July 10, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Indian automobile makers want the government to decide the subsidies on Electric Vehicles (EVs) based on the number of kilometers they can run on a single charge and their top speed.
    • As per the draft of the second stage of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme in India, the department of heavy industries has offered subsidies based on the size of the lithium-ion batteries fitted in the vehicles. 
  1. The government announced a new Cities Investment To Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) challenge to identify top projects in 15 of the 100 selected smart cities, which will then receive an additional funding of approximately 80 crore each.
    • The new funding will be financed by a €100 million loan from the French government’s international development agency L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
    • The Smart Cities Mission, which was launched in June 2015, covers 100 Indian cities, with Shillong being added as the final city to the list recently.
    • After the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, Smart Cities is one of the biggest central government financed urban development schemes.
  1. Draft of the Amendments in GST-
    • Introduction of new tax return forms approved by the GST council.
    • To allow firms to get multiple registration in the same state for different business verticals.
    • Taxpayers will not have to pay interest in case of delayed payments to suppliers
    • To lessen the compliance burden, consolidated credit/debit notes can now be issued by firms instead of a note for every invoice.
    • Only e-commerce operators who need to collect tax at source now need to register under GST.
    • The amendments also propose to allow input tax credit for food and beverages, health services, and travel benefits to employees that have to be mandatorily provided by employees under existing laws.
  1. India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program and India Smart Cities Internship (ISCI) Program launched.
    • The India Smart Cities Fellowship Program is designed to provide valuable experience to the youth interested in smart cities.
    • ISCI Program for students pursuing Under Graduate/Graduate/Post Graduate degree as Interns to help implementation of Smart City Projects in various States/Cities.
  1. The Centre announced the names of six “Institutes of Eminence”, three each from the public and private sectors, as part of its plans to create world-class universities to enhance research and improve global rankings of Indian Educational Institutions.
    • Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in Delhi and Mumbai
    • Privately-held BITS Pilani, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, and a yet-to-be launched Jio Institute in Maharashtra – greenfield university project of the Reliance Foundation.
    • The Institutes of Eminence will have three key benefits
      1. Complete freedom from regulatory interference in terms of academic and administrative requirements
      2. Added funds for the state-run institutions
      3. More collaboration opportunities with top global universities.
  • An Empowered Committee, under Gopalaswami, recommended these institutions.
  1. South Korean President Moon Jae on a four day visit to India.
  1. World’s largest mobile manufacturing factory of Samsung will be inaugurated in
  1. NITI Aayog released the ‘Strategy and Approach paper on the National Health Stack (NHS)’, terming it as ‘the blueprint for India’s futuristic digital health system’.
    • Objective – To implement the Centre’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat and other public healthcare programmes in the country.
    • The NHS is proposed to be the country’s first futuristic Nationally Shared Digital Healthcare Infrastructure usable by both the Centre and states across public and private sectors.
  1. Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge has been proposed to use the opportunity of large scale construction under PMAY-U to attract the best available global construction technologies.
    • PMAY – U – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban)
    • It will give a boost to building affordable houses in India in a cost effective and sustainable manner.
  1. Himachal Pradesh Government announced that it is banning the use of plastic and thermocol cutlery in the state.
    • This will come under Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995.
    • Himachal Pradesh was the first state in the country to ban plastic and polythene carry bags in 2009.
    • Breach of the law shall be liable for the penalty ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000.
  1. The Commerce ministry has approved a proposal of HCL Technologies to establish a new IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
  1. Indian Railways introduced Double Stack Dwarf Container Services from Western Railway’s Rajkot railway station on its first commercial run.
    • The Double Stacked Container, which is 6 ft 4 inches in height and can run on electrified tracks, can hold a capacity of 30,500 kgs.
  1. The Supreme Court is ready to go live on camera to be a part of “Open Court System”, where the public can walk in and watch court proceedings.
    • While the government mooted a separate TV channel for live-streaming court proceedings.
    • This writ petition is filed as pro bono for enforcement of public interest, to advance the rule of law and to bring accessibility and transparency in the administration of justice. 
  1. The demand for a separate Kamtapur state was revived with a 24-hour Assam bandh.
    • The Koch-Rajbongshi, a community demanding Schedule Tribe status, want Kamtapur state to be carved out of western Assam and the northern half of West Bengal.
    • Kamtapur is a proposed state of India in the Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts in the existing Indian state of West Bengal and parts of Assam and the Kishanganj district in Bihar.
  1. The Tamil Nadu government proposed the Land Pooling Area Development Scheme, as a way of consolidating land for development projects, co-opting land owners as partners in development.
    • Under the scheme, lands owned by an individual or a group of individuals are pooled together by transfer of ownership rights to the appropriate planning authority.
    • Later, part of the developed land is transferred to the original owner and remaining part of the land is used for establishing common facilities and amenities.
  1. Sadmridangam – The improvised 5-kg instrument designed by percussion maestro Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan gets patent under the “drum” category.
    • It weighs lesser than the traditional wooden mridangam.
    • He is the winner of Layaratna title and holds the world record for the longest performance on a hand drum for his 301-hour non-stop mridangam playing.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. China successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan, marking the first international commercial launch for the Long March-2C rocket in about 19 years.
    • The satellites— PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A—were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.
    • The PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan.
    • The PRSS-1 will be used for land and resources surveying, monitoring of natural disasters, agriculture research, urban construction and providing remote sensing information for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese government.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is considering the implementation of foreign fund or investor segregation based on the risk profile of the countries where the funds come from.
    • This segregation would be for monitoring and scrutiny purposes rather than entry barriers.
    • The countries in high risk jurisdiction will face more due diligence, more scrutiny on Ultimate Beneficiary Ownership (UBO), frequent Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation by custodians.
    • Higher scrutiny would include a six-monthly KYC and a monthly or three monthly UBO reporting.
    • Lower scrutiny would involve KYC every three to five years and yearly UBO
    • Currently, for registration purposes, Foreign Portfolio Investors or FPIs are divided into three categories.
      1. Category I FPIs typically include foreign central banks, sovereign wealth funds and government agencies and abide by a limited number of compliance requirements.
      2. Category II FPIs are broad-based funds such as mutual funds.
      3. Category III FPIs are typically hedge funds.
  • High-risk countries as recognised by custodians include Mauritius, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, UAE, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey.
  • Low-risk jurisdictions include US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Sun Pharma Consumer Healthcare has named actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of health supplement Revital H.

 

 

AWARDS

  1. The Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards (SCDPA) 2018 ‘100 days Challenge in 100 Smart Cities’ is part of the initiatives of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to promote ease of living for India’s urban residents.
    • The objective of these awards is to guide, motivate, recognize and reward the Smart Cities for promoting digital payments.

 

  1. Michael Ondaatje’sThe English Patient’ won the special one-off Golden Man Booker Prize to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Literary award at the Man Booker 50 Festival in London.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Scientists have discovered seven new wasp species belonging to the genus Clistopyga from Peru, Venezuela and Colombia in the Amazon rain forests.