July 17, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Life Insurance Corporation of India’s (LIC’s) Board has approved acquiring up to 51 % stake in IDBI Bank.

 

  1. According to PRS Legislative Research, 25 bills have been listed for consideration and passage, and three for withdrawal during the session.
    • 18 new bills, including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) bill, 2018, are expected to be introduced.
    • Important bills listed for consideration and passage include Fugitive Economic Offenders bill, 2018, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill, 2017, and Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill, 2016.

 

  1. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018
    • Insolvency is a situation where individuals or companies are unable to repay their outstanding debt.
    • Homebuyers will get due representation in the Committee of Creditors (CoC) that takes a call on resolution proposals, making them an integral part of the decision making process.
    • The Ordinance provides significant relief to home buyers by recognizing their status as financial creditors.
    • Another major beneficiary would be Micro, Small and Medium Sector Enterprises (MSME), which form the backbone of the Indian economy as the biggest employer, next only to the agriculture sector.
    • Now, the promoters of MSMEs are allowed to bid for their companies undergoing Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) as long as they are not wilful defaulters and don’t attract any other related disqualification.
    • With a view to encouraging resolution as opposed to liquidation, the voting threshold has been brought down to 66 percent from 75 percent for all major decisions such as approval of resolution plan, extension of CIRP period, etc.

 

  1. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
    • The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.
    • It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat.
    • Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.
    • The Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
    • A husband declaring talaq can be imprisoned for up to three years along with a fine.
    • A Muslim woman against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children.
    • This act is applicable in entire India except for Jammu & Kashmir.

 

  1. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018
    • The Bill allows for a person to be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender (FEO) if:
      1. an arrest warrant has been issued against him for any specified offences where the value involved is over Rs 100 crore.
      2. he has left the country and refuses to return to face prosecution.
    • It will empower authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters who flee the country.
    • Section 11 of the Act disqualifies those declared as offenders from either filing or defending a civil claim in court.

 

  1. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the seller of every second car in the country, plans to introduce its first entry-level car in India – code-named Y1K.
    • It is in the development stage at the company’s newly built research and development facility in Rohtak.

 

  1. The average time spent by an Indian watching videos online has grown to 52 minutes per day in 2018 from a mere two minutes per day in 2012.
    • It is expected to increase further to 67 minutes per day by 2019, according to a report Online Video Forecasts 2018 by media agency
    • The time spent watching videos online is expected to go up to 84 minutes a day for the average person by 2020
    • More time is spent watching online videos on mobiles (40 minutes in 2018) compared with non-mobile devices (26 minutes in 2018).
    • By 2020, China will have the keenest viewers, with the average person spending 105 minutes a day watching online video, followed by Russia (102 minutes) and the UK (101 minutes).
    • Online video refers to all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms, over-the-top subscription services, video-sharing sites and videos viewed on social media.

 

  1. As per the OECD International Migration Outlook 2018, India ranked fourth globally among people who migrated to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries in
    • China topped the list with more than half a million migrants, followed by Romania and Syria.
    • India occupied fourth place with 271,503 migrants to OECD countries in 2016 compared with 113,082 in
    • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in 1961.
    • Today, the OECD is a forum of 34 industrialised countries that develops and promotes economic and social policies.
    • The 34 OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

 

  1. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) recommended imposing a safeguard duty for two years on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia.
    • DGTR, which functions under the commerce ministry, has recommended a safeguard duty of 25% for the first year, followed by a 5% reduction for the first six months of the second year to 20%.
    • A duty of 15% has been recommended for the last six months of the second year.
    • India plans to add 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity by 2022.
    • Safeguard duty is duty payable on import of goods which is already being manufactured in India but cost of which is high compared to import price. It is imposed by Central Government on goods so that the Indian manufacturers do not suffer due to import of cheaper goods from outside. It helps in creating a level playing field for Indian manufacturers and importers.

 

  1. Indian Accounting Standard 115-
    • India’s new accounting standard, Ind AS 115, is in effect from April 1, 2018, which is the start of the country’s new financial year.
    • Once it is in force, the other two standards Ind AS 18 (revenue) and 11 (construction), which are related to revenue and construction contracts, would be withdrawn.
    • Realty firms have to follow the Indian Accounting Standard (Ind AS) 115 that aims to align them with global accounting standards.
    • Ind AS 115 requires that realty firms switch from the present Percentage completion method to Project completion method.
    • Currently, the revenue and profit accrues in proportion to the percentage of the project that has been completed.
    • However, under the new system, revenue can be booked only after the project is completed and the customer has taken possession of the unit (house/flat).

 

  1. The government is facing serious challenges in its efforts to adopt an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system—a sweeping digital database of every Indian’s medical record that can be accessed by doctors and hospitals—that is aimed at transforming healthcare in the country.
    • These challenges range from infrastructure creation, policy and regulations, standards and interoperability to research and development.

 

  1. In a bid to strengthen the Anti-Drug Campaign, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed officials to hire retired government psychiatrists to handle the increased inflow of patients at de-addiction centres.
    • Monitoring the district authorities to crackdown on centres selling ‘Buprenophine – Naloxone’ in large quantities in violation of prescribed protocols.

 

  1. The Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court that it was coming up with a law to restore the Anticipatory Bail Provision in the State which was scrapped during the Emergency in 1976.
    • At present, UP and Uttarakhand are the only states that do not have the remedy of pre-arrest bail.
    • So, in most criminal cases, the accused are first arrested and then they have to seek either regular bail or quashing of charges before the high court, thereby overcrowding jails.
    • During the Emergency, the UP government had amended the CrPC in 1976 and withdrawn the provision of anticipatory bail in the state.

 

  1. The Supreme Court pulled up the Kerala government for not complying with the apex court-appointed Justice S S Jagan Committee’s orders for payment of compensation to dog-bite victims, mostly belonging to economically backward families, women and schoolchildren.

 

  1. The Punjab government has decided to construct 32 new Railway Over Bridges (ROBs) and Railway Under Bridges (RUBs) across the State to ease traffic snarls.

 

  1. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is going to create National Database of Arms Licenses system from April 2019..
    • The move is aimed at keeping a tab on authorised private gun holders, many of whom are often found involved in crimes and celebratory firing leading to loss of lives.

 

  1. ISRO has successfully conducted ground test of its high thrust version of Vikas Engine at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu for duration of 195 seconds.
    • Vikas belongs to family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s.
    • The recently tested high thrust version of Vikas engine will improve payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk-III launch vehicles.

 

  1. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras has commissioned remotely operable Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) microscope.
    • It is claimed to be world’s first remotely operable LEAP microscope, as it can be remotely operated through special terminal by researchers divided geographically.
    • LEAP is high-performance microscope that can provide a precise atom-by-atom view of materials.

 

  1. Indian Army is going to resume trials of US-made M777 ultralight howitzer in the Pokhran firing range, Rajasthan.
    • M777 is 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun. It is manufactured by US based BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems division.

 

  1. President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015, converting it to an Act.
    • The bill has been converted into an Act after almost three years it was passed by Assam’s state assembly.
    • The Assam Assembly on August 13, 2015, had unanimously passed a Bill, which imposes imprisonment of up to seven years, along with a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh, for branding someone as witch. This Bill has now become an Act.
    • The punishment for leading a person to commit suicide after intimidating, stigmatising, defaming and accusing her as witch, may be extended to life imprisonment, along with Rs 5 lakh fine.
    • President’s assent is required when an act passed by a state Assembly contravenes central law. In this case, the act contravenes sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deal with such crimes.

 

  1. The Supreme Court refused to grant interim stay on Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018 of the Union Health Ministry directing the manufacturers to have graphic warning images on packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products and helpline numbers for those who wanted to quit the habit.
    • It would come into effect from September 1.
    • The notification mandates packets to carry a ‘Quit Today Call’ number to help those quit tobacco products.
    • It mandated replacement of current image of a person’s throat with a hole with more “gruesome pictures of a person’s lips with diseased and purulent growth.”
    • The statutory warning line, “Smoking causes throat cancer”, too is to be replaced with “Smoking causes painful death” and “Tobacco causes cancer.”

 

  1. India and Iran would “maintain the momentum” of bilateral cooperation between them.

 

  1. Justice B N Srikrishna, will head a Committee of experts which has been formed to deliberate on a data protection framework for the country.
    • This is the first time that India has started work on a specific data protection law.
    • The recommendations, when accepted by the government, will mean that entities like browsers, mobile applications, devices, operating systems and service providers, among others, will not be able to share personal data with third parties without getting the consent of customers.

 

  1. Flipkart-owned digital payments start-up PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail, a hyper local point-of-sale platform for small and medium businesses.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. Pakistan Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk inaugurated the Pakistan-China Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) project that will be the first land-based communication link between Pakistan and China.
    • It will help in developing the telecom sector in Gilgit-Baltistan region.
  1. China has planned to launch 300 low-orbit satellites named the Hongyan constellation to offer worldwide communication services and the first in the series will be launched in 2018.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. In an update to its World Economic Outlook (WEO), International Monetary Fund trimmed India’s growth projection for 2018-19 by 10 basis points to 3%.
    • Due to negative effects of higher crude oil prices on domestic demand and faster-than anticipated monetary policy tightening due to higher-than expected inflation.
    • For 2019-20, IMF cut its projection by a sharper 30 basis points to 7.5%.
    • IMF said India’s growth is expected to rise from 7% in 2017-18 to 7.3% in 2018-19 and 7.5% in 2019-20, as the effects of demonetisation and the introduction of Goods and Service Tax fade.

 

 

AWARDS

  1. Renowned Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam has been selected for 2018 Sangita Kalanidhi award of Music Academy for her contribution to Carnatic music.
  2. Aizya Naaz Joshi has become the first Indian transsexual to win the title of World Diversity 2018 that was held in Dubai.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. The 36th Golden Glove of Vojvodina Youth Men & Women Boxing Tournament, was held in Vojvodina, Serbia.
    • India won a total of 17 medals with 7 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 4 bronze medals and obtained the first position at the 36th Golden Glove of Vojvodina youth tournament.

Name

Weight

Medal

Aman

+91kg

Gold

Akash Kumar

56kg

Gold

S Barun Singh

49kg

Gold

Vijaydeep

69kg

Gold

Nitu

48kg

Gold

Divya Pawar

54kg

Gold

Lalita

69kg

Gold

 

  1. Angelique Kerber took home the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy as the 2018 Wimbledon women’s singles.