News

Bihar Govt. passes new liquor Amendment law

Bihar Govt. passes new liquor Amendment law
The Bihar Government unanimously passed an amendment law on liquor prohibition in the monsoon session of the state assembly. The amendment has been passed by voice vote in the assembly. Bihar implemented total ban on any type of liquor since 5 April 2016.

BRO completes strategic road in Bhutan

BRO completes strategic road in Bhutan
Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completed construction of a strategically key road in Bhutan. The road will connect Bhutan’s border town of Phuen-tshog-ling with its capital city of Thimphu. The new road is expected to reduce the travel time between Southern Bhutanese city of Phun-tsho-ling to Thimphu by one hour and reduce the journey by around 19.5 km of steep uphill driving.

28th meeting of GST council held

28th meeting of GST council held
The 28th meeting of GST council was held in New Delhi on 21st July 2018 under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs. Refrigerators, washing machines, Lithium-ion batteries, Vacuum cleaners were reduced from 28% to 18% tax rate. Sanitary Napkins, Coir pith compost, Rakhi were exempted from tax slab from previous 12% tax slab.

SAFAR unveiled at Chandni Chowk

SAFAR unveiled at Chandni Chowk
Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan has unveiled the 1st of a kind Air Quality and Weather Forecast System, SAFAR at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. The system will measure regular air quality parameters such as PM2.5 & PM10, levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide & benzene. The station will provide online information about ultrafine particles PM1 & mercury.

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail
PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail as part of its strategy to aggressively ramp up its offline business. Zopper Retail is a hyper-local Point of Sale (PoS) platform for small and medium businesses. PhonePe is a Fin-Tech company that provides online payment system based on Unified Payments Interface. Flipkart is the parent company of PhonePe.

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER
Harindra Rao, General Manager, Eastern Railway and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) has taken over additional charge of General Manager South Eastern Railway. He was previously working as Chief Electrical Engineer in South Eastern Railway. Rao has previously worked in Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway, Diesel Locomotive Works, East Central Railway and North Central Railway.

Google & UNEP to track environmental changes

Google & UNEP to track environmental changes
The UN has entered into a partnership with Google to monitor the impacts of human activity on ecosystems by using online tools. UN Environment Programme (UNEP) aims to develop a platform to enable govt, NGO’s & the public to track environment-related development targets. Google will produce geospatial maps & data on water-related ecosystems by employing massive cloud computing technology.

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab
IISC Bangalore India and Park Systems to open ‘Park Nanoscience Lab’ at Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE). The Nanoscience Lab will be equipped with Park NX20 AFM at the CeNSE & will hold workshops on the latest advancements in nanometrology. The Lab at Indian Institute is a tremendous step forward for researchers in India in fields of science & technology.

NCERT introducing QR code in textbooks

NCERT introducing QR code in textbooks
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has initiated the process of introducing QR code in their textbooks. The move aims at helping students understand chapters better by reading additional content on laptops & digital boards. Quick Response (QR) Code is a machine-readable code used for storing web-links which can be read by a camera on a smartphone.

J&K’s 1st all women branch at J&K Bank

J&K’s 1st all women branch at J&K Bank
First Lady Usha Vohra inaugurated the 1st All-Women Branch of Jammu & Kashmir Bank at the Sher-i-Kashmir centre. The bank also launched products designed exclusively for women clients which included Pink Gold Saving Scheme, Pink Platinum Saving Scheme, Special Loan Facility for Women Entrepreneurs. J&K Bank started on​ Oct 1 1983, was the 1st bank in India to emerge as a state-owned bank.

India’s 1st ceramics triennale to be in Jaipur

India’s 1st ceramics triennale to be in Jaipur
Jawahar Kala Kendra in collaboration with the Contemporary Clay Foundation presents the first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground. The event will be from 31 August to 18 November 2018 in Jaipur. The first-ever international ceramics event to be held at the Jawahar Kala Kendra will present 35 Indian Artists, a Symposium, Film Screenings and Workshops for Adults and Children.

Yadagirigutta Temple obtains ISO certificate.

Yadagirigutta Temple obtains ISO certificate.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao congratulated Yadagirigutta Temple for obtaining International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. The temple has received the ISO certification for the environment, security, management, power supply, as well as for the management of the temple. This is the first ever ISO certification for the temple.

SAI selects 734 youngsters under Khelo scheme

SAI selects 734 youngsters under Khelo scheme
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced that it has shortlisted 734 young players for a scholarship programme under the Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme. An annual stipend of Rs 1.2 lakh will be given to each player on a quarterly basis to meet their pocket expenses. The current Sports Minister is Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

8th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting at Durban

8th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting at Durban
The 8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting was held at Durban, South Africa. The meeting was led by Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health who stated India’s commitment to eliminate TB by 2025. India has achieved the reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77% to 130 per 1 lakh live births as recommended by WHO SEARO. The 1st BRIC Summit was held in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

4.4 million jobs created in 9 months : EPFO

4.4 million jobs created in 9 months : EPFO
Retirement fund body EPFO’s payroll data suggests that as many as 4,474,859 jobs were created during September 2017 to May 2018. During May, the maximum number of enrolment of 2,51,526 were recorded in the age bracket of 18 to 21 years followed by 1,90,090 in 22 to 25 years age group. The EPFO manages social security funds of over 6 crore workers in the organised/semi organised sector.

Mascots for Olympics & Paralympics unveiled

Mascots for Olympics & Paralympics unveiled
Japan has unveiled the names of its mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The mascot for Olympics is “MIraitowa” which means ‘eternal future’. The mascot for Paralympics is “Someity” which means ‘so mighty’. The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on July 24, 2020, and run through until August 9. The Paralympics will take place between August 25 and September 6 2020.

Sen clinches Asia Junior C’ship title

Sen clinches Asia Junior C’ship title
Indian badminton player Lakshaya Sen bagged the gold medal after defeating world no. 1 Kunlavut Vitidsaran in the final match of the Badminton Asia Junior Championship held in Jakarata. The Indian shuttler created history by beating the top-seed 21-19 and 21-18, thus clinching the championship. He was previously the runners-up in Tata Open India International, 2017.

Wipro to buy Alight’s India for $117 million

Wipro to buy Alight’s India for $117 million
India’s third-biggest software services exporter, Wipro Ltd, has decided to buy US-based Alight Solutions’ India operations for $117 million in cash. Alight Solutions provides benefits administration and cloud-based HR and financial solutions to 1,400 clients serving 19 million employees and their 18 million family members. The current CEO of Wipro is Abidali Neemuchwala.

Enerparc commissions rooftop solar project

Enerparc commissions rooftop solar project
Enerparc India, a subsidiary of global solar solution provider Enerparc AG has commisioned 980 KW solar project at Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd. in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The rooftop solar project at BFW will generate approx. 15 lacs of units annually thus reducing its dependency on fossil fuels. Enerparc India had also Installed World’s 1st Solar Power Plant on Ship to Shore cranes in Mumbai.

Mohd Anas breaks own national record in 400m

Mohd Anas breaks own national record in 400m
Indian sprinter Muhammed Anas broke his own national record to win the 400 metres race at the Cena Noveho Mesta meet in Czech Republic. Anas set a time of 45.24 seconds to break his own record of 45.31 seconds which he had set during the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast. He is the third Indian track athlete to qualify for the event at the Olympics, after Milkha Singh & K. M. Binu.

Meghalayan Age: Latest Era in Earth’s History

Meghalayan Age: Latest Era in Earth’s History
The last 4,200 yrs have been classified by geologists as a new distinct age in Earth’s history, called the “Meghalayan Age,” named after the northeastern Indian state. The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) has made it a part of Holocene Era. The Meghalayan goes back 4,200 yrs when a drought severely impacted civilizations in Egypt, Greece, the Indus Valley, Yangtze River Valley.

India, Japan hold Maritime Affairs Dialogue

India, Japan hold Maritime Affairs Dialogue
India and Japan held the fourth round of Maritime Affairs Dialogue here during which key issues related to the Indo-Pacific region and maritime security. The two sides exchanged views on a range of contemporary disarmament and non-proliferation related issues. The two sides exchanged views on topics of mutual interest including the Indo-Pacific region, maritime security and disaster relief.

Manufacturers print buy back price on bottles

Manufacturers print buy back price on bottles
In a bid to comply with new regulations, leading beverage makers such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Bisleri have begun printing a buyback value on all their PET bottles sold in Maharashtra. Consumers will be able to return the plastic bottles after consumption and will be paid back according to the value printed on the bottles. Most beverage makers have settled on Rs 15 per kg for the bottles.

Nabard launches Centre for Climate Change

Nabard launches Centre for Climate Change
NABARD has launched a centre for accelerating concerted action on climate change by various stakeholders including government, private and financial sectors. The Centre for Climate Change has been set up in Lucknow. It would also support capacity building and project preparation effort in developing countries in the region as also in Africa.

BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal

BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal
The 4th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Kathmandu from 30-31 August 2018, the Nepal government said. Sub-regional connectivity and poverty alleviation will be top of the agenda during the two-day BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multilateral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit. The group formed in 1997 consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline

5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline
5 central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL – signed a joint venture agreement for executing the North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid as a step towards the Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project. The JV company shall develop, build, operate and maintain the Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. The project will connect the state capitals of all the eight North Eastern states.

Student Police Cadet Programme to be launched

Student Police Cadet Programme to be launched
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will launchc Cadet Programme in Gurugram. The programme seeks to build a bridge between the Police and the larger community through school students by inculcating values and ethics in them. The initiative seeks to cover broadly two kinds of topics: crime prevention and control, and values and ethics.

Myanmar joins International Solar Alliance

Myanmar joins International Solar Alliance
Myanmar joined the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), becoming the 68th member of the group that is aiming at the optimum utilisation of solar energy. ISA was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the Paris climate summit in 2015. ISA is open to all 121 member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

Third-party insurance must for new cars

Third-party insurance must for new cars
Third-party insurance for three years will become mandatory for cars being sold from 1 September 2018, said the Supreme Court. The SC also made it compulsory for two-wheeler owners to take third-party insurance for five years. The order is expected to help road accident victims recover compensation from insurance firms, without going after the owner of the offending vehicle.

Reduction in number of new HIV infections

Reduction in number of new HIV infections
India saw a major reduction in the number of new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and people living with HIV from 2010 to 2017, according to a UN report. It was published by the Joint UN Agency on AIDS report titled ‘Miles to go — closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices’. India has an approved social protection strategy, policy or framework that is being implemented, it said.

MIB panel to be replaced soon

MIB panel to be replaced soon
A committee set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to devise ways to regulate online media and other content has been disbanded. The 10-member committee was set up in April. Its mandate will now be handed over to a panel overseen by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY). The committee has the secretary of MeitY, Ajay Prakash, as convener.

Kochi port to get new cruise terminal

Kochi port to get new cruise terminal
The Cochin Port Trust is setting up a new cruise terminal capable of handling 5,000 tourists at Ernakulam Wharf. The facilities inside the terminal will include passenger lounge, crew lounge, 30 immigration counters, eight custom clearance counters, seven security check counters, WiFi. Kochi has been getting around 40 cruise liners every year, bringing HNI tourists to Kerala.
The Cochin Port Trust is setting up a new cruise terminal capable of handling 5,000 tourists at Ernakulam Wharf. The facilities inside the terminal will include passenger lounge, crew lounge, 30 immigration counters, eight custom clearance counters, seven security check counters, WiFi. Kochi has been getting around 40 cruise liners every year, bringing HNI tourists to Kerala.

Alisson is world’s most expensive goalie

Alisson is world’s most expensive goalie
Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Liverpool from Roma. Roma said the deal for Brazil’s starting goalkeeper at the World Cup in Russia “could be worth up to 72.5 million euros” ($84.5 million). He has been at Roma for two years, playing 37 Serie A games in 2017-18. Alisson became Brazil’s starting goalkeeper in 2016.

New cell to resolve child custody disputes

New cell to resolve child custody disputes
A mediation cell would be set up under the apex child rights body, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), to resolve child custody disputes arising from cases of transnational marital discord. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has in-principle decided to establish a Mediation Cell under the NCPCR chairperson.

Mansi settles for silver at Junior Wrestling

Mansi settles for silver at Junior Wrestling
India won two medals with Mansi claiming silver and Swati winning bronze in their respective weight categories in women’s freestyle in the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships, 2018. In the 57 kilogram category, Mansi had to settle for a Silver after she lost to Japan’s Akie Hanai in the Final. The overall trophy went to Japan, who finished with seven gold medals.

Emergency ambulance service for Sri Lanka

Emergency ambulance service for Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will eflag a countrywide emergency ambulance service for Sri Lanka through video conferencing from New Delhi. The service has been introduced in two provinces of Sri Lanka with grant assistance from Government of India. India has given a grant of USD 22.8 million to Sri Lanka. This is the largest Indian grant project in Sri Lanka after Indian housing project.

Athena to beam internet on earth

Athena to beam internet on earth
Facebook is working on an internet satellite project called ‘Athena’ to beam internet connectivity down to Earth. The company aims to launch the satellite in early 2019. The new satellite project will provide broadband internet connections to “unserved and underserved areas”.

NASA launches online toolkit

NASA launches online toolkit
NASA has launched an online toolkit to make it easier for users to find, analyse and utilise the most relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The “Remote Sensing Toolkit” provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit is designed to help users search for data as well as code to build new tools.

Chhattisgarh’s first FM Ramchandra Dies

Chhattisgarh’s first FM Ramchandra Dies
The former and first finance minister of Chhattisgarh, Ramchandra Singh Deo died on 20th July, 2018. He served as the Minister of Water Resources before Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000. The first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, chose him as the minister with key portfolios, including finance, commercial tax and planning.

BoB inks pacts with ten companies

BoB inks pacts with ten companies
Bank of Baroda signed agreements with 10 companies promote micro and small business entrepreneurs. These companies are from e-commerce, logistics, service providers and traditional small business which contribute 31% to GDP and 45% of exports and employ over 100 million. These MoUs with will help enhance the bank’s footprint in the MSME eco-system.

India Heritage Walk fete wins PATA award

India Heritage Walk fete wins PATA award
India Heritage Walk Festival, a collaboration of Sahapedia and YES Arts & Culture, has been awarded the PATA Gold Award 2018. Sahapedia is an open online resource on the arts, cultures and heritage of India. Sahapedia got the award, announced by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Bangkok, has been presented to it under the ‘Heritage-Culture’ category.

Odisha to host mega triennial in Dec-Jan

Odisha to host mega triennial in Dec-Jan
Odisha will host to what is billed as India’s first private sector triennial in December-January that will see the convergence of artists from the national and international scene. Named the Odisha Triennial of International Art , the events under it will take place in Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark. OTIA is the brainchild of Artists Network for Promoting Indian Culture

Israeli Parliament passes Jewish nation law

Israeli Parliament passes Jewish nation law
The Israeli parliament has passed a bill that defines the country as an exclusively Jewish state. The bill also removes Arabic as official language giving it a “special status” that enables its continued use in Israeli institutions. There are 1.8 million Arabs, about 20% of the population of Isreal who viewed the move against their interest. The Current PM of Isreal is Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jana Small Finance Bank launches operations

Jana Small Finance Bank launches operations
Jana Small Finance Bank announced the commercial launch of its banking operations to convert itself into a small finance bank (SFB), 3 years after the RBI gave its in-principle approval. The bank was earlier called Janalakshmi Financial Services and weathered huge losses on account of demonetization. Ajay Kanwal is managing director and chief executive officer of Jana Small Finance Bank.

Fugitive offenders Bill passed

Fugitive offenders Bill passed
The Lok Sabha passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that replaces the Ordinance by the same name promulgated by the President in April. The Bill empowers courts to direct the govt to confiscate all the assets belonging to a fugitive economic offender. A Fugitive Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued & who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

International Army Games 2018, Moscow
Indian Army team has reached Moscow to participate in the International Army games scheduled from July 28 to August 11. India is participating in 2 competitions including the Tank Biathlon and Elbrus Ring – which is mountain warfare combat patrol competition near Elbrus Mountain. The Army games 2018 will be held in 7 countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Iran, Kazakhstan & Russia.

Poet Gopal Das Saxena ‘Neeraj’ passes away

Poet Gopal Das Saxena ‘Neeraj’ passes away
Famous Hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj passed away at the AIIMS trauma center on 19 July. He was a Professor of Hindi at Dharma Samaj College in Aligarh. He was also accorded the rank of a cabinet minister by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in UP. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007.

RS passes Prevention of Corruption Bill

RS passes Prevention of Corruption Bill
The Rajya Sabha passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 which seeks to make giving bribes an offense with a provision of punishment. The Bill introduces the offense of giving a bribe as a direct offense. However, a person who is compelled to give a bribe will not be charged with the offense if he reports the matter to law enforcement authorities within 7 days.

The 6th meeting of India-Nepal mechanism

The 6th meeting of India-Nepal mechanism
The 6th meeting of India-Nepal oversight Mechanism was held to review the progress of all the bilateral projects in New Delhi on 19 July 2018. The projects included cross-border rail projects, integrated check posts, Terai Roads Project, cross-border transmission lines, Arun-II hydropower project. The Current PM of Nepal is Khadga Prasad Oli.

2018 BRICS Media Forum in South Africa

2018 BRICS Media Forum in South Africa
A decision to establish a BRICS Media Academy and a BRICS news portal was taken at the 2018 BRICS Media Forum at Cape Town in South Africa. The Forum, a high-level dialogue among media organizations from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, was held over 2 days under the theme — ‘Fostering an Inclusive, Just World Order’. The forum unanimously agreed to adopt the above declaration.

New Manufacturing Facility For EVM Production

New Manufacturing Facility For EVM Production
Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora inaugurated a new Manufacturing Facility For EVM Production At Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore. Braille EPICards were also distributed for the first time in Karnataka to visually impaired voters. Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are being used in Indian General and State Elections to implement electronic voting and are part from 1999 elections.

India and Ghana ink 2 MoUs

India and Ghana ink 2 MoUs
India and Ghana signed two agreements in an effort to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The 2 MOUs were signed on Cultural Exchange Programme & on cooperation between Bureau of Indian Standards and Ghana Standards Authority. Sushma Swaraj & Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Botchway discussed enhancing cooperation, capacity building, trade & people-to-people relations.

TN govt launches 24h helpline for couples

TN govt launches 24h helpline for couples
The Tamil Nadu govt has informed the Madras High Court that a 24-hour helpline has been set up to investigate issues faced by inter-caste couples and offer them necessary assistance and protection. A special cell has been formed in all districts and cities in the state, comprising district-level officers at the city level, to receive complaints of harassment & threat to inter-caste couples.

Sri Lanka to finalize Mattala airport deal

Sri Lanka to finalize Mattala airport deal
Sri Lankan government said that it is in the process of finalizing a joint venture with India for operating the Matalla international airport, located in the south of the Sri Lanka. AAI will own 70% majority stake in the venture while the rest will be owned by Sri Lankan govt. Matalla airport is the world’s emptiest airport as there is no passenger flight in service.

First High-Level ‘2+2 Dialogue’ With India

First High-Level ‘2+2 Dialogue’ With India
The inaugural ‘two-plus-two dialogue’ between India and the US will be held on September 6 in New Delhi. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis would travel to India for the dialogue. The landmark discussions would be covered by the US to recognize that its purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia and CAATSA.

Google announces Android Dev Summit

Google announces Android Dev Summit
The Android Dev Summit is being organized at the Computer History Museum, Moutain View, California on 7 – 8 Nov 2018. The last one was in 2015, and it also happened at the Computer History Museum. Android Developer Days, or ADD, is an open conference held at various locations worldwide each year.

PM to visit Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa

PM to visit Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa from July 23-27. Modi will attend the BRICS Summit in South Africa and will visit Rwanda for a two-day visit, the first by an Indian prime minister where he will sign defence cooperation agreement. During his BRICS summit in South Africa international peace and security will be his main agendas.

MoU between Infosys & BMRCL

MoU between Infosys & BMRCL
The Infosys Foundation signed a MoU with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to build a metro station at Electronic City. The station, part of Phase II metro line under from R.V. Road to Bommsandram, will be named the ‘Infosys Foundation – Konappana Agrahara Metro station’. The Foundation is spending close to Rs. 200 crore to build the station at Konappana Agrahara.

Ex-Prez Park to spend another 8 yrs in jail

Ex-Prez Park to spend another 8 yrs in jail
South Korean court sentenced Ex-President Park Geun-hye to 8 more years in prison after finding her guilty on charges of causing loss of govt funds & interfering in a 2016 parliamentary election. The court handed Ms. Park 6 years on the spy fund charges and 2 further years in jail for improperly intervening in the selection of election candidates. The current President is Moon-Jae-in.

CPPIB to step up investments in India

CPPIB to step up investments in India
Canada’s biggest public pension scheme, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) views India as its main focus for investment in Asia. CPPIB manages Canada’s national pension fund, has invested nearly C$7 billion ($5.30 billion) in India. CPPIB currently owns shares in some leading fast moving consumer goods companies like ITC Ltd., Hindustan Unilever Ltd. & Britannia Industries Ltd.

Debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

Debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that the Lok Sabha has taken up the debate on no-confidence motion moved by Oppn parties. The motions dealt on issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, cow vigilantism, lynching and dilution of the SC/ST Act. A motion of no-confidence is a statement or vote which states that the ruling govt is no longer deemed fit to hold the position of power.

Cabinet amends Section 376 of IPC

Cabinet amends Section 376 of IPC
The Cabinet approved a Bill to enhance the punishment for rape, including awarding death penalty to convicts of raping girls under 12 yrs. The Bill amends Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), 2012, and the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Bill will increase the minimum punishment for rape from the existing 7 yrs to 10 yrs.

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB

India fastest growing economy in Asia:ADB
Led by India, South Asia will continue to be the fastest growing economic area despite new trade tensions in Asia and Pacific region, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report. The report titled “Asian Development Outlook” is published by ADB. The ADO published in April had said that India’s economic growth will rise to 7.3% this fiscal and further to 7.6% in the next financial year

Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules

Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules
The Cabinet approved the policy to streamline production sharing contracts signed in the pre-New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and NELP periods. Based on recommendations in ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North East’, the govt has extended timelines for the exploration period by 2 yrs. The Centre has also allowed marketing, including pricing freedom for natural gas from discoveries.

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.
Continuation of scholarships for minorities The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for Continuation of Pre-Matric, Post Matric and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Schemes for the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities. The 6 notified minority communities are Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi. These Schemes shall be implemented through the National Scholarship Portal.

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation
Amazon.com’s stock market value reached $900 billion for the first time in its 20 year history. It has now become only the second company after Apple to achieve this milestone. The Current market cap of Amazon.com stands at $902 billion as of 18th July 2018. Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company with a market cap of $935 billion.

RTE amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

RTE amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill 2017 which allows detention of school students in class 5 and 8. The original RTE Act stipulated that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. The original RTE Act came into force on April 1, 2010.

Special Package for Irrigation Projects

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra. Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects.

CM Raman Singh launches online pension system

Chhattisgarh CM Dr. Raman Singh launched an online portal and mobile app called ‘Aabhaar-Aapki Seva ka’ for the pensioners of the state. Through this app and the website, 80,000 pensioners of the state will get all the information related to pension and payment online. The beneficiaries will be provided updates via SMS regarding the status of their pension account.

IAF Participates “Pitch Black” War Exercise

IAF Participates “Pitch Black” War Exercise
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating in the multinational “Pitch Black” warfare exercise in Australia for the first time. The IAF contingent for biennial exercise will consist of 4 Su-30MKI fighters, C-130 special operations aircraft and C-17 transporter. Pitch Black is hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) & will see eight other nations participating with over 100 aircraft.

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon issue new Rs 100 notes, with a base color of violet. According to the new policy on theme-based currency notes, the new Rs 100 note will have the impression of Gujarat’s Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s stepwell). The new Rs 100 note will be slightly bigger than the Rs 10 note and weigh less than the old note & will be printed by Dewas-based Bank Note Press.

1st govt-sponsored transgender poets’ meet

1st govt-sponsored transgender poets’ meet
India’s 1st government-sponsored poets’ meet was organized for the transgender community at the Sahitya Akademi in Kolkata. The ‘Transgender Poets’ Meet’ was chaired by India’s first transgender college principal Manabi Bandopadhyay. In the event, each of the poets was given nearly 15 minutes to recite their poetry. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) criminalizes homosexuality.

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi
The 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue begins in New Delhi. The theme of the event is ‘Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Co-operation’. Political leadership, officials, diplomats, business leaders, think-tanks and academicians from India and the ASEAN Member States participated in Event. Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a group of 10 nations with General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi.

IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Winter Games

IOC adds 7 medal events to 2022 Winter Games
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has added seven medal events to the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The next Winter Olympics will now include: women’s monobob, Big Air freestyle skiing for men and women, plus mixed team events in short track speed skating, ski jumping, ski aerials and snowboardcross. Women’s ice hockey will grow by two teams to become a 10-nation lineup.

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s
The government has announced an infusion of Rs 11,336 crore in five public sector banks as part of its Indradhanush scheme. The five banks are Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank & Allahabad Bank. Indradhanush is a scheme for recapitalization of PSBs, with a view to make sure they remain solvent & comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.

Dwayne Johnson is highest paid actor

Dwayne Johnson is highest paid actor
Dwayne Johnson, with earnings of Rs. 850 Crore has been named the highest-paid actor by Forbes. It is also the highest-ever total for acting earnings in the 20-year history of Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list. He ranked fifth on the overall list of Forbes highest entertainer list. Dwayne earned double the earnings total of $65 million he posted in 2017’s list.

Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS

Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS
The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) amongst BRICS nations on Regional Aviation Partnership. The government aims for the BRICS nations to benefit from the establishment of an institutional framework to corporate in the field of civil aviation. The MoU has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism amongst the BRICS Nations.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Cuba

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Cuba
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU between India and Cuba on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. The MoU was signed on 22nd June 2018. The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab
The state govt of Punjab dissolved Right to Service Commission which was created by the former SAD-BJP govt under Punjab Right to Services Act of 2011. The act has been replaced by Punjab Transparency and Accountability in Delivery of Public Services Act, 2018. The Right to Service (RTS) Act was set up by former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to provide citizen services through Sewa Kendras.

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal
The European Union and Japan signed a huge free trade deal that cuts or eliminates tariffs on nearly all goods. The agreement covers 600 million people and almost a third of the global economy. It will remove tariffs on European exports such as cheese and wine. Japanese automakers and electronics firms will face fewer barriers in the European Union.

Turkey lifts state of emergency after 2 years

Turkey lifts state of emergency after 2 years
In Turkey, the state of emergency, which was imposed after the failed coup two years ago, came to an end on 19th July. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared emergency on 20th July 2016, five days after warplanes bombed Ankara and clashes broke out in Istanbul that claimed 249 lives. Under Turkey’s constitution, emergency provision lasts three months which was extended seven times.

First Pondicherry International Film Festival

The festival organized by Pickurflick and Puducherry Tourism Department, which will begin on September 26, will be hosted at Puducherry. The inaugural edition of the festival will focus on the cinema, art, and culture of France, which is the partner country for the five-day long event. The mega festival will also promote Puducherry as a tourist destination.

67th National Garment Fair 2018 in Mumbai

The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) organized “India’s Largest Apparel Trade Show – The 67th National Garment Fair” from 16th July to 19th July 2018 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. A Memorandum of Understanding between Govt of Gujarat & CMAI was signed to promote Gujarat as a destination for investments. The Fair was inaugurated by Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group.

MicroDot technology to check vehicle thefts

The govt will set a new standard to use a technology which involves spraying small dots laser etched with a vehicle identification number throughout the vehicle body. The tech named ‘MicroDots’ makes it almost impossible to remove the dots and hence will prevent the vehicle’s identity. Annually about 2.14 lakh vehicles are stolen across the country with Delhi topping the list at 38,644.

Chaturvedi: ICICI’s non-exec chairman

RBI has approved the appointment of Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as non-executive (part-time) Chairman of the ICICI bank till June 30, 2021. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi was previously the petroleum secretary. ICICI Bank announced that Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of an external inquiry into the matter of lending loan to Videocon group.

Karnataka to set up five tech innovation hubs

18 : Karnataka’s first ‘K-Tech Innovation Hub’ was inaugurated in Belagavi by K J George, Karnataka Minister for IT/BT & ST. The K-Tech Innovation Hub backed by providing space and infrastructure, prototyping facilities and a world-class innovation network. The K-Tech Innovation hub leverages the globally connected ecosystem & brings infrastructure similar to the MIT Fab Lab to Belagavi.

Bihar raises compensation for rape victims

The Bihar government increased the compensation amount for acid-attack and rape survivors from Rs 3 lakh to 7 lakh. Human traffic victims would receive a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each instead of the Rs 1 lakh paid currently. The acid attack victims would be given a monthly compensation of Rs 10000 instead of lump sum. Survivors who are under the age of 14 would get 50% more compensation.

Centre supports Bru pact

The Home Ministry is committed to implementing the agreement signed to repatriate 33,000 Bru refugees living in camps in Tripura & Mizoram. As per the agreement each of the 5,407 families will get Rs. 5,000 per month along with ration for 2 years and house-building assistance of ` 1.5 lakh. The Bru community had fled Mizoram in 1997 following an unrest and are in relief camps in Tripura.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2018

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honor of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s 1st black president which is celebrated each year on 18 July. The day was 1st celebrated as UN Mandela Day on 18 July 2010 and 2018 marks the 100th birth anniversary. Mandela is remembered for his anti-apartheid activities and fight against poverty and promoting justice for all.

Nabard award to Repco Micro Finance Ltd

Repco Micro Finance Ltd, a non-banking finance company received Nabard 2018 award. The award is given service to self-help group in Tamil Nadu for the fiscal year 2017-18. The NBFC has disbursed loans amounting to ₹2,500 crore to over 10 lakh beneficiaries. NABARD Financial Services Limited is a subsidiary of NABARD to provide financial services in areas of agriculture & microfinance.

Goldman Sachs names David Solomon as CEO

Goldman Sachs Group Inc named David Solomon as its next chief executive officer. Solomon to succeed CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was the CEO since June 2006 and will be retiring on 1st October. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City. Solomon previously worked for Irving Trust and Drexel Burnham.

IIT D sign MoU with AIIA to validate Ayurveda

An agreement was signed between IIT Delhi & the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under which projects would be launched that would aim to give “scientific validation” to the Ayurveda and integrate it with technology. The projects would be funded by the Ayush Ministry. The agreement was signed at a conference of the heads of Ayush Institutes on ways to induce modernity in Ayurveda.

Govt sets up committee to strengthen NCC, NSS

The govt has decided to form a committee under former education secretary Anil Swarup, seeking suggestions to strengthen National Cadet Corp & National Service Scheme. The Committee will deal with issues like expansion, strengthening training infrastructure & reducing manpower deficiency. The Committee will also submit recommendations for building “synergy” between these 2 institutions.

Chopra wins Gold at Sotteville Athletics Meet

Neeraj Chopra, India’s javelin star, struck Gold in the Meeting International de Sotteville-les-Rouen in France. Chopra’s throw of 85.17m was enough to clinch the top spot on the podium. The winning distance from Chopra was, however, less than the 86.47m he achieved for gold at Gold Coast CWG. Neeraj is a part of India’s squad for the Asian Games 2018.

J&K abolishes interviews for Class-IV jobs

The Jammu and Kashmir government today abolished interviews for all Class-IV posts in the state and the selection. All recruitment for Class-IV posts under State, Divisional and District Cadres also for companies, organizations & bodies substantially owned by Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). The decision will speed-up the selection process against these posts.

Steel Ministry announces pension scheme

The steel ministry has agreed to introduce a pension scheme for its CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) like SAIL and RINL. The pension scheme is estimated to cost an additional financial burden of Rs 540 crore. The pension scheme will be subject to factors like affordability, capacity to pay and sustainability by the CPSEs. The current Steel Minister is Chaudhary Birender Singh.

WR renames Elphinstone station as Prabhadevi

Western Railway renamed Elphinstone Road Station to Prabhadevi on Mumbai’s suburban section. The station, named after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay from 1853 to 1860, is renamed after the local deity ‘Prabhadevi’. Elphinstone is the station where 23 people were killed and over 39 injured in a stampede at the railway station’s foot over bridge on September 29, 2017.

SC demands new law to stop lynching

India’s highest court has asked the government to enact a new law to deal with an increase in mob violence and lynchings. Supreme Court recommended Parliament to create a new penal provision to punish the offenders and stem the mob-related violence. The direction was given by three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and ordered parliament to decide within six months.

CM Raman Singh launches online pension system

19 : Chhattisgarh CM Dr. Raman Singh launched an online portal and mobile app called ‘Aabhaar-Aapki Seva ka’ for the pensioners of the state. Through this app and the website, 80,000 pensioners of the state will get all the information related to pension and payment online. The beneficiaries will be provided updates via SMS regarding the status of their pension account.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2018

Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honor of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s 1st black president which is celebrated each year on 18 July. The day was 1st celebrated as UN Mandela Day on 18 July 2010 and 2018 marks the 100th birth anniversary. Mandela is remembered for his anti-apartheid activities and fight against poverty and promoting justice for all.