July 13, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Maruti Suzuki India Pvt Ltd. will soon go for lithium-ion batteries.
    • Almost all electric vehicles in the country run on imported batteries, mostly from China.
    • Reportedly, Maruti Suzuki will be the first manufacturer to provide lithium-ion battery in cars in India in mass models.
  1. In a taxpayer-friendly move, the government said the distance between two PIN codes for a shipment will be calculated automatically at the time of generation of an e-way bill under the Goods and Services Tax.
    • An e-way bill, an electronic documentation of movement of goods, was rolled out primarily as an anti-tax evasion measure to prevent non-reporting or under-reporting of transactions.
    • It has to be generated for all movement of goods within or outside a state through online registration of a consignment. The supplier and the transporter can upload the details about the shipment and get a unique e-way bill number.
    • While an e-way bill has to be generated for movement of all goods between states valued at over ₹50,000, the threshold varies from state to state.
    • At present, taxpayers are asked to enter the two PIN codes, the starting point and the end point of the shipment, and then asked to fill the distance.

 

  1. Indian Railways has sought operational autonomy from the cabinet to undertake the ambitious ₹1 trillion Station Redevelopment Plan.
    • This includes selling railway land to pay loans, leasing it out for more than 99 years for commercial development, including real-estate development, and forming joint ventures with urban development agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority to undertake station redevelopment projects.
    • The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), the nodal agency to undertake station redevelopment, will not seek any money from the Indian Railways to undertake the projects and funds would be raised from the market.
  1. Disturbed Areas Act, Gujarat-
    • The Disturbed Areas Act, 1991, was first introduced in the mid-eighties as an ordinance by the Congress-led government after the communal riots of 1985.
    • Chimanbhai Patel, who led a coalition government in the state, firmed it up as an Act in 1991.
    • It was later amended in 2010 and came to be known as the Prohibition of Transfer of Immovable Property and Provision for Protection of Tenants from Eviction from Premises in Disturbed Areas Act, Gujarat.
    • The Act prohibits a Muslim from selling, leasing or transferring his property to a Hindu, or a Hindu to a Muslim, in a disturbed area unless it gets a clearance from the district collector.
    • The Disturbed Areas Act is currently implemented in many parts of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat city.
    • Gujarat government included 74 additional localities in Ahmedabad under the Disturbed Areas Act, taking the total number to 770.

 

  1. Niti Aayog has proposed 15-point action plan named “Breathe India” for combating air pollution in ten most polluted cities in the country.
    • According to a recent WHO database (2018), Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Varanasi, Agra, Gurgaon, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow and Patna are the top ten most polluted cities in India.
    • The plan includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle and development of crop residue utilisation policy.

 

  1. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched a video contest titled “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao
    • It is a fortnightly contest that will run till 4th November 2018.
    • To engage with the people of India on the important issues of water conservation and water management.
    • The duration of the videos should be minimum 2 minutes and up to 10 minutes in Hindi, English or any other regional language and must not violate any provision of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 or the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party.
    • The prize amount is Rs 25,000/-, Rs 15,000/- and Rs 10,000/– for first, second and third positions respectively.

 

  1. The Bihar cabinet approved amendments to the state’s stringent Prohibition & Excise Act 2016.
    • Earlier, both the owner and the occupant of a property or vehicle, from which liquor was seized, were liable to be punished.
    • Under the Act, the minimum provision of punishment is jail term of 10 years up to life imprisonment; if liquor is found in a house, all members of the family above 18 years of age are deemed as guilty.
    • According to the amendments, there would be a reduction in the quantum of punishment for those involved in sale and manufacture of liquor as well as for those consuming alcohol, including the first-time offenders.

 

  1. India has ranked 57th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) developed by Cornell University, the Paris-based business school Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva.
    • India has improved its rank from 60th position in 2017.
    • Since 2011, Switzerland has been ranked on top every year.
    • In 2018, it is followed by Netherlands at second spot and Sweden at third.
    • The US has dropped to sixth rank from fourth in 2017.

 

  1. India has become the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
    • This would enable more joint investment with Indian companies across EBRD’s regions of operation.

 

  1. India’s first private sector unit for manufacturing Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) and Light Bullet Proof Vehicles (LBPV) will be set up by DCM Shriram Industries Group on the campus of Shriram Rayons in Kota.

 

  1. Scientists have developed a computer named “SpiNNaker” that mimics human brain’s neural networks, and would overcome the speed and power consumption problems of conventional supercomputers.
    • SpiNNaker is a custom-built computer. It generated similar results similar to that of the best brain-simulation supercomputer software used at present for neural-signalling research.

 

  1. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched the android-based Durga Shakti app of the Haryana Police.
    • The app will enable women to seek immediate help of the police through Women Helpline Number 1091 in case of an emergency.
    • The mobile app was launched at the ‘Ek Aur Sudhar Programme’.
    • The Chief Minister also flagged off 50 new vehicles for women police stations in the state
    • These vehicles have been allotted to ‘Durga Shakti Rapid Action Force’ to check incidents of eve teasing and other crime related to women and girls in the state.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. As per World Bank report- ‘Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls’, not educating girls or creating barriers in their school education globally costs between $15 trillion to $30 trillion.
    • As per the report, less than two-thirds of girls in low-income countries complete primary school and only one in three girls complete lower secondary school.
    • Statistics of India
  1. Female labour force participation in the market is at 31.2 percent and more than 50 million young women in India neither study nor work.
  2. According to the statistics released by the latest census of 2011, India’s female literacy rate is 65.46 percent, significantly lower than the world average of 79.7 percent.
  • While states like Kerala paint a rosy picture of women’s education in India with 92.07 percent female literacy, relatively backward states such as Bihar with 51.5 percent female literacy rate.

 

  1. The European Commission cut its forecasts for the Eurozone’s economic growth this year slow to 1% from 2.4% last year.
    • The top cause is the revision of trade tensions with the United States and rising oil prices which push the bloc’s inflation higher.
    • In 2019 the bloc’s growth should further slow to 2.0%, unchanged from the previous forecast.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Airtel Payments Bank Ltd has received requisite approvals from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to start on-boarding customers using Aadhaar based e-KYC (know your customer).
    • In December last year, the UIDAI had temporarily suspended Airtel and its payments bank from conducting Aadhaar-based verification of its mobile customers as well as those of the bank using the e-KYC process after receiving complaints that it was opening payments bank accounts without the explicit consent of users.
    • It was also alleged that government subsidies were being credited in these accounts without the knowledge of users.
    • Airtel Payments Bank was the first payments bank to start operations on 12 January last year with an investment of 3,000 crore.

 

  1. Pay revisions, interest payments and farm loan waivers are stressing state government finances yet again, as per the report- State Finances: A Study of Budgets of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
    • States have budgeted a Gross Fiscal Deficit (GFD) of 6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during FY19, with 11 states budgeting above 3%.
    • For FY19, states have projected a revenue surplus of 0.2% of GDP against a deficit of 0.4% as per the revised estimates of FY18.
    • Total debt waivers were budgeted at 0.2% of GDP during FY19 compared with 0.32% of GDP in FY18 as per revised estimates.

 

  1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) made it mandatory for stock brokers to accept client funds only by way of bank or electronic transfers such as cheques and mobile banking.
    • Investors can no longer deposit cash in their broker’s account to trade in stocks.
    • The move is in line with SEBI’s plans to encourage paperless and cashless stock market trading.


 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. July 12 is celebrated as International Malala Day as on July 12, 2013, Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday, she spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education.
    • Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala won gold in Junior Women’s 10m Air Pistol and Junior Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol at the tournament being held at the Military Shooting Range in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
  2. Hima Das won first ever track gold at the 400-metre final at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.