June 29, 2018

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NATIONAL NEWS

  1. India has moved up just one spot in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index from 36 in 2016 to 35 in
    • According to report by real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL).
    • This was despite the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act or RERA.
    • RERA was implemented in May 2016 to bring accountability and transparency into the sector.
    • However, unlike a few states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, several states have been slow in its implementation.
    • The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is an Act of the Parliament of India which seeks to protect home-buyers as well as help boost investments in the real estate industry.
    • The Act establishes Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each state for regulation of the real estate sector and also acts as an adjudicating body for speedy dispute redressal.
    • Although, India is one of the 10 countries that have registered maximum improvement in transparency in real estate over the last two years.

Country

Rank

UK

1

Australia

2

US

3

France

4

Canada

5

Netherlands

6

New Zealand

7

Germany

8

Ireland

9

Sweden

10

Sri Lanka

66

Pakistan

75

Venezuela (least transparent market)

100

 

 

  1. As per the recommendations of the committee formed under the Secretary of the Transport Ministry, expenses incurred by manufacturing companies in setting up charging stations for electric vehicles across the country should be considered an activity within the ambit of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
    • The proposal has been made to facilitate adoption of electric mobility in India, where setting up charging infrastructure is becoming a major impediment.
    • Higher depreciation on electric vehicles is required, along with incentive or weighted deductions for investments in the electric mobility space.
    • The depreciation of EVs may be allowed at a rate of 50% against a rate of 15% allowed at present.
    • The committee was set up by the government to suggest measures to promote electric mobility in India through non-fiscal incentivization and promote electrification in public transport and last-mile connectivity.
  1. On the upcoming National Deworming Day to be held in August, the centre is planning to include children who are not part of the school or Anganwadi system.
    • The National Deworming Day is a flagship programme, which started in 2015 to combat the public health risk of intestinal worms in boys and girls aged 1-19 years.
    • The ministry now aims to expand the treatment coverage.
    • The World Health Organization estimated in 2014 that over 220 million Indian children aged 1-14 years were at risk of worm infections.
  1. Changing monsoon patterns and rising temperatures driven by climate change could cost India 2.8% of GDP, says a new World Bank report.
    • Climate change could depress the living standards of nearly half the India’s population by 2050, which now lives in the vulnerable areas
    • Low-income states such as Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which are also home to large tribal populations, are predicted to be the top two climate hotspots by 2050 that are likely to experience a decline of over 9% in their living standards.
    • Followed by Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
    • The report also highlights that seven out of the top 10 most-affected hotspot districts would belong to the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
    • It is expected that India’s average annual temperatures could rise by 1- 2°C by 2050 even if preventive measures are taken along the lines of those listed in the Paris Agreement, while the rise would be 5-3°C if no steps are taken.
  1. The Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), approved the proposal for insertion of Paragraph 68HH in EPF Scheme, 1952 provisioning advance from the fund to a member who ceases to be in employment for a continuous period not less than one month.
    • Under this proposal a member can avail 75% of the total fund (including employee as well as employer share) standing to the member’s credit with interest thereon.
    • It approved the proposal to continue SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund as ETF manufacturer for investment in ETF by EPFO for tenure of one year i.e. till 30/06/2019
  1. Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) Digital Academy and addressed the first batch of professionals enrolled for undergoing courses in the fields of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Social Work.
    • NIMHANS is initiating programmes for training of healthcare service providers across the country to deliver quality mental healthcare services.
  1. The Tamil Nadu government today released its Ecotourism Policy 2017which is a community based ecotourism policy.
    • The Forest Department will be the nodal department for implementing the policy.
    • The SEB will finalise the strategies regarding pricing and appropriate packaging and branding of ecotourism destinations.
  1. Military Engineer Services (MES) launched its newly designed website.
    • It is line with the GIGW (Guidelines For Indian Government Websites) guidelines.
  1. India announced that, it will raise the fund from $12 million to $15 million to the Global Environment Facility (GEF)’s new four-year investment cycle called GEF-7.
    • GEF was formed in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit to manage serious environmental problems.
  1. The navies of India and Indonesia participated in Passage Exercise (PASSEX).
  1. French utility EDF and General Electric have signed a pact to jointly build six reactors for India’s most ambitious nuclear power plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
    • The 9,900 megawatt(mw) plant at Jaitapur is being built by State run-Nuclear Power Corporation of India.
    • This will be the world’s largest nuclear power unit.
  1. World’s lightest satellite named Jai Hind 1-S that weighs only 39 grams.
    • Designed by four students from Department of Aerospace Engineering in Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai.
  1. The Centre is considering a proposal to set up a Centre of Excellence for Blockchain Technology in Hyderabad to drive innovation.
    • It is the first centre for Blockchain Technology.
  1. Money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose more than 50% to 1.01 billion Swiss francs (Rs. 7,000 crore) in
    • In comparison, the total funds held by all foreign clients of Swiss banks rose about 3% to 1.46 trillion francs or about 100 lakh crore in 2017, according to the official annual data released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central banking authority of the Alpine nation.
    • As per the latest data, the Indian money in Swiss banks included 464 million francs (Rs. 3,200 crore) in the form of customer deposits, 152 million francs ( 1,050 crore) through other banks and 383 million francs (Rs. 2,640 crore) as ‘other liabilities’ such as securities at the end of 2017.
  1. On June 28, 2018, the currency weakened breaching 69 per dollar, an all-time low.
    • The rupee, which has lost almost 8% in value since January 1, is the worst-performing currency in Asia this year.
  1. A new District Health Ranking System has been evolved in Rajasthan for monitoring the delivery of healthcare services, vaccination in infants, family welfare programmes and institutional deliveries as well as the implementation of the Bhamashah health insurance scheme.
    • New India Assurance Company Limited (NIA) has announced that it will execute health insurance for about one crore poor families across the State.
    • Under the project called the Bhamasha Swasthya Bima Yojana (BSBY), about four crore people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will get health insurance benefits.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. The Financial Action Task Force has decided to keep Pakistan remain on the grey list for failing to curb anti-terror financing.
    • Despite Islamabad submitting a 26-point action plan and launching a concerted diplomatic effort to avert the decision.
    • It was also agreed in February that an action plan would be negotiated between Pakistan and FATF members by June.
    • Pakistan will work towards effective implementation of the Action Plan while staying in the grey list.
    • The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with a safe and effective alternative to the controversial drug oxytocin which is known as
    • While oxytocin, must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius, and becomes less effective when exposed to heat, carbetocin does not require refrigeration and retains its efficacy for at least three years even if it is stored at 30 degrees Celsius, and in 75% relative humidity.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

 

  1. Private sector lender RBL Bank has fully acquired Mumbai-based financial product distribution firm Swadhaar FinServe Pvt Ltd from their earlier holding of 60.49%.
  1. The board of Indian Bank has decided to withdraw its May 10 resolution recommending a dividend of 6 per equity share (60%).
    • Indian Bank moved the RBI seeking clarification on Section 15 (1) of Banking Regulation Act.
    • According to this section, banks are not allowed to pay any dividend on shares until all their capitalised expenses (including preliminary expenses, organisation expenses, share-selling commission, brokerage, amount of losses incurred and any ‘other item of expenditure not represented by tangible assets) have been completely written off.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Daikin Industries Ltd has appointed its India operations MD & CEO Kanwaljeet Jawa into the Board of the parent company.
    • He will be the first Indian on the Daikin Industries board.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. The National Statistics Day is celebrated every year on June 29 in India to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation.
    • The day also acknowledges notable contribution of Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning.
    • The 2018 theme is “Quality Assurance in Official Statistics”.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Punjab’s former finance minister Surinder Singla passed away.
  2. Analysing grains of the mineral zircon extracted from a Martian meteorite known as Black Beauty, scientists determined that the Red Planet’s outer layer hardened 547 billion years ago, only 20 million years after the birth of the Sun.
    • Mars was once much more Earth-like, with a thick atmosphere, abundant water and global oceans.
  1. A rare toad in Nevada’s high desert has been considered under the Endangered Species Act protection.