July 19, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Bengaluru and Delhi are among the world’s top 50 cities for women entrepreneurs for the second consecutive year, according to the Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index.
    • It measures a city’s ability to attract and retain high-potential women entrepreneurs.
    • Bengaluru is at No. 40 and Delhi at 49 in the list, which is topped by New York.
  1. The government has decided to withdraw the contentious Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017, or FRDI Bill allowing bankers to breathe easy.
    • This means the present system of insurance deposits will continue and customers will not have to worry about the ‘bail-in’ provision in the proposed Bill.
    • There were two controversial clauses in the Bill: a bail-in provision and an insurance on deposits.
    • The bail-in provision stipulated that if a bank fails, depositors will have to bear part of the liability.
    • Currently, deposits are insured up to ₹1 lakh. The Bill proposed to delete the legal provision for the present insurance system and defined this protection in a new way.

 

  1. HT Media Ltd and Next Mediaworks Ltd announced the signing of the binding term sheet for the proposed merger of their radio arms.
    • HT Media Ltd owns the popular Hindi radio channels Fever FM and Radio Nasha.
    • Next Mediaworks, through its subsidiary Next Radio Ltd operates successful segmented radio stations across the Radio One brand.

 

  1. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, which seeks to protect small investors from ponzi schemes and prevent unregulated entities from collecting deposits from individuals was introduced.
    • The bill plugs the loopholes in existing laws and gives powers to the government to stop companies from soliciting such funds.
    • Once the bill is passed by the legislature, people running ponzi schemes could face a jail term of up to 10 years and a penalty of up to Rs50 crore.
    • In a ponzi scheme, companies or individuals typically seek public funds promising high rates of interest.
    • The bill also proposes to set up a competent authority at the state government level with powers to attach properties and recover dues to depositors in case entities do manage to raise funds illegally.

 

  1. Indian Railways commissioned 30% fewer tracks in the last financial year.
    • The state-run railway company commissioned 1,861km of tracks during 2017-18, a decline from 2,855km in the previous year, according to railways data submitted in the Lok Sabha
    • The railways commissioned 2,828km of tracks in 2015-16.
    • Railway line commissioning means a train can be pressed into service on the line after completion of all trials on the new track. It comprises new lines, gauge conversion and doubling of tracks.

 

  1. The US has offered India the armed version of Guardian drones that were originally authorized for sale as unarmed for surveillance purposes.
    • If the deal comes to fruition, it would be the first time Washington has sold a large armed drone to a country outside the NATO alliance.

 

  1. The centre raised the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) for sugarcane to `275 per quintal, a hike of `20 over last year’s FRP of `255 per quintal.
    • FRP is the price sugar mills pay farmers while procuring cane.

 

  1. The Telangana government will complete the Mission Bhagiratha project by October.
    • The project aims to supply piped drinking water across the state, including 5.5 million rural households sourced from River Godavari and Krishna.

 

  1. The bill Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed which seeks to reinstate detention for students of Class V to Class VIII if they fail to pass examinations.
    • The bill also allow the reintroduction of examinations for primarily schools.
    • According to the RTE amendment bill, students will get two chances to pass the examination and they will be detained if they fail in both attempts.
    • The bill, however, has the provision to allow states to continue with the no-detention policy if they choose to, or conduct examinations at the school, district or state levels.
    • According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for rural India published by non-profit organisation Pratham, the proportion of all children in Class V who could read a Class II level text book declined to 47.8% in 2016 from 1% in 2014.

 

  1. The first all-women branch of Jammu & Kashmir Bankwas inaugurated by the first lady Usha Vohra in Srinagar.
    • Chairman of the J&K Bank – Parvez Ahmad

 

  1. Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Salman Khanhave ranked in the Forbes list of top 100 highest-paid entertainers 2018.
    • Akshay Kumar ranked 76thwith earnings of $40.5M
    • Salman Khan ranked 82ndwith earnings of $37.7M

Ranking

Person

Profession

Earning (in USD)

1

Floyd Mayweather

Professional boxer

275 m

2

George Clooney

Actor

239 m

3

Kylie Jenner

Social Media star and business woman

166.5 m

 

  1. Cabinet approves Special Remission to Prisoners on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
    • This will be done in three phases-
    • In Phase-l, the prisoners will be released on 2nd October, 2018 (Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi).
    • In Phase-ll prisoners will be released on 10th April, 2019 (Anniversary of Champaran Satyagrah).
    • In Phase-Ill, prisoners will be released on 2nd October 2019 (Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi)
    • Eligibility of the prisoners for the special remission:
      1. Women convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
      2. Transgender convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
      3. Male convicts of 60 years of age and above, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
      4. Physically challenged/disabled convicts with 70% disability and more who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
      5. Terminally ill convicts.
      6. Convicted prisoners who have completed two-third (66%) of their actual sentence period.

 

  1. Cabinet cuts tax burden on ONGC and Oil India
    • The revised norms will be applicable on blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and pre-NELP regime.
    • In six pre-NELP exploration blocks, ONGC and OIL had traditionally borne the full burden of royalty and cess, including share of JV partners.
    • But the Cabinet has now allowed the two state firms to bring down their liability to the extent of their respective participating interests in these blocks, leaving partners such as Hindustan Oil, GSPC, and Essar Oil to bear their respective share of royalty and cess.

 

  1. The first 2+2 dialogue between Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and the U.S. will take place in September first week in New Delhi.

 

  1. The Bill on awarding the death penalty for those convicted of rape of girls below the age of 12 will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament.
    • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018, once approved by Parliament, will replace the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance.
    • The minimum punishment in the case of rape of women has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10.
    • Under the Bill, in case of the rape of a girl aged under 16 and above 12, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20.
    • The punishment for gang rape of a girl aged below 16 and above 12 will be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. Google received a record €4.3 billion ($5 billion) antitrust fine from the European Union.
    • It was ordered to change the way it puts search and web browser apps on Android mobile devices.
    • As per EU, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine.
    • EU said Google ensures that Google Search and Chrome are pre-installed on “practically all Android devices” sold in Europe.
    • Users who find these apps on their phones are likely to stick with them and “do not download competing apps in numbers that can offset the significant commercial advantage derived on pre-installation”.

 

  1. Walmart and Microsoft announced a new 5-year partnership to take on Amazon in both technology and retail.
  1. Australian scientists said that, they have developed the world’s first blood test capable of detecting melanoma in its early stages.
    • Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Bengaluru based, Jana Small Finance Bank, erstwhile MFI – Janalakshmi Financial Services, officially launched its commercial banking operations.
    • It is the last microfinance company to convert itself into a Small Finance Bank (SFB).
    • Jana was the worst affected during demonetization when it saw its asset quality slip, leading to capital erosion.
    • The Micro Finance institution (MFI) had reported losses to the tune of ₹3,400 crore at the end of March 2018.
    • NBFC-MFIs are required to have minimum paid up capital of 5 Cr and they are allowed to provide unsecured loans to Self Help Groups (SHGs) or Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) as per the guidelines of RBI.
    • Small Finance Banks are a new category of Banks with Rs 100 Cr paid up capital.
    • SFB can take deposits and MFIs cannot. Only Banks are allowed to take demand deposits.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Tata Capital has appointed Anil Kaulas the Managing Director of Tata Capital Housing Finance.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won gold medal at the Sotteville Athletics Meetin France.
    • Neeraj Chopra had won gold medal in the 2016 World Junior Championship.
  1. Pakistan clinched the series after strolling to a nine-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the third ODI.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Scientists have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, making the total number of natural satellites circling around Jupiter to 79.
    • The discovery includes 11 “normal” outer moons, and one “oddball.”