india

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

BSE Dalal Street building gets trademark

Stock exchange major BSE has secured a trademark for its iconic building Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, located on Dalal Street. Initially known as BSE Towers, the building was soon renamed after the late chairman of BSE, Sir Phiroze Jamshedji Jeejeebhoy. The stock exchange major was founded in 1875. It began as a small group of brokers who functioned under a banyan tree on Dalal Street.

BrahMos supersonic missile test-fired

India’s indigeneously developed surface-to-surace supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired from Chandipur Test Range off the Odisha coast. BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO and NPOM of Russia. BrahMos is the first Indian missile whose life has been extended from 10 to 15 years. BrahMos has been operationalised in the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

India to remain fastest growing economy

The International Monetary Fund has projected a growth rate of 7.3% in 2018 & 7.5% in 2019 for India as against 6.7% in 2017. The latest growth rate projection for India is slightly less 0.1% in 2018 and 0.3% in 2019 than its April projections. According to IMF, India will remain the fastest growing major economy in 2019.

India’s 1st skill training centre in Odisha

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone of India’s first National Skill Training Institute in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. The proposed institute will impart training to trainers and create a skill-based ecosystem to meet the industry demands. The Institute costing ` 160 crore will come up over five acres of land and have state-of-the-art facilities.

WPI jumps to 5.77% in June

India’s wholesale inflation grew 5.77% in June, a four-and-half year high, driven by some food items and fuel prices. Wholesale inflation rate, measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI), is a marker for price movements in bulk buys for traders and broadly mirrors trends in shop-end prices. The data for the month of April has been revised to 3.62% from 3.18%.

Conference of Heads of AYUSH Institutes

All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under Ministry of AYUSH is organizing two days Conference of Heads of AYUSH National Institutes at India International Centre, New Delhi. Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar will inaugurate the conference. Health Universities and research institutes sign MoUs with Sports Authority of India, Indian Institute of Technology.

India signs pact to ease visa restrictions

India on July 15 signed a revised travel agreement with Bangladesh to ease visa restrictions for citizens from the neighbouring country. Under the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018, freedom fighters and elderly Bangladeshi nationals will get five year multiple visa from India. Mr. Singh and Mr. Khan also held the 6th Home Minister-Level Talks between India and Bangladesh.

Brij Bhushan to be Chef de Mission

Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh is set to be named the Chef de Mission of the Asian Games-bound Indian contingent. The four deputy Chefs de Mission are set to be be appointed. The IOA has announced a 524-member contingent of athletes for the August 18-September 2 Asian Games in Indonesia.

T-Hub to host country’s 1st Defence incubator

India’s first Defence incubators will come up in Hyderabad, which is India’s missile development centre. The T-Hub is India’s largest incubator that will be funded through the Ministry’s Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme. The iDEX will be funded and managed by a Defence Innovation Organisation. Initially, a corpus of ?100 crore has been created by two PSUs–HAL and BEL.

India to be VC of WCO’s Asia Pacific region

India has become the Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020. A ceremony will be organized in New Delhi on 16 June. The Theme of the Inaugural Ceremony is “Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation”. WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that process approx 98% of world trade.

India inaugurates its largest visa centre

India has inaugurated its largest visa centre in the world in Dhaka to reduce the waiting time for applicants. Bangladeshis constitute one of the largest number of visitors from a single country to India. Last year, India issued 1.4 million visas to Bangladeshi nationals. India has 12 visa centres in Bangladesh, which is the highest number the former has in any country in the world.

Assam’s first transgender judge Swati Baruah

The court in Guwahati has got the first transgender judge of Assam. Swati Bidhan Baruah has been appointed as a judge to mediate cases in Lok Adalat. She is the third transgender judge in the country and will mediate in pre-litigation cases related to finance companies. Joyita Mondal of West Bengal is India’s first transgender judge.

Army, FTII to provide acting courses in J&K

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has joined hands with the Indian Army to provide acting courses for the youth of J&K. Renowned actor Gufi Paintal was invited as a special guest faculty to mentor the youth for the course. The youth trained by the Army in theatre and art earlier this year also witnessed the creative rendition of the budding artists.

Malhotra to head Investment Banking of HSBC

15 : The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has appointed Amitabh Malhotra as the Head of Investment Banking for HSBC India. Amitabh will lead the Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets business. Prior to HSBC, Amitabh worked at Rothschild India, where he was the co-head and managing director of the Global Investment Bank, based in Mumbai.

Mukesh Ambani becomes Asia’s richest person

Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani has surpassed Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani’s wealth rose to $44.3 billion while Jack Ma’s wealth stood at $44 billion. He is the 18th wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. Reliance is India’s largest payer of GST and Income Tax in the private sector.

L&T to build ‘tallest’ govt. office building

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has bagged a construction project to build govt office building at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. The office will be the tallest government office building in India. The buildings will house the headquarters of the various government departments of Andhra Pradesh. The project has to its credit of being the 1st Steel Diagrid project with Automatic Climbing Formwork System.

Gennova Bio gets patent to treat brain clots

The Pune-based biotech company has been granted a patent in the US for its version of drug tenecteplase, to treat brain clots (ischemic stroke), the 1st ever in the world. In India, Gennova has already started marketing Tenectase (tenecteplase) for ischemic stroke as an alternative to drug alteplase, which reduced the cost of treatment to ` 29000. The CEO of Gennova Bio is Sanjay Singh.

Australia releases India economic strategy

The Australian govt has released an India Economic strategy report recommending to lift India into its top three export markets. The strategy prioritizes economic and trade opportunities in India covering 10 sectors such as health, energy, infrastructure etc. This would also boost Australia’s investment in India to $100 billion. The Author of this report is Australia’s PM Malcolm Turnbull

AAI partners with govt for Dholera Airport

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) to partner with the government of Gujarat to build the ` 2,000 crore Dholera airport project. The airport will be the biggest upcoming greenfield city in India under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project at Dholera will be built in four years. Equity participation between AAI & the govt of Gujarat will be 51% and 49%, respectively.

Kochi Metro launches India’s 1st AC dormitory

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will open India’s first exquisite air-conditioned bed space dormitory. The fully air-conditioned rooms are equipped with locker facility, free WiFi, round-the-clock check-in and check-out facility and security cameras. It was inaugurated by Kochi’s Mayor Soumini Jain. The current governor of Kerala is P. Sathasivam.

MoU on exchange of experience by legal experts

India and UK have signed an agreement on exchange of experience by legal professionals and government functionaries for resolution of disputes before various courts and tribunals. The MoU aims to enhance the bilateral cooperation in legal affairs between the two countries. The two countries would also exchange information regarding current issues of international significance.

Internet to remain free and fair in India

Internet will remain free and fair in India as the telecom commission has approved net neutrality. Net neutrality requires service providers to treat all internet traffic equally & prohibits discrimination in the treatment of content. Some mission-critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars will, however, be kept out of the purview of net neutrality framework.

India becomes 69th shareholder of EBRD

India has been formally announced as the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). India has only taken a shareholding in EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing. London-headquartered EBRD is a multilateral development bank set up in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote private & entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe.

15-point action plan to combat air pollution

Niti Aayog has proposed a 15-point action plan to combat air pollution in 10 most polluted cities in India, including Delhi and Varanasi. The action plan titled ‘Breathe India’ includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle & development of crop residue utilisation policy. The plan includes expediting strategic decommissioning of old & inefficient power plants.

India’s GM crop area fifth largest in world

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications, India has the world’s 5th largest cultivated area under genetically modified (GM) crops, at 11.4 million hectares (mh). The ranking is topped by the USA (75mh) followed by Brazil (50mh). The GM crop area in India is under a single crop — cotton. The GM traits make crops resistant to pest and weather.

SEBI to come out with consultation paper

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will soon come out with a consultation paper on making it mandatory for large corporates to meet one-fourth of their financing needs through bond market. SEBI will discuss with stakeholders before finalising the framework for corporates. SEBI is the regulator for the securities market in India and its chairman is Ajay Tyagi.

PepsiCo to help govt in recycling plastic

PepsiCo India decided to support the government’s implementation of extended producer responsibility for plastic waste bottles in Maharashtra. PepsiCo India has partnered with Gem Enviro Mgmt to set up reverse vending machines for the collection & recycling of plastic bottles in the State. The company has also piloted a ‘Film to Fuel’ project to convert packaging film waste into fuel.

India and South Korea ink 11 MoUs

India and South Korea have signed 11 MoU’s during South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s visit to India. A MoU on trade remedies was signed for cooperation in the area of trade remedies like anti-dumping, subsidy, countervailing and safeguard measures through consultations. A MoU on future strategy group was also inked for cooperation in the development of cutting-edge technologies.

India’s first internet telephony service

11 : BSNL has unveiled 1st internet telephony service in India that will allow users to dial any telephone number in India through its mobile app, “Wings”. Before this, phone calls on mobile apps was possible within users of a particular app & not on telephone numbers. BSNL customers will be able to make calls on any network in the country even by using BSNL Wi-Fi or any other service provider.

Modi third most followed world leader

According to a study conducted by Burson Cohn & Wolfe, PM Modi is the 3rd most followed world leader on Twitter with 42 million followers. Modi is just behind US President Donald Trump & Pope Francis. With over 11 million followers, India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is not only the most followed female world leader & but is also the most followed foreign minister in the world.

India muscles past France in WB ranking

According to updated World Bank figures for 2017, India has become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France. According to the IMF, India is projected to generate growth of 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019.

India bag four medals at Asian Archery

India has bagged four medals in the Asia Cup World Archery Ranking Tournament Stage 3 in Taipei. The feat comprised 3 silver medals and a bronze. India finished joint third with Iran in the championship. India ended their campaign behind toppers Korea and hosts Chinese Taipei.

Google to mentor local AI start-ups

Google has announced ‘Launchpad Accelerator India,’ a mentorship program that would aim to support Indian start-ups that deploy artificial intelligence and machine learning to build solutions for local needs. The three-month accelerator will provide a cohort of 8-10 Indian start-ups with the mentorship of Google. The start-ups will also get up to $1,00,000 of Google Cloud credits.

India-Korea technology exchange centre

India-Korea technology exchange centre was inaugurated by MoS MSME, Giriraj Singh & Minister of SMEs & Start-ups of Republic of Korea, Hong Jong- hak in Delhi. It will work towards identifying Indian technologies which can be exported to Korea & find suitable Korean partners for the same. It will help SMEs of both the countries to learn from each other to enhance their comparative advantages

India Climbs To 57th Position in GII rankings

India was ranked 57th in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings. Switzerland maintained its number one position in the Global Innovation Index rankings. Other countries that fell in the top 10 list were Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Finland, Denmark and Germany. GII rankings are published by the World International Property Organisation (WIPO).

Reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports

India and China have reached an agreement on reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports of Indian medicines, particularly cancer drugs. Both India and China slashed import tariffs of a range of products starting July 1, following the 4th round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. The agreement will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region.

Manufacturing sector records robust growth

RBI has revealed that India’s manufacturing sector recorded robust growth in sales and improvement in operating profit growth in the 4th quarter of the last fiscal. Companies posted sales of ` 9.25 lakh crore in the last quarter of 2017-18. Operating profit growth of the manufacturing sector improved despite increase in input costs, due to higher growth in value of production.

India to hold first ever India Tourism Mart

To increase tourist footfalls, India will organise its first-ever India Tourism Mart for 3 days from September 16 in New Delhi. It is expected to provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism & hospitality industry to interact & create business opportunities. It will be organised by the Tourism Ministry, in partnership with Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality.

Dipa Karmakar clinches gold medal

India’s premier gymnast Dipa Karmakar clinched a gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin in Turkey. Karmakar who had finished fourth in the vault event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored 14.150 to win gold. This is Dipa’s first medal in a World Challenge Cup. She had topped the qualification also with a score of 13.400.

Tenth edition of Delhi dialogue

India will held the 10th edition of Delhi Dialogue on 19-20 July 2018. It is a premier annual event to discuss politico-security, economic and socio-cultural engagement with ASEAN members. RCEP is a free trade area consisting of 10 ASEAN members and six FTA partners which includes India.

T.K Chand gets knowledge excellence award

Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand received the Knowledge Excellence Award from Secretary, Mines, Govt. of India for Outstanding Contribution in Aluminium Knowledge domain. Chand is an Indian mining veteran and is the Chairman cum Managing Director of National Aluminium Company (NALCO). NALCO is the largest integrated aluminium unit in Asia and is also one of the largest aluminium complexes of the world.

Round Table Conference on Data for New India’

The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation will organise a 2 day International Round Table Conference at New Delhi. The objective of the conference is to identify innovative ideas for improving the statistical system in India, taking cue from the best practices followed in advanced countries. Such a Conference is being organized in India for the first time.

Indian warship INS Trikand reaches Sri Lanka

India’s frontline warship INS Trikand has reached Sri Lanka in a goodwill visit. Senior Indian officers, including Lt. Colonel Ravi Shekhar Mishra held discussions on matters of mutual interest with their Lankan counterparts. INS Trikand is a state-of-the-art warship of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons & sensors capable of addressing threats in all 3 dimensions.

South Korean President to arrive in India

South Korean President, Moon Jae-in is on a four-day visit to India. During his visit, he will hold talks with PM Modi on several issues, including the situation on the Korean peninsula & ways to boost bilateral trade and defence cooperation. Moon’s visit to India comes nearly a month after the historic summit between US President Donald Trump & North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Important Current Affairs 8th July 2018

India reconsidering fighter jet programme
India has conveyed to Russia its unwillingness to go ahead with the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft primarily due to high cost involved in the project. India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for the mega project in 2007. In December 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter jet.

Union Bank of India to raise equity capital

Union Bank of India will raise equity capital of ` 1500 crore. The proposal was approved at its annual general meeting by the bank’s shareholders. The bank said that this capital raise will be in addition to the capital support which has been granted by the government.

President to visit Goa

The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Goa on July 7 and 8, 2018. This will be his first visit to Goa as the President of India. The President will visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Old Goa, and Shri Mangueshi Temple in Mardol, before returning to Delhi. The President will also address the 30th annual convocation of the Goa University.

Maldives signed power deal with Pakistan

The Maldives has signed a capacity-building agreement in the power sector with Pakistan, thus posing fresh security challenges for India. Officials of the Maldives state electricity company, Stelco signed a MoU for cooperation in institution building activities when they visited Pakistan last week. The Maldives has stopped issuing work permits to Indians.

Maldives is evasive on Indian maritime craft

Maldives is evasive on proposed LoE for deployment of India’s Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft in the archipelago. It led to a protracted standoff between two countries on the issue of defense and security offences. Maldives had asked India to remove both ALH Dhruv chopper from the Maldives by end of June but India is still looking for some settlement with the Maldives.

ICAT completed first BS-VI certification

ICAT has completed the first BS-VI certification for M/S Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle Limited for its heavy-duty engine model. The engine was developed and manufactured in India by Volvo Eicher. It would be implemented on April 1, 2020. ICAT is one of the prime testing agencies recognized by the Government of India.

YES Bank to launch Mutual Fund Business

Private lender YES Bank announced that it has received final regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start mutual fund business. This approval is subsequent to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval. YES Asset Management (India), a wholly owned subsidiary of YES Bank, will launch fund offerings across the spectrum in both debt and equity markets.

RBI grants licence to Bank of China

The Reserve Bank of India has issued the license to Bank of China to launch operations in India. With this, Bank of China becomes the second Chinese bank after the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to have a branch in India. Bank of China is one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in China. Bank of China opened its first branch in South Asia in Pakistan’s Karachi in 2017.

Centre approves MoU between ICAI, SOCPA

Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU signed in 2014 & approval for renewal of MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India & Saudi Organisation for Certified Public Accountant. The MoU promotes mutual co-operation framework in quality assurance, forensic accounting & Islamic finance among others. ICAI is a statutory body to regulate profession of CA in India.

WIPO treaties approved

The Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and United Kingdom regarding cooperation between both countries in the sphere of Law & Justice. A Joint Consultative Committee will also be set up. It concerns exchange of experience by legal professionals, government functionaries for resolution of disputes.

CCI launched an Online Guidance System

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an Online Guidance System for determining notifiability of merger & acquisitions. The Guidance System has been named as “Do It Yourself (DIY): A notifiability check for mergers & acquisitions under the Competition Act, 2002”. It is a part of CCI’s outreach initiatives and measures to simplify compliance requirements regarding combinations.

Sports Authority of India’s name changed

Union Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore announced that Sports Authority of India (SAI), will now be known as ‘Sports India’. SAI is a successor organization of the IXth Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982. It aims at the joint preparation of long term sports-specific development plans by National Sports governing bodies and federations of India (NSFs).

Repatriation agreement of Bru persons

An agreement has been signed by Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF). Persons presently in temporary camps in Tripura will repatriate to Mizoram and a Committee under Special Secretary will coordinate the implementation of this agreement. India will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Brus in Mizoram.

Bhutan PM to visit India

Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay would be arriving in Delhi for a 3-day visit to India. Both the nations would be discussing about host issues such as security ties and economic cooperation. This visit is expected to advance the ‘exemplary ties of friendship’ between both the nations. Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan.