Current Affairs Today July 5 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and ‘Khan Prahari’ App launched by Shri Piyush Goyal
On July 5, 2018, Union Minister of Coal, Railways, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and Mobile Application ‘Khan Prahari’ on Swami Vivekananda’s death anniversary in New Delhi to pay tribute to integrity.
Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and ‘Khan Prahari’ App launched by Shri Piyush GoyalObjective:
To curb illegal mining in the country.
Key Points:
i. It was developed by CMPDI, Ranchi a Subsidiary of CIL and Bhaskarcharya Institute of Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG).
ii. The uniqueness of the system is that it uses satellite data as well as public input to capture information of illegal coal activities.
About CMSMS:
i. The CMSMS is a web based GIS application through which location of sites for unauthorised mining can be detected.
ii. The platform used in the system is of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s (MeiTY) map which provides village level information. The boundary of all the coal mines are displayed on this map.
iii. The system will use satellite data to detect changes by which unauthorised mining activity can be detected.
iv. The complaint originating from coal mines allotted to Coal India will go to Coal India Offices and those originating from coal blocks not allotted to Coal India will go straight to the State Government Officers.
v. For each complaint the alert will also go to the District Magistrate and SP of the district.
vi. The CMSMS will also provide other important information like reclamation work being done by Coal India Limited which is being monitored every year by CMPDI using satellite data. Status of Environmental Clearances /Forest Clearances etc. are also linked for information in this system.
About Khan Prahari app:
i. Khan Prahari is a tool for reporting any activity taking place related to illegal coal mining like rat hole mining, pilferage etc.
ii. Geo-tagged photographs of the incident along with textual information can be directly uploaded to the system.
iii. Once reported, the information will be automatically directed to the nodal officers.
iv. The complaint status can also be tracked through the system.
v. The identity of the complainant shall not be revealed.
Ministry of Coal, Railways, Finance & Corporate Affairs:
♦ Union Minister: Piyush Goyal.
♦ Minister of State for Coal and Mines: Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary .

3 day long 9th Heads of Mission Conference themed ‘Unprecedented Outreach:Unparalleled Outcomes’ inaugurated by MEA Sushma Swaraj
On June 30, 2018, External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated a three day 9th Heads of Mission Conference of all Indian ambassadors and high commissioners in New Delhi.
3 day long 9th Heads of Mission Conference themed 'Unprecedented Outreach:Unparalleled Outcomes' inaugurated by MEA Sushma Swaraji. The theme of this year’s conference is :  Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes.
ii.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the heads of missions.
iii.The conference will brief the top diplomats on economic reform initiatives and measures taken for improving ease-of-doing business.
iv.Discussions on key foreign policy issues and goals will also take place.
v.This conference is aimed at the time of Chinese Indo-pacific expansion and the various bans being imposed by the US.
1st Union Minister of Finance: R.K. Shanmukham Chetty .
Current incumbent : Piyush Goyal (since 14th May 2018) (temporary additional charge)
Union Minister of Finance: Arun Jaitley.

Process to empanel hospitals under Ayushman Bharat launched by National Health Agency(NHA)
On July 5, 2018, The National Health Agency (NHA), the apex body for implementation of the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Scheme, has launched a formal process to empanel public and private hospitals to achieve universal health coverage.
Objective:
To improve access and provide better healthcare for the most vulnerable and unreached sections of the population.
Key Points:
About the Empanelment:
i. The State Health Agencies (SHA) through State Empanelment Committees (SEC) will start empaneling private and public health care service providers and facilities in States and UTs.
ii. At the ground level, district, sub-district and block level workshops will be held to brief details of empanelment criteria, packages, processes and address any queries.
iii. Thereafter, hospitals interested to get empaneled can do so by visiting the web portal, www.abnhpm.gov.in where complete details of the process can be accessed.
iv. If the applicants meet the essential criteria , the State Health Agencies shall ensure empanelment.
v. Specific criteria are outlined for cardiology and cardio-thoracic vascular services, cancer care, Neurosurgery, Burns, Plastic & Reconstructive surgery, Neonatal/Paediatric Surgery, Polytrauma, Nephrology and Urology Surgery.
About Ayushman Bharat:
♦ AB-NHPM has been designed to provide financial protection and prevent health care expenditures to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide a cover for cashless hospitalization services of upto INR 5 lakh per family per year.
♦ Dy. CEO: Dr.Dinesh Arora.
♦ CEO: Indu Bhushan (the Director General of East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank (ADB) )

Three UAPAs signed by CBDT in May and June, 2018 totals the number of UAPAs to 223
On July 5, 2018, The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into three Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPA) in May and June 2018.
i. The total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has gone up to 223, which inter alia include 20 Bilateral APAs.
ii. The UAPAs entered pertain to consumer industry, automobile and precious stones & metals sectors of the economy.
iii. The international transactions covered in the agreements pertain to provision of corporate guarantee, purchase of brand, availing of grading services, availing of management services and payment of royalty.
About CBDT:
♦ Chairperson: Sushil Chandra.

Repatriation of Bru persons: agreement signed between Centre and state govts of Tripura nd Mizoram
On July 5, 2018, The Centre and the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram signed an agreement for repatriation of thousands of people belonging to the Bru community from Tripura to Mizoram.
Repatriation of Bru persons: agreement signed between Centre and state govts of Tripura nd Mizorami. The Mou was signed among the Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF) in New Delhi.
ii. The pact was signed in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Tripura Chief Minister Beb and Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
iii. A committee under the Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry, Rina Mitra, will coordinate the implementation of this agreement
iv. 32,876 people belonging to 5,407 families living in the refugee camps in the Jampui Hills of Tripura for two decades are being replaced to their home state.
v. The replaced people will be repatriated to Mizoram before September 30, 2018.
About Bru Refugees:
The displaced Bru people from Mizoram have been living in various camps in Tripura since 1997. In 1997, the murder of a Mizo forest guard at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram’s Mamit district allegedly by Bru militants led to a violent backlash against the community, forcing several thousand people to flee to neighbouring Tripura.

NSG to be first central force to opt for e-ticketing instead of railway warrant
On 4th July 2018, IRCTC said that, the National Security Guard (NSG) will be the first central paramilitary force to opt for e-ticketing instead of the railway warrant as per a MoU signed with the IRCTC.
NSG to be first central force to opt for e-ticketing instead of railway warrant:
i. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the NSG at the headquarters of NSG in New Delhi.
ii. With this system the NSG personnel don’t have to carry railway warrants. Buying tickets through railway warrant system is a lengthy process.
iii. The NSG staff have to go to a railway reservation counter and exchange a railway warrant to reserve tickets.
iv. Railway warrant is a voucher issued for train travel for certain government employees, security force personnel and retirees at subsidised rates or free of charge. It can be exchanged for a ticket.
v.As per the MOU, IRCTC will offer the ticketing facility to the NSG headquarters. Later it might be offered to field units.
vi. IRCTC will provide this scheme through advance deposit to enable smooth service during online ticket booking.

‘UP Defence Aerospace Unit and Employment Generating Policy, 2018’: new defence manufacturing policy announced by UP Government
On July 3,2018, The UP Government announced a new Defence Manufacturing policy named ‘UP Defence Aerospace Unit and Employment Generating Policy, 2018’.
i. Under this policy, around 3000 hectares of land would be acquired by nodal agency UPIEDA and entrepreneurs will be given land under plug and play formula investment of Rs  50,000 crore in the next five years.
ii. This would generate 2.5 lakh jobs.
iii. Six districts — Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow – will be notified for the Defence manufacturing hub, though the focus will be on Bundelkhand region.
iv. International consultants like Pricewater House Cooper has been appointed which will give its report on Defence manufacturing potential areas in the state.
v. There will be two categories of investment. (i) mega anchor project worth over Rs  1000 crore which will include companies willing to build aircraft, tanks, choppers and (ii) anchor units which could invest Rs  200 crore in Bundelkhand and Poorwanchal areasRs  300 crore in Madhayanchal and Rs  400 crore in western UP.
Under this scheme investments would get all benefits under Investment and MSME Policy in the State. They are as follows:
i. The government would provide 25 per cent subsidy on circle rate of land purchased by investors while transport subsidy of 50 per cent or Rs  2 crore per year would be given for importing equipment.
ii. The Government would provide subsidy on technology transfer, setting up of effluent treatment plant, setting up labs for quality control and patenting.
iii. It will provide 100 per cent subsidy on quality certification and trade mark, 100 per cent subsidy for stamp duty in Bundelkhand and Poorvanchal, 75 per cent in other areas while in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) and Ghaziabad, it will be 50 per cent.
iv.There would be additional  70 per cent rebate on State Government Sales Tax.
v. The government would bear 5 per cent or Rs  20 crore per year as interest on capital  loan by companies while they would be given 5 per cent interest subsidy on investment loan and 100 per cent subsidy for 10 years on electricity duty.
vi. It would also provide 50 per cent subsidy on interest for seven years to investors, who would set up defence manufacturing parks.
Other Approvals:
i. The government approved a proposal to get bank loan to the tune of Rs  12,000 crore from PNB for construction of Purvanchal Expressway.
ii. In the first phase Rs  7800 crore would be given by banks at the rate of 8.30 per cent interest for 15 years.
iii. The loan would be repaid in 48 instalments with 3 years moratorium and installments would be paid through funds collected from toll on the Expressway.
iv. It also gave its nod for construction of civil airports at Aligarh, Azamgarh, Moradabad and Shravasti under Regional Air Connectivity policy.
v. The government also approved asset settlement of UP Mining Development Corporation.

Karnataka budget announces Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver, increase in taxes on fuel
On 5th July 2018, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy presented the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s first budget, announcing farm loan waiver worth Rs 34,000 crore.
Karnataka budget announces Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver, increase in taxes on fuel:
i. The budget has raised the rate of tax on petrol from the present 30% to 32%. This increases petrol prices by Rs 1.14 a litre.
ii. Rate of tax on diesel has been increased from the present 19% to 21%. It has increased the price of diesel by Rs 1.12 a litre.
iii. During the Assembly elections campaign, the JD(S) party had promised to waive farm loans borrowed from both cooperative and nationalised banks within 24 hours of coming to power.
Some important National Parks in Karnataka:
♦ Nagarhole National Park
♦ Dandeli National Park
♦ Bannerghatta National Park

BANKING & FINANCE

25 countries in global banks’ ‘high risk’ list’
The main custodian banks shared a list of 25 countries named as “high-risk jurisdictions” with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently.
25 countries in global banks’ ‘high risk’ list'25 countries in global banks’ ‘high risk’ list’:
i. China, UAE, Cyprus and Mauritius, along with 21 other countries have been named as “high-risk jurisdictions” by global banks acting as custodians for foreign funds.
ii. Large investors and beneficial owners of these funds entering India through high-risk jurisdictions will be highly scrutinized.
iii. Non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin will face more obstacles in participating in funds set up in these countries for trading on Indian exchanges.
iv. HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citi, Standard Chartered and JP Morgan are some of the banks that prepared the list.
v. SEBI registered foreign portfolio funds invest in India through 56 countries. Out of this 25 countries are now considered ‘high risk’.
vi. Other countries in the ‘high-risk jurisdiction’ list are: Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman, Channel Islands, Cook Islands, Guernsey, Indonesia, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Oman, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turkey.
vii. Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Luxembourg are excluded from the list.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
♦ Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Bank of China soon to operate in India; RBI gives nod to the second bank from China
On July 5, 2018, The RBI has issued licence to Bank of China to launch operations in India.
Bank of China soon to operate in India; RBI gives nod to the second bank from Chinai. This was done in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Bank of China to set up branches in India when they met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Chinese city of Qingdao.
ii.This is the second Chinese lender to secure a licence to open a branch in India. In 2011, RBI gave approval to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China(ICBC) to open a branch in India. It currently has a branch in Mumbai.
iii. This agreement comes after China agreed to relax tariffs on non-Basmati rice,sugar and other commodities  from India.
About Bank Of China:
Bank of China is a 106-year old bank and one of the largest banks in China. Its market capitalization id $165 billion. It has branches in 51 countries.
♦ CEO:  Gao Yingxin.
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China.

Finance Ministry keeps the interest rates of Small savings unchanged for the July-Sept quarter
On July 3, 2018, The Finance Ministry announced that it has kept the interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, unchanged for the July-September quarter.
Objective:
The move is aimed at banks lowering their deposit rates
Key Points:
i. The interest rates are as follows:

SchemesInterest rate
5 yr Senior citizen Savings Scheme (paid quarterly)8.3
Savings Deposits4%
Public Provident Fund (PPF)7.6
National Savings Certificate (NSC)7.6
Kisan Vikas Patra (maturity in 11 months)7.3
Sukanya Samriddhi Account8.1
Term Deposit (1-5 years)6.6-7.4
5 year Recurring Deposit6.9
About the various schemes:
1) 15-year public provident fund scheme
i.
Public provident funds (PPF) are a long-term investment option which offer you the benefit of exempt, exempt, exempt or EEE on income tax. EEE means that PPF returns are exempt from income tax, the maturity amount is tax-free and the main investment is qualifies for a deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. PPF accounts can be opened in banks and post offices.
ii. The interest on PPF accounts is compounded yearly.
2) National Savings Certificates (NSC)
i. NSC certificates can be purchased from post offices. The investment tenure of NSCs is for 5 to 10 years. NSC is a low-risk, secure investment option. NSCs offer you benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
ii.The interest is compounded annually but paid on maturity.
3) Senior Citizen Savings Schemes (SCSS)
i.
This saving scheme is meant for people above 60 years of age. People who take voluntary retirement can also invest in this scheme. Only one deposit, not exceeding Rs. 15 lakh, is allowed in this scheme. The maturity period is five years. Investment under this scheme qualifies for benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. This account can be opened in banks and post offices.
ii. It is payable from the date of deposit of March 31/ September 30/ December 31 in the first instance and thereafter, interest is payable on March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31.
4) Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
i. KVP is also a long-term savings plan. KVP certificates can be purchased from post offices. The certificate can be encashed after two-and-a-half years from the date of issue.
ii. The interest on KVP is compounded annually. The amount invested doubles in 118 months (9 years and 10 months).
5) Sukanya Samriddhi Account
A legal guardian/ natural guardian, on behalf of a girl child, can open this account in post offices or banks. This account matures in 21 years after you deposit money for 15 years. This scheme gives a triple income tax benefit i.e. there will be no tax on the amount invested, amount earned as interest and amount withdrawn. It is compounded and calculated on a yearly basis.

Bank of Baroda raises MCLR by 0.05% for various tenors ; effective from July 7,2018
On July 5, 2018, State-run Bank of Baroda has increased the marginal cost based lending rates (MCLR) by 0.05 per cent for various tenors of loans
i. The rates will come into effect from July 7,2018.
ii. The rates are as follows for different tenors:

TenorsNew Rates (in %)
Overnight8
One Month8.5
Three Months8.15
Six Months8.35
One Year8.50
iii. The rise in MCLR will make retail loans such as auto, home and personal loans costlier for the customers.
Bank Of Baroda:
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara
♦ Chairman: Ravi Venkatesan.
♦ CEO: P.S. Jayakumar.

SBI Card launches AI enabled Electronic Live Assistant (ELA) for customer support and interaction
On July 5, 2018, SBI Card, the country’s second largest credit card issuer, announced the launch of ELA’ (Electronic Live Assistant), a virtual assistant  for customer support and services.
i. It is designed to enhance customer experience by providing relevant and instant responses to customer queries.
ii. Additionally, Customers can communicate with ELA in conversational language
iii. The virtual assistant is currently hosted on the SBI Card website and will soon be integrated on the mobile app as well.
SBI:
♦ Tagline: The Banker to Every Indian.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Chairman: Rajnish Kumar.

FCNR (Banking) term deposit rates revised by Indian Bank
On July 5, 2018, Public sector Indian Bank revised the interest rates on Foreign Currency Non-Resident (banking) term deposits with immediate effect.
i. The interest rates for term deposits are as follows:

Term DepositsRates (in %)
>=1 year and < 2 years3.59
>=2 years and <3 years3.77
>=3 years and <4 years3.89
>=4 years and <5 years3.92
=5 years3.93
ii. The bank shares were trading at Rs 337.65 a piece.
Indian Bank:
♦ Tagline:  Your Own Bank.
♦ Headquarters: Chennai.
♦ Chairman: T C Venkat Subramanian.
♦ CEO: Kishor Kharat

Yes Asset Management (India) Limited (YAMIL): Yes Bank’s new Mutual Fund business to operate after Sebi’s final nod
On July 5, 2018, Yes Bank said it has received approval from capital markets regulator SEBI to start mutual fund business after RBI’s approval.

SBI Card launches AI enabled Electronic Live Assistant (ELA) for customer support and interactioni. The name of the Mutual Fund business is Yes Asset Management (India) Limited (YAMIL). It will have its Headquarters in Mumbai.
ii.The operational set up of YAMIL will include technology architecture, partnerships for fund accounting ,custodian services, registrar services and transfer agent services.
ii.It will leverage YES BANK’s Knowledge Banking expertise and relationship capital across retail, corporate and institutional investors.
iii. It will further complement Yes Bank’s retail liabilities and wealth management strategy.
iv.  This will allow YAMIL to build on the bank’s distribution network to provide customers a seamless investment and banking experience.
v. Yes Bank has recruited a team to establish the operations under the guidance of the Board of Directors and trustees.
vi. Yes Asset Management will launch fund offerings across the spectrum of both debt and equity markets over the next 6-12 months.
Yes Bank:
♦ Tagline: Experience our Expertise.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Chairman: Ashok Chawla.
♦ CEO: Rana Kapoor.

Fusion Microfinance reduces interest rate by 140 points to 23 pc for existing customers
On July 4, 2018, Fusion Microfinance has reduced the interest rate for its existing customers by 140 basis points to 23 per cent from 24.4 per cent.
i. The new rate of interest will be effective from June 1, 2018.
ii. This will allow new customers to avail loans at 23.5 per cent now instead of previous 24.6 per cent rate.
iii. The company had last reduced its rate in November, 2016 by 100 basis points.
About Fusion Microfinance:
i. Fusion is a NBFC-Microfinance institution. It serves over 10 lakh clients through its 375 branches across 14 states. Since inception it has cumulatively disbursed Rs 4,000 crore.
ii. In the fourth quarter of 2017-18, Fusion Microfinance registered around 70 per cent of yearly growth.

ICICI Bank crosses Rs. 1.5 trillion milestone in mortgage loan and become largest private player to do so
On July 4, 2018, ICICI Bank announced that its mortgage loan portfolio crossed the Rs 1.5-trillion milestone, making it the largest private player in the segment.
i. It is targeting to grow it to Rs 2 trillion by FY20.
ii. At Rs 1.5 trillion, the mortgage loan-book is half of the bank’s overall retail loan portfolio of around Rs 3 trillion which constitute 52 per cent of its total assets of USD 172.5 billion.
iii. It has also enabled an online repository of 30,000 approved projects across 40 cities to achive its target of 2 trillion.
iv. The bank will add 50 per cent more loan processing centres from the present 1,050 to many new locations in tier II and III towns as well as micro-markets of the major metros.
v. This happened on the backdrop of PM Awas Yojana.
ICICI Bank:
♦ CEO: Chandra Kochhar.
♦ Tagline: Hum Hai Na!
About PM Awas Yojana:
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is an initiative by Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022. It has two components: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY-U) for the urban poor and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin)(PMAY-G and also PMAY-R) for the rural poor

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

ICAT releases First BS-VI engine certificate
ICAT has issued the first BS-VI certification for a heavy duty engine model for M/s Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle Limited.

ICAT releases First BS-VI engine certificateICAT releases First BS-VI engine certificate:
i. The engine was developed and manufactured indigenously by Volvo Eicher in India.
ii.  The compliance test of the engine has been successfully completed much earlier than the implementation date of 1 April 2020.
iii. The Indian Government has made a jump from the conventional BS-IV to directly adopt BS-VI emission norms as the next level for regulatory framework in India.
iv. The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) is a division of NATRiP implementation society (NATIS).
v. ICAT is the first of the new world class centers established under the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP).
vi. Aim of ICAT is to conduct Research & Development. It is one of the accredited ‘Type Approval and Homologation’ agencies in India under Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR).
vii. It has been recognized as Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
About International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT):
♦ Location – Manesar, Haryana
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Swachhata Awards 2018 of MSME Ministry
On 4th July 2018, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh distributed the Swachhata Awards 2018 of MSME Ministry at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi.
Swachhata Awards 2018 of MSME Ministry:
i. Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) celebrated Swachhata Pakhwada from 16th to 30th June 2018.
ii. Industrial Clusters, Industry Associations and field offices of National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), DC(MSME), Coir Board were honoured for their contribution to Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
ii. This is the second year the MSME Ministry has given Swachhata Awards and held a healthy competition among industrial clusters and estates and its field offices for Swachhata.
iii. During the Swachhata Pakhwada, MSME Ministry and its subordinate organisations like KVIC, NSIC, National Institute for MSME and MSME-Development Institutes performed activities like rain-water harvesting, construction of garbage pits for conversion to manure, adoption of toilets in government schools for maintenance.
iv. KVIC adopted Jagatpura Village in New Delhi for 1 year to make it a model Swachh Village.
v. Also, awareness campaigns and seminars on new and innovative technologies on cleanliness were conducted.
vi. Children were also involved in activities like tree plantation drives, painting, essay and slogan writing competitions.
vii. MSME Ministry and its field organisations undertook cleanliness drives throughout India covering 11 villages and blocks, 4 slums, 5 market places, 3 river sides, 2 railway stations, 3 bus stops and a sea beach at Puri in Odisha. 8 public toilets, 5 residential colonies and 1 park have been adopted for 1 year.
About Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan:
♦ Launched by – Prime Minister Narendra Modi
♦ Launched in – 2014 on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Major General VD Dogra becomes first serving Indian Army officer to complete Ironman competition
On 1st July 2018, Major General VD Dogra became the first serving Indian Army officer and the only General in the world to have completed ‘Ironman’ competition held in Austria.
Major General VD Dogra – first serving Indian Army officer to complete Ironman competition:
i. The Ironman is an international triathlon comprising 3 consecutive events: 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km of running (a full marathon).
ii. It is considered the toughest one day sport event in the world. The competitors have to finish the events in sequence within 17 hours to win ‘Ironman’ title.
iii. Major General VD Dogra finished the event in 14 hours and 21 minutes. The Ironman Austria was held on 1st July in Klagenfurt.
iv. Over 3000 athletes took part in the event. Major General VD Dogra is posted as Director General Resettlement.
v. He has also cycled from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, Sela Pass to Bumla Pass in Arunachal Pradesh and from Akhnoor to Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir.
vii. He has participated in various triathlons like the Sprint category (500 metres swimming, 20 km cycling and 5 km running), the Olympic category (1500 metres swimming, 40 km cycling, 10 km running), the half Ironman etc.
viii. He has been a Sword of Honour and Gold Medalist of the December 1981 batch.
ix. He was commissioned in the Poona Horse (an armoured regiment). He later commanded the Poona Horse.
x. He has also commanded an Armoured Brigade on the western front with Pakistan and an Infantry Division in a Strike Corps.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh Museum – Darbhanga, Bihar
♦ Chandra Shekhar Singh Museum – Jamui, Bihar
♦ Srikrishna Science Centre – Patna, Bihar

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Rajat Sharma becomes DDCA president
On 2nd July 2018, journalist Rajat Sharma was elected the President of Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Rajat Sharma – DDCA president:
i. Rajat Sharma won 54.40 % of the total votes recorded. The DDCA elections were conducted between June 27 and June 30, 2018.
ii. Rakesh Kumar Bansal was elected as the Vice President with 48.87% votes. Former sports committee head Vinod Tiharawith 1374 votes became secretary.
iii. Rajan Manchanda with 1402 votes was made the joint secretaryTreasurer post was won by Om Prakash Sharma.
iv. Coach Sanjay Bhardwaj was elected for the director’s post (first-class cricketer). Renu Khanna was named thewoman director.
v. Rajat Sharma is a Padma Bhushan awardee journalist. He is the Chairman and Chief Editor of news channel INDIA TV.
vi. The other directors elected are: Apruv Jain, Alok Mittal, Nitin Gupta, Shiv Nandan Sharma and Nitin Agarwal.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Fatorda Stadium – Margao, Goa
♦ Tilak Maidan Stadium – Vasco da Gama, Goa
♦ Duler Stadium – Mapusa, Goa

Justice L Narasimha Reddy appointed the University of Hyderabad (UoH) Chancellor
Justice L Narasimha Reddy has been appointed the Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Justice L Narasimha Reddy – UoH Chancellor:
i. Justice L Narasimha Reddy is the former Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. He retired as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court in July 2015.
ii. He succeeds C Rangarajan. The president in his capacity as Visitor of the University appointed Justice L Narasimha Reddy as Chancellor of UoH for a term of 3 years.
iii. Justice L Narasimha Reddy is also the Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal. He was the Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court from 2001 to 2015.
Tag lines of some banks:
♦ Bank of India – Relationships beyond banking
♦ Bank of Maharashtra – One Family one bank
♦ Corporation Bank – A premier public sector bank

Wipro promotes digital business head Rajan Kohli as president
Wipro has promoted its head of digital business Rajan Kohli as a president.
Rajan Kohli – a president of Wipro:
i. Rajan Kohli has joined 7 other presidents of Wipro now. He will report to chief executive Abidali Neemuchwala.
ii. He will continue as the global head of Wipro Digital. Wipro also promoted 4 other executives as senior vice presidents.
iii. Other presidents at Wipro include: Bhanumurthy B M, chief operating officer, Saurabh Govil, chief human resources officer, Anand Padmanabhan, head of strategic sales.
About Wipro:
♦ India’s third largest software services exporter
♦ Corporate Office – Bengaluru

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO’s first PAT (pad abort test) successful
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that, the first ‘pad abort’ test was performed successfully on 5th July 2018 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

ISRO’s first PAT (pad abort test) successfulISRO’s first ‘pad abort’ test successful:
i. The Pad Abort Test showed safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad.
ii. The PAT (pad abort test) is the first in a series of tests to qualify a crew escape system technology of a manned mission in the future.
iii. The Crew Escape System is an emergency escape method to quickly pull the crew module, the astronaut cabin, along with astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in case of a launch abort.
iv. The teams also tried out at least 5 new secondary technologies associated with satellite communication, navigation and telemetry during the test.
v. The Crew Escape System with a simulated 12.6-tonne crew module lifted off from its pad. It was propelled on its own 7 specially made complex in-built rockets.
vi. In the next 4 odd minutes, it reached an altitude of 2.7 km. It turned into the Bay of Bengal on parachutes.
vii. It landed in sea at a distance of 2.9 km from the launch centre. 3 recovery boats were retrieved the module.
viii. The rockets are powered by solid-fuel. They are specially designed for fast ejection of the crew module and astronauts to a safe distance without exceeding the safe G-levels.
ix. Over 300 sensors recorded several functional aspects of the mission during the test flight.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
♦ Chairman – K.Sivan
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru

ENVIRONMENT

NBWL adds 4 species in Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species
The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has approved to include 4 species: Northern River Terrapin (riverine turtle), Red Panda, Clouded Leopard and Arabian Sea Humpback Whale in the recovery programme for critically endangered species.
4 species added in Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species:
i. This will enable targeted conservation of these species whose population is reducing.
ii. They are under the critically endangered to vulnerable categories according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
iii. The species recovery programme of the Union Environment Ministry is executed under Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats.
iv. Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats is a centrally sponsored umbrella scheme for management and conservation of parks, wildlife habitats and conservation.
v. Terrapins are exploited for illegal trade across borders, mainly for its meat and carapace.
vi. Clouded leopard and Red Panda are affected by habitat loss and poaching for their meat, medicine and pelts.
vii. The Northern River Terrapin is mainly found in West Bengal. The clouded leopard is found in Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Assam.
viii. The Red Panda is seen in Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, North Bengal and parts of Meghalaya.
ix. The Arabian Sea Humpback Whale is affected by accidental entanglement in fishing gears, ship strikes and seismic explorations.
x. They migrate towards India’s west coast from Oman. In October 2017, India had supported a resolution to take action for conservation of this whale species at the 12th convention on migratory species held in Manila.
xi. It is also a party to the International Whaling commission aimed to protect whales and its habitats in Indian waters.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary – Kerala
♦ Pakshipathalam Bird Sanctuary – Kerala
♦ Thattekad Bird Sanctuary – Kerala

SPORTS

Shot putter Inderjeet Singh gets 4-year ban for dope violation
On 4th July 2018, the anti-doping disciplinary panel of NADA gave a 4 year suspension to shot putter Inderjeet Singh for testing positive for anabolic steroids in a dope test before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Shot putter Inderjeet Singh gets 4-year ban for dope violationShot putter Inderjeet Singh gets 4-year ban for dope violation:
i. Inderjeet Singh was one of the first athletes to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
ii. But he was provisionally suspended on 26th July 2016 after he tested positive for banned substances: androsterone and etiocholanolone.
iii. The panel said that he has violated article 2.1 of anti-doping code. However the panel said that, NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) and NDTL (National Dope Testing Laboratory) did not follow well known and established procedures while collecting the sample.
About NDTL (National Dope Testing Laboratory):
♦ CEO – Rahul Bhatnagar
♦ Location – New Delhi

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