August 10, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. A government panel has proposed amending the Passport Act, 1967, to make it more effective in preventing loan defaulters from fleeing the country.
    • The proposal involves prescribing a threshold for loan default, beyond which lenders would be empowered to alert enforcement agencies according to provisions in law. This threshold could be 50 crore.
    • According to data collated by the External Affairs Ministry, 28 Indians involved in financial irregularities fled the country between 2015 and 30 June 2018.
  1. The Lok Sabha passed four bills amending laws relating to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) aimed at plugging loopholes in existing laws and reducing the compliance burden for taxpayers.
    • The Central GST (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Integrated GST (Amendment) Bill, 2018, The Union Territory GST (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill, 2018 were amended.
  1. Railway Board has decided that a policy provision will be made that existing Multi-Purpose Stalls (MPS) at railway stations may be authorized to stock generic low-cost medicines also in accordance with the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) scheme.
    • The scheme was launched by Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to masses through special kendra’s known as Jan Aushadhi Medical Store.
    • These special kendras provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
  1. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Aviation Suresh Prabhu launched Niryat Mitra – mobile App.
    • It provides wide range of information required to undertake international trade.
    • The app has been developed by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the largest exporters’ organisation of the country.
    • Presently, the app comes with the data of 87 countries.
  1. UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) included Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (Sikkim) in its list.
    • Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in Sikkim is one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1, 220 metres above sea-level.
  1. On 8th August 2018, Global Innovation Index 2018 (GII- 2018) was launched.
    • The theme for GII 2018 is: “Energizing the World with Innovation”.
    • India’s rank has jumped to 57 from 60 in 2017.

 

Country

Score

Rank

Switzerland

68.40

1

Netherlands

63.32

2

Sweden

63.08

3

United Kingdom

60.13

4

Singapore

59.83

5

 

  1. President of India inaugurates ‘One District one Product’Summit in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It is a first of its kind summit in the country to boost trade of the MSMEs.
    • Purpose is to promote traditional industries and spur local trade.
  1. Parijat Urja Chakra in collaboration with Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) organized a special campaign at Fatehgarh village of Ambala in Haryana.
    • The campaign focused on sensitizing the participants about the importance of straw management and recommended machinery and techniques of straw management.

 

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub) on the occasion of World Biofuel Day.
    • It also follows the Minimum Government and Maximum Governance ideology.
    • PARIVESH automates the complete process of submitting the application and tracking the status of proposals at every stage of processing.
    • Through this portal, environmental clearances for forest and climate related issues will be done easily.

 

  1. Union Cabinet has given approval for raising of four additional battalions of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to strengthen the India’s disaster response set up.
    • These battalions will be placed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi National Capital Region based on their disaster vulnerability profile.
    • The Disaster Management Act has made the statutory provisions for constitution of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. HSBC has launched a new digital platform named “MyDeal” to simplify capital raising process through capital markets by offering real-time access to information like investors’ feedback, profiles, client orders and deal pricing.
    • MyDeal consists of all information related to a client’s capital markets transaction. It is updated on real time basis.
  1. PayPal and HDFC Bank partnered to offer safer, faster and convenient payment experiences to bank’s card holders.
  2. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance entered into a bancassurance deal with Vijaya Bank.
    • Bancassurancemeans selling insurance product through banks.
  1. Axis bank has become the first bank in the country to introduce Iris Scan Authentication feature for Aadhaar -based transactions through its micro ATM tablets.
    • This is being run as a pilot project in 8branches of rural Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
    • A Customer needs to select the desired service (funds transfer, cash withdrawal) and feed-in their Aadhaar numbers in the micro ATM.
    • Next they will choose ‘IRIS’ as the desired mode of authentication.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Ram Sewak Sharma has been re-appointed as the Chairperson of TRAI for a further period up to 30 September 2020.
  2. Rekha Sharma (54) was appointed as chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW).

 

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. World Bio-Fuel Day –August 10
    • The Objective of the World Biofuel Day is to raise awareness about the significance of non-fossil fuels which can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels.
  1. On 9th August 2018, the 76th anniversary of Quit India movement named as August Kranti Day was observed in India.
    • On 9th August 1942, father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi started the Do or Die campaign to drive away Britishers from India.
  1. On 9th August 2018, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was observed all over the world.
    • This day is observed to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population.
    • The theme for International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018 is: Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Three books have been released – ‘Jewellery’ was written by Gulab Kothari.
    • ‘Ghats of Banaras’ was written by Sachidanand Joshi
    • Untold Story of Broadcasting’ was written by Gautam Chatterjee.
  1. Astronomers have used an Indian telescope – Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to discover the most distant radio galaxy ever known, located at a distance of 12 billion light-years.
    • GMRT is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45-metre diameter. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics.