lives in vulnerable areas. The worst hit would be people in 10 districts in Central India, which have been identified as severe hotspots by the report.

Indian money in Swiss banks rises 50%

Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50% to Swiss Francs (CHF) 1.01 billion (?7,000 crore) in 2017, reversing a three-year downward trend. The surge comes as a surprise given India’s continuing clampdown on suspected black money stashed abroad. The Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by 45% in 2016, marking their biggest ever yearly plunge.

Doodle celebrates Mahalanobis’ 125th birthday

Google has dedicated a doodle to celebrates statistician and scientist Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis’ 125th birth anniversary. He was born on 29 June 1893 in West Bengal, Mahalanobis is known for his pioneering work in statistics. He remembered by the “Mahalanobis distance”, a way of measurement used in population studies and was one of the members of the 1st Planning Commission of India.

1st government blockchain centre in Hyderabad

The Centre has decided to set up a Centre of Excellence for blockchain technology in Hyderabad to drive innovation. The Centre of Excellence proposed to come up at C-DAC’s Hyderabad unit. The plan is to use blockchain technology to digitise and secure land records for Telangana. ICICI Bank was the first to execute transactions using Blockchain technology.

BHEL and Korean firm work on curbing emission

BHEL has inked a pact with South Korean firm NANO Co Ltd for design and manufacture emission control devices. The Technology Collaboration Agreement (TCA) with NANO Co is for design and manufacture of SCR Catalysts for De-NOx application in coal-fired plants. In India, there is a 32% increase in SO2 levels and 34% rise in PM2.5 levels.

N.Korea: ‘worst human trafficking country’

According to the annual ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’, North Korea has been ranked as worst human trafficking country in the world, along with China, Russia and Iran. The report said that the North Korean govt continued to use forced labour in prison camps. South Korea has been ranked at the highest category for the 16th consecutive year, along with US, UK, France and Canada.

National Centre at AIIMS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone for the National Centre for AIIMS in New Delhi. The Multi-Speciality healthcare will have 200 general ward beds. Mr Modi also inaugurated the 555 bed Super Speciality Block in Safdarjung Hospital. Mr Modi inaugurated the Connection Motorable Tunnel between AIIMS, Ansari Nagar and Trauma Centre.

India and Uzbekistan to boost ties

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Suhrob Rustamovich Kholmuradov in New Delhi. Both sides discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields including Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Construction, Information and Communication Technology, innovation and tourism. The current President of Uzbekistan is Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

World Bank to aid $480 million to Rohingyas

The World Bank decided to provide $480 million in aid to Bangladesh to address the needs of Rohingya refugees. The aid would include health, education, water & sanitation and other spheres. Nearly 7 lakh Muslim Rohingya have taken shelter from violence in Myanmar in Bangladesh, making it the world’s fastest-growing refugee camp. There are nearly 40000 Rohingya refugees in India as of 2017.

India-Nordic partnership to curb Pollution

Sweden to come up with innovative technology to address the issue of stubble-burning in parts of north India that leads to pollution. Finland & India are also working on converting rice paddy to fibre that can be used for making clothes. Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The partnership comes after India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm in April 2018.

World’s 1st medicine made from marijuana

Epidolex is the world’s first medicine made from marijuana. The drug does not cause intoxication or a high and is approved by US FDA. It is created by GW Pharmaceuticals. It is an oral solution of cannabidiol (OSC) will be used to cure severe forms of epilepsies in children. The New England Journal of Medicine had first provided the evidence that marijuana can cure epilepsy.

Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for students

Ayush Ministry is in the process of introducing Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for Sanskrit students. This initiative will help in identifying the medicines and ayurvedic practices from the Sanskrit scriptures that are unexplored. The Ministry AYUSH is a govt body purposed with developing, education and research in Ayurveda, yoga and homoeopathy.

MP to be awarded for reducing MMR

Madhya Pradesh will be awarded for reducing maternal mortality under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign. An unprecedented 48-digit decline in maternal deaths in Madhya Pradesh has been registered. The maternal mortality rate was 221 in the year 2011-13, which has now dropped down further to just 173.

Mount Agung volcano erupts in Bali

Bali closed its international airport Friday after Mount Agung volcano began spewing volcanic ash and vapor higher than two kilometers (6,500 feet) into the air. Over 300 flights have been canceled, according to airport authorities, impacting the travel plans of thousands of people. Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region and lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” .

ICICI Bank gets new part-time chairman

ICICI Bank has appointed former bureaucrat Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as its non-executive part-time chairman. Chaturvedi is a 1977-batch IAS officer, who retired as the Oil Secretary in January 2013. The term of M K Sharma, the current chairman of ICICI Bank, ends on June 30.

TAC Security launches ESOF

India and USA-based cyber security solutions provider TAC Security has announced a new platform, ESOF (Enterprise Security on One Framework). It would provide organisations to manage their entire IT security and risk assessment needs in one single platform. According to the latest reports the cyber security market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19% during 2018-2023.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw elected to MIT board

India’s biotech queen Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has been elected as a full-term member of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Shaw is also ranked among the world’s most influential people in bio-pharma by Forbes magazine. Shaw was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2006.

Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki on July 16

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold their 1st summit on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. The 2 leaders will discuss relations between US and Russia and a range of national security issues. It meeting would also entail high-level talks on US sanctions on Russia and Russia’s rejoining the Group of Seven industrialised countries to make it the G8 again.

Pipeline across Maha Prosperity Corridor

29 : Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has proposed setting up a natural gas pipeline along the Maharashtra Prosperity Corridor. The corridor will be an eight-lane 701-km hi-speed super communication expressway between Nagpur and Mumbai. The Rs 46,000 crore project is being planned to boost agro-industries and port-led developments in the state.

Cabinet approves MoU between India & Singapore

Union Cabinet has given its nod to a Memorandum of Understanding between India & Singapore for cooperation in urban planning and development. The agreement will facilitate government agencies to tap into expertise offered by Singaporean agencies in urban development and management. MoU aims is to facilitate government bodies like municipal corporations to help in rejuvenation of urban areas.

U.S. postpones 2+2 dialogue with India

US has postponed its inaugural 2+2 dialogue with India, citing “unavoidable reasons”. The dialogue was to be held on July 6, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman were to take part in the meeting with US secretary of state Michael Pompeo and secretary of defence James Mattis. The meeting was expected to focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defence cooperation.

FATF puts Pak on ‘grey list’

Global anti-terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force has decided to keep Pakistan on its ‘grey list’. US motion, to have Pakistan added to grey list of countries was reportedly backed by Britain, France & Germany. Pakistan was previously on the grey list from 2012 to 2015. FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering & terrorist financing.

Govt proposes to replace UGC

Government has unveiled draft of a bill to replace higher education regulator University Grants Commission with a Higher Education Commission. The commission will not have grant-making authority, will promote reduced inspection system & will focus on quality outcome at universities & colleges. It will be applicable to all higher education institutions established under any act of Parliament.

Sagarmala receives Gold Award at Skoch Summit

The Ministry of Shipping’s flagship programme for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ received the ‘Gold Award’ at 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi. The Skoch Awards recognize leadership and excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes. Sagarmala is the programme of govt for port-led-development of the country through harnessing 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of navigable waterways.

Govt funds ECGC, NEIA to boost exports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the capital infusion of Rs 2000 crore in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) and Rs 1040 cr to National Export Insurance Account Trust (NEIA). The capital infusion of ` 2000 crore in ECGC would to boost exports and benefit MSMEs in the country. The grant to NEIA would promote infrastructure for export projects.

Chaudhary sets would record at ISSF 2018

Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary set a new world record on the way to winning a gold medal in the ISSF Junior World Cup 2018 in Suhl, Germany. Saurabh shot a total of 243.7 in the 10m air pistol event at International Shooting Sports Federation tournament. The junior world record prior to this was 242.5 by Chinese shooter Wang Zhehao at the first ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney.

WCD Ministry to organise TECH-THON 2018

Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India will organize a seminar on technology partnerships for steering POSHAN Abhiyaan called ‘TECH-THON’ in Delhi. The seminar aims to discuss technology and also share an overview of POSHAN Abhiyaan and combat malnutrition. POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched by the Prime Minister on 8th March 2018 in, Rajasthan.

J.P. Nadda inaugurates the NIMHANS Academy

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the NIMHANS Digital Academy. The Academy will train 50 people in the virtual classroom with a cell phone/mobile phone with 3G connection required at the receiver’s end. It will serve the purpose of mental health care needs and will increase the capacity of human resources for mental health by training doctors, nurses.

1st Inter-state translocation proj. of tigers

In the country’s 1st inter-state translocation of tigers project, a female cub was shifted from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, MP to Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Odisha. India has a population of 3891 tigers, according to 2016 census. The ambitious project is conceived by the Ministry of Environment, National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India to boost tiger population.

Govt hikes ethanol price by Rs 3 per litre

The government hiked the price of ethanol, used for doping in petrol, by almost Rs 3 per litre to Rs 43.70. This move is to cut India’s oil import dependence as well as give the higher price for sugarcane to farmers. The govt has approved the mechanism for procurement of ethanol by public sector oil marketing companies to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme.

National Statistics Day on 29th June

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will attend the closing ceremony of the 125th birth anniversary of Professor P. C. Mahalanobis on Statistics Day on 29th June. The theme of 2018 is – Quality Assurance in Official Statistics. The objective of the celebration is to create public awareness about statistics in socio-economic planning, to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Mahalanobis.

RBL Bank raise stakes in SFPL to 100%

RBL Bank has fully acquired Mumbai-based microlender firm Swadhaar FinServe Pvt Ltd (SPFL)where it had 60.49% holding earlier. SFPL operates 331 branches across 16 states and two union territories and has an AUM (Assets under management) of around Rs 2,000 crore and reaches 750,000 customers. SFPL distributes loans and savings products, to low-income households and microenterprises.

Research institute to come up at Maghar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally and lay the foundation stone of a research institute at Maghar in Uttar Pradesh. This will mark the 500th death anniversary of Kabir Das, the mystic poet and saint. PM will visit the Sant Kabir cave and unveil a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the Kabir Academy.

India votes against the draft at OPCW meet

India has voted against the draft addressing the threat from chemical weapons use at a conference of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The conference has been called by the UK, the US & the West to have discussions on upholding the global ban against the use of chemical weapons. India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OPCW is Venu Rajamony.

Fourth National Consultation of Ministers

The fourth National Consultation Meeting of Ministers of States & UTs, in-charge of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is being held on 29th June 2018 in New Delhi. The meeting will be chaired by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs. The consultation will be on measures for improving consumer protection and welfare including Public Distribution System etc.

India signed JDI with Germany in Aviation

28 : The Cabinet signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation. The Declaration will lead to the promotion of the effective and efficient development of air transport between India and Germany. It would cover Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Management, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services and Training and Skills Development.

Caninet approves MoU with Denmark

The Cabinet gave approval for the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Denmark in the field of animal husbandry and dairy. Under this, a joint working group consisting of representatives from both the countries will be created to formulate joint programmes. This will facilitate the exchange of knowledge & expertise in the areas of animal breeding, animal health.

15th India-Australia Ministerial Commission

The 15th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was held on 25th June 2018, in Canberra, Australia. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Commerce & Industry & Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu & Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment Steven Ciobo. A MoU was signed between Austrade and Invest-India in order to facilitate bilateral investment flows.

Sanitation Plan for Swachh Iconic Places

Institutions of 10 selected heritage sites of the country created action plans for raising their sanitation standards. The plans were formulated at a 2-day consultation in Hyderabad held between Central and State Government agencies, local administrations & the Trusts of the iconic places. The Swachh Iconic Places initiative aims to achieve a distinctly higher level of sanitation at places.

EAM Sushma Swaraj launched Passport Seva app

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched Mobile Passport Application on the occasion of 6th Passport Seva Divas on 26 June 2018 in New Delhi. Through mPassportSeva app, people can apply for a passport from any part of the country. Police verification will be done on the address, provided by the applicant on the app, another step towards simplification of passport service to people.

Mumbai costlier than Washington and Melbourne

According to a Mercer survey, Mumbai is the most expensive city in India to live in for expatriates as compared to Washington and Melbourne. Hong Kong is ranked as the world’s costliest city to live in for expatriates, followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore, and Seoul. Bengaluru, which has a high population of expatriates is getting more reasonable on cost of living.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley visits India

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley is on a 2-day visit to India. Haley will meet with senior Indian government officials, NGO leaders, and the interfaith community to underscore the United States’ shared values and a strong alliance with the people of India. She is the first Indian-American to serve in a Cabinet-level position in any US presidential administration.

EPFO changes provision for withdrawing funds

Retirement fund body EPFO provided an option to withdraw 75% of their funds after 1 month of unemployment. The members would also have an option to withdraw remaining 25% of their funds and go for final settlement of account after completion of 2 months of unemployment. These provisions are done under the Employee Provident Fund Scheme 1952.

Naval exercise RIMPAC to begin in Hawaii

The world’s largest biennial multilateral naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) will begin on 27th June off cost Hawaii in the Western Pacific Ocean. Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri will participate in the 26th edition of RIMPAC exercise. India’s participation in the exercise provides a platform for increased interoperability and understanding of maritime security operations.

China to cut tariffs on soybean from India

China will cut import tariffs on soybean and some other goods from India and four other Asian nations from July 1. China will reduce tariffs on soybean imported from India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Laos, and Sri Lanka from 3% to zero. This comes as a step to escalate ongoing trade war as the US is a major supplier of soybeans to China.

ISRO to find nuclear fuel on moon

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a rover in October 2018 through Chandrayaan 2 to explore virgin territory on the lunar surface & analyze crust samples for signs of water & helium-3. The isotope is abundant on the moon and could meet global energy demands for 250 years. The rover is powered by solar energy & will collect information for 14 days on the surface of the moon

Jai Hind 1-S: World’s lightest satellite

Four students of Chennai build the world’s lightest and cheapest satellite weighing just 33.39 grams. The name of the satellite is ‘Jai Hind 1-S’ and would be launched in August 2018. It analyses data like temperature, UV density and vapour pressure, at various points of the satellite’s upward journey. This will help in research and the better understanding of the environment in outer space.

India records highest number of IPOs globally

Indian exchanges recorded the highest IPO activity as the country saw 90 IPO launches that raised $3.9 billion. The exchanges account for 16% of the total issues in the first half of 2018. Out of 90 deals that listed, 15 listed both on NSE & BSE result in 93% of the total proceeds. The financial sector, infrastructure and consumer companies with strong growth continue to boost IPO activity.

RBI’s Financial Stability Report on NPA’s

The Reserve Bank of India’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) has warned that gross Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of troubled banks are likely to rise from 11.6% in March 2018 to 12.2% by March 2019. Gross NPAs of banks have already crossed the Rs 10,00,000 crore mark in the fiscal ended March 2018. The system-level capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) may come down from 13.5% to 12.8%.

DBS Bank to launch subsidiary in India

DBS Bank of Singapore will launch its subsidiary in India in Oct 2018, the 2nd foreign bank in the country to convert its local operations. The bank has invested another ` 500 Cr in March 2018 to take the total capital in India to Rs 5000 Cr and plans to expand to 50 branches. State Bank of Mauritius was the 1st to open a local subsidiary after RBI came out with the regulations in 2013.

S. Ramesh appointed as Chairman of CBIC

S Ramesh has been appointed as Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes. Ramesh, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service had mandated with the responsibility of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The CBIC, which works under the Finance Ministry, is headed by a Chairman and can has 6 members.

British Queen approves Brexit law

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth granted royal assent to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit legislation on 26th June. The debate over the legislation will formally end the country’s European Union membership. The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act through which Britain had become a member of EU. The Brexit day in British law slated as March 29, 2019.

PSB’s account for 85% of bank fraud cases

Public Sector Banks accounted for a staggering 85% of nearly 6,500 fraud cases, amounting to more than Rs 30,000 Cr. Top 10 banking frauds in 2018 alone lead to a financial loss of ` 10,000 Cr. Banks had reported nearly 5,000 frauds amounting to ` 20,000 Cr in the fiscal year 2017. The PSB’s have a disproportionate share of over 85%, exceeding their business share of about 65% to 75%.

Haddad and Nabarro win World Food Prize

Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro win 2018 World Food Prize. The World Food Prize was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize scientists and others who have improved the quality and availability of food. The two men who have worked to provide availability of nutritious food for pregnant women and children to reduce malnutrition in developing countries.

India pledges $5 Million for Palestinian aid

India has pledged USD 5 million in assistance to UN agency working for welfare of Palestinian refugees to help bolster its severe funding crisis. A total of 20 countries, including India, announced contributions to the 2018 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. UNRWA relies entirely on voluntary contributions from states & US is the largest contributor.

Oxytocin formulations ban from 1st July 2018

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations for domestic use to public sector only from 1st July 2018. Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use. Oxytocin helps with birth & milk production not only in humans but also in cattle such as buffalo, cows.

President launched the Solar Charkha Mission

27 : President, Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission which will cover 50 clusters and employ 400 to 2000 artisans. A portal of the Ministry of MSME called “Sampark” was also unveiled by the President. “Udyam Sangam” is a step forward towards consolidating synergy of all the govt initiatives relating to MSME Sector.

NASA’s Webb Telescope to study Great Red Spot

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will use infrared capabilities to study Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. The plan is to use Webb’s mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) to create multispectral maps of the Great Red Spot and analyse its thermal, chemical and cloud structures. The Great Red Spot is a storm has been monitored since 1830 and has existed for more than 350 years.

Lewis Hamilton won French Grand Prix 2018

26 : Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the world championship lead with a victory in the French Grand Prix 2018. Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton MBE (born 7 January 1985) is a British racing driver who races in Formula One for Mercedes AMG Petronas. The Mercedes driver led from start to finish other than one lap around his pit stop to move 14 points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth.

Govt proposes to set up 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras

The government has proposed to set up 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 self-help groups across the country under the Van Dhan Scheme. It aims to skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce. Van Dhan Mission is an initiative for targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing non-timber forest produces.

India, Seychelles to work on Assumption Island

India & Seychelles have agreed to work together on a project to develop a naval base at Assumption Island keeping each other’s concerns in mind. India is keen on developing the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean to expand its footprint in a strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its presence. An agreement for the same was inked in 2015 between India & Seychelles.

International Day against Drug Abuse

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed every year on 26 June to strengthen global action to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The theme for the 2018 year is: “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” This day was first observed by the UN General Assembly in 1987.

India and Seychelles signed 6 agreements

India and Seychelles signed six MoUs in areas of naval cooperation, cybersecurity, culture, development projects. India extended a line of credit worth 100 million USD for Seychelles. India would also provide special grants in civilian infrastructure projects and enhance defence and maritime capabilities. PM also handed over a replica of Dornier Aircraft to President of Seychelles.

Doodle celebrates Gauhar Jaan’s birthday

Google doodle features legendary musician and dancer Gauhar Jaan, the first Indian recording artist. Gauhar Jaan was born Angelina Yeoward to an Armenian Christian father and an Indian Jewish mother. She was born on 26 June 1873. She has over 200 records to her credit. ‘My Name Is Gauhar Jaan! The Life and Times of A Musician’ is a biography written by Vikram Sampath.

NIIF to roll out $2 billion fund

The National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF) unveiled a $2-billion long-term fund to finance megaprojects. The NIIF already has 2 operational funds – the NIIF master fund that invests directly in companies & a fund of funds that invests in funds that are managed by 3rd parties. The 3rd fund would cater to India’s long-term infra needs. NIIF’s MD and CEO is Sujoy Bose.

35th CSMC Meeting of PMAY

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 3 lakh more affordable houses for urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) at 35th Central Sanctioning And Monitoring Committee (CSMC). The total investment is of Rs. 8,692 Cr with central assistance of Rs.3,782 Cr. After including Rajiv Awas Yojana, the total number of houses under PMAY(U) would be 51 lakhs.

India’s first ‘Tribal Queen’ : Pallavi Darua

Pallavi Durua, who belongs to Odisha’s Koraput district, was crowned as the first Tribal Queen at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition held at Utkal Mandap. The contest was organised by SC & ST department, Govt of Odisha and the State Tourism Department. Tribal population constitutes nearly 22.5% of the Odisha’s population.

41 lakh new jobs created in 8months: CSO

Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the employment-related statistics in the formal sector for eight months beginning from September 2017. The year witnessed new payrolls of over 6.8 Lakhs were recorded by Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The estimated total number of new National Pension Scheme subscribers during the same period is over 5 lakhs.

Telangana allocates 15 Cr for Bonalu festival

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao instructed officials to release Rs. 15 crore for organising Bonalu festival. Bonalu is an annual festival of Telangana celebrated in twin cities Hyderabad and Secunderabad and other parts of Telangana. It is celebrated in the month of Ashada Masam, in July/August. The current governor of Telangana is E. S. L. Narasimhan.

Ministry of Health signs MoU with IGNOU

Health Ministry has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to scale-up short-term healthcare courses and produce over 14 lakh trained manpower by 2025. The signing of MoU is under the existing framework of ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ initiative. The ministry will provide for financial assistance to IGNOU for initiating programmes.

India most dangerous country for women

According to Thomson Reuters Foundation survey, India is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour. The data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by 83% between 2007 & 2016 when there were four cases of rape reported every hour. The total global crime was worth an estimated $150 billion a year in India.

MSME Day to be celebrated on 27th June 2018

The Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will organize a National Conclave (UdyamSangam) on 27th June 2018 on the occasion of UN MSME Day. President Kovind will inaugurate the Conclave in Vigyan Bhawan. The MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores to artisans. The UN declared 27th June as MSME Day, recognizing the importance of MSME in the country’s economy.

Technip FMC wins special recognition from GCNI

TechnipFMC has received a special recognition award for their flagship community development initiative in India, ‘Seed of Hope’, at the 13th National Convention 2018 for developing Suva village in Dahej, Gujarat. The convention was held by Global Compact Network India on June 8 at Shangri-La, Bengaluru. The theme of the convention is Sustainable Development Goals: Blueprint for action.

NASA’s ECOSTRESS to correct water imbalances

ECOSTRESS, an instrument on the International Space Station (ISS) will measure the temperature of plants from space to determine plant water use & to study how drought conditions affect plant health. ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will monitor evapotranspiration. It is a part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program.

BRO opens bridge from Leh to Siachen

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on opened a vital 35-meter bridge in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir that will ease vehicular movement to the base camp of Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield. The 35-meter long ‘Chamesahn’ bridge is under Project HIMANK. The BRO develops road networks in border areas & maintains over 32,885 km of roads & 12,200 m of bridges.

Oil India discovered hydrocarbon in KG Basin

Oil India Limited (OIL), a state-owned PSU has made its second hydrocarbon discovery in Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin. Thanelanka-1 is the first high pressure-high temperature (HP-HT) well drilled by OIL. Earlier, the company made a gas discovery at Dangeru-l well in the block. In 2017-18, OIL produced 3.39 metric million tonnes (MMT) of crude oil and 2.93 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas.

India-US 2+2 Dialogue

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold talks with their American counterparts Mike Pompeo and James Mattis. The maiden India-US 2+2 Dialogue will be held on July 6, 2018. The key issues that would be discussed would include counterterrorism, cybersecurity, defence cooperation, and regional security.

Delhi HC orders halt on cutting 17000 trees

25 : A controversial project that requires the cutting of 17,000 trees in Delhi. The NBCC also deposited Rs. 8 crores with the tree authority of the Delhi government for permission to cut trees. Petitioner KK Mishra, asks the court to stop the central government project to cut thousands of trees for the redevelopment of 7 colonies in south Delhi. HC halts the cutting of trees till July 4 2018.

President Tayyip Erdogan returns to power

President Tayyip Erdogan of Justice and Development Party has declared victory in Turkey’s Presidential election. He was earlier President and Prime Minister of Turkey for 15 years. He has now become first executive President of the country. He has secured a majority of 52.5% against Muharrem Ince, of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), received 30.8% of the votes.

Deepika won gold at Salt Lake World Cup

Archer Deepika Kumari won her first individual gold medal in six years at the Salt Lake World Cup following a 7-3 win over Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the recurve final. The last time she won at a stage event on the international circuit goes back to Antalya in 2012. She had won a gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth games in the women’s individual recurve event.