Current Affairs for July 12, 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BANKING AND ECONOMY

APPOINTMENTS

MISCELLANEOUS

CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Cabinet approved the following bills:

Bill

Function

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019

To empower transgenders

Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019

It amends Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

Water Disputes Tribunal will be set up for settlement of water disputes among states (if need arises)

Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019

It will replace the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.

It aims to ban illegal deposits taking activities in India.

Amendment in Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012

1. To make punishment more stricter for offenders

2. The amendment introduces a new definition of child pornography:

“Any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which include photographs, video, digital or computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child and an image created, adapted or modified but appear to depict a child.”

3. Before this definition, there was no clear definition of child pornography given.

 

  1. Cabinet has passed the “Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019” by combining the 13 labour safety laws, to ensure healthy working conditions at workplaces.
  • It is second out of the four codes that aims to merge the existing 44 labour laws.
  • It is expected to affect 40 crore unorganised sector workers.

Factories Act 1948

Mines Act 1952

Dock Workers (Safety, Health and Welfare) Act 1986

Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996

Plantations Labour Act, 1951

Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970

Inter-State Migrant workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979

Working Journalist and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and Misc. Provision) Act, 1955

Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) Act, 1958

Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961

Sales Promotion Employees (Condition of Service) Act, 1976

Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966

Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act, 1981

 

  • Cabinet also approved to grant the status of Organised Group ‘A’ status and benefits of Non-Functional Financial Upgradation to Indian Railway Protection Force.

 

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare formed a 8-member committee to check the feasibility of a Central law to protect doctors and medical premises against attack.
  • Draft ‘Protection of Medical Service Persons and Medical Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss of Property) Act, 2017’, was prepared by Indian Medical Association (IMA).
  • And, recently this draft has been submitted to Health Ministry.

 

  1. Minister of Road and Highways Nitin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha that Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase 1 is expected to generate 14.2 crore man-days of employment upon completion. 
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme.

Bharatmala Pariyojana

Duration

2017-18 to 2021-2022 for Phase 1

Aim

To develop road transportation.

Details

A total of around 24,800 kms will be covered under Phase I of Bharatmala.

In addition, 10,000 kms of balance road works under National Highways Development Project will be considered under Phase 1, taking the total to 34,800 kms at an estimated cost of Rs.5.35 lakh crore.

 

Border Connectivity: the cities and remote areas, which are situated in the border regions, the project has kept provision for constructing 2000kms roads that fall in the Border Road or International Connectivity category

 

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs banned ‘The Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) a US-based Pro-Khalistani group under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
  • SFJ supports Khalistan (Sikh separatist movement) to separate Punjab from India.
  • SFJ propelled the Sikh Referendum 2020, which is a campaign to liberate Punjab.

 

  1. India –ASEAN Troika Trade Ministers’ Meeting was held in New Delhi.
  • Aim: – For holding informal consultation on the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  1. 2nd India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) was held in New Delhi.
  • The first meet took place at St. Petersburg in Russia.
  • The meet focused on six areas: –

Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies

Development of Agriculture and Agro-Processing sector

Small and Medium Business support

Digital Transformation and Frontier Technologies

Cooperation in Trade, Banking, Finance, and Industry

Tourism & Connectivity

 

  1. National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in Pune has acquired rare footage of the 1948 Marathi film ‘Vande Mataram’.
  • The film was directed by noted filmmaker Ram Gabale.

 

  1. Prasar Bharati has signed an MoU with IIT-Kanpur to collaborate on research in new technologies and broadcasting-related areas (especially 5G).

 

  1. Uttar Pradesh has set the target to make it a $1 Trillion economy by boosting agriculture and related activities.

 

  1. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of senior citizens-1.54 crores, followed by Maharashtra with 1.11 crore, according to Census 2011.
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana was launched in 2017 to help senior citizens (aged above 60 years) below poverty line by providing physical aids.

 

  1. Odisha has recently implemented the Centre’s Witness Protection Scheme 2018 to ensure the protection of witnesses so that they can give the authentic testimony in the court.
  • Supreme Court had passed the scheme, in December 2018 and asked all states/UTs to implement it until any legislation is formulated regarding this.
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) developed this scheme.

 

  1. Uttar Pradesh Law Commission has proposed a draft bill on mob lynching, suggesting an imprisonment ranging from 7 years to life imprisonment to the offenders.

 

  1. The largest menhir of Kerala has been found at Pothamala hills in Udumbanchola taluk on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.
  • Measurements: – 20 ft tall and 6 ft wide with a thickness of 5 ft.
  • Significance: – It throws light on the possible existence of a major prehistoric necropolis there.
  • Necropolis = a cemetery, or a burial ground belonging to an ancient city
  • Menhir = a tall upright stone of a kind erected in prehistoric times

 

  1. Andhra Pradesh announced a calamity relief fund with a corpus of ₹2,000 crore to provide compensation for crop loss caused by drought and cyclones.
  • A market stabilisation fund of ₹3,000 crore is being created.
  • MLAs have been appointed as chairpersons of Agricultural Market Committees to help farmers to get better prices for their produce.
  • A provision of ₹1 crore to each MLA for addressing the drinking water problem in their respective constituencies has also been announced.

 

  1. Ministry for Housing and Urban Affairs has announced the draft of “Model Tenancy Law 2019” which recommend setting up a maximum of two months’ rent as security deposit, a three-month notice for raising the rent and appointment of rent authorities.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. France has recently imposed a ‘green tax’ of up to 18 euros ($20) on plane tickets for all outgoing flights from airports in France w.e.f. 1 April 2020. 
  • Objective: – To fund less-polluting transportation projects such as railway.
  • A similar tax was introduced in Sweden in April 2018, under which an added charge of 40 euros on every ticket was imposed in order to lessen the impact of air travel on the climate.

 

  1. Sri Lanka has been declared measles-free by WHO.
  • The country reported its last homegrown case of the virus in May 2016.
  • However, occasional cases of measles reported in the last three years were imported from abroad but were quickly detected, investigated and received a rapid response, according to WHO.

 

  1. US’s House of Representatives passed the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044”.
  • Purpose: – The bill, after implementation, would increase the per-country limit on family-based immigrant visas from 7% to 15% of the total number of such visas available that year.
  • Relief: – It will provide permanent residency to skilled professionals from various countries.
  • Bill provides a transition period from 2020 to 2022 by reserving a percentage of employment visas – in the EB-2 (exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled workers) and EB-5 (investors) categories, for individuals who are not from the two countries whose nationals claim most of these visas.

 

  1. France has become the first country to approve the “Gafa Tax” (an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), to impose a 3% tax on sales generated in the country.
  • Purpose: – To stop MNCs from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax countries.
  • It is applicable on the tech firms with global revenues of Euro 750 million.

 

 

  1. 19th Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting was held in London where India supported the re-admission of Maldives into the Commonwealth group.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Total deposits in over 36.06 crore bank accounts opened under the PM Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) have reached at Rs 1,00,495.94 crore, according to Ministry of Finance.
  • More than 44 crore account holders have been issued the Rupay debit cards in Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts under PMJDY scheme.
  • PMJDY was launched in 2014.

 

  1. RBI will review the timings of the foreign exchange market from 9 am to 9 pm instead of 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Call money market timings could be extended till 6 pm instead of the 5 pm to facilitate liquidity management by banks.

 

  1. Samsung and Paisabazaar.com have partnered to offer financial products on Samsung Pay.
  • Paisabazaar.com will support Samsung Pay users by providing facilities like Credit Cards and Personal loans from the platform. 

  1. Walmart Labs (an American subsidiary of Walmart) has acqui-hired FloCare and BigTrade (2 Bengaluru-based health tech startups).
  • FloCare was co-founded by Gagan Goel and Gaurav Gupta. BigTrade was founded by Kiran L and Sunil Soni.

 

  1. Central Government will relax the General Financial Rules (GFR) to enable all government organisations to set aside a minimum 2% of the procurement budget of a Ministry or department, for untested goods or services to help startups.

 

  1. World Gold Council (WGC) predicts that India’s gold demand may fall by 2.4% as an effect of the 2.5% increase in the import duty of gold.
  • If this rate continues for the long term, then India will see a fall in gold demand by around 1% every year, according to WGC.

 

  1. RBI’s quarterly Residential Asset Price Monitoring Survey mentions that ‘house price-to-income ratio’ in India has increased in the last four years from 56.1 in 2015 March quarter to 61.5 in March 2019 quarter.
  • Mumbai is the costliest city. However, its affordability improved to 74.4 in the March quarter 2019 from 76.9 in the December quarter 2018.
  • Bhubaneswar is the most affordable city with ratio of 54.3 in the March 2019 quarter against 47.2 in March 2015.

 

 

  1. TCG Advisory Services has acquired the NBFC- Religare Finvest Ltd.

 

  1. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) ‘Performance Indicator Report 2019’, 4.91 million new active subscribers availed direct-to-home (DTH) between 2018-2019.
  • DTH has attained net active subscriber base of around 72.44 million.

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Katrina Kaif has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Reebok.

2. Viswanathan Anand has been appointed as the mentor for the Indian edition of “chesskid.com”, a US-based chess platform.

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Bidyut Mohanty has written “Lakshmi the Rebel: Culture, Economy and Women’s Agency”.

 

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