June 25, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Ministry of steel has issued two Quality Control orders, namely Steel and Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2018 and Stainless Steel Products (Quality Control) Order, 2018 as part of its commitment to ensure 100% quality regime in the sector.
    • Under which sixteen additional steel products have been brought under the ambit of Quality Control Order(QCO).
    • Bringing around 90% of the steel and steel products consumed in the country under QCO.
  2. Insurance Laws Amendment Act, 2015
    • The agents can get commissions even after they stop servicing your insurance policy.
    • After the amendments in the Act, the decision moved to the Board of Insurance companies.
    • The Insurance Act of 1938 made renewal commissions an entitlement for agents who no longer serviced the policyholder, provided they had spent a minimum number of years with the insurer.
      1. The rules applied even after the agent dies. The commission, also called hereditary commission, in this case went to the nominee of the insurance agent
    • The amendment to the insurance Act removed section 44 altogether and new rules on commissions left it to the board of insurance companies to decide how they wanted to pay commission to agents that no longer worked with the insurance company.
  1. A committee has been set up to lay down the standards for metro rail systems across the country which will be headed by ‘metro man of India’, E. Sreedharan.
  1. The Union Government is considering doubling, or even trebling, the minimum monthly pension for retired organized sector employees
    • A three-member committee, constituted by the labour ministry three months ago, is of the opinion that the existing pension of ₹ 1,000 per month is too low.
    • The committee has suggested that the government should immediately announce ₹ 2,000 as minimum pension. The further enhancement up to ₹ 5,000 can be debated and arrived at over time.
  1. Of Assam’s 14 MPs, All India United Democratic Front chief Badruddin Ajmal and his brother Sirajuddin Ajmal did not figure in the first draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) created anxieties among the Bengali Muslim minority of Assam.
    • Bengali origin Muslims in Assam descend from peasant workers brought from the former Bengal and East Bengal starting in the 19th century under colonial rule, they have long been portrayed as irregular migrants.
    • National Register of Citizens – The National Register of Citizens (NRC) contains names of Indian citizens of Assam.
    • Centre is set to complete counting the Indian citizens living in Assam by June-end and list their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and exclude illegal settlers from Bangladesh.
  1. The Airports Authority of India has proposed to set up a Water Aerodrome in Chilika Lake for starting amphibious aircraft operations in Odisha.
    • A water aerodrome is an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off.
  1. The State Food Safety wing officials during inspection seized 6,000 kg of fish preserved using formalin (formaldehyde) at the inter-State border check-post at Walayar in Palakkad.
    • The inspections, as part of Operation Sagar Rani, were led by the Joint Food Safety Commissioner (Administration), along with a team of food safety intelligence officials from Kozhikode and Ernakulam and the district food safety squad in Palakkad.
    • To ensure safety and hygiene at fish handling and distribution centres, Food Safety officials in the district launched an initiative named ‘Operation Sagar Rani’ in 2017.
  1. The Rajasthan Government has introduced a 20% surcharge on liquor.
    • The proceeds from the same would be used for protection of cows in the state.
  1. Maharashtra has banned manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of plastic materials such as bags, spoons, plates and other disposable items.
    • The ban also includes packaging material and thermocol.
    • However, plastic used for packaging of medicines and drugs, milk and handling of solid waste is exempted from the ban.
    • For first time offenders the fine will be Rs 5,000.
    • For second time offenders, the fine will be Rs 10,000.
    • Those who violate it for the third time will face a fine of Rs 25,000 along with imprisonment of three months.
    • Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) will enforce the ban on plastic.
    • The use of thermocol for decoration during the Ganesh festival may be permitted if the Mandals give an undertaking that the waste will later be handed over to Municipal Corporation for proper disposal.
    • An Expo was organized in Mumbai – to help Mumbaikars choose alternatives: starch bags and spoons, compostable bags and wooden cutlery.
    • India generates an estimated 32 million metric tonnes of packaging waste each year, of which plastic waste constitutes 16%. But only 60% of the collected plastic waste is recycled.
  1. India’s 5% of the population suffers from undernourishment, going by the UN’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report for 2017 (assessment for 2014-16).
    • As per the Health Ministry, 53% of women are anaemic.
  1. India has lowered the limits on the export of certain essential commodities such as potatoes, onions, and eggs to the Maldives.
    • The new three-year average method of calculating the limits will result in a year-on-year reduction in the amount of some essential goods exported to the Maldives, but an increase in others.
    • For example, the limit on potato exports has been lowered to 5,308.7 MT in 2018-19 compared with the 5,589.78 MT exported in 2017-18.
    • However, the three-year average resulted in an increase in the limit for wheat flour exports to 946.21 MT in 2018-19 from the 59 MT supplied last year.
  1. India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual feature between the two Navies for the first
    • The Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand.
  1. The Law Commission is preparing a report on the codification of personal laws to bring a Uniform Civil Code.
    • Uniform Civil Code (Article 44) is the ongoing point of debate within Indian mandate to replace personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules governing every citizen.
    • Personal laws cover matters of property, marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession.
    • Currently, there are different personal laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and others. A uniform code will mean a set of common personal laws for all citizens.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. China’s Central bank – People’s Bank of China, will cut the amount of cash some lenders must hold as reserves, unlocking about 700 billion yuan ($108 billion) of liquidity.
    • The required reserve ratio for some banks will drop by 0.5%.
    • The aim is to support small and micro enterprises, and to further promote the debt-to equity swap program.
  1. OPEC would soon increase the oil supply by 600,000 to 800,000 barrels a day to the market, helping to tame oil prices that have soared to multi-year highs recently.
    • For India, risks from a high current account deficit and inflation will persist.
      • Additionally, higher oil prices bring back oil subsidy sharing nightmares for oil producer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.
    • OPEC – Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organization of 15 nations as of June 2018
    • It was founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), and headquartered since 1965 in Vienna, Austria.

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. The Banks Board Bureau (BBB), the advisory body formed by the government for selection of candidates for top level board appointment will soon be appointing Managing Directors.
    • Recently BBB has recommended 22 General Managers to be escalated as Executive Directors.
    • BP Sharma is the Chairman of BBB.
  1. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will invest $200 million in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
    • NIIF was set up in 2015 as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects in the infrastructure sector.
    • India is AIIB’s second-largest shareholder after China and has expressed its concerns over its neighbour’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) initiative aimed at connecting around 60 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

 

SPORTS

  1. Borna Coric defeated Roger Federer to win the Gerry Weber Open.
    • As a result of Federer’s loss, Rafael Nadal will reclaim the top spot in the ATP rankings.
  1. India’s Praggnanandhaa has become the country’s youngest and the world’s second youngest grand master at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 13 days
    • He has reached the final round of the ongoing Grendine Open in Italy.
    • Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holds the record for being the youngest GM at 12 years and seven months.
  1. Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won the French Grand Prix for Mercedes.
  1. With two gold, a silver and two bronze, India was on top of the table (as of June 25, 2018) in the Junior World Cup shooting held in Germany.
    • Anmol clinched the junior men’s free pistol
    • Anmol, Arjun Singh Cheema and Gaurav Rana jointly won the gold
    • Neha, Devanshi Sharma and Anushka Patil jointly won gold
  1. Mandeep Jangra was the lone Indian boxer to claim a gold medal in 69kg boxing Championship at the Ulaanbaatar Cup in Mongolia.
    • India ended the tournament with one gold, four silver, and four bronze medals.
    • He won silver medal in Commonwealth games 2014.