Current Affairs July 11 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approvals on July 10, 2019

  • Approval to The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019
  • Approval to Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019
  • Approval to The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  • Approval to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019
  • Approval to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll
  • Approval to Amendment in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012
  • Approval to Grant of Organized Group ‘A’ Status to Indian Railway Protection Force (RPF) Service………………………………Click here to Read more

Centre sets up committee to assess law to protect doctors
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare constituted a 10-member inter-ministerial committee to assess the various aspects of enacting Central law against attack on-duty doctors and medical establishments.
Key points:
i. Panel:
It includes representatives of  Health ministry, the legal affairs department, hospital administrators, members of Medical Council of India and Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association(FORDA), and medical superintendents of All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital(RML).
ii. Draft bill: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had prepared the draft Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Act, 2017, which proposes a 10-year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine for violence against doctors, was submitted to Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
iii. Benefits: The panel formation will help improve the communication between doctors and the government and to discuss matters of violence against doctors.
iv. Background: 72% of 3.25 lakh IMA’s doctors have assaulted verbally/physically while on duty and in June 2019, 2 junior doctors of NRS Medical College in Kolkata, West Bengal were critically injured in mob attack following the death of an 80-year-old patient during treatment. This had led to strikes called by doctors & their protesting colleagues triggered 4-day nationwide agitations.
v. Report: Only 19 states have state legislation on violence against doctors at present.

Government approved Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana along Indo-Nepal Border areas with financial outlay of Rs 5,35,000 crore
On July 8, 2019, The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin J Gadkari in a written reply in Rajya Sabha mentioned that the Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana received the approval with the financial outlay of Rs 5,35,000 crore to develop 24,800 km Highways along with 10,000 km residual National Highways Development Project (NHDP) stretches over a period of 5 years.Bharatmala Pariyojana Key Points: 
i. Outlay of Rs 25,000 crore is approved for the development of Border & International Connectivity roads for a length of 2000 km.
ii. Along Indo-Nepal Border, the balance work of Piprakothi-Motihari-Raxaul on NH-28A of about 69 km length with civil cost of approximately Rs 334 crore was awarded in December, 2018. Commenced in February, 2019 it is expected to complete in 12 months.
About Bharatmala Pariyojana:
It is a centrally-sponsored and funded road and highways project of the Union Government. It was launched on July 31, 2015.

Government banned Pro-Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice for alleged anti-national activities
On July 10, 2019, The Union Cabinet banned the US-based Pro-Khalistani group The Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967.Government banned Pro-Khalistani groupi. It propelled the Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.
ii. SFJ openly supported the cause of Khalistan, a Sikh separatist movement. It challenged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.
About Sikh Referendum 2020:
It is a campaign to liberate Punjab, currently occupied by India.

India has adequate number of healthcare professionals: Indian Institute of Public Health Survey
According to the research conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gurugram, on “Size, composition and distribution of human resource for health in India: new estimates using National Sample Survey (NSSO) and Registry data”, India has an adequate number of healthcare professionals, though they are unevenly distributed between rural and urban India and across different states.
Key Points: 
i. It addressed the issues of distribution of Human Resource for Health (HRH) in India.
ii. It used the 2011-12 NSSO data, projected Human Resource for Health (HRH) number for 2016 using census projection and worker participation rate along with the survey of 2017 registry data of health professionals- Medical Council of India, India Nursing Council, Dental Council of India and other professional associations.
iii. The density of the total health workers was estimated to be 29 per 10,000 population based on NSSO and 38 per 10,000 population based on the registration data. It is close to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) minimum threshold of 22.8 health workers per 10,000 population.
iv. The number of doctors in Kerala and Union Territories was higher compared to larger states such as Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Bihar.

India – ASEAN Troika Trade Ministers’ Meeting held in New Delhi
On July 9, 2019, India – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Troika Trade Ministers’ Meeting was held in New Delhi for informal consultation on the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal, Acting Minister of Commerce of Thailand, Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Minister of Trade of Indonesia, Enggartiasto Lukita, Secretary-General, ASEAN, Lim Jock Hoi and Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) Chair of RCEP, Iman Pambagyo attended the meeting.
Key Points: 
i. India emphasized on adherence to the RCEP guiding principles in order to balance high ambition on goods tariff reduction with addressing of sensitives in bilateral pairings between India and China through temporary and permanent deviations/ exclusions.
ii. China had demanded that India should eliminate duties on more than 90% of the items from the country, as it is willing to do in case of the ASEAN, Japan, and South Korea. But India has tentatively offered to eliminate duties on 74% of items from China as part of the RCEP deal.
iii. It also highlighted to stress on the possible mechanism to address persistent and wide imbalances in trade.
About RCEP:
Headquarters: London, UK
Founded: 20 November 2012
Members: 10 Asean group members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and 6 FTA (Free Trade Partners) partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The 2nd edition of India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue 2019 held in New Delhi
The 2nd India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) 2019 was held in New Delhi. It aims at bilateral cooperation between two countries in various fields. It was chaired by Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of India’s think tank, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Timur Maksimov.India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue 2019Key points:
i. Areas of cooperation: It includes

  • Development of transport infrastructure and technologies
  • Development of agriculture and agro-Processing sector.
  • Small and Medium business support
  • Digital Transformation and Frontier Technologies
  • Cooperation in Trade, Banking, Finance, and Industry
  • Tourism & Connectivity.

ii. Participation: The 2nd dialogue saw participation of government officials, business leaders and experts & it included parallel roundtables which discussed areas of cooperation and concrete roadmaps for future negotiations across outlined six-core areas.
iii. First meeting: The 1st IRSED was held in St. Petersburg between November 25-26, 2018.
iv. IRSED: It was formed after the MoU (memorandum of understanding) was signed between the two countries during the 19th edition of Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit, which was held on October 5, 2018, in New Delhi.
About Russia:
♦ Capital: Moscow
♦ Currency: Russian Ruble
♦ President: Vladimir Putin
♦ Prime Minister: Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev

Rare footage of 1948 film Vande Mataram is now part of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) collection
Pune based National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has acquired rare footage of the 1948 Marathi film ‘Vande Mataram’, in which legendary writer and playwright P.L. Deshpande played the major role along with his wife Sunita Deshpande.Rare footage of 1948 film Vande MataramKey points:
i. A Video Home system (VHS) cassette containing about 35-minute footage of the film ‘Vande Mataram’ along with two U-Matic tapes of about one-hour duration containing rare footage of PL Deshpande playing harmonium in 1980s has been donated to NFAI.
ii. The film was directed by noted filmmaker Ram Gabale.
About NFAI:
i. It is India’s premier organization for film preservation, conservation, and restoration.
ii. It works under the aegis of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

GoI hands over 250 houses to Myanmar’s  Rakhine State 
On July 9, 2019, The Government of India (GoI) handed over the 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of Refugees returned from Bangladesh to Myanmar’s  Rakhine State. India is supporting under Rakhine State Development Programme’ (RSDP) for 5 consecutive years with an aid of $25 million.
Key points:
i. Other 22 proposals which include construction-related projects, capacity building projects, solar power related projects and agriculture mechanization projects are presently under consideration.
ii. 148 units of pre-fabricated houses in Shwe Zar, 60 in Kyein Chaung Taung and 42 units in Nant Thar Taung were built in one year.
iii. The project was undertaken by two Indian companies include M/s Hindustan Prefab Limited as Project Management Consultant and M/s Enertech Limited.
iv. Background: An MoU (memorandum of understanding ) was signed between India and Myanmar on Rakhine State Development Programme in December 2017 aims to contribute socio-economic development in northern Rakhine State.
v. Over 1.1 million Rohingyas have been entered India & Bangladesh after rising violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

From 2020, France will impose green tax on plane tickets
On July 9, 2019, With an aim to fund less-polluting transportation projects, French government announced to impose green tax up to €18 ($20) on plane tickets for all outgoing flights from airports in France with effect from 2020.France will impose green tax on plane ticketi. Tax of €1.5 will be imposed on economy-class tickets on internal flights and those within Europe. The new measure is expected to bring €182 million a year which will be invested in greener transport infrastructures.

Sri Lanka declared ‘measles-free’ nation by WHO
On July 9, 2019, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that measles disease has been eradicated in Sri Lanka. The last case of measles caused by an indigenous virus was reported in May 2016. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.Sri Lanka declared ‘measles-free’ nation by WHO Key Points: 
i. With this, it became the 4th country after Bhutan, Maldives, and Timor-Leste to eliminate measles and control rubella in the WHO South-East Asia Region.
ii. In 2018, Sri Lanka along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Timor-Leste had achieved rubella control.

BANKING & FINANCE

Total deposits in Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs.1 lakh crore
According to the Finance ministry, total deposits in over 36.06 crore bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was at Rs 1,00,495.94 crore.Jan Dhan accounts Key points:
i. The number of zero balance accounts under PMJDY decreased to 5.07 crore (14.37 % of the total accounts) in March 2019 compared to 5.10 crore (16.22% of the total accounts) in March 2018.
ii. Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts are under the PMJDY scheme have the facility of RuPay debit card and an overdraft. More than 28.44 crore account holders have been issued the Rupay debit cards.
iii. The accounts opened after August 28, 2018, has accident insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh instead of Rs 1 lakh. The overdraft (OD) facility has also been doubled to Rs 10,000 from Rs.5,000.
About PMJDY:
It was launched on 28 August 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure affordable access to financial services include Bank accounts, remittance, credit, insurance and pension to weaker sections and low-income groups.

RBI panel suggests to review timings of different financial markets
An internal committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suggested to review the timings of different financial markets. It recommended the timing of the functioning of the foreign exchange market from 9 am to 9 pm instead of 9 am to 5 pm.
Key points:
i. The decision was taken after RBI’s consideration to gauge demand and potential benefits such as better pricing of post-market hours information/data, improved onshore price discovery and a possible shift of offshore volumes to onshore.
ii. Call money market timings could be extended till 6 pm instead of the 5 pm to facilitate liquidity management by banks.
iii. The market timing for government security markets will not be changed.
iv. The extension of market hours would complement the process of reviewing and rationalizing foreign exchange regulations to provide flexibility regarding products, participation, and position.
About RBI:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das

Samsung joins hands with Paisabazaar.com to offer financial products
South Korean multinational conglomerate, Samsung partners with Paisabazaar.com, India’s largest online marketplace to offer financial products.Samsung join hands with PaisabazaarKey points:
i. Paisabazaar.com will now support Samsung Pay users by providing a one-stop solution to their financial requirements.
ii. Samsung Pay users can apply for credit cards and personal loans from the platform by using this facility.
iii. The loan approval feature in Paisabazaar will be extremely fast and seamless for the benefit of customers.
About Samsung:
♦ Founder
: Lee Byung-Chul
♦ Founded: 1 March 1938
♦ Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
About Paisabazaar
♦ Headquarters: Gurugram
♦ Founders: Yashish Dahiya, Naveen Kukreja
♦ Founded: 15 December 2011

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Prasar Bharati signs MoU with IIT Kanpur for research collaboration
India’s largest public broadcasting agency, Prasar Bharati has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with IIT, Kanpur (Indian Institute of Technology) for research collaboration in newly emerging technologies and broadcasting-related areas in New Delhi.
Key points:
i. This will help in boosting research activities in the broadcasting field.
ii. The areas of cooperation would be Direct to mobile broadcasting, Convergence of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Incubation Centre and internship for students of IIT, Kanpur at Prasar Bharati .
About Prasar Bharati:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Shashi Shekhar Vempati
♦ Founded: 23 November 1997
♦ Chairman: Dr. A. Surya Prakash

BCC entered into MoU with BRICS chamber to promote trade 
On July 9 2019 The Bharat Chamber of Commerce, (BCC, Kolkata, West Bengal) signed an MoU(memorandum of understanding) with BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRICS CCI) for promoting trade and investments between BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the eastern part of India.BCC entered into MoU with BRICS chamberKey points:
i. About the pact: It was signed by BCC president Sitaram Sharma and BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director General B B L Madhukar. It enables BCC and BRICS chamber to share trade-related information and exchange trade delegations among BRICS member countries.
ii. It will allow BCC to work with BRICS Chamber to promote trade, technological and industrial cooperation between West Bengal and BRICS countries.
About BRICS CCI:
i. It is a parent organization founded in 2012 promotes commerce and industry in BRICS countries. It was founded with collective efforts of eminent professionals and entrepreneur.
ii. Prime Objectives: To provide a dynamic institutional connection for promotion of trade and industries, and also to strengthen social, cultural and educational relations among BRICS countries. To create an enabling support system especially for the MSME segment of businesses and young entrepreneurs from across all geographies.
About BCC:
i. It was formed in the year 1900.
ii. Mission: Expansion of economic and commercial activity through enhancement of efficiency and competition at all levels.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Reebok announced Katrina Kaif as the new brand ambassador
On July 3, 2019, Fitness brand Reebok appointed Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif as its new brand ambassador in India. This will enhance Reebok’s commitment to be the best fitness brand in India.Reebok announced Katrina Kaif as the new brand ambassador

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Walmart Labs acqui-hired 2 startups FloCare and BigTrade
Walmart Labs, an American subsidiary of Walmart in San Bruno, California, Acqui-hired 2 Bengaluru-based health tech startups FloCare and BigTrade, a B2B (Business to Business) wholesale trading platform, for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its customer technology and supply chain.Walmart Labsi. Acqui-hires are made for the skills of the team, rather than for the product.
ii. FloCare was co-founded by former Google research scientist Gagan Goel and former InMobi employee Gaurav Gupta. BigTrade was founded by former Infosys engineer Kiran L and former Yahoo tech lead Sunil Soni.

OBITUARY

Mandla Maseko, set to become the first black African in space passed away in a motorbike crash
On July 6, 2019, Mandla Maseko, aged 30, set to become the first black African in space passed away in a motorbike crash in Pretoria, South Africa. He was a part-time DJ and candidate officer with the South African Air Force and was nicknamed “Afronaut” and “Spaceboy”.Mandla Masekoi. He was born on August 27, 1988, in Soshanguve, North Pretoria, South Africa.
ii. In 2013, he was one of 23 winners out of a million entrants to a competition by the Axe Apollo Space Academy to attend a US space academy. He was scheduled to fly in 2015 but the space flight never took place, as the company organizing it, XCOR Aerospace, went bankrupt.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Population Day 2019 observed on July 11
World Population Day was observed on July 11, 2019. It creates awareness of the growing population issues. Population issue may be family planning, gender equality, child marriage, human rights, right to health, baby’s health, etc.World Population Day 2019 Key Points: 
i. It was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1989.
ii. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day celebrated on July 11, 1987. It was on this date, the world’s population reached five billion people.
iii. 2019 World Population Day calls for global attention of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
iv. China is the most populous country in the world followed by India.
v. India’s 35% population is living in 3 states- Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
vi. According to data provided by the Pew Research Center, India will try to accommodate 1450 million people in the year 2100 and will also surpass China.
About UNDP:
Headquarters: New York City, US
Founded: 22 November 1965
Administrator: Achim Steiner

STATE NEWS

UP Govt sets target of $1 trillion economy in next three years
The Uttar Pradesh State Government has set the state a target of becoming a $1-trillion economy in the next three years. It was announced by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set an ambitious target of $5 trillion economy for the country to be achieved in the next 5 years.
Key points:
i. The agriculture sector of the state will be going to play a major role in achieving the target because of the schemes like soil health card, Pradhan Mantri Sinchayi Yojna, and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna.
ii. The state Government also working to promote agricultural export & milk production in the state by using “Naasal sudhar” (genetic improvement in cattle).
About Uttar Pradesh
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
♦ National Parks: Dudhwa National Park

UP has highest number of senior citizens with more than one crore 54 lakh
Rattan Lal Kataria, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment stated that Uttar Pradesh (UP) has the highest number of senior citizens with more than one crore 54 lakh followed by Maharashtra with one crore 11 lakh.
Key points:
i. Totally the country has over 10.38 crore senior citizens.
ii. Schemes: For the betterment of senior citizens, the centre has launched various schemes to lead a socially secured life. And since 2017, the ministry has launched Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana for senior citizens belonging to BPL (Below Poverty Line) category, who are suffering from age-related disabilities.
About Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana:
The Scheme aims at providing physical aids and assisted-living devices for senior citizens(who are aged above 60 years) belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category.
About Uttar Pradesh
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Wildlife sanctuaries:  Bakhira WLS,Chandraprabha WLS ,Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Bird WLS,Hastinapur WLS Uttar, Kaimur WLS, Katerniaghat WLS, Kishanpur WLS, Lakh Bahosi Bird WLS, Turtle WLS, Vijai Sagar WLS, Pilibhit WLS etc.

Former Goa Minister and leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) passed away
Former Goa Minister and senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr. Wilfred Mesquita passed away in Mumbai, after a brief illness. He was 70.Dr. Wilfred MesquitaKey points:
i. He was born on April 14, 1949, at Divar in North Goa district graduated from the Goa Medical College in the 1970s and then specialized in medicine (Obs. & Gyn).
ii. He was Vice President of Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party( Youth Wing) when it was ruling the state.
iii. He was a former commissioner for NRI (Non-resident Indian) affairs and held portfolios of Revenue, Environment, Sports and Youth Affairs, Power, Law and Judiciary and Legislative Affairs.  In the 1990s, he had also served as a minister in Congress-led government
iv. He was a leader of the Goa BJP since 2007 and worked as the party’s vice president and spokesman.

Odisha state Govt implemented the Centre’s Witness Protection Scheme, 2018
The Odisha state Government has implemented the Centre’s Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 to protect witnesses and their family members from threats against their lives and reputation.
Key points:
i. Witness protection Scheme: The objective of this Scheme is to ensure that the investigation, prosecution, and trial of criminal offenses is not prejudiced because witnesses are intimidated or frightened to give evidence without protection from violent or other criminal recrimination. It comprises 3 categories of witnesses as per the threat perception.
Category A: It consists of the cases where the threat extends to the life of witness or his family members during an investigation, trial or thereafter.
Category B: cases where the threat perception extends to safety, reputation or property of the witness or his family members during the investigation or trial.
Category C: cases where the threat is moderate and extends to harassment or intimidation of the witness or his family member’s reputation or property.
About Odisha:
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal

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