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Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on 2nd July 2019
i. On July 2, 2019, The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the MoU between Government of India India and Government of the Republic of the Maldives on cooperation in the field of Health. T
ii. On July 2, 2019, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for MoU between India and Maldives for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea………………………..Click here to Read more
Cabinet Approvals on July 2, 2019
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all kharif crops for 2019-20 Season.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal for leasing out 3 airports namely Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru of Airports Authority of India (AAI) through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to the highest bidder M/s. Adani Enterprises Ltd.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Code on Wages Bill 2019.
- Cabinet approved the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 which aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy in India……………………………………Click here to Read more
Parliament passes Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill 2019
The Rajya Sabha has passed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill-2019 after it was passed in Lok Sabha on July 1, 2019. The bill replacing an earlier ordinance in this regard and it will now be sent for President’s assent. It will ensure compliance of the Constitutional Provisions of Articles 14, 16 and 21.
i. Objective: This Bill provides reservation of posts in direct recruitment of teachers in a central institution for persons belonging to Scheduled Castes(SC), Scheduled Tribes(ST) socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC), economically weaker sections(EWS).
ii. Filling vacant: The bill aimed at implementing 200-point reservation system instead of 13-point roster system which will pave the way for filling more than 7,000 teaching jobs lying vacant in central educational institutions and it also applies the 10% quota for the economically weak among the general category.
iii. Applicability: The Bill will apply to ‘central educational institutions’ which include Universities set up by Acts of Parliament, Institutions deemed to be a university, Institutions of national importance & Institutions receiving aid from the central government and it excludes institutes deemed as institutions of excellence, and of national and strategic importance.
Government extends KCC facility to fisheries, animal husbandry sector
On July 2, 2019, The Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Pratap Chandra Sarangi in a written reply in Lok Sabha informed that the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) has been extended to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers in order to assist them to meet their working capital needs. Key Points:
i. Extension of KCC facility will help to meet the short term credit requirements of farmers in rearing of animals, poultry birds and other aquatic organisms and capture of fish.
ii. The credit limit for the existing KCC holders is Rs 3 lakh including animal husbandry and fisheries activities and KCC holders for animal husbandry and fisheries have the credit limit of Rs. 2 lakh to meet their working capital requirements for animal husbandry and fisheries activities.
iii. Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers at the rate of 2% per annum at the time of disbursal of loan and additional interest subvention of 3% per annum in case of prompt repayment.
KCC is a credit scheme introduced in August 1998 by Indian banks. This model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Development (NABARD) on the recommendations of R.V. Gupta committee to provide term loans and meet agricultural needs.
Government increased the budget for drug de-addiction measures to Rs 135 crore
On July 4, 2019, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot informed that the budget for drug de-addiction measures was increased to Rs 135 crore from Rs 33 crore in 2014. It is provided to the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) for the year 2019-20.
i.The punishment to drug peddlers include imprisonment of 6 months to 15 years and imposition of fines.
ii.The Government has prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for the period 2018-2025 in which the ministry will undertake focused intervention programmes in 127 high-risk districts.
Around 35 crore LED bulbs distributed under UJALA scheme saved Rs 18,341 crore annually
On July 5, 2019, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2019 informed that under the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) Scheme, around 35 crore LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs were distributed which saved Rs 18,341 crore annually.
i. Ujala scheme is aimed to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness on using efficient equipment which reduces electricity bills and helps to preserve the environment.
ii. The Electricity Distribution Company and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) implements the programme.
NITI Aayog launched Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index 2019
NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog released its “Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index” (AMFFRI) for the year 2019. It is an index launched by NITI Aayog in 2016 to rank states and union territories based on the implementation of seven provisions proposed under the model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act.
i. Ranking: Maharashtra was ranked first for implementing most of the marketing reforms. Gujarat secured the second rank with a score of 71.5 out of 100, followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
ii. Scores: The Index had scores ranged from 0-100. Minimum value “0” implies no reforms and maximum value “100” implies complete reforms in the selected areas.
Top 10 States as per AMFFRI
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Formation: January 1, 2015
♦ Vice-Chairman: Rajiv Kumar
♦ CEO: Amitabh Kant
Total female enrollment ratio in secondary education increased to 80.29% in 2016-17: Smriti Irani
On July 4, 2019, The Union Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD), Smriti Irani stated that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of girls in secondary education level has registered an increase of 80.29% in 2016-17 compared to 80.10 % in 2015-16.
i. The upward trend at the national level: Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) witnessing an improvement from 923 to 931 at the national level.
ii.State level: When compared to the previous financial year 2017-18, SRB is showing an improving trend in 21 states or UTs(Union territory) and stable in three states or UTs for 2018-19.
iii. Innovative suggestion: The ministry directed all states and union territories to send innovative proposals for enhancing the safety and security of women under the Nirbhaya Fund.
iv. GER: It is regarded as a statistical measure for determining the number of students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and research-level studies within the country and expressed as a percentage of the population. India aims to achieve 30% GER by 2020.
Unmanned Level Crossings in all Broad-Gauge Network removed
Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal informed that all Unmanned Level Crossings (ULCs) in all Broad-Gauge (BG) Network were removed on January 31, 2019 and there isn’t a single ULC in the broad-gauge network in India.
i. The central government has also asked the Indian Railways to prepare a policy to remove all the manned level crossings on the Golden Quadrilateral route which connects metro cities on a ‘priority’ basis.
ii. It has also planned to give autonomy to the 7 rolling stock production units of the Indian Railways, and it is likely, to begin with the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh.
BPR&D, Morarji Desai National Institute Yoga sign MoU for Yoga education and training programs
On July 3, 2019 An Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) was signed between Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D) and Morarji Desai National Institute Yoga (MDNIY) for organizing Yoga education and training courses/programmes for Police Personnel and CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces)and their family members across the country.
i. This will help the Police personnel to overcome stress in daily professional and personal lives and help improve their productivity of services towards the nation.
ii. The organized training on Yoga will be introduced in the curriculum of CAPT(Central Academy for Police Training), CDTIs(Central Academy for Police Training) and various Police Training Institutes.
♦ Parent agency: Ministry of Home Affairs
♦ Formed: 28 August 1970
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India
♦ Founded: 1998
♦ Location: New Delhi
India’s longest electrified railway tunnel commissioned
South Central Railways (SCR) of Indian Railways commissioned the longest electrified tunnel in India. It is situated between Cherlopalli and Rapuru stations in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh which is a part of 113 km railway line between Obulavaripalli – Venkatachalam – Krishnapatnam Port. It is constructed in the shape of a Horse Shoe. Key Points:
i. The length of the tunnel is 6.6 kilometers, height (rail level to roof) is 6.5 metres and Minimum height of contact wire is maintained at 5.2 metres.
ii. It was built in 43 months at the cost of Rs 460 crore.
iii. New Australian Tunnelling Method (NATM) was used in construction.
‘Fashionova’, India’s first Design Development Centre launched in Surat, Gujarat
On July 4, 2019 ‘Fashionova’, India’s first Design Development Center was launched in the Textile city Surat, Gujarat to promote the city in the field of the fashion design sector. Anupam Goyal was the founder of Fashionova Design Development. Key Points:
i. Fashionava Design Development Centre has been started at Udhana area with all state-of-the-art machinery and other facilities.
ii. The main objective of this studio is to provide a strong platform to all those who have a flair of the apparel business.
iii. Paris-based-designer Neona Skane, Bollywood celebrity designer Salim Asgarally, CHASA IDT Director Chandrakala Sanap and Surat industrialists were presented during the inauguration ceremony.
India ranks 86th in Most Powerful Passport index 2019, Japan and Singapore holding the top spot
As per the recently released Henley Passport Index 2019, which ranks 199 countries in the world based on their Visa-Free Scores showed that Indian passport ranked at 86th position with a mobility score of 58. Japan and Singapore secured the joint top spot as the most powerful passports in the world with a score of 189.Key points:
i. South Korea now holds second place on the index along with Finland and Germany and it is followed by Denmark, Italy, and Luxembourg (3rd ).
ii. The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations including micro-states and territories.
iii. India seated 86th position with Mauritiana and Sao Tome and Principe.
iv. 58 countries around the world will allow visa-free entry to Indian passport holders.
v. France has dropped to the 4th place with Spain and Sweden. The UK and the US now share the sixth place – the lowest position either country has held since 2010 with 183 scores.
vi. Afghanistan at the 109th place is last on the list with a score of just 25.
v. In 2018 index, India ranked 79th position.
Kuwait supports India in countering terror
An Arab country on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Kuwait that completes its two-year term as the non-permanent member in the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) has played a major role in declaring JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist and in UNSC condemnation of Pulwama terror strike. It also assured that to support India’s global ambitions including investments.
i. In the 8543rd United Security Council meeting which was held on June 11, 2019, Kuwaiti proposed draft resolution 2474 with the aim of protecting civilians that deals with the matter of persons reported missing during armed conflicts.
ii. On June 20, 2019, The State of Kuwait actively engages in the sessions of United Nations and when the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2475 on Protection of Persons with Disabilities in conflicts calling up member states and parties of armed conflicts to ensure they have access to justice, basic services, and unimpeded humanitarian assistance.
♦ Capital: Kuwait City
♦ Currency: Kuwaiti dinar
US lists Balochistan Liberation Army and Husain Ali Hazzima as SDGTs
On July 2, 2019, The United States listed the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Hezbollah operative Husain Ali Hazzima as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.
i. BLA was responsible for several terrorist attacks, including a suicide attack in August 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in Balochistan, attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi in November 2018 and attack on a luxury hotel in Gwadar in May 2019.
ii. Hezbollah operative Husain Ali Hazzima is the chief of the Beirut-based terrorist group’s intelligence unit.
BANKING & FINANCE
Reliance Jio partners with Facebook to launch literacy drive “’Digital Udaan” for first-time internet users in India
Indian mobile network operator, Reliance Jio has partnered with Facebook to launch a digital literacy initiative named “Digital Udaan” to empower first-time internet users with digital literacy and understanding of the Internet in real time. Key points:
i. The initiative is being launched in nearly 200 different locations across 13 states and soon expected to reach over 7,000 locations in the country.
ii. Through this program, which has audio-visual training in 10 regional languages, jio will engage with its users to help them learn about features of JioPhone, apps and Internet safety including the use of Facebook.
iii. Facebook is an ally in this mission to achieve 100% digital literacy in the country.
iv. At present Jio have 300 million users and it added 8 million users in April 2019.
♦ Founder: Mukesh Ambani
♦ Founded: 2007
♦ CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
♦ Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States.
♦ Founded: February 2004
Punjab & Sind Bank sets up centralised hub ‘Cen-MARG’ to process retail and MSME loans
Punjab & Sind Bank has set up a centralized hub named “Centralised MSME & Retail Group” (Cen-MARG) for processing retail and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) loans for better efficiency of branches in business acquisition. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
i. It will ensure qualitative improvement in credit appraisal, improved turnaround time, uniform documentation, and efficient monitoring.
ii. Cen-MARG will be linked with pan-India branches of the bank in a phased manner.
About Punjab & Sind Bank:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ MD & CEO: S Harisankar
♦ Tag line: Where service is a way of life
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
According to the World Bank data for 2018, India’s turnover ratio fell by 60% in 10 years
As per the data of the World Bank for the year 2018, the turnover ratio of Indian stock market fell significantly by 60% in the past 10 years. Indian market volume compared to the size of the market was the lowest amongst major global economies.
i. A turnover ratio of Indian stock market fell from 143 in 2008 to 58 in 2018. It was the highest among the most leading markets of the world, except the United States (US) and European Union (EU).
ii. The reasons for the downfall of the turnover ratio was due to high trading costs, and increase in taxes such as the Securities Transaction Tax (STT).
iii. The ratio stood at 109 for the US, 174 for South Korea and 206 for China.
iv. Between 2008 and 2018, China’s turnover ratio fell less than 6%, Brazil- 12.85%, South Korea- 31.12%, and Japan & Hong Kong between 40-50%.
It is the cash market turnover divided by market capitalisation.
About World Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C.,United States
♦ Founded: 1944
♦ Founders: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White
Tata Steel Kalinganagar included in WEF’s Global Lighthouse Network
On July 3,2019 Tata Steel Kalinganagar becomes the first and the only Indian manufacturing plant that has been included in prestigious Lighthouse Network of the World Economic Forum, a community of manufacturers that are frontrunners in applying 4th Industrial Revolution technologies to draw a competitive advantage from either innovating their production system or by innovating their entire value chains and offering new products and services. Key points:
i. TSK in Odisha’s Jajpur district commissioned at May 2016 included as one in 10 new factories added in Global Lighthouse Network which has 16 existing lighthouses across multiple geographies and industries.
ii. The factories were selected based on their success in integrating cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analytics and 3D(three-dimensional) printing to increase efficiency and make innovation.
iii. Tata Steel’s IJmuiden plant at the Netherlands is already a member of this network.
About TATA steel
♦ CEO: T. V. Narendran
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founder: Jamsetji Tata
♦ Founded: 25 August 1907
♦ Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
♦ Founder: Klaus Schwab
♦ Founded: January 1971
♦ Motto: Committed to improving the state of the world
NASSCOM & NSDC launches “World Skills India”-International Cloud Computing Challenge 2019
Information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITeS) NASSCOM( National Association of Software and Services Companies) and Not-for-profit public limited company, NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) has organized “World Skills India”- International Cloud Computing Challenge 2019 from July (1st – 6th ) 2019 at NASSCOM Campus,New Delhi.
i. Aim: The initiative is aimed at recognizing the best practices from the world in the areas of cloud computing. The challenge was initiated in the presence of the minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey.
ii. Participants: Under the aegis of NASSCOM & NSDC, India along with nine other countries include New Zealand, Belgium, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Oman and Ireland are participated in the competition.
iii. The finalists will be further taking part in the 45th World Skills Competition in Kazan, Russia which scheduled in August 2019.
iv. Status: As per NASSCOM, in the Asia-Pacific region, India stands second only to China, as the largest and fastest-growing cloud services market.
v. WorldSkills India: This initiative launched in 2011 by NSDC and it seeks to provide a platform to the youth, along with industries and educators to compete, experience, learn and develop key professional skill sets required for Industry 4.0.
vi. Cloud computing: It is the delivery of different services through the Internet. The services fall into three categories include Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
♦ Chairman: Keshav R. Murugesh
♦ President: Debjani Ghosh
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ Chairman: A M Naik
♦ MD & CEO: Manish Kumar
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Dr.Nalin Shinghal appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL)
Dr.Nalin Shinghal was appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for a period of 5 years. He succeeded D. Bandyopadhyay who was given Additional Charge of Chairman & Managing Director after the retirement of Atul Sobti.i. Earlier he worked as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Central Electronics Limited(CEL).
ii. Before joining Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Central Electronics Limited (CEL) he worked as ED-Marketing in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
♦ Establishment – 1964
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi, India
Harideesh Kumar appointed as the Director of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection
B Harideesh Kumar has been appointed as director of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) for a period of three years. He hails from Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. Earlier he served as the Executive Director of Canara Bank. He succeeded Anup Sankar Bhattacharya, who has retired from his services. About IBPS:
♦ Chairman – Rajkiran Rai G
♦ In 1984, the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) department that handled the test was converted into the IBPS.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO signed a contract with Russian company Glavkosmos to train Indian astronauts for ‘Gaganyaan’
On June 27, 2019, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed a contract with a Russian company, Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of the state corporation Roscosmos, for selection support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts for ‘Gaganyaan’ mission. Key Points:
i. It was signed by Glavkosmos’ first Deputy Director-General, Natalia Lokteva, and Director of the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) of ISRO, S. Unnikrishnan Nair.
ii. The work will be supported by the Federal State Budget Organisation – the U A Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Centre and the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
iii. Gaganyaan, Rs 9,023-crore project, will be launched in December 2021 including a woman astronaut.
Arjen Robben, announces retirement from football
On July 5, 2019, 35 years old, Former Bayern Munich and Netherlands forward Arjen Robben, announced retirement from football. He hails from Bedum, Netherlands. He retired from International matched in 2017.
About his Career:
i. He made his professional debut in the year 2000 for FC Groningen. In April 2003 he made a debut to the International football matches.
ii. In 2004, he joined Chelsea Football cup.
iii. He joined Bayern in 2009 from Real Madrid, played 309 competitive games.
His Participation in winning titles:
i. He won a league title in 2008 with Madrid in Spain. He also helped Chelsea to league titles in 2005 and 2006, and PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title in 2003.
ii. He played for the Netherlands and helped to reach the 2010 World Cup final, where it lost to Spain.
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 2014,
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2014,
- FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2014,
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2013, 2015,
- FIFA Ballon d’Or: 4th place 2014,
- Dutch Sportsman of the year: 2014.
Sudershan Agarwal, former Uttarakhand Governor passed away in New Delhi
On July 3, 2019, Former Uttarakhand Governor Sudershan Agarwal passed away in New Delhi at the age of 88. He was born in Ludhiana, Punjab.i. He served as the second Governor of Uttarakhand between 2003 and 2007 during which he also established a Him Jyoti School in the Sahastradhara.
ii. He was appointed as Governor of Sikkim in 2007.
ii. He had also been the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha from 1981 to 1993.
iii. He served as a Member of the National Human Rights Commission for three years.
SC Directs Meghalaya to deposit 100 Crore as Fine imposed by NGT for Illegal Coal Mining
On July 3, 2019 The Supreme Court (SC) benches of justices Ashok Bhushan and K M Joseph directed the Meghalaya government to pay Rs 100 crore as fine which is imposed by the NGT (National Green Tribunal )on January 4,2019 for failing to curb illegal coal mining with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
i. Mandate: As per the order, the state administration should hand over the illegally extracted coal to Coal India Limited (CIL) which will auction the coal and deposit the funds with the state government.
ii. Approval: The bench also allowed mining operation on the private land subject to the permissions from the concerned authorities
iii. Report: As per the committee report headed by retired Justice BP Kakoti, there were around 24,000 mines in Meghalaya were operating illegally.
iv. Background: In December 2018, 15 miners were trapped in an illegal coal mine at Ksan in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.
♦ Capital: Shillong
♦ Governor: Tathagata Roy
♦ Chief Minister: Conrad Kongkal Sangma
UP govt launches toll-free ‘CM helpline 1076’ for complaint registration
On July 4, 2019, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath launched 24X7 toll-free ‘CM Helpline 1076’ for people to lodge complaints from anywhere in the state. It will facilitate a direct medium between the people and the CM’s Office.
i. The CM will select 100 out of total complaints and review them himself.
ii. He honoured Rajveer Singh, the helpline logo-maker, with a cheque of Rs 21,000.
iii. The complaint will be forwarded to the respective departments for speedy action and follow-up will be done within 3-4 days. The people who make fake calls will be punished.
About Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
♦ Wildlife Sanctuary: Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ National Park: Dudhwa National Park
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