August 1, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Lok Sabha has passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018 that recognises homebuyers as financial creditors to real estate developers.
    • A new provision has been added where lenders deciding on a corporate rescue plan have to first seek the approval of Competition Commission of India (CCI) before finalizing the scheme.
    • This move is aimed at shortening the time taken for bankruptcy proceedings.
    • The IBC allows a maximum of 270 days for lenders to clear a rescue plan, failing which the defaulting company will go into liquidation.
  1. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has come up with the country’s first State Energy Efficiency Preparedness Index.
    • The index will help track the progress in managing the energy footprint of states and the country, encourage competition between states and help in programme implementation.
    • India is now the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, and which is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
    • India plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030, as part of its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted by 195 countries in Paris in 2015.
    • The energy efficiency index is based on 63 indicators in sectors such as buildings, industry, municipalities, transport, agriculture and electricity distribution companies (discoms).
    • According to BEE, energy efficiency could help India save 500 billion units of energy and avoid the need for 100 gigawatts (GW) of power capacity within 2030.
    • This translates to a potential reduction of 557 million tonnes of carbon dioxide
    • India’s energy efficiency market is estimated at $23 billion with a vast potential to grow.
    • The top performing states, ‘Front runner’, are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan.
  1. The Navi Mumbai airport may not start operations by the end of next year as expected by the Maharashtra government.
    • The Navi Mumbai International Airport is being developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model between GVK Group subsidiary Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) and City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) as the project implementation agency.

 

  1. Flipkart-owned fashion retailer Myntra has acquired omni-channel fashion marketplace Pretr Online Services Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount as part of its broader push towards establishing itself as a retailer across channels.

 

  1. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG), Oil & Gas CPSEsand its offices celebrated Swachhta Pakhwada from 1st to 15th July, 2018.
    • The theme of MoPNG initiatives in this Pakhwada were “Innovation” and “Sustainability”.

Company

Rank

ONGC

1

IOCL

2

HPCL

3

 

  1. The IT ministry launched a desktop software e-Aksharayan in a conference for Indian Languages Technology Industry ‘Bhashantara’, in New Delhi.
    • To enable editing and printing of text in scanned documents.
    • The software e-Aksharayan was launched in 7 Indian languages.
    • They are namely:Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Kannada & Assamese.
    • This software would scanned printed Indian language documents into a fully editable text format in Unicode encoding.
    • This would cease the gap in Internet accessibility due to non-availability of content in Indian languages.

 

  1. India ranks 96th in the bi-annual United Nation’s E-Government Index 2018 among 193 countries released by UN.
  1. Haryana’s Shivangi Pathakhas successfully scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa.

 

  1. rare blood groupnamed “pp” or “P null” phenotype has been identified by doctors from Kasturba Medical College (KMC) in Mangaluru, Karnataka.

 

  1. National Brain Research Centre-led team of researchers has successfully identified the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which Zika virus causes microcephaly.
    • Babies born with microcephaly have significantly smaller head size compared with normal babies.
    • The researchers found the Envelop Protein (E protein) of the virus is responsible for the entry of the virus into brain stem cells.
    • The E protein in Zika virus is mutated and very different from the envelop protein of other flaviviruses such as dengue, West Nilevirus, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.
    • Zika virus (ZIKV) is an enveloped single stranded RNA virus. It is a member of the Flavivirus genus of the family Flaviviridae.
  1. The tenure of the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been extended till the last week of the winter session of Parliament.
    • The Bill proposes citizenship to six persecuted minoritiesHindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014.
  1. Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels unveiled by the Centre in May this year.
    • The desert State will lay emphasis on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative fuels and energy resources.
    • The policy on biofuels seeks to help farmers dispose of their surplus stock in an economic manner and reduce the country’s oil import dependence.
    • It has expanded the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of sugarcane juice, sugar containing materials, starch containing materials and damaged foodgrains like wheat, broken rice and rotten potatoes for ethanol production.

 

  1. A Muslim woman from Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandrabad filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking abolition of ‘nikah halala’ practice earlier this month.
    • The practice of ‘nikah halala’ requires a divorced woman to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and then get a divorce in order to again marry her first husband under the Muslim Personal Law.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. China successfully launched Gaofen-11 satellite, an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project.

 

  1. The planet’s largest colony of King Penguins has declined by nearly 90 percent in three decades.
    • The last time scientists set foot on France’s remote Ile aux Cochons, the island was blanketed by two million of the flightless birds.
    • The population has collapsed, with barely 2,00,000 remaining, according to a study published in Antarctic Science.
  1. The U.S. designated Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil, who recently was the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)’s divisional commander for the Jammu region, as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”.
    • Dakhil, an operational leader for the LeT’s attacks in India between 1997 and 2001, was captured in Iraq by U.K. forces in 2004, then held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Iraq until his transfer to Pakistan in 2014. 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Software provider Freshworks has entered the unicorn club this year after it raised $100 million at a valuation of more than a billion dollars from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG.
    • A Unicorn is a start-up company founded after 2003 which has a current valuation of more than $1 billion.
    • Following are the Unicorn Companies in India – Flipkart, Paytm, Ola, InMobi, Zomato, MuSigma, Quikr, Shopclues, Hike, Snapdeal, ReNew Power, Swiggy, Policy Bazaar.
  1. India’s largest payments bank Paytm has stopped enrolment of new customers on its platform following observations made by the banking regulator.
    • Paytm stopped enrolling new customers on 20 June following an audit by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which made certain observations about the process the company follows in acquiring new customers and its adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
  1. Mauritius-based State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) Group has received Reserve Bank of India approval to operate in the country through a wholly owned subsidiary.
    • It is the first foreign lender to receive such a licence after local incorporation was introduced in 2013.
    • Singapore’s DBS Bank is also awaiting final approval from the RBI to bring its 12 branches in India under a wholly owned subsidiary.
    • The bank will soon operate as a banking subsidiary of SBM Group in India under the name of SBM Bank (India) Ltd.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. On 31st July 2018, World Ranger Day was celebrated all over the world.
    • The World Ranger Day was initiated by International Ranger Federation (IRF).
    • To commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the planet’s natural treasures and cultural heritage.

 

AWARDS

  1. Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been chosen for the 24th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award for his contribution in promoting communal harmony, peace and goodwill.
    • The award carries a citation and a cash award of ₹10 lakh.