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PM Narendra Modi’s 1-day visit to Gujarat
i. On September 30, 2018, PM Modi reached Anand and development projects worth over Rs. 1100 crore were inaugurated.
ii. PM Modi visited Anjar, Kutch and development projects worth
iii. He inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi Museum set up at the Alfred High School in Rajkot to spread awareness about Gandhian culture, values and philosophy.
iv. The foreign delegates are in India to participate in the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention being held in New Delhi……………………….Click here to Read more
Govt cuts gross borrowing estimate for current fiscal by Rs 70,000 crore
On September 29, 2018, Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg announced a reduction in gross borrowing estimate for the current fiscal by 70,000 crore rupees.
i .It also aims to contain fiscal deficit target at 3.3 per cent.
ii. The government intends to borrow around 2 lakh 50,000 crore rupees as compared to 2 lakh 88,000 crores during April-September of 2018-19.
iii. It also announced launch of inflation-indexed bonds, adding that one or two bond issues will come in the current fiscal.
Govt to convert 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centers into Wellness Centers
On September 16, 2018, Union Health Minister JP Nadda declared conversion of 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and sub-centres into wellness centers by 2022.
i. The conversion phases are as follows:
- 4,000 sub-centres in 2017,
- 50,000 centres in 2018,
- 30,000 centres in 2019 and
- 40,000 centres in 2020.
ii. He also sought the support of the private sector for offering better health care to the people.
iii. These aims to facilitate screening of every individual aged 30 for blood pressure, diabetes, tuberculosis, breast cancer and leprosy among others.
iv. He also announced the Kayakalp initiative that would encourage every public health facility in the country to work towards standards of excellence to help the facilities stay clean and hygienic.
Government constitutes Competition Law Review Committee to review the Competition Act
The Government has constituted a Competition Law Review Committee to review the Competition Act.
i. Competition Law Review Committee consists of:
- Chairperson – Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs,Injeti Srinivas.
- Member Secretary – Joint Secretary (Competition), Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- Members – Chairperson, Competition Commission of India (CCI); Chairperson, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India; Shri Haigreve Khaitan, M/S Khaitan & Co. ; Shri Harsha Vardhana Singh, IKDHVAJ Advisers LLP; Ms. Pallavi Shardul Shroff, Advocate, M/S Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.; Dr. S. Chakravarthy, IAS (Retd.), Hony. Visiting Prof. ASCII; Aditya Bhattacharjea, Professor of Economics, Delhi School of Economics;
ii. The Competition Act was passed in 2002. The Competition Commission of India started functioning in 2009.
iii. The Competition Law Review Committee will review the Competition Act. It will submit its report within 3 months from its first meeting.
MoHUA & Google launched #LooReview Campaign
On September 28, 2018, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban (SBM – U) partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign.
i. This would encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
ii. 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.
7 member GoM chaired by Bihar Dy. CM to review help for states hit by natural calamity: GST council
On September 30, 2018, a seven-member group of ministers with Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar as convenor was formed by the Goods and Services Tax Council to review on ‘Modalities for Revenue Mobilisation in case of Natural Calamities and Disasters’.
i. This decision was taken in the 30th meeting of the GST council chaired by chairman Arun Jaitley.
ii. The group will recommended ways to assist the calamity hit states with steps like separate cess and would submit its report by submit its report by October 31, 2018.
iii. The focus areas of consideration are:
- Whether the burden of the cess levied should be borne by the people of the state or the entire nation,
- Whether the additional levy should be limited to luxury or sin goods or cover a wider range of products.
- When should such a cess be levied and
- Whether the state and central disaster funds would be sufficient.
iv. Points against this theory are:
- This new concept / cess can further distort the GST,
- The filling would be complicated and
- The Software system should be updated for such feature.
Kerala had proposed a 10% cess on GST in the state and on Integrated GST on supplies made to the state.
Kerala’s demand to allow imposition of a higher tax or cess within the state to help tide over losses suffered due to floods in August had been considered by the Council.
♦ Union Minister: Shri Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan.
♦ Secretart of Finance:Shri Rajiv Kumar(Finance).
15% houses completed in urban areas under Centre’s flagship PMAY scheme in 3 years: Ministry of HUA
On September 16, 2018, according to data provided by the Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry, over 15 per cent of the 54.95 lakh houses sanctioned in last three years under the Centre’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
i. As per the data, 8.55 lakh houses have been completed till August 21 , 2018 and work on 30.4 lakh units across the country.
ii. It also stated that out of 8.55 lakh houses, 5.68 lakh houses have been completed in the last one year.
iii. Furthermore, on August, the ministry approved construction of nearly 1.12 lakh more affordable houses for urban poor.
iv. This took the total number of sanctioned houses under the PMAY (Urban) to 54,95,443.
v. Also, 4,320 cities and towns have been included in the PMAY (U) across the country and 11,226 projects have been approved till July 2018.
The HUA Ministry has also planned to organise the Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge to attract innovative, sustainiable technologies for construction.
♦ Scheme Name: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)
♦ Under Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry.
♦ Aims to construct one crore houses in urban areas across the country over a period of seven years from 2015 to 2022
♦ Launch year: June 2015.
Shri Jual Oram inaugurated “Conference on Empowerment of Women Self Help Groups & Organic Farmers Co-Operatives from Dantewada, Bastar Region”
On September 26, 2018, Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated the “Conference on Empowerment of Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) & Organic Farmers Co-operatives from Dantewada, Bastar Region” in New Delhi.
i. It was organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India, TRIFED.
ii. This was aimed to give market opportunities team members of Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) & Organic Farmers Co-operatives from Dantewada, Bastar Region to showcase their products in urban areas.
iii. The Ministry also launched “Punch Tantra Collection” which included Punchtantra tribal artefacts including handlooms and handicrafts.
Maharashtra topped the list of states with maximum average AUM: AMFI
On September 22, 2018, according to Association of Mutual Funds of India’s (AMFI) statistics, Maharashtra topes the chart for state with the maximum penetration and Assets Under Management (AUM).
i. Also, as per August , average assets under management (AUM) of mutual funds rose to an all-time high of Rs 25.2 lakh crore across the country.
ii. For Maharashtra, it touched Rs 10.35 lakh crore, about 41.1 per cent of the all-India total.
iii. It is followed by Delhi having Rs 2.35 lakh crore and Karnataka having Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
iv. Other states in the top 5 include: Gujarat with Rs 1.62 lakh crore and West Bengal with Rs 1.29 lakh crore.
v. Haryana with Rs 1.14 lakh crore and Tamil Nadu with Rs 1.16 lakh crore were the only other states with more than Rs 1 lakh crore of AUM, where UP has Rs 96,200 crore.
vi. Also, Mutual fund penetration as measured by per capital asset under management was the highest in Delhi followed by Goa and Maharashtra.
vii. The percentage of assets with an equity component (i.e. pure equity schemes and balanced scheme) was just 31 per cent in case of Maharashtra compared to nation’s average of 40%.
viii. Other states having more than the average equity percentages are: Bihar with 73 per cent, Gujarat with 52 per cent, Jammu and Kashmir, and Kerala having 71 and 69 per cent, respectively.
ix. The reason for Maharashtra’s position Is because it is home to many big corporates who park a lot of their surplus funds in short-term, debt-oriented mutual funds.
Association of Mutual Funds of India (AMFI):
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Chairman: Mr. A. Balasubramanian.
♦ Members: 43 Asset Management Companies.
Kolkata launched India’s first flood forecast system with $1 mn assistance from ADB
On September 27, 2018, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) launched a flood forecasting and early warning system (FFEWS) for Kolkata City.
It is also India’s first comprehensive city-level FFEWS.
To help city officials and citizens act decisively to minimize damage before and during disasters.
i. Asian Development Bank (ADB) from its Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility, funded this project with technical assistance of a $1 million to KMC.
ii. The system has been designed to provide forecasts as well as real-time information on inundation, temperature, air quality, and other climate-related data through 400 sensor nodes.
iii. It will send real-time data to a cloud-based dashboard which will send risk information through mobile alerts and radio/television messaging.
iv. It will reduce economic loss and impacts on livelihood and improve flood awareness and safety at community level.
i. It is a part of ADB’s 20-year partnership with KMC .
ii. Earlier grants to upgrade and expand the sewerage and drainage network in Kolkata include:
$250 million loan under the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project,
$400 million loan under Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program.
♦ Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.
♦ President: Takehiko Nakao.
♦ Established in 1966.
♦ Members: 67 (48 regional members).
♦ Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee.
♦ Governor: Kesari Nath Tripathi.
♦ National Parks: Jaldapara National Park, Sunderbans National Park, Gorumara National Park, Neora Valley National Park, Singalila National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ Airports: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Cooch Behar Airport, Bagdogra Airport, Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport.
Goa, Portugal signed MoU for water, sewage management for 2 years
On September 30, 2018, the Goa government inked a pact with Portugal in the field of water supply, waste water management and sanitation for a period of 2 years.
i. The MOU was signed between:
Goa Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar and
Portugal’s Minister of Environment Joao Pedro de Matos Fernandes.
ii. The projects would include:
- Opa water supply projectin north Goa,
- Sewage water treatment plantin Valpoi and
- Manganese-removal efforts in Selaulim Reservoir.
iii. Focus areas of the projects are:
- Asset management procedure and standards,
- Energy Management,
- Water supply operation and energy efficiency,
- Resource valorisation, waste water and sewerage planning, management and
- Technological solutions.
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Parrikar.
♦ Governor: Smt. Mridula Sinha.
♦ National Parks: Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondia Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
♦ Capital: Lisbon.
♦ Currency: Euro.
Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani launched Swacchta Hi Sewa Pakhwara at New Delhi Railway Station
On September 15, 2018, Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani launched Swacchta Hi Sewa Pakhwara at New Delhi Railway Station.
i. It was launched by the Ministry of Railways as a part of Swachhta Hi Sewa Abhiyaan’ .
ii. All Zones, Divisions, Production Units & Workshops and Railway PSUs were included in the celebration from 15th September to 2nd October 2018 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Uttarakhand House nod to declare cow ‘Rashtra Mata’
On September 20, 2018, Uttarakhand state assembly declared cow as the ‘Rashtra Mata’ or the mother of the nation.
i. The resolution was moved by the State Animal Husbandry Minister Rekha Arya.
ii. This was aimed as a step towards cow protection.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the three-day ‘Kalahandi Dialogue’
On 28th September 2018, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched ‘Kalahandi Dialogue’ at Bhawanipatna, in Kalahandi, Odisha.
i. The ‘Kalahandi Dialogue’ was held for 3 days. It was a global conclave on development of Kalahandi district.
ii. Naveen Patnaik also launched several projects for the district. He laid foundation stone for 12 projects, inaugurated nine projects in Bhawanipatna, etc.
iii. Sujeet Kumar was the Chairperson of Kalahandi Dialogue. The dialogue aimed to involve youth in development activities.
iv. Naveen Patnaik praised the people of Kalahandi for making the district the “green basket” of Odisha.
Some important National Parks in Odisha:
♦ Bhitarkanika National Park
♦ Simlipal National Park
Ministry of AYUSH sets up AYUSH Information Cell in Romania
Ministry of AYUSH has set up an AYUSH Information Cell at the Indian Embassy in Romania to present authentic information about AYUSH system of medicine and to promote Ayurveda practice in Romania.
i. The AYUSH Information Cell in Romania was digitally inaugurated by Vice president of India Venkaiah Naidu during his visit to Romania on September 19, 2018.
ii. The AYUSH Information Cell in Romania will help to organise lectures, consultation, conduct seminars, training courses and help associations of AYUSH stakeholders for networking, conducting meetings, develop awareness of AYUSH system in Romania.
iii. At the event, a book on ‘Ayurveda in Romania’ was also released by Venkaiah Naidu. Ambassador of India, Bucharest Mr. Thanglura Darlong also participated in the event.
About Ministry of AYUSH:
♦ Minister of State (Independent charge) – Shripad Yesso Naik
♦ Full form AYUSH – Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy
Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for 2019: IISc Bengaluru retained its position
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru has secured number one position among Indian universities in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for 2019 released on 26th September 2018.
i. India has secured 49 places in this year’s list compared to 42 last year. Indian Institute of Technology Indore (IIT Indore) has become India’s second highest ranked university and a global top 400 institution.
ii. IIT Bombay has gone down from the 351-400 rankings band to the 401-500 band.
iii. Amrita University from Tamil Nadu has made a steep increase from the 801-1000 band to 601-800 band.
iv. Top 5 universities in the World University Ranking 2019:
1.University of Oxford
2.University of Cambridge
4.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5.California Institute of Technology
BANKING & FINANCE
Permission to open new branches by Bandhan Bank withdrawn by RBI
On September 28, 2018, RBI withdrew permission of Bandhan Bank to open new branches.
i. It also put a freeze on the remuneration of the MD & CEO, CS Ghosh.
ii. This happened because of the bank’s failure to bring down shareholding of Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) or promoter share holding to 40 per cent as instructed by RBI.
♦ Headquarters: Kolkata.
♦ Chiarman: Mr. Harun Rashid Khan.
♦ Tagline: Aapka Bhala, Sabki Bhalai.
India’s external debt declined 2.8 per cent $514.4 billion at end-June: RBI
On September 30, 2018, according to data of the Reserve Bank of India, India’s external debt for the quarter ended June 2018 declined on a year-on-year basis by 2.8 per cent to $514.4 billion.
i. It had a recording decrease of $14.9 billion from earlier estimate of over $529 billion reported for the corresponding period of 2017.
ii. Also, the external debt to GDP ratio stood at 20.4 per cent at June-end, a shade lower than its level of 20.5 per cent at March-end.
iii. The major reason for the decrease in external debt was primarily due to valuation gains of $13 billion due to appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian rupee.
iv. Excluding the valuation effect, the decrease in external debt would have been $1.9 billion instead of $14.9 billion at June-end over March-end.
v. Commercial borrowings continued to be the largest component of external debt with a share of 37.8 per cent, followed by NRI deposits at 24.2 per cent and short-term trade credit at 18.8 per cent.
The largest component of India’s external debt was US dollar denominated debt with a share of 50.1 per cent at end-June 2018, followed by the Indian rupee (35.4 per cent), SDR (5.4 per cent), Japanese yen (4.7 per cent) and euro (3.3 per cent).
About External Debt:
i. External loan is the total debt a country owes to foreign creditors, complemented by internal debt owed to domestic lenders.
ii. These loans, including interest, must usually be paid in the currency in which the loan was made.
Rs 5 crore penalty slapped on Karur Vysya Bank by RBI
On September 28, 2018, the Reserve Bank of India fined Karur Vysya Bank a total of Rs. 5 crore for non-compliance of its directives.
i. The reason behind this penalty are:
- Non-compliance with its directions on “Income Recognition and Asset Classification (IRAC) norms,
- Reporting of frauds, and
- On the need for discipline at the time of opening of current accounts.
Karur Vysya Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Karur , Tamil Nadu.
♦ MD & CEO: PR Seshadri.
♦ Tagline: Smart way to Bank.
BoB, Vijaya Bank approved merger proposal with Dena Bank to create second largest PSU lender
On September 29, 2018, the boards of state-run Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Vijaya Bank gave their assent for their amalgamation with Dena Bank to form the second-largest entity in the PSU banking space.
i. This is in line with the Finance Ministry’s proposal on September 17, 2018.
ii. Post-merger, the asset size of the new entity would be over Rs 14.5 lakh crore.
iii. The amalgamation of the three banks would be through share swap which will be the part of the scheme of merger.
iv. Post-merger of BoB, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, the number of PSU banks will come down to 19.
Bank Of Baroda:
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara, Gujarat.
♦ CEO: P.S. Jayakumar.
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank.
♦ Headquarters : Mumbai.
♦ CEO: Shri Ashwani Kumar.
♦ Tagline : Trusted Family Bank
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru.
♦ CEO: R. A. Sankara Narayana.
♦ Tagline: A Friend you can Bank upon.
BSE, PTC, ICICI to set up India’s 3rd electricity exchange
On September 10, 2018, BSE, PTC India Ltd and ICICI Bank have come together to form India’s third electricity exchange.
i. They have filed a petition with the power market regulator, CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) for grant of licence for setting up a new power exchange.
ii. India has two operating power exchanges—Power Exchange of India (PXIL) and India Energy Exchange (IEX).
World Bank-ADB report estimated Rs 25,050 crore for rebuilding Kerala
On September 27, 2018, the World Bank (WB) – Asian Development Bank (ADB) team jointly conducted Rapid Damage Assessment and Need Analysis (RDNA).
i. In its report it estimated that the main sectors of Kerala had suffered a loss of Rs. 25,050 crore.
ii .Furthermore, the state government decided to raise Rs. 15,900 crore as loan from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other agencies.
iii. This would help in:
Repairing and reconstruction of roads under Public Works Department, local self government institutions, water supply, flood control and irrigation systems, coastal area protection, rehabilitation of people in coastal stretches, etc.
iv.It also announced a year’s moratorium on loans of agricultural and dairy farmers.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Jayant Mammen Mathew elected president of Indian Newspaper Society
On 28th September 2018, Jayant Mammen Mathew was elected president of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) for 2018-19.
i. Jayant Mammen Mathew is the Executive Editor of Malayala Manorama. He replaces Akila Urankar.
ii. Other elected members of INS:
- Lav Saksena – Secretary General
- Shailesh Gupta – Deputy President
- L. Adimoolam – Vice-President
- Sharad Saxena – Honorary Treasurer
Indian Ports Association appoints Managed Service Provider for Port Enterprise Business System for 5 Major Ports
Indian Ports Association (IPA) has appointed M/s Tech Mahindra as the Managed Service Provider for 5 major ports: Mumbai Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, Deendayal Port Trust and Paradip Port Trust.
i. M/s Tech Mahindra has partnered with M/s SAP, M/s Envision, M/s CISCO, M/s Dell, M/s RTCom etc.
ii. IPA has also hired M/s Ernst Young to support in conceptualizing Port-EBS (Enterprise Business System) and support IPA and ports to implement this initiative.
iii. The Enterprise Business System will consist of Port Operations Solution, standard ERP solutions, and auxiliary solutions.
iv. The Project Implementation and Stabilisation period is 20 months. Operations and Maintenance support is for 5 years.
v. Major benefits of the system are:
- Improve India’s ranking in Ease of doing business
- Reduction in overall Transaction time and costs
- Improve the efficiency of port operations
- Improve transparency across systems
Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali resigns
On 19th September 2018, Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali resigned from his position.
Resignation of Shaida Abdali:
i. Shaida Abdali submitted his resignation to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani during his one-day visit to Delhi.
ii. Shaida Abdali became Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India in July 2012. He has cited that he is returning to Afghanistan to serve his people and country.
♦ Capital – Kabul
♦ Currency – Afghani
♦ Official languages – Dari, Pashto
♦ President – Ashraf Ghani
Fossil of earliest known animal Dickinsonia discovered
Scientists have discovered an ancient fossil of Dickinsonia, the earliest animal on geological record.
i. Dickinsonia is an oval shaped creature that lived 558 million years ago. It grew up to 1.4 m in length. It was part of the Ediacara Biota that lived 20 million years before the ‘Cambrian explosion’ of modern animal life.
ii. The fossil was discovered by researchers from Australian National University (ANU) near the White Sea in Russia.
Neymar Appointed Permanent Captain Of Brazilian Football Team
Neymar has been appointed as the permanent captain of Brazil’s national football team.
i. Neymar is a striker of the Paris Sain-Germain team. Brazil’s head football coach Tite has removed the captaincy rotation policy of the team to give Neymar the permanent captain position.
Renowned harmonium player Pandit Tulsidas Borkar passed away
On 29th September 2018, renowned harmonium player Pandit Tulsidas Borkar died following a chest infection in Mumbai.
i. Pandit Tulsidas Borkar was 84 years old. He was born in Goa. He received the Padma Shri award in 2016.
ii. He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2005. He was known for both solo performances and his unique style of accompanying Indian classical singers.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Urdu version of PM Modi’s book ‘Exam Warriors’ released
On 15th September 2018, the Urdu version of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book ‘Exam Warriors’ was released in New Delhi.
i. The book was released by Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar along with other union ministers. The launch event was organised by the India Islamic Cultural Centre.
ii. The book focusses on 25 mantras for parents and students to manage the stress of exams. It was earlier published in 14 languages.
International Translation Day – September 30
On 30th September 2018, International Translation Day was celebrated throughout the world.
International Translation Day:
i. When: In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly, declared September 30 as International Translation Day. 30 September celebrates the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator.
ii. Why: This day offers an opportunity to pay tribute to translators and highlights their importance.
iii. Theme: for International Translation Day 2018 is “Translation: promoting cultural heritage in changing times”.
iv. International Federation of Translators (FIT), a non-governmental organisation partner with UNESCO, plays a major role in the observance of International Translation Day.
About International Federation of Translators (FIT):
♦ President – Kevin Quirk
♦ Location – Paris, France