July 24, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. India’s consumer internet market is set to expand rapidly over the next three years, according to Redseer Consulting, market research and consulting firm.
    • The expansion will be driven by sharp increase in the number of internet users as well as rise in spending.
    • By 2020, the e-commerce market will touch $50 billion, comprising nearly half the consumer internet market which will be approx $107 billion.
    • Roughly half of 470 million people who have internet access use the internet for messaging.

 

  1. In a bid to reduce the number of cheque dishonour cases pending in courts, the Lok Sabha passed the Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
    • The bill aims to counter the delaying tactics employed by people who want to avoid paying cheques issued by them.
    • If it gets Parliament’s nod, it will preserve the sanctity of cheque transactions by stopping the practice of people trying to deliberately delay cases through filing of appeals and obtaining stay on proceedings.
    • The bill proposes to insert a new provision wherein a court can order the drawer of the dishonoured cheque to pay interim compensation to the complainant, in a summary trial or a summons case upon framing of charges.
    • The interim compensation will be up to 20% of the amount of the cheque.
    • The compensation will not exceed 20 percent of the cheque amount and will have to be paid by the drawer within 60 days of the trial court’s order to pay such a compensation.
  1. Two High-Level Committees have been constituted by the Central government to suggest ways and legal framework to effectively deal with incidents of mob violence and lynching.
    • One of the committees is being headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the other by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
    • The Group of Ministers Committees headed by Rajnath Singh will consider the recommendations of the high-level committee of the Secretaries, headed by Rajiv Gauba.
  1. For the first time in five years, the Stanley reservoir at Mettur in Tamil Nadu also reached its full reservoir level (FRL) of 120 ft.
    • Kallanai Dam is also known as the Grand Anicut, is the first dam across Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu.
    • Other Dams in Tamil Nadu – Aliyar Dam, Amaravathi Dam, Mettur Dam.

 

  1. The first meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Committee on Border Haats was held in Agartala, Tripura.

 

  1. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik released the first tribal atlas of Odisha consisting of a set of maps and statistics highlighting the tribal demography of Odisha.
    • The atlas has been developed using the data of Census 2011 and other relevant statistics.
    • This atlas is said to be the first of its kind in India.

 

  1. A special unit of the Odisha Police has launched a drive to curb an international syndicate that smuggles endangered Pangolin, which is one of the world’s most illegally traded mammals.

 

  1. Under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, the government has cut the minimum annual deposit requirement for accounts to Rs 250 from Rs 1,000 earlier.
    • It will enable more number of people to take advantage of the girl child savings scheme.
    • Sukanya Samriddhi scheme was launched in 2015.
    • Till November 2017, more than 1.26 crore accounts were opened across the country securing an amount of Rs 19,183 crore.
    • Under the scheme, a parent or legal guardian can open an account in the name of the girl child until she attains the age of 10 years.
  1. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has created an online tool named TreadWill, to help people overcome issues related to mental health.
    • TreadWill is based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which helps people with depressive symptoms.
  1. The Union government’s decision to scrap the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on sanitary napkins is unlikely to result in a proportionate reduction in costs.
    • While imports would benefit from zero GST on the product, domestic manufacturers would suffer a huge disadvantage vis-à-vis imports as it would result in the complete denial of input tax credit, leading to an increase in the procurement cost.

 

  1. Iran was the second-biggest oil supplier to Indian state refiners between April and June, replacing Saudi Arabia as companies took advantage of steeper discounts offered by Tehran.
    • India, Iran’s top oil client after China, shipped in 67 million tonnes or about 4,57,000 barrels per day (bpd), of oil, from the country in the first three months of this fiscal year.

 

  1. India in 2018 has fallen out of the top 10 destinations for FDI in terms of its attractiveness, and ranks 11 in 2018, down from 8 in 2017 and 9 in 2016, according to an AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index by AT Kearney report.

 

  1. According to the “World Investment Report for 2018”, issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Indian FDI in Africa in 2016-17 at $14 billion was even lower than it was in 2011-12 at $16 billion.

 

  1. Karnataka registered the biggest increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) last year, as inflows from overseas jumped 300% in the 12 months ended March 2018, while Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh all saw a drop in FDI inflows, data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) presented in Parliament show.
    • While Karnataka received $8.58 billion in 2017/18, a sharp increase from the $2.13 billion in the previous fiscal, Tamil Nadu netted $3.47 billion, a 56% increase from the $2.22 billion in the prior period.
    • FDI inflows into Gujarat fell almost 38% to $2.09 billion in 2017-18, from $3.37 billion.
    • Andhra Pradesh saw FDI inflows drop 43% to $1.25 billion in 2017/18.
  1. National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill passed
    • Lok Sabha has passed National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to provide post-facto approval to those approved institutions which are funded by Centre or states, but do not have recognition.
    • The Bill amends National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act, 1993.
    • The Bill seeks to grant retrospective recognition to institutions that have been notified by central government, funded by Central Government or State/UT government and but do not have recognition under the parent Act.
    • The Bill grants retrospective permission these institutions to start new course or training in teacher education to institutions.
  1. 10th BRICS Summit will be held in Johannesburg from 25 to 27 July.
    • The theme of the summit this year is ‘BRICS in Africa: collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution’.

 

  1. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0
    • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is flagship programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) that aims to enrich Rural India.
    • The second edition (Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0) was launched in April, 2018.
    • The scheme aims to link higher education institutions with set of atleast five villages, so that they can contribute to economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
    • Under this scheme, higher education institutions will participate in development activities, particularly in rural areas.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. India’s currency weakened around 22% against the dollar between 2012 and 2017 and the compound annual growth rate in exports during the same period was a meagre 0.2%.
    • A historical analysis of India’s trade performance suggests that the biggest factor driving India’s export performance has been world demand.
    • As the domestic value added of India’s manufacturing sector declines and it becomes more reliant on foreign inputs, currency depreciation will lead to higher costs of production.
    • This will eventually lead to higher inflation in prices of domestically produced goods and will prevent them from becoming more competitive in the world market.
    • Thus, higher inflation—due to imported prices—might offset any gains from depreciation in terms of export competitiveness.
    • Between 2012 and 2018, India’s share of US imports rose marginally from 5% to 7.5%.
  1. According to the agreement, part of Project Sashakt, lenders with exposure to stressed accounts will appoint a lead bank as their agent to formulate a resolution plan.
    • Twenty-four banks led by the State Bank of India signed the Inter-Creditor Agreement that aims to fast-track the resolution of bad loans.
    • In a stock exchange filing, SBI said that its board has approved the signing of the inter-creditor pact.
    • Seventeen public sector banks, five private sector banks and two other financial institutions have signed the agreement.
    • The Mehta committee has also proposed the setting up of a National Asset Management company, which will raise multiple sector-specific investment funds to invest in stressed assets.
    • Under the Inter-Creditor Agreement, lenders will look at resolving accounts with exposure between ₹50 crore and ₹2,000 crore.
  1. The stock market regulator, SEBI, is planning to cap mutual fund distributor commissions in an attempt to check mis-selling.
    • It plans to cap lifetime distributor commissions for fixed-income schemes at 5-2% and equity-oriented mutual fund schemes at 4-5% so that upfront commissions too come down automatically.
    • Currently, commissions paid upfront alone are as high as 5% at several fund houses, which are followed by trail commissions later.

 

SPORTS

  1. Lewis Hamilton won the German Grand Prix 2018 held at Hockenheimring track in Germany.
  2. Punjab shot-putter Dhanvir Singh and Kerala 400m hurdler Vishnu Priya set new meet records on the final day of the 15th National Youth Athletics Championships en route to gold medals in their respective events in Vadodra.