July 23, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. The GST Council pruned the number of items in the highest tax slab of 28% and cut the rate on several others.
    • It also eased rules for small businesses.
    • Firms with less than 5 crore in sales may now file tax returns quarterly.
    • The threshold for GST registration has been raised to ₹20 lakh in some states.

 

  1. The Government has decided to deploy technological solutions in the form of Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS), on a pilot basis in different terrains on Indo-Pakistan Border and Indo-Bangladesh Border.
    • The technological solutions are based on integration of sensors and surveillance equipment like radars, day and night vision cameras, in a network architecture with command and control system.

 

  1. Based on a Supreme Court order, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), through its circular dated 6 July, has directed insurers to not renew insurance of vehicles without a Pollution Under Certificate (PUC) certificate.
    • A PUC certificate is mandatory as per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989. The rules state that after the expiry of a year from the date on which the vehicle was first registered, it will need to carry a valid PUC certificate issued by an agency authorised for this purpose by the respective state government.
    • The validity of the certificate is for six months.

 

  1. The Kolkata’s State Forest Department’s decision to carry out trimming of trees in a sprawling area of about 55,000 square metres in Darjeeling district in alleged violation of the guidelines and Supreme Court order has generated concern within the Department.
    • Silviculture thinning” is “being undertaken by the Research Division.
    • Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values.
    • Thinning is a term used in agricultural sciences to mean the removal of some plants, or parts of plants, to make room for the growth of others.
  1. To curb incidents of lynching and violence due to fake news on social media, the Uttar Pradesh police will set up ‘Digital Armies’.
    • As part of the initiative, all the 1,469 police stations in the State will have a WhatsApp group consisting 250 members including ex-servicemen, teachers, doctors, advocates and journalists.
    • These ‘digital volunteers’ will inform their local police station if they come across fake news on the social media and at the same time, disseminate correct information among the locals to curb the spread of rumours.
  1. After Amma canteen in Tamil Nadu and Indira canteen in Karnataka, it’s now Maharashtra’s turn to have one Tai’s (sister) canteen, giving away subji at ₹4 and roti at ₹2.

 

  1. Kerala topped the Public Affairs Index 2018, for the third time, for being the best governed large State in the country.
    • Karnataka retained its fourth
    • Tamil Nadu and Telangana stood second and third
    • The index on the quality of governance, released by Bengaluru-based think tank Public Affairs Centre was based on 10 themes, 30 focus subjects and 100 indicators.
    • Karnataka was ranked third in 2016.
    • Large States: Kerala has topped the list, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat.
    • Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar ranked the lowest, indicating higher social and economic inequalities in the states.
    • Smaller states (with population less than two crore): Himachal Pradesh topped the list followed by Goa, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura.
    • Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya were ranked at bottom of the index among small states.

 

  1. The National Library is all set to hold a permanent exhibition on the lives of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and iconic Bengali author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.

 

  1. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has initiated the process of introducing QR code in their textbooks.
    • This move is aimed at helping students understand chapters better by watching a film or reading additional content on laptops and digital boards.

 

  1. From September, the Army will be inducting two types of artillery guns into its arsenal.
    • The Army will start taking delivery of the K9 Vajra-T tracked self-propelled artillery guns from South Korea.
    • At the same time, it will also receive four M777 ultra-light howitzers from the US.

 

  1. The Environment Ministry re-introduced the ‘Medini Puraskar Yojna’– a scheme that awards Indian authors for their original work in Hindi on environment, pollution and climate change subjects.
    • It aims to encourage Hindi authors to write on environmental topics.
    • Rs one lakhwill be given as first prize, Rs 75,000 as second prize and Rs 50,000 as third prize.

 

  1. The first of its kind Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) has been inaugurated.
    • It is a giant true color LED display that gives out real-time air quality index on a daily basis.
    • It will be implemented in four cities of IndiaDelhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad as an operational service.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. Facebook announced that it is aiming to launch, ‘Athena’, its own internet satellite, early in 2019.
    • It would provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is keen to mandate companies that have more than 100 crore as long-term borrowings compulsorily raise at least 25% of their funding needs by selling bonds.
    • The efficient risk pricing in bonds and the distribution of risk across different classes of investors is what makes the bond market a perfect antidote to the current bad loan problem in banks.
    • The ultimate objective is to give a measure of protection to banks in the event of these companies finding themselves in trouble.

 

  1. The GDP deflator, also called implicit price deflator, is a measure of inflation.
    • It is the ratio of the value of goods and services an economy produces in a particular year at current prices to that of prices that prevailed during the base year.
    • This ratio helps show the extent to which the increase in gross domestic product has happened on account of higher prices rather than increase in output.
    • GDP price deflator measures the difference between real GDP and nominal GDP.
    • GDP price deflator = (nominal GDP ÷ real GDP) x 100
    • A Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes over time in the general level of prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.
    • However, since CPI is based only a basket of select goods and is calculated on prices included in it, it does not capture inflation across the economy as a whole.
    • The Wholesale Price Index basket has no representation of the services sector and all the constituents are only goods whose prices are captured at the wholesale/producer level.

 

 

SPORTS

  1. Archer Gahela Boro diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Antineutrophil Cytoplasm Antibodies (ANCA) two years ago.
    • These are two autoimmune diseases.
    • An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your body.

 

  1. Lakshya Sen became only the third Indian shuttler to secure a gold medal at the Badminton Asia junior championships held in Jakarta.
    • Late Gautam Thakkar (1965) and Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu (2012) had won the prestigious title earlier.

 

  1. Indian wrestlers Sachin Rathi and Deepak Punia bagged gold medals at the junior Asian Championships.

 

  1. The mascot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games were named during a ceremony.
    • The blue-checked pointy-eared figure Olympic mascot was named Miraitowa, while its Paralympic counterpart, who is pink-checked and wears a cape, was named

 

  1. Sunil Chhetri has been declared the 2017 Player of the Year by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
    • Woman Footballer of the Year: Kamala Devi.

 

  1. The Sports Authority of India under Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme, cleared 734 players for a scholarship programme.
    • An annual stipend of 1.2 lakhs will be given to the players on a quarterly basis.
    • Khelo India School Games (KISG), meaning Play India School Games, held annually beginning from 31 January 2018, are the national level multidisciplinary grass root games in India for the under-17 years school kids.

 

  1. India’s Muhammad Anas Yahiya broke his own national record to win the 400 metres race at the Cena Noveho Mesta nad Metuji meet in Czech Republic.
    • He became the second Indian sprinter to reach the finals of the one-lap event at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast after Milkha Singh.

 

  1. Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman became the quickest player to reach the 1000 runs in One-Day Internationals (ODI).
    • He achieved this mark during the 5th and final ODI of the ongoing five-match series against Zimbabwe.