June 11, 2018

WORD OF THE DAY

SUNSHINE LAWS

Regulations requiring openness in government or business to foster better corporate governance. For example, these laws require meetings, records, votes, deliberations and other official actions to be available for public observation and participation. Scheduling of such meetings must be done with sufficient advance notice and be convenient and accessible to the public.

Courtesy: Mint

 

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Union Minister for Electronics & IT and Law Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad launched major services showcasing the impact and progress made by the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) in promoting rural Wi-Fi network infrastructure.
    • The Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) is the first and the foremost Part of e-Governance scheme. The company is to select VLEs as per selection criteria suggested by Government.
    • The VLE will provide all the services to citizens which are provided by Common Service Center (CSC) and thus, will act as a service delivery point through which the population of the catchments area benefits
    • 5000 Wi-Fi choupals have been launched to provide Internet connectivity to the 5 lakh gram panchayats through optical fiber cable.
    • CSC will also be used for first-line maintenance of BharatNet in the country.
    • BharatNet or Bharat Broadband Network Limited is a telecom infrastructure provider under government’s telecom department.
    • It’s aim is to establish, manage and operate National Optic Fiber Network to provide a minimum of 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to each of 250000 Gram panchayats covering 625000 villages in the country.
  1. The Common Service Centres (CSCs) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for delivery of railway services through CSC centres.
    • This will allow CSCs to work as IRCTC agents for train ticket bookings.
  1. The special booklet titled ’80-years of Odisha Budget – A Commemorative Volume’was released by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
    • Odisha’s annual budget was only Rs 1.77 crore for the year 1936-37 which has increased to Rs. 1,20,028 crore in 2018-19.
    • Odisha is the first state in the country to bring out such a compilation.
  1. During the 18th Summit of Shanghai Co-operation Summit (SCO) in Qingdao, China, PM Narendra Modi, coined the concept of SECURE as the summit was to combat terrorism.
    • The concept of SECURE:S‘ for Security for citizens, ‘E‘ for Economic development, ‘C’ for Connectivity in the region, ‘U‘ for Unity, ‘R‘ for Respect of sovereignty and integrity, and ‘E for Environment protection.
  1. The 11th World Hindi Conference will be hosted by Mauritius.
    • The main theme of the Conference is “Hindi Vishwa Aur Bharatiy Sanskriti”.
    • The Event is organized by the Indian External Affairs Ministry every 
    • This year the organizing authority is World Hindi Secretariat located in Mauritius.
    • The tenth Conference was held in Bhopal in 2015.
  1. The second edition India-US colloquium on Earth Observations and Sciences for Society and Economy was inaugurated at CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO), Dona Paula, Goa.
    • The colloquium multi-disciplinary event will bring together 200 delegates from India and US to address emerging ocean and earth science issues
  1. India is ranked 59th in terms of cost of violence as 9% of GDP.
    • The impact of violence on the Indian economy stood at $1.19 trillion last year, in purchasing power parity terms, says a report prepared by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) based on an analysis of 163 countries and territories.
    • The global economic impact of violence is defined as the expenditure and economic effect related to containing, preventing and dealing with the consequences of violence.
    • The estimates include the direct and indirect cost of violence as well as an economic multiplier
    • Syria topped the list of most affected countries by economic cost of violence as a percentage of GDP at 68 percent, followed by Afghanistan (63 percent), Iraq (51 percent) in the second and third position respectively.
    • Among developed nations, for the US, the cost of violence in terms of PPP was USD 2.67 trillion or 8 percent of the GDP.
    • For the UK, it was 312.27 billion, 7 percent of GDP.
  1. India took the top spot on remittances received in 2017.
    • Remittances increased by about 10% last year over 2016, although this comes on a favorable base considering that remittances had decreased by 9% in 2016
    • We typically receive a large proportion of our remittances from the Gulf region and 2017 was no different.
    • A big chunk coming from the Middle East means that the pattern or flow of remittances closely aligns with crude oil prices.
    • According to JM Financial Institutional Securities Ltd, the recent revamp of local hiring schemes/ laws by five out of the top seven source countries for remittances is likely to prove a major headwind to increased remittances from higher crude oil prices.
    • The five countries are UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. Chinese President Xi Jinping presented China’s first friendship medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a special event held at the Great Hall of People, China.
    • This Friendship medal has been claimed to be the highest state honor of China.
    • In 2017, Vladimir Putin awarded Xi Jinping the Order of St Andrew for his remarkable service to Chinese and Russian people.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. On the backdrop of rising oil prices and shortfall in FPI inflows to the country the RBI is expected to raise $30-35 billion via NRI bonds to raise the rupee.
    • If the RBI does go ahead and sells bonds to NRIs, this will be the fourth such offering.
      1. The government had first raised money through NRIs by floating $5 billion of Resurgent India Bonds in 1998 in the wake of sanctions placed on the country following the second round of nuclear tests in Pokhran.
      2. The second offering was the $5-billion India Millennium Deposits just two years later.
      3. The last such issuance was a $34-billion FCNR (B) special deposit in September 2013, after the rupee hit 68.84.
  • Another reason for the government to issue bonds is that $27 billion of foreign exchange loans and bonds are set to mature by March 2019, putting further pressure on the rupee.

 

  1. The government is likely to launch a Rs 500-crore Credit Enhancement Fund next month to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds.
    • This will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds issued by infrastructure companies and facilitate investment from investors like pension and insurance funds.
    • The initial corpus of the fund, to be sponsored by IIFCL (India Infrastructure Finance Company), will be Rs 500 crore, and it will operate as a non-banking finance company.
    • IIFCL will hold a 22.5 percent stake in the NBFC, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)has offered to pick up a 10 percent stake, SBI, Bank of Baroda and LIC will also have stakes in the firm.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. S Ramesh has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
    • CBEC ( Central Board of Excise and Customs) has been renamed to CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs).

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. On 11th June 2018, Green Mizoram Day was observed throughout Mizoram.
    • On this day government employees, students and members of NGOs planted large number of trees.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. A team of researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, have discovered a planet named
    • The planet is six times bigger than Earth and the year lasts 5 days.
    • It revolves around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away.
    • Both the planet and the star have been named as EPIC.
    • This discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet.
    • The host star is named as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236
    • Its surface temperature is very high at around 600°C
    • Its mass is 27 times that of Earth’s and is known as a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune-sized planet.